Monthly Archives: June 2011

Three Business Technology Trends for 2011

Halfway through 2011 and it may seem as though it’s hard to imagine technology growing more than it did in 2010. Technology has definitely evolved, with mobile technology like smartphones and tablets continuing to rise as the year continues its countdown to 2012. The year isn’t over, but businesses have learned where the next trend will come and how they can use it for their benefit.

#1 – Outsourcing

When you think of outsourcing, you might think of American companies turning to our overseas counterparts or the job loss that many Americans may experience because of it. However, outsourcing isn’t just the point of sending an in-house job to someone outside of the country; outsourcing essentially means using a third party to work on or complete a task that is commonly done by someone within the country.

Due to the economic turmoil that marked the Great Recession, many businesses made use of freelancers – individuals who are not part of the company, but are paid for their work. This included many things, such as outsourcing help desk duties or that of reception duties. This allows the company to cut down on expenses as most freelancers do not receive health care or medical insurance from these companies, and in most cases the project is a contract for several weeks or months.

Outsourcing is also turning into cloud sourcing, where the use of cloud computing is gaining more prominence. The ability to access files, documents, pictures, and music from anywhere is a popular topic, especially as mobile technology continues to grow with more smartphone features and the appeal of tablets. Will 2011 be the year in which a business doesn’t even a physical office?

#2 – Information Security

The latest woes that have plagued Sony and their PlayStation Network has brought the focus back on making sure that a company keeps the information provided by their clients as safe as possible.

In April, hackers managed to infiltrate the accounts of millions of users that use the PlayStation Network, finally prompting Sony to take down the network. The outage lasted until May, and just when it looked as though the troubles could be over, the Sony Pictures Entertainment website was hacked on June 2, 2011.

While it is too early to determine how 2011 will fair against the attacks by hackers and thieves in 2010 or even 2009, the fiasco involving Sony has placed more concern on how businesses secure their clients’ personal and financial information.

#3 – Mobile Technology

As mentioned, mobile technology has taken off more now than ever before. While laptop computers are still in use, smartphones and tablets are starting to grow with the ability of a light weight computing system that is nearly capable of performing tasks that you would do on your desktop.

Smartphone users can easily check email, surf the web, and complete other tasks thanks to mobile apps. Tablets seem to be in the middle of mobile phone and laptop technology, giving users the ability to be even more mobile than they are now. With the continued rise in mobility, companies are looking to get their names on the small screen.

It’s still too early to see what marvels 2011 will present to us, but so far, it seems to be shaping up to be a very trendy year.

Advertisements

Printing on Windows 7: How to Fix the “It’s Printing Slow” Problem

One of the most common gripes about printing in Windows 7 is that it’s terribly slow. This wasn’t a manufactured charge by just a few disgruntled users. In the fall of 2010, Microsoft acknowledged the problem and offered up a “quick fix” (a patch) to alleviate it. Following are some of the particulars.

Anatomy of the Problem

Microsoft identified the problem as basically a communications error – one that originates with the print spooler. This piece of software is what Windows uses to communicate commands to printers.

The print spooler can significantly increase CPU usage. But, this in and of itself is not a problem. The slowdown happens because this increase in usage never abates, which leads to prolonged, elevated use. And, this is what slows down printing because it takes much longer to communicate the message to the printer.

If the “tech speak” is a little hard to digest, think of it as being put on hold when you call an 800 number. The music starts, and a soothing voice continually updates you, “We’re experiencing unusually high call volume today. Your projected wait time is 5 minutes.”

Then . . .

“Your business is important to us. Please continue to hold. Your projected wait time is 3 minutes.”

Etc.

Now that you know why you haven this problem when printing on Windows 7, let’s get to the solution.

How to Speed Up Printing in Windows 7

As alluded to above, the first thing you should do is download what Microsoft calls the “hot fix” solution. The company points out that this fix is only for this particular problem and that you must be running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 (not another version of Windows) for it to work.

This patch won’t make changes to your Registry, so you don’t have to worry about that. And of course, you should restart your system after downloading and installing the fix to finish repairing this printing on Windows 7 problem.

Printing Remotely

Many networks or businesses rely on remote desktop for printing. This can be a great solution if properly managed. If remote printing with a Windows 7 machine is an option, then a Windows 7 remote printing application should be considered. It cuts down on management and time related to management.