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THE FINAL DAYS OF WINDOWS 7 Why You Should Be Preparing to Switch
All technology is iterative. Whether we’re talking about software or hardware, there will come a time when your current tools will no longer fit your needs. Deciding when to upgrade is always a bit of a guessing game. You could choose to be an early adopter, but that means you may be dealing with 1.0 bugs and other growing pains. Waiting too long to switch, however, can create much more serious problems. An expiration date for making a change is exactly what Windows 7 users are facing right now. On Jan. 14, 2020, Windows will end support for Windows 7. Updates will stop, and the operating system will enter lame-duck status. Technically, you’ll still be able to use Windows 7 after that date, but if you’re one of the 40-plus percent of businesses who still use the platform, you need to think about switching as soon as possible. Here are a few key reasons why. EASE OF INTEGRATION Your operating system may be the foundational platform from which every other desktop tool springs, but it’s far from the only software resource you rely on. In today’s world, every business needs a whole suite of services in order to run at their best. Sticking to an out-of- date operating system will cause your other programs to falter. Developers simply aren’t updating their software with an eye toward Windows 7. Over time, many of the applications essential to your operations will become unusable in Windows 7. The same is true of hardware. New devices and components are released all the time, and they are all designed to work with the operating systems of today and tomorrow. Unfortunately, Windows 7 is quickly becoming yesterday’s operating system. Using Windows 7 with such hardware limits its capabilities. Eventually, it will become difficult to find hardware that’s compatible with Windows 7 at all.
SECURITY CONCERNS While hindering your performance is far from desirable, that pales in comparison to the safety risks you’ll be living with if you don’t upgrade in time. Once Microsoft ends support, security patches will cease. These patches are essential for combating the latest tactics used by hackers to break into your network. Without them, you are extremely vulnerable. Even worse, hackers know to target businesses and individuals who fail to upgrade to current operating systems. They correctly reason that if somebody is foolish enough to use an outdated platform, they probably aren’t wise enough to have adequate defenses. Basically, an unsupported operating system is the equivalent of a “kick me” sign on your back, only this one reads: “hack me.” ACT NOW OR CRY LATER We are still more than six months away from the death knell of Windows 7, so you may think you have time before a change is necessary. The truth is: You should act now so that once the final date arrives, you’ll have all of your machines ready to go. That’s especially true if you’re considering changing your service provider altogether, rather than simply migrating forward to Windows 10. If you need to transition your operating system, we are here to help guide you along the way. No matter what course of action you take, you have to act. Otherwise, you’ll be in deep trouble come January 2020. –Byron Adams
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Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.TheNewsletterPro.com
DONATE THEM TO A CHARITY Another easy way to make sure your old devices find a good home is to donate them to a local charity or nonprofit organization. In addition to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and the like, don’t be afraid to stop into local rec centers or senior living facilities to see if they’re in need of a TV or computer. If a donation center won’t accept broken or old electronics, they may offer to dispose of them for you. Just make sure they are doing so the way you’d like. There are also a number of nationwide organizations, like Dell Reconnect, the World Computer Exchange, and Secure the Call, that take electronics from those who no longer need them and put them in the hands of those who do. BEFORE YOU DISPOSE No matter the route you choose, you should completely clear and reformat all devices before you get rid of them. Giving away a phone is awesome, but giving away your personal data is not. HOW TO RECYCLE YOUR ELECTRONICS Don’t Throw Away That Old Phone! NEED NETWORKING OR COMPUTER HELP?
Modern electronics are filled with components that can cause damage to the planet if not disposed of responsibly. Luckily, there are more ways than ever to give your unused devices a second life. Here are two of our favorites. TAKE THEM TO DEDICATED ELECTRONICS RECYCLERS Electronics recyclers, or e-cyclers for short, are popping up everywhere to help people dispose of electronics. Many cities and towns even hold e-cycling days when residents can place undesired electronics outside of their home to be picked up for proper disposal. If you’re curious about these programs, you can visit ECyclingCentral. com to learn about the options in your area. In addition to public programs, there are a number of groups that specialize in the safe disposal and repurposing of electronics. Call2Recycle (Call2Recycle.org) is focused on batteries, and they have maps on their website where you can see participating recyclers. Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SustainableElectronics.org) works similarly, but they handle a wider range of electronics. They only list e-cyclers who meet R2 standards, the highest level of regulation for electronics repair and recycling. SPOTLIGHT ON DR. JERRY ELLEN OWENSBY One of the joys of working at AZCOMP is the chance we get to help private practice entrepreneurs live out their dreams. Helping these people is what we’re all about. As such, there’s no greater compliment we can receive than warm words from our clients. One such client, Dr. Jerry Ellen Owensby, shares her AZCOMP experience below. We started working with AZCOMP Technologies when they called us out of the blue. We didn’t know what kind of companies could do what we needed, and we saw that they specialized in health care and independent practices. They said they’d handle all our vendor issues, and it looked like it was exactly what we needed. We ended up talking to some other computer companies too, but with AZCOMP being in health care, local, and able to manage everything for us, they were what we wanted and needed, even though they were a little more expensive. We’ve been with AZCOMP for over a year now, and it has been well worth the investment. With better computers, better Wi-Fi and internet access, and getting all our issues sorted out with the vendors, we don’t have downtime and are much more productive. We used to have to do many things twice because something would go down in the middle of a process. Now we’re up all the time, and we don’t have to repeat our work. We’re much more secure, too.
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Protect Your Data What every small business owner must know about protecting & preserving their
“What every small business owner must know about protecting and preserving their company’s critical data and computer systems” covers the essential information you need to know to keep your network safe. If you aren’t up- to-date on the latest in security, your network will be at risk.
company’s critical data & computer systems!
If you depend on your computer network to run your business, this is one report you DON’T want to skip!
This report is available for free at AzCompIt.com/Protect. Download it today to ensure your computer systems are as secure as possible. With this report, you will have peace of mind and can spend time enjoying the May flowers without worrying about the safety of your network and data.
Thank you, Dr. Owensby. It’s a pleasure working with you.
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GOOGLE GETS INTO GAMING Can Stadia Change the Industry? At this year’s Game Developers Conference, the biggest announcement came in the form of Google’s new gaming platform, Stadia. A revolutionary new service, one that will stream games directly to devices without the use of an in-home console, Stadia has the potential to radically alter the video game market in coming years. Cloud gaming has been a hope for many for years, but the difficulty has always been in delivering adequate performance. If any company is equipped to solve that problem, it’s Google. The tech giant has partnered with AMD to create custom GPUs for their data centers, which purport to deliver 4K resolution and a frame rate of 60fps. To achieve these speeds, a user will need an internet connection with download speeds of 30Mbps. The only hardware required will be the Stadia controller. It seems clear that Google intends for Stadia to compete with consoles from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo rather than targeting the performance-obsessed PC gaming market. If they get support from game developers and deliver on the numbers they’ve promised, Stadia could transform the gaming industry. Stadia is expected to launch later this year. Be on the lookout for preorders because it’s bound to be a massive seller.
World-conquering blockbusters and staid Oscar bait may earn the lion’s share of movie coverage, but over the past few years, a large number of indie films have carved out a space for themselves on theater screens as well as in the hearts of audiences. While there’s no stylistic or thematic trend uniting these individual films, there is one thing many of them have in common: They were either produced or distributed by A24. A24 is an entertainment company that focuses on “movies from a distinct point of view.” Their auteur-driven approach stands in stark contrast to the mass-market concerns of major Hollywood studios. The kinds of films A24 develops and for which they acquire distribution rights wouldn’t do well in a focus group, and they’re often better for it. Founded in 2012, A24 found early success with Harmony Korine’s riotous and bizarre “Spring Breakers,” which grossed more than $30 million, recouping its budget six times over. In 2016, they developed and distributed “Moonlight,” the film that would go on to be a surprise Best Picture winner. Last year, Apple announced they had tapped A24 to develop a series of original films for their in-house content platform. Even more surprising, A24 retained rights to acquire and develop films independently of Apple. That the tech giant would agree to such favorable terms speaks to the influence of this film industry darling. In addition to having a keen eye for projects, A24 excels at unconventional marketing. When last year’s “Eighth Grade,” the directorial debut of YouTube sensation Bo Burnham, was slapped with an R rating, critics were dismayed. They felt teens were being barred from a genuinely positive movie because of a little profanity. In a daring move, A24 scheduled screenings where teens could see the movie for free even if they weren’t accompanied by a parent. That boldness is emblematic of the movies A24 promotes and the company’s overall ethos. In a world where too much entertainment is groupthinked to death, it’s an approach we could use a lot more of. How A24 Built an Indie Movie Empire THE KING OF ART HOUSE
JULIE ZHOU’S ‘THE MAKING OF A MANAGER’ A Guide to Learning Management From a Silicon Valley Success Story
“This is a book about how someone with no formal training learned to become a confident manager,” writes Julie Zhou in the introduction to her new book “The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Is Looking at You.” When Zhou, who is now vice president of product design at Facebook, was thrust into her first management role at 25 years old, she had nowhere to turn for guidance or advice. After years spent developing her leadership skills, she decided to write the guide she wished she could have read in her early days managing a team.
“The Making of a Manager” covers all the essentials of business leadership. The early chapters detail exactly what management is, how to navigate your first three months, and the skills that help you lead a small team. As the book continues, it covers firing, feedback, culture, and other concerns that anyone in management will be familiar with. While the book is aimed at those entering leadership for the first time, it’s just as useful to somebody who’s been at it for a long time and needs to refresh their skills. After all, our knowledge of management has evolved over time. If you’re not reading current management strategies, you’re in danger of becoming out of touch. Just as appealing as Zhou’s insights is the presentation model she chose for the book. Rather than feeling like a boring textbook, “The Making of a Manager” is a compelling read full of anecdotes, illustrations, and even a healthy number of jokes. You’ll plow through it quickly, but its impact will last for years.
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The Dangers of Using an Old Operating System PAGE 1 A Guide to Recycling Electronics PAGE 2 Our Work With Dr. Jerry Ellen Owensby PAGE 2 The Underdog Success of A24 PAGE 3 Google’s New Gaming Service PAGE 3 AZCOMP Leadership Library: ‘The Making of a Manager‘ PAGE 3 The Incredible Story of Sixto Rodriguez PAGE 4
Whether it was the stone-cold grooves or the red-hot, politically charged lyrics, it became massive. At one point in the documentary, a commentator notes, “It was the soundtrack to our lives.” All of this was happening completely unbeknownst to the man who made the music. In fact, most South Africans assumed that Rodriguez was long dead. It wasn’t until decades later that a few dedicated fans decided to find out what happened to this mysterious singer who was so influential in their country. Having little knowledge of his personal life, they used his lyrics to help track him down. Where was Rodriguez? Living in the same Detroit house where he had been for decades. Once rediscovered, Rodriguez performed sold-out shows to an adoring public he never knew he had. Throughout it all, he embodied one of AZCOMP’s core values. We say “we check our egos at the door,” which is a value that doesn’t need much explaining. It would’ve been all too easy for Rodriguez to bask in his newfound glory, but he never did. Instead, he remained his cool, humble self. It’s something we could all stand to keep in mind, no matter what accolades come our way. By Benjamin AN IGNORED TALENT GETS HIS DUE
From Vincent van Gogh to Emily Dickinson, there are countless stories of artists who were not appreciated during their time and only received recognition after they died. But what about an artist who is appreciated in their time only to be completely unaware of it? That is the case for the musician known as Rodriguez. His unbelievable story is told in the documentary “Searching for Sugar Man,” which I don’t hesitate to call one of the greatest movies I’ve ever seen. Full disclosure: There will be light spoilers about the movie included in this article, but even if I told you every detail, it’d still be worth checking out. I’ll do my best to sum up the tale without going into too much mind-blowing detail. Anyway, Sixto Rodriguez was an American recording artist who released two albums of psychedelic folk rock in the early 1970s. The albums made little dent in his home country, causing the man who made them to fall into obscurity. Half-a-world away, though, Rodriguez was becoming a legend in South Africa. For some inexplicable reason, his music was insanely popular with South Africa’s young, anti-apartheid generation.
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