Goodbye Heartbleed, Hello Shellshock

It has only been a few months since Heartbleed rocked the internet world but now we are over that and it’s time to turn our attention to Shellshock,which is a little more complicated.  The technical details of Shellshock make explaining the vulnerability and the potential damage a bit difficult, but we will give it a go. So, putting Shellshock into the simplest terms, it's a vulnerability that lies in Bash – this is system software used by millions of computers as a simple command processor, which effectively opens up the possibility that an attacker could execute commands on any machine running it. Bash has existed since the 80s and is the default shell for OS X, Linux and some versions of Unix. Versions of Bash are also often installed on Windows, but usually only by people writing computer code. Bash can be used as a parser for CGI scripts — this is the way in which many websites display dynamic content. Note that this is pretty important because CGI scripts are ...

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Get Ready For Threshold AKA Windows 9!

Windows 9, also known as Threshold, is set to be launched on September 30th 2014. After the dissatisfied response of many to Microsoft Windows 8, users are waiting anxiously to find out if Microsoft have listened to their gripes and corrected usability issues in the new release.  Given the slow uptake of Windows 8 within our client base, ITbuilder takes a keen look here at some of the new features you can expect of Windows 9 which include redesigns, changes to licensing and the return of our start menu. Will this be the upgrade that finally releases our customer's steely grip on good ol' Windows 7? We hope so, because there are some good elements to Windows 8/8.1, such as the actual operating system kernel itself, which makes for a very fast and reliable system, that we want users to benefit from. If they can just stop scaring everyone with those touch-screen features. During a recent Microsoft conference, CEO Satya Nadella advised that Microsoft will streamline Windows, Xbox and Windows Phone&nbs ...

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76 User Mailboxes to One Cloud Provider ... Challenge Accepted!

At ITbuilder we never shy away from a challenge even when it seems monumental which is why when we were approached by a client who wanted to migrate his 76 user mailboxes over to Office 365 “in the cloud” without interruptions we didn’t hesitate to say yes! Our client was originally using an expensive hosted system which was running off an exchange 2010 infrastructure. This came at a much higher cost than Office 365 which allows clients to individually licence their Office suite saving a considerable amount of budget. The clients hosted system was also managed by a 3rd party provider which was adding additional costs to their operation and meaning that they were not in control of their updates and operating systems. Office 365 ensures that businesses will always be up to date with the latest technology in a much simpler, more organised and effective manner. The Best Man for the Job James Gray, Support Engineer at ITbuilder has extensive experience with hosted services and specialises ...

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Which Email Account is Best For You?

We all have email accounts these days... it’s just as essential to daily life as the air we breathe but are you thinking about switching? There have been so big players in the email market for some time although some of them are now fading away- classic example... Hotmail.  Other big boys include Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, iCloud and Outlook so ITbuilder takes a look at the pros and cons of each service and what they can offer you.   Microsoft Best For Office Workers Worst For Over complicating Commands ITbuilder Rating: 4/5 Microsoft’s interface is globally recognised and is second nature to most office workers. We are all accustomed to the handy folder list on the left, the ability to drag and drop plus the ability to organise your files and view mail. Its popularity also means it is easy to schedule Outlook calendar meetings with contacts in other firms without the need to use an external software program or a PA!  It is also possible to add other POP3 ma ...

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Microsoft Changing The Way It Provides Updates

Since update 1, there has been speculation about when the next round of updates will take place, however this has prompted Microsoft to announce that they will be changing the way they provide system updates to users. Typically, Microsoft’s monthly updates are reserved solely for security related patches, however from August 12th 2014 we can confirm that the company will be including regular software updates on a monthly basis as opposed to scheduling an update 2 for Windows 8.1.

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ITbuilder's 5 Tech Predictions for 2015

Can you believe we are over half way through 2014? Time moves quickly and so does technology, so it’s important to stay ahead of the trends and consider the future of IT. Based on recent activity and developments within the tech world ITbuilder offers 5 tech predictions for 2015.   1.       Cloud Will Exceed On-premise for New Deployments Cloud hosted technology will begin to overtake the traditional server arrangements in many more businesses. 2014 saw many of our clients moving over to managed, hosted services which is rented and allows users to remotely access company applications and data without the traditional restrictions presented by a physical server solution. More companies will be moving their CRM, telephone systems and databases online which will allow for far greater growth and flexibility in their business operations.   2.       Internet Traffic will Peak It is estimated that by 2015, over 90% of internet traffic ...

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Veeam - Cannot backup files in a Windows 2012 R2 cluster

Problem When backing up virtual guests in a cluster (using Cluster Shared Volumes - CSV) running Windows 2012 R2 and using Veeam Backup & Replication 7.0, some guest machine backups fail with: Unable to allocate processing resources. Error: Unknown status of async operation The shadow copy provider timed out while flushing data to the volume being shadow copied. This is probably due to excessive activity on the volume. Try again later when the volume is not being used so heavily. --tr:Failed to create VSS snapshot. --tr:Failed to perform pre-backup tasks. Meanwhile, all tests on the cluster volumes regarding creation and removal of shadow copy complete fine. Cause When Hyper-V guest machine elements exist on the local virtual host volume and not on the cluster volume, the backup fails with the above error. This occurs if a highly available machine is created and virtual machine component placement is selected on the local host volume and virtual disk on the cluster shared volume. An example of t ...

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Shortcuts to Success with Microsoft

Most of us use Microsoft but some of us use it more effectively than others. There are tons of shortcuts and time saving hacks we can employ when using Microsoft so let ITbuilder guide you through 7 our favourites. The Outlook tricks we have included are based on Outlook 2010 but they also work on earlier and later editions too. Shortcut keys can seem daunting at first but when you use them frequently they will become second nature and should save you lots of navigation time. Don’t be afraid to note your favourites down and have them next to your screen until you have learnt them. 7 Microsoft Shortcuts To Try            1. Outlook keyboard shortcuts Do you use the Outlook keyboard shortcuts available to you? They can really save time avoiding the need to navigate the menu and use the mouse each time. •             Ctrl+R: reply to email •         &n ...

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The Fight Is On... Microsoft Office 2013 V Office 365

Microsoft Office. We all use it. We all love it. But, let’s face it, understanding the licensing has never been easy. Each new version seems to bring with it an array of options designed to provide choice to users, but in actual fact just confuses the hell out of us. Take Microsoft Office 2013 versus Office 365 for example. Back in April, Microsoft released iPad versions of its Office suite including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It was all pretty exciting because the apps were free to download but then you realised that you could not properly edit documents or use many of the apps features without purchasing a subscription to Office 365. This prompted many who were not already using Office 365 to subscribe and many more to debate the benefits. So at ITbuilder the fight is on... Microsoft Office 2013 v Office 365 which is best for you? In the red corner Office 365 Subscription It’s All There! - Office 365 includes the full Office suite of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, O ...

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Top 3 Windows 8 Fixes

It’s been around a while but still it's one of the most complained about things this year and it seems that love it or hate it most of you hate Windows 8! Why? Well it seems that Microsoft may have misjudged its target audience who are happy to adapt but unwilling to completely change the way they use Windows. After 17 years... yes really... 17 years of Microsoft many of you just weren’t ready for a change.  Figuring it all out can be really annoying for the Windows 8 newcomer so let’s take a look at some of the Windows 8 problems you face and how to fix them. 1. Bring Back the Start Menu Problem: Those of you using Windows 8 will know that this is a common complaint because the traditional start menu located in the bottom left hand side of the screen is gone and you keep on going back to find it missing! Without it, searching for programs from within the Desktop interface can be incredibly tedious. Fix: Using software simulating the good old Start Menu can really sav ...

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