Alex

EPSON Printer selection at MicroPro Computers

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We love EPSON here at MicroPro. It’s really no secret. I’ve you’ve ever been to the shop you’d notice the wide selection of their hyper-multi-tasking printers. Perhaps you even have one.

You’ll also find other products of this fine brand in our stock, but printers have already earned a bit of the name for themselves.

Here’s the selection of some models we have currently in stock. See what you fancy, come in to see them in action for yourself!

Epson Expression XP-225

Epson Expression XP-225 @ 69.99

Nifty, economical and practical! Don’t be fooled by its compact size The XP-225 fits a scanner, copier and the printer in one. You can print your photos in impeccably high quality straight from your phone via a special Epson app.

All that at just €69.99 and changing the individual inks will not break your bank either, as EPSON cartridges are one of the cheapest ones on the market!

EPSON Expressions XP-312
epson-xp312-front-large

So, if you want to up your game from the XP-225, the XP-312 is a great contender to it. Well, it’s quite similar really, but for the added price you also get an image display to see what photos your printing (if you’re printing directly from your camera’s memory card, oh yes, there’s a camera card memory slot too!).

The XP-312 is available at €79.99.

EPSON Expressions XP-412
Epson Expressions XP-421 MicroPro Computers

So, you liked the other two models, but you’re still on a look out for something more… functional? Robust? Here’s the XP-412 – an ultimate house printer. It’s an All-in-One printer-scanner-copier. It spews out copies in seconds and prints photos from your phone, computer or an inbuilt card reader.

The full-colour display has all of the controls you need for the computer-free copying and photo printing.

All this at €89.99! And just like the other two models it won’t eat into your budget with the ultra-affordable EPSON inks (there are four cartridges inside).

Ok, so not all of you might be into printing pictures. What if you need a good office machine? If you’re printing volumes and volumes of text (and pictures) then we have a perfect work horse for you.

EPSON WorkForce WF-4630DWF
EPSON WorkForce 7610

It’s a printer, it’s a scanner, it’s a copier, it prints automatically in duplex (both sides), it’s a fax, it’s Wireless… Phew! The list goes one.

Why should you consider it over the loud and expensive laser printer? Well, it’s up to 50% lower on cost per page as compared to a lot of commercial laser printers; it’s also faster delivering prints than the said lasers and it doesn’t require any warm up period. The choice is really simple!

The price for this beast is just €279.99 – and it also includes 3 months warranty!

So, if you’re on a hunt for a new printer – give us a shout! Call the shop on 01 4930514

Change the password for your Ebay account

Posted by | Internet Safety | No Comments

l12530-new-ebay-logo-10389
Ebay is urging all of its users to change passwords following heavy cyber attack earlier this month.

According to the PayPal release earlier this afternoon, you don’t have to change your PayPal information and your card records are secure.

If you’re selling or buying any items on Ebay, change your password right away. To ensure that your password is as safe and secure read our previous post about your password security.

The Godzilla Movie x TOSHIBA Competition

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It’s competition time! There’s a fantastic prize to be won with our friends at TOSHIBA and a free goodie with your next laptop purchase.

So, if you fancy owning a brand new TOSHIBA laptop ideal for visual creative professionals and multimedia enthusiasts! Every week the folks over at TOSHIBA Ireland will be hiding a product on a large picture of the Tokyo landscape as seen from Godzilla’s perspective. All you have to do is find it!

And it’s not going to be as easy as it sounds. You can get the clues if you follow TOSHIBA Ireland Facebookpage. Go try your luck out now!

To celebrate the release of GODZILLA, Toshiba is giving away a choice of awe-inspiring Skullcandy Lowrider on-ear headphones or Skullcandy Fix in-ear headphones, when you buy selected laptops. Skullcandy’s bone-shaking sound mechanics, combined with Toshiba’s range of high-performance laptops powered by Intel® CoreTM Processors will ensure an epic entertainment experience – in your own home.

You can check TOSHIBA’s website to see which laptops qualify for the offer – and you can get in touch with us to make sure to get the best price for them!

Stay safe online: CryptoLocker

Posted by | Internet Safety, Practical Tips | No Comments

Have this thing just popped on your screen?

Please note: this is a virus and it can not be trusted. We have a lot of customers coming in with their computers right now complaining about this CryptoLocker thing.

CryptoLocker is a type of malware – it’s a little bugger of a malicious software that you can get by opening a wrong e-mail (for example).

First off, if you ever get an e-mail from services like your phone company, bank and so on – don’t open them. Your official services never contact you over e-mail. They send letters.

Second, never trust anything that is asking you for money out of a sudden in a pop-up. When in doubt – just give us a call on 01 493051.

OK, so you got the CryptoLocker thing on your screen anyway. How to deal with this? Here are a couple of steps:

Download the following tools first then disconnect machine from network

1. To remove the cryptolocker virus run the Sophos removal tool
It can be downloaded from below:

http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/virus-removal-tool.aspx

2. After removal tool has completed download the CryptoPrevent installer tool

Install and then click block:

http://www.foolishit.com/vb6-projects/cryptoprevent/

If you don’t know how to proceed with the above, switch off your computer and bring it to us, or just give us a call first. We’ll be able to sort you out.

Please stay safe and only open e-mails that you are waiting for and know that you can trust.

Don’t have AntiVirus on your computer? Install AVG Free http://free.avg.com/eu-en/homepage

We also recommend Malwarebytes to protect you against malware: http://www.malwarebytes.org/

Questions? Comments? Get in touch. leave a comment below.

Alex

@MicroPro Computers

TWITTER FILTERS: WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW TO USE THEM

Posted by | Practical Tips, Recommended Apps | No Comments

Here’s another note on the use of Twitter. This time I will tell you a little bit about Twitter filters. If you’re using them already – great! Perhaps, you could even add to my note if you have some other tips.

If you’re not using these yet: Twitter filters are great to discover new tweets that might help you find new customers that are looking for your services.

You will need to install one of the Twitter apps I mentioned before: http://on.fb.me/15ugINP. For this post I’m going to use Tweet Deck as it’s the one I’m using most of the time.

I have created a new Twitter account for an ice cream shop to use as an example for this.

1. ADDING YOUR FILTERS

So, I started with a simple search for ice cream on Twitter. I can see what people are talking about and possibly find some interesting recipes to retweet to your followers.

I have also looked up for people who ‘want ice cream’ to see if I could send them a tweet with a recommendation to come over to my shop (or my brand). I’ve also tried ‘flavor ice cream’ to see what flavors people were discussing and also ‘dublin ice cream’ – to see if anyone was looking for ice cream in my area and what the conversation generally was about.

And you can see what tweets I found from the picture there. I have also saved these searches – so I can check them every day for new tweets.

2. GEO-TWEETS

So, if you’ve played around with the first step – let me introduce a more complicated one right away. So, you saw how I added ‘Dublin’ into my search? Well, most of the people won’t tell you where they are or what exactly they are looking for. And this is where you can use geo-location search. It involves a few steps and modifications – but I’ll try to make it simple for you.

You see the picture above? Some of these are tweets that include words ‘ice cream’ and ‘want ice cream’ within 50km radius of Dublin and also 10km radius of Rathmines (where I decided my ice cream shop is located). I can find people that want ice cream in the nearest or local area. There’s also a general ice cream talk I can join in.

So, how do you search by location on Twitter? First, find out what your geocode is. Here’s a handy link: http://www.mygeoposition.com/. So, I searched for ‘Rathmines’:

Longitude: 53.321882 Latitude: -6.265505

Now, my search code for Ratmines is 53.321882,-6.265505, (note commas)

When you found this code, decide of your radius area (I find that the code does not work properly without it) and put in the following in to the search:

want ice cream geocode:53.321882,-6.265505,10km

My key words are ‘want ice cream’, the geocode is for Rathmines and the radius is 10km. So, now I can see who wants ice cream around and close enough to Rathmines. Off course I can reduce the radius too.

Go on – have fun with some keywords and see for yourself if you can reach out to your locals.

3. OCCASION TWEETS & NOTIFICATIONS

Now that you have tried the keyword search and location tweets in your search you can see if you can tap into the trends on Twitter.

Say, it’s a hot weather in Dublin out of a sudden. I know that people would be looking for ways to cool down and they’d love to come by for ice creams and ice shakes. So, I’m going to use a combination of geo-tweets and keywords like ‘scorcher’, ‘too hot’, ‘melting’ and whatever else, that’s not as straight forward but would help my business.

You can also select your notifications in TweetDeck. So, when someone is looking for ice cream in Rathmines, I’ll have a pop up with a sound coming up on the screen. To do this, just click on the drop-down arrow of your search column where you will find ‘notifications’ and selection options.

On the note

The tweets you will find are public – which means that people have chosen to display these tweets and they realise that anyone can read them. In either way you should consider this with a bit of common sense.

You don’t have to approach the folk with the marketing pitch – be rather playful and answer their questions without directly pointing at your brand. Obviously, if someone says ‘I’d love an ice cream right now but I don’t have anything close by’ – you can point them directly to yourself.

If you’re interesting people will look into your profile anyway. So, have fun with this.

I’d love to hear your feedback – did you find this useful? Do you already use these Twitter filters? Is there something I left out or should have explained better? Comments below always welcome.

Alex
@ MicroPro Computers

A LITTLE BACKUP STORY

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A few weeks ago I started working on a series of videos for this company. The thing is that the video files from the camera I’m using take a whole lot of space, and I have to store them on a little TOSHIBA drive that’s always connected to my computer.

So, one weekend I was working away on the laptop, I reach out for a glass of water and splash… there it goes: all over my little trusty TOSH hard drive. To double my horror my boyfriend decided to ‘save the situation’ and shake the water off the hard drive. Obviously, by shaking the hard drive itself. Still connected to my laptop and spinning away.

And hey, it still worked. For the exact amount of time it took me to save the video files on the SD card I also have permanently connected to my laptop.

And the rest of my 1TB photos, videos and summer holiday memories? Safely backed up on my second hard drive. Actually, I have five of them.

You don’t necessarily have to be such a backup pedant. But, it’s good practice to backup things that you’re working on constantly. Especially if they are important.

So, here’s a bit of nitty gritty on some of the habits you can catch on to so your data doesn’t magically disappear one day.

1. CTRL + S – to save your Word/Excel/PowerPoint document constantly

When you start composing a new document, start by giving it a name and saving it as soon as you get a headline. Once you’re finished with a paragraph – click CTRL + S to save it to the document. That way you will be sure that you have the most full version of your composition in case things go haywire.

2. External Hard Drive

I love external hard drives. But that’s because I love photography and video and I have a lot of files backed up twice on all my drives. You don’t have to go to such drastic extents, but if you do have a lot of photos or you’re working with a video those come real handy

3. USB & SD

Now, if you’re working on your thesis or a small project and you have to constantly use a certain set of documents – put them on a memory stick. You can get one of those USB sticks that doesn’t even stick out of your computer, so you can have it constantly plugged in. SD card (yes, your usual photo card) is also very handy. Most of the new computers come with a SD card slot and you can also use it to back up your data and keep it in all the time without obstructing anything. Plus, your USB slots will be free too.

4. Dropbox & Google Drive
Save your information in the cloud. Say, you’re working on a thesis, and your computer suddenly switches off and doesn’t come back on. You bring it into your local repair centre and they say it’s not repairable. If you have saved your document in the cloud and worked on it while using my first suggestion you could just find another computer and proceed working on your thesis. Of course most of the students forget about those. We always can tell when the deadlines are approaching in our workshop.

5. E-mail it to yourself

Sometimes you might not have a your USB key or external hard drive handy. But most of us have e-mail and access to e-mail from any computer. So, you can just e-mail the file you’re working on to yourself and you can get it on any other computer. So easy!

A little extra…

CD & DVD

ven the above solutions sometimes fail. I once dropped my external backup hard drive and thought that all my old photos were gone forever. Until I found a box of old CDs and DVDs that I used to use before the said hard drive and they were all there. I still have that box. And although CDs and DVDs might be depreciating in time (scratched etc.) – I never actually use them. They just sit in the box under my bed in protective cases and I only used them once since. A little extra solution if you need it.

You see – backing up is easy, you can do it anywhere and it can save you a lot of frustration. So why not make it a habit today?

Let me know if you have any questions or ideas. If you need any memory sticks, hard drives or SD cards – you know where to find them.

Alex @ MicroPro Computers

TWITTER APPS: WHY YOU NEED THEM & WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE

Posted by | Recommended Apps | No Comments

If you’re following us on twitter (@MicroProPCShop) you will know that we’re making a casual appearance at the #irishbizparty and #m50bizhub (on odd nights & mornings). If you didn’t, then we’d suggest you to get on it, get following and start tweeting. That’s where the business networking now, and thanks to the both parties we have gained a lot of relevant leads, connections and gained new friends.

Twitter app are also very handy in setting the filters to help you find customers relative to your business. Say you’re selling… flowers! Maybe there’s someone looking for flowers in your area. Well, just try putting in words like ‘flowers’ and ‘dublin’ (if you’re in Dublin) and see if anyone is looking for those. And you can even save this search result on Twitter to get notifications every time anyone is looking for flowers. Try it out with different keywords. Sure, you can even geo-search it – but that’s another story. Let me know if you want to hear it.

So. Tools. Let’s see the pro’s and cons of some of these.

1. Twitter (Web based & App)

You can always use Twitter in your browser. Just go to twitter.com. It’s handy – because you can check it everywhere. However, if you want to apply the filters I told you about and follow all the Twitter networking parties around it could get overwhelming. You’d really have to open new tabs for answers & updated filters. Loading old messages is quite slow and if you’re using it on the phone it doesn’t always display all the messages related to the Twitter parties – so you’ll be missing out.

2. TweetDeck (http://tweetdeck.com/)

his is really the best tool I have tried – for both Mac & PC. The interface is extremely appealing (especially if you set it to ‘Dark’ in the settings). You can add extra columns for your searches & Twitter party hashtags to it. And I particularly enjoy the subtle ‘beep’ sound when you get a notification on a new message from it. You can also set a notification for your filters. So, if anyone tweets about ‘flowers in Dublin’ you will get a subtle ‘beep’. It’s very neat and I have been using it for over three years myself.

It’s extremely intuitive, easy to start you going and free!

3. MetroTwit (http://www.metrotwit.com/)

A wonderful app – especially if you have upgraded to Windows 8 and you’re looking for a good Twitter app for your new Operating System. It works on the same principle as TweetDeck: you can add multiple columns and search results to it. You’ll get a pop-up notification if someone mentions your name or any of the filtered keywords. On the downside: you can only add one Twitter account to it. On the upside: when you’re typing a tweet and you type in a hashtag it will auto-suggest the most relevant hashtags of the moment. Way to make the Tweet relevant!

4. HootSuite (https://hootsuite.com/)

This was the first app I tried to install on an iPad I had. It was great for a while because I could utilize it in a similar way as TweetDeck on my laptop. However, I find it quite tedious that both the mobile and browser apps don’t have an automatic refresh option. This is especially frustrating during #irishbizparty when the tweets are coming at 100 per second (dramatic but not far exaggeration) and you can’t find where you’ve started from.

Also the layout is not what I particularly enjoy. But, on the upside: you can add all other social networks to it. You’ll get a feed for you Facebook and Google Plus accounts if you want to. A one-stop-shop Social management.

A lot of Social Media pros are also using HootSuite for analytics. And these could be a lot of fun & a handy marketing tool. Although they do come under a Premium Paid version. Make sure you spend your penny only if you know how you could use the data you get from analytics. Otherwise it’s not going to be particularly worth it.

In a nutshell

There are plenty more apps that I have tried out – but the ones above I find to be most effective if you’re planning on taking part in Twitter networking events or want to get notifications on certain search terms, or even delve into analytics. So,

Twitter web/iPhone – if you just want simple Twitter view and you don’t have problems following conversations. The Mac app for Twitter is also handy for a single account with minimum interactions

TweetDeck – if you want to take your interaction to the next level and apply multiple filters and search terms, get notification (for Mac & PC)

MetroTwit – your best Windows-based Twitter buddy with all of the TweetDeck features

HootSuite – for advanced analytics & additional Social Media Accounts.

Hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions or any comments – let me know in the comments below. What Twitter app do you use and why? Would you like to get more ‘Twitter for business’ updates?

Alex
MicroPro Computers

BEST APPS FROM SXSW 2013 TO USE FOR BUSINESS

Posted by | New Apps | No Comments

SXSW in Austin is best-known for introducing bands that everyone is going to be listening to for the rest of the year. But recently it has also become a launchpad for newest apps and interactive solutions. There’s a long list of fun apps to try, but I have picked some of the ones that might come handy for business & productivity.

Message Me

For someone working in a creative environment Message Me could be a real life saver. It’s a simple messaging service that also allows sending videos, sounds, photos and doodles to a contact or a group – perfect for sharing ideas on-the-go. It also should make it easier to put together those brainstorming sessions that are usually scattered in e-mails, notes and messages. (Available for both iOS and Android) (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/messageme/id562075622?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4)

Thread

Thread is essentially a caller ID that also pulls out all of your recent social and e-mail correspondence with the contact. No more putting them on hold while you’re trying to fiddle your way around the phone to find that reference number or a tweet! (Sadly, only available for Android) (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sprezzat.thread)

Younity

It happens to all of us: you get to an important meeting and realize that you forgot to grab that essential file or it didn’t synch to iCloud properly. Younity makes your entire desktop available to you at all time without actually taking any space in you cloud app – it’s essentially a remote access app for all your devices. Handy? A lifesaver! (iOS only – but does work with Windows Desktop) (http://www.getyounity.com/)

ClipPick

This app allows you to copy text from one device (say iPhone) and paste it into another (PC, laptop etc) – it’s that simple! Download it for (iOs & Android) (http://clippick.com)

Highlight


Highlight shows you who is nearby and what you have in common with them. As much as I could see from testing it so far there are people offering their services: very handy of you’re in the area you don’t particularly know and want to find a service or a person. (iOS & Android) (http://highlig.ht/about.html)

Plotter

A social mapping app that lets you create and share places you’re visiting. Or adding your own place on the map. Never know who will be visiting your area and will need your services! (iOS only) (http://www.plotterapp.com/)

ProxToMe

It’s an app similar to Highlight but it could be used differently – and comes especially handy if you’re in a meeting with new people and want to connect with them easier or share a document via Dropbox without adding their e-mail address. Provided both of you have the app installed. (iOS & Android) (http://www.proxtome.com/)

Let me know what you think of them. Are you using any of these already?

Alex @ MicroPro.ie

SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK – COPENHAGEN – DAY 4

Posted by | Events | No Comments


Today I only attended one of the events that caught my attention with a very lucrative headline:

Measure Social media: Measure or die, what you can measure you can manage.

Whad did we learn from it? Not much on how to measure the actual ROI, as everyone expected, but a rtaher insightful presentation on what a great tool Social Media is and what we could learn from it.

“Social Media is a gift to a company” – probably the best quote to describe the essence of this presentation. There’s so much data to pick from the social media and then tailor it to your needs.

Once again, personalisation was strongly highlighted (see report on Day 2 event and the power of personalisation on LinkedIn). As well as the fact that you need to know your audience in order to engage with them – do your research, use keywords and read into data you collect from the Social Media channels.

How to tell an engaging story? Our presenter suggested to use a classic Screenplay Structure to tell engaging stories. Here’s the example of it if you’re not failiar with it.

I don’t think that everyone got the real point behind it – especially after days of being suggested to keep textual content on pages as short as possible to create the most engaging content – but a story could also be told with pictures, right?

Help and ancourage people online instead of just throwing marketing messages out. Noone likes to be hit in the face with a billboard. Instead, communicate with people. Social Networks ar just for that – socializing and engaging in a dialogue.

Becoming a brand ambassador. Even engaging with as little as 5% of your fans/followers can get you further as these are the people who will then use word-of-mouth to tell other about the great job you are doing. Another reason to speak to individual rather than sending out a mass message.

Finally, as many might have wondered that all this listening, analyzing and having a smple comversation might take an awful amount of time. Yes, it does – but while you might choose not to do all of this, another business, similar to yours will and will easily take over the competition. Making an extra effort always pays off even if you won’t see a queue of customers outside the door the first day you sign up to Facebook getting a word about you out there will eventually bring business to you.

I really hope that these insights are helpful to you and your business. I got to learn a lot over this week from people who do great work in various industry sectors – and I am looking forward working with some of teh suggestions. Let me know if you have any questions, suggestions or comments.

Regards

Alex @ micropro.ie