Blog

January 7th, 2014

SearchIt’s very easy these days to lose items from your keys, your wallet to simple hats & gloves. Being separated from your technology devices is a little different and has many ramifications. Extreme care must be taken to protect and assure your devices are where you think they are. No-one really takes keys anymore or even a wallet. However SmartPhones are pricey and often sought-after items that predators can sniff out. It’s probably not a great idea to leave your devices in your car, especially out in the open. Always lock your car and close the windows. Don’t give anyone a reason to reach into your car.

With all that said, things will get lost or stolen. There are several devices, services, and apps that help to track down lost/stolen tech items. Mind you, there are no guarantees in life, but sometimes it pays to be proactive. If you’re willing to invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars on electronics, you may want a little insurance. Take your time and evaluate services such as LoJack for Laptops, StuffBack.com, Lookout Plan B, Find My iPhone, Prey Project (Corp) and Carbonite Mobile just to name a few. I’m not here to endorse a particular product or service yet to relay the idea of using services such as these for your mobile devices. If you use your device for work (BYOD) your employer may offer you these as part of their package.

Roman Sawycky, Unicom Solutions Group, Inc.

June 26th, 2013

WindowsPhone_June05_BFor the most part, many humans are adverse to change and creatures of habit. Think about the mobile phone you use. Chances are, if you have a smartphone, you’ve probably stuck with the same OS. While the systems are constantly improving, there may come a time when you decide to switch from say Android to Windows Phone. The issue many face is how to get their information and files off of one system and onto another.

If you are a current Android user and either thinking of switching to a Windows Phone, or are getting one for the office, you are likely wondering how you are going to switch or get your important information from one system to the other. While you may imagine it is going to be a real chore, it’s actually quite easy and straightforward. Here is a short guide on how to switch to the Windows Phone from Android.

Switch your email

Your email account is arguably the most important account you have. It is also the account you use to essentially make your phone yours. As a current Android user, you likely have linked a Gmail account to your device and probably want to continue using this account. The good news is that a Windows Phone still allows you to link your email account. Here’s how:

  1. Tap the Settings icon on your Windows Phone.
  2. Select Email + accounts followed by Next.
  3. Tap Add an account along with the account you want to add, (for most Android users this will be Google).
  4. Enter your email address and password.
  5. Tap Next, select Email only followed by Sign in.

The phone should sync with your Google account and your email should start showing in the email tile on the main screen. If you use other accounts, say a Microsoft account, you can add these in the same way.

Migrate your contacts

Contacts are an important part of any phone, and you probably want to take them with you, or migrate them over to the new system. You have a couple of options to get your contacts onto your new Windows Phone. The method you use should reflect where you store your contacts.

  1. Contacts linked with your Google account - If you have set up your Android device to sync contacts with your Google account, (done by going to Settings, Accounts, Google and tapping on Contacts), you can simply follow the steps in the email section above and select Email, contacts, and calendar. Your contacts should show up within a couple of minutes.
  2. Contacts stored on your SIM card - If you have saved your contacts to a SIM card, simply insert it into the new phone, as long as the SIM is the same size. Go to the People app on your phone and select Settings, followed by Import SIM contacts. If your new device has a different sized SIM card, your best bet is to sync your contacts with your Google account.
  3. Contacts stored on your computer - The easiest way to migrate your contacts from your computer to your phone is through Outlook. Sign into Outlook using a Microsoft account, drag your contacts from Outlook into the account and then sign into your phone using the same account. Your contacts will automatically transfer over. If you have an older version of Outlook, try the Hotmail connector, (instructions on how to transfer files are below the download link).

Import important documents

If you have files that you would like to access on your phone the easiest option is to download these onto your computer first. If they are spreadsheets, presentations or word processing files on Google Drive, you should download them as Word, Excel or PowerPoint files.

When the files are on your computer, plug your phone into it using a USB cable. The computer should recognize this and show you a window with options of what you to do with your phone. Select Explore Files and a window will open with the phone’s file structure. Double-click on Documents. Then, open the folder where you downloaded the documents to, in another window. Simply drag the files in the folder on your computer to Documents and they will be available on your phone.

Get your apps

As we stated last month, you can download the Switch to Windows Phone app from Google Play. Run the app, and link it with a Microsoft account. On your Windows Phone, download the companion app from the Store, open and run it. Your should be able to download compatible apps from there.

Move your SIM card/phone number

Moving to a new phone system can sometimes be confusing, especially in relation to SIM cards. For the vast majority of phones, you should be able to simply move your SIM card from one to the other and it should work. Many new phones use a new, smaller SIM card and if you use the older version, you will have to go into your mobile provider and ask them to switch your card. It shouldn’t be very costly and many providers may even offer to do it for free.

The one thing to be careful with is if your Android device is on a contract. Some mobile carriers have been known to lock the SIM to the device, meaning it won’t work if you switch phones. You will have to go into the mobile carrier and pay them to switch.

In general, moving from Android to Windows Phone is a painless affair that shouldn’t take a long time, especially if you already sync your contacts, calendar and email with Gmail. If you are making the move and have further questions, please give us a call, we are happy to help.

Topic Article
June 26th, 2013

AndroidPhone_June05_BA common trend of many software developers releasing new programs is to also create a mobile app. Afterall, the number of users with smartphones is rising and demand for mobile versions of popular apps is at an all-time high. Google Drive is no different, and while it’s not as functional as the browser version, it is catching up. Google has recently released an update to the mobile version of Drive that makes it even more functional.

The latest update to the Drive app for Android devices aims to make accessing your files and creating documents from your mobile device even easier, and Google delivers on that goal. Here is an overview of the changes introduced by Google.

An improved layout

When you open the new version of Drive on your Android device you likely won’t see much of a difference to the overall look. If you look at the top of the screen however you will notice that the top bar has been changed. You will now see (from left to right) :

  1. Three vertical lines - Tapping these will bring up the side-bar with your different files including: My Drive, Starred, Recent, Offline, etc. If you use more than one account, you will see your account name at the top of the menu. Tapping on it will allow you to select the different Google accounts you have linked with your device. You can also get this menu up by placing your finger on the left side of the screen and swiping to the right.
  2. The Drive icon - This part of the bar shows the file path. For example, if you have a folder on your Drive labeled ‘Bills’, and open it on your device you will see its name beside the Drive icon at the top. Tapping on the Drive icon will take you back to the home screen and if you have more than two folders open you will be able to select which folder to go back to.
  3. A magnifying glass - Tapping this will allow you to search Drive for files.
  4. Four squares - This is possibly the biggest change to Drive. Tapping these squares will change your files and folders into individual cards. Your folders will appear at the top of the screen and clicking on each will open each one and show the files in that folder as little cards. If you tap on a picture, you will be able to preview every file in that folder.
  5. Three small vertical squares - Selecting this will open a drop-down menu with options including: Add new, Filter by, Settings and Help.

A new Information panel

You will notice that each file and folder has an ‘i’ in a circle on the bottom right. Tap it and the file’s information will pop up. This screen is the information screen and provides you with a preview of the file, who has access to it, and general information like size, as well as giving you the option to make it available offline. If you slide the tab from Off to On, you will be able to access the file without an Internet connection.

Download a copy

If you want to download a copy of a picture, doc or other file you can now do so. Simply open the file and press the information button on the top of the screen. Press the three squares at the top-right of the window that opens and select Download a copy from the menu that drops down.

Your phone or tablet is now a scanner

Google introduced a new feature to the mobile Drive app that enables you to scan documents using your device’s camera. You can scan documents by pressing the three squares from any file, (note: This is where it will be uploaded, so pick where you want to upload the file first), select Add new followed by Scan. Your camera should turn on, so press the shutter button and Drive will scan the document and create a .pdf.

Combine this with the app’s ability to print documents through the cloud via Google’s Cloud Print and this app could be a valuable mobile scanner.

If you would like to learn more about Google Drive and how it can help your business, contact us for a chat.

Topic Article
May 2nd, 2013

1

  • Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday in May.
  • Mother’s Day is the third-largest card-sending holiday in the United States, with 141 million cards exchanged annually.
  • Mother’s Day is the largest card-sending holiday for the Hispanic community. Depending on the country, Mother’s Day is celebrated on many different days throughout the year. In Mexico, it is always celebrated May 10.
  • Mother’s Day is the second most popular holiday for gift-giving, following Christmas.
  • Mother’s Day is observed across a wide range of relationships. In addition to mothers, grandmothers and wives, the celebration extends to daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers of loved ones, friends, and any others who play a mother-like role.
Topic Article
April 2nd, 2013

Capture3Many products are readily available from your local retail computer store. Cable modems, Routers, Wi-Fi devices and even basic firewalls. Open up the box and you find the product itself, a few cables and a step-by-step poster. In most cases you’re up and running rather quickly and that’s good.

What you don’t know is that the factory took many hours to develop the install wizards that allow you to get set-up quickly and easily. The factory has no idea where and how you intend to use these devices so they provide a ‘default’ configuration profile, which tends to work in most cases. The problem with the default profile is just that it’s a default and must serve as a starting point and not the final operating configuration.

Each device should be configured for a particular scenario and purpose. The default settings are published so everyone knows what they are. In case of a firewall, even a non-expert hacker can get past one which is running in the default configuration mode. This would be akin to leaving your walls with just a primer coat of paint. They won’t last long.

So what can you do? Why not hire an expert from Unicom Solutions who can help you decide on which product is best suited for your needs, install these devices beyond their default configuration profile and set them up with your exact requirements? We will also disable the features that you don’t need and apply a security policy that woks for you.

Contact us today.

Roman Sawycky, Unicom Solutions Group, Inc.

Topic Article
February 26th, 2013

There is a famous quote from Mark Twain that goes like this: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
Twain was dead on. (No surprise there!) At the very least, using the wrong word in a report, proposal, paper or memo can be embarrassing. At its worst, misusing words can damage your credibility and even prove costly at times.
One big problem with language today is the way we speak and the way we write are often two different beasts. Why else would the phrase “for all intents and purposes” have metamorphosed into “for all intensive purposes”? The same is true for “could of” and “should of,” which don’t even make sense if you think about it. But because that’s the way we say it, that’s the way many of us end up writing it on paper, instead of proper “could have” and “should have.”

What follows is a list of words and phrases we commonly misuse. Hopefully, most of them won’t be eye-openers, but a few may surprise you:

Accept, Except

Accept- (verb) to agree with, take in, receive. Example: We accept your decision.

Except- (preposition) Apart from. Example: All committee members are present except for Ms. Brown.

Acute, Chronic

Acute- (adjective) Sharp, intense, critical. Example: The company has an acute shortage of skilled workers right now.

Chronic- (adjective) Constant, habitual, long-lasting. Example: She is unable to work because of chronic illness.

Adverse, Averse

Adverse - (adjective) Unfavorable, opposing one’s interest. Example: They found themselves in adverse circumstance.

Averse -(adjective) Antipathy, repugnance, having the feeling of being opposed. Example: She is not averse to increasing her workload.

Affect, Effect

Affect - (verb) to influence something. Example: How will that affect the bottom line?

Effect - (Noun) the result of (Verb) to cause something to be Example: Her speech had the effect of motivating the listeners.

Allusion, Illusion

Allusion - (noun) A casual reference of mentioning something. Example: Was that an allusion to Hemingway?

Illusion - (noun) something that gives a false picture of reality. Example: He believes democracy is an illusion.

All right, Alright

All Right – Fine, OK. Example: It’s all right to leave early.

Alright – Incorrect spelling.

Apprise, Appraise

Apprise - (verb) Give notice to. Example: Please apprise me of the situation.

Appraise - (verb) determine the worth of something. Example: The ring was appraised before we purchased it.

Assure, Ensure, Insure

Assure- (verb) To state with confidence, pledge or promise. Example: I assure you the check is in the mail.

Ensure - ( verb) To make certain. Example: Following the instructions ensures you won’t get hurt.

Insure - (verb) to purchase insurance. Example: Insure the package before you send it.

Beside, Besides

Beside - (preposition) at the side of, next to , near. Example: Take a seat beside me.

Besides – (adverb) Furthermore, in addition to. Example: Besides, several of us will be out of town next week.

Compliment, Complement

Compliment – (Verb) To give praise. Example: I complemented Steve on his speech.

Complement – (Verb) To complete something or match it well. Example: Her skills complement the needs of our department.

Continual, Continuous

Continual – (adjective) Often repeated, very frequent – but occasionally interrupted. Example: They’ve received continual complaints.

Continuous – (adjective) Uninterrupted. Example: We couldn’t hear over his continuous talking.

Disburse, Disperse

Disburse – (verb) To Pay, distribute, scatter. Example: They disbursed name tags to everyone attending the meeting.

Disperse – (Verb) To drive off, spread widely, cause to vanish. Example: The throng of fans dispersed into the stands.

Farther, Further

Farther – (adverb) At or to a greater distance. Example: We are located farther down the highway.

Further – (adverb) More or additional – but not related to distance. Example: We need to have a further discussion on that.

Fewer, Less

Fewer – (adjective) Of a small number, only used with countable items. Example: He made fewer mistakes than last time.

Less – (adjective or adverb) To a smaller extent, amount or degree – used with quantities that cannot be individually counted. Example: If they made less noise, we could concentrate.

Imply, Infer

Imply – (verb) To suggest. Example: What are you implying by that accusation?

Infer – (verb) To deduce from evidence. Example: From the look on your face, I can infer you’re not happy with the decision.

Its, It’s

Its – (pronoun) Possessive form if “it”. Example: The machine has lost its ability to scan documents.

It’s – Contraction of “it is.” Example: It’s not a question of right or wrong.

Lose, Loose

Lose – (verb) Fail to win, misplace. Example: Did you lose your file?

Loose – (adjective) Free from anything that restraints. Example: Since losing weight, his clothes seem loose.

Of, Have

Of – (preposition) Frequently confused with “have” since “could’ve” is pronounced “could of” but “of” cannot be used as a verb.

Have – (verb) Proper verb form for “could have,” “should have” and “would have”.

Principal, Principle

Principal –(noun) Person who has controlling authority. (adjective) Something essential or important. Example: Let’s talk about the principal reason we’re meeting today.

Principle – (noun) Basic truth, policy or action. Example: It’s important to stick to our principles.

Regardless, Irregardless

Regardless – (adjective or adverb) In spite of. Example: We are leaving regardless of whether you’re ready.

Irregardless – This is not a word. (Yes, you may find it in your dictionary, but you’re only embarrassing yourself if you use it.)

Than, Then

Than – (preposition) In contrast to. Example: I’d rather speak face-to-face than communicate by e-mail.

Then – (adverb) Next. Example: We met for dinner, then went to a movie.

Their, There, They’re

Their – (pronoun) Belonging to them. Example: Where is their car?

There – (adverb) In a place. Example: Let’s visit there.

They’re – contraction of “they are.” Example: They’re not leaving without saying good-bye, are they?

Whose, Who’s

Whose – (pronoun) Possessive case of “who” or “which.” Example: Whose keys are these?

Who’s – Contraction of “who is.” Example: Who’s going to the game after work?

Your, You’re

Your – (pronoun) Belonging to you. Example: Your briefcase is over there.

You’re – Contraction of “you are.” Example: You’re not going to believe this.

Source: Chartec

Topic Article
February 26th, 2013

Source: NorthPoint Technology Group
Making moneyNetwork refresh. . .I’ll give you a moment to stop cringing.
Better? Ok.
It’s something that most business leaders don’t want to think about, but needs to be considered when your network reaches the three year mark. A network refresh is an investment, there’s no doubt about that, but the cost of doing nothing and continuing to work on an aging network most likely has greater costs that you may not even realize.
Consider the fact that network components begin to deteriorate after 3 years. That means they require more maintenance than new equipment. Add in that the demands on today’s networks are much higher than ever (stop and think about how much more work do you do using technology than you did a few years ago!) and will only continue to go up, and that you’re asking equipment designed for a previous age to deliver on these increased demands, and you have a recipe for a network break down.

Let’s take a look at some of the underlying costs associated with an aging network:

Performance

If your network continually goes down or needs maintenance, your team is losing work time. This costs you money by decreasing staff productivity and results. Take a moment to calculate the money lost on just employee salary for an hour of down time…

Average Employee Hourly Rate x Number of Employees = Employee Salary lost per hour

Say your average employee hourly rate is $20 and you have 10 employees – that’s $200 for just one hour of downtime! And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. What about customer satisfaction when your business comes to a halt, without access to critical data? If a network crashes, it will usually be down for at least a few hours before a technician can be onsite to remediate any problems.

Operations

Aging networks are far more inefficient than modern technology and have much higher power consumption rates. (The new HP ProLiant Gen8 Servers boast a 6x performance increase for demanding workloads over older servers.) These older network components end up raising your operating expenses, which is an ongoing expense.

Service

Ongoing network problems are another common issue. With these issues comes more service calls to repair minor or major issues. Perhaps the newest version of your accounting software is no longer supported by your old hardware specs, causing error after error. Maybe your server is on its last legs and needs repeated emergency maintenance. Maybe you’ve embraced personal devices like smartphones and tablets on your network, but they aren’t compatible with older technology.

Nobody wants the extra expense of unscheduled maintenance or repairs for their network – the cost for these on-site trips or even remote service begins to add up quickly!

How do you fix the problem?

Business technology has matured to a point where a properly configured network should run stably with little to no unscheduled maintenance. If you find yourself consistently having issues or needing unscheduled service calls, it may be time to consider a partial or full Network Refresh. Your network and your IT infrastructure is like a car: at some point it gets enough miles on it that the cumulative costs to fix it after each breakdown exceed the cost of a new car. Do you need a network refresh? You can answer that question by assessing your network in detail. To learn more about or to schedule an assessment, contact us! We’ll be more than happy to help you get started!

Topic Article
January 2nd, 2013

The Unicom Client Communicator is a powerful tool that we deploy to every desktop. The UCC is a system tray icon that can be used for a wide array of self-help tools as well as easy access to system information, our service and support web site and more.

UCC offers the following features, with more to come.

Support Center – Direct link to all support services

Email our support team – Click here to start an email request to our team

Client Portal – A quick and easy way to the client portal.

Customer Satisfaction Survey – We value your feedback. Do take a moment and let us know how we are doing.

We continue to improve our management and support tools in order to offer the best proactive services and user experience possible.

Unicom Solutions Group
President, Roman Sawycky

December 4th, 2012

Happy Holiday’s from everyone here at Unicom!

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone and 2013 is right around the corner. Our goal for next year is to maintain and grow the high level of customer service you’ve grown to expect from Unicom. While our staff and customer base continues to grow, we promise to stay focused on the most important part of our business – you.

When you’re enjoying the time with your family this season, just remember that we’re still working hard to make sure your computer needs are met in every way possible.

From the entire staff @ Unicom, Season’s Greetings!

Roman Sawycky
President
Unicom Solutions Group, Inc.
908.654.0900 x203

Topic Article
December 3rd, 2012

On December 1 st Microsoft has raised its software pricing an estimated 15% and on December 31 st , most likely your fiscal year will end and any incentives that you may have had available will most likely be gone! The Section 179 Deduction has been great to businesses for years. But did you also know that when it is combined with equipment financing, it can literally put thousands of dollars in your pocket? Unicom Solutions Group has also teamed with Microsoft in helping you receive a subsidy when you purchase qualifying Microsoft software with our BIG EASY offer. It’s smart to take a look at using the Section 179 Deduction for 2012. Find out more at www.section179.org .

Topic Article