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’Tis the Season to be Wary

    • 13 posts
    December 25, 2006 9:55 AM EST

    Just a quick reminder to folks looking to pick up bargains after Christmas...or to get some last minute equipment on the books before the end of the fiscal year:

    Make sure you know what you are getting!

    If you`re buying a new computer now, it will most likely be part of an Express upgrade program, which means you will be eligible for a free (or very low cost) upgrade to Windows Vista after it releases to the general public in January 2007.

    However, depending on the model of machine you purchase, you may not be eligible for the edition of Vista you really need. Lower-end editions of Windows Vista may not include key networking, media or encryption features

    You should also be sure the hardware you are buying can handle Vista adequately. PCs being sold now should have a sticker that says either "Vista Capable" or "Vista Premium Ready." "Vista Capable" means it meets the minimum requirements for running Windows Vista, but may not be able to run some of the more advanced features. "Vista Premium Ready" means it meets the recommended requirements, including the more advanced features.

    In our experience, one of the biggest shifts in Vista is the newfound emphasis on the graphics hardware. The new Aero interface really needs a dedicated 3-D video card to stay responsive. Desktops can always have a new or better video card added if need be, but notebooks typically cannot. So check the type of included video card very carefully when buying a laptop.

    You can see more about our experience with Windows Vista over at the funlab.

    Good luck & happy holidays!

    Christopher Rue MCSE, MCSAM / Black Warrior Technology, LLC / Solutions That Build Your Business

    • 9 posts
    December 25, 2006 10:11 AM EST

    Hey Chris...good points on Vista, it is important for people to know what they may or may not be getting.  Always seek out the expertise of a qualified IT consultant.

    For businesses I only recommend Windows Vista Ultimate Edition.  Especially if you run your business on a laptop.  Ultimate Edition includes Bitlocker which will protect your business data in the event of your laptop growing legs and walking away.  With Bitlocker enabled, all of your data is encrypted and protected from comprimise.   The hardware can always be replaced...the data can not.  I also recommend a strong backup solution.  Sorry burning to CD or DVD isn`t the answer.

    SonicWALL has a great CDP (Continious Data Protection) solution for small business or online backup solutions from eBackup ( is another great alternative.

    All the best...


    Stuart R. Crawford Business Development Representative IT Matters Inc. IT Matters is the Microsoft IMPACT Award Winner in 2006 for Small Business Specialist of the Year and CEA Silver Medal for Best Small Business Solution in Canada. 412,1000 8th Ave SW Calgary, AB T2P 3M7 Canada Phone: 403.710.4357 Fax: 403.206.7317 EMail: Web: