Welcome to InterconnectNow - Interconnected Technologies' blog about technology and other items of interest to small businesses and individuals.

The topics here will usually deal with productivity-enhancing technologies of interest to small businesses and individuals, but are often of broader interest.  Productivity is the goal of all of this technology that we use. Enabling productivity through refining or adding technology-based capabilities is what we're obsessed with at Interconnected Technologies, and so this blog is dedicated to discussions of all things related to that.



Hacker’s Playground

After April 8, 2014, computers running Windows XP or Office 2003 will become a “hacker’s playground”. Vulnerabilities will continue to be identified for these systems, but Microsoft will no longer fix them. Nobody should be using a Windows XP system after that date.

If you still have a Windows XP or Office 2003 system, we should talk!


How to send credit card information

If we've asked you to send us credit card information, please use the following instructions. We do not keep or store credit card information in any form, so will need the information anew each time. Given the protections that are already in place for credit card users, we’ve come up with the following, reasonably secure method:

  1. Split the credit card number in half. Just the numbers - no spaces or dashes.
  2. In one new (not a reply), otherwise-empty email, send the first part of the credit card number, along with the expiration month, name on the card, billing street, city, state, zip code and phone number.
  3. In a second, otherwise-empty (also not a reply) email, send the second part of the credit card number, along with the expiration year and security code (the three or four digit code on the back or front of the card).


First email:

John C. Client
3030 S. Broadway
Denver, CO 80209

Second email (or text)


Please send this and *only* this information, in the form suggested above, to the direct email address of the Interconnected Technologies staff member with whom you are working, and not to support at interconnected.com or admin at interconnected.com.

If you want to be a touch more secure, and if you have the mobile number of the Interconnected Technologies staff member with whom you're working, send the second part via text instead of email.


Windows 8.1 - not quite yet!

If you are running Windows 8, you may have already seen, or may see shortly, aimage pesky blue band pop up on your screen telling you to go to the Windows Store and update to Windows 8.1. Typically we’d advise going ahead with this, since there are many things to like about 8.1 (http://lifehacker.com/all-the-new-stuff-in-windows-8-1-587098156). However, recent client experience leads us to a more cautious position: wait a bit. Windows 8.1 includes Internet Explorer 11, and many web sites have problems with IE11 at this point. Some web-based applications will simply not work at all with IE11 yet. This will no doubt get resolved, but for now, discretion being the better part of valor, everyone should politely decline to update to Windows 8.1. Give it a month or so to settle in. If you have a line of business web-based application, wait until your application provider tells you it’s OK.

We’ve made our position on the browser wars clear on several occasions (see other posts in this blog). Right now, Internet Explorer is the way to go. But not IE11; at least, not yet.

If you are concerned about this and want help, call us!

If you are a rugged individualist who likes managing his/her own computers (and gosh, who doesn’t?? Now, where did I leave that scalpel?), you might look here:


Or call us. That might be better.


Is the Microsoft Surface RT really cool, or a dud? Well, that depends!

Opinions are like . . . well, you know. Everyone has one.

Here’s mine: the Surface RT is an inexpensive device that, limited as it is, can do nearly everything I need to do with a laptop.

Think about that – everything Don Ferguson needs to do. I do *everything* on my computers. And the Surface RT can do most of it. More of it than my iPad Mini can do.

Here’s what we tell people: The Surface RT is not a “real” Windows computer. It’s got the same processor type as the iPad. So it’s a tablet. But it has the best cover/keyboard I’ve ever seen, and it looks like Windows, mostly functions like Windows, and comes with a full version of Microsoft Office 2013 installed for “free”.

What you can’t do: install stuff. Most stuff. Any apps in the Microsoft Store, you can install. Anything else, you can’t. Just like the iPad. Granted the Apple App Store is much larger than the Microsoft Store, but this only matters if something you need to use on your tablet isn’t available. There isn’t a version of the Surface that has a 4G (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) radio in it, like my iPad Mini does, so if I want to connect, it has to be wifi.

Just like the iPad, the Surface RT can’t completely replace your computer. But if you’re looking for a light, mobile device that does most of it, the RT is really pretty powerful!

I have 4 computers that I use regularly, so I don’t need the Surface RT to do everything. What I can’t do on the RT: connect to a wired Ethernet network, remote control clients’ computers well, install our Interconnected Technologies Egnyte syncing software. Um, um, um, probably some other small stuff that doesn’t come to mind now. See? It’s pretty darned full function, even for me.

For gaming: forget it. Get a “real” computer. Unless the game you want is in the Microsoft Store. Or get the Surface Pro, which is a real computer in the same form factor but a little thicker. If you are thinking about having this as your only computer: forget it. If you need to run Photoshop, or some other real computer program, forget it! I do all these things on other computers.

The Surface RT can do: All of Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote, and so on. It’s all there, preloaded and included. Skype for video calls. Evernote, Skydrive, Netflix, iHeartRadio, Adobe Reader. It plays music, shows pictures. Lots of other stuff. Like a tablet. Or a laptop. Or something in-between.

Some advertising comparisons:

Commercial 1


Commercial 2


One nay sayer:


A more balanced review:


And, as always, the choice of devices like this is a complex and personal one – one with which Interconnected Technologies can help!


Gmail outage currently affecting 50% of Gmail users

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