Happy Birthday Windows 95

On 24 August 2020 Windows 95 celebrated its 25th Birthday. We often think about the evolution of the PC in terms of hardware. Spare a moment for the software. Many of the things we take for granted today – such as the Start menu or not having to reboot your PC every single time you wanted to play a game – started with Windows 95. Happy Birthday Windows 95!

Windows 95 was not the best operating system Microsoft ever released. Many people would apply that designation to Windows XP. However, it was certainly one of the most important iterations. In addition to introducing the Start menu, Windows 95 also made things easier by supporting long file names. Up to 250 characters, versus 11 characters previously. It also implemented plug and play functionality before fetching custom-tuned drivers from the manufacturer.

It was also the first Microsoft OS to really encourage gaming directly from within the operating system as opposed to going through DOS. There was a whole lot of resistance to it at the time, partly because it often made games run worse as the OS still stole some of your precious memory and CPU cycles, but also because it was a buggy mess at the start.

Happy Birthday Windows 95

Windows 95 is twenty today. It’s hard to imagine it now, but the launch was greeted with
the sort of hype that only Apple generates today. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Look where we are now

One of the greatest things about PC gaming is the sheer amount of hardware options to choose from. This is why plug and play was, and still is, such an important feature. It allows your PC to detect a peripheral or gadget and offer at least some basic functionality.

Other innovations included the task bar and recycle bin, both introduced with Windows 95, and later the addition of DirectX to the mix. According to Microsoft, Windows 95 sold 7 million copies during its first five weeks. That was quite a bit for the era it debuted in.

The launch event was a spectacle, which undoubtedly helped move some copies. Former late-night television host Jay Leno introduced Bill Gates at the Windows 95 launch event. Microsoft also paid The Rolling Stones $3 million to use its “Start Me Up” as the soundtrack for the festivities and subsequent ad campaign. And of course Steve Ballmer was bouncing up and down on stage and throwing fist pumps.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can kick the tires on Windows 95, right inside Windows 10, using an app uploaded to GitHub by Slack developer Felix Rieseberg. It’s a little less than a 300MB download.

Are you up to date?

Funnily enough LIS are also 25 years old this year. So, happy birthday Windows 95 and LIS. We have been around and seen it all. From the launch of Windows 95 through to Windows 10. We even helped clients resolve issues with Windows 8 and ME (we won’t talk about these versions 🙂 ).

Are your systems running slow? Do you have out dated hardware? What office package are you using? If your software is out of date, then you have security risks? Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your options.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#win95 #HappyBirthday #ITSupport #Upgrades

Bored of virtual meetings?

Do you use Zoom or Teams for meetings? Are you bored of virtual meetings and how can you add the wow factor to your next one? USA Today have written a blog with some fantastic tips.

Don’t get bored at your next virtual meeting

First, make sure you actually need to hold a virtual meeting. Attendees should interact, ensure their voices and opinions are actually being solicited. This means: cut the monologues. If you’re making an announcement or sharing information that only requires your audience to listen, consider simply sending out an email.

Once a virtual meeting has been deemed necessary, try implementing these realistic tips to banish boredom, keep things interactive, and encourage participation.

Bored of virtual meetings

Another virtual meeting? Make your next meeting more interesting with filters, polls and live animals. The important point to remember is make it interesting.

Set expectations

Before the meeting even starts, allow attendees to get into the right mindset by setting expectations for their participation. This will make sure participants will not be bored of virtual meetings.

Present a problem in the agenda and ask everyone prepare and present ideas for solutions. Request that all attendees be on video mode and in a quiet (or at least a private) space during the meeting. Set ground rules for conduct, such as “thou shalt put away phones and not work on other tasks”.

Dedicate time to checking in

Remote work can get lonely and isolating, so take some time before the meeting proper to let everyone share what they’ve been up to. Ask them about the highlights of their week or what challenges they’re currently facing. Better yet, get everyone to show appreciation to their fellow colleagues. Bored of virtual meetings will be a thing of the past with this type of communication.

Social bonding keeps team members engaged and encourages creativity, teamwork, and collaboration, so be sure to cultivate it even when on virtual platforms.

Let people take ownership

Assign people with tasks like time keeping, facilitating, and note taking. If you’re running an ice breaker or conducting a warm up (see below), you can assign one of the attendees to be in charge.

Also, ensuring that every attendee has a role – whether it’s decision maker, adviser, recommender or executor. This helps you keep meetings small, which is great because the more people at a meeting, the less engaged each person will be.

Start with an ice breaker

Jumpstart communication and break through awkwardness with ice breakers! Conducting a fun ice breaker will help activate the right brain. Set the stage for creativity and participation and get your attendees comfortable with speaking and interacting with each other. These are the perfect conditions for an effective virtual meeting.

Jazz up your material

Did you know that visuals increase engagement by as much as 94%? They also help increase audience attention and memory, boost feelings of inclusiveness, and encourage interaction. Try using visuals throughout your meeting to give context, illustrate a point, or provide levity.

Virtual IT Business Support

We understand the challenges we are currently facing in the business world. As well all know, there is nothing better than a face to face meeting. However, businesses need to be able to support their staff, clients and suppliers needs. Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your requirements.

Here at LIS we understand the challenges business are currently facing in this changing world. We all know there is nothing better than a face to face meeting, and all our clients get regular in-person contact from us, at least in normal times. However, most of our work (95%) is done remotely, often without our clients even knowing there was problem, let alone that we are fixing it! It’s second nature to our team because we have worked like that since we started nearly 25 years ago! So, if you have a bored technician who is making you sit through boring chat rather than just getting on with fixing your problem, call us. Our new clients tell us it is a refreshing change to enjoy calling tech support… it seems we fix people as well as systems. Who knew?

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#technews #zoom #teams #MakeVideoCallsExciting

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

 

How to choose the best laptop?

With hundreds of models to choose from, you’ll want to a laptop that suits your business needs. How to choose the best laptop? Amongst the decisions you need to make are… the biggest decisions will be how much you want to spend – what many don’t realise is that if you’re after a good all-rounder for day-to-day tasks, it doesn’t have to be a lot.

Looking for new laptops for your team working from home? This business laptop doesn’t quite top a MacBook Pro, but it comes highly recommended and is half the price. Read the latest review at Techrader.

How to buy the best laptop?

Exceeds Expectation. The all-new 10th generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor and ultra-fast SSD are designed for on-the-go creations with faster rendering capability and boot up time.

Why buy from LIS?

We are not a retail shop. We are an established IT and Networking Support business. Our team have many years of IT experience and will advise you on the best solution for your business needs. We won’t just supply you a laptop. Before we deliver it to you, we will install Office 365, set up all the accounts, install anti-spam and anti-virus software. We can also supply all your IT aftersales and IT support with remote access. All you need to do once you receive your new laptop is plug and play. You are then ready to go, run your business and make money.

 

Top five questions to ask when buying a laptop

Before you start shopping for a laptop, it will help to know the answers to the following five key questions.

How much should I spend on a laptop?

The lower end of the market starts from ÂŁ200. Ideal for home use. To the higher end for e.g. Apple MacBooks, more than ÂŁ1,000.

Operating system – what type of laptop do I need?

There are three major players when it comes to the software (operating system) your computer runs on.

 Buy a Windows 10 laptop if…
You prefer the familiarity of Windows.
Have specialist software you can’t live without.
Want a big variety of laptops to choose from.
 Buy a MacBook if…
You have a budget of at least ÂŁ950.
Value longevity and build quality.
Use other Apple products, or are happy to learn a new operating system.
 Buy a Chromebook if…
You’re on a budget.
Value simplicity.
Don’t mind working in web-based application.

 

How powerful does my laptop need to be?

If you need a laptop for light use and note taking, look for Intel Pentium or Intel Core i3 and at least 4GB of Ram for a great experience. Go for Intel Core i5 and i7 and AMD Ryzen 5 and 7 and at least 8GB of Ram if you’re a heavy user. Look for dedicated graphics from Nvidia and AMD if you want to game.

Screen – what size and resolution of laptop display do I need?

A laptop’s screen is one case where bigger isn’t always better. If you want a longer-lasting battery and a more portable device, you may want to go for an 11, 12 or 13-inch display; most of these will weigh between 1kg and 1.5kg. The largest you’re likely to see is 15 or 17 inches, with weight increasing to around 2kg to 3kg.

How much laptop storage do I really need?

Go for an SSD unless you really, really need more storage at all times. Storage capacity, measured in the size of the hard disk drive (HDD) in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB, equal to 1,000GB), determines how many things your PC can hold. Documents, photos, music, movies, programs – they all take up space.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss the most suitable hardware, software, security and business requirements. Our friendly, experienced and knowledgeable team will be glad to assist you.

#BusinessLaptop #WorkingFromHome #OfficeDevices

Apple Recall – Plug Safety

We have been made aware that not all our clients have seen the following Apple recall notice.  Apple users please do check whether you are impacted. Better safe than sorry.

At LIS we sit mainly on the Android side of the fence so it would be easy to be smug but then…Samsung Galaxy. Can’t win really!

#apple #recall

Risk of electric shock from broken plugs forced recall from Apple.