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OpenSSH software which is in very common use on Internet based (e.g. Linux) servers, allows the login grace time to be overriden. This opens to door for a brute force password cracking attempt. Read more...

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webBRIEFCASE's Group Documentation and Tools Checklist can be used to:

  • Self-audit your group (organisation, department, team, etc.) before an Audit Team does
  • Use the documentation to effectively and efficiently manage your group

The checklist is available FREE to webBRIEFCASE Professional account holders.

A webBRIEFCASE Professional Account costs just £25 + VAT / year. With an account, you also receive:

The checklist has been pre-populated with commonly used document titles. We will add links to templates and tools for each entry. You can also request them.

Click this link to see the Group Documentation and Tools checklist template or see the preview below. Professional account holders can create (and edit) a copy of the document and complete the "Status" column.

Here is a preview of the checklist.

 

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Two new tables: Portfolios and Programmes have been added, and the Projects table has been enhanced by adding Portfolios and Programmes as parent fields, showing the project title and adding a related Project Deliverables table.

A portfolio is a work stream which can include programmes, projects and activities (e.g. business as usual). A programme is part of a portfolio (optionally) and is a work stream which can include projects.

The webBRIEFCASE Toolkits portfolio has been created as a live example.

These tables will form critical parts of the Project Management Office (PMO) Toolkit. If you are interested in using this toolkit, please contact us. We are looking for a small business, medium and large business as pilot sites / focus group (free site license and enhancement support).

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With PortableApps you can take your apps with you by installing the specially packaged apps on (for example) a USB memory stick. The PortableApps installer makes it easy to select with apps to install.

Visit PortableApps.

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A new Risk Response Categories table has been created as part of the webBRIEFCASE Prince2 Project Management Toolkit (under development). Click here.

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Thursday laid out plan to cut as many as 18,000 jobs in the next year. A majority of the job cuts will come from the recently acquired Nokia devices and services unit.
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webBRIEFCASE Service Desk is available to all UK organisations. We are here to support you with your business and IT needsTry it now: Call us FREE to introduce yourself and find out how we can support you.

To use the Service Desk, either:

  1. Register and login (the form is shown at the top of each page). Once you have logged in, click on the "Support" option in the menu (left of the page). Add a new activity providing as much detail as you can.
  2. OR e-mail support@webBRIEFCASE.com
  3. OR telephone 0113 314 7865 (Skype) or connect to webbriefcase with Skype..

We will confirm the details of your requirement, and provide an estimate / quote if one if necessary. Much of what we offer is either FREE or very low cost, but still very high quality.

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webBRIEFCASE is very pleased to announce the launch of the webBRIEFCASE Activities Toolkit v1.1 application. A collaborative activity management application.

Due to budget constraints, most organisations do not have sufficient staff to deal with the workload. It's just an accepted fact, and most people "just get on with it" as best they can, running reactively from one critical activity to the next at full speed, but forgetting activities on the way and annoying colleagues and customers. Worse still, people can sometimes become so overloaded, that they don't know where to start, and get nothing done.

Typical scenarios include: I asked John to paint that wall...

  • ...he said he's too busy and won't do it.
  • ...it was 2 weeks ago and, despite him saying it's a quick job, he still hasn't done it!
  • ...he hasn't told me when it will be done.

All of this causes stress, a breakdown in goodwill and worse still - loss of business.

The webBRIEFCASE Activities Toolkit is designed to facilitate collaborative working. It enables people to record and prioritize their own activities and to assign activities to others. Administrators can see all activities, and can assist in prioritization and resolution.

The Toolkit is available as part of the webBRIEFCASE Toolkit and includes a 1 month FREE trial (a hosting platform is required - FREE limited hosting is available for sole traders), then just £12 / year per user (equates to £1 / month) + VAT.

The webBRIEFCASE Toolkit also includes the webBRIEFCASE Website Toolkit Content Management System (CMS) and webBRIEFCASE Address Book Toolkit for contact management.

To get your webBRIEFCASE Toolkit, contact webBRIEFCASE and supply your name, company name and telephone number, and we'll call you back.

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You may find this useful when purchasing or upgrading a PC (personal computer). Here is some information about each of the components. If you need more information, contact us by e-mail. We will try to add more information and images with time.

Form factor, Case

  • Desktop is standard size
  • Tower is good for later upgrades and for cooling of power PCs (e.g. for gamers)
  • Small footprint is good if you don't have a lot of desk space
  • Laptop is portable but less powerful and more expensive. Don't forget to check the battery life. If you need a power laptop, look for desktop replacements.
  • Tablet and netbook are less powerful than standard PC's, but good for casual, portable use
  • Rack mount is for servers in air conditioned computer rooms

Operating System

The most popular operating system is Windows. Windows 7 is great. Windows 8 includes a new tablet friendly interface which has cause a lot of controversy. Any older version of Windows, e.g. XP, Vista, etc - should not be considered unless absolutely necessary.

If you wish to upgrade Windows, make sure you check the minimum requirements regarding memory and disk space, and that your other components are compatible.

Linux is an alternative operating system to Windows, but there are lots of versions available, and it's not that easy to choose the best (we recommend Ubuntu, but not as a result of rigorous testing!) Linux does not natively run Microsoft Office - the de facto standard word processing and spreadsheet application, but there are alternatives including Google Docs, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, etc.

Motherboard

The motherboard is the central nervous system of computer system and is what the components including the processor (brain) connect to for power, instructions, data communications, etc.

AMD is lower cost than Intel, but Intel appears to perform better generally but there are probably exceptions.

With Intel try i3, i5 and i7 indicates increasing performance (and price). Try for i5 or better.

Processesor 

  • Number of cores: Dual (2) core is fine for most purposes. Quad (4) core or more would give you a much faster PC. Each application can use one or more processors, so - the number of cores could be very important if you're a power user (e.g. developer).
  • Clock speed: This is usually not that important but indicates how fast the processor works. It's measured in GHz (gigahertz). More is better. Netbooks tends to have a slower speed.
  • Overclocked? If a process is overclocked (configured to work faster than it should), it is likely to have a greatly reduced lifespan unless it is also cooled in some special way. Only enthusiasts who are happy to change their processor when needed, should consider a PC with an overclocked processor.

Memory, RAM (Random Access Memory)

The more RAM, the faster the PC (generally). 1GB (one gigabyte) should be considered a minimum for a standard PC user. Less may be OK for a tablet / netbook. 4GB or more for a power user. 

Memory should not be confused with storage / disk space. Memory is must faster that disk. Applications for loaded from disk into memory to make them work faster. Because memory is faster, it's more expensive.

Memory can be upgraded, however, the rules for this would be for a separate article.

Graphics Card, Graphics Adapter, Display

The graphics adapter sends the images / video to the display screen. For basic use, a VGA connector should be all you need to consider, since VGA is the standard for monitors. For higher end users, e.g. gamers - you should look for an PC with more graphics memory.

  • Manufacturer: There are various manufacturers including Intel (usually on-board), ATI, AMD, NVIDIA, etc.
  • Connector: 
    • VGA is a standard connector
    • HDMI connects to HD (high definition) TVs. HMDI is not always provided so, if you want to hook up to your TV, look carefully for the HDMI port.
  • Memory: The more memory the graphics card has, the better.
  • Cooling: The higher end graphics card tend to have more spectacular looking cooling. Heat sink, fan, etc.
  • Display: A larger screen gives increases productivity but is more expensive. A quicker response time is required for gaming.

Storage, Hard Disk Drive (HDD), Solid State Drive (SDD)

Your applications and data are stored on the hard disk drive or solid state drive SDD. The size is measured in GB (gigabytes). The more the better, however, large hard disk drives tend to increase the price of the PC. 64GB should be considered a bare minimum. 1TB is good for storing lots of photos and videos. 

Solid state drives (SSD) will make your PC run much faster than a hard disk drives (HDD), but SSDs are more expensive and smaller. 

If you don't have enough storage space, you can usually increase it with an external hard drive or large USB memory stick.

See also: Memory, RAM above.

Optical drives: CD, DVD, BluRay

If you are likely to need to play DVD's, BluRay disks, you will need to ensure the PC includes this type of drive. You may also consider writing disks aswell, so look for RW (read / write).

Network

To connect your PC to your home network / the Internet, you are likely to need a Wifi network adapter (wireless) or ethernet (wired) network adapter. Ethernet is usually faster and more reliable, especially for streamed videos, however, you would need to connect the PC to your router in the same room, unless you wish to wire up your house with a network. That can be expensive.

More to follow ref: Wireless G, Wireless N, etc.

Consider bluetooth if you wish to use a wireless headset, wireless keyboard + mouse, or connect your phone.

Keyboard / Mouse

A keyboard and mouse is not always supplied with a PC, and is hardly every supplied with a laptop sice they're build in (touchpad rather than mouse). When purchasing a keyboard and mouse, consider whether you want wired or wireless. If you choose wireless, go for one which states it will have a long battery life, otherwise, you'll be changing batteries very regularly.

USB Ports

A USB port is the standard way of connecting devices such as keyboards, mice, external hard disk drives, phones, etc - to your PC. Some laptops only have around 3 ports, and this is just about enough (keyboard, mouse, phone). But you may find yourself wanting more. Either choose a PC with more ports, or consider a USB Hub. Low cost USB hubs can be very unreliable. Try to get a powered USB hub.

Sound, Speakers

Although most PCs are supplied with a sound card and ports (e.g. a speaker and headphone socket), some are not supplied with speakers and you will need to purchase these separately.

Accessories, Peripherals

Other things to consider are: External hard disk, printer, webcam, etc.

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If you're looking to buy some technology: PC, laptop, tablet, phone, software, etc - why not benefit from our vast technical knowledge and experience? We do know our stuff. Simply contact us.

The advice is provided free, as is and without warranty.

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I'm sure some of you will be interested in the iWatch and there are already competitors on the market. Visit the page below (see: Link) for more information on Macworld.
 
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Post by T3.
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Checkout this PC World article of banishing Metro from your Windows 8 PC. Metro is the tablet (but not PC) friendly interface Microsoft introduced, but wish was badly received.

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learn.code.org is a great introduction to programming. It's so high profile it even has at least one video from Mark Zuckerberg of facebook. Use jigsaw pieces to construct simple programs which complete simple tasks. The concept is based on scratch which could be your next port of call after completing the lessons.

Let us know what you think.

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This article takes you through the creation of a very simple login system. These instructions assume that you have PHP available on your website, and that you are able to run such scripts. This version of the login system is very simplistic, and not very secure. A more complex / secure version will be made available on request.

session.php

Create a file called session.php. This will show a login form and check the login details which are supplied.

$email     = $_POST["email"];
$password = $_POST["password"];
$login = $_POST["login"];
$logout = $_POST["logout"];
$logged_in = $_POST["logged_in"];

if ($logout) {
$email = "";
$password = "";
$logged_in = "";
}

$show_form = "y";
if ($email == "") {
if ($login) {
?>Please supply your e-mail address
}
}
else {
if ($password == "") {
if ($login) {
?>Please supply your password
}
}
else {
if (
($email == "[EMAIL_ADDRESS"]" && $password == "[PASSWORD]")
||
($email == "[EMAIL_ADDRESS"]" && $password == "[PASSWORD]")
# Add more here
) {
$show_form = ""; # Don't show the form
         ?>Logged in as <?php echo $email; ?><br>
<input type="submit" name="logout" value="Logout">
<?php

# Determine some user privileges...
if (
$email == "[EMAIL_ADDRESS]"
|| $email == "[EMAIL_ADDRESS]
) {
$administrator = "y";
}
elseif (
$email = "[EMAIL_ADDRESS]"
|| $email = "[EMAIL_ADDRESS]"
)
{
$can_post = "y";
}
}
else {
?>Login failed

}
}
}
if ($show_form) {
?>
e-Mail: <input type="text" name="email" value="<?php echo $email; ?>">
Password:
<input type="password" name="password">
<input type="submit" name="login" value="Login">
<?php
}

Use the script

Add the following to each page / script you want to be protected with login...

require_once "session.php";

if ($logged_in) {

   if ($administrator) {

      ?>You are an administrator

   }

}

else {

   ?>Please login
<?php

}

 

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Do you know the difference between a ROM, HLE, Estimate and Quote?
 
An estimate is an indication of cost (cash and time) which would be required in order to complete an activity. It is not guaranteed and is subject to change throughout the duration of the activity. Most reputable organisations would notify you when the forecasted cost will change and the reason(s) for that change.
 

 

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webBRIEFCASE LogoWe've updated our web Home Page at www.webBRIEFCASE.com. Please take a look. Any comments / suggestions you send through to support@webBRIEFCASE.com will be appreciated.

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Click on the poster image to purchase an A3 Helth & Safety Executive (HSE) poster for your office.

You are required to display this for your employees.

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Firefox 29 sports an elegant new design and enhanced customization features. Click on the link to see more information, or download at www.getfirefox.com.
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The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) and the UK counterpart say that some users should consider using an alternate browser until the zero-day defect is fixed, which affects all major versions of the browser from the past decade. The flaw allows a hacker to install malware on your PC and gain control.
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Microsoft has completed the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business. See: Microsoft's article.
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A newly-discovered malware dubbed Unflod Baby Panda is stealing Apple ID credentials from jailbroken iPhones and iPads, warn security researchers.

Click here to read more on ComputerWeekly.com

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Moodle (virtual learning environment - VLE) are expecting to release version 2.7 in May and are looking for volunteers for testing. Click on the link for more.


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