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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Fri 27th May 2011
The recent MacDefender Trojan has been receiving “rebranding” facelifts since it came out. It has now been deployed as MacProtector, MacDetector, MacSecurity, Apple Security Center, and there are no doubt more iterations to come. The malware has been updated, and now sports an improved UI that looks like a native Mac OSX application, unlike the first variant, which appeared to be Windows software. 

EDIT: A new variant is now being deployed that can install without credentials.  The image below shows a fake Finder window displayed within the browser.  If you see this window, close the browser, or Force Quit if you can't quit.  Don't select the "Cancel" or "Remove All" buttons, as this will install the malware without asking for your password.  As this makes the malware more likely to be deployed, we recommend users disable "Open "Safe" files after downloading," at least until Apple pushes their pending security update.

As a quick recap, the infection is spread via poisoned search engine results on image searches. When a bad link is followed in a search, the user is presented with an alert that Trojans or other threats have been detected on the system.  At the start of the attack, either a simple dialog box over your browser window, or a fake Finder window with a warning similar to this will be displayed:

(Image courtesy Nerds On Site)
 

If the default setting of “Open “Safe” Files After Downloading” is enabled in your browser, the software will download, the installer will launch, and you will be prompted to enter your password to complete installation of software, which is actually the malware payload.  A new variant called MacGuard is also live and will install without credentials.

As soon as the malware is installed and launched, you'll be informed the software is an "Unregistered Copy" and give you an option to register.  If you close the browser and quit the installer, the malware can safely be deleted from the downloads folder, and no harm is done.

(Image courtesy Nerds On Site)

Of course, when you "register" the software will try to get you to purchase it, for as much as $79.95.  If you do purchase, not only do you have a bogus charge on your card, you also have given your credit card to criminals. 

Some key considerations for Mac users to be aware of are:

  1. The name and user interface displayed by this malware will change, so don't rely on the name.
  2. The nature of the enticing message, however, will remain a variant of the “viruses (or Trojans, or spyware, etc) have been detected on your computer” message, followed by a request to install the cleanup software, which of course is only available for a fee.

Mac users can defend themselves from variants of this attack by:

  1. Going to Safari->Preferences->General and deselecting the “Open “Safe” files after downloading” option
  2. Installing a reputable  antivirus software from a trusted source

Finally, users of any system should be aware there is currently no legitimate antivirus or security software that alerts you through a browser that malware of any type has been detected and that security software must be installed to remove it. A modern browser may block a suspect site, but it won’t behave in this manner. This is a sure-fire attempt to scare a user into installing a malicious program. In general, if you see a suspicious warning that asks you to install software, simply close the browser, or Force Quit if you need to. NEVER click “OK,” “Cancel” or any other button or links in the window alerting you to fake infections, as that is often what starts the actual download or installation of the malware.

Should you have an infection and require removal instructions, Apple has just posted an official article on their support database at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4650. In this article, they indicate that software updates for removing and blocking the software will be forthcoming.

If you are an ESET Cybersecurity user and had an infection prior to installing our software and need removal help, remember  ESET offers free customer support.

ESET Security Blog - Source

 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Tue 24th May 2011
Security analysts at Dimension Data have revealed as many as 73 per cent of network devices may have at least one known security vulnerability - a figure which has nearly doubled since 2009.
 
 
Dimension Data released the results of its annual Network Barometer Report for 2011, which showed findings from the networks of 270 global businesses.
 
The company claimed the majority of the security flaws were due to one specific vulnerability, discovered by Cisco in 2009, and was found in 66 per cent of devices examined in the survey.
 
Neil Campbell, an analyst with Dimension Data, was keen to emphasise the seriousness of the problem.
 
“It only takes one vulnerability to expose the entire organisation to a security breach, so organisations must do much more if they want to adequately protect themselves,” he said.
 
“To a hacker, a security vulnerability is equivalent to leaving one’s front door unlocked and attempting to exploit vulnerabilities is usually the first port of call when initiating an attack.”
 
The report also claimed many businesses were unaware of up to quarter of the devices on their networks, leading to further security risks.
 
“Many organisations still don’t have consistent and complete visibility of their technology estates,” said Campbell.
 
Aside from the main vulnerability discovered by the report, the survey found four other high risk vulnerabilities in just under 20 per cent of network devices, displaying a marked increase in overall security standards.
 
Other areas of business network security are also being gradually improved. Dimension Data found the number of ‘expired’ devices on business networks had decreased on the whole, with devices past ‘last day’ of support falling by nine per cent from last year.
 
Paul Briden
 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Tue 24th May 2011
The high cost of IT failures and outages has been revealed in a new survey by CA Technologies
 
 
A survey sponsored by CA Technologies has revealed that businesses collectively lose more than 127 million person-hours annually – or an average of 545 person-hours per company – in employee productivity due to IT downtime.
 
This loss is equivalent to 63,500 people being unable to work for an entire year.
 
The survey of 2,000 organisations in North America and Europe also found that IT outages are frequent and lengthy – substantially damaging companies’ reputations, staff morale and customer loyalty. Despite this, 56 percent of organisations in North America and 30 percent in Europe don’t have a formal and comprehensive disaster recovery policy.
 
Disaster Recovery
Among the findings, the survey revealed each business suffers an average of 14 hours of downtime per year, during which employees are only able to work at 63 percent of their usual productivity. After systems are back up and running, organisations lose an average of nine additional hours per year to the time it takes to recover data. During these times, employee productivity only climbs to 70 percent.
 
Half of organisations said IT outages damage their reputation, and 18 percent described the impact on their reputation as “very damaging.” In addition, 44 percent of respondents believe IT downtime damages staff morale, and 35 percent said it could adversely impact customer loyalty. An incredible 87 percent of businesses indicated that failure to recover data would be damaging to the business. Twenty-three percent said this would be “disastrous.”
 
“Avoiding IT downtime – and the resulting quantifiable costs in terms of lost hours and dollars – is absolutely critical to the performance of our business,” said Zachary Slavin, IT director at Sobel Affiliates, a brokerage firm within Brown & Brown, an independent insurance intermediary organization. “Since calculating that a single hour of IT downtime results in 80 lost person-hours of work and more than $3,000 (£1,857) in costs, Sobel is carefully and pro-actively managing our business continuity strategy.”
 
Investment Needed
The total number of person-hours lost due to avoidable IT outages takes into account the total number of hours of downtime when systems are offline, the total number of hours between system restoration and recovery of all data, the impact on staff productivity during both of these periods, the number of staff affected and the overall number of avoidable IT outages a year.
 
“There are a variety of practical and affordable steps organisations can take to protect themselves against the adverse business impact of IT outages,” said Steve Fairbanks, vice president of product management in the data management division of CA Technologies. “Given that these outages are a fact of life – and that some of the consequences of outages can be irreversible – investments in improved business continuity are extremely worthwhile.”
 
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 23rd May 2011

Sage Company File Locations & Paths


If you're still experiencing problems we offer a one off no fix no fee service. We will fix any company file issue for a maximum charge of £20.00 + VAT

Where are the Sage company files on Windows XP/2000/2003/Vista/7/8/10?
 
We know times are hard right now so if you have any problems with Sage Company File Paths please use this free help regarding the Sage company file paths. 
 
Helping people is what we do, and when it comes to Sage Company File Paths we love doing it.
 
Location on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10: 
 
Sage 2009 Company File
Sage 2010 Company File
Sage 2011 Company File
Sage 2012 Company File
Sage 2013 Company File
Sage 2014 Company File
Sage 2015 Company File
Sage 2016 Company File
Sage 2017 Company File

Sage 2017 company file


Windows XP Sage 2017 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2017\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 2003 Sage 2017 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2017\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows Vista Sage 2017 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2017
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 7 Sage 2017 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2017
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 8 Sage 2017 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2017
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 8... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 10 Sage 2017 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2017
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 10... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk

 

Sage 2016 company file


Windows XP Sage 2016 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2016\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 2003 Sage 2016 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2016\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows Vista Sage 2016 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2016
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 7 Sage 2016 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2016
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 8 Sage 2016 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2016
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 8... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 10 Sage 2016 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2016
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 10... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk

 

Sage 2015 company file

 


Windows XP Sage 2015 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2015\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 2003 Sage 2015 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2015\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows Vista Sage 2015 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2015
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 7 Sage 2015 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2015
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 8 Sage 2015 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2015
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 8... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 10 Sage 2015 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2015
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 10... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk

Sage 2014 company file

 


Windows XP Sage 2014 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2014\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 2003 Sage 2014 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2014\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows Vista Sage 2014 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2014
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 7 Sage 2014 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2014
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 8 Sage 2014 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2014
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 8... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 10 Sage 2014 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2014
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 10... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk

Sage 2013 company file

 

Windows XP Sage 2013 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2013\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows 2003 Sage 2013 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2013\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows Vista Sage 2013 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2013
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows 7 Sage 2013 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2013
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows 8 Sage 2013 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2013
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 8... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Windows 10 Sage 2013 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2013
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 10... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk

 

Sage 2012 company file

 
 
 

Windows XP Sage 2012 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2012\

(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows 2003 Sage 2012 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2012\

(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

 

Windows Vista Sage 2012 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2012

(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows 7 Sage 2012 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2012

(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows 8 Sage 2012 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2012

(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 8... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View >  Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders" 
 

Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk


Sage 2011 company file


Windows XP Sage 2011 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2011\

(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows 2003 Sage 2011 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2011\

(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows Vista Sage 2011 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2011

(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows 7 Sage 2011 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2011

(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 

Windows 8 Sage 2011 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2011

(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 8... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders" 

Windows 10 Sage 2011 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2011(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 10... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"

 

Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk

 

Sage 2010 company file

Windows XP Sage 2010 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2010\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 
Windows 2003 Sage 2010 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2010\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"  
 
Windows Vista Sage 2010 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2010
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 
Windows 7 Sage 2010 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2010
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders" 
 
Windows 8 Sage 2010 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2010
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 8... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 
Windows 10 Sage 2010 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2010
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 10... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 
Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk
 
Sage 2009 company file
 
Windows XP Sage 2009 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2009\
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders" 
 
Windows 2003 Sage 2009 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2009
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 
Windows Vista Sage 2009 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2009
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 
Windows 7 Sage 2009 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2009
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 
Windows 8 Sage 2009 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2009  
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 8... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 
Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk
 
Sage 2008 company file
 
Windows XP Sage 2008 Company File Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sage\Accounts\2008\
 
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 
Windows Vista Sage 2008 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2008
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
 
Windows 7 Sage 2008 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2008
(Note this folder is hidden (application data) by default in Windows... Go to Tools>Folder Options> View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders" 
 
Windows 8 Sage 2008 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2008
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 8... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders" 
 
Windows 10 Sage 2008 Company File Location:
C:\ProgramData\Sage\Accounts\2008
(Note this folder is hidden (program data) by default in Windows 10... Open Explorer > Select the C drive > Go to View at the top > Options on the right hand side > View > Hidden Files & Folders > "Show hidden files and folders"
Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk 

Sage 2007 company file or older

C:\Program Files\Sage 2007\Accounts
 
The default data paths have changed in Sage 2008 and 2009. They are now set depending on the OS.
 
In pre Sage 2008 versions the Company file was in the Sage Program Folder. The actual data would be in a subfolder of the Program Folder i.e.
 
Help us help you - see an error? - let us know, or just thank us we'd appreciate it either way - u2us@discus.co.uk 
 
If you're still experiencing problems we offer a one off no fix no fee service. We will fix any company file issue for a maximum charge of £20.00 + VAT

  
 
 
 
To reset Sage and to get it to start the open company wizard.

close Sage and delete this COMPANY file from the locations above or simply rename it!

 

 

 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Mon 23rd May 2011
Ofcom is failing to ensure that potential 4G spectrum bidders would provide mobile broadband to rural not-spots, because forcing applicants to cover those areas would lead to lower bids, Conservative MP Rory Stewart has said.
 
 
In a debate on rural broadband in the House of Commons on Thursday, Stewart said the regulator's demand for 800MHz LTE networks to cover 95 percent of the UK population did not go far enough. The MP, who represents the rural constituency of Penrith and The Border, called for that coverage obligation to be extended to 98 percent.
 
He criticised Ofcom for saying in its consultation document — drawn up ahead of the upcoming spectrum auction — that the costs of extending that coverage would outweigh the benefits.
 
"[Ofcom] is worried about losing money in the auction — nobody knows how much — and is worried that when it tries to sell the radio spectrum, which it owns, to the mobile telephone companies and asks them to increase their coverage obligation from 95 percent to 98 percent, these companies might pay less in the auction," said Stewart, who organised the Commons debate. "Indeed, they may. It stands to reason they would pay less, but probably not as much less as Ofcom fears."
 
Stewart estimated that, based on the 4G spectrum auctions in Sweden and Germany, the UK auction would probably generate £3.215bn. He said Ofcom was "worried that it might make only £3bn", a number he suggested was an underestimate. He said the £215m discrepancy was based on the cost of rolling out an extra 1,500 masts to extend coverage from 95 percent to 98 percent.
 
"If we impose an obligation [on operators] at the right moment and say, 'You've got the licence, now provide 98-percent coverage', their interests will be to provide it as cheaply and efficiently as possible," Stewart said. He suggested that it would be much more costly to ask the operators to extend their coverage in the future.
 
Ofcom itself has in the past refused to openly speculate on the amount of money it will raise for the public coffers from the 4G auction, which is due to be held in the first quarter of 2012.
 
"We welcome the debate on broadband access," Ofcom said in a statement on Friday. "We are currently consulting on the design of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz auction and are listening to views of all interested parties. Our objective is to encourage investment, promote competition and deliver a wide range of services for consumers."
 
David Meyer
 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Mon 23rd May 2011
Shares in business social networking site LinkedIn more than doubled in their public trading debut yesterday, evoking memories of the investor love affair with internet stocks during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s.
 
 
The company, which began in one man's living room less than a decade ago, is now worth more than motorcycle maker Harley Davidson and ratings company Moodys.
 
"I got here at 6 a.m. We've been celebrating since then," one LinkedIn employee said in the parking lot of the company's Mountain View, California headquarters.
 
"We recognise that there's potentially a bubble right now," said the employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
 
Shares of LinkedIn, which rose as much as 171 per cent in their first day of trade on the New York Stock Exchange, closed at $94.25 (£58), more than 109 percent above the $45 IPO price.
 
Bankers typically try to price an IPO so that the stock rises about 15 per cent on the first day of trading: enough to reward investors who made a bet, but not so much that the company and original shareholders feel they were short-changed.
 
Only days ago, LinkedIn proposed a price range for the IPO that valued it at just over $3 billion. Now, after its first day of trade, it is worth nearly $9 billion, adding to concerns that social networking company valuations are out of whack with their earnings potential.
 
"It seems to bring back memories of the tech bubble," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago. "Based on what I know it seems like investors are a little overly enthusiastic."
 
One hedge fund manager who flipped his holdings in the low-80's described how difficult it was to get shares. "I got 500 shares and was told to consider myself lucky," he said.
 
"There are billion-dollar institutions that are not getting any stock," he said, recounting something he learned from salesperson at one of the lead banks.
 
Underwriters for the IPO were led by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan.
 
The buzz
LinkedIn is the first prominent US social networking company to publicly test just how hungry investors are for social media companies such as Facebook, Groupon and Twitter, which are widely expected to go public in coming months.
 
"It's an inevitable process for us, the next thing that happens," Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, told the Reuters Global Technology Summit yesterday.
 
In recent years, only Chinese internet stocks have seen such exuberant first-day trading on US exchanges.
 
LinkedIn's rise was the biggest for a newly public web stock since shares of Qihoo 360 Technology, China's third most-popular internet company, rose 134 per cent in their NYSE debut in March.
 
LinkedIn is one of few foreign social networking companies that can operate in China, where it has about a million users. Many other sites including Twitter, Facebook and Google don't have a presence in the world's biggest internet market.
 
Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn allows users to create profile pages with a photo and details about themselves. But it is largely used for professional rather than social personas, and is basically an online database of electronic resumes.
 
The company's 2010 net income attributable to common stockholders was $3.4 million on net revenue of $243.1 million. LinkedIn has said it does not expect to be profitable in 2011.
 
As of 31 March, LinkedIn had 1,288 employees and 102 million registered members. As of Thursday, its market value per employee was almost $7 million and about $87 per user.
 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Mon 23rd May 2011
Cloud computing may have gained in popularity but cloud contracts still contain areas of risk for IT decision makers, according to Gartner.
 
 
Key contractual areas that procurement executives should look out for when choosing a new cloud service range from security concerns to levels of service, a report from the analyst has found.
 
Alexa Bona, research VP at Gartner, said in a statement that IT decision makers should not judge cloud contracts at face value.
 
She said cloud services often appear to have lower initial and switching costs than traditional products but they "include hidden costs and risks, and require unique terms for contract protection" compared with traditional arrangements.
 
For example, researchers at Gartner found that numerous cloud contracts contained no guarantees of uptime or performance service-level agreements (SLA) - despite many being used for business-critical operations. The report advises that users negotiate SLAs with penalties, especially for services key to business-critical operations.
 
Gartner also recommends that users negotiate a separate SLA for security breaches and ensure the provider meets any privacy-related regulations with which the user may have to comply.
 
For those contracts that did include SLAs, the report found that vendors often included penalty exclusions. Gartner warns that procurement executives must spend time going through the penalty exclusions - for example, checking that downtime calculation begins exactly when the downtime occurs as this may not always be the case.
 
The report also advises that users should negotiate a six-month notice period for the termination of services. Researchers found that a number of contracts only include a 30-day notice period which would not give clients enough time to relocate business-critical services.
 
Similarly, the report advises users to be aware that some contracts include the right for service providers to suspend services if there is a late payment. Gartner warns that this gives the vendor increased powers in payment disputes and that users should negotiate an agreement that stipulates that service cannot be terminated while the user and vendor are in a legitimate payment dispute.
 
When negotiating these terms of service, Frank Ridder, research VP at Gartner, said in a statement that procurement executives should take advantage of the cloud markets which "are generally still very competitive".
 
He added IT decision makers "should be prepared to walk away from deals, if some of the risk elements are not satisfactorily addressed".
 
Ridder argued that over time, buyer pressure will improve the nature of contracts offered so that they are not as "provider-centric" as they are now.
 
Shelley Monet
 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Tue 17th May 2011

 

 

The Discus Diviner

May 2011 

 

Welcome to the May edition of The Discus Diviner. This month, we take a closer look at a couple of hosted services.

 

The IT Support Guy finds himself down and dirty  on the farm.

 

Damien offers some tips if you are having difficulty installing a new hard drive.

 

 

The IT Support Guy

 

 

As  Victor pulls up  at Howling Wind  Farm, rain pelting down, he finds  the farmer, Harry Bellweather, leaning on the five bar gate, waiting for him.

Harry doesn't look pleased.

 

The call came in first thing that morning, Harry venting a string of expletives into poor Magda's ear, until he stopped, breathless.

'I cleaner,' she said. 'No fix computer.'

Of course, Victor should have been there to take the call - after all, he is on earlies. But a pair of Nike Air Max 90 Premiums took his fancy the previous weekend and, even at ninety-five quid, he couldn't wait to have them. Besides, Touchwood is only a couple of miles out of his way. It wouldn't take more than ten minutes.

If only the shop wasn't crammed for the sales . . .

'Forget desk duty,' said his boss. 'You can go and sort Mr Bellweather's little problem. He gave me an earful this morning.'

'What's the matter?'

'Problem with internet connectivity. I wanted to run some questions by him but I didn't get the chance, the air was that blue.'

 

'About bloody time, son. I'm losing money hand over fist, thanks to you. C'mon, follow me.'

Harry swings open the gate with a meaty hand, then storms off across the yard in the direction of the byre. Victor looks down at the ground, a mush of mud and cowpats, and curses. Why did he leave the Nikes on?  Now he'll have to spend hours  picking out the unmentionable  from between the treads with a matchstick.

Inside the byre, Harry is holding a netbook in his hand. 'Here, have this before I take a hammer to it.'

Victor takes the netbook (he's never seen a pink one before), balances it on top of a bale of hay and fires it up.

Perfect. Almost.

Except it can't find a wireless network.

'Well?' The farmer's face is inches from Victor's. His breath smells of fried egg mixed with whisky.

'Where do you keep the router?'

'The what?'

'The router. It's like a box with aerials. Connects to your telephone socket.'

'If that's an excuse to flog me something, you can beggar off right now.' He clenches his fists. The vein in his neck is standing out like a rope.

'No, no . . you can't access the internet without a router. Didn't they tell you that when you bought the netbook?'

'They never mentioned anything at IT IS US. I said I wanted a cheap laptop and they said this fitted the bill. Look,' he points at a label Wireless Enabled. 'That means it connects to the internet, doesn't it?' 

 

NEXT MONTH: Victor goes back to school

 

 

 

Dains stays with Discus

  

After an extensive evaluation of the marketplace, Dains, a leading Midlands firm of accountants & business advisers has again selected Discus for its IT support.

'Dains and Discus have a longstanding relationship,' says Terry Biddulph, Discus Systems' MD, 'but we have never taken their business for granted. In the current economic climate we have listened to them and taken their needs into account. Money is important, but at the end of the day we believe they renewed with us on the grounds of the excellent and timely service we have provided over the years of our relationship. They trust us to do a good job.'

 

 

 

A look at hosted services: IP Telephony  

 

In-depth, sector-wide market research has revealed that the SME voice communications industry is worth £2.3billion, with 240,000 organisations needing efficient solutions for up to 1,000 users.

 

IP telephony refers to communications services - voice, fax, SMS, and/or voice-messaging applications-that are transported via the Internet, rather than the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

Voice over IP is extremely flexible, and there are several combinations of ways to deploy the technology. An IP based PBX can be combined with a normal telephone PBX, so that your telephones are IP based internally, then connect to the normal phone network. This is commonly much cheaper than deploying a standard PBX system, and can offer a range of extra features.

 

Recent years have witnessed amazing advances in IP telephony. IP telephones work in a similar way to normal telephones, but instead of connecting over the public phone network, they connect using the Internet.

 

If your company has an existing connection to the Internet, this can be used to route telephone calls.

 

IP telephony works extremely well if  you need to connect two or more offices - with IP telephony, it is possible to connect calls between the two offices over your existing Internet links. This results in one fixed cost per location, rather than having to pay a fixed cost and then the cost of calls on top. Home or external workers can connect over the Internet to your VoIP PBX, meaning that they can be a part of your internal phone network, no matter where they are. Your staff can dial the same extension number, and that person's phone will ring, regardless of whether they are working from home, in the office, or on a mobile

 

Calls can be listed on your Intranet, with staff's call management and statistics linked to their intranet login. Call records can be automatically logged and kept, and statistics can be automatically generated in real time. All of the usual PBX functions are available.

 

Even greater savings can be made by having your IP telephony hosted.  This avoids the need  to procure an IP based  PBX.

According to David York of Natterbox, in his experience, 'a saving of 15% is common, 30% is achievable.'   

 

Special Offer for May! Take advantage now of a free, no obligation trial.

 

By utilising Discus System's hosted IP telephony  you can save up to 30% of your annual costs. Yes, thats' right. Up to 30%. And we guarantee to save you 15% on call charges alone.

  • 100% guaranteed call quality - no loss of speech
  • 30 day contract- no 'tie-in'  

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

 

 

 

 

A look at hosted services: Microsoft Exchange

  

Ready access to communications services is starting to have a major impact on the way small to medium-sized businesses operate. SMBs have always prized flexibility and agility to compete with rivals that generally have more resources available to them. As such, they are often among the first to embrace any new technology that could give them a competitive edge provided it is reasonably accessible to them. Unfortunately, until recently they generally had limited access to communications services beyond what they could get from telecommunications companies.

With the rise of cloud computing, we're now seeing more providers of communications services that are specifically being designed for SMB customers. These providers are taking enterprise-class communications technologies, and making them available as a service to SMB customers.

Email, now a vital business commodity, is a prime example, and for many SMB that means Microsoft Exchange.

As an email hosted service is deployed over the Internet, there is no need for SMBs to modify their existing e-mail infrastructure, install and maintain any new hardware or specialized software, or invest in training for IT staff or end users. They can begin using Microsoft Exchange right away.

Hosted services also provides online tools to help SMB's  protect themselves from spam and malware, satisfy retention requirements for e-discovery and compliance, and encrypt data to preserve confidentiality.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Now that calving is over, peace and tranquility have returned to the office. Once again, we can take your calls without closing our ears to the sound of mothers giving birth.

 

But wait . . . what's that I hear? Twittering? (Not to be confused with Tweeting.)

 

Wendy, my PA, rolls her eyes and looks at me. ''The swallows are back, Terry.'

 

So, the next time you call . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading May'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

The IT Support Guy

Dains stays with Discus

A look at hosted services: IP Telephony

A look at hosted services: Microsoft Exchange

Damien's Tips 'n Tricks

The Hampton Joker

 

 

 

Quick Links

  

Back Issues:

    

  

 

 

Damien's Tips 'n Tricks 

Hard Drive not Recognized/Found/ Detected/Accessible?

 If you install a new hard drive and install an Operating System on it and it suddenly acts like it is not there, it may be a loose connection.

If a bootable CD, such a s Knoppix, is not able to read your hard drive, it can have several causes. The list of possibilities below can also be used for troubleshooting hard drives, floppy drives, and CD/DVD drives.

CAUTION: Make sure the power is off and that the PC is disconnected from power. Also be sure to avoid static electricity, or you will need a new PC. Do not force any thing. All parts should easily fit together if they are properly aligned. Sometimes you may have to push or pull harder than you think. Just be careful to make sure any levers or buttons that hold it in place are not overlooked.

* Least likely is that a new hard drive has failed. Try the other options before assuming it is the new hard drive. If all of the below do not work, and it is a new hard drive, contact the manufacturer. New hard drives should include very good instructions for installation and troubleshooting. When in doubt read the instructions.

* Open the case and make sure that all the connections are correct.

* Unplug the power supply connection, make sure there are no bent pins, and plug it in securely.

* Repeat the procedure with the connection to the motherboard, make sure no pins are bent.

* If you have multiple drives, try hooking up just one drive to make sure you can read it.

* Make sure that the power supply, and other components are working correctly. It is possible that another component of the PC has failed.

* If you have another PC available, try connecting it to the other PC. This could point to failure of the power and/or motherboard cables in the original PC.

* If none of the above works, call in professional help!
 

 

 

The Hampton Joker 

 

Tech Support: "OK, sir, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter 'P' to bring up the Program Manager."

The Joker: "I don't have a 'P'."

Tech Support: "On your keyboard, sir."

The Joker: "What do you mean?"

Tech Support: "'P' on your keyboard, sir."

The Joker: "I'm not going to do that!"

 

******************

 

The Joker: "Your sound card is defective and I want a new one."

Tech Support: "What seems to be the problem?"

The Joker: "The balance is backwards. The left channel is coming out of the right speaker and the right channel is coming out the left. It's defective."

 Tech Support: "You can solve the problem by moving the left speaker to the right side of the machine and vice versa."

 

*****************

 

Tech Support: "What seems to be the problem?"

The Joker: "I have a huge problem. A friend has put a screen saver on my
computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears!"

 

 

 

Discus Systems -  solving computer problems throughout the West Midlands,

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

Wolverhampton, Dudley, Bromsgrove and Redditch.

 

 

 
 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Tue 17th May 2011
Codenamed “Mango,” the update to the software giant’s mobile operating system will introduce features around Microsoft’s cloud and unified communications services.
 
The details were unveiled at Microsoft’s annual TechEd conference, held in Atlanta this week.
 
Paul Bryan, senior director of business experience for the Windows Phone team, wrote on the division’s blog: “Customers tell us they’re continually trying to stay on top of their busy schedules. With this in mind, Mango is designed to make you even more productive right out-of-the-box, helping you quickly and easily stay connected with the people and information that are most important to you.”
 
Features revealed today included the ability to share documents from Office Hub – the business suite on Windows Phone – through Microsoft’s 365 cloud service and Windows Live SkyDrive, alongside the introduction of a downloadable app to use Lync unified communications on the handsets.
 
Microsoft also confirmed a number of new email capabilities, such as server search – to locate older emails no longer on the handset – pinnable email folders and a new “conversation view” for email threads.
 
However, it wasn’t all just surface technology, with the company confirming new security measures would be brought in as well.
 
“With new features such as complex (alpha-numeric) password support, Information Rights Management support for protecting emails and Office documents, and support for access to hidden corporate Wi-Fi networks, your IT organisation can stay on top of its game – providing you access to information you need while meeting corporate requirements,” added Bryan.
 
No exact release date has been confirmed for the update but Microsoft did say it would be coming to phones in 2011.
 
“In the weeks and months ahead we'll have even more to share on new features coming in Mango,” concluded Bryan.
 
 
 
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Posted by Graham Keen on Tue 17th May 2011
Mobile users are different to the home worker and they're all different to a branch worker, so how do you find out what they need and give it to them effectively?
 
Finding out what end users want from their desktop and comparing it to what you think they need can be a sobering experience. Performance, fast access to data and the latest software are likely to be high on their list of requirements, while security and minimal management overhead will be high on yours.
 
But then, they have to use the machine every day and, if they're happy with it, they're more likely to be productive. So you need to give them what they want as far as is feasible within the boundaries set by budgets, company policy and legislation.
 
Let's establish a baseline. You need to ensure that machines handed out to end users are secure, backed up and easily restorable. Ideally, they won't be able to access the corporate network unless they meet certain security requirements, with the minimum might be running an OS with the latest patches, and up-to-date AV software.
 
Gold standard
You're likely to have generated a gold image that can blown onto the disk so that, if the worst happens, the machine can be wiped and re-imaged, and the user's data restored from the server - that's where your desktops store user data, presumably.
 
For remote or branch office users, that may not be quite so simple. They want local access to data so that they can continue working while offline. In this case, Windows' offline files feature works well and is pretty seamless, even if, for example, your servers are running a Linux back-end with CIFS on top.
 
Users may also want to load new versions of their software but your policies are likely to maintain a list of approved software that's permanently out of date, simply because of the time it takes to change test and approve new software, and then update the gold image. There's not a whole lot you can do about this except to make that list public, maintain it rigorously so that end users know where they stand, and notify them when it changes.
 
After that, it's important for users to understand that there's a cost to the business when downloading and installing new software in the form of licence fees and support. You should set up a process for requesting new software that allows you to understand users' needs without having to deal with them individually. Once approved, the deployment of an application can be automated with using one of the many available tools.
 
Give 'em what they want
Sometimes giving people what they want and/or need can involve infrastructure upgrades -or sometimes you may be able to think laterally. For example, it may be possible to deploy WAN optimisation technology to distribute software upgrades to users in remote offices across a slow pipe, without going to the expense of paying the monthly fee for a faster link.
 
Alternatively, it might be possible to meet users' needs in a different way by deploying thin client and using a virtualised desktop approach. That way, users' systems can be kept current from the centre, while the tendency of remote users to be less secure than those based in central offices disappears. Note that some users are better served by a virtual desktop approach than others, with mobile users offering a particular challenge.
 
Whatever your approach, care needs to be taken that the idea of the personal computer - one that's suited to the job each user is performing and which can be personalised even if only to a limited degree - doesn't vanish entirely.
 
Giving users what they want is never easy, especially in today's economic climate. But give them bandwidth, give them enough storage space and make it snappy, and give them access to the applications they need, and you're most of the way there
 
Manek Dubash
 
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