Posts by Andrew Gould

Big News for C-Tech Owner Curt Nisly!

- by Andrew Gould

Curt Nisly has decided to run for Indiana State Representative District 22! Check out his Facebook page here and his website here (designed by C-Tech of course)! Go Curt! You've got all of our support!

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New to Hoosier Backup!

- by Andrew Gould



Hoosier Backup is Getting a Facelift - And More!

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HoosierBackup is not only getting a new web site, but also a more competitive pricing structure, even better backup software, vastly improved backup and recovery speeds, in addition to our already outstanding service and support. We can confidently say Hoosier Backup is one of the very best backup solutions on the market today. Don't take our word for it, try it yourself!



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Email Organization

- by Andrew Gould


C-Tip of the Month


As promised, here are a few tips on how to keep your inbox clutter-free and organized.. While it may take a little time to get it all set up, in the long run you will be much more organized with much less effort.

In Outlook, as well as many online email providers like Google, there are 'Filters' or 'Rules' which will automatically categorize emails based on their sender, key words or phrases that are in the email.

So for example, you get an email from joe@companyx.com who is from "Company X", so if you were to set up a rule, any emails coming from joe@companyx.com would be assigned a label or labels (Gmail) or moved to a specific folder (Outlook) that corresponds to Company X.

The process is simple, so let's start with Outlook. The easiest way to get this done is to create the rules as the need arises, so you get an email from joe@companyx.com and you want to create a rule that automatically moves it into a folder. Right click on the email and select Rules -> Create Rule. As pictured below (click for larger version):



This will open the following window:



You will want to select the options you want, and then select "Move the item to folder:". This will allow you to select the folder you want to move the email to, or create a new folder to move the email to. Now every email that comes from, or contains words in the email or subject will be moved to the specified folder.

But wait, it won't be in the Inbox! That's easily remedied by creating a "Search Folder" which will show all of your Unread Messages--regardless of which folder they are in.

If you don't already have an Unread Mail search folder, simply right-click on your Search Folders (bottom of folder view) and select "New Search Folder..."



Select Unread mail and click OK:



And now you can view all unread mail, regardless of the folder it's in.

Next we will take a look at Gmail, another popular email service.

Much like Outlook we will start with an email we have already received, select it in your inbox and click More -> Filter messages like these:



This will bring up the following window which will allow to add more options to the filter.



Next click on "Create filter with this search >>" which will bring up the following window where you will want to select "Apply the label:..."



Select the label you want to automatically apply, and you're done! Now this label will automatically be applied to the emails as soon as they arrive in your inbox. In order to remove them from your inbox and move them to the label, just "Archive" the message.

One of the nice things about labels is that you can have more than one per email, so if more than one person is involved in the email conversation you don't have to decide which folder to put it in, you can assign multiple labels, all while keeping it in the inbox if need be.

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Introducing NetArmor!

- by Andrew Gould


Protect and service your network with a comprehensive suite of tools. NetArmor can do it all, at a fraction of the cost of similar products. Features include:


  • Firewall
  • Web Filter
  • Mail Filter
  • Intrusion Detection
  • Antivirus
  • File and Print Sharing
  • Domain Infrastructure
  • VPN
  • Traffic Shaping
  • Web and Email Server
  • DNS and DHCP
  • Network Monitor
  • Multi-WAN
  • Much More!
Offered with or without affordable service agreements. We can manage the device for you, or you can manage the user friendly web interface to add rules and ensure security updates. Ask your C-Tech representative about your options!


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Organized Desktop

- by Andrew Gould

Keep your life organized! Having so many "shortcuts" on your desktop it takes forever to find anything defeats the purpose of the desktop. Here are a few tips to keep it organized.

  • Don't worry about deleting shortcuts, they can easily be re-created. Many programs create shortcuts on your desktop by default, but they can also be found in the start menu.
  • Make your desktop icons larger! Try holding down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and using your middle mouse button (the scroll wheel if you have one) to make your icons larger. This will make them easier to see, and keep you from putting too many of them on there.
  • Keep documents on your desktop? Try creating a link to My Documents on your desktop, and moving your files to that folder instead. *Hint* push the Windows button and type "desktop icons", this will give you the option to add commonly used icons to your desktop.
  • Make the Windows "Search" function your friend. Push the start menu or the "Windows" button, and start typing. Windows will find relevant programs and documents that match your search.
  • Find related documents and create folders for them inside your My Documents folder. One for Business, one for Personal. One for each client you may work with.One for taxes. This will make it much easier to find documents later on.
  • Name your documents something meaningful, like "Tax Return", followed by a date or version number, so something like "Tax Return 2012". If you follow this naming convention for each following year, they will be in order all of the time.
  • Be consistent. Define your procedure and stick to it.
Next C-Tip, organizing your email. How to set up filters so it's almost automatic!

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Alternatives to Microsoft Office

- by Andrew Gould

Microsoft has released a new version of Office for 2013, aptly named Office 2013 and Office 365 for its new subscription-based licensing model. Many people rely on this suite created by Microsoft almost 23 years ago, with an estimated one billion users.


Many people, however, are looking for low-cost or free alternatives, and there are plenty of alternatives out there. We will take a quick look at some of those here.


As the ability to work from anywhere, on any device becomes increasingly necessary, people are looking more to cloud-based alternatives. These cloud-based programs allow you to access your documents from any web browser, on almost any device, as well as the ability for multiple people or computers to have the same file open and edit it simultaneously. These programs typically don't come with all the bells and whistles that your typical Office suite does, but they perform with all the basic functionality you would expect from an office program. Listed below are just a few of the available cloud-based document editing programs.


Google Drive


ZOHO


Thinkfree


If you prefer something that you can install on a computer or device and aren't concerned with being able to access and edit files from multiple locations, here are some programs that can be downloaded and installed on a wide variety of devices. Note that not all of these applications have mobile/tablet apps, so check the availability before making the switch completely. The nice thing about these programs is that if you don't like them, you can just uninstall and move on, as they are all free! You may want to check the licensing terms if you are planning on using these for business purposes.


Open Office


Libre Office


Kingsoft Office


SSuite Office


Soft Maker Free Office


These programs leave something to be desired if you can't get along without Outlook, but there are plenty of free alternatives such as Windows Live Mail which will provide a very familiar interface for your email. There are also web-based options like Gmail, and the new Outlook.com, which provides a familiar interface, at a price you can't beat--free!

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We Have Moved!

- by Andrew Gould

That's right! We have moved just around the corner from our previous location! 541 Roske Drive Suite C. Check out the map below to find us!


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New Addition to Team

- by Andrew Gould


Please help us welcome the newest addition to our team, Stephan Morris!

He brings with him a long record of exceptional account management, and a dedication to customer satisfaction--qualities which exemplify the higher standard of service C-Tech Solutions provides on a daily basis.

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Gaming Computer

- by Andrew Gould


You may be shopping around for a new gaming computer. Where do you start? Here are a few quick tips to help you get the most bang for your buck.


1. CPU: Look for at least 4 cores. The Intel i7 is your best bet. During game play, the CPU acts primarily to process the non-graphical operations like artificial intelligence, physics, and other elements that are going on in the background. Your CPU should also be cooled properly, this will provide maximum stability and prolong the life. Ask about liquid cooling options.


2. RAM: For gaming, look for at least 8GB of RAM (Random Access Memory), the more RAM the better because Windows automatically uses every bit of RAM it can for storage of frequently used files on your computer (called write-caching), reducing the amount of hard drive activity, and providing a large “pool” of very high speed data. RAM is also susceptible to excessive heat, so ask for RAM with a built-in heat sink.


3. Hard drive: When it comes to maximum performance, ask for a SSD (Solid State Drive). You have to experience a SSD to appreciate the performance boost this provides every aspect of computing, especially gaming. To give you an example, typical Windows boot time is around 10-15 second depending on configuration! Stop in to C-Tech’s showroom to see just how impressive this technology is!


4. Graphics: Here is where things get interesting. You can spend as much as your budget allows to get the most out of your system. There is a definite price to performance sweet spot that is constantly changing as new technology emerges. The nice thing about a graphics card is that you can upgrade these, or even add multiple graphics cards (called an SLI configuration) if you want to crank up the display settings or run the latest game title. Upgrading is where a good motherboard comes into play. Having the right motherboard will allow for maximum expansion and getting the most life out of your system. Ask C-Tech which graphic card option is best suited for your needs, we keep up on this technology so you don’t have to!


5. Motherboard: Yes, motherboard. You may not think of it, but the motherboard can be a major bottleneck in speed if you don’t choose one with the right chip set and features. Many computer manufacturers will cut costs by going with a cheap motherboard which will absolutely kill performance and upgrade-ability. A good motherboard will allow you to have faster RAM clock speeds, as well as faster data transfer rates from your hard drive and graphic card, as well as give room for future upgrades to keep your system up to date and ready to play the latest titles.


6. Case and Power Supply: Having the right case will keep your system cool, and keep the components from wearing out prematurely due to excessive heat. Choosing the right case and fans will also keep your system from sounding like a jet engine getting ready to take off. Cases can also show off your unique personality by allowing you to customize it with graphics, lights, and other cool effects. You will need a power supply with plenty of Watts to drive your current system, as well as future graphic card upgrades.


7. Peripherals: Keyboard, mouse, game-pad, joystick. These devices can be as unique as the individual using them, and can give you many options like customizable macro keys for commonly used keystrokes, and improved ergonomics for prolonged game play to reduce repetitive stress and injury like tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.


8. Display: Without a good display, all of the rest is a waste. Resolution is obviously a concern here, but there is so much more to a quality display than mere pixel count. C-Tech uses and sells only the highest quality displays, with the best picture quality available at an affordable price.


9. Sound: This is another area where you can really go all out if your budget permits. We recommend you start with a good two speaker setup with a separate sub-woofer if you want a good gaming experience. Another option would be to go with a good quality pair of wrap-around headphones--this will provide a rich sound experience without disturbing the neighbors.

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Choosing the Right Device for Your Needs

- by Andrew Gould

You know exactly what you want from a computer, how much you would like to spend, what you need it to do, and how quickly you want to do it, but is that what you are actually buying? More importantly, does the person trying to sell you that computer or piece of hardware know what you need? How much time and experience do big box stores offer when catering to your specific situation? More than likely you will end up paying more for something you don’t need, or paying for something that is unreliable and unable to do everything you need it to do.


Do you need the latest graphics card to interact on Facebook, write emails, or manage your finances? Can you get by with an iPad if you need to create spreadsheets and presentations, share them with colleagues, and write lengthy essays or draft correspondences to business professionals? Can you edit hundreds of high resolution photographs, create DVD or Blu-ray movies, or manage your media library on a $400 computer from the supermarket?


Most likely not. You are busy, time is money.  You probably don’t want to take weeks researching how your needs translate into Megahertz and Gigabytes. You want to spend your money wisely. That’s where decades of combined experience that come with a custom shop like C-Tech Solutions will help you decide what is right for you, and custom tailor a solution to your specific needs.


Each customer at C-Tech is an individual, not a number on a commission report. Your satisfaction is our goal. You want to walk away happy with the decision you’ve made, feel confident that you have purchased the highest quality hardware that will undoubtedly outlast any mass-manufactured system out there, and you won’t have to ship your computer half way around the world if something goes wrong with it.


With an average service turnaround time of mere days at C-Tech, you will never have to go weeks without your contacts, your workstation, your data, your personal information. When you walk into the store you are greeted by name, and everyone is given the highest priority, regardless of the account size. Too often tech companies give priority to large accounts, and neglect to take care of the individual. Sure they have a store, and they can service your computer, but how many weeks will it take? To them, you are a blip on their radar screen, you are a number, a fraction, a mere percentage, and it shows by the type of service you get.


So, whether it’s a tablet for surfing the web and posting on Twitter or Facebook, a high-end gaming machine, video editing workstation, or a pure productivity machine, stop in and see what C-Tech Solutions can do for you.

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