Is It Time to Upgrade Your Company’s Hardware?

October 18, 2016

By the time most businesses begin to consider whether it is time to upgrade their computers and network hardware, the time for that has usually passed. After all, most businesses will consider a new hardware solution only if they’re already having problems. By then, it is well past time to replace their old, outdated systems.If, every time you look at your computer hardware, you are reminded of the panels with flashing lights from the original Star Trek TV series, it is time to replace your hardware. If, every time you power up your computer, it groans as loudly as you do before your first cup of morning coffee, it is time to replace your hardware. If you still have PacMan as the only free game which came pre-installed from the factory on your computer, it is time to replace your hardware.

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On a more serious note, if you believe you are throwing away money, and time, trying to maintain your old equipment, you most likely need to consider replacing your hardware. If it seems to you that the tech from your IT services company spends more time servicing your equipment than you and your employees spend using it, you definitely need to replace your equipment.Here are 5 things to consider which will help you decide…
You constantly have to troubleshoot and fine-tune your network. This not only cuts into your productivity, but also your free time.
Your network’s performance makes you fondly recall the days of dial-up. If you notice things taking much longer than they should, or used to, you might want to consider hardware with more breathing room.
You’re losing data. When data starts disappearing from your server or client PCs, the blame might rest with one or more out-of-date hard drives.
Your hardware is no longer supported by its manufacturer. Even if that Gateway machine you’ve been running since the Clinton administration exhibits no signs of trouble, it might make you vulnerable to attacks if the manufacturer no longer provides updates to keep you secure.
Your equipment is getting noisy. Most hardware needs to move air in order to stay within its optimal operating-temperature range. Over time, components may collect dust or other debris that slowly impedes a fan’s ability to maintain proper airflow. As a result, fans go into overdrive trying to push more air, which increases noise levels, a simple indicator that you need to check your hardware.

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Every piece of hardware and equipment we use to help us run our businesses will eventually break down. Nothing lasts forever, and computer terminals, monitors, and servers are no different. Many people believe that electronics should last forever. This is unrealistic. We tend to take these things for granted because they tend to perform so well for us but, by doing so; we set ourselves up for even more trouble in the long run. Keep an eye, and an ear, out for trouble, and replace any hardware that is struggling to perform before it crashes your entire system.

Technology Ideas to Help Sell Your Home

October 18, 2016

The real estate housing market in many areas has become very slow. With slower sales, what can you do to help drive traffic to your home increasing your chances at finding the right home buyer to sell your home quickly?This is where technology can really help! Today, over 80% of home buyers begin their home search online. While home buyers are viewing homes online, they are spending the majority of their time looking at a home’s pictures. Pictures speak a thousand words… especially when you only have a few hundred words available for an MLS listing description.It absolutely amazes me that any seller or Realtor would bother listing a home online without posting a photo with it immediately. Tens of Thousands of potential home buyers receive “just listed” properties emailed to them each week. If a FSBO seller or real estate agent fails to post that home with at least a few pictures, most of those potential home buyers will not give that property a second look.

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So, what is step one? Get your home picture ready and have quality photos available before the home is listed on a real estate website or the MLS!Here are 3 more ways to use technology to capture more home buyer traffic.1. Photo Slideshows. This is a great way to add additional photos to your home’s listing and keep home buyers engaged. Every additional photo increases your homes potential to capture the right buyer. This is the best option if your budget is tight or you’d rather do it yourself. The cost can be free if you take the pictures yourself and host the images on a free site like Google’s Picasa.2. Virtual Tours. For under $150, you can hire a professional company to come out to your home and capture a virtual tour of your home. Usually, they can also provide you with high-quality still photos of your home. Virtual Tours not only capture the buyer’s attention but also keep them engaged as they can move the camera around to see the home at their pace. Many virtual tour companies like Matrix Tours or Tour Factory will include a photo slideshow as part of the virtual tour package. Virtual Tours are my favorite option unless the home is a very high-end home in which case I would opt for door number 3.

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3. Video Tour. A video tour is a professional video shoot of a home with a voice over describing the home in detail. The cost can range between $150 (yes, it can be that inexpensive) and up to $3,000 for the highest quality video crew and voice talent. This is a wonderful option if the home has numerous upgrades and refined touches. The cost can be high but the results are fantastic if your budget allows.