Category Archives: My Two Cents

Got XP?

Two_CentsMy Two Cents, by Archie Tucker



Well, I know how customers hate the upgrade word, but after 12 years, support for Windows XP will end on April 8, 2014. After that date, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system.

What does this mean? It means if you have PC’s with Windows XP that have access to the outside world in any way, it’s time to replace them. Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware and help keep users and their data safer. This also means that most other software companies will probably stop supporting versions of their software that run on XP.

If all of the above is not enough to make you want to upgrade, you may be required by law to update, depending on certain data privacy laws.

Also, Microsoft Office 2003 support ends on April 8, 2014.

If you would like a quote on a new Acer PC, let us know! We can also install Office 2013 on your new PC.

TOP Contacts

Two_CentsMy Two Cents, by Archie Tucker



Are you getting the most out of your contact information? Each customer and vendor can have up to 99 contacts. Besides the obvious uses, this information can be used for emailing, sending UPS tracking information and updating contacts on other systems. Updating contacts on other systems is what we will be covering in this post.  Examples of other systems would be:

  • PC
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Google Plus
  • Web Based Newsletter

To export customer contacts, use the Export Contacts for Outlook on the A/R Import/Export File Menu. For vendor contacts, use the Export Contacts for Outlook on the A/P Import/Export File Menu. Both programs have numerous options for exporting. A new file format, vCard (format for electronic business cards) has just been added to both contact exports.

Mapped Drives And Disk Space

Two_CentsMy Two Cents, by Archie Tucker



If you are running TOP on a UNIX or Linux server, you probably are using drives on your Windows PC that are mapped to your server. Below are some of the most common drives we normally setup:

  • S Drive – Used to share common files on your network
  • U Drive – Used to save PDF files from TOP
  • V Drive – Used to import data into TOP

Depending on how long and how often you have been using this feature, a large amount of disk space on the server could be occupied by this data. In a lot of cases the data can be using more disk space than TOP and at some point can cause problems with backups and server performance. If disk space is allowed to reach zero on your server, bad things will happen!

You can maintain your mapped drives from Windows, just like your local drives by using Windows Explorer. If you have information that you need to backup before deleting it from the mapped drives, you can first copy it from the mapped drives to a local CD/DVD/Blu-ray drive, a USB external hard drive or a network external hard drive.

If you need help with maintaining your TOP Registers/Journals/Period-End PDF files (stored on the U drive), there is more info on our website, TOP PDF Print Defaults. If you still have any questions, please contact Mindware support.

Small Business Network Security

Two_CentsMy Two Cents, by Archie Tucker



The new Dell™ SonicWALL™ TZ Series is the most secure Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewall for small businesses, retail deployments, government organizations, remote sites and branch offices. Unlike consumer-grade products, the TZ Series delivers the most effective anti-malware, intrusion prevention, content/URL filtering and application control capabilities along with the broadest most secure mobile platform support for laptops, smartphones and tablets. It provides full deep packet inspection (DPI) at very high performance levels, eliminating the network bottleneck that other products introduce, and enabling organizations to realize increased productivity gains. The TZ Series is the most secure, sophisticated and widely-deployed security platform on the market today.

What Is Your Microwave IQ?


My Two Cents, by Archie Tucker



So, what is your Microwave IQ? Are you a Mensa microwave member, you know every feature your microwave has and you have read the manual more than once? Or, are you a not the sharpest tool in the shed microwave user? You know how to make popcorn and boil water? Maybe now you are thinking what is this !@$? trying to say? Maybe TOP users know a lot or very little about the available features in TOP. If you are a Mensa TOP member, we would like you to share some of the features in TOP, and if you are one of those Other TOP users, we are hoping to make you one of the sharper tools in the shed. That is one of the reasons for the new website, which we built using WordPress, the dominate platform for blogging. We will publish more on this next month.

What Is Your IP?

My Two Cents, By Archie Tucker

Everything on your network has an IP address (Internet Protocol address), a unique identifier for each device, and is often needed during support issues. An IP address can be either dynamic or static. A static IP address doesn’t change. We normally setup your SonicWall, servers and printers using static IP addresses. Dynamic IP addresses are issued using a leasing system, which is normally maintained by your SonicWall. A dynamic IP address can change. To get your PC’s LAN IP address, you can use the ipconfig command from the DOS command prompt (instructions to access the DOS prompt). A LAN (Local Area Network) is a type of network, like the network in your office, the internet is a good example of a WAN (Wide Area Network). To get your WAN IP, you can enter from your web browser. Normally, you would have a static WAN IP at your office (additional charge for static IP address) and a dynamic IP at your home.


Why Off-Site Backup?



My Two Cents, by Archie Tucker



Everyone knows how important a good backup is but what about off-site backups? Off-site backups or off-site data protection, is the strategy of storing critical data off the main site as part of a disaster recovery plan. Sending backups off-site ensures systems and servers can be reloaded with the latest data in the event of a disaster, accidental error, or system crash.

Now that we have defined what an off-site backup is, let talk about why. Imagine you came to your office tomorrow to find that all your files have disappeared for some reason (Natural disaster, theft, sabotage, hardware failure, user error, software viruses, etc.). How would this affect your business?

Some statistics gathered from various sources on this topic:

  • 30% of all businesses that have a major fire go out of business within a year. 70% fail within five years. (Home Office Computing Magazine)
  • 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster.
  • 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately. (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
  • Companies that aren’t able to resume operations within ten days (of a disaster hit) are not likely to survive. (Strategic Research Institute)

Mindware offers this off site backup service to our customers who have BackupEdge. You should be on BackupEdge version 3.0. Older versions of BackupEdge may require an upgrade. The service is only $30 per month for the first company and includes 5 days of backups. For what it costs for a average cup of coffee per day, you can have off-site backup, so what are you waiting for? Our operators are waiting for your call.