Wednesday, September 24, 2008

5 Reasons Why We Love Automated Backups

Don't Wait -- Automate!

Are you sure your backups are actually working?

There's one way to find out if your backups are uncorrupted and fully functional -- try doing a full system restore of them. A number of our clients believed they could rely on their backups until we put those backups to the test.


Even though automated backups are a set-and-forget, virtually problem-free solution for protecting data, many businesses still do their backups by hand because switching over to an automated system is just another task on a long and growing list.


More often that not, doing backups on your own means you're not following a set schedule -- you just do it when you (or whoever's responsible for running backups) remember to. Backing up is time consuming and tedious and really one of those tasks that computers were made for anyhow. Let's run down the list of reasons why you should automate your backups if you haven't already:


1. They're regular. Set the schedule and you're good to go -- no more worrying about who's responsible for the backups this week, no more wondering if they remembered to do the backups before they went on vacation, no more putting them off if you're too busy.


2. They're accurate. You don't have to worry about human error, like accidentally saving over data you wanted to preserve, or backing up the wrong files.


3. They're easy. Once you've set up your backup schedule, you'll never have to do it again. And if you sign up for CMIT's Guardian service, we'll do all the setup for you.


4. They're reliable. That's the beauty of automation -- you can rely on your backups to run rain or shine, whether you remember them or not.


5. They're secure. Particularly if you back up to an offsite location, you don't have to worry about disk corruption, theft, or sabotage.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Determining If a Tablet PC Is Right For You

Do you need a tablet PC?

Tablet PCs are a highly mobile, easy-to-use computing solution for people who spend a lot of time away from their desks – and an equal amount of time inputting field notes, signed paperwork, and other documents into their computers.


A tablet PC allows you to input information directly through the screen using a digital pen, or “stylus”; some models also come equipped with a regular keyboard. It’s a simple way of interacting that can take a lot of labor out of repetitive tasks.


For example, many doctor’s and dentist’s offices use tablet PCs to make it easier for patients to fill out and sign routine forms. It cuts down on paper use and data entry, thus minimizing the risk that it will be input correctly.


You might also find tablet PCs in frequent use on construction sites, where more rugged models allow people overseeing operations to communicate easily and make instant changes to invoices, work orders, and supply lists.


Or if you’re in an industry where you or your clients have to sign and send a lot of faxes – think insurance, real estate or legal – you can radically simplify your workday with a tablet PC, which you can set up to receive a fax via email, sign using the stylus, and send back through email.


The Dell Latitude XT is one of the thinnest 12.1” convertible (that means it has both a touchscreen and a keyboard) tablets available. It’s versatile, easy to use, and can help make you a lot more productive. Contact us for discounted pricing on tablet PCs.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Find Out Who's Talking About You on the Web

Use Google Alerts to Find Out When and Where You're Mentioned on the Web

The folks at Google have invented a lot of useful features to their world-famous search engine. One very handy tool for tracking where you’ve been mentioned on the Web is Google Alerts.


With Google Alerts, you’ll receive periodic email notifications (once a day, once a week, or in real time) when search terms you monitor appear on the Web or in the news. This helps you stay on top of what people are saying about you or your company -- and what they’re saying about your competition or other areas of interest.


Creating a Google Alert is easy: go to On the form that appears, fill out the required fields and select some options from a few drop-downs. That's it! You're ready to go, and your requested notifications will soon start arriving in your inbox.

Say your company is called Hot Dog Industries. Here’s how you’d set up an alert:

By selecting "Comprehensive," you’ll find every mention in the news, on the Web, in blogs, in videos, and in Google Groups discussions.


John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing has some recommendations for refining Google Alerts to track different search parameters. Check them out here.