The death of the mouse

The world is a crazy place right now. The pandemic has caused havoc, the UK is in recession and we are sad to announce the death of the mouse. Let us pause for a moment give thanks to an inventor that has made our lives easier. Computer pioneer William English has died aged 91, as reported by the BBC. Mr English, who was born in 1929 in Kentucky, studied electrical engineering at university before embarking on a career in the US Navy.

The engineer, inventor and researcher co-created the first modern computer mouse in 1963. After his colleague Doug Engelbart, a fellow engineer at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) came up with the idea.

The death of the mouse

William English, using the mouse prototype. Credit: SRI International

Working under Engelbart in the mid 1960s, William English, known to most as Bill, became the first person to use a mouse when he built the prototype at SRI.

In the 1950s, after leaving his career in the US Navy, Mr English joined SRI to work with Mr Engelbart who wanted to build a computer that anyone could use – a concept that would be the founding bricks for modern day PCs, laptops and tablets.

At the time computers were only used by specialists who would enter and retrieve information through punched cards, typewriters and printouts.

The birth of the mouse

Bill English built his first mouse prototype in the early 1960s. Credit: SRI International

The mouse, which got its name because of the way the cursor called CAT at the time seemed to chase the mouse movement, was a simple pinewood block with a single button and connector. Underneath the mouse were two rolling wheels at 90-degree angles that would record vertical and sideways movement on the computer.

Mr Engelbart, who died in 2013, aged 88, envisioned a device that could move a cursor across a computer screen and perform tasks by selecting symbols and pictures, Mr English helped his vision become a reality.

English and Engelbart demonstrated their first mouse and experimental multifaceted computer called oNLine System (NLS), in 1968 at an event in San Francisco that became known as ‘The Mother of All Demos’.

The Mother of All Demos unveiled early forms of online text editing, video conferencing and hypertext, the links now commonly used to navigate web pages on the internet.

Support for today’s technology and the future

What would our office look like today without pioneers like William? His invention is still going strong today and has come a long way since its original form. We may mourn the death of the mouse; however, technology is constantly moving forward. Thanks to William English’s efforts, much of the technology we use today exists.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to speak to one of our team. We can advise you about the latest computer systems and upgrades for your office. Don’t spend hours trawling the Internet for the best deal. Speak to us and let us take the pain away. This saves you time and money. We can set up your system and offer you a monthly IT contract. As well as cloud back-up systems, the latest security and telecoms.

All your technology requirements, all under one roof.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#BillEnglish #ComputerMouse #Technology #ITSupport

 

Surge in Internet usage

People in the UK have been spending record amounts of time on the Internet during the coronavirus lockdown. It’s no surprise that the surge in Internet usage has hit an all-time high. All those Zoom meetings, home working and not to mention the Netflix binging.

A recent BBC article takes a closer look and explains why we are so reliant on the Internet.

In April 2020, UK adults spent longer than four hours online each day – more than a quarter of their waking life. It marks an increase of more than half an hour since January. This means people now spend substantially more time online than watching television or listening to the radio.

The recent surge in Internet usage figures were revealed in Ofcom’s Online Nation report. It illustrates the habits and trends of internet users between November 2019 and April 2020. People aged 18 to 24 were the heaviest users, clocking an average of more than five hours spent online per day.

Average time online due to a surge in Internet usage

Number of hours spent online by age group in the UK, April 2020.

Surge in Internet usage

A large portion of the study focussed on internet habits in 2019, which revealed that technology giants now control an even greater share of internet traffic. The research by the regulator showed that more than a third of time spent online was spent on sites owned by either Facebook or Google.

How people spend their time online

Average number of minutes spent using sites and services per day.

How people spend their time online

The shift towards platforms like Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Messenger appears to have been accelerated during lockdown. Nearly half of all adults using the messaging apps to make video calls at least once a week.

Ofcom’s research found that the use of video calling services doubled to 70 per cent of the population during the lockdown, as people sought new ways to stay in touch.

One of the biggest benefiters from this trend has been the app Zoom, which saw a huge surge in new users at the start of the lockdown.

Zoom meetings

“Lockdown may leave a lasting digital legacy,” said Yij-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s director of strategy and research. “Coronavirus has radically changed the way we live, work and communicate online, with millions of people using online video services for the first time.”

Make sure you are connected

We cannot predict how long this pandemic will go on for. However, as we all know technology is helping us cope with the current situation. Particularly companies that are working from the office and at home. Contact the LIS Help Desk to make sure your business is receiving the fastest broadband. Make sure your remote colleagues have access to the same system as those in the office. We can upgrade your security, look after your emails and provide cloud based back up solutions.

Talk to us about IT support. Why have the worry of looking after your systems? Let us take the strain. We work with you to set up the most cost effective and productive solutions. Think of us as part of your team rather than a supplier!

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#ThankGodItsNotDialUp #InternetHighs #WFH

Save The Planet

As a society, we get through serious amounts of technology. Help save the planet! What do you do with your old devices though? Sell them? Shove them in a drawer and forget all about them? We should be recycling them to help the planet. The Evening Standard published a story about how millions of old gadgets can be recycled into new shiny ones.

When you’re done with your old PC, laptop or Mac, don’t just throw it in the rubbish. Make sure you recycle it properly, including safely removing any personal data on your computer’s hard drive.

Recycling an old computer can be relatively straightforward. When you buy a new electrical item such as a PC or laptop, the retailer you buy from is legally obliged to help you safely and responsibly dispose of the item you are replacing.

Save The Planet.jpg

Computer Recycling – Technology continues to rapidly grow. Make sure you recycle your old machines the right way.
Do not risk getting a fine!

Computer recycling schemes help save the planet

One of the best recycling services we’ve come across is called WeeeCharity. This charity will collect your old computing equipment free of charge from your home. It will also offer to wipe your data securely, free of charge. WeeeCharity donates refurbished computers to those in need, or else disposes of them in an environmentally responsible manner.

Alternatively, your local council may run a scheme for recycling old computers (but it might charge for collection). For more details, go to the Environment Agency Website or contact your council.

You can also enter your postcode at the Recycle Now website to see whether there’s a recycling scheme near you. Alternatively, the Freecycle Network will help you give away your old machine, and Computer Aid International sends computers to developing countries.

In all cases, it’s essential to take some steps to securely remove the data on your computer. Some charities offer to do this for you. If you’d prefer to take matters into your own hands, follow our advice below.

Factory reset your computer before recycling

Before recycling a laptop or desktop, you should reset it to its ‘factory settings’. In theory, this leaves only the bare operating system and pre-installed programs on the device – removing access to your files and any programs you’ve added.

It’s essential before beginning the proces to back up all your data. Firstly, store them safely on an external hard drive. Then save them to your new computer or in online cloud storage solutions. Finally, if you wish to reinstall software from your old computer onto a new one, note down the licence keys. You’ll need these to install paid-for software (including Microsoft Office) on a new machine.

Use data-shredding software

Scrapped computers can end up being recycled anywhere, often with the components stripped out to extract valuable metals. It is also possible to extract potentially sensitive data at this point, even with a computer that’s been factory reset as per the steps above.

To be certain your data is gone, you should consider using data-shredding software. Windows 10 lets you shred data from within its factory reset options. If you’re using a different operating system, it’s a good idea to run additional software.

Remove the hard drive

If you’re recycling a laptop or desktop and would prefer not to dabble with data-shredding software, the safest way to make sure your data isn’t accessed is to physically remove the hard drive.

You can put an old hard drive into an external caddy – available for about £12 online. This will convert it into a USB hard drive that you can use to store and access data, just like a regular external hard drive.

Alternatively, you can smash the old hard drive to make it unrecoverable. It’s physical work – you’ll need to destroy it with a few satisfying blows of a hammer to break the ‘platters’ that hold the data.

How we help save the planet

We are unable to save the animals or forests of the world. We offer a recycling service to our clients, by taking your old equipment. Our recycling program makes sure your we dispose of your items ethically and abide by UK law.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to talk about upgrading your equipment. Our friendly team are here help you with data shredding, transfer of data and other issues you have.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#recycle #OldDevices #SaveThePlanet

Windows File Recovery App

Windows File Recovery app is a new app from Microsoft that can recover deleted files. Have you ever deleted important files accidentally? We’ve all been there, shift + delete can sometimes be a nuisance, or deleting the recycle bin and then realizing that you needed one of the files. If you have a backup you may restore the files but if you don’t, you are left with file recovery software or caches.

Abhishek Baxi from the technology news website Neowin explains more in their recent article. Microsoft’s new Windows File Recovery app will assist in recovering files that you may have deleted and want to bring back or resolve issues with corrupted data.

It supports a number of file types for photos, videos, documents, and more. Whilst also supporting a number of file system types, including:

  • NTFS
  • FAT
  • exFAT
  • ReFS
Windows File Recovery app

Microsoft is releasing its own Windows file recovery tool, designed to retrieve files you have mistakenly deleted.
Like any file recovery tool, you will need to use it as soon as possible. Ensuring files have not been overwritten.

A number of options

It offers users a number of recovery modes. Which one you should choose  depends on how long it has been since the data was deleted. For example, for files deleted recently, the default option should suffice. However, if it’s been a while or the disk has been formatted since, then the Segment and Signature modes may be more successful.

Whilst the app is usable by anybody on Windows 10 or later, it is recommended for power users, as it uses a command line interface. Using the Microsoft Store on Windows 10, the file recovery app can be downloaded.

While this certainly isn’t a tool for beginners, it’s nice to have it available in case the worst happens. We are are all human and sometimes unintentionally delete files. One thing to keep in mind, though, is not to wait to use it once you realize a file or files are missing. As Microsoft points out in the documentation, “If you want to increase your chances of recovering a file, minimize or avoid using your computer. In the Windows file system, the space used by a deleted file is marked as free space, which means the file data can still exist and be recovered. But any use of your computer can create files, which may over-write this free space at any time.”

Giving  you peace of mind

We are unable to control how your staff operate their PCs. However, rest assured we can set up a cloud based back up system. Our solutions secure your files and back up your data. You are in safe hands.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your requirements. We protect anything from a single PC or laptop to large corporate servers. We cover your Office 365 One Drive and Share Point files, Exchange and SQL server data, and can even provide 10 year email archiving. So, you have certified evidence against future litigation.

All our backup systems are secure, encrypted, robust, tested and built to meet your specific requirements.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#Microsoft #FileRecovery #WindowsFileRecovery

Upgrade Your Business Phone System

With technology’s continued evolution, it’s challenging to ensure the tools your business relies on are up to date, like your business telephone system. Is it time to upgrade your business phone system? After all, people get used to things. Upgrading a vital part of their day-to-day workflow means a time investment because you need to train them on how to use it.

Upgrade Your Business Phone System: The Benefits

Watch our new video to see the benefits from installing a 2020 VoIP system for your business.

That means not only taking time out of their day for training on a new system. But, also preparing for speed bumps along the way as your team learns how to adjust. There’s also the simple fact that new equipment costs money. It can be a substantial investment, but one that’s well worth it down the road.

A recent article published PC Mag UK compares the best business VoIP providers for 2020.

What’s important to keep in mind is that your legacy systems have hidden costs that might not be immediately obvious. Old technology is generally much more vulnerable to some sort of breach or hack. This can open you up to liability issues and a risk of taking a big hit to your credibility with customers.

Even more importantly, you might be spending a substantial amount of money maintaining, repairing, and supporting your old business telephone system.

It’s good to talk

Deciding on a phone system will be a big decision for your business. Factor in location, size, your sector and the complexity of the business integration. As well as the level of tech savviness in the workplace and the available infrastructure you’re working with. However, don’t ignore the bigger picture.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your options. With no obligation to buy and your new system could save you money.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#Phones #VoIP #UpgradeSystems #Business