September 2011
In this issue

Network Switch vs. a Router

Apple Introduces Thunderbolt

5 Challenges About "Going Virtual"

5 Productivity Tips for Windows

The "Other" Button

Business Continuity Tip
The "Other" Button
by Jane Cage, CFO & COO,
Heartland Technology Solutions

We have a new phone system here at the office. I've been busy configuring buttons, learning new shortcuts and setting preferences so that I can be more efficient in my use of this new tool. I know from practical experience that what I learn in the first couple of weeks will be the majority of what I learn about the system. Have you ever considered that the same principle applies to a tool you have been using at your computer for probably years now – the mouse?

Microsoft has made many improvements to increase your efficient use of Microsoft Office products by taking advantage of a key that we seldom use – the right button on the mouse. Office 2010 takes incredible advantage of the right click. Almost any task that you would perform by going to a menu can be accomplished by using the right click. Type anything in Microsoft Word, then right click. You can change the font, the numbering, find a synonym or build a hyperlink. Right click inside an Excel spreadsheet and you can insert, paste, filter and format.

Wonder what else you can do by clicking the "other" button? Watch this short video from Microsoft Office Casual and find out.

Continuity Tip
Storms Brewing

Hurricanes are one of nature's most powerful and destructive forces generating heavy rainfall, destructive winds, flooding and tornadoes. Hurricane Irene became the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season as it moved over Puerto Rico early Monday morning. Irene is projected to strengthen over the next five days before reaching Florida and the Southeast U.S. between Thursday and Saturday.

With several storms brewing in the Atlantic, it is important to prepare now. Download the Hurricane Preparedness Checklist to help prepare your business, employees, and community.

Quote for Today

I have never been jealous. Not even when my dad finished fifth grade a year before I did.

Jeff Foxworthy

Just for Laughs

What is a Network Switch vs. a Router?
used with permission from the Cisco Small Business Resource Center


What is a network switch and what is a router? The two pieces of equipment look similar and perform some similar functions, but each has its own distinct function to perform on a network.

What is a Network Switch?
To understand basic networking, you first need to answer the question, "What is a network switch?"

Most business networks today use switches to connect computers, printers and servers within a building or campus. A switch serves as a controller, enabling networked devices to talk to each other efficiently. Through information sharing and resource allocation, switches save businesses money and increase employee productivity.

What is a Network Switch: Unmanaged Switches
An unmanaged switch works right out of the box. It's not designed to be configured, so you don't have to worry about installing or setting it up correctly. Unmanaged switches have less network capacity than managed switches. You'll usually find unmanaged switches in home networking equipment.

What is a Network Switch: Managed Switches
A managed network switch is configurable, offering greater flexibility and capacity than an unmanaged switch. You can monitor and adjust a managed switch locally or remotely, to give you greater network control.

Read On

Apple Introduces World's First Thunderbolt Display
used with permission from Apple


CUPERTINO, California—July 20, 2011—Apple® today unveiled the new Apple Thunderbolt Display, the world’s first display with Thunderbolt I/O technology and the ultimate docking station for your Mac® notebook. With just a single cable, users can connect a Thunderbolt-enabled Mac to the 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display and access its FaceTime® camera, high quality audio, and Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire® 800, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt ports. Designed specifically for Mac notebooks, the new display features an elegant, thin, aluminum and glass enclosure, and includes a MagSafe® connector that charges your MacBook® Pro or MacBook Air®.

"The Apple Thunderbolt Display is the ultimate docking station for your Mac notebook," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With just one cable, users can dock with their new display and connect to high performance peripherals, network connections and audio devices."

With a beautiful 16:9 edge-to-edge glass design, the Thunderbolt Display uses IPS technology to provide a brilliant image across an ultra wide 178 degree viewing angle. Any Thunderbolt-enabled Mac notebook can dock with the display to quickly and easily create a full-fledged desktop solution. The Thunderbolt Display includes a built-in FaceTime HD video camera for crisp video conferencing, a 2.1 speaker system for high quality audio, an integrated MagSafe charger to keep Mac notebooks charged, three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, one Gigabit Ethernet port and a Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining up to five additional Thunderbolt devices.

Read On

Five Challenges You Need to Address About
"Going Virtual"

used with permission from Symantec

Has any topic attracted more attention than virtualization in IT departments these days? It’s not likely. Research bellwether Gartner Inc. has dubbed virtualization “the highest-impact issue changing infrastructure and operations through 2012.” ¹

That being the case, it’s not surprising that virtualization introduces new challenges into IT environments as they become increasingly both physical and virtual. This Tech Brief looks at five key challenges that you need to be aware of as you deploy – or continue to deploy – virtualization.

Challenge #1: Can you manage both physical and virtual platforms efficiently?
Management software and processes that work in the physical server environment don’t always work in a virtual environment. That can lead to a number of complexities and inefficiencies, such as higher costs for training, software, and operations. According to Symantec’s most recent IT Disaster Recovery Research Report, 35% of respondents cited “too many different tools” as the biggest challenge in protecting mission-critical data and applications in physical and virtual environments. Managing both environments on one platform with a single set of tools reduces “sprawl.”

Challenge #2: Are you maximizing your storage investments as you deploy storage for virtual environments?
Gartner is on the record as stating that “server virtualization solutions and projects often reduced storage visibility, management, utilization and subsequently increased storage costs.” ² The fact is, storage management in virtual environments is more challenging. Make sure your storage management strategy spans both environments and can provide end-to-end visibility, monitoring, analysis, and active testing.

Read On

5 Productivity Tips for Windows
used with permission from Microsoft at Work

Print more easily, find files faster, and send e-mail right from your desktop.

Print from Windows Explorer
If you need to print a document, let’s say a Microsoft Word document, there’s no need to launch Microsoft Office Word first. Browse your hard drive for the file that you want to print, right-click its icon, and then click Print. This will automatically send the document to your printer without launching Microsoft Office Word.

Read On


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