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Microsoft is finally providing native support to SkyDrive storage in Windows 8 through the SkyDrive app (with its file picker integration), to Windows Phone with the SkyDrive mobile app, and now to most desktop platforms with the new SkyDrive application. This makes it a viable alternative to DropBox. Download SkyDrive for Windows.

Windows Live SkyDrive will be decreasing their free disk storage from 25GB to 7GB. If you have a SkyDrive account, be sure to login and keep the 25GB space by accepting the existing customer loyalty offer – it is not automatic.

SkyDrive provides integration with Microsoft Office Online, a benefit if you want to use OneNote across platforms or use it to store PowerPoint presentations and make them available remotely.

Google is also offering free online disk storage, Google Drive with 5 GB of free storage, and integration with other Google Docs.

Dropbox has doubled the amount of free space you get for referring another user to the service. You now get 500MB instead of 250MB of extra space per referral, topping out at 16GB of free space.

Here’s a comparison of the leading online storage vendors and another comparison of Google Drive.

“For users and businesses heavily tied to Google Docs, Google Drive will likely make sense. For those that love Dropbox or need some of Box’s more robust features, Google Drive might not fit the bill. For Microsoft Office users, consider giving Microsoft SkyDrive a try.”

Those who use Office Live Small Business have received announcements from Microsoft that it will be discontinued on April 30 with the recommendation to prepare to transition to Office 365.

Android OS Is No. 1 in U.S.

On April 2, Microsoft released SQL Server 2012.

QuickBooks 2012 R8 Released
  • QuickBooks can now print large numbers of 1099 forms without interruption.
  • You should see improved performance when syncing contacts with Outlook.
  • QuickBooks will no longer display an incorrect check number after clicking Edit Transaction on a check where the number has been changed but not yet recorded.
How to calculate the cost of electricity for using your computer.

Convert iTunes music to MP3
If you have songs that you've bought from Apple via iTunes, the format (.aac) doesn't work with some mobile devices. You can convert the files to the MP3 format, which will play on the vast majority of devices.

The recently-published Trustwave 2012 Global Security Report details the current threats to user data and identifies the vulnerabilities that persist within organizations.

80% of security incidents were due to the use of weak administrative passwords. “In some ways, we're impressed by the creative effort people put into avoiding strong passwords while still operating within the "complexity requirements" imposed on them.”

The top 10 passwords identified by the study were: Password1; welcome; password; Welcome1;  welcome1; Password2; 123456 Password01; Password3; P@ssw0rd. Variations of "password" made up about 5% of passwords and 1.3% used "welcome" in some form.

There has been a significant jump in consumers using the Internet to find local businesses, and the regularity of their ‘searches’ has also increased.

On March 30th all Facebook business pages were converted to the new Timeline format.  Contact us if you need your graphics updated to the new format.

Windows Server 2012 is being developed concurrently with Windows 8 and is expected to ship at the same time (later this year). Highlights include a new multi-server management scheme, a stellar Hyper-V upgrade, and a new emphasis on PowerShell. It is “cloud enabled”.

Windows 8 will have a “release preview” in June.  About twice as many people have downloaded the beta for Windows 8 as they had for Windows 7 at this point in development.

DNS Changer Malware servers will be shut down in June, causing infected computers to suddenly be unable to browse the internet. To check if your computer is infected, Click Here.

Skype interferes with the cut-and-paste (and related) functions of Excel. The solution is to uninstall the “Click to Call” feature in Skype by removing it from the list of installed programs in the control panel.

Windows Updates were released April 10th, and additional nonsecurity updates were released April 24th
Java and Acrobat also have updates which should be installed.
Apple has released a security update to address Flashback Malware.
iTunes is on version 10.6.1. Be sure to update when prompted.
Evernote, Windows Live Writer, DropBox, QuickTime, RealPlayer and VLC Media player also have updated versions.  Firefox is now on version 12.
We suggest using FileHippo.com or Secunia.com to track needed software updates on your PC.

Computer Maintenance: Best practices for keeping your computers and staff working
12 - 1 PM | Thursday, May 17th
  • What usually goes wrong with computers, and how to prevent it
  • Network monitoring and maintenance checklist
  • Managed services: Are you paying a monthly fee?
    • What managed service products are
      available and being resold locally
    • How to reduce your costs
Free Visalia Chamber Lunch Bytes Thursday April 19th, 12-1PM. Bring Lunch if you wish. RSVP with the Chamber at 734-5876 or call our office at 733-1940 to reserve a seat.


Tim Torian
Torian, Group, Inc.

Torian Group, Inc. Phone: (559) 733-1940  Fax: (559) 532-0207  Contact us