VISUAL NEWSLETTER – JUN 2006           

 


JULY 1ST CHANGES

 

July 1st begins a new era for GST at 6.0 percent. It also means Federal Income Tax will go up slightly for many individuals to help pay for it. There will be some   compensation for lower income families however. Remember to implement these tax changes before you begin processing your July Invoices and Payrolls.

 

WINDOWS VISTA IS COMING

 

Windows Vista will be Microsoft’s newest Operating System and is likely to be released around the end of the year. It is currently available in a Beta Test format for users that want to get an advanced look at it. This is not an Operating System that we are recommending to the average user. The reasons for this are as follows:

 

1)    Windows XP has been Microsoft’s Flagship since 2001. As such it has been well tested, is quite stable and is compatible with virtually all computers and software available today.

 

2)    Windows Vista as a new Operation System is bound to have a few bugs out of the box and a large number of incompatibilities with many computers and different versions of software.

 

3)    Windows Vista will only run efficiently on relatively fast computers with specifications equal to or better than the following:

 

-         3.0 GHz Processor

-         1 Gigabyte of Ram

-         160 Gb or Larger Hard Drive

-         256Mb Advanced Video Card

-         DVD Player / DVD-Writer Drive

 

By comparison, Windows XP will run on much more basic computers. You can purchase a good computer to run Windows XP for as little as $300.00. To run Windows Vista, you will pay about $1200.00. As this level of computer becomes more common, the pricing will likely drop as well, but that may take a year or two to happen as demand often dictates pricing.

 

4)    Windows XP will remain an option on new computers for at least two to three years after the launch of Windows Vista, so there is no rush to convert to it until such time as you absolutely need Windows Vista to run some new program that you want. In this case, you may consider a standalone computer to perform this function, one that has no backward compatibility issues with your existing computers and software.

 

For some users Windows Vista will provide definite advantages. The high-end computer and video card requirements will permit an enhanced visual experience with much higher image resolutions. Programs such as Graphic Design, Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing and Ultra Sophisticated Computer Games will benefit from the available power. The average business user on the other hand will get some benefit from the increased speed of the new computers but little else if they do not use any of the target programs to perform their day to day work.

 

It may be some time before we know what effect the new system has on Libra’s Dos Mode Operation. We heard ominous warnings prior to the release of Windows XP only to find that Libra ran just fine on Windows XP. On the other hand many older Windows 95-98 programs would not run at all on Windows XP. Many banks and institutions took several years to complete changes to their on-line systems to cure these problems. Windows Vista may or may not precipitate similar problems. Since a much higher number of individuals use on-line services now as compared to 2001 this would likely be an even bigger problem unless Microsoft builds in necessary backward compatibility.

 

Microsoft has issued a number of warnings for Windows Vista regarding incompatibilities with some common software. This is still however, very much a “Buyer Beware” situation. They are not likely to provide fixes for relatively unknown software programs regardless of how vital they are to your organization.

 

RELAY FOR LIFE

 

Our thanks to those companies and individuals who sponsored us for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life at the Brampton Fair Grounds. While we can’t say that we walked the full 12 hours straight, we did manage to stay up all night and complete 20 to 30 laps around the 1 kilometre track. I lost count about 4:00 in the morning. Our team from the Prostate Cancer group raised about $2000.00. Altogether, over $350,000.00 was raised by the thousands of people that participated.

 

Prostate Cancer like so many forms of Cancer is on the rise. Men are recommended to have a check-up and an annual PSA test starting as early as 40 years of age. While Prostate Cancer is less common in men in their 40’s and 50’s it is often more dangerous at that age. Remind your husbands, brothers, fathers and yourself, if applicable, to have it looked at next visit to the doctor.