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So far Chuck Stephens has created 21 blog entries.

5 New Features of Windows 10 You Need to Know About

Update: Microsoft has stopped deploying build 1809 due to reports of lost data. At this time there is not a new release window. More information can be found at this link.

Microsoft Windows runs 87% of the world’s computers.

Windows 10 is the latest version and keeps evolving to bring you the best experience when it comes to your phone and PC.

In October 2018 the latest update to the popular software is rolling out and there are even more changes. But which features are really worth your while and which are just fluff?

Here are five of the most exciting Windows 10 features new in October.

Dark Mode

One of the most simplest yet biggest updates to Windows is Dark Mode.

But why is dark mode so popular? There are three main reasons.

One reason is a dark screen will extend your battery life, which is always welcome. Another reason is that less blue light has been […]

By | 2018-10-12T20:31:40+00:00 October 10th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on 5 New Features of Windows 10 You Need to Know About

Top 4 Computer Tricks Everyone Should Know in 2018

Computer technology is no longer a new frontier. In fact, over 85 percent of households in America have at least one computer.

With this tech being so accessible, it’s easy to feel like a computer whiz. However, there are tons of simple, time-saving daily tips and tricks that you may be missing out on.

Did you know that you can privately browse the Internet or save your laptop’s dying battery in the nick of time? And it’s easier than you think.

Curious to know more? Keep reading.

We’ll review some computer tricks everyone should know in 2018. Let’s get started!

1. Scrolling Shortcuts
If you’re perusing a long web page or document, scrolling can get tedious. This is where handy scrolling shortcuts come in.

To scroll down, press the spacebar. To scroll up, press the shift key and the spacebar at the same time. Simple computer tips like this will save you a surprising amount of time and energy while […]

By | 2018-10-12T20:33:19+00:00 October 3rd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Top 4 Computer Tricks Everyone Should Know in 2018

Office 365 and Outlook on the web dropping support for connected accounts

Microsoft will soon be disabling the ability to add new connected accounts to Office 365 and Outlook Online. This update will only affect Office365 Business accounts. This change will prevent you from being able to read or send mail from any email addresses that are not controlled by Office 365. New accounts will no longer be able to be connected starting September 15th. On October 30th all connected email accounts will stop syncing. This only affects the Outlook online web application and will not affect your ability to use the Outlook application installed on your computer.

While this change may be alarming Microsoft has a few suggestions, which can be in found in this article which will allow you to continue to see your other emails: link

By | 2018-09-11T17:51:32+00:00 September 6th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Office 365 and Outlook on the web dropping support for connected accounts

SpireTech will be using our .net domain as well as our .com domain

SpireTech continues to change and grow. As such we have added a new domain to our emails, Spiretech.net. Within the coming month SpireTech employees will start sending emails from our spiretech.net domain as well as from our spiretech.com domain. Our support email addresses and employee email addresses will continue to receive mail at spiretech.com so there is no need to update your contacts, and there will be no change to any customer email addresses. Please make sure to note that some emails from us will now be from spiretech.net and are not spam attempts. If any emails claiming to be from us alarm you or cause you to question the validity of the email, please feel free to call our main office line and we’ll be happy to discuss the email with you.

By | 2018-09-11T17:51:30+00:00 September 5th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on SpireTech will be using our .net domain as well as our .com domain

The effects of VPNFilter on SpireTech customers

At the end of May the Cisco Talos security team released information on a new attack on consumer network infrastructure. The attack affects dozens of models of routers commonly used in home and small business networks. It is estimated that over 500,000 devices have been infected and the threat is significant enough that the FBI released a public service announcement (Read Announcement)

New information on this malware has been released indicating that it has additional functionality for persisting through a reboot, as well as for stealing user data. Disinfecting a device will require a factory reset as well as flashing the latest firmware. SpireTech is scanning the networks of our Managed Services customers (VIP Support Program) to identify any potentially vulnerable devices and perform the necessary remediation. If you are one of our Basic Support customers (which does not include our proactive services) we would be happy to work with you to create a plan to identify if you have any […]

By | 2018-06-13T23:26:17+00:00 June 7th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on The effects of VPNFilter on SpireTech customers

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Microsoft released their latest update to Windows on April 30th and will be pushing it out through windows update starting May 8th.  This is the most recent major update after the Fall Creators Update was released last October. Spire Tech strives to be proactive with our VIPsupport clients, so we will be conducting testing, before deploying this update, both for general installation problems and issues with software that was previously identified as problematic with the Fall Creators Update.

Once testing has been completed by our technicians we will determine a schedule to roll out the update to our clients.  Managed Services clients who wish to get more information about their update schedule are encouraged to contact their Technical Client Manager (TCM).

With the new update comes new features that Microsoft believes enhances the Windows 10 experience. To hopefully keep from overwhelming you, here is a selection of 3 new significant changes. A full list of […]

By | 2018-05-04T21:17:38+00:00 May 4th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Behind the curtain: The “TCM” role at SpireTech

The Technical Client Manager (TCM) is a new, enhanced role available to SpireTech’s VIP support clients.  The TCM meets regularly with clients to collaboratively discuss ways to achieve their current and future technology needs and goals.  The TCM holds a senior-level technical role and is responsible for understanding and connecting your IT processes with business results.

TCM’s meet with clients to discuss and undertake this work through periodic business reviews, or PBR’s.  In a client PBR with the TCM, possible topics include improvements to existing systems, 1-3 year capital and operating budget planning, evaluation of current or future projects, and updates about new technologies that might benefit a client’s business.

Additionally, TCM’s manage projects and all major issues with clients, coordinate service delivery deadlines, and interface between SpireTech staff to select the most appropriate staff to perform specific technical work for our clients.

We’re in the process of reaching out to all VIP support clients to […]

By | 2018-05-04T19:36:49+00:00 May 4th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Behind the curtain: The “TCM” role at SpireTech

New Vulnerabilities Disclosed– ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’

What are they and can they affect you?

These are two computer security vulnerabilities that were publicly disclosed on January 3, 2018.  Due to technical issues involved with modern processors, each of these vulnerabilities pose a potential risk for theft of sensitive user and system data that had previously been believed to be secure.  Both vulnerabilities take advantage of a feature of modern Intel CPU’s called Speculative Execution, this allows the processor to speed up branching operations by starting to execute what it thinks is the most likely outcome before the results have returned. In modern Intel processors this technique is beneficial as it significantly increases execution speed in most workloads. However, Meltdown specifically allows an attacker to exploit Speculative Execution and see the contents of Kernel space memory.  Spectre allows programs to execute code they should not be able to, and view data within other user-space programs. Any system that allows arbitrary code to be executed is potentially vulnerable to these […]

By | 2018-01-11T17:50:10+00:00 January 10th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on New Vulnerabilities Disclosed– ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’

Microsoft Windows 10: Update Issues with “Fall Creator”

Microsoft regularly releases annual updates to their current operating system, this year it is known as the Fall Creators update (Build 1709).

As more machines are being updated with this release SpireTech’s support specialists have noticed a trend in calls reporting Windows 10 system instabilities.

Some of the concerns that SpireTech is aware of include:

  • Update causes Remote Desktop (RDP) to stop functioning
  • AutoDesk software becoming unstable after the update and frequently crashing
  • Various printer vendors are working to update drivers to support Microsoft’s changes
  • Microsoft .Net Framework packages have become unstable and seem to be causing software crashes
  • Microsoft Office365 Users have reported being unable to install some other software applications if the Office suite software is running at the time

SpireTech’s VIP Managed Service customers, who have their patches managed by Spire, don’t need to be concerned about these issues as this update patch will be deferred until it can appropriately be applied.

For the […]

By | 2017-12-13T00:35:07+00:00 December 9th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on Microsoft Windows 10: Update Issues with “Fall Creator”

SpireTech Has Moved Temporarily

SpireTech Has Moved Temporarily – but just to the other side the street!

Following the dumpster fire in July, which damaged the lower levels of the building where SpireTech occupies the top floor, we have relocated our “people space” to another building in the same office park.

We are now located at 2130 SW Jefferson Street, Suite 300, which is just on the other side of the parking lot from 2140.   However, other than our physical address, all our contact information remains the same – with all of our telephone and technology contact information staying unchanged.

We expect to be in our temporary offices until the building repairs and renovations are completed, hopefully before the end of December.  If you’re in the area, you’re welcome to stop by and check out our temporary home.

By | 2017-09-15T21:52:58+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Newsletter|Comments Off on SpireTech Has Moved Temporarily