Discus Systems PLC - IT Support Company in Birmingham West midlands
0800 880 3360

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 23rd Nov 2009
Thank you to all that entered the Microsoft Survey Competition. The lucky winner was drawn today, 23rd November 2009 by Damien, and will receive a Fujitsu Netbook, M2010 Atom N280, computer valued at £299.00.
The lucky winner is Martin Davies of KFS Ltd. Congratulations Martin!!
KFS Ltd have benefited from Discus Systems Totalcare support for many years and we are extremely pleased that Martin is the winner.
Thank you to all our customers who completed the survey; your support is very much appreciated.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 16th Nov 2009

Discus would like to thank all customers who took part in their recent Survey.

  • 100% of customers who took part in the survey are very satisfied
  • 84% of customers who took part in the survey definitely would recommend us & 16% probably would
  • 68% of customers definitely would recommend us to a friend & 32% probably would
  • 16% of customers who took part thought we gave a vital advantage over others, 68% said big advantage & 16% said some advantage

Discus are very happy wih the results but there is always areas to improve on, so if you're not happy with any level of our service please contact us and we'll do our best to ensure that we can resolve any issue as quickly and as pain free as possible.

Please email Damien@discus.co.uk or call 01675461310

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 28th Oct 2009
Get Windows 7 on a great range of ESPRIMO desktops from Fujitsu. Take advantage of the latest technology from Microsoft and combine it with superior technology to create the perfect solution for you.
Fujitsu provide a great range of desktop PCs; from all-round machines for standard applications such as Internet, email and office/home office application. Advanced machines for complex applications, e.g. spreadsheets, presentations, databases, video, and network manageability within an office environment. To high performance superior machines, featuring the latest technology and top specifications, highly manageable machines ideal for integration into an office infrastructure.
Fujitsu desktops currently available with Windows 7;
All round PCs - ESPRIMO P2550 and E3520
ESPRIMO P2550 - Microtower offering both Intel® Pentium® Dual Core and Core™2 Duo Processor specifications, configurable up to 4GB RAM and 500GB Hard Disk Drive, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 bit and Office ready. Prices start from £350 + VAT
ESPRIMO E3520 – Small form factor providing both Intel® Pentium® Dual Core and Core™2 Duo Processor specifications, configurable up to 8GB RAM and 1TB Hard Disk Drive, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 bit and Office ready. Prices start from £380 + VAT
Advanced PCs – ESPRIMO C5730 and Q5030
ESPRIMO C5730 – Ultra Small Form factor (less than 7 litre capacity), with Intel® Standard Managability, up to 87% energy efficient PSU. Featuring Intel® Pentium® Dual Core or Core™2 Duo Processor, configurable up to 16GB RAM and 1TB Hard Disk Drive, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, Office ready and Premium Suite. Prices start from £459 + VAT
ESPRIMO Q5030 – A unique Mini PC (less than 2 litres) using the latest Intel® mobile technology, low noise emissions and energy consumption, crammed with 6 x USB / e-SATA ports and onboard graphics. Featuring Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor, supporting up to 4GB RAM and 320GB Hard Disk Drive, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, Office ready and Premium Suite. Prices start from £580 + VAT.
Superior PCs – ESPRIMO P7935 and E7935
ESPRIMO P7935 – Microtower- equipped with the latest Intel® vPro™ technology, up to 89% energy efficient power supply, 0-WATT functionality (optional) – These top end products feature the latest Intel® Core™2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors for maximum performance. Configurable up to 16GB RAM and 1TB Hard Disk Drive, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, Office ready and Premium Suite. Prices start from £600 + VAT.

- Small Form factor- supplied with the latest Intel® vPro™ technology, up to 89% energy efficient power supplies, 0-WATT functionality (optional) – These top end products feature the latest Intel® Core™2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors for maximum performance.Configurable up to 16GB RAM and 1TB Hard Disk Drive, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, Office ready and Premium Suite. Prices start from £600 + VAT. 

Please call for more information and availabilitly - 0800 880 3360 and speak to a member of our sales team

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 19th Oct 2009

The Digital Britain Report introduced a 50 pence per month levy (the so called 'broadband tax') on copper phone lines, which would be used to fund the rollout of next generation broadband to the areas where market forces were not expected to deliver on their own.

In an interview with the Financial Times this morning, Jeremy Hunt, shadow culture secretary said that if the Conservatives win the general election, they would reverse the Digital Britain Bill and are considering changes to how the BBC is structured. This would mean scrapping the proposed 50p per month levy on phone lines which is expected to raise £175m to fund next generation broadband in mostly rural areas.

The Conservatives told us that they are looking at plans for a market led approach:

"We believe that it is important to first create an environment where the market is encouraged to invest and see where this takes us before looking at a broadband tax for areas in which the market won't invest.

While we recognise that there may need to be some public investment in the future to ensure 100 per cent coverage, we believe it is putting the cart before the horse to do this before you have seen how much the market will provide."

Conservative Spokesman

The Shadow minister also suggested in a BBC interview that the Conservatives would also look at any regulatory changes that might be needed to encourage this investment.

Thinkbroadband has always argued that the government should be doing everything possible to incentivise companies to invest in broadband technology, including fibre optic cabling. At present, fibre is subject to non-domestic rates (similar to council tax for businesses), which adds to the cost of connecting up Britain to a super fast network. This statement by the opposition may indicate a positive change, although no doubt it will be of concern to rural residents who are unclear on what they should expect in the next 5-7 years. It is important to note that the above does not affect the Universal Service Commitment of 2Mbps which is expected to be available across the country in 2012.

Source - ThinkBroadband.com

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 14th Oct 2009
Microsoft have reached the final milestone in their Windows 7 release schedule—general availability! Thank you all for the feedback you have provided during the Beta and Release Candidate processes. You have helped them make this the strongest Windows client operating system to date.

For continued support for your deployment and migration processes—including resources to help you with application compatibility, security, networking, manageability, and much more—bookmark these resources:

Guidance, tools, and demonstrations - Springboard Series for Windows 7 on TechNet
Community advice, tips, and best practices – TechNet Windows 7 Forums
Virtual labs, webcasts, and podcasts – Windows 7 IT Pro Events and Webcasts Portal

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Fri 2nd Oct 2009

The UK Suffer 

To some it won’t be a surprise to learn that according to a recent report the UK lag far behind other nations in terms of broadband performance. Cisco, who manufacture the Linksys brand of routers, recently completed a study which compares internet performance across the world

The study ranks the UK at number 25 or 31 depending on how the figures are interpreted leaving us way behind countries such as South Korea, Iceland and Greece. The broadband quality table in the study uses data collected from speedtest.net in 66 countries, and measures download and upload speeds, and latency. By those measures, the UK, with an average download speed of 4.6Mbps and uploads at 0.5Mbps, is down in 31st place.

But the researchers then add in a measure of broadband penetration to come up with their broadband leadership league. The fact that uptake and availability in the UK are both high pushes us up to 25th place in that table.


Poor investment in fibre-optic infrastructure is the main reason. Initially in the first Broadband wave the UK’s investment in copper networks ensured that connection availability throughout the country was high. But other countries have moved forward more rapidly to build next generation networks using cable and fibre-optics which provides much higher bandwidth.

Dont Panic

The report's authors were keen to cheer us up. They congratulated Britain for a 40% improvement in broadband quality in the last year - and pointed to Virgin Media's investment in high speed broadband via cable as evidence that the nation was not standing still. They also said our broadband speeds were suitable for today's applications, though we'd need to invest for tomorrow's needs.

Ready for tomorrow Comfortable for today Meeting needs for today Below needs for today
Korea Switzerland Iceland Malta
Japan Czech Republic Estonia Luxembourg
Sweden Norway Greece Chile
Lithuania United States Singapore China
Bulgaria Slovakia Canada Qatar
Latvia Portugal UK Brazil
Netherlands Finland Australia Argentina
Romania France Spain Saudi Arabia
Denmark Germany Poland Cyprus
  Hungary New Zealand Costa Rica
  Russia Ukraine Bahrain
  Belgium Turkey Thailand
  Slovenia Ireland Tunisia
  Taiwan Italy Mexico
  Austria   Philippines
  Hong Kong   UAE
      South Africa

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Thu 1st Oct 2009

Windows 7 - The latest Windows release will be available  very soon, and unlike the previous release (Vista) of Windows, the latest instalment has now become a serious contender to replace those ag­ing Windows XP machines.  There are a lot of exciting new features with Windows 7; here are some to wet your appetite

Windows 7 Hardware & application compatibility - Basically.. It works! - unlike Windows Vista, Windows 7 works out of the box!  I recently upgraded my main ma­chine to find that I didn’t encounter any problems with the new version.  In fact , I’d go as far as to say, I was pleasantly surprised how quick, easy and pain free the in­stallation was.  Microsoft have definitely moved in the right direction.

Windows 7 Data Encryption - There hasn’t been many stories of late regarding any government pen sticks going missing or data being found but it has by no means ended.  The new version of Windows 7 should help as it includes Bit Locker technology provid­ing full encryption to all boot volumes along with introducing Bit Locker To Go which  offers protection on portable storage like your Pen drive. So, if you do leave data somewhere no one can read it!

Windows 7 Libraries - Microsoft have developed another little useful feature which is libraries.  Just think how many pictures you have all over your computer.  Your Camera software puts them in one place, Internet explorer saves another, then you saved some on your desktop! - Microsoft searches the entire computer in real time and generates a folder with all your images in one place even if they’re all over the computer.  It does the same with Documents, Videos, Music, and other file types. This is an excellent feature for a home and businesses users alike.

If you are interested or need more information please contact Damien on 0800 880 3360

VMware vSphere - VMware the leader in virtualization technologies is launching a new product- vSphere.  The future of your IT infrastruc­ture will largely depend upon Virtualization.  Therefore, anything new from VMware is going to be something we should all take note of.

Typically companies today have a server for each task, one for their emails, one for their file system, and one for remote access or Terminal Services.  The problem with this is that the servers will use very little of its resources the majority of the time. If you can imagine adding these three computers together, splitting the tasks evenly over the machines, you would make best use of the resources on those machines.  This is where Vsphere virtualizes the 3 servers over 1 computer

vSphere is the industry's first cloud operating system which is specifically designed to holistically manage large collections of infrastructure—CPU’s, storage and networking as a seamless, flexible and dynamic operating environment.

On top of making the servers more efficient , you will have more control & choice over your IT infrastructure. vSphere dramatically lowers the total cost of application,

operation and maintenance by automating management and dynamically allocating re­sources to applications across internal and external cloud infrastructures. 

Discus are embracing the new product from VMware and are looking to deploy the product in the near future.

For more information contact Chris on 0800 880 3360

Search Engine Optimisation

Discus’s website is moving on in leaps and bounds, as most of you are aware considering how many people have visited since its launch in July.

Discus offers a Search Engine Optimi­sation audit of your website free of charge with no obligation or cost to you, there is nothing to lose to ensure that your website is giving you the busi­ness that is expected from the web.
Getting to know us..

Name:           Lynne Thomas
Married:         18 years
Children:        2 boys aged 14 & 12

Lynne Thomas joined Discus Sys­tems in November 2008 as Financial Controller

Lynne is keen on tennis, but doesn’t have as much time now to play. How­ever, she does enjoy watching her sons play and the occasional bit of Sudoku.

If you wish to contact Lynne then you can call her any time on 01675 461318 or email her at  lynne@discus.co.uk

Great North Run 

Contact Graham on 0800 880 3360 for more details.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 29th Sep 2009

Google's latest product to hit the market is GoogleWave, they will send out 100,000 invitations to basically take a look at their new product tomorrow.

Google first unveiled GoogleWave in May and since then has been testing and developing the product for public use.

What is Google Wave?

Without seeing it first h and it is quite difficult to explain exactly what Wave does, Google are basically reinventing the "email". Rather than using your typical email session where you send an email, back and forth and wait for the replies.. Wave uses Instant Messaging technology to send the message which means you'll have instant replies to your messages.

All this is logged for people to be shared into later on and essentially view the conversation between the two, three, four.. or however many people wish to join the Wave.

On top of this, you can share documents, photos, and files.. creating libraries of events that have gone on, you of course are notified of all the updates and can see them as a time line of events.

I could explain further but i think seeing is believing so if you head over to the BBC website which will give you a video explaining exactly what you can achieve with this amazing product.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Sat 19th Sep 2009

Damien Biddulph, age 25, and Andrew Guy aged 26 both took part in the famous race on Sunday.

Damien completed the half marathon distance in two hours forty five, and Andy completed the run in three hours and fifteen minutes.

Andy said: “The support was overwhelming from the local people. We simply couldn't believe the amount of locals who turned out for the event offering anything from biscuits to ice lols to get us around the 13.1 mile course"

Damien said “We would like to thank everyone who has sponsored us so far, its not too late for people to still sponsor us.”

The pair, both from Birmingham, travelled along with Andy's partner Lisa Hawkins who helped drive them to Newcastle for the race. You can sponsor them at www.justgiving.com/andyanddamien

Damien Biddulph & Andrew Guy before the run

A record number of 54,000 people including many celebrities took to the streets of Newcastle yesterday when they took part in the world's biggest half-marathon, the Great North Run.r
Two celebrities Sting & England cricketer Steve Harmison started the race by the pistol pistol into the blazing sunshine with the musician stating it was the first time he had held a gun in his life!

'It is so exciting to be here and the atmosphere is incredible,' he said

The half-marathon runners were cheered on their way by an estimated 30,000 spectators.

Celebrity entrants include EastEnders stars Kara Tointon and Joe Swash, Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana, Nell McAndrew, Ben Fogle and James Cracknell. Olympic rower Cracknell was the first of the celebrities to cross the line.

The race was won by former world half-marathon champion Martin Lel who was forced to pull out of chasing a fourth title at the London Marathon in April due to a hip injury. The womens race was won by Jessica Augusto who was a surprise winner of the women's race in 1.09.08

The 30-year-old Kenyan completed the race in 59 minutes 32 seconds to regain the title he won in 2007.

Britain's David Weir broke the men's wheelchair course record by over a minute, while American Amanda McGrory won the women's wheelchair title.

The first Great North Run took place in June 1981 with 12,770 runners

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Fri 11th Sep 2009

Turing Bombe machines cracked 3,000 messages a day and are said to have shortened the war by two years thanks to the military secrets they uncovered

However, he was not rewarded with honours by the state, or public adulation. Instead he was persecuted because of his homosexuality, opting for chemical castration rather than imprisonment after conviction for gross indecency.

Two years later, in 1954, he took his own life. 

 Now, after thousands signed a petition calling for the government to apologise, Britain's prime minister, Gordon Brown has done so.

  He said he was deeply sorry that Mr Turing had been treated inhumanely under the homophobic laws of the time.

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