The Gebesse Blog

Thoughts from the world of technology and business

Gebesse Newsletter – September 2014

Swiftpage takes over
From October 1, distribution and vendor support for Act! will be performed by Swiftpage directly. ACTCRM have done an excellent job in these roles over the last few years and I will miss the people I have been doing business with, but I’m sure that nothing will change for the worse. Support and sales have been done by the software company owners of Act! since the times of Symantec and the last few years have been an exception. I look forward to working with the new team at Swiftpage and continuing the relationship I have had with the product for more than 20 years.

New version coming
The next version of Act! (v17) will be released in the next few weeks. Details of the changes, advancements, and upgrade policies will be available from the Gebesse web site later this week. If you want to be kept informed as soon as announcements are made please follow Gebesse on Twitter.

Product reviews
Two product reviews have been published on the Gebesse Blog. Suggestions for products to review are always welcome, but you should read the site policies before expecting any free publicity.

No, I don’t want to get a Mac!
Let me start off by saying that the Apple Mac is a very fine computer indeed. It just isn’t the machine that I need for what I need a computer for. I recently announced that I needed a new laptop because my old one had suffered a disaster and I was of course given the advice to “Get a Mac” from all directions. I pointed out that my business is based on a product which requires Microsoft SQL Server so I really had no option for the sort of computer I had to buy.

I was told that I could use virtual machine software like Parallels or VMware … [Read the rest here]

More amateurs
I suppose I could be accused of being obsessed with amateurishness, but it is something that really irritates me. I constantly see people who claim expertise in some area charging large amounts of money to give advice on that matter when a simple check can show that they don’t even apply their own rules to themselves, or even if they know what those rules are.

Any company with an email account will receive a steady stream of spam offering to improve the performance and Google ranking of their website. I find these particularly tedious because if someone actually goes and looks at the Gebesse website they will see that I actually do search engine optimisation for a living. In fact, an organisation that had been found by the Federal Court of Australia to be operating an illegal pyramid scheme … [Read the rest here]

When the client doesn’t know any better
I’ve written here before about amateurs doing IT work and giving advice when a little investigation shows that they don’t know what they are talking about. In most cases they don’t know what they don’t know, and they only get away with what they do because the client doesn’t know any better.

Sometimes, however, I come across cases where the perpetrator must know that they are trading on the client’s ignorance, usually where they supply a service that the customer can easily do for themselves and which costs nothing in money and little in time to do. I have installed Act! at several sites where an outside IT support company has installed security software which prevents the client from doing … [Read the rest here]

Performance tip of the month
There is no such thing as a computer which is too fast, but it’s very easy to have one that is too slow. Here are two free programs which can help to get your machine running as it should. I use both of them and have never had any problems.

Smart Defrag from IObit. As you use your machine the files on your hard disks gradually get broken into pieces as they are read and rewritten. Defragmenting the disks can give a significant boost to performance. There is a defragmenter built into Windows, but this program dos a better job. It runs in the background, coming to life when your machine has been idle for a while, and you can schedule more comprehensive defragging on a periodic basis. It also has an option to defragment system files such as the virtual memory page file when the computer starts up. Note: It will not defragment SSD drives, but if one of these is running slowly it’s not because the files are fragmented. You have other issues with the machine. Smart Defrag is free because it shows small advertisements for other IObit products.

Advanced Uninstaller from Innovative Solutions It’s interesting to note that the function of this program which I use least (and I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t apply to other users) is uninstalling programs, although if you do use it for that it follows the uninstall by finding and deleting files and registry entries that are no longer used. It’s main use is to clean up things that aren’t wanted, such as temporary files, orphan shortcuts, invalid registry entries, and duplicate files. It has a function that can run when Windows starts to delete a variety of things, but I prefer to run this manually every couple of weeks. There used to be a charge for this program but it has been free for some time. It’s now paid for by suggesting other purchases during the installation process, but you don’t have to buy anything.

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