Latest News

May 1, 2017

What a month!

Couldn’t be happier with April this year. One of our first clients has been going from strength to strength and really pleased to see them move to a new shiny office. Something really satisfying from an IT guys perspective, when a empty shell of an office turns in to a haven of productivity, with everything looking modern and running latest IT solutions.

While my attention has been focused mostly on that one client, the guys in the office have been doing a huge number of migrations and office moves themselves, resulting in an awesome month for us. Really satisfying to see us do so much work but also manage to get to everyone without delay. Well done guys!

Enjoy the pictures of our clients gorgeous new office, hopefully be us one day!

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
Read more

December 12, 2016

Amazon Go

Amazon announced a cool new way to shop for our lunches and convenience groceries. Having a test store in Seattle that has no checkout or need to pay from a self service counter, totally mad!

Amazon Go introduction

Click picture above to watch introduction video

Had a lot of fun theorising how the Amazon Go shop would work. Amazon are going from strength to strength, re-inventing how we shop, consume media, interface with our technology and now even convenience our lunch experience!

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
Read more

December 7, 2016

Netflix Offline-Mode

Really pleased to see Netflix are now offering phones and tablets the ability to select a program to watch offline. Always a challenge to find something to watch on a plane or entertain a young person without running up a huge data bill. To use, you will need an up to date Netflix subscription, the latest App on the device and click on the ‘Available for Download’ in the menu.

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
Read more

September 23, 2016

iOS Battery Saving Steps

1: Plug it in overnight

This might sound like odd advice, but one of the best things to do after updating to iOS 10 is to plug in your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, let the screen turn off, and do nothing for an extended period of time. Letting it sit plugged in overnight while you sleep is perfect for this.

This can help because iOS 10 does a lot of indexing and scanning of your pictures and data in the background, for features ranging from Spotlight to new Siri abilities to the Photos sorting and searching functions. While you can certainly use your iPhone or iPad while those background tasks are taking place, the device might appear slower or might seem to have a rapidly draining battery, when in fact it’s just iOS 10 doing what it needs to do to be entirely usable. For large devices that are nearly full of photos and other stuff, the indexing and maintenance processes can take many hours, sometimes extending beyond even 12 hours. So wait a day or two and make sure it has been plugged in and not in use for a notable amount of that time.

2: Restart
A common trick that may help battery life is to restart the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. You can do the typical restart of turning the device off and then back on again, or force reboot. Sometimes a simple device reboot does the trick.

3: Follow the Battery Life Advice in Battery Settings
New to iOS 10 is the ability for the device to specifically recommend battery saving suggestions to prolong battery life. Typically this means making adjustments to usage like reducing the devices screen brightness.

Go to Settings > Battery > look for “Battery Life Suggestions”
You’ll see what is offered for your device, then follow that advice. And yes, it’s good advice.

You can then tap on each item to jump directly to it in Settings. And yes really, reducing your screen brightness will have a big impact on battery life.

4: Disable Background App Refresh
Background App Refresh is a nice feature but in practice it tends to consume more battery life by allowing apps to do more activity in the background. Thus, disabling Background App Refresh tends to increase battery life, and many users don’t even notice the difference from turning it off.

* Open Settings and go to to “General”, choose “Background App Refresh” and turn the top switch to the OFF position to disable the feature

5: Use Reduce Motion
Reducing the amount of visual effects in iOS may offer a minor improvement to battery life:

* Go to Settings > Accessibility > Reduce Motion > ON

Note doing this will cause iMessage effects to not work so only adjust Motion if you don’t care about the fancy message lasers, slams, and confetti type effects.

6: Disable Location Services You Don’t Need or Use
Location services and GPS usage can hit the battery particularly hard if they are used extensively, so disabling some of the location features can help your battery last longer.

* Open Settings > Privacy > Location Services
* Adjust settings appropriate for your usage, setting to “Never” or “While Using” as needed per app and feature
This is universally good advice for prolonging battery life and doesn’t apply just to iOS 10.

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
Read more

July 20, 2016

Nationwide Broadband Outage

The UK has been hit by a major broadband outage today (20/07/16) after reports of power issues in one of BT’s internet peering partners’ sites in London. BT Tweeted shortly after 9am:

BT Outage

F8 IT Solutions have already been inundated with calls from clients reporting the issue this morning, due to lack of connectivity to their e-mail services and other websites. The outage has caused problems with DNS (one of the systems used by websites, services and computers so that they can talk to each other). Whilst the outage has been very disruptive to businesses this morning, the good news is engineers are working on repairing the service and here at F8 we have already seen a large portion of connectivity restored. Please note that no action will be required at the clients end and functionality will be restored automatically when BT have resolved the outage.

The map below shows the severity of the outage across the UK.

map

 

Posted by Josh Hall
Read more

April 8, 2016

Apple iPhone SE

I am in my thirties and had a pay as you go mobile from age of 17, so my parents could check up on me or for emergencies. Every time a friend showed up with the newest model, you could bet it was smaller and thinner than everything we carted around. Barely leaving a bulge in the pocket and exceeding all our phones capabilities.

Phones over 20 years

At some point during the smartphone revolution, most of us stopped caring about how small phones could get, instead how big the screen was and how much of the front of the unit was usable screen vs plastic bezel. I for one, don’t buy in to the marketing, big is not better and I don’t want to carry a tablet around in my pocket.

It would appear, Apple believes there is also a market for smaller products that have all the punch of a bigger model. The Apple iPhone SE, is essentially a iPhone 6S in the body of the universally loved iPhone 5.

So we should be paying extra for that amazing innovation right? Well 1999 me would have thought so, but 2016 reality is that you get the phone for a whopping 33% less than the bigger more fragile model! 1999 me would be freaking out right now!

We have one on order and will be testing it shortly. Ask Josh for info and his thoughts as its his turn to get a new toy.

iPhone_SE

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
Read more

January 27, 2016

New office for 2016

 

We have grown a fair bit in 2015, with a need for more desk space for staff, workbenches for jobs and server room for backup solutions we now offer. Getting a little bit on top of ourselves so time for a move!

Hope to be in by end of this month, with a view of getting all the new furniture and IT in place this weekend. Same location as before, just a back room with a lot more space. Look forward to showing it off when it is done. Will even have a proper customer area to wait and have a coffee. We do like to spoil you :0).

Some pics, featuring our expert builder/father-in-law.

F8-IT-Solutions_officewip1 F8-IT-Solutions_officewip2 F8-IT-Solutions_officewip3

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
Read more

December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

What a crazy year 2015 has been, so incredibly blessed how well everything is going and that we are still having a blast providing our clients support.

  • Fibre introduced to the estate, taking us from a pair of 4mb lines to 75mb lines.
  • Josh had his first little’un, with the arrival of Evie early February.
  • We developed a new backup and disaster solution that has been well received.  Adding another great revenue stream.
  • We grew to the point where we needed another full time engineer, with billable time growing 25% year on year.
  • Saim Mir joined the team as full time support engineer.
  • Starting a move in to a much larger office (complete Feb 2016)
  • Loads of new computers and phones (we love our gadgets!!)
  • My first born just weeks ago, little cherry on top of this year! Picture of Quinn below.

Quinn Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks for all the support of our little company over the last 5 years. Means we can all come to a job we enjoy!

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
Read more

November 11, 2015

Office 2010 & 2013 crashing on startup

Microsoft released a security updates for Windows 7 on the 11/11/2015 with the number KB3097877 & KB3101746. These updates caused Microsoft Office programs, like Outlook and PowerPoint crashed uncontrollable and with no warning.

Outlook 2010 crashing

Outlook 2010 crashing

These updates should be uninstalled and this manual explains how that is done.

Step 1. Go to the “Control panel” and chose “Programs and Features”.

Step 2. In the menu at top left corner choose “View installed updates”.

Step 3. In the search field in the top right corner, you enter

KB3097877

Step 4. When KB3097877 is found, right click the update and choose “Uninstall”. When the uninstallation is done, the computer asks for a restart. Restart the computer and the problem should be gone.

Step 5. Repeat for KB3101746

Step 5. Once the computer is restarted the second time, you will need to click ‘Start’, ‘All Programs’ then ‘Windows Update’ and check for updates (this process may take some time)

Step 6. When the updates have been found click on ‘2 Important Updates are available’

Right click on the update a select ‘Hide Update’ on both updates ( KB3097877 & KB3101746)

Click ok and continue as normal

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
Read more