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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

In Battle USB vs. HDMI, Which Cable Will Remain Connected?

Let’s face it: when you look at the back of your computer, where the motherboard’s many, many ports are accessible, there’s a substantial variety of connection types available to do a variety of things—some of which may overlap with one another. One prime example: the shared capability between USB and HDMI as a means of connecting your PC to many of its peripherals. Let’s consider which is likely to outlast the other.

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How to Help Keep Your Mobile Devices Kicking for Longer

It’s a common enough frustration—just as you really need it, your mobile device’s battery is on its last legs. This is something that we all would like to avoid if we could. That’s why we wanted to take the time to share a few ways to prolong your device’s battery life just a bit longer.

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How to Determine the Costs Associated with Your Printing

Sad to say, but for the foreseeable future, cost control is going to be the number one priority for almost every business. With the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic still lingering, and revenue streams interrupted, many businesses are still being extremely cautious with their capital. One place where most businesses can cut back is on printing. Let’s discuss how to cut your organization’s printing costs. 

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Identifying the Benefits of Solid State Drives

When it comes to drives for your computer or workstation, you have a couple of options available to you, one of which is the solid state drive, or SSD. What’s the difference between your typical hard drive and an SSD, you ask? Well, today we’ll find out. We’ll break down some of the details about SSDs, including how they are different from your traditional hard disk drive, and why you might consider implementing one.

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Don’t Let Your IT Cause Business Failure

For modern organizations that depend highly on their technology, nothing is quite so scary as an event that can completely marginalize its ability to operate. This doesn’t need to be a fire, flood, or some other major cataclysm; it could be something as simple as some of your old IT fails and you’re not ready for it. This week, we thought we’d briefly go through what a catastrophic failure looks like and some steps you can take to keep your business from experiencing one.

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When Does Cloud Computing Start to Make Sense?

The server is the heart and brain of a business’ computing infrastructure. So much so that a failure can cause catastrophic effects on your business. If you are at a point where you are thinking about adding a server to your infrastructure, or replacing one that is a little long in the tooth, you now have less of a dilemma than you may have had previously. This doesn’t mean that it is not a serious decision, but today you have options on how you want to go about deploying your new server. This month, we thought we would go over some of the pros and cons that come with adding new infrastructure and whether purchasing a new server outright is the right decision for your business.

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Why Percussive Maintenance is a BAD Idea

We’re all familiar with the old, cliched joke where someone needs to give their technology a good smack in order for it to work right—and by some miracle, it works. The thing is, it isn’t a miracle, and can sometimes be effective. Having said that, this is not a strategy that we would recommend.

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Your Business Needs to Consider Implementing a Refresh Schedule

Businesses that depend on their technology try to stick with it as long as they can so as to not incur large unnecessary costs. Ironically, that may be the thing that is causing a lot of those costs. Today, we thought we would take a look at a couple of variables that can let you know it’s time to upgrade away from your current technology. 

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Tip of the Week: Altering the Sensitivity and Speed of Your Mouse

If your mouse moves slowly, so does the rest of your computing experience. If you change a couple of settings, you might find that your mouse speed and sensitivity can make a mountain of change for your productivity. Here’s how you can adjust these settings in Windows 10 or 11.

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Computer Parts and Hardware are Getting Harder to Get!

Prices are going up and it’s taking longer to get the hardware you might need for your business. Here are some things that might help. Prices are going up and it’s taking longer to get the hardware you might need for your business. Here are some things that might help.

The latest obstacle for small businesses isn’t exactly new, it’s been a growing issue since the start of the pandemic, but it’s definitely catching up to local businesses in a big way now; the global chip shortage.

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What are My Options for Connecting a Second Monitor?

Laptops are pretty great, I think we can all agree, simply due to their portability. Having said that, the one-screen situation that laptops bring with them can certainly get in the way of productivity—particularly for those who are used to using more than one. Let’s discuss why an additional display is so helpful, and what your options may be for hooking one up to your laptop.

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Broken Computer? Do These Things Before Taking It to the Shop

Try as we might, we can’t prevent all computer issues from occurring—for instance, there’s not much that we can do if a stick of RAM dies, at least, not remotely. However, if you’re stuck with a broken computer and need to bring it in for repair work, there are a few things we recommend you do.

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How Do Hardware Shortages Affect Business Decisions

How often over the past year or two have you gone to replace a device on your infrastructure, only to find that the price has increased or the device simply isn’t available? This is an issue with the current hardware shortage, particularly for business electronics. Since businesses depend on technology, it becomes critical that you understand how this shortage impacts your day-to-day operations.

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IT Procurement Has Hit a Snag Thanks to Supply Chain Issues

If you have tried to procure hardware or products over the past couple years, chances are you have noticed that it is harder to find them than usual. This is particularly the case for any companies that have dealings with computing hardware, as the price has been hiked considerably on even the most basic of components. What has triggered this dramatic change in the technology supply chain, and what can be done about it?

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The Highest-End Smartphones Right Now - Foldables

For the past two weeks we have looked at some of the best phones and some that bring the most value. This week, we turned our gaze to a form factor that is only a couple of years old, but seems to be the future of mobile technology, foldable screens. The different form factors made possible by foldable OLED technology make the future of mobile devices more exciting. Let’s take a look at three of the top foldable devices right now.

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Adding to Your Infrastructure Doesn’t Have to Be a Headache

There will come a time when your business will need to acquire hardware like monitors, server units, workstations, networking components, and other technology. It is your responsibility as a business owner to make educated decisions about how you go about upgrading your gear, but it’s not always immediately obvious what the correct path forward is.

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Where Does Your Recycled Technology Go?

Businesses go through a lot of technology, but how does your organization dispose of electronics that are no longer in use? Let’s discuss this incredibly important topic, as the improper disposal of devices could not only put your organization at risk, but also the environment.

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I Need My Computer Repaired, and I Need It Right Now

So, you’re busy working, when suddenly your computer crashes…what do you do? Naturally, your first response should be to reach out for support. Let’s go into how your acquisition of support may go, even if your issue cannot be resolved remotely.

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Tip of the Week: Cleaning Your Headphones

A lot of people spend the modern workday with headphones on or earbuds in, listening to music as they work or communicating through a headset. That makes it inevitable that these devices will get dirty. Let’s go over how these devices can be safely cleaned to get rid of the grime that nobody wants to be wearing on their head.

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Is Your Business’ Antiquated Technology Holding You Back?

When was the last time that you took a hard look at your business’ technology? How old are some of the devices that you rely on each day? These are critical questions to answer if you want your business to succeed. Let’s discuss why upgrading is so important, and how to determine when the time to upgrade comes.

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Yes, Even Your USB Drives Should Be Secured

Historically there have been several methods to transfer data from one system to the next, and while the cloud has rendered many of them irrelevant and unnecessary, that doesn’t mean they aren’t used by people looking to move data quickly. Many professionals still opt to use USB flash drives to keep certain data close at hand, but how at risk does this put the data on these drives?

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The Technology Behind Streaming Services Is Pretty Impressive

Most of us take streaming media for granted. Whether you are streaming a movie on Netflix, binge-watching a show on Hulu, or using one of the growing number of streaming television networks to stream sports, shows, and news, there is quite a bit of interesting technology fueling your entertainment. Today, we thought we’d briefly go through some of the tech that makes these streaming services, and their millions of simultaneous streaming feeds, possible. 

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Choosing the Right Hard Drives: HDD vs SSD

When you’re on the hunt for some new technology, you have to sort through the options available to you to find what’s best for your use case. One of these decisions is what type of hard drives are installed in new workstations, laptops, and servers. Today, we will go through the two main types of hard drives and what they are good for. 

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The Global Chip Shortage a Real Problem for Many

With such a heavy focus on remote work over the past year or so, if you have tried to procure equipment or technology solutions during this period, you may have noticed that it is much harder than usual to do so. The global chip shortage has led to many challenges for organizations, chief among them getting the parts needed to put together critical technology solutions. This opens up a whole other set of issues, though, particularly in regards to disruption of the supply chain.

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Tips to Help You Keep Your Workstation Clean

If you are like many other people, your desktop computer just sits there, day after day, allowing you to run your business. Unfortunately, like any other machine, it will fail. One way to prolong the lifespan of your computer is to keep it clean. Today, we thought we’d give you some pointers on how to do so. 

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What Options Do SMBs Have for Their Server Hosting?

Today’s technology provides businesses with more options than they’ve ever had, including where they want to host their critical infrastructures. This decision will often boil down to between an onsite hardware implementation or utilizing the cloud. Let’s consider the differences that your decision needs to reflect.

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Tip of the Week: Make Your Laptop Trackpad Less Annoying with ClickLock

The laptop is one of the great productivity tools in modern business. Their portability gives them immense value. There are some cons to using a laptop, however. One is the trackpad. While they have improved over the years, they are still not ideal, which is why you see many people who use a laptop for productivity bring along a wireless mouse. One of the biggest problems people run into is that they have a hard time with the click-and-drag feature on the trackpad and this makes working in certain programs maddening. Today, we have a tip to make this process much simpler. 

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The Power Button is Capable of More Than On/Off

If you’ve ever used technology, the power button has had a pretty consistent appearance, and an even more consistent use. However, there’s a reason that the power symbol we’re so familiar with looks the way it does. Furthermore, there’s more that the power button can ultimately do.

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If You Haven’t Already, It’s Time to Thoroughly Document Your Business IT

A business' technology is by all measures a part of its inventory, and as such, it needs to be tracked. Let’s consider why in more detail, and how to do so properly.

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Document Your IT Infrastructure

Quick, off the top of your head, how many network switches are in use at your office? How many wireless access points? How many routers are past their warranty or no longer getting support?

That’s not a question most business owners are asked on a regular basis, and we don’t really expect you to be able to rattle off the answers. You should have all of that information documented though.

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How Important Is It to Keep Devices Charged Up?

Owners of Nintendo’s Switch console should know that, as per an announcement from Nintendo, the battery life of their device could be negatively impacted if the device isn’t charged up at least every six months. While this may not be the kind of news you’d expect to find on a business technology blog, it does open the door to a bigger, more pertinent topic: should devices that aren’t used very often be kept charged up?

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Cloud Costs Could Undermine Your Efforts

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues around us, many businesses have found themselves seriously reconsidering their business’ infrastructure, pondering the switch from onsite hardware to cloud-based options. While these hosted options can offer businesses relief from a costly hardware refresh, it is important to acknowledge that cloud computing may not be a one-size-fits-all panacea. Let’s take a closer look.

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Tip of the Week: When Do I Need to Clean My Computer?

As your employees go about their workdays, it is important that they do so with the resources they’ll need to remain optimally productive… and that these resources are in the best condition for them to do so. While this is often an overlooked consideration, this means that their computer needs to be clean and fully functional. Let’s go over a few best practices to follow when it comes to keeping a workstation clean enough to work optimally.

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Tip of the Week: How a Hokie Gift Can Revolutionize Your Network

How many times have you gone to the store and bought something that you already had? Unfortunately, this happens all the time, but fortunately it’s usually a half gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. When it happens in your business, it can be much more expensive. Today, we will advocate for an inventory strategy that will keep you from spending wads of cash on redundant investments. 

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Do You Know How Your Hard Drive Saves Data?

A lot of people never stop and consider how their data is saved. It’s something we all have, from old photos of our family vacations to the files kept on the server back at the office, but not many people know the actual mechanics behind it. Today, we wanted to go over these specifics, and hopefully make it clear why we always advocate for backup practices.

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Tip of the Week: New Uses for an Old Mobile Device

Once a mobile device outlives its presumed usefulness, the default assumption is that there is nothing left to do but dispose of it. However, before you do so, reconsider. There may be other ways that your device could show its utility. For today’s tip, we’ll review a few ways that an aged-out smartphone or tablet can still be handy for you (even in the office)!

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For Earth Day, Properly Dispose of All Your Electronics

April 22nd is Earth Day, which began 50 years ago as a means to hold businesses and corporations accountable for the damage that their highly industrialized pollution was introducing into the world. As the digital age has introduced a new environmental concern, it only seems prudent to address the challenge we face today: e-waste.

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Too Many Healthcare Organizations Still Use Windows 7

If there is any industry that connected devices are undeniably useful in, it would have to be the medical field. Unfortunately, recent news would suggest that connected devices should be avoided as the BlueKeep vulnerability is still able to attack medical systems… for an unfortunate reason. Find out more by reading on.

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Is a NAS Right for Your Office?

Today’s business generates a lot more data than in the past. For a small or medium-sized business storing this data, it can get pretty expensive pretty quickly. One way to store and manage all this data is by using Network attached storage (NAS). Today, we will define NAS and explain when it might be a good fit for your business.

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How to Get Rid of an Old Computer Without Sacrificing Security

Time passes, and things get old. This is especially true of technology, as new and better options are developed and released all the time. Sooner or later, you’re likely to find yourself in need of a new system… The only question left is how to get rid of the old one.

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Shutting Down Your PC May Not Put a Stop to Your Processes

You’re probably familiar with a situation where your technology is on the fritz and someone says to you “Why don’t you turn it off and turn it back on?” What you have no way of knowing is that by turning it off and turning it back on, you aren’t getting the same result you would if you simply restarted the machine.

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As IT and OT Merges, You Need to Be Prepared

Businesses have two different types of technology to contend with each day: their information technology, and their operational technology. As these categories have become less distinct with the introduction of the Internet of Things and other similar advancements, a few new challenges to maintaining security have become apparent. Let’s go over these challenges, and what you need to do to overcome them.

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Learn Why Backups are Most Crucial to Users

Data loss is no joke - and we’ve heard plenty of stories from people who have experienced it firsthand, when personal or business data was lost. We appreciate everyone who shared their experiences with us, and allowed us to post them here. First, we’ll tell the story of someone who learned something in college that wasn’t in the syllabus.

Don’t forget to share your own stories with us in the comments!

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Is Your Computer Slow? This Simple Upgrade Makes a World of Difference

Few things are more frustrating and annoying than a slow computer. There are a lot of things that can slow a computer down, too: viruses and malware, excess applications running in the background, even time can seem to turn a relatively fast computer into a slow-as-molasses impediment to productivity.

If your computer is overall healthy but starting to slow down, there is one simple upgrade that can make a whole world of difference.

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Why Managed Services: IT Procurement

Information technology plays a crucial role for today’s businesses, but in order for it to do so, these businesses need technology to use. IT procurement is a crucial part of any business’ success, which means that any business needs to have a provider that can deliver the value that they need. The last part of our series will take a look at hardware procurement and the value it brings. 

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How to Make Chromecast Your Employee of the Month

The Chromecast, Google’s offer to the growing streaming market, is a pretty handy device - even in the business setting. I know, I know, it is a consumer device, but some of its capabilities directly translate to professional use. Here, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up your Chromecast, four useful-for-business features, and the process of resetting your Chromecast if it ever needs it. 

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part IV

No matter how well your new computer works, you aren’t going to be able to do much with it if you can’t see what you’re doing. You will need a display. Of course, there are a lot of considerations to make when selecting one. Here, we’ve outlined these considerations, with some of the options you’ll encounter.

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part II

Part two of our desktop buying guide will dig into the details of RAM, or random-access memory. We hope to clear up misconceptions about what RAM actually is, as many users don’t understand the difference between storage and memory. Who knows? You might learn a thing or two to take with you when you purchase your next desktop.

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Tip of the Week: Adjust the Brightness of Your Device’s Screen to Prevent Eye Strain

b2ap3_thumbnail_control_your_brightness_400.jpgComputer monitors have become streamlined in appearance and design over the years. One of the biggest improvements was the addition of the LCD screen, which in comparison to the old CRT monitors is more pleasing to the eye. However, its brightness means that there are side effects that can lead to eye strain and headaches. You can lower your screen brightness to preserve both your eyesight and your sanity, in addition to saving precious battery life.

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Huawei’s Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Make no mistake about it, Huawei is one of the largest technology companies in the entire world. It employs over 200,000 people and in 2018 saw revenues of over $100 billion. Over the past few years, their devices have been pushing the boundaries of what is possible in tech all while being relatively unavailable to one of the major technology markets in the world, the United States. The fact is that outside the U.S., Huawei is a major player.

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How to Prioritize Your Upcoming Technology Implementations

No matter how hard some organizations may try, the technology solutions that a business leverages simply aren’t meant to last forever. You may have noticed that some of your systems are less effective than they once were, and that your competition seems to be playing with a different set of rules. Sounds like it’s high time you implemented a few upgrades.

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How to Select a Modem for Your Business

Most Internet providers will ask you to rent your modem from them, but what they don’t tell you is that you often have the opportunity to purchase your own. What are the benefits of doing so, and how can you make the best decision possible while modem shopping? We’re here to give you a hand.

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Work Smarter, Not Harder

turtle

Want to get more done in a days time? We all do. If you are a business owner, it is likely you'd love to see your employees get more accomplished during the course of the day. There is a lot that can be done to make your time more efficient (that is an industry all on its own!), but one very frustrating cause of lost productivity is faulty technology. The most overlooked culprit? Slow computers!

Hit the jump to see our analysis of what workstation slowness can cost your company.

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The Top 5 Smartphones For You Heading Into 2019

With the smartphone market losing ground for the first time in its short history, many of the manufacturers you’ve come to know are either non-factors in the current market, or don’t even produce smartphones anymore. With new demand growing every year, new manufacturers such as OnePlus and Xiaomi are primed to fall in line behind Samsung and Apple.

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Five Gadgets for the Techie in Your Life

With the holiday season in full swing, finding good gifts for the technology lover in your life may actually be more frustrating than you’d think. Since there are so many options, people will often get paralysis from trying to find the right gift and end up going the gift card route. Today we will look at five great gift ideas for the technology fan in your life.

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Obtaining the Right Tools Is Extremely Important for Businesses

Your business’ technology infrastructure is built from hardware, and this hardware needs to be properly managed if you want to succeed. The first step to this is to acquire the proper hardware, but for businesses that don’t have dedicated in-house IT departments, even this is challenging. Outsourced hardware procurement is a solution to this dilemma, and we’ll explain how it works.

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Your Technology May Fail, but You Can Still Succeed

If you’ve been in business for a while, there are devices on your network that see little to no use. Even for the most frugal business, due to the fact that technology eventually winds up being arbitrary thanks to the continued development (and deployment) of more powerful solutions, there will always be situations where you have devices that do nothing but take up space. You can reduce the chances of this happening by finding the right IT for the job the first time, while sparingly implementing only IT solutions that will provide a return on your investment.

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Tip of the Week: Why Shutting Down a Computer Takes So Long

There’s a considerable difference between turning off some appliance, like a television or a vacuum cleaner, and turning off your computer. Why does the computer take so long to power down, and is there any way to speed up the process? This tip will explore these subjects, and give you a few ideas as to how to speed up the shutdown process.

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Tip of the Week: Here’s an Easy Way to Update Your Hardware Drivers in Windows 10

The average employee and business owner relies on various hardware solutions to go about their day-to-day duties. These hardware devices--think keyboards, wireless mouses, external microphones, and any USB devices--utilize drivers which allow for inter-device compatibility. What happens when these drivers aren’t installed or kept up to date? Your technology suffers, and so does your productivity.

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Tech Term: Motherboard

A computer is made up of many parts, one of which is today’s Tech Term: the motherboard. We’ll discuss what the motherboard does for your computer and why it’s such an important part for its continued operation.

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As if Selecting Hardware Wasn’t Tricky Enough, Intel Went and Did This

Intel recently announced their next line of laptop processors, and with that single act, caused no small amount of frustration and confusion among the IT market. After claims that they were breaking from their traditional schedule of releasing a new processor each September and improving upon it later, Intel has gone ahead and released a new processor architecture instead of maintaining their Skylake processor from last year.

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Worry Less With Hardware-as-a-Service

Your business relies on mission-critical hardware that keeps its infrastructure running, including servers, workstations, and networking components. However, these pieces of technology require maintenance in order to function properly, and replacement every so often to keep the risk of downtime and hardware failure to a minimum. Thankfully, modern managed IT services have yielded a solution to this issue that can make managing your hardware infrastructure as easy as possible: Hardware as a Service.

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ALERT: Meltdown/Spectre Vulnerability Grants Malware Access, Patch It Today

Mere months after the firmware in their computer chips was found to be seriously flawed, Intel’s flagship product has once again brought some unpleasant attention to the company. While the issue now has a fix, there was the possibility that a solution could depreciate the functionality of the CPU.

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Getting to Know Technology: Processor

A computer is a complicated device, so it needs something to help it “think.” Because of this weighty responsibility, the component that serves this purpose is arguably one of the most important of all a computer’s pieces. Known as a CPU, this little chip is truly essential to the computer’s function. For today’s Tech Term, we’ll examine it a little more closely.

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Despite Blockchain Security, Cryptocurrency Has Thieves Too

Cryptocurrencies are still one of the better known uses of blockchain technology, and though their values seem to have leveled off since the explosive growth they experienced a few months ago, that has not stopped people from seeking them out. Of course, where there’s money to be had, you’re sure to find cybercriminals.

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How Technology Could Change the Classroom

Children are the future, as the saying goes, so do we really want the future to be taught using tools from the past? While some schools are still using technology that better belongs in the 20th century, others are embracing innovation and teaching in ways that better translate to the “real world.” Let’s take a look at how our evolving technology is transforming the classroom and explore some ways to get it to more students.

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How Much Time Do You Spend Managing Vendors?

Vendors… how many do you have to deal with? Chances are, quite a few. Now consider how much time is spent managing each of them. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some way to reduce this time to effectively nothing? Well, we have some good news for you.

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What's Bogging Down your Network?

snails racingDoes it seem like all of your technology is running a little slow at the office? Does it take longer than it should to copy files over, synchronize your inbox, and open up documents? It might not be your computer, but your entire company network causing slowdown for your entire staff.

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The Best Defense: Universal Threat Management

UTM superheroProtecting your business network from the threats lurking on the Internet is crucial for a small business. Threats of all shapes, sizes, and severities are out there and if they get into your network you could be looking at some serious issues ranging from data theft to extended downtime. Fortunately, there is a single solution available that can deliver a total security package to protect your business from virtually any outside threat.

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Tablet Cage Match: Nexus vs. Kindle

Nexus and Kindle tabletsWhen making a tablet purchase for your business, there are many factors to take into account, such as portability, battery life, screen resolution and more. However, the most important factors are whether or not the device will actually help you get more done. Here are the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire tablets side-by-side for your comparison.

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Solid State vs Hard Disk

hard disk driveThere comes a time when you are looking at a new laptop and you are asked the question: Do you want a Solid State Drive, or a traditional Hard Disk Drive? Well here is a quick run-down of both technologies in the hopes of shedding some light on the issue. By the time you are done reading this article, you will be better able to answer that question.

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Slow Computer? Increase your memory to boost computer Speeds

man sleeping by laptop

Sometimes when your workstation feels bogged down, a relatively cheap and simply hardware update can make a huge difference in performance. Adding more RAM (Random Access Memory, often just referred to as memory) can be a game changer for your bogged down PC.

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Slash Power Costs and Boost Performance with SSD

SSD cardsCompanies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon are switching to Solid State Drives (or SSDs for short) in a push for greater performance with reduced operating and hardware costs. Reduced hardware costs? Yes, while Solid State Drives are more expensive than traditional hard drives, they afford certain advantages over the legacy storage hardware.

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Should Your Upstate New York Business Virtualize?

computer serversServer Virtualization sounds like a phrase from late 1990's science fiction, but it plays a big role for small and medium-sized businesses that want to cut down on the costs of housing and maintaining multiple servers at their location. What is it and how does it work?

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Save Money by Switching to LCD Monitors

computer depicting warning sign

Computer equipment is expensive, but most people don't even think about the costs it takes to run an entire office worth of tech.  Modern hardware is becoming more and more energy efficient, but older equipment can take a lot of electricity to run (not to mention the maintenance of keeping things running smoothly.  One of the biggest energy hogs in an office these days are old CRT monitors.

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Notebook versus Netbook

hand holding miniature laptop

As technology gets more advanced, more of it can get crammed into tinier spaces. Mobile devices used to be heavy, clunky items that could just barely get the job done; they just didn't have the oomph that your desktop workstation had. Today business owners are adopting portable powerhouses like tablets and high-end smart phones to stay connected, but for those on the go often, a laptop or netbook is often a good way to go as well. The Laptop/Netbook debate has gone on since Netbooks first emerged on the market, so let's take a look at the benefits of both.

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Mobile Computing Cage Match

multiple laptops

Busy business owners don't always have time to be technically savvy. Sure, you can pick things up pretty quickly, but when it comes down to the latest technology, you simply don't have the time to sit down and do the research. Walking down any electronics aisle you are likely to be bombarded by choices. Remember when it used to be simple? (Wait, it was never simple!) Let's classify some of the modern devices out there for mobility geared towards someone just like you.

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Keep your Server Cool

computer internal fanComputer components generate a large amount of heat. When your equipment overheats it can increase the chance of a crash or other issues. Long term heat issues can even cause damage to your hardware. Here are some best practices for keeping your expensive technology cool.

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Is it Time to Retire your Old Technology?

ancient computer

A lot of Upstate New York small businesses are taking advantage of regular proactive maintenance that keeps their servers and workstations in tip-top shape much longer than their typical lifespan. Amazing amounts of money are saved on new hardware and downtime and everything is just peachy! You've been able to run that old server for years and you have workstations that are still chugging away on Windows XP. What you don't know is that your old technology, even if it is in perfect working order, could be drastically slowing things down for your business.

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How to Prepare for Laptop Theft

lock on top of keyboard

We saw a statistic the other day that really boggled our minds. LoJack, a security firm that specializes in theft, estimates that two million laptops are stolen each year. That's about a one in ten chance that your laptop will fall into someone else's hands. What can you do to prevent that?

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Dual-Monitors: Is Two Really Better Than One?

businessman with dual-monitorsMaking the transition from a single monitor to a dual monitor may be one of the best technological enhancements you can do for your desktop. This relatively cost-effective upgrade can offer a lot of extra productivity and allow your employees to get more done.

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A Cool Server is a Happy Server

business servers

When computer equipment overheats it increases the chances of a crash. Heat (or inadequate heat removal) can even cause long term damage on expensive hardware. You may have noticed that your server room/network closet is a little warmer than the rest of your business. All computer equipment produces heat, and servers are known to pump out a lot of it. Let's talk about ways to keep your important technology cool to prevent crashes and other issues.

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A Cool Server is a Happy Server

business servers

When computer equipment overheats it increases the chances of a crash. Heat (or inadequate heat removal) can even cause long term damage on expensive hardware. You may have noticed that your server room/network closet is a little warmer than the rest of your business. All computer equipment produces heat, and servers are known to pump out a lot of it. Let's talk about ways to keep your important technology cool to prevent crashes and other issues.

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7 Ways to Save Money with your IT Infrastructure

small piggy bank

Who isn't looking to spend a little less or get more out of their current investments? The costs of day to day business for small businesses need to be within budget, but you still need to give your staff the tools they need to get the job done. Here are some tips for cutting costs without making big sacrifices.

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5 Ways to Slash IT Costs

bar graph x-ing out extra costs

Nobody wants to spend more than they have to, especially when it comes to those necessary evils like bills, utilities, insurance, and the general costs of keeping things running smoothly. At Directive, our goal is to provide outstanding enterprise-level solutions for small business prices. Let's talk about a few ways to cut long term IT costs.

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5 Ways to Maximize Battery Power on your Laptop

laptop screen

Laptops and Netbooks boast portability, but many laptop users find that they need to take their power cables with them if they want their device to run for more than a couple hours.  While older laptops are typically less efficient, it also isn't uncommon for the batteries to wear down over years of use.  Sure, you can purchase a new (or bigger) battery, but let's go over a few ways you can improve the battery life on your laptop.

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4 Benefits of Server Virtualization

business servers

Virtualization isn't new for small businesses, some companies have been enjoying the benefits of server virtualization for many years. However, the concept is new to other growing organizations. Virtualization allows you to consolidate the number of servers you have in your company using one of several virtualization packages. Let's take a look at a few major reasons to consider server virtualization.

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5 Things to Consider When Planning to Virtualize

cloud computing drawing

Server virtualization offers a ton of benefits for small businesses - less energy consumption, easier management, better hardware utilization, smaller footprints... but diving in recklessly can cause a lot of expensive headaches. Let's take a look at a few things to consider when switching over to a virtual solution.

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Desktop + Tablet = Sony Vaio Tap 20

b2ap3_thumbnail_tap20-10.jpgThe recent tile interface overhaul of Windows 8 is groundbreaking enough to spawn entirely new computer designs and devices. The Windows 8 interface makes a desktop PC feel more like a mobile tablet, therefore Sony took the next step and combined a tablet and a desktop with the Vaio Tap 20.

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Tip of the Week: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB or More - How Much RAM Do You Actually Need?

b2ap3_thumbnail_random_access_memory_400.jpgYou can tell when a workstation might need an upgrade if it’s slowing down, or if the machine is so absurdly slow that you can barely accomplish your daily tasks with it. One of the easiest ways you can improve the quality of your workstation is by increasing the amount of RAM.

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Forget Backdoors, Hackers Can Now Infiltrate Garage Doors

b2ap3_thumbnail_openseasame_hacks_garages_400.jpgHackers have proven that they will do whatever it takes to get to your valuable assets, even if it means taking advantage of physical objects that work alongside a specific frequency. As it turns out, this is exactly how hacking a garage door works, and all it takes is a decade-old communications device to capture the frequency and unlock any garage door that utilizes it.

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An Uninterruptible Power Supply Device May Be the Missing Piece to Your Network Puzzle

b2ap3_thumbnail_get_yourself_a_ups_400.jpgWith as many resources as you’ve invested in your company’s technology, you should do everything you can to protect it. An IT infrastructure that doesn’t have an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) safeguarding its data, is putting the entire operation at risk. Here’s what you need to know about this important device.

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Tip of the Week: How to Clean Your Monitor, Keyboard, and the Inside of Your PC

b2ap3_thumbnail_clean_computer_tips_400.jpgA clean computer is a happy computer. Just like any other piece of gadgetry, a computer requires regular cleanup sessions that allow users to get the most from them. In fact, January is known as Clean Up Your Computer Month, so what better way is there to ring in the new year than making sure your computer is in tip-top shape?

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Why Should You Upgrade Your Old PC When it’s Doing Everything You Need it To?

b2ap3_thumbnail_old_working_tech_400.jpgIt’s a known fact that technology doesn’t last forever. In fact, technology grows at such an astounding rate that some users often feel the need to replace their devices the second a bigger and better tech is launched. What if this unprecedented growth and increase in reliability become a hindrance to the sales of PC manufacturers?

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77% of Businesses Virtualize Their IT In Some Capacity, What About You?

b2ap3_thumbnail_virtualization_400.jpgTechnology solutions for small and medium-sized businesses can be complex, which is why simplification is at the top of a lot of executives’ priorities. To this end, virtualization is a key component, helping organizations make their IT easier to manage. What effect does this have on data security?

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Will the Surface Book Be Microsoft’s “MacBook Killer?” [Video]

b2ap3_thumbnail_the_surface_book_400.jpgOne of the most storied competitions in the technology industry comes from Apple vs Microsoft. For the past 35 years, they went back and forth by offering consumers their own twist on similar technologies. The latest chapter in this story comes from Microsoft’s new Surface Book, which aims to compete directly with Apple’s MacBook Pro.

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It Pays to Have an Upgrading Strategy for Your Computers

b2ap3_thumbnail_what_to_upgrade_400.jpgIf there’s one thing that our extremely technical society has evolved into, it’s one where technology is always striving to improve itself. This is especially important for businesses that are looking to maximize the return on investment they get from their hardware and software. Do you know where your organization concentrates its resources for tech upgrades?

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How Samsung Going With Non-Removable Batteries May Cause Injury to Idiots [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_battery_safety_400.jpgIt’s been confirmed that Samsung is getting rid of both its removable battery and MicroSD slot for its newest line of Galaxy Note devices. This is a sad day for Galaxy fans that have always preferred the Android device over Apple’s iPhone for its customizable options such as these. For Samsung, it’s too early to tell if this will affect sales or not, but one thing’s for sure: a lot of phones will be destroyed before users “get it.”

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5 Signs Your Hard Drive is About to Fail

b2ap3_thumbnail_hard_drive_failure_400.jpgWe all know the fleeting moment of fear as a computer slows to a grinding halt, taking forever to perform the most basic of tasks. At the same time, we also know the relief of when you find out there’s nothing wrong with your PC. Still, what if that relief never comes? What if you’re dealing with one of the most dangerous computer issues of all: a hard drive crash?

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Nanotechnology Holds the Key to Doubling Computing Power

b2ap3_thumbnail_ibm_processor_400.jpgEarly in July, IBM announced that they have developed an ultra-dense computer chip that has roughly four times the computing capacity of today’s most powerful chips. These prototype chips, and ones they will develop to fuel computing into the next decade and beyond, are the result of the evolution of 21st century informatics.

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