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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.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Approaching End of Life

Microsoft is the world’s most profitable software company, and if your business is like any of the millions of businesses that rely on Microsoft’s servers, you know they are both useful and secure. Occasionally, however, Microsoft will retire older software titles as they need constant care and support. On July 9, 2019, Microsoft will officially retire their SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 operating systems. If your organization still uses this software there is no time like the present to get you systems updated, as losing support will be a major problem.

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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: Did You Know Your Computer Can Do All This?

Your computer is mostly just a machine used to accomplish specific tasks. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know all of the advanced tips that help you get the most out of it, though. Here are some of the best shortcuts that you can use to take full advantage of your workstation.

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Your Search Bar Is Now More Secure

August saw yet another Patch Tuesday designed to resolve security issues in Microsoft products. Out of the 48 vulnerabilities resolved, 15 affected Windows, while 25 were rated as critical, 21 as important, and 27 that allowed for remote code execution. This might sound a little overwhelming, so we’ll try to simplify it a bit--a lot of flaws were fixed, and the majority of them can be considered dangerous for your organization.

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Are You Prepared To Deal With These EOL Events?

Using the most up-to-date versions of your technology’s operating systems is one of the best ways to stay secure. Yet, some organizations forego the jump to more recent operating systems due to the immense up-front expense represented by upgrading multiple servers or workstations at once. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to your organization’s security, and potentially even put your business’s future at risk.

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Tip of the Week: How to Encrypt Windows Files

Looking for a way to protect sensitive files on your PC? For Windows users, one easy safeguard you can take is to encrypt the files and file folders containing your sensitive information.

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Tip of the Week: How to Set Your Windows Apps to Automatically Open in Full Screen

Here’s something that you might have noticed about opening Windows applications on your desktop; by default, they will generally open in a smaller window, giving you the ability to customize their size as you see fit. If you want a full size Window, it’s as easy as clicking on the maximize button in the top-right corner, but what if you didn’t want to go through this every time you open the app? There’s a solution for this, and we’ll help you find it.

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Tip of the Week: Use Windows Start Menu to Search Your PC and the Web

It’s no secret that finding a particular program or file on your computer can be a pain, especially when you don’t have the time to hunt it down by clicking through folders. However, there is a much easier way to locate your desired data. All you need to do is use the search option found in the Start menu, which is the subject of this week’s tip.

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Reminder: Windows 10 Free Upgrade Period Ends July 29th

b2ap3_thumbnail_upgrade_today_400.jpgIt’s been over two years since Microsoft officially cut the cord on Windows XP. As the most popular Windows operating system at the time, it was a huge blow to both businesses and consumers alike. Thankfully, a migration to Windows 10 isn’t nearly as difficult as one from XP. What lessons can be learned from Windows XP’s end of life event that can be applied to upgrading to Windows 10?

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Tip of the Week: Know When Your Windows OS Expires and Why it Matters

b2ap3_thumbnail_end_of_life_headache_400.jpgBy design, Microsoft’s operating systems aren’t built to last forever. Due to the fact that technology is always changing, new operating systems with better security and improved capabilities are routinely needed. Microsoft gets users to transition from an older OS to a newer one by ending support for the older one. This begs the question, how long until Microsoft pulls the plug on your OS?

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“95 as in 1995?” Watch Today’s Teenagers React to Windows 95

b2ap3_thumbnail_teens_confused_windows_95_400.jpgWindows 95 changed the way that consumers saw personal computing, and it heavily influenced future versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Over twenty years later, you can expect to see significant changes and improvements, to the point where those who weren’t exposed to older technology don’t have any clue what it is. Nowhere is this more painfully true than watching how teens react to Windows 95.

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The Majority of PC Flaws Can Be Prevented By Using Proper Administrator Privileges

b2ap3_thumbnail_admin_for_windows_account_400.jpgAdministrator privileges. It’s not a flashy IT-related topic that gets reported on a whole lot. Due to the critical role it plays in protecting your network, administrator privileges should be front and center with every company’s network security plan. Especially since a recent study was published relating the majority of Windows operating flaws to mismanaged administrator privileges.

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6 Months Later, Windows 10 is Being Tested By 2x as Many Businesses as Windows 8

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_data_400.jpgThe most recent edition to the Windows family of operating systems, Windows 10, offers several new features that appeal to business owners. Yet, many businesses are still skeptical about adopting it for their entire infrastructure. Still, there’s good news abound for Microsoft’s OS, as compared to the unpopular Windows 8, Windows 10 is being tested on twice as many computers following its release date.

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Tip of the Week: How to Type Accents and Other Oddball Characters

b2ap3_thumbnail_special_character_400.jpgWe’ve all seen the various accent marks, or “diacritical marks,” used in languages all over the world. For example, the umlaut (as seen in the word “über” ) is used in some German and Hungarian words to signal how to pronounce specific vowels. While these have mostly disappeared from the English language, we see them from time to time when going about our business on the web, and every time, the same question plays in our heads: “How the heck do you type that?”

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Sorry, Windows XP Users: No More Google Chrome Updates for You

b2ap3_thumbnail_chrome_support_ending_400.jpgIt’s been quite some time since Microsoft cut the cord on Windows XP support, rendering it insecure and incredibly risky to run in a professional setting. This was quite a blow to both PC users and business professionals, but it’s about to get even worse for the antiquated operating system. Now, even Google is cutting support for their web browser, Google Chrome, for older operating systems from both Microsoft and Apple.

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Tip of the Week: How to Uninstall Unwanted Apps and Programs in Windows 10

b2ap3_thumbnail_uninstall_programs_in_windows_400.jpgOne of the most basic functions that the average Windows user should understand is how to get rid of applications and programs that are unnecessary or potentially threatening. Previous versions of Windows made users jump through hoops to get rid of their unwanted apps and programs, but Windows 10 makes it much easier to do so. In fact, there are three easy ways to eliminate your unnecessary apps and programs.

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US Navy to Pay Microsoft $9 Million to Keep Windows XP Going

b2ap3_thumbnail_logo_navy_windows_xp_400.jpgWith Windows 10 to be launched on July 29th, all thoughts are drifting toward the inevitable upgrade to Microsoft’s brand-new operating system. However, we’d like to take a moment to travel back in time to last spring, when Windows XP expired. Remember how we warned that your business would need to shell out big bucks for custom support if you want to keep running Windows XP? It turns out that there are some who just can’t let go of the expired OS; including the US Navy.

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How Windows Tablets Can Enhance Your Business, Part II

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_tablets_part_2_400.jpgIn part one, we provided an overview of Microsoft’s newest foray into mobile computing and how they’ve finally arrived after years of trying to implement a mobile strategy. In this part, we will provide you with specific technology that your business can potentially employ to utilize Windows-based tablets to improve your organization’s mobility.

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Windows Server 2003 Support Ends this July

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_operating_system_losing_support_400.jpgJuly 14th is an important date in the business technology world. Why? Because it’s a major landmark for users of Windows Server 2003. In just a few short months, Microsoft will no longer support this decade-old server operating system. Therefore, you must take steps to upgrade away from this server OS before it’s too late.

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Tip of the Week: How to Sync Media From PC to Android Using Windows Media Player

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_media_player_400.jpgWhat’s the best way to transfer your media files from your Windows PC to your Android mobile device? There are many different ways to go about this. One of the most-efficient-yet-often-neglected ways to sync your music is Windows Media Player.

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Tip of the Week: How to Find a Missing File

b2ap3_thumbnail_find_a_file_400.jpgWe all have forgetful moments when we misplace things like our car keys and wallet. Sometimes, we can even forget basic things like where we saved an important computer file. Thankfully, Windows understands these moments of forgetfulness and they’ve made it relatively easy for users to find what they’re searching for.

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Microsoft Fixes Vulnerability Going All the Way Back to Windows 95

b2ap3_thumbnail_vulverability_fixed_400.jpgWell, better late than never.
This is to be said of Microsoft after they recently patched a security flaw that’s come with every generation of its operating systems going all the way back to Windows 95.

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Tip of the Week: How to Automatically Reboot Your PC

b2ap3_thumbnail_reboot_automation_400.jpgIf you were asked to recall the last time you restarted your PC or smartphone, could you? Too many people don’t take the few minutes required to promote quality efficiency and productivity with their machines. In fact, rebooting can be very much like a full night’s sleep for a computer, and without it, its performance might not meet your business’s expectations.

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What do CIOs Really Think of Windows 10?

b2ap3_thumbnail_opinions_of_windows_10_400.jpgWindows 10, the next big Microsoft’s Windows operating system, has a lot to live up to, and enterprises have had the chance to experiment with the technical preview for the past month. While the operating system will still be in development for the better part of next year, some professionals are forming opinions of what to expect from it. From the technical preview, what do businesses think of Windows 10 so far?

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Should Windows Upgrades Be Free?

b2ap3_thumbnail_free_windows_updates_400.jpgAll operating systems change over time, and upgrades are eventually made available. But in light of Windows 10, Windows Threshold, or whatever their new OS’s final incarnation is going to be called, one has to wonder if Microsoft has ever considered free upgrades to the Windows operating system family tree.

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Microsoft Patches Internet Explorer Bug--Even for Windows XP!

b2ap3_thumbnail_update_three_400.jpgMicrosoft put out the fire from the zero-day bug affecting users of its popular web browser Internet Explorer by releasing a security patch. This IE bug is a bad one that allows hackers to take over a PC. The patch was released on May 1st and if you haven't yet applied it to your PC, then you should do so right away!

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Windows XP Becomes a Business Liability on April 8!

b2ap3_thumbnail_sq-1_400.pngIf you're still running your business or home PC on Windows XP, then it's vital that you upgrade to a newer OS. Yes, your decade-old Windows XP system may be working just fine, and therefore, you may not feel the urgency to upgrade, but you will feel the heat when Microsoft stops supporting its popular OS--in just a few short days!

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Over a Quarter of World’s PCs Run Windows XP!

b2ap3_thumbnail_another_xp_logo_400.jpgIn the business world, it's common knowledge that Microsoft is ending support for its popular operating system Windows XP on April 8. However, with recent data showing that 29% of the world's computers are still running Windows XP, it appears that the rest of the world is slow to act upon Microsoft's expiration date.

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Is There Any Good Reason to Stick with Windows XP?

b2ap3_thumbnail_end_of_support_400.jpgThe end-of-support date for Windows XP is April 8. If you're still running XP, then you likely have a strong reason for it. Although, your reason may not be strong enough in light of how big of a security risk XP will be. Let's dismantle three of the most common reasons people are choosing to stick with XP.

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The Time to Upgrade Windows Server 2003 is Now

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_server_2003_400.jpgBy now, you have hopefully heard about Windows XP being no longer supported by Microsoft come April, but what you may have missed is that there's another popular Windows OS, Windows Server 2003, that's also set to expire relatively soon. July 14, 2015 is the end of support date for Windows Server 2003. Have you made plans to upgrade?

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How to Prevent Windows from Freezing

Tb2ap3_thumbnail_avoid_freezing_windows_400.jpghe freeze of winter is hard on everyone and everything, especially windows. Seeing that on Tuesday, 90% of the US was literally frozen due to what meteorologists are calling a "polar vortex," we thought this would be the perfect time to talk about how to prevent your Windows from freezing with managed IT services!

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Use These 5 Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows like a Boss!

b2ap3_thumbnail_keyborad_shortcuts_400.jpgThe computer mouse makes navigating your PC easy. However, the mouse isn't always the most efficient way to get computer work done. By taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts, you can shave precious seconds off your workflow and wow your coworkers with your computer prowess. Here are five time-saving keyboard shortcuts to get you started.

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90% of Large Businesses Have Successfully Upgraded from Windows XP

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows400.jpgWe hope that this isn't the first time you've heard about Microsoft ending support for their popular Windows XP OS on April 8, 2014. Microsoft has been warning users of this "death date" for years, yet we still come across businesses and consumers that are just now getting the memo. You may have to help get the message out!

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Businesses Still Prefer Windows 7

b2ap3_thumbnail_eightseveny400.jpgWe are in a unique time of Windows OS transitions. The redesigned Windows 8 has been out for one year, and the first major update to it (Windows 8.1) was just released. Additionally, the popular Windows XP expires in April, forcing everybody to upgrade and choose between Windows 7 and 8. Which OS will your business go with?

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Windows XP is a Liability for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_xtothep400.jpgIf you are still running your business or home PC on Windows XP, then it's vital that you upgrade to a newer OS. Yes, your decade-old Windows XP system may be working just fine, and therefore, you may not feel the urgency to upgrade, but you will feel the heat next year when Microsoft stops supporting its popular operating system.

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Replace Your Soon-to-Be Drafty Windows

b2ap3_thumbnail_outwithxp400.jpgHow new are the windows in your home? Do you have problems when you're trying to open them, such as they don't stay up or simply won't budge? How about when you walk by them, do you feel a draft because their seals are shot? When this happens, what's the first thing you think? More than likely it's "I need to replace them ASAP". If you think this way when it comes to your home, then why not the same when it comes to your business?

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Don’t Trust Your Co-workers? Lock Your PC

b2ap3_thumbnail_lock400.jpgYour office might have the appearance of a warm and welcoming work environment, but deep down, you know that, behind the motivational posters and potted plants, your co-workers are dedicated to seeing your demise. To protect yourself, you will need to protect your workstation.

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