Archive for May, 2010


Sending large attachments that won’t get lost

Acrobat Extension for sending attachments

Send Large Attachments with Outlook 2007

The Bigpond limit for email attachments is around 10mb. Anything over this size might be stripped out by the receiving server so your recipient never sees the attachment. Because of binary data conversion in email programs an attachment can be bloated by up to ~30%, and the content of the HTML email also needs to be factored in to the overall size of the sent item.

Programs for sending attachments at http and ftp have been around for a long time, such as usendit and others. Acrobat now offer a free program for sending large attachments that integrates nicely into Office Outlook 2007. Once installed you have the options for sending attachments like you normally would, or via the Acrobat plugin. What we like about this offering from Acrobat is it’s free, and the brand name is familiar to most internet users.


Windows Home Server for small business file sharing & backups

Small and micro business with 3 and up to 10 computers on the network, can avoid the costs associated with full server installations by using Windows Home Server for file sharing and automated backups.

Using a workgroup network often means backing up data from individual machines. This is a problematic way to backup data because backups are forgotten, or not backed up correctly causing problems when restoring from the backup.

Windows Home Server is a low cost solution (our Home Server with licences for 10 users is $1130 inc gst at time of writing) for small networks wanting the efficiency and centralised data storage of a server without the overheads of contract IT support services.


Dual Link DVI demystified

There seems to be a lot of confusion, both in retail stores and in the forums, about what Dual Link is and when you need to know about it.

Single link connections are most common, though many video cards now support dual link. A DVI single link computer monitor can display a resolution of 1920 x 1200. My Panasonic 42″ Plasma television is HD and has a screen resolution of 1024 X 720. Some much larger TV’s have screen resolutions of 2560 x 1600. If you’re using a HTPC (connecting your computer to your TV as a media center TV) you should check your user guides to see what resolution your TV is and whether it supports Dual Link. If there is no mention of Dual Link then it most likely doesn’t support Dual Link.

Dual Link requires the correct cable and, while not being directly related to screen image quality, you can have high resolution capability and higher (faster) refresh rates.

We have found Jemmell Cables in Australia to be a good source of online cables and advice.


Shortcomings of File Encryption in Windows 7 (EFS)

In Windows 7 Professional you can encrypt either files or folders and keep specific information private from other users. Encrypted files may become unexpectedly decrypted so it is best practice to encrypt folders which hold the files you want to keep private and secure.

To encrypt a folder:

  • Right click the folder and open its properties
  • Click advanced on the General tab
  • Select “Encrypt contents to secure data”
  • Press ok
  • Encrypting sensitive data, bank account or credit card details, also helps keep your data safe if your computer is hacked or stolen. For example, if your hard drive is removed and installed as an external drive in another computer your encrypted data is still safe – well sort of.

    EFS is Microsoft software designed to work in the NTFS file system. Encrypted files will stay encrypted as long as the data is on a NTFS formatted drive. If the EFS folder is copied to a USB thumb drive formatted in the FAT file system the folder loses its encryption properties.

    Managing EFS recovery keys and certificates.
    If the hard drive on your PC becomes damaged and you need to recover data outside of your usual profile you will need to have “recovery keys and certificate” available. You will need to store this information off the drive with the EFS such as a thumb drive.

    To backup your Recovery Keys and Certificate in Windows 7 Pro

  • Press the start key on your keyboard and type “manage file encryption certificates”
  • Follow the prompts and choose your password carefully
  • An Alternative to EFS shortcomings is Bitlocker
    Another more secure way to encrypt data is with Bitlocker to secure the entire drive. Bitlocker-to-Go is available in Windows 7 Pro for encryption of USB drives, but Bitlocker for drive encryption is only licensed to Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise editions, just as EFS is limited in versions other than Windows Prof.