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HVAC Field Service Company? Use Internet Of Things To Keep Customers Happy

Posted by on Oct 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you own an HVAC business, your main goal is likely serving your customers in a quick and efficient manner. This can be difficult to do in certain parts of the year, such as when the temperatures drop below zero, and you have a lot of customers calling you due to their HVAC system not heating. Fortunately, there are things you and your field service technicians can do to ensure these customers are taken care of quickly to keep your business running smoothly. Internet of Things When using Interent of Things (IoT), a sensor is placed on your customer’s HVAC system, which can send information about the unit to your company’s computer network. For example, one of your customer’s HVAC unit may be running low on coolant due to a leak. If so, the sensor on the unit would alert you through your computer, tablet, or smartphone of this leak. This allows you to contact the customer, and fix the problem before it becomes much worse. Your field service technicians can carry a tablet or smartphone with them. When information comes in alerting you of a problem, it will immediately display on their tablet or smartphone while they are out on the field servicing other customers. Once they receive the information, they can call that customer alerting them of the problem, and come to their house to repair it. This looks very good on your company, as your customer may not realize they have a problem if it just started. Service History The IoT system can also display other information on their laptop or smartphone screen. For example, it will show the technicians the service history of the equipment, the date when it was installed, and the most recent repairs done to the equipment. If they see the equipment is very old, and has had a lot of repairs in the past, already knowing this information can help them speak to the customer about it much quicker, as they will not have to take time to inspect the system first. An IoT system also allows you to print out reports in your office to allow you to see information. For example, you may want to see the most common repairs the field technicians have to make to the HVAC units. Setting up a system like this can be very difficult to do if you have not done it before. For this reason, find a company that has the experience doing this. They can also help you learn how all of this...

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Easy Ways To Cut Cost On Internet Service

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Are you shopping for a new internet service but are on a pretty tight budget? If so then you may have concerns about what to do in order to buy reliable and quality internet speeds for a reasonable expense. Well, rather than stress about the monthly cost of your service, you will find it fairly easy to save on your monthly internet expenses, as there are ways to save, such as: Providing Your Own Equipment: Equipment rental can cost a good amount of money, which won’t only increase the cost of your internet service but will force you to pay for equipment that you don’t even own. Providing your own equipment will cost more upfront, but it will likely pay for itself in the first year, as you won’t have to pay for any equipment rental fees. Also, after you are ready to upgrade, you can sell your equipment and pocket the cash, which can really benefit you. So, before you assume that renting your equipment is best, consider taking advantage of owning your modem and router, as they can pay for themselves over time. Knowing What Speeds You Need: Paying too much for internet speeds that you don’t really need can easily happen. This is why it is important to understand what type of speeds you will need. If you are only going to be using social media or checking emails then try to avoid paying for the higher speed package. This will save you money and ensure you are getting the best value for your buck. Adding Other Services in With Your Internet: Chances are you will want other services in your home. If you have plans to get cable TV then consider a provider that offers both cable and internet service. Having multiple services from one internet service provider can make your overall cost for services cheaper, which won’t only save you money on your internet plan, but your cable as well, which is a big and great way to save money. So, rather than buying services from multiple providers, be sure to obtain multiple services from one provider. With these tips and options, you will find that your internet service is more affordable, which will make buying your new service much easier to do. So, rather than assume your internet is going to cost too much, be sure to take advantage of some of these tips as they can help keep money in your...

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Why Is Your ISP Using Reclaimed Ipv4 Addresses Instead Of Switching To Ipv6?

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Internet Protocol addresses allow computers, mobile devices, smart appliances and more to connect to the Internet. IP addresses also identify websites. Each server or device has its own four-part numerical address assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP), which gets a block of available addresses from the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN). The problem with this four-part number system is that, as of July 2015, there are no more unused IPv4 addresses that ARIN can assign. Because IPv4 uses 32-bit addressing, there are 4.3 billion possible combinations — and those are now all in use or have been purchased by ISPs for use. Purchasing or Leasing IPv4 Addresses Because there are some organizations that have excess addresses that are not yet in use, a market has emerged for people to buy and sell these IP addresses. If an ISP is interested in getting more IPv4 addresses, there are three main options: Get on ARIN’s wait list for available IPv4 addresses that come available as ISPs give them up (rare) or go out of business.  Purchase IPv4 addresses from a company that is not using them and does not plan to. Lease IPv4 addresses from a company that is not using them currently but wishes to retain ownership in case they are needed in the future. Some IP addresses have greater value than others. For example, a block of addresses that was used by a reputable email service and then made available for sale would be more valuable than addresses that had been used to send spam messages. When you use new IP addresses from your ISP, it may be useful to find out where the addresses have come from and what they were previously used for. Many ISPs are using ARIN IP brokers to buy, sell and lease unused blocks of IP addresses. These brokers can help connect buyers and sellers and get the required approval of ARIN for the transfer of ownership of these address blocks. Implementing the New IPv6 Protocol The other option for ISPs that need more IP addresses is to switch to a new naming protocol known as IPv6. Instead of 32-bit addressing, these use 128-bit addressing, which provides enough addresses for every atom on the planet — roughly 340 trillion trillion trillion options. It seems unlikely that we could ever run out of IPv6 addresses. The problem with IPv6 addressing is that it is not being adopted quickly. Current technologies that ISPs use to name their servers and other devices, known as Network Address Translation (NAT), allow one IP address to be used for several machines and are fine with the IPv4 system. But it will take time and money for new equipment to implement IPv6, and many ISPs don’t want to make the investment. It may be months or, more likely, years before IPv6 is more widespread. Right now, most ISPs are finding that it makes the most sense and is most cost effective to purchase unused IPv4 addresses from IP brokers who specialize in this...

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3 Great Benefits Of Managed IT Services

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you want to be sure that you’re getting the most out of your business, there are a lot of steps that you’ll need to keep in mind. For instance, when you subscribe to managed IT services, you will be able to have a dedicated team of professionals who can look after all of your communication duties. Read on to learn about the great benefits of subscribing to managed IT services, and reach out to a company in your area who can help you out. #1: You Will Cut Down On Your Labor Budget When you use internal information technology services, you may find that your budget easily gets out of whack. The reason for this is that certain projects can involve plenty of hours, including overtime. However, when you lean on the outsourced service of managed IT professionals, you will be able to pay flat rates, regardless of the work that is to be done. With this money that you are saving, you’ll have more money to provide salaries and expenses to other departments throughout your company, which help with overall operating costs.  #2: You Enjoy A Great Reduction In Downtime In this day and age, the longer your sites, apps and servers are down, the more rapidly you’ll miss out on critical amounts of money. For that reason, you would do well to turn to managed IT services companies. These professionals will be able to help you keep your site up and running, and can get your servers back up quickly if something goes wrong. Since these professionals are typically dedicated and available to you around the clock, you’ll have an easier time organizing these efforts and using them to your advantage.   #3: Your IT Systems Will Always Be On The Cutting Edge Since your managed IT service professionals typically serve other companies, you’ll know that they have an obligation to stay up to date with technology and practices. Outsourcing your IT work guarantees that your growth and development in this area will not remain stagnant, and you’ll always be using the latest software and techniques. Most companies will consistently provide you with upgrades without providing any additional costs, which will also save you plenty of money throughout the years while staying abreast with these changes.  Consider these benefits and use them by reaching out to managed IT services professionals who can take your company to the next...

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2 Home Improvements That Are Best Left To An Electrician

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

While improving or remodeling your home is almost always a good idea because of the many benefits that the process can provide, there are a few home improvements that you are better off letting a professional do for you. Home theaters and security systems are just two home improvements that are best left to an electrician. Security System When installing a home security system, there are many different things to take into consideration in order to get the system to work as well as possible, such as wiring. The reason for this is that you may not have power available in those places around your home that are most vulnerable to break ins. In order to place sensors and cameras so that those areas are protected by your security system, an electrician will be able to install power outlets or wire the security components into your home’s power system.  Another reason that an electrician is the best choice for installing a security system is that he or she can make sure that interference is not an issue. The electrician can shield the audio and video cables linked to the security cameras so that power sources and electrical wiring do not distort the image. In addition, the electrician will position wireless components so that the wireless signal is not obstructed by common sources of interference, such as metal walls. Home Theaters A truly great home theater is one where all of the cables are not visible. This is very important because there are so many cables involved in a typical home theater. For example, you will have audio and video cables from any video players and consoles, associated power cables, and wiring for all of the speakers around the room. Thankfully, an electrician can route those cables so that they are hidden in your ceiling or behind your walls, which will give you a very clean and impressive home theater. In addition, the electrician will be able to make your sound and video quality as high as possible by making sure that the audio and video cables are properly shielded against signal interference. This is a great service to take advantage of because it is very frustrating to spend a lot of money on great home theater components and then experience poor audio and video.  Speak to an electrician or electrical service today in order to discuss the many ways in which they can assist you with a home remodeling project. Home theaters and security systems are both improvements to your home that will benefit from having an electrician involved in the remodeling project. Contact a company like Meserve Electric for more...

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The Four Essential Components Of An Essential End-User Training Program

Posted by on Apr 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When getting wrapped up in the nuances of developing a new software program, it can be easy to forget about the final goal of the program: to serve the end-user. If you do not train the end-user on how to use your product, your software will fail because your users will simply not use it. Make sure that you plan end-user training from the very start. 1. Be Sure to Budget for End-User Training End-user training must account for a large percentage of the total budget of the software development. Most software development teams need to expand somewhat to hire a few team members who can help free time up for end-user training. The reason why end-user training development cannot be rushed is that a successful training program takes into consideration the unique needs of the user. 2. Choose the Right Trainers The training program must connect with the end-user. Subject matter experts are an important part of this process, but they should not be placed in a training role because they will not necessarily know how to connect with the end-user. Rather, the subject matter experts should be training those who have a background in education. The trainers need to be knowledgeable of instructional scaffolding, which is the process of raising or lowering the training program to the level of the end-user’s expertise. As the trainers work with the end-user, they will be able to assess the extent of their abilities and raise or lower the difficulty of the training program. 3. Interview the End-Users Of course, the best way to know if the training program is effective is to simply ask the end-user. They will be able to explain the parts of the software program they had difficulty with and can act as consultants to fine-tune the training program. Also, the supervisors of the end-users should be involved in the interview because they will often have a broader understanding of what works and doesn’t work within the context of current projects. 4. Use the Right Format The next factor to consider is the format of the training program. Will your employees be trained individually or will they be trained as a group? Individual training is ideal, but if the software needs to be implemented promptly and if you have to train a large number of employees, individual training might not be realistic. Also, while it might be easier to have all of your employees in one room, if they are geographically spread out, you will instead need to have the end-users trained through a webinar.   For more information, contact Walker Strategy or a similar...

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3 Common Tablet Problems And How To Fix Them

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Just as much can go wrong with a tablet as a computer. When you factor the screen into the equation, even more can go wrong with a tablet. Luckily, there are some easy fixes if you’re having problems with your tablet. Here are three common problems that your tablet could have and how to fix them. 1. It Freezes Randomly The only thing more frustrating than being in the middle of an email and just have your tablet freeze up is for it to do this on a regular basis. One issue that might cause this problem is if your tablet’s operating system has not been fully updated. You can go to your tablet’s update notification screen to check if you have any pending updates. If you do, have those updates installed and see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn’t work, check to see if you have f.lux installed. This is a common problem for tablets that have f.lux. It can be fixed by simply uninstalling the software. Finally, doing a hard reset of your tablet might do the trick. Check your owner’s manual for how to do a hard reset. 2. Your Cursor Disappears When the Screen Flips If you turn your tablet over to read an article and the screen flips but the cursor disappears, it can be very difficult to navigate away from that article when you’re done. To fix this, check your Settings tab and look under Screen Orientation. If you’ve changed any of the settings, reset them back to their factory defaults and then hit the button that will apply this change. If that doesn’t work, try removing any accessories that you might have attached to your tablet, including a keyboard. If this doesn’t fix the problem, contact a professional. 3. Your WiFi is Super Slow If your WiFi is going incredibly slowly, first try disconnecting from the WiFi and then reconnecting. If this didn’t help and you’re sure that it’s not the provider of the WiFi with the problem, uninstall your WiFi driver and then reinstall it. This will allow your tablet to reset all of its wireless settings and hopefully get a faster WiFi connection. For more information about ways to fix your tablet, contact a tablet repair professional like Nation’s First Office Repair. They will have tips for you to try, and if their ideas don’t work, they would be more than happy to take a look at it...

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Enhancing The Reach Of Surveillance Systems

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Surveillance technology has come a long way over the past few decades, and is being enhanced by the revolutionizing worlds of Internet and computer technologies. It’s more about keeping an eye on others; with the right setup, you can monitor, review and better analyze information to make more informed decisions while being more fair to those in the surveillance area. Consider a few ways to enhance security and comfort with surveillance technology. Make Video Analysis Easier It isn’t easy to get the specifics of surveillance footage. The video may be grainy or the perpetrators could be masked, but there’s context to be found if you’re able to analyze the footage better. You don’t need to use a poor quality, black and white camera in order to record what’s happening. Many high quality, color cameras are available for the same purpose and can be connected to an independent power source to reduce outages and sabotage attempts. The real benefit is what you can do after recording. Make sure to use a camera that is compatible with computers. This either means that the camera already has connection ports for popular computer video such as VGA, DVI or HDMI or that a converter box can be easily connected. If you connect the camera to a security computer system, it becomes easier to analyze video in real time and make copies if needed. Your security personnel can zoom in easier and even rewind footage while continuing to record in real time. If tampering is a concern, a protected physical wire can be run from the camera to the computer directly instead of placing the camera on your computer network. Broadcasting For Public Security One benefit of modern surveillance systems is the ability to bring others into the security event. Public places with cameras that show public events can help you keep an eye on events while giving patrons something to look at. You can take it a step further by allowing potential visitors to see the events as they happen. If you have a public venue, you play the surveillance video of your area live with online streaming websites. Online streaming allows others to watch easily and comfortably from an Internet connection. Not only do you benefit from extra eyes on the event, but increased interest in your area. People will begin to know your area better, and if you’re running a restaurant or performance arena, they can get a look at the amazing venue to hold their next event. Contact a surveillance systems expert to begin planning your new security analysis system from places like Faith Enterprises...

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A Brief History Of Printed Circuit Boards

Posted by on Jan 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The use of printed circuit boards has changed dramatically over the years. Once used as a revolutionary military technology, printed boards have now become a technological go-to. With its many different types (single-sided v. double-sided, rigid v. flex v. rigid-flex), the printed circuit board has revolutionized the way technology has developed ever since its invention.  World War II – An Unexpected Gain in the Field of Technology While prototypes had come before, it wasn’t until World War II that printed circuits became a worldwide phenomenon.  In 1943, an Austrian engineer by the name of Paul Eisler invented a printed circuit that was used as part of a radio set. This new technology proved to be an important weapon for the United States Army, as it could withstand being shot from a high-powered gun and was able to detonate at a designated proximity.  The compact nature of the printed circuit, as opposed to the previously used point-to-point circuit construction, helped to spread its fame after World War II.  Commercial Distribution and Uses After the War World War II was the perfect stage on which printed circuit boards could make their debut. Their uses during the war led to many technological advances post-war, including better radio and television technology.  This new technology soon found its way into American homes, leading engineers to continue to improve the printed circuit board. New materials, resins, and adhesives were tested. This new technology was being pushed to see just how small and capable it could become.  Printed Circuit Boards and Their Many Uses Today As technologies have improved, circuit boards have become increasingly smaller and more flexible. This has lead to their constantly growing number of uses in the automotive industry, the entertainment industry, and even in the field of medicine.  Flex circuits can take up to 90% less space than their wired counterparts. The most common base material used, polyimide, gives flex and rigid flex boards their heat-resistance and durability, increasing the number of ways these boards can be used.  The invention of the printed circuit board came at just the right time. Used as a secret weapon in World War II, it soon became popular for its compact nature and versatility. Engineers are now able to make increasingly flexible boards, as well as boards with just the right amount of rigidity and flex. As technologies continue to improve, so will the capabilities of the circuit board and the electronics that utilize...

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Small Business Owners: How To Wear All The Hats Without Losing Your Mind

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do you own or manage a small business? If so, you realize how much work has to be done on a daily basis. And if you’re like most small business owners, you do most of the work yourself. From accounting to inventory and from payroll to managing employees, you have a lot of hats to wear. In fact, the sheer number of job responsibilities for most small business owners can sometimes be overwhelming. Human resources, accounting, payroll, inventory management, ordering, shipping, customer service, crisis intervention – these are all roles business owners perform on a daily basis. If you’re wearing all these hats and having difficulty keeping up with it all, consider these tips.  Take Advantage of Streamlined Technology If you’re using multiple spreadsheets to track sales and inventory, stop. Instead, turn to a streamlined software program that will help you complete all your daily business tasks. For example, Dynamics Ax, a software program from Microsoft, allows you to track employee performance and employee records, inventory, accounts payable, accounts receivable, sales, shipping, expenses and a whole lot more. You name it, this type of software tracks it. What’s more, it’s all integrated. So changes that you make in one area automatically make changes in another area. For instance, if someone in the warehouse pulls and ships an order, the program will automatically generate and send a bill to the customer, which greatly reduces the amount of paperwork and billing you have to do.  Hire the Right People to Fill the Gaps You’re good at a lot of things, but you’re not good at everything. No one is. So, when it’s time to take on employees, hire ones that make a difference. Instead of hiring people that only know how to perform their job, look for candidates that can do their job and fulfill another need you may have. For example, if you’re horrible at running your website, hire a store clerk who also has training in web sales or someone who is going to school for internet marketing.  You have to wear a lot of hats as a small business owner, but you can’t possibly do everything without some help. If you’re struggling in your business, look to innovative software programs to help you run your business. If you’re ready to hire employees, hire ones that can wear multiple hats as well. Anything you can do to lighten your load will help you become a more efficient business owner and it might just prevent you from pulling your hair out or losing your...

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How To Create A User-Friendly Website For Your Podiatric Practice

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you own a podiatric practice, you want to portray an image of professionalism and care. Designing a website that is easy for your patients to navigate can be difficult due to the type of business that you are in. A medical website must give patients a feeling of confidence and good care, so make sure you create a user-friendly website that your podiatric practice can gain a lot of business with. Here are a few easy ways to create a user-friendly website for your podiatric practice. Use a medical website template A template is an overall outline or guide that suggests how you can build your business’s website. It shows you where to place certain pages and how to design the overall look of your own website without cluttering everything or looking too unprofessional. While you don’t have to copy a template page by page, you can follow the basic medical requirements that help make a medical website so easy to navigate. A medical website builder will show you how to create many things for your patients to use, including: a medical credentials page  a page where patients can contact you FAQ page insurance allowances page a page detailing your services Since a medical website has to contain a lot of useful information for a user to be able to grasp quickly, a medical website template is a great way to start and ensure that you aren’t missing any important pieces of information or needed pages. Use calming color schemes Medical websites have a goal to educate and calm patients, giving them a sense of ease, cleanliness, and confidence in a practice. For your podiatric practice, choose calming colors, such as light brown, green, blue, and even beige so you can convey that calming and positive image for your patients as they navigate your website. The color scheme you choose will help set a positive mood for your practice, which makes patients feel more comfortable with you. Choose a professional font Your medical website has a lot of information, so you want to make sure you use a readable, professional font that helps convey the right message to your patients. Professional fonts keep people from straying their eyes to other areas of your website and allow them to see the professionalism in your podiatric practice. Choose only professional fonts, such as Sertig or Porciono to get your point across in a reader-friendly way. With many options to choose from, you should be able to choose a font you can enjoy for your own practice. Designing a website for your podiatric practice can be done by following a few key tools. Use a template and choose appropriate colors and fonts, and you can have a great website that all your patients will...

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