Computer and Network Support for Small Businesses
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Newsletter 5 – November 2003

So… summer has come and gone and winter is on the horizon? My business continues to grow, thanks to you. Why thanks to you? Because my business is being built on referrals exclusively. This is a slow process but one that is working for me.

I really appreciate your business and your referrals – also, a reminder that there is always something in it for you, when your referral turns into a client. You earn an hour of my time, the next time you need assistance.


2004 is just around the corner… much like the viruses that are floating around the Internet and your email. My best advice is to keep your antivirus software up-to-date at all times. I still advocate the use of Norton AntiVirus. The new 2004 version is available and would recommend your purchasing the Professional edition. If you have a previous version, you can download an upgrade via the Symantec Web Site. Contact me if you need more information. Symantec, like most of the software vendors are getting smarter in the way they licence the software. You now have to enter a unique activation key when you install the software, otherwise it will fail to function after 15 days.

Data Backup

How are your taking care of critical data? I have often had to help my clients with data recovery, where they have experienced a drive corruption, or worse yet, a drive failure. Backup your critical data to Floppy Disk or CD ROM. CD RW ROM Drives are very affordable, $80.00 or less depending on the speed and manufacturer and they all tend to come with “Burning” software as part of the bundle. As a matter of interest, data recovery starts at $600.00 and can go as high as $2,000.00, if the recovery labs are successful. Can you afford the downtime and the cost?

Data Storage

Some hints on storing data on your Hard Disk Drive.

  • Get into the habit of saving data in folders that you create in your “My Documents” folder.
  • Put similar documents in the same folder. For example, I have folders named Docs, Sheets, Presentations, Pics, Music, etc. Where necessary, I will create sub-folders within these folders. Most importantly, they’re in the “My Documents” folder. Most programs create default data directories. Move the data to the “My Documents” folder.
  • If saving your email and email addresses is important, back them up. If you’re using Outlook Express, from the file menu, select Export, Address Book, Other Address Book and save the file (in My Documents) as a .CSV file. You email is a little trickier. You will need to search for .DBX files and ensure that you have said to look for hidden and system files. Once you have located the .DBX files, copy them to an appropriately named folder in “My Documents”. Do this as often as is required! Outlook is a little easier… you will need to look for the .PST file on the system. Once again do a search for hidden files. The Outlook files is normally named Outlook.pst.
  • Now that you have the locations of the files… Back them Up! We have redone our web site and it’s now showing all of our services and capabilities. Take a peek… (you’re here already)!

Previous issues of the newsletter are now available on my web site…

Now, on a personal note, my mother, who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, will be turning 80 on the 26th November. I have decided to help her celebrate and am surprising her with my visit (help keep the secret). My two younger brothers still live in Cape Town and are giving her a luncheon and I’m going to be there! I leave Toronto next Saturday the 22nd November on a flight to Atlanta. Then on a South African Airways flight direct to Cape Town, arriving some 14.5 hours later, on Sunday morning at 8.00am. On Friday, the 28th I leave Cape Town and get back into Toronto on Saturday the 29th and ready to serve you once again.

While I’m away, Barbara, my wife will be retrieving messages and contacting some of my associates to attend to issues that cannot wait for my return. My associates are very competent and I am confident that you will get the same high level of support that you are used to receiving from me. Thanks for working with me on this one!

his week and next, I’ll be available to address any of your Technology requirements personally.