Coopersville Cares this Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This holiday season, IT Resource collected non-perishable canned goods and personal care items for Coopersville Cares, a local organization that reaches out to those in need. We encouraged our employees, customers, and community friends to help us reach our goal of delivering a full box of goods.

We ended up exceeding our goal and were pleased to find out that Coopersville Cares distributed more food in November 2011 than in any month in the 27 years the agency has been in existence. The need for assistance like ours is great. Thank you to those who took the time and spent the money to contribute.  

If you are inclined to donate again, they are located at 180 68th Ave, Coopersville. You can contact Jim Alberts at 997-8602.

Happy Holidays!

Larger Than Life

Friday, December 23, 2011

Excuse the Backstreet Boys reference – you know, the popular 90’s Boy Band we love to hate -- but what I’m about to debut really IS larger than life.  Are you ready?  I sure hope so, because this is what technology is all about!

It may be a little tough to notice the pure size of this TV; however I can assure you that this particular television is not 60”, not 70”, but 80 beautiful inches of viewing pleasure.

A Chicago customer of ours noticed their existing projector set up was becoming obsolete and required too much maintenance. Instead of sticking with projectors for a replacement, ITR advised a large TV would work well in its place. After a few different technology upgrades and troubleshooting steps, the final product ended up looking great!

We were able to set them up with Video Conferencing, PC hookups, movie access, Satellite HDTV, and access to the Internet right through the TV! PowerPoint presentations now look magnificent, video conferencing calls are clear, crisp and efficient; and after-hours sports games and movies leave nothing to the imagination.

What kind of office set up do you have? What kind of set up do you wish you had for situations like this?

A Simple Way to Create a Screencast

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Screencasting is a simple way to record your computer screen, then share the video with others. Its a great way to train employees, or teach clients how to make changes on their own computer systems. Because the screencast records your every move, its easy to show others exactly what you’re doing.

Before we discovered an all-in-one software solution we used to talk each customer through everything. Don’t get me wrong, we are always more than happy to help out each and every customer, but creating a video that they could watch, actually made THEIR lives easier because they could watch the video any time of day or night. 

Our search for the perfect way to record our screens required us to find software that would allow us to record our voice at the same time so we could explain what was happening. To date, the best software we have come across is Jing. Jing allows you to take screenshots, record video of onscreen actions and instantly share them via the web, email and more. Oh, and did I mention there is a free version for both Mac and Windows? Score.

To see an example of Jing in action, click below.

New Products for the Office

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'd like to share a quick update for some of the projects we have going on here at IT Resource. One of our big projects is an update/redesign of our Data Center. Kevin Luke and I have been working hard for the past few weeks, organizing a plan to accommodate some new products we have, and preparing the ITR Data Center for new devices. Our first step in the redesign process was to reorganize the physical placement of some of the hardware. Next in line comes the power arrangement. With the addition of several servers and the movement of others, we needed a way to correctly power all the new devices.

Kevin Luke making some changes

We were able to put in a new, more powerful UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) to help with the added load of more physical servers. At the same time, we made the addition of a Raritan PDU (Power Distribution Unit) which can accommodate more power than our previous setup and also gives us more information to better protect our customers’ data! In the near future, we will be replacing our current power units with new Raritan PDUs as well. It will be a large improvement that will hopefully benefit not only us in the office, but our customers as well!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Work hard, play hard. That's the idea, right? At IT Resource, we make it a priority to do both well. This weekend we celebrated our IT Resource holiday party at Lincoln Lanes in Grand Rapids. Dinner, bowling, prizes, and even a little dancing....how could we not have a great time?

We strongly encouraged everyone to dress in their holiday best and we voted to pick the person who displayed the most holiday spirit. The winner was our help desk manager, Lori. She was a hard one to beat!

Next up...bowling! Some of us hadn't bowled in years, while others were true professionals. We also discovered that our engineers have a knack for photo bombing. See how many you can spot.

Our festive sales team, Carrie & Carolyn

What would a holiday party be without some shenanigans? When you let IT people out of the office, you never know what they'll do.

You may not have known that at IT Resource we have our own Justin Bieber. He stopped by for an impromptu dance session before calling it a night.

After bowling everyone hung out for a bit to socialize, find out which team had the best (and most honest) bowling score, and recall the great year that we've all had.

Our photo bomber strikes again...

A big thanks to Gary & Leo who throw a fabulous party each year!

Many thanks to our team, customers, and friends for the prosperous year we've had. And, here's to a fantastic 2012...we're looking forward to it!

Pssst...If you feel you'd be a good fit for our team, send us your resume. We'll be continuing to grow in 2012. 

And, to see even more photos from our evening, check out our Facebook page

Shipping Goes Phishing

Thursday, December 08, 2011

As the holiday season rolls around, more online purchases are being made. Shipping gifts and sending items through the mail can be quite convenient and easy; however this opens up opportunities for online scammers, including phishing.

Phishing is the act of ‘fishing’ for personal information through the World Wide Web. Many of these attempts come through email, which is precisely what a particular UPS phishing scam is doing. According to antispam vendor Cloudmark, this phishing scam has been floating around since the beginning of November. As the holiday fast approaches, the reports are greatly increasing. Unfortunately, this kind of scam doesn’t go away, and it increases in cleverness as technology moves forward.

How phishing works: Under normal circumstances, when a product is ordered online, a shipping confirmation is sent to the user’s email once the product has been sent out for shipping. In this phishing case, a fake email is sent to the user that appears to be sent from UPS. The ‘From’ address looks like a UPS employee’s email and the email may have UPS branding throughout. However, attached with the email, is a .zip file that contains a virus which can harm your computer. There may also be a ‘Track Your Shipment’ link which is similar to what may be seen in a real UPS email. This link in the fake email will just bring you to an infected webpage which can harm your computer. These kinds of attempts are found all over and impersonate several different companies, not just UPS.

Fortunately, most antispam and antivirus programs pick up on this and warn the user before they may make the mistake. As the holiday approaches and progresses, take conservative steps when making purchases online. If something seems suspicious before, during, or after the purchase, it’s best to stop what you’re doing and call someone with the company you are working with to get confirmation.