Monthly Archives: August 2010

Cloud Storage – Good – Bad for Schools

Today everyone wants to be able to move files around more than ever before.  Kids and teachers work on assignments and projects at school and want to bring it home or the reverse.  Years ago (many) they would use a floppy (5.25 or 3.5),  it went to burning CD’s, to burning DVD and today people are using USB memory sticks.  As the technology changes so have the hackers, the newest threat is through those memory sticks everyone is using.   Kids being kids you never know what is on those keys and what damage it may cause the district.  You also need to be concerned about the type of information teachers may store on these memory sticks, as sensitive information can be lost if your not protecting the devices in some way.

A great alternative is cloud storage and there are many free services, but the one I trust and use is Microsoft Skydrive and Live Mesh that is in Beta and currently called Live Sync.   Skydrive is cloud based storage, it’s free with an MS LIVE ID and you have 25G available.  A number of applications that are included in LIVE ESSENTIALS 2011 use this storage as well.  The downside is that you have to move the files manually to skydrive.  Live Sync (Live Mesh) is just what you think, it will sync files or folders from one machine to another or to the cloud.  Currently Live Sync allows for 2G of cloud storage, but once Live Essentials 2011 comes out of  Beta you will have 5G of cloud storage to play with.  Kids and teachers can sync their files to the cloud for use at home and at school.

One item that has to be considered is if your firewall blocks Microsoft pages and how you have it set up.   These solutions fall under the LIVE.com address and if you have Hotmail blocked, you might have both Skydrive and Live sync blocked as well.

Just an idea to reduce your exposure to possible issues with USB keys.   The other advantage with the cloud is that the information is always available from anywhere, kids can forget or for that matter lose USB keys – the cloud is always there – no excuses.

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DELL Latitude 2100 in STOCK!

Latitude 2100
Chalkboard Black

Intel Atom – 1600
1 GB RAM
80 GB HARD DRIVE
Windows XP PRO
Dell Wireless 1397 802.11b/g Mini Card
10.1inch WSVGA LED Display (1024X576)
6 cell battery
1 yr warranty

CALL for Pricing 1-888-226-5727-x3877

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Windows 7 – Understanding XP MODE

I am sure for a lot of you thinking of moving to WIN7,  you’re hoping the XP mode is the answer to your compatibility issue you might have in your district.  Will it work for you in your environment?  Do your machines have the horse power needed?  You also have to think that not all installs will require this option, maybe it’s only your elementary level systems due to older software running.

Which customers should use Windows XP Mode standalone?

Windows XP Mode standalone is suitable for small and medium business users, who are able to set their XP applications themselves and may or may not have IT Professional staff. Each PC has its own virtual Windows XP environment that is controlled and managed by the end-user. Windows XP Mode standalone is not designed for large, centrally managed deployments that have widely deployed business applications that require Windows XP.

Q & A article – Understanding XP Mode

How MED-V V2 Helps you manage Windows XP mode

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Internet Explorer 6 Transition TIPS!

I am not sure if this is an issue for the K12 market, but am aware of many business it is.  Do you need to continue to run Explorer 6 for specific application?  Well Microsoft put up a great post with several options that might assist you in the short-term.  You do have to be aware running 6 does put you at a greater security risk, the newer versions have improved drastically.
Take a read!

Tools To Make Working With Internet Explorer 6 in Windows 7 Easier

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Windows 8

WINDOWS 8 is coming – Mid-Late 2012

Windows 8: A First Peek

Make no mistake about it: If you were to parse through my email and try and figure out what the single most frequently asked question is these days, it’s pretty obvious. “What can you tell me about Windows 8?” And to date, there hasn’t been much to say. As a dedicated Windows watcher, I am of course deeply interested in what Microsoft is doing, and if you’ve been following along with my various other writings, you already know what the Windows 8 release schedule looks like. But ask about the features and technologies that Microsoft planned to include in Windows 8? For the most part, I didn’t have a clue. Until now.

Learn a little about it from:  http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/win8_leak.asp

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Windows XP SP2 Support has ENDED

WINDOWS XP SP2 support has ended as of July 13th, 2010

I would also like to remind people who are still running Windows XP that as of July 13th, 2010, Windows XP SP2 will also reach the end of support. You will need to install the latest service pack available (Windows XP Service Pack 3) via the Microsoft Update website or look at moving to Windows 7 to be running a supported version of Windows.  Support for Windows XP Service Pack 3 will continue through April 2014.

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Windows XP downgrade

For those districts and there are many that are still using XP, you get to buy new products and still use XP on them for sometime to come!

WINDOWS XP PRO – downgrade rights extended

To support our customers’ “unprecedented move” to migrate their PC environment to Windows 7, we have decided to extend downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional beyond the previously planned end date at Windows 7 SP1. This will help maintain consistency for downgrade rights throughout the Windows 7 lifecycle. As a result, the OEM versions of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate will continue to include downgrade rights to the similar versions of Windows Vista or Windows XP Professional.  Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they are ready to use Windows 7. Enabling such rights throughout the Windows 7 lifecycle will make it easier for customers as they plan deployments to Windows 7.

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Filed under Microsoft, OS, Update

Microsoft Security Essentials 11 – BETA Available

This is one of those great products that keeps our kids and their parents save when online.  This product is lite and easy to get up and running.  My father-in-law who is 75 and just really started using a computer a few years ago, got this program up and running  just from the link I supplied him.  Not normally the case with most other programs.

Beta for Next Version of Microsoft Security Essentials Now Available

Today we are announcing the beta for the next version of Microsoft Security Essentials. Microsoft Security Essentials was first released in September 2009 and is our award-winning no-cost light weight anti-malware service. It’s designed to help address the ongoing security needs of PCs running genuine Windows – helping keep people protected from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

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Microsoft SP1 for WIN7 & Server 2008 R2 – Public BETA

Public Beta Now Available SP1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

Today, (July 12th) we announced at our annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) the availability of the public beta for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1). As Gavriella Schuster and I have mentioned in previous blogs, SP1 for Windows 7 does not contain any new features specific to Windows 7. However, the new features in SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 benefit Windows 7 by providing a richer Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) experience.

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Filed under BETA, Microsoft, Update

RFID – Good or Bad!

RFID Technology for Schools 

I believe at a certain level this technology can assist schools in keeping track of their investment in technology.  Adding another layer of security by knowing where Notebooks, Netbooks, iPads and iTouches are at all times.  This is a major issue with many districts, this might answer some of those concerns.  The experiment I believe goes too far and I believe kids and teachers should not be tagged, but only the technology.  What do you think?

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