Windows XP support has ended

April 10th, 2014

Windows XP support has ended
As of April 8, 2014, support and updates for Windows XP are no longer available. Don’t let your PC go unprotected.
What is Windows XP end of support?

Microsoft provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But the time came for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences. As a result, technical assistance for Windows XP is no longer available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC.

Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP. If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you’ll continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time. However, please note that Microsoft Security Essentials (or any other antivirus software) will have limited effectiveness on PCs that do not have the latest security updates. This means that PCs running Windows XP will not be secure and will still be at risk for infection.

What happens if I continue to use Windows XP
If you continue to use Windows XP now that support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Internet Explorer 8 is also no longer supported, so if your Windows XP PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 8 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

How do I stay protected?

To stay protected now that support has ended, you have two options:

Upgrade your current PC
Very few older computers are able to run Windows 8.1, which is the latest version of Windows. We recommend that you download and run the Windows Upgrade Assistant to check if your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 8 and then follow the steps in the tutorial to upgrade if your PC is able. The Windows 8.1 system requirements are almost the same as the Windows 8 system requirements—so if your PC can run Windows 8, in most cases you can get the free update to Windows 8.1.

Get a new PC
If your current PC can’t run Windows 8.1, it might be time to consider shopping for a new one. Be sure to explore our great selection of new PCs. They’re more powerful, lightweight, and stylish than ever before—and with an average price that’s considerably less expensive than the average PC was 12 years ago.

Windows XP Support Ends Soon

July 23rd, 2013

Support Ending for the Following Products: Windows XP, Server 2003, SBS 2003, Office 2003, and Exchange 2003

Microsoft Support Ending Soon!
If any of the following apply to your organization, you will want to read this now!
• Running Windows XP on your current computers
• Using Microsoft Office 2003
• Existing server(s) running Windows Small Business Server 2003, Windows Server 2003, or Exchange 2003
If any of these situations apply to you or your organization, now is a good time to plan on upgrading. Microsoft has announced that they will end support for these products as they are at the end of their lifecycle.

April 8, 2014 - is the date Microsoft has issued as the end of support. This gives you plenty of time to plan and implement your upgrade strategy.

Why is this important you may ask? When software reaches the end of its lifecycle, no new updates/patches are created and the product is abandoned. This means, no updates to identified vulnerabilities and no support for things that just don’t work correctly – leaving you to fend for yourself.

Web Resources:
Microsoft Official Announcement
Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet
Windows 8 Compatibility Check

Time to Upgrade!
Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks and software/hardware malfunctions; both of which can leave your business in the dark. The easiest way to prevent these incidents is to upgrade your systems with more modern software and operating systems. Feel free to contact Greyhound Technologies at 586.469.4429; we can help you form and implement a plan to get your systems updated with plenty of time to spare.

Windows XP support ends soon!

April 10th, 2013

Windows XP End of Life
Do you have older computers running in your office? Do you still have Windows XP computers? How about Microsoft Office 2003? If so, now is a good time to plan on upgrading or replacing them.  Microsoft has announced that they will end support for Windows XP and Office 2003. Every Windows product has a lifecycle, both Windows XP and Office 2003 are reaching their end. The date Microsoft has issued as the end of support is April 8, 2014. This gives you enough time to plan your upgrade strategy.  If you have any older computers in your office, feel free to contact Greyhound Technologies at 586.469.4429, we can provde you with a plan to get you updated in plenty of time.
You can view Microsoft official announcement here: Microsoft Announcement

Microsoft Messenger to be retired soon (April 8, 2013)

March 29th, 2013

Microsoft has announced that it’s Messenger product will be retired soon (April 8th) and they recommend you upgrade to Skype now. Existing Windows Live Messenger users will be greeted with an upgrade notification from April 8th onwards that will prevent them from signing into the service. Microsoft is pre-caching the Skype installer to existing machines to allow users to simply accept the notification and switch over to Skype, while the installer removes Windows Live Messenger.
No Messenger
Where can I learn more?

For more help on updating to Skype, please visit the Skype Support site.

* To get group video chat, you’ll need a Skype Premium subscription.
** Newer versions of Messenger will be able to receive the optional upgrade notifications. Older versions will not receive the notifications and you will have to download Skype manually.

Facebook Safebook

February 3rd, 2012

Public Invited –Teens, Tweens, and Parents
A collaborative effort with CVHS Student Assistance Center ,
Chippewa Valley Coalition for Youth and Families , and Coalition Teen Counc i l
facebook – safebook Everthing about facebook & Internet Safety.
Students must attend with an adult Park in North Lot & Enter through C Doors
Space limited RSVP: Betty DeLaere, bdelaere@cvs.k12.mi.us or (586)723-2561
Tuesday March 27, 2012 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Free Dinner, Presentation & Discussion
Chippewa Valley High School – Media Center
Download the Flier here.

A Message from HP Vice President, U.S. Channel Sales, Personal Systems Group

December 14th, 2011

  
Dear HP Channel Partners,

First and foremost, I want to thank you for your ongoing commitment to HP.  With the board having made their decision to retain our Personal Systems Group (PSG), I’m pleased to put this chapter behind us and get back to the business of selling together, especially as we prepare to embark on the New Year. 

I recognize that there are many questions – and even some confusion – surrounding the component supply situation, resulting from the tragic flooding in Thailand.  We continue to manage the potential supply constraints in an effort to meet your business needs.  I can tell you that we are in a position to meet ALL current workstation orders. 

If you have questions around allocation and how best to address with your customers, I encourage you to reach out to your HP sales reps, if not me directly.  We’ve recently been made aware of some misperception among some partners that has led to miscommunication to select customers.  We want to ensure we’re providing you with timely and accurate information to ensure you’re able to set appropriate expectations with your customers.

Looking ahead to 2012…  As many of you are aware, I assumed the role of vice president of U.S. Channel Sales for PSG and, at the same time, the role of Channel Chief for PSG.  This includes responsibility for Distribution, Major National and DRC channel sales as well as pan-HP Channel Marketing for the Americas.  I am both honored and excited to lead this incredible HP sales team, and to continue to partner with you to achieve much success together.

I also am honored to team with John Hood to help drive growth within our HP channel community.  As vice president and general manager of U.S. Small and Medium Business (SMB) for HP, John plays a strategic role within the channel organization, leading the channel sales team responsible for all channel sales outside of Distribution, Major National and DRC sales.  He also is responsible for driving our SMB end-user sales force with the goal of creating better synergy between our direct and indirect sales teams.  We believe this will result in even greater opportunities for you with HP.

If you’ve not already, you can expect to see and hear from John soon.  He is anxious to begin building relationships within our channel community and to driving further collaboration between our respective businesses.
As we prepare for the New Year, key priorities for both John and me include:

•         Furthering our analytics around customer segments – from large enterprises to small businesses – in order to better understand how to best serve these customers together.
•         Continuing our investment in programs and incentives, including our industry-leading PartnerONE program, to not only increase your bottom line, but also open up new business opportunities for you.
•         Driving innovation and delivering world-class products, services and solutions to help you meet your customers’ top business needs.

You and your team contribute greatly to the health of PSG and we’re committed to helping you continue to increase your revenue, grow your business and your margin, and remain significant with your customers. We want to continue to be your most strategic vendor partner and to help you continue to be your customers’ most trusted advisor.  Together, I am confident we will do great things. 

Looking ahead, you will play a pivotal role in the success of the HP channel, just as you always have. I am committed to a bright future for our organization and to you, our valued partner. I also am committed to continuing to foster a partnership built on collaboration and, to that end, I want to hear from you.  Please feel free to reach out to me any time with questions or concerns.

On a more personal note, I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. 

Regards,

Mike Parrottino
Vice President, U.S. Channel Sales, Personal Systems Group

Our Holiday Schedule

December 14th, 2011

In observance of Christmas and New Year’s, Greyhound Technologies will have a limited schedule during the holidays.
Monday, December 26th – Closed

Friday, December 30th – Closed
Monday, January 2nd – Closed
During this time, our customer portal, http://connect.greyhound-tech.com/support, will remain available for logging new cases. Emergency escalation for system down issus is available via our standard support line at (586) 469-4429, Option 7.

Important Communication on Storage Related Products

November 20th, 2011

Dear Valued Greyhound Technologies Customer,

 
In the past months, devastating floods in Thailand have claimed hundreds of lives and have destroyed hundreds of thousands of residents’ homes. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the people of Thailand, and to the families of victims lost in this disaster.
 
With a significant portion of the world’s hard drive supply being produced in Thailand, this flooding has impacted thousands of businesses providing electronic equipment to Consumer and Business customers. Many major manufacturers of hard disk drives have temporarily ceased production, shutting down their manufacturing facilities. This action has resulted in the expectation of significant hard drive supply constraints well into 2012 and potentially longer.
 
In all likelihood, this unfortunate event will also cause significant price volatility in Consumer and Business equipment purchased for the foreseeable future. Especially during the holiday season where the demand for electronic equipment containing hard drives such as Game Consoles, Computers, Laptops, DVRs, etc. is always in high demand. Additionally, traditional business equipment containing hard drives such as Servers, Desktops, Laptops, Back-Up Drives, Storage Solutions and other specialized equipment will also be heavily impacted.

We are therefore sending you this communication as a courtesy to you so that you may plan accordingly. If your company is thinking of purchasing equipment in the near future, we would highly recommend that you place your order as soon as possible. We will do our very best to locate what is needed to complete your request. As a valued customer, we ask for and appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through these difficult times together.

This communication is based on our current understanding of the situation at this time. We will continue to monitor events as they unfold and to the extent possible or as we deem it necessary we will attempt to keep you apprised of any significant changes to the situation.

We truly appreciate your business, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 586.469.4429 or email us at support@greyhound-tech.com. We will be happy to assist you.

Best Regards,

Alan Jacob
Director of Sales and Service

How–and Why–to Destroy Old Flash Drives

September 30th, 2011
  • 09/29/11

The value of the ubiquitous flash drives that many of us carry in our pockets or on our key chains is much more than the $10 we pay for them at the big box store. Rather, they’re worth as much as all the data they have ever held. A couple of instances involving Bowling Green State University and the Oregon food stamp program illustrate the danger.

In the first case, an accounting professor could not locate a flash drive containing several years of student records–only one year of which students were identified by social security numbers instead of student IDs, and he was forced to pay for LifeLock protection for those students and undergo a public relations nightmare. The cost of the protection was nearly $10,000.
In the second case, a flash drive was taken from a vehicle belonging to an employee of Portland Community College. That flash drive contained information on 2,900 recipients of the Oregon Food Stamp Employment and Transition program, run by PCC. Since the information contained names and social security numbers, DebixCredit Protection had to be offered to each of the affected individuals.

In both of these instances, the drives were stolen or misplaced. Similar troubles could befall, however, if the drives fell into the wrong hands after being tossed away.

The Popularity of the Drive
As the capacity of flash drives (also known as thumb drives, memory sticks, jump drives, and USB drives) has grown, so has their popularity. Many professors now store almost all their files on a flash drive that they transport with them everywhere rather than save files to hard drives on one or more computers. The technology is stable enough that this scenario works well and there are few problems until they outgrow the size on an older drive, or otherwise need to dispose of it.

Imagine that a flash drive has student records or demographic information on it. Deleting the files isn’t a good solution since what actually gets deleted is the reference to the file–the data still remains until it is overwritten. Someone armed with the right tools (there are even shareware programs available) and knowledge could recover the file without too much trouble.

A number of programs can be found online that purport to permanently delete the files by wiping the free space. Trust them if you want, but according to research by the University of California, San Diego’s Michael Wei, after erasing files with Mac OS X’s secure erase feature, up to 67 percent of the data was still recoverable. Other overwrite operations showed similar results.

Given that, the only reliable method of knowing the evidence is safely eradicated is to destroy the flash drive in such a way that no part of it can be recovered. The steps that follow walk through an approach to this process which delivers definite results.

Step One: Crack Open the Drive
The first order of business is to remove the case. Since flash drives come in a variety of shapes and sizes–from simple rectangles to those shaped like animals, candy, or almost anything else–you may have to vary the tools that you use, but usually a screwdriver or scissors will do the trick.

Crack open the case and toss the parts of it away–you don’t care if anyone sees those items in the trash. The focus needs to be on the circuit board and the chips connected to it. In addition to an LED and any circuitry associated with it that are mounted on the board, you should see a large chip about half the size of a postage stamp–this is the flash memory chip.

There should be other chips visible as well (the storage controller chip, for example), but the flash memory chip is identifiable as the largest of the group and the one to concentrate on.

There is no harm in destroying the entire drive, but above all else, it is that memory chip which must be rendered worthless.

Step Two: Turn the Chip to Powder
The objective is to turn the chip into powder that cannot be recognized as a former flash drive. A number of tools can be used to accomplish this, but one of the most effective is a hand drill and a series of bits ranging from 1/32 inch to ¼ inch.

If you have a drill press, you can use it in place of the hand drill, but a ¼ inch hand drill works just as well. Be sure to hold the drive securely with pliers and adhere to all safety precautions you would with any other project involving power tools and fine dust, such as wearing eye protection and a dust mask.

Put a large piece of paper down to catch the dust and remnants, and then use the smallest drill bit to put a hole directly through the center of the memory chip. Replace the drill bit with a larger one and put it through the same hole. Continue to do this until you have used the ¼ inch bit to turn the remains into powder. If the memory chip breaks prior to finishing, pick up the remains with the pliers and continue the operation. Remember that having a few recognizable pieces of the circuit board or controller chip left over is not terrible as long as there are no recognizable pieces of the memory chip remaining.

When you finish, the remnants should resemble finely ground pepper or gunpowder.

Step Three: Finish it off
The final step is to gather the paper holding the remnants and wad it into a loose ball. This can now be tossed into a fire as a final strike and you can sleep well comforted by the knowledge that the contents of that flash drive are now nothing more than a memory.

Securing the Drive You Still Use
It is strongly recommended that you protect the data on flash drives you still use in case they mistakenly fall into the wrong hands.

On the cheaper end, you can add passwords and encryption to the flash drives. While you can add many types of encryption, for considerably more than the cost of a regular drive, you can buy ones that already have these features from companies such as Kanguru or Kingston. While this is far from a flawless solution, it does add reasonable protection for the data should the drive fall into the wrong hands.

On the more expensive end, IronKey markets a line of flash drives secure enough for sensitive government use and more than sufficient for what most people are trying to protect. A password must be given to access the data and if you give the wrong password 10 consecutive times, the unit self-destructs. The case is waterproof and tamper-resistant: if you break it open, it self-destructs. Data is secured with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption that cannot be turned off.

About the Author

 Emmett Dulaney is an associate professor of entrepreneurship and marketing at Anderson University. He can be reached at eadulaney@anderson.edu.

16th Annual Parenting Conference

March 14th, 2011

The 16th Annual Parenting Conference was held on March 5th, 2011 at the Macomb Intermediate School District Conference Center.