The lovely Nathan from Radleys Aylesbury is going to have 3 days to drive from Lands End to John O’Groats (1800+ miles) along with a convoy of 18+ year old cars that cost no more than £400.
Beyond it sounding like a good laugh, there are a couple of great causes they are collecting donations for. Please visit the Justgiving page to find out more about the Thames Valley Air Ambulance & Sparkles Speech and Language Therapy charities.
Eset Anti-virus have changed their practice on out of date software (not to be confused with out of date virus definitions). Users who have been running version 5 and 6 for a number of years will now get a red warning to encourage them to upgrade to version 7. Everyone who has a subscription is entitled to this update, so please run the simple guide Michael has written below and you will find yourself on version 7 and no more warning. We can assist with this should you need it.
A bit of change of pace on Wednesday, an excuse to fill up a few swag bags and take in the latest offerings in the IT Service Desk industry. SITS19 is for IT Helpdesk show at the ExCel in London, demonstrating different packages to remote support, log tickets and anything that an IT department needs to function.
RealVNC Connect impressed with how they would solve the remote working issues we have when workers need CAD or rendering packages. Often the problem is mouse snapping to the objects or fluid movement of objects. Small licensing cost per user, could be the answer to replacing RDP and Teamviewer for those users.
Teamviewer’s Pilot stand was the one I was looking forward to, video below shows off what it can do. Let us know if you think we should get a license to better support you and we will get it done!
IT Support guys regularly get emails asking if something is a scam or genuine. There are often a lot of tell tell signs that an email is genuine, probable scam or obvious scam. Google has a fun quiz they allow users to try, to see if they can spot a phishing scam in a range of scenarios. Please feel free to try it out on the link below, with no need to put in specific information about yourself.
Outlook calendar sharing has changed in a recent Outlook patch, but what was not clear was the new impact it would have on iOS and Android smartphones. Typically a user would share a calendar out from Outlook or Outlook Web App and then follow this up by modifying the permissions that person has to their calendar. This has been improved to be a single process, in which you share permissions by adding the user to your Calendar permissions and Outlook automatically. Great, much more stream lined and we are a big fan of this.
Below is an example in which you can open the Share Calendar window and add a co-worker. Outlook automatically emails that co-worker seen in the second picture, which is all very normal and the bug will not present itself just yet. If the recipient of the calendar invite simply ignores the email and opens up Calendar, they can now open the sharer’s calendar and all is as expected and how it has been for years.
If however the user is on the newer version of Outlook, the interface will have now have an accept button at the top that if pressed changes to ‘accepting’.
This causes a signal to go to 365 and then instruct them to include that users calendar in their own calendar as a secondary calendar on all smartphones and tablets which have the 365 account for the recipient of the share. The unexpected addition of this calendar can cause havok for users as they suddenly have a hugely populated calendar on a small screen, often causing confusion as to what conference calls they are supposed to attend or reminders to do X and Y.
From our testing, we even saw a bug where the additional calendar would not remain de-selected if user did not want to view the other calendar, resulting in a frustrating experience.
The next big question was what would happen if we deleted the Calendar, as it was clearly a live calendar and and could be interacted with, what would happen? We tested this out with all of the permissions from view only to delegate, and in our testing environment, the deleting of the calendar from the iOS 11 device resulted only in the calendar being removed form the smartphone. Also worth noting if you return to Outlook and click the accept button in the invite again, it pushes right back to the phone and tablet again. It is an account wide setting and removing from one removes from all other devices (excluding Outlook).
Looking at this as a feature, and assuming you don’t get the bug where it imposes the other calendar on you at random, it is a pretty cool feature for PA’s and co-workers who want to check availability of each other while on a mobile device. Contacting MS 365 support and registering this as a bug, they couldn’t figure out what was going on and suspect this has been rolled out without the appropriate notification or even a simple email announcing the feature would have sufficed (think Clutter or Focus Inbox).
Hope this makes sense and as always, give us a shout if you need any help or advice on IT matters. We are reachable on 01296 345 000.
Pleased to announce the promotion of Josh Hall to Senior Support Engineer. Josh will take greater responsibility for the day to day running of the support team while continuing his normal duties. With three engineers often planning their own workload, it will be a great boon to our efficiency to have Josh oversee the diary and make sure nobody is overworked or clients kept waiting when avoidable.
Wish Josh the very best in his new role and look forward to getting bossed around by him 😉
Still getting spammed by unsolicited senders (shocker!), though on the plus side, a few companies we deal with really upped their game in line with GDPR. So would consider it a big success even if it has been a headache.
Had our hands on the new Dell XPS 13 last week, the 9370 model. First thing you notice they got rid of all the useful USB ports to make it thinner and lighter……. A few breaths in a paper bag later, and you find the dongle converting USB-C (new standard) to USB-A (one we are familiar with). It has the fancy name Thunderbolt 3 (thanks Apple *sighs*). They only give you the one, but they are £3.50 on Amazon so no big deal. For under 30 quid you should have adaptors on all your devices and won’t add any real weight to the cables.
Killer features on the laptop are:
19 hours battery life (more realistically 7-12 hours real usage with moderate power saving on)
4K touch screen
Windows Hello compatible fingerprint reader on power button. just rest finger on button to unlock.
Windows Hello compatible webcam which removes need for typing passwords if you are facing laptop (works really well!)
Thinner than previous generations of XPS13 at just 11.6 mm height at rear of laptop (thickest part)
Lighter than previous generations of XPS13 at just 1.21 kg
Smaller and lighter powerpack (also USB-C)
Tiny bezel, screen is almost edge to edge.
Incredibly strong chassis so it won’t flex when held by corners of palm rests
I could go on all day. Outstanding kit.
As with all XPS 13 & 15 options, the price is firmly in the premium laptop range. Dell has typically does no offer much discount on these models as they are very sought after, though are flexible on extending the warranty if purchased direct from account manager or phone sales. Laptop of this calibre should be warranted for 3 to 4 years minimum in our opinion, with next business day engineer and parts on site making this ideal for business use.
We are saddened to see Saim leave the company this week. He has been with us for two and half years, helping with day to day running of the helpdesk along with occasional onsite work. Saim’s reasons for leaving are family related and require him to leave full time employment for the immediate future so he can care for them. We wish Saim and his family all the best.
Maybe one day in the future when he is able to return to work, he will consider coming back to F8.