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Make Sure Your Computer System Is a “Clean Machine” for Hardware and Software Efficiency

It just stands to reason that if your business computer system is going to fulfill your serious business needs, you need to maintain some serious standards in both your hardware and your software.

As far as your business computer system is concerned, let’s call it keeping a “clean machine.” There are a number of things here for us to consider.

First: Be sure and keep your security software current and up-to-date. You would be amazed at how many people purchase serious assorted business software (that includes, but is not limited to, anti-virus protection) for their business computer system and then let them go out of date. You will find that having the very latest security software, web browser, and operating system is the absolute best way to defend against viruses, assorted malware, and other online threats.

You spent good money on these products, and you bought it precisely to accomplish certain business needs and functions. Do you now have someone who has the responsibility to keep track your products status? Software, as well as hardware can go out of date and this must be watched as vitally important. Some person needs to be responsible. Set a timetable and keep to it.

Next would be the absolute importance of software updates. Be sure that someone (like you, maybe) is responsible enough to keep track of all of them. It would make no business sense to purchase quality business software and then not keep up with the updates.

Here be careful of one thing: Make sure these updates come from the software company itself, not your local neighborhood Hacker. This is a common way to break into a business computer system and that’s another reason that this needs to be supervised by a very responsible person. No exceptions.

One possible thing you can do is to use the automatic updates that some software companies offer. This way the updates will come at the proper time, as designed in the software. If this is available, use it but again make sure that is where it comes from.

You might think that no one can do real damage even if they get into your particular computer system. I hope you remember how hackers get into systems like Target. They got into one of their contractors computers and used that to get into Target’s. Don’t take chances here. Liability is alive and well.

Something else so easy to miss for people who are not used to computer security is to always, always, always, protect all of your devices that connect to the internet. It’s not just your computer that is at risk. Along with your computer(s) you need to be concerned with smart phones, gaming systems, and any other web-enabled device. If they plug into your system, they also need your serious protection from viruses and various malware. Also watch for employees who use their own devices to get information from your system. They are plugged into your business computer system, right? A common thing now.

One more thing to keep in mind is to watch your plugs and scanners. Many people don’t know it but your USBs as well as other external devices can be infected by viruses and other malware. (I know I use the term “malware” a lot. It is simply a contraction of the words “malicious software.”) You can and should use your security software to scan them. Don’t know how?

Nothing shameful about not knowing something. The sin is in staying that way when by learning something you can use that knowledge to help protect your business and reputation. See and learn from a competent software retailer, and I don’t mean Walmart.

No one is going to protect you but you. If you don’t keep an eye on all aspects of your business computer system, then no one else will either and you will be left out in the cold.

Don’t let it happen

Thank you for coming

Jim

Custom Laptops: Great For Business And Gaming

The popularity of laptops has exploded beyond that of desktop computers in nearly every class. Home users choose them since they’re capable to move from place to place. Businesses like them simply because they allow the independence for their staff as well as make good presentations much better. The gaming community enjoys them because they will no longer have to haul bulky rig systems from home to home, while they set up for gaming parties.

This begs the question of how people may have custom laptops. Even though it is possible, with the correct tools and skills, to update the hardware on a laptop it’s generally never done. Almost all will custom order the laptops. This new trend has exploded with the popularity of the systems because increasingly more groups have needs that cannot be met with one general hardware scenario.

Ordering according to your specs allows you to determine how the machine is going to be used. For a business, they may need specialized GPS capabilities or a built in mobile phone adapter. Because the need for the system change, each user can request something that accommodates their needs.

The options for custom laptops are almost as numerous as desktops. For somebody in the gaming community, they will focus on creating a high-end video card, superior processor and a cooling system which will protect such high-end hardware. The network card might also have to be a special time for this community.

For other people, the hardware might not be required to be as extreme, but still could be personalized to satisfy the need. As the demand for custom mobile systems, the hardware will continue to be developed to meet this demand. The laptop industry has lagged the desktop in personalization because normal users could not make modifications to their laptops. Because they saw that mobility and customization were crucial, they started to grow the subsection.

Whether you are a game player or normal home user, you probably have your personal specifications for the mobile system you use. Most of the time, people will still only grab whatever is convenient in the local computer store; however, in the cases of specialized needs the specs are important to the user.

The gaming community has got the biggest need for custom laptops to maintain the intensive video gaming that goes on. To meet up with this intense hardware requirement, laptop makers have created some top quality hardware that provides them a similar experience. The laptop community is growing up just as the desktops did and customization is the name of the game.

Baby Safety Showers – Not Just Fun and Games!

If you’re looking for a creative and different way to honor new moms- and dads-to-be and help them get ready for their baby, consider throwing a baby safety shower instead of the usual “blankets and snugglies” shower.

Traditional baby showers are great fun and they offer new parents an opportunity to prepare their “nests” for the arrival of a new baby. Usually a baby shower is intended to give new parents a leg up in acquiring essential items like baby clothing, bath supplies, bottles or nursing equipment, toys and games, and special blankets or other treasures like silver cups. I’ve always viewed baby showers as one of the best ways that a community can come together around the birth of a new child. It reminds me of one of the best aspects of the “old days” when a town, village, or neighborhood considered the birth and caring for a new child its responsibility, too.

A baby safety shower is in keeping with these old communitarian traditions. It’s more than just fun and games, it’s really a learning experience for the whole community where all the activities revolve around baby and home safety. Parents and caregivers certainly have a great time, but they also leave with a higher awareness of ways to keep their new babies safe at home.

The shower’s theme may focus on a variety of safety issues (see the Baby Safety Checklist below), including child-proofing one’s home, nutrition or health. Also, you can arrange a baby safety shower for as many people as you can fit in your party space. At bigger safety showers, all of the moms and dads in attendance–not just the couple being honored–can visit a variety of exhibits where safety-savvy parents illustrate home safety information with games, puzzles, songs, prizes, and other activities. At smaller showers, it might work better to have one person lead the group in discussions and safety games.

Usually baby showers involve a collection of family and friends of the new parents, but safety showers are also a good way to create and promote partnerships within the broader community. By offering, for example, to distribute baby products donated by local stores, or by providing information from local community health service providers, you can enhance your ties with the local business community and build your relationships with local health and social service organizations. All this creates goodwill in your community and it provides your invited parents with welcome information, products, and services.

Use your creativity to create a baby safety shower for your personal situation. The key to throwing a safety shower that will be rewarding for all involved is providing important safety information in a festive and inviting setting. So–have fun, and learn about the all-important matter of better safety practices for your household.

BABY SAFETY CHECKLIST

The guidelines below were developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It’s important to remember that, while these standards are based on sound principles, certain parents may disagree with some of them. For example, the bedroom guidelines state that a baby should never sleep in the same bed as an adult. However, from the Attachment Parenting perspective, sleeping with one’s baby is considered an important aspect of bonding and is even believed to possibly lower the incidence of SIDS. Therefore, I recommend using the following guidelines as just that, guidelines, which should be examined carefully in light of your own views and beliefs about baby care giving. Always consult your pediatrician if in doubt of the best way to proceed.

Baby Safety Checklist

In the bedroom:

Put your baby to sleep on her back in a crib with a firm, flat mattress and no soft bedding underneath her. Follow this advice to reduce the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). To prevent suffocation, never put babies to sleep on adult beds.

Make sure your baby’s crib is sturdy and has no loose or missing hardware. This will prevent babies suffocating or strangling by becoming trapped between broken crib parts.

Never place your baby’s crib or furniture near window blind or curtain cords. This will prevent babies from strangling on the loop of the cord. To prevent falls, keep children away from windows.

In the bathroom:

Keep medicines and cleaning products in containers with safety caps and locked away from children. This will prevent children from being poisoned.

Always check bath water temperature with your wrist or elbow before putting your baby in to bathe. This will prevent burns to a baby’s delicate skin.

Never, ever, leave your child alone in the bathtub or near any water. This will prevent children from drowning. In addition, keep children away from all standing water, including water in toilets, 5-gallon buckets, and pools.

In the kitchen:

Don’t leave your baby alone in a highchair; always use all safety straps. This will prevent injuries and deaths from the baby climbing out, falling, or sliding under the tray. Be sure to use safety straps in strollers and baby swings.

Use your stove’s back burners and keep pot handles turned to the back of the stove. This will prevent deaths and injuries from burns. In addition, keep children away from tablecloths, so they can’t pull down hot foods or liquids on themselves.

Lock household cleaning products, knives, matches, and plastic bags away from children. This will prevent poisonings, bleeding injuries, burns, and suffocation.

In other living areas:

Install smoke detectors on each floor of your home, especially near sleeping areas; change the batteries each year. This will prevent deaths and injuries from fires.

Use safety gates to block stairways and safety plugs to cover electrical outlets. This will prevent injuries from falls and electric shocks.

Keep all small objects, including tiny toys and balloons, away from young children. This will prevent choking and possible death.

Additional Information and Resources

If you would like more information about baby safety or about how to organize a baby safety shower, including specific tips on planning, organizing, and coordinating one, please write to the Office of Information and Public Affairs, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207. The article above was adapted from a report prepared by the Product Safety Commission.

Copyright 2006 Scott Corbett