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


Posted by Damien Biddulph on Fri 11th Nov 2011

The full extent of the damage to HDD industry factories will not be known until the floodwaters recede, although it is already clear that there will be HDD supply shortages into the first quarter of 2012.

"In response to the crisis, priority will be given to the large PC manufacturers that drive HDD shipment volumes as well as to the high-margin products used in enterprise servers and storage," said John Rydning, research vice president, Hard Disk Drives and Semiconductors. "But the HDD vendors can't neglect their smaller customers, whose business will continue to be important once capacity is fully restored. Some interesting production and partnering arrangements with customers can be expected as HDD vendors scramble to bring production back up while simultaneously angling for a strategic advantage."

"The HDD shortage will affect smaller PC vendors and lower priced products most, including mini-notebooks (netbooks), emerging markets and entry-level consumer PCs. However, even the largest vendors are expected to face HDD shortages, particularly for portable PCs where the market is more consolidated," added Loren Loverde, program vice president, IDC Worldwide Consumer Device Trackers. "Nevertheless, the shortage will relieve some pressure on pricing and margins, and present some opportunities for strategic share gains among the larger players."

250GB currently £74.00
500GB currently £144.00
1TB currently £162.00

Please contact our Sales team as we are holding stock

08000 24 24 11
 

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Thu 3rd Nov 2011

Please support Richard McNeilly and Movember

Your support will help towards the prevention of the 10,000 men who will die of prostate cancer and the more than 2,000 men who will be diagnosed with testicular cancer this year, is sincerely appreciated.

Through the Movember Foundation and our men’s health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and The Institute of Cancer Research, Movember is funding world class awareness, research, educational and support programmes which would otherwise not be possible.

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please click on the links below:

*The Prostate Cancer Charity programmes

*The Institute of Cancer Research programmes

How Richard might look....?





















Richard McNeilly  
Director of Discus Systems plc
Business Development Partner of Dains LLP

 

 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Tue 1st Nov 2011
 

 

 

The Discus Diviner

October 2011 

 

Welcome to the October edition of The Discus Diviner. This month we are introducing a new feature - Business Tools to Help You Work Better.

 

'Collaboration' is a term that has been around for some time in the IT world, certainly as far back as the days when Lotus Notes was in the ascendancy. The 'collaboration' challenge now is for businesses to encourage innovation and modernisation in the digital workplace without incurring unnecessary expense and overburdening IT support.

 

This month we will have a brief look at Dropbox, a free service that lets you bring your photos, documents and videos anywhere and share them easily.

 

 

 

Discus Systems welcomes . . .

 

New customers Borshch Electrical, of Bordesley, Birmingham; Mercury Tool & Gauge of Coventry and JVM Castings of Tamworth.

 

 

 

Fowlers of Earlswood at Chees-y Event  

 

The Westley Hotel in Acocks Green has held a cheese and wine event for local businesses to celebrate the completion of an £800,000 refurbishment scheme. Guests were able to sample handcrafted cheeses supplied by Discus Systems' customer, Fowlers of Earlswood, the oldest cheese making family business in England. And the company's David Fowler was on hand to give insight into the care, skills and traditions that have been passed on in the business from 1670 right up to today's 14th generation. 

 

 

 

Dropbox - simplify your life  

 

Dropbox is a handy tool for saving and accessing your important documents across multiple devices. The cloud-based service saves your work to an easy-to-access folder available on any computer as well as the Dropbox website. Dropbox protects digital files from crashed hard drives, frozen computers, and misplaced flash drives.  It synchronises documents, photos, and videos across multiple systems, moving them from laptop to smartphone to iPad without so much as a single wire or USB cord. 

Any file you save to Dropbox also instantly saves to your computers, phones, and the Dropbox website itself.

  • Your files are always available from the secure Dropbox website.
  • Dropbox works with Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
  • Works even when offline. You always have your files, whether or not you have a connection.
  • Dropbox transfers just the parts of a file that change (not the whole thing).
  • Manually set bandwidth limits -- Dropbox won't hog your connection.
  • Dropbox keeps a one-month history of your work.
  • Any changes can be undone, and files can be undeleted.
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and AES-256 bit encryption.

Dropbox is  available for free (though users can only store 2GB of data) or for a monthly fee for users that want access to over 50GB of storage.

 

 

 

Discus Systems' Wireless Leased Line

 

Twiddling your thumbs waiting for the Internet? File transfers taking forever? Losing online business because of sluggish communications?  You don't  need us to tell you your pipeline  to the outside world needs beefing up.

 

But before you contact BT, why not weigh up the advantages of a wireless leased line?

  • Substantially cheaper than a fibre-based leased line. For example, a 10 Mbps  circuit can be installed for just £1000 with a monthly rental that is up to 80% cheaper than a wire-based circuit.
  • Much simpler to install - days as opposed to weeks.
  • A wireless circuit is uncontended - the full bandwidth is available to you exclusively.
  • No disruption to the physical environment. Do your bit for the planet!

For further information email u2us@discus.co.uk  or for an informal discussion contact Terry or Martyn on 0800 880 3360 

 

 

 

Small Business? Tight Budget?

  

Times are certainly tough for small businesses and, if the pundits are to be believed, they are set to get tougher. This is the time when every penny spent is scrutinised, every monetary decision queried. However, this can sometimes lead to false economy, especially in the world of IT.

  

At Discus, we constantly look for ways to save our customers' money without compromising quality.   Many of them  have been doing business with us for as long as we care to remember and value our well-considered strategic advice. In order to do this we have to keep abreast of a rapidly changing technology, and use our experience and judgement of what is good and what is not. 

 

Two areas of potential cost saving are virtualisation and hosting. If you would like to know more about them, then all you have to do is call Terry or Martyn on 0800 880 3360. We would be delighted to receive your call.

 

 

 

Is your business newly incorporated?

 

If it is, your head will be spinning with the hundred and one things you have to do. So why make things more complicated by wrestling with your IT? What might start out as  a server, a few PCs and a bit of cabling can rapidly escalate into a logistical nightmare, involving multiple suppliers. That's why we offer Discus Systems' Flying Start solution - one party to deal with. Let us take away the stress of setting up your IT.

 

Less time, less trouble, giving you time to deal with other things.

 

For further information email u2us@discus.co.uk  or for an informal discussion contact Terry or Martyn on 0800 880 3360.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading October's  issue of The Discus Diviner.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any comments or criticisms.

 

Sincerely,

 

   

 

 

Terry Biddulph

Managing Director

Discus Systems plc 

In This Issue

Discus Systems welcomes . . .

Fowlers of Earlswood at Chees-y Event

Dropbox - simplify your life

Discus Systems' Wireless Leased Line

Small Business? Tight Budget?

Is your business newly incorporated?

Damien's Tips 'n Tricks

 

 

Quick Links

  

Back Issues:

  

  

  

 

 

Damien's Tips 'n Tricks 

MS Excel Tricks:

Copy the selection CTRL + C

Paste the selection CTRL + V

Cut the selection CTRL + X

Clear the contents of the selection DELETE

Insert blank cells   CTRL + SHIFT + PLUS SIGN

Delete the selection CTRL + -

Undo the last action CTRL + Z

 

Discus Systems -  providing IT support since 1997 to the West Midlands,

covering Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield, Tamworth,

Wolverhampton, Dudley, Bromsgrove and Redditch.

 
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 25th Oct 2011

Thirty percent of UK internet traffic is now at speeds above 5Mbps, an increase of 70% compared to last year, according to the latest Akamai State of the Internet report,

But 9% of UK internet users are still running less than the minimum bandwidth of 2Mbps set as the government's target for UK broadband. Less than 1% (0.6%) of UK internet requests came from users running below 256Mbps, declining by 47% from last year's report.

Within Europe, the Netherlands had the highest average connection speed in the second quarter of the year - the period covered by the report - reaching 8.5Mbps. Sixteen of the listed countries had average connection speeds that exceeded 5Mbps, while the remaining six had average connection speeds that exceeded the 2Mbps threshold.

Source: ComputerWeekly

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 25th Oct 2011

The use of compromised (e.g. stolen credentials or hacked) accounts to send spam and scams has increased throughout 2011 to become a growing percentage of the unwanted email that is being sent by spammers.

The increased use of compromised accounts raises several questions:

• What accounts are targeted?
• How are the accounts compromised?
• Are the accounts used for other purposes besides spam and scams?
• How do users figure out that their account is compromised?
• How do users regain control of their accounts?

Download the latest report on the "State of Hacked Accounts - October 2011" to answer the above questions and protect your email. 

Source: MXSweep

 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Wed 19th Oct 2011

IBM on Wednesday introduced mainframe and Power-based systems for analytics in an effort to compete with Oracle's Exadata.

IBM's Smart Analytics System servers are bundled with hardware and software for analytics, business intelligence and transaction processing workloads, IBM said. IBM also introduced an entry-level business analytics appliance that can analyze data on the fly as transactions are processed in the cloud.

IBM is moving in the direction of offering servers designed to work with specific workloads such as databases and business process management. The new Smart Analytics servers are based on existing IBM server designs and run on x86 chips and IBM's Power processors.

The new Smart Analytics System 9700 and IBM Smart Analytics System 9710 are based on zEnterprise designs and provide an operating environment for mainframe-based analytics at an "entry-level price," IBM said. The servers can run on SUSE or Red Hat Linux.

The company also announced IBM Smart Analytics System 7710, which is based on the Power processor, and the Smart Analytics System 5710, which is based on the x86 processor. The servers can be deployed in a matter of days, and include business intelligence reporting, data mining and text analytics capabilities, IBM said.

The 7710, which is based on the IBM P740 server, runs AIX OS and is designed for data warehouses under 10TB, IBM said. The 5710, which is based on a System x design, runs on Linux OS, and comes with InfoSphere Warehouse and Cognos 10 business intelligence software.

IBM did not immediately provide price or availability information for the new servers.

IBM competes in the unified server space with Oracle, which offers the Exadata Database Machine, a preconfigured system designed for data warehousing and transaction processing. Exadata combines Oracle software with Sun hardware and storage.

IBM also introduced the DB2 Analytics Accelerator technology, which will help customers make sense of massive amounts of data flowing in through the cloud much quicker. Instead of waiting to pull out reports for analytics, customers can get business insight and act as transactions are processed in the cloud, an IBM spokeswoman said.

The new analytics appliance plugs into IBM zEnterprise 196 enterprise server, and the accelerator connects to the DB2 database as transactions are processed in the cloud. The accelerator incorporates technology from Netezza, a data analytics provider acquired by IBM last year for US$1.7 billion.

This is the first time Netezza technology is being bought to the cloud, the spokeswoman said. The appliance for servers will become available in November, but the company did not provide a price.

Agam Shah

 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Wed 19th Oct 2011

China has become Apple's second-largest market behind the U.S., with revenues increasing almost four times year-over-year for this past quarter, according to company CEO Tim Cook.
Cook made the statements during an earnings call on Tuesday. For this past quarter ending Sept. 24, Apple saw US$4.5 billion in revenue generated from "Greater China", which includes the mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The $4.5 billion accounted for 16 percent of Apple's total revenues for the quarter, up from just 2 percent in Apple's 2009 fiscal year.
The Chinese market has been Apple's fastest growing major region by far, Cook added. Along with six official Apple stores in Greater China, the company also has resellers with 200 stores selling Apple products.
Apple has previously said the company is just scratching the surface of the Chinese market. For the first three months of 2011, iPhone sales in China were up year-over-year by 250 percent.
Apple's business in China began to reach new heights after the company launched its iPhone 4 in the country in September of last year. The release of the product generated long lines outside of Apple stores in Beijing, creating shortages for the iconic phone. Demand for Apple's iPad 2 has also been high, with the device dominating China's tablet market.
Apple's brand is also one of the most popular in China, and often seen as a kind of status symbol among consumers, according to analysts. While Apple has not said when it will begin selling its iPhone 4S in China, the device is already available for sale in the country's gray market, with prices reaching as much as $2,000.
In Tuesday's earnings call, Cook said Apple will continue to build more stores in order to tap the market, noting that in China, "the sky is the limit."

Michael Kan

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Thu 13th Oct 2011

Blackberry services are being restored after millions of customers were unable to access e-mail or send text messages following a power outage which began in Europe two days ago and spread across the globe to North America yesterday. 

The messaging and browsing delays experienced by Blackberry users were caused by a core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure.

In a statement, Research in Motion (RIM), which makes Blackberry devices, said: "In Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, we are seeing a significant increase in service levels. Service levels are also progressing well in the US, Canada and Latin America, and we are seeing increased traffic throughput on most services, although there are still some delays and service levels may still vary.
 
"Our global teams are continuing to work as quickly as possible to restore full and consistent service across all regions."

RIM's UK managing director, Stephen Bates, told delegates at the company's annual Blackberry Innovation Forum in London: "We have 70 million customers worldwide, with seven million of those in the UK. Around 20 petabytes of data passes over our global infrastructure every month. We face complexity in troubleshooting the problems."

But the blackout may have damaged Blackberry's reputation among some users and accelerated the number of business customers already intending to switch to Apple's iPhone.

Many users took to Twitter to complain about the outage yesterday, including Lord Sugar who told his Twitter followers: "In all my years in IT biz, I have never seen such an outage as experienced by Blackberry. I can't understand why it's taking so long to fix." 

Source

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Thu 13th Oct 2011

Internet Threats Trends Report - October 2011

Yes, you read it right! Email-borne malware is at the highest it has been in two years. During March 2011, we encountered large outbreaks of courier-themed emails with zipped malware attachments. In August 2011 this trend continued in several enormous waves with attacks continuing throughout September.

But that's not all that was happening....

Exe spelled backwards = malware - right-to-left override used to trick users
Gap Athleta - Phony orders include convincing shopping list
Facebook friend requests lead to malware - Exploiting the hype
PHPThumb exploit - Legitimate websites used as spam-sending machines
Zombie hot spots - Brazil continues to drop, US goes back up
 

Download our free Internet Threats Trends Report for October 2011 to stay on top of what could be threatening your business!

Source: MXSweep

 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 12th Oct 2011

Blackberry users are suffering with a 3rd day of outage.

Rim have released a statement;

BlackBerry subscribers in the Americas may be experiencing intermittent service delays this [Wednesday] morning. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience. We will provide a further update as soon as more information is available," the statement said

Unfortinately there isn't much you can do except wait for RIM to fix the issues that have come about over the last few days.

This is not a good time for RIM as Apple launch their competing service iMessage - iPhone4S.

The hook of the Blackberry has always been BBM, now BlackBerry users have another reason to drop their legacy devices. At the press event today, Apple has launched a competing service with iMessage. It’s a new messaging service between iOS users. iMessages will be pushed to all your devices. They’re sent over 3G and Wi-Fi. iMessages can be text, photos, video, location, contacts and just like BlackBerry you can get read receipts. You’ll also be able to see when people are typing and start your conversation on one iOS device and finish it on another.

[source]

Maybe a bit of light humour...

 
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