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3 Ways the Future of the Internet of Things will Shape Up

b2ap3_thumbnail_future_of_internet_of_things_400.jpgThe Internet of Things is changing the face of web-connected devices as we know it. Some would argue that the world isn’t ready for the IoT, but it’s on its way nonetheless. But what really constitutes the Internet of Things? InfoWorld suggests that a lot of what the public sees as the Internet of Things shouldn’t be classified as IoT devices. Therefore, we need a more substantial definition for this revolutionary phenomenon.

There are three primary categories of what the public deems to be IoT devices:

  • Machine-to-machine technology.
  • Smart systems.
  • Ad hoc Internet of Things.

Machine-to-Machine: Efficiency to the Max
We live in an information age, and machines have to communicate with each other in order to function properly. This is especially important for medical, industrial, and office-operational equipment. This is called machine-to-machine communication (M2M). This makes sharing easy between systems. Variables, like heart rate or temperatures, can be shared instantaneously if need be.

But should M2M technology be considered part of the Internet of Things? Arguably not. In terms of principle, M2M technology isn’t changed by the IoT, but it has been made more affordable and readily available. According to Bernie Anger of General Electric, the spread of M2M technology can be attributed to several changes:

  • Cheaper Open Database Connectivity(ODBC): Having multiple devices connected to the same database is now cheaper than ever before, and even non-Windows devices can run ODBC User Agent now.
  • Cost-Effective Mass Scale Data Processing Technologies: Open source data processing technologies are effective for data collection on a budget. Companies were previously limited by the sheer cost of data collection, but that isn’t the case anymore.
  • Client User Interfaces are Much-Improved: The inception of the coding language HTML5 has brought about significant changes in the way that the user interface of many devices is designed, making them easier and more efficient to navigate.

Smart Systems and Bluetooth
One other technology that’s been around for a while, but not necessarily changed by the IoT, is what can be called a “smart system.” These communication systems are generally used for diagnostics or repairs, such as oil rig engineers using iPads while in the field to communicate with home base via a satellite signal.

That seems a lot like Bluetooth technology, doesn’t it? Bluetooth uses a device to communicate with another via a wireless connection, not unlike the above situation. Consumer-grade devices are basically just using this same technology (sort of like an IoT product) for new and improved purposes. It’s as simple as innovation versus rebranding. Innovation is taking something old and using it for new purposes, which doesn’t necessarily qualify as Internet of Things worthy.

The Internet of Things is Simply Complicated
One of the most important characteristics of the Internet of Things is that it’s sporadic and prone to change. It’s volatile and chaotic in its very nature. All of these ad hoc Internet of Things devices are designed for one function, and when so many different devices are involved, the situation quickly grows messy and complicated. While some of this technology has the capabilities to communicate with other systems, some don’t. The chief difference between these devices and older ones is that these devices are connected in a different manner.

The main idea behind the Internet of Things, for most companies, is that they want to create an environment where their new technology can thrive, and they want to control all of these devices from one central location. One example of this is Google Chromecast. Most major technology companies want to be at the head of the pack for the Internet of Things era.

So, if none of these devices fall under the category of “Internet of Things,” what does that mean for this new phenomenon? Basically, the IoT is a mismatched group of technologies being used for new and improved things, given a title which doesn’t really apply to them. If your business is looking to succeed in this new era of mobile technology, remember the differences between these three groups of devices, and you’ll surely be able to find your own definition for the Internet of Things. What are your thoughts on these new tech trends? Let us know in the comments.

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Posted in: Cloud

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Stop Ignoring Unneeded Applications That Take Up Space on Your Network

b2ap3_thumbnail_trash_apps_to_improve_performance_400.jpgThere’s a value to having a neat and tidy office where everything is where it’s supposed to be. In addition to seeing a boost in productivity because you’re not having to fight clutter, you just feel good about working in a space that’s clean and orderly. These same principles of organization apply to your company’s network.

If you’ve been in business for more than a few years, then your system has surely accumulated files and programs that you haven’t touched in a long time. This can make locating a needed file difficult and even slow down the performance of your PC. If every employee on your network is having to navigate a maze of unneeded programs just to do their jobs, then your system is leaking a lot of productivity.

If your network is facing this kind of disorganized dilemma, then you will want to call Total Networks at (602)412-5025 for some organizational solutions. We’ve got just the technology for your virtual mess with our application management service. At Total Networks, we’ll take the time to work with you to find out which programs are the most used by your business and which ones are just taking up space. We will then rid your system of any unnecessary applications remotely, meaning that a visit from a tech isn’t required.

By taking advantage of our application management service, your business will experience all of these benefits and more:

  • Increased flexibility: When your employees aren’t fighting with a system that’s cluttered, they’ll become a workforce that’s more flexible to handle the changing demands of your business.
  • Cut operational costs: When it takes longer than it needs to for your employees to complete a project because unwanted software gets in their way, then operational costs increase on all fronts. When your company’s network is organized, operations are streamlined and the expense of doing business decreases.
  • Increased productivity: With our application management service, we’re able to do much more than simply delete unneeded programs; this service can also be used to organize network files and applications in such a way that productivity is maximized. At Total Networks, we consider ourselves to be productivity experts. We have an eye to organize your systems in such a way that you will get the most out of your technology.
  • Increase customer service quality: Naturally, if employees are able to more efficiently do their jobs, then customers will receive better service thanks to increased response times and quicker access to needed data.

Don’t let a few unwanted programs get in the way of your business being the best it can be. Reach out to Total Networks at (602)412-5025 to take advantage of our application management service and other time-saving managed IT solutions. Now, as far as cleaning up a messy office goes, you’re on your own for that one, but in the quest to get your business organized, sorting out your digital mess is a great place to start.

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Posted in: Business

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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.

Why is Rebooting So Important?
Even if your desktop is brand new, the very nature of technology makes it prone to software bugs or even memory leaks. Memory leaks occur when your system’s RAM becomes overloaded, causing your PC to move at a sluggish rate. You might notice this in the form of drastically reduced performance speed, or even freezing. By simply resetting your computer, you’re allowing the overloaded data to reset, essentially giving your computer a fresh start.

This is generally the reason why your computer must restart after installing a new piece of software, application, or even an operating system update. Installing or updating new or existing software takes up a lot of resources. If the system isn’t properly restarted, it’s like leaving dishes in the sink after a big meal; they get in the way when you need to use the sink, and your productivity suffers as a result.

Additionally, your computer will reap the benefits of longer battery life. When your computer doesn’t have to strain its RAM, which allows it to process disorganized data, your device will consume less power. Longer battery life equates to more productivity.

You might have some workers who neglect to reboot their computers due to being in the middle of working on something, and it would hurt their continuity to close out of everything and restart. This is generally due to having several different applications and Internet browser tabs open all at once. In some cases, these workers will leave all of these tabs and applications running when they take off from the office at the end of the day. Closing out of everything would be these workers’ equivalent to dropping all of the work they’ve accomplished throughout that day and reopening all of it after the computer is back online.

Granted, rebooting isn’t something which takes forever. In fact, it’s a best practice that your workers reboot their PCs at least once a week, or even at the end of every day. If this is done right before your workers leave the office, they won’t be wasting any time or interrupting their workday by restarting their computer. This helps keep your system happy and healthy, making unexpected hardware crashes unlikely. Even a mobile device can benefit from a regular reboot.

How to Set Your PC to Automatically Reboot
If remembering to reboot isn’t the first thing to cross your mind in the workplace, you can set your PC to reboot automatically by using the Windows Task Scheduler. In Windows 7 and later versions of Windows, you can set these functions up by following these steps:

Open your system’s Control Panel. Type “schedule” in the search bar in the top right corner.

 

in blog nov 17 1

 

Upon searching for “schedule, under Administrative Tools, click on Schedule Tasks.

 

in blog nov 17 2

 

Inside the Task Scheduler, click on Create Task.

 

in blog nov 17 3

 

Once the Create Task window has opened, navigate to the General tab. Your new task will need a name, like “Daily Reboot,” and select Run whether user is logged on or not,” and Run with highest privileges.”

 

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In the Triggers tab, click on the New… button.

 

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In the Triggers tab, you can then select how often you want your PC to reboot, and when it will take place. We recommend that you choose a time that is after-hours. Finally, click OK.

 

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In the Actions tab, select New

 

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Select the action toStart Program.” Under Program/Script, select the program called shutdown.exe. Click OK.

 

in blog nov 17 8

 

You should be all set, and your PC will restart automatically after-hours. You’ll never have to remember to restart your PC again. Just don’t forget to save your work before you leave the office at the end of the day.

Total Networks’s remote IT maintenance service includes scheduled rebooting times for your company’s workstations after-hours. We set everything up properly so you don’t have to. You can reap all of the benefits of a rebooted PC without dealing with any of the troubles associated with it. We can even perform remote PC maintenance on your systems to ensure that they are in tip-top shape and operating at maximum efficiency. Call us at (602)412-5025 to learn more.

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Posted in: How To

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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.

Why is Rebooting So Important?
Even if your desktop is brand new, the very nature of technology makes it prone to software bugs or even memory leaks. Memory leaks occur when your system’s RAM becomes overloaded, causing your PC to move at a sluggish rate. You might notice this in the form of drastically reduced performance speed, or even freezing. By simply resetting your computer, you’re allowing the overloaded data to reset, essentially giving your computer a fresh start.

This is generally the reason why your computer must restart after installing a new piece of software, application, or even an operating system update. Installing or updating new or existing software takes up a lot of resources. If the system isn’t properly restarted, it’s like leaving dishes in the sink after a big meal; they get in the way when you need to use the sink, and your productivity suffers as a result.

Additionally, your computer will reap the benefits of longer battery life. When your computer doesn’t have to strain its RAM, which allows it to process disorganized data, your device will consume less power. Longer battery life equates to more productivity.

You might have some workers who neglect to reboot their computers due to being in the middle of working on something, and it would hurt their continuity to close out of everything and restart. This is generally due to having several different applications and Internet browser tabs open all at once. In some cases, these workers will leave all of these tabs and applications running when they take off from the office at the end of the day. Closing out of everything would be these workers’ equivalent to dropping all of the work they’ve accomplished throughout that day and reopening all of it after the computer is back online.

Granted, rebooting isn’t something which takes forever. In fact, it’s a best practice that your workers reboot their PCs at least once a week, or even at the end of every day. If this is done right before your workers leave the office, they won’t be wasting any time or interrupting their workday by restarting their computer. This helps keep your system happy and healthy, making unexpected hardware crashes unlikely. Even a mobile device can benefit from a regular reboot.

How to Set Your PC to Automatically Reboot
If remembering to reboot isn’t the first thing to cross your mind in the workplace, you can set your PC to reboot automatically by using the Windows Task Scheduler. In Windows 7 and later versions of Windows, you can set these functions up by following these steps:

Open your system’s Control Panel. Type “schedule” in the search bar in the top right corner.

 

in blog nov 17 1

 

Upon searching for “schedule, under Administrative Tools, click on Schedule Tasks.

 

in blog nov 17 2

 

Inside the Task Scheduler, click on Create Task.

 

in blog nov 17 3

 

Once the Create Task window has opened, navigate to the General tab. Your new task will need a name, like “Daily Reboot,” and select Run whether user is logged on or not,” and Run with highest privileges.”

 

in blog nov 17 4

 

In the Triggers tab, click on the New… button.

 

in blog nov 17 5

 

In the Triggers tab, you can then select how often you want your PC to reboot, and when it will take place. We recommend that you choose a time that is after-hours. Finally, click OK.

 

in blog nov 17 6

 

In the Actions tab, select New

 

in blog nov 17 7

 

Select the action toStart Program.” Under Program/Script, select the program called shutdown.exe. Click OK.

 

in blog nov 17 8

 

You should be all set, and your PC will restart automatically after-hours. You’ll never have to remember to restart your PC again. Just don’t forget to save your work before you leave the office at the end of the day.

Total Networks’s remote IT maintenance service includes scheduled rebooting times for your company’s workstations after-hours. We set everything up properly so you don’t have to. You can reap all of the benefits of a rebooted PC without dealing with any of the troubles associated with it. We can even perform remote PC maintenance on your systems to ensure that they are in tip-top shape and operating at maximum efficiency. Call us at (602)412-5025 to learn more.

Continue Reading →

Posted in: How To

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