HardSoft are looking forward to meeting you all at the Show in February. Please find a free entry form following……If you want to book an appointment to discuss the Apple leasing options in more depth at Olympia then contact us.
Broadcast Video Expo 2011
Andrew loves computers and the way the market is evolving to a 'pay as you go' model against the old methodology of CapEx spending. A background of sourcing lease financing for Start Up businesses means he is perfectly place to provide insightful commentary on computing for new businesses.
When you think of IT and computer companies, we bet you think of a business filled with geeks, don’t you? Well the HardSoft team aren’t particularly geeky when it comes to computers – but they are pretty geeky when it comes to other stuff, so we thought it would be fun to do a geek-o-meter to show you just how geeky we can be. By the way, not all staff chose to complete our quick survey, so there may be even more geeks out there!
“Being a geek means never having to play it cool about how much you like something.” – Simon Pegg
Cameron in Tech
Cameron is our Chief Geek! He runs a multi-national online gaming community that has 60 members from as far as Australia and runs organised gaming events FOUR times a week. Also paints table top miniatures AND
attends a club every Tuesday that other players who share the hobby and play table top games with the miniatures. AND plays Magic the Gathering competitively. How geeky is that?
Ryan in Sales
Ryan is Deputy Chief Geek. He loves to LARP aka Live Action Role Playing (yes, we had to Google it too!) He also loves cinema, binge watching Netflix and going to see live music.
Oliver in Web Development
Oliver is pretty geeky. He plays Magic the Gathering and League of Legends (more Googling required!) and also writes poetry. He toured Europe playing Magic the Gathering for money.
Luke in Tech
Luke is fairly geeky. He loves gaming, 3D game design and 3D printing. He also loves SpaceX and Nasa, as well as the Marvel and Star Wars TV series and films.
Andrew is a boss
Andrew is up there and has a VR room at home. Stages outdoor movie screenings in the summer with a great Bar and loves a ‘Secret Cinema’.
Steve in Sales
Steve is mostly a regular guy but does play the same card game as Cameron and Oliver, Magic the Gathering, and is going to Amsterdam to play next month.
Jamie in Sales
In Jamie’s own words, he “flits between geek and old man”. He’s partial to a bit of VR gaming and LEGO, Oddly watches Bake Off and Snooker on TV.
“Be nice to nerds. Chances are, you’ll end up working for one.” – Bill Gates
Sharon in Digital Marketing
Sharon is probably our most geeky lady in the team. She loves the X-Men, especially the original cartoons, and all things Marvel. She is also a big fan of The Walking Dead TV series and has just attended her second Walker Stalker Convention in London – she doesn’t go as far as cosplay though. That would be a step too far for her!
Ben in Tech
Ben is more a petrol head than a geek. He loves playing around with and building cars, with varying degrees of success. He used to do fast track cars but now does drift track cars.
Phil is another boss
In the grand geekiness scheme of things, Phil is pretty normal. He runs Marathons and can get involved with an Escape Room, making him vaguely geeky.
Janet runs Admin
Janet isn’t really geeky at all, but she can’t cut up a banana in an odd number of pieces and will cut another piece into two just to make the total an even number!
Scarlett in Sales
Scarlett says she isn’t geeky at all. She did do a charity sky dive last year, which makes her a little crazy at least.
Michael in Sales
Michael is listed as the least geeky in the team, and the world needs some normality… he loves cooking, beer and football. He’s just one of the lads.
The first reviews are in on the new 15″ Surface Book 2 delivered last month. Always meeting and often exceeding expectations; the SurfaceBook 2 was always going to be a breathtaking laptop. With phenomenal; Design, Internal architecture, hardware specification and Display. But apparently, no one cares about its other modes?
In our survey, we asked our clients what they thought of their new 15″ Surface Book 2:
The Surface Book 2 was marketed as Microsoft’s answer to the MacBook Pro as an attempt to encroach on Apple’s tightly held professional consumer market. The problem always was, in my eyes, that Microsoft never really offered a compelling enough alternative to the MacBook & MacBook Pro or to build back trust in the brand after the recent failed releases of operating systems like Windows 8.
As you can see the vast majority of our customers have been happy so far following delivery of their 15″ Surface Book 2 with 83% of those surveyed stating they were impressed with the Surface Book and perhaps more surprisingly not a single customer surveyed said that they weren’t impressed.
This is some really engaging and exciting feedback and certainly the 15″ Surface Book 2 is managing to at least live up to the expectations placed on it by the price tag.
Almost all of our participants cited the combination of both the PixelSense Display & Hardware Performance as the reasons why they liked the SurfaceBook 2:
“Powerful performance with a large screen, and still very portable thanks to the detachable touchscreen & pen there is also so much more functionality present in the design than I ever had with a MacBook.”
“Touchscreen, it’s quick startup and the graphics capabilities.”
“The Power, High-Resolution screen and it’s Design.”
“The speed of the device and its screen!”
“Touchscreen, it’s convertible into a tablet and I can use the Surface pen directly on the screen.”
Despite exceeding expectations, the most surprising fact that our survey revealed is that few care about the SurfaceBook 2’s main USP!
Since launch, the Surface Range has prided itself on producing products that are both; A quality build internally but also offering an unmatched level of user-flexibility and versatility. The unique hinge and detachable feature of the Surface Book 2 have definitely been the focus of Microsoft’s marketing, but this survey would indicate very few really care, with only 17% saying that it was even an important feature on their Surface Book 2!
Brand loyalty and comfort is always an important factor when consumers make a decision regarding which equipment to get. The battle between Mac and Windows operating systems is still raging, fiercer than ever, although there are swathes of consumers on both sides of the debate PC is the current winner, still holding a far superior percentage of the relevant market shares than Apple. Partly user experience, affordability and perhaps a dash of tradition maintain that grip for Microsoft but not in the professional consumer markets.
Apple is often considered the premium choice for the creative professional however with the Surface range’s unique design, beautiful marketing (definitely inspired by Apple) and premium specifications a new competitor has entered the race and our customers have taken note. Without a doubt the Surface Book 2’s main competition is the MacBook Pro; Both selling for a similar price, with similar spec and offering a very similar ‘premium’ laptop.
Over 60% of our surveyed consumers already owned or had used Surface products in office prior to their purchasing of the 15″ Surface Book 2, this is certainly indicative of the Surface range leaving a good impression on users and perhaps of endearing loyalty towards a Windows OS.
Only 17% of those surveyed had even considered a MacBook as an alternative option when deciding whether or not to purchase the SurfaceBook 2. I would argue that this is more to do with user compatibility than marketing; Windows OS vs. Mac OS, however its interesting to note that our surveyed consumers when deciding what to spend £2000+ on often didn’t even consider the already well-established Apple alternative, especially when 50% of them have Apple products being regularly used in the office. Swaying consumers over from Apple to Microsoft or vice-versa seems a near impossible feat.
It’s interesting to see that the reason people are enjoying the Surface range isn’t due to marketing gimmicks and ultimately ‘luxury features’, instead, they are finding the Surface Book 2 to be a great quality device which is according to our survey; Responsive, beautiful and portable All of which are ultimately more important fundamentals. However, I can’t help but feel it perhaps a shame that more people aren’t finding Microsoft’s new innovation particularly exciting or ‘important’ when considering their initial experiences with the Surface Book 2.
Leasing has never been easier with our integrated e-sign paperwork which enables quick and easy agreements. The Surface Book 2 15″ is available to lease from as little as £20.35 a week ensuring your business keeps up to date with the latest equipment, quality devices for entry-level prices. Call HardSoft’s sales team now on 0207 1111 643 or you can chat to them online.
Our MDs, Andrew and Phil, started out building PCs over 30 years ago (they are the fresh-faced boys in the cover image!) and we recently had a customer bring in a custom built PC which they had made for them in 1984, which just needed a quick repair but it was still going strong!
This got us thinking about the oldest tech our customers have which they are still using regularly. At around the same time we also came across a company – My Face on a Figure – that will make action figures with your face on! So, what better way to combine these two things, than to have a HardSoft competition?
All you need to do is tweet us at @HardSoft_ (don’t forget to mention us so we see it!) or email firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo of yourself with your oldest bit of technology, telling us what it is and how old it is. We’ll then pick the oldest one and arrange for an action figure to be made of you – or the person of your choice. You may want to be nice and get one of your child, partner, whoever!
There are, of course, some terms and conditions for this competition:
1. Only 1 entry per company/individual
2. No photo-shopped images! Any that we think have been will be disqualified.
3. All entries must be received by 5.30pm on Monday 30th April 2018.
250,000 new recorded Malware instances affecting Mac Users – What can you do to help protect your data?
Security alerts all around as hackers are beginning to target Mac users like never before. With nearly 250,000 new Malware instances discovered targeting macOS software in the last 3 months.
Intego, the only company focusing solely on security for Macs and other Apple products, has brought to light three new and distinct families of ‘RAT’ malware designed to target and infect Mac users; CrossRAT, EvilOSX and OSX/Coldroot.
The need for security and caution when venturing online has never been greater, let’s have a look at exactly what kind of malware a ‘RAT’ is and what precautions users can take to protect themselves against these disguised online threats.
What is a RAT?
RAT stands for “remote administration tool” or “remote access Trojan.” There are plenty of perfectly legitimate software utilities for accessing another computer, the term RAT is reserved for software that’s designed to be installed and used without the user’s knowledge, often with the intention of spying and/or stealing resources.
RATs commonly include features that allow a remote attacker to control or spy on your computer. They often allow attackers to do such things as observe your screen, take screenshots, activate your camera or microphone, log everything you type including passwords, copy files to or from your computer, or execute other commands, all in the background without your knowledge.
What can I do?
The installation of Malware is almost always ‘user-driven’ attacking you via phishing e-mails and unknown online download options. In the vast majority of cases, Malware attacks are caused by users unwittingly installing it as the Malware masquerades as something else.
They are often hidden in: E-mail attachments, unknown software downloads and potentially can be included in any other forms of correspondence from the online world and your computer.
Below are 7 simple steps users can take, which will keep your Mac safe from almost all forms of phishing-based Malware attacks.
- Only download software from its official source
- Only open E-mail attachments from trusted/known sources
- Make sure the official source of your software has a good reputation
- Keep your operating systems and applications up to date
- Stay safe when connected to any new or unknown Wi-Fi networks
- Have a solid backup strategy to keep your data safe
- Make sure your firewall is always up to date and turned on
Keeping safe online is imperative and the first port of call is always to ensure whenever you or another user open or download software/attachments you know that they are from a ‘trusted source’.
There are also plenty of Anti-virus packages available for Mac users. Keeping your equipment up to date with the latest anti-virus software is another way to fight malware attacks ensuring another level of protection, should you ever unwittingly download Malware.
Remember, with HardSoft leasing, your hardware is backed up by both our warranty and technical support. If your business suffers from a malware attack our trained team of engineers will be available to help get you back up and running as soon as possible.
If you’re having issues with malware on your Mac get in touch with our team on 020 7111 1643, or in Ireland call 01 4853026, for assistance.