Posts bySharon Stephens

How Do You Keep Your Children Safe Online?

How Do You Keep Your Children Safe Online?

If you’re a parent, keeping your children safe online is becoming a mammoth task. They’re accessing all sorts of things online via a multitude of means, from tablets and smartphones, to YouTube and Snapchat, they’re certainly growing up in a world that is totally different to the one we did! It’s second nature to them though, so there’s no escaping it, we just need to know how to protect them. But how do we do that in the ever changing online universe?

Social Media

FB

Social media is far and away the cause of most issues for young people online today. How old do they have to be to have an account? What pictures are OK to post? Should you monitor them, and how do you do this without intruding on their privacy? Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter all have a minimum age limit of 13 years, so anyone younger than that can have their account deactivated by the network. read more

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Apple DEP and MDM Solutions

Apple DEP and MDM Solutions

As an Apple Authorised Seller we are able to centrally register the Macs and iPads we lease to customers with Apple, which helps them with the management of their assets. Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme (DEP) an efficient way to deploy Macs, iPads and other iOS devices which you have leased across a business or school. The DEP allows you to choose to supervise VMware airwatch mdm solution leasing - get a demo from a distance any iOS devices owned by your business but used by your staff, whether they’re office based or work remotely. This higher level of management allows you to add restrictions, such as turning off Game Center and iMessage and blocking certain apps from the device. With the Device Enrollment Program, large-scale deployments of iPad and Mac are seamless. Your devices are configured through a management solution, and users are guided through the activation process with the built-in Setup Assistant. You can streamline setup by specifying that certain steps in Setup Assistant be skipped — such as screens for Apple ID, passcode, or terms of service. read more

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Sonnet eGFX Breakaway box for VR in High Sierra

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway box for VR in High Sierra

While modern portable systems pack a nice punch and feature high-end graphics solutions sometimes it’s just not enough, as Apple users know only too well. That’s where external graphics cards come into play and for all the creatives out there something exciting is happening – Sonnet has announced the release of their eGFX Breakaway Box! The eGFX Breakaway Box supports any Thunderbolt compatible PCIe card, with 40 Gbps of bandwidth and a full PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, there’s plenty of power to share giving you the flexibility to add whatever you want to boost your capability without any degradation of speed – which was an issue for the previous Sonnet box. read more

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Why Lease Your School’s IT Equipment?

Why Lease Your School’s IT Equipment?

If you are considering buying IT equipment, such as tablets or laptops, for your school, you’ll be looking for the best deal for your funds. You may be surprised to learn that leasing is actually cheaper than buying and there are more advantages to leasing too. Such as:

  • It frees up your capital – when you lease your IT you don’t have to use your capital funds as a lump sum to purchase them, or upgrading at a later date. Being able to spread the cost enables you to use your funds elsewhere and payments can be deferred to suit your needs.
  • It comes with technical support – you will have access to our technical support team throughout the period of your lease. Our technicians are trained to an extremely high standard with expert authorisation and knowledge on both Apple and PC platforms. We are available to assist you with synchronising and maintaining your devices from the moment they are delivered.
  • Free training is available – if you or your staff require training on your Apple iPads or laptops, or need some advice on the best apps to use in education, one of our qualified trainers will come to your school and deliver a program of training – FREE of charge – which will be tailored to your needs. This can cover iPad basics, right through to specifics of education related apps, Once your trainer has visited you, they will continue to work closely with you in order to ensure your iPads are fully utilised in the classrooms.School-iPad-Product-Pro10.5
  • Accidental Damage Insurance – each lease to a school has specialist comprehensive insurance cover. This means that any Apple iPad or Windows device you have which is accidentally damaged, will be fixed or replaced at no cost to your school. It costs around £150 to repair the screen of an iPad which has been dropped, but with our insurance you are covered and will NO excess to pay.
  • You get a full 3 year warranty as standard – all Apple iPads that you lease will come with a 3 year warranty so that you’re covered. Should you have an issue with an iPad, we will swap it for a replacement to ensure you have the minimum of down time at no additional cost to your budget.
  • Renewal and Upgrade at the end of lease – at the end of our normal 3 year lease term we will provide you with the option to return the iPads you have and cancel the original lease, provided that you take out a new lease on the latest iPads. You can keep the original iPads if you choose to do so, however there is a small fee payable in order to do this.

Here at HardSoft we offer operating leases to schools which are recommended by the Department for Education. When you choose to lease from HardSoft you will be benefiting from the experience an expertise of an IT company with 30 years of trading and dealing in finance. read more

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Use your iPad as a Touch Bar and External Display for your Mac

Use your iPad as a Touch Bar and External Display for your Mac

If you use your MacBook Pro in the closed-clamshell mode, which allows you to drive an external display while the MacBook is closed, you may find that losing the use of your Touch Bar will be an irritation.

This can be overcome by using your iPad as an external Touch Bar via the Duet Display app. Duet can be used with an iOS device as both an external display and a Touch Bar, which offers the perfect solution to anyone using an older Mac, which doesn’t have the Touch Bar feature, or the latest model MacBook Pro in closed-clamshell mode. Duet Display is an app for iPhone and iPad which helps you to turn your iOS device into a second screen for your Mac. The 2016 update for the app also allows you to use a virtual Touch Bar with that second display, even if your Mac doesn’t have a hardware Touch Bar. And as a bonus, any app that has been updated with Touch Bar support, will work with the virtual version as well. read more

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Apple Finance on New Macs – Is it a Good Deal?

Apple Finance on New Macs – Is it a Good Deal?

Apple have recently started offering 0% finance on their products via PayPal Credit , but are they really offering a good deal?

Look at the Figures

Apple offer an iMac at £2019.00 on 12 months interest free credit, with a £0.00 deposit, which looks attractive at first glance, but there is no warranty with that and the repayments are £181.26 per month – don’t forget you have to pay the full amount back within the 12 month period, otherwise you’re hit with the interest at 14.9% APR.3-Warranty-extra

Alternatively, if you take a look at the HardSoft lease on the same iMac at £2019.00 over a 12 month period, the difference is we ask you for a deposit of £403.80, but with repayments of £134.60 you’re left with almost £50.00 more in hand each month. Combine that with the 3 year HardSoft warranty and you’re quids in! read more

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Welcome to the Family – the Microsoft Surface Laptop

Welcome to the Family – the Microsoft Surface Laptop

Microsoft have unveiled the new addition to their Surface family – the Surface Laptop. Released this month, it’s the first laptop with integrated keyboard in their Surface range, so we thought we’d tell you a little more about it.

Similar in size to the Surface Book, it features the same 13.5” PixelSense touchscreen display with 3:2 aspect ratio and will be the first device to run on Windows 10 S. Microsoft have said that the S doesn’t actually stand for anything, but they do say that Windows 10 S is streamlined for simplicity, security and speed, so we guess that’s where it came from! With a boot time 15 seconds faster than a comparable machine running Windows 10 Pro and with the same profile and apps installed, they also claim that it will run as fast on day 1,000 as it does on day one. read more

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Hints to prolong Laptop Battery life

Hints to prolong Laptop Battery life

Laptop batteries are getting better. The Lenovo Carbon X1 and HP EliteBook x360 can get to 16 hours and the Carbon X1 can charge to 80 per cent within an hour. Apple MacBooks quote ‘all day battery’ BUT these laptops are not cheap. For your average Laptop though you’ll be lucky to get just a few hours, so you need to manipulate the settings.

The display is, for the most part, the biggest drain on your battery. If you want to be specific, it’s actually powering the backlight which illuminates the pixels on your display that drains the battery. In which case, it would seem obvious that the best way to prolong your battery life is to simply lower the brightness on your display. You can usually do this using your keyboard on Windows 10 laptops and Apple Macbooks, but there are other ways you can do this to automate it. read more

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Leasing technology is better for schools

Leasing technology is better for schools

We all know just how quickly technology moves on. In this day and age children are always looking for the next video game console or smartphone (and let’s be honest, most of us adults are too), but as soon as you buy one Xbox or iPhone a new and improved version is announced. And then it’s on to the next thing. It can certainly be hard to keep up.schools

It sure can be expensive, too. In the same way that a new car depreciates in value as soon as you drive it off the lot, the truth is that technological equipment suffers the same fate. It’s expensive enough to buy new, but when you factor in that you’ll probably have to buy the next ‘thing’ soon after, while getting nowhere near what you paid for it if you try and sell, then bank balances are bound to be stretched to near breaking point. read more

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HP Premium Laptops offer Great Security

HP Premium Laptops offer Great Security

Security is understandably the number one concern for any business, and the stats show that it’s not unfounded. With the risk of a device becoming infected increasing at an average rate of 40% each year, security has never been more important and HP knows this. Their premium range not only looks great, it also offers a deep level of security that gives you more than just protection for your hardware, but for your data and identity too.

For some reason HP don’t shout very loudly about the great security features they offer. We love them, so thought we’d do some shouting for them and summarise the best ones for you here. read more

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Microsoft Surface Studio or Apple iMac?

Microsoft Surface Studio or Apple iMac?

Apple Mac vs PC. The choice is on… The debate that’s been going on forever is going to get even bigger with the imminent arrival of Microsoft’s Surface Studio to the UK on 15th May 2017.  And while these two all-in-ones may look very similar at first glance, there are in fact a fair few differences between them.

The 28″ Surface Studio is different to the iMac. It has an intuitive hinge on the back of the screen – an incredible feat of engineering that Microsoft have named the Zero Gravity Hinge – allowing for almost effortless repositioning from an upright panel to a nearly flat worktop. All the internals run from a small chrome box through the Zero Gravity Hinge, which you may think is just an unnecessary extra component compared to the iMac, but doing this has allowed Microsoft to produce an incredibly thin 12.5mm display. read more

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