Hardware / Software Upgrades


Well April came and went without any serious problems and we are pretty much back to normal, in terms of day to day scheduling. Iíve passed the recommended recovery period, so moderate lifting is allowed as well.


The low pricing on computers and new flat panel monitors has resulted in a number of companies opting to complete hardware upgrades and phase out older Pentium 1ís and 2ís. Pentium 3 computers and above are generally fast enough for most business computing but some high end software does require a fairly fast Celeron or Pentium 4. The relative complexity of some Internet Web Sites also requires additional power to navigate them at a reasonable rate of speed. Call or e-mail us if you would like pricing on Dell upgrades.


Many companies have added High Speed Internet to their network environments. Most areas of the city now offer at least one and often several Internet Suppliers. As more and more users have acquired direct access to the Internet, Windows XP has become a virtual necessity. Earlier versions of Windows do not have the same degree of reliability and protection to make the Internet a safe place to visit. Windows 95, 98 and even 2000 routinely crash as a result of something that is downloaded or accidentally acquired on-line.


To go with Windows XP a good Anti-Virus and Adware & Spyware removal program is also highly recommended. Anti-Spam features to weed out junk e-mail are often provided by your Internet Supplier.If not these can be added. Rogers has good free Anti-Spam software and supplies free Anti-Virus protection as well. Other Internet companies vary in what they supply.


If you havenít already done it, upgrading your file server can provide a boost in network performance and ensure long-term reliability. There are few things more frustrating than resorting to manual procedures for a week while a failed server is replaced. Planned server upgrades should occur about every 5 years. Old file servers can often be relegated to less critical roles.


When upgrading file servers, some thought should be given to upgrading the operating system as well. A lot of clients are still using Novell Netware. This limits the selection of compatible servers but several are still available. The main advantage to maintaining Novell is cost. The existing software can be transferred to a new file server. To switch to Windows Server 2003 for example would entail an expenditure of $1000 to $3000 for software, dependant upon the number of user licenses required, but would ensure future compatibility with newer file servers and Windows software.


Newer Printers / Features


HP has brought out several new models of laser printers that offer duplex printing out of the box. We can supply these printers and configure Libra to print longer reports and postings on both sides of the page. This has the advantage of reducing filing space at the same time as reducing paper costs. Let us know if you are interested in either of the printers below:


HP Laserjet 1320†††††††† $400.00†††† 22 pages/min


HP Laserjet 2420d†††††† $700.00†††† 30 pages/min


Of the two printers, the 2420 is faster and has a much better manual feed. If you are looking at the 2420 printer be sure to order the 2420d model, as the 2420 basic model does not offer duplexing. It is a little less expensive however. We can have these printers delivered to your door for a nominal $10 shipping charge. Prices tend to fluctuate so call us if interested.


A laser printer with a good manual feed also allows you to easily feed in letterhead, not only for letters, but invoices, purchase orders and such. Laser cheques can also be easily fed in and the quality of print is much better than the best dot-matrix printer. The only downside to laser forms is that you must print as many copies as you need. If you print a 5 copy invoice on a dot-matrix printer you print one copy. On laser you must print 5 copies but the printing is much faster and quieter. Multi-colour copies can also be used. If you employ a printer with multiple trays, you can print different forms and different colours of forms easily without changing the forms all the time.


Another feature that we often activate these days is Laser Printed Envelopes. This allows you to use less expensive plain envelopes for cheques. These are less obvious targets for individuals intent on cheque fraud. It can be integrated into Cheque Printing so that as you print your 20 cheques the program requests you to load and print the 20 matching envelopes as well. Look at the envelope that this newsletter came in if you would like to take a look at a basic laser envelope.


With an appropriate printer and magnetic toner cartridge you can even print cheques on completely blank cheque stock allowing you to maintain a single source of cheques for multiple companies and multiple bank accounts. This is often much less expensive than standard pre-printed cheques providing you order sufficient blank cheque stock.