Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DCC announces Huawei’s Wingle - extending 3G coverage to additional users

With the mobile workforce on the rise and individuals always requiring Internet connectivity, access is an essential in everyday life. The Huawei Wingle, available from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC), addresses this requirement with a convenient 3G USB connectivity device that allows up to 10 additional users to make use of the 3G connection via WiFi.

“Everyone requires a combination of connectivity, mobility and Internet sharing.  However, many devices such as USB dongles on the market today only offer connectivity for a single user. The Huawei Wingle allows users to easily share 3G Internet connectivity using only one USB connectivity device, making this ideal for people without ADSL or with budget constraints,” says Raul Del Fabbro, Enterprise Solutions Manager at DCC.

Catering for small businesses and even households that require shared Internet connectivity, the Huawei Wingle supports full 3G / HSDPA with transfer rates of up to 21 Megabytes per second (MB/s) for downlinks and uplink speeds of up to 5.76 MB/s. This ensures that users are able to work on the move without compromising fast connectivity speeds.

The Huawei Wingle is simple to use and requires one user to insert the USB device into their laptop or PC. This connection is then shared with up to 10 users – wirelessly.  This is ideal for small businesses with two to ten personnel or families that don’t have ADSL. The Huawei Wingle allows these users to share connectivity easily and cost effectively without having to purchase additional USB dongles for each person.

The Huawei Wingle is automatically charged when plugged into a laptop or PC and can also be charged with the provided power adapter or by making us of a USB car charging kit. This allows users to plug the Huawei Wingle into a charging kit and make use of the 3G connectivity while sitting in a car. Supporting Windows, MAC and Linux Operating Systems (OS), the Wingle can be used on a variety of PCs and notebooks.

“The combination of a 3G USB that allows users to connect through WiFi is the ideal solution for shared connectivity across multiple devices,” concludes Del Fabbro.

The Huawei Wingle (Model Number: E8231) is available from DCC and selected retail outlets immediately for a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of R900.00 inclusive of VAT.

For more information, visit www.drivecon.net

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Ultrabook – where laptop meets tablet and provides the best of both worlds

By Farhad Alli, Dell Consumer Product Specialist at DCC

There can be no doubt that the emergence of the tablet changed the face of computing dramatically, offering unprecedented levels of portability, intuitive touch screen technology and the ability to complete certain tasks on the move with ease. However, the tablet, like its predecessor the netbook, is subject to some limitations, particularly the lack of processing power, which make these devices unsuitable as a complete replacement for the laptop. Enter the new generation of Ultrabooks, featuring all of the processing power of a notebook with touch capability and innovative screen technologies that converge two separate devices into one powerful, portable machine that does the job of both.

While tablets have gained popularity because of their size, portability, instant start-up and ability to work on the move, the physical size of the tablet is in itself a limitation. With such a small chassis, there is only so much processing power that can be included, and there is no room for a keyboard, which limits the functions that can be performed. For example, tablets are unable to handle large and complex spreadsheets, and the touch screen with no keyboard makes word processing challenging. As these two functions are common in daily office work, many mobile workers find it necessary to use multiple devices – a tablet and a notebook or laptop, in order to deliver the required functionality.

With the entrance of Windows 8, which is optimised for touch screen, the demand for this capability is on the increase. New generations of Ultrabooks effectively solve all of these challenges, with more processing power, Solid State Drives (SSD) to ensure fast boot-up, large storage capacity, touch screens, and the opportunity to add extra monitors and wireless keyboards and mouses in the office. This allows business users to purchase a single device that looks like a notebook, but that can easily transform into a tablet, giving users the option to use one device that meets all of their needs.

What has truly enabled this convergence is innovation in design and screen technologies. New generations of Ultrabooks have the ability to convert into tablet devices with touch screens on both devices. One method being used to achieve this is a flip hinge design on the lid, which enables users to flip the screen and fold it back over the keyboard to transition from notebook mode to tablet mode. Another innovation is the emergence of very powerful tablet devices that incorporate a removable docking keyboard, which effectively means that simply by plugging the tablet in to the keyboard dock, which incorporates a touch pad and extends battery life, users gain the advantages of a notebook. The tablet can then easily be removed for meetings and working on the move.

This new generation of Ultrabook combines the ability to access software suites such as Microsoft Office, which are critical to working productivity, with the ability to access a wide range of applications available for Windows 8. Like tablets, they start up almost instantly, but like a notebook, they offer enhanced storage capabilities, either through integrated Hard Disk Drives (HDD) or via the Cloud. The combination of a touch screen and a keyboard means that any task can be completed in the most efficient way possible, and improved processing power not only enables greater functionality, but enhanced ability to effectively multitask as well.

In a world where mobility is becoming key to productivity and competitive edge, both tablets and notebooks have a role to play. With the new generation of Ultrabooks however, the need to carry two separate devices is no more. Users can now get the best of both worlds and work effectively from anywhere, no matter what the task at hand.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

WD VelociRaptor hard drive reaches new performance peak with 1TB model

Western Digital has announced it is now shipping the new WD VelociRaptor 1 TB hard drive, the latest addition to its award-winning drive family, the largest capacity 10,000 RPM hard drive on the market today. Designed for high-performance PCs, Mac computers and professional workstations that require a balance of high performance and capacity, the WD VelociRaptor drive is a favorite among enthusiasts and creative professionals. The WD VelociRaptor will also come in capacities of 500 GB and 250 GB.

Leveraging enterprise-class mechanics to provide 24x7 durability under high-performance workloads, the new WD VelociRaptor 1 TB hard drive is geared for creative professionals who demand the ultimate SATA drive.

“Creative pros use write-intensive applications that manage large, dynamic files; for example, video editing and digital content creation and management, which ultimately put a strain on storage devices that utilise write-challenged NAND memory for performance enhancement. WD VelociRaptor’s outstanding read and write performance across the entire disk capacity make it a perfect match for the creative professional and enthusiast who want to optimise their tools, enhance productivity, and increase storage space at the same time”, says Barber Brinkman, Western Digital Sales Manager Benelux and South Africa.

“WD is committed to providing customers with the best performing and most reliable SATA hard drives and our WD VelociRaptor family of drives underscores that promise,” says Darwin Kauffman, vice president and general manager of WD’s enterprise storage. “With ever-increasing demand for greater capacity, the new 1 TB WD VelociRaptor drive delivers the ultimate combination of speed and storage for the power user.”

The WD VelociRaptor 2.5-inch hard drive comes in the IcePack enclosure, a 3.5-inch mounting frame with built-in heat sink - a factory customisation that fits the drive into a standard 3.5-inch system bay and keeps the powerful drive extra cool when installed in a high-performance desktop or workstation system.

Says Anamika Budree, Western Digital Country Manager – South Africa, “The local market is ready for the new and improved VelociRaptor with the increasing demand for power, performance and capacity.     The value lies in the combination of a high performance and now high capacity drive which improves read/write speeds as well as the overall performance of the drive.  We expect the market to grow further and will see more users adopting this high-performance drive, thanks to the adoption of more ‘standard’ desktop values.”

Features of the WD VelociRaptor hard drives include:

  • Super speed - SATA 6 Gb/s interface and 64 MB cache optimise the 10,000 RPM WD VelociRaptor. 
  • Higher capacity - WD VelociRaptor SATA hard drives employ Advanced Format Technology to achieve capacities up to 1 TB. 
  • Rock-solid reliability - Designed and manufactured to workstation standards to deliver stellar reliability in high workload environments.
  • Ultra-cool operation - Consumes less idle power and uses similar active power as the previous generation WD VelociRaptor while offering greater capacity and performance. 
  • Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF) - Optimises operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis.
  • NoTouch ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection when in transit. 
  • Environmentally conscious - In addition to being RoHS-compliant, this generation of WD VelociRaptor is also a halogen-free design.

Price and Availability 

The VelociRaptor will be available from resellers and select retail outlets.
The recommended retail pricing exclusive of V.A.T. is:

VelociRaptor 250GB – R 1 530,00
VelociRaptor 500GB  - R 2 005,00
VelociRaptor 1TB – R 2 850,00  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Kaspersky Internet Security, Special Ferrari Edition

Do you know the difference between a virus and a worm? What is a Trojan and how did you get it? These are just a couple of questions that you are never going to have to worry about again. Kaspersky Labs has released the Special Ferrari Edition of their internet security software. As you would know from reading this blog, Kaspersky have signed a deal with the Ferrari Formula 1 team as well as Fernando Alonso. They have their branding on the nose of the F1 car and in return can use the Ferrari branding on their product. I am not sure if it is any faster or more agile around the corners of your mother board, but it is a cool looking box.

Installation of the product was simple and quick. On first installation, it asked me to uninstall any other anti-virus software I was running. I had been using the free version of Avast up until then and tried to uninstall that. If you have ever tried to uninstall an anti-virus programme, you will know that it is not the easiest thing to do. Kaspersky Labs had that solved and managed to uninstall it for me on the second trying.

Once installed, a quick re-boot and I was up and running. There was a rather large update that needed to be done but isn't that the same with all new software these days? The application runs quietly in the background and protects you from most, if not all, internet risks.

I have had the programme installed for a week and so far it claims to have scanned over 1 million files. Those are files that I use every day, not a full scan, which is also just a simple click away. It has Network Attack Blocker, Anti-Spam as well as an Application Control; whatever that is. It all seems to be doing its job.
From the website:

Kaspersky Internet Security Special Ferrari Edition has a range of unique technologies that provide increased protection for your family. Keep your PC or Netbook free from harm with:
  • Real-time proactive protection against viruses and other malware
  • Safe Surf and Kaspersky Web Toolbar for online security
  • Best-in-class personal firewall for keeping hackers at bay
  • Identity protection with Virtual Keyboard and anti-phishing
  • Unique Safe Run mode for suspicious apps & websites
  • Advanced Parental Control with flexible settings
  • Smart anti-spam and anti-banner protection
  • Computer tune-up for better performance and protection
  • Rescue CD to restore previously infected PCs
  • Prescheduled automatic scans and updates
When I was in New York and met Eugene Kaspersky, he made a point of reminding the journalists gathered there that most computer hacks, attacks etc. are because of human error. It's all very well having the best security software, but if someone picks up the phone and asks for your password and you give it to them, then how are you going to blame the security software? There are evil people out there.

I loved how he calls them "black hats" and "white hats". White Hats are folks that keep on hacking, attacking and trying to access networks, but they don't do any malicious damage. They report their findings on public forums and companies can take action to protect themselves further. Black Hats are the dangerous ones. They hack, destroy and break. Those are the people that you need to look our for.

For now, I am trusting Kaspersky and a good dose of Internet paranoia. I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Kaspersky Lab

“The world I’m living in, which is the security world, is becoming more and more complicated,” Eugene Kaspersky ominously informed us. One would imagine: his Russia-based antivirus company, Kaspersky Labs, essentially announced the new age of cyberwar with the 2010 suggestion that Stuxnet must’ve been built with nation-state support. The target–Iran’s nuclear facilities–made it clear that the U.S. was likely involved (a detail cinched by The New York Times earlier this year).
Mr. Kaspersky was in New York for the launch of a new ad campaign with the somewhat corny title of “Driving Toward Better Online Security,” starring Formula One driver Fernando Alonso. (Both men were outfitted in the appropriate shade of Ferrari fire-engine red.)
In person, Mr. Kaspersky comes off as unexpectedly jolly for an antivirus kingpin. That Wired profile had us expecting more of a bear-wrestling Hemingway character. And while he did devote a fair bit of time to waxing poetic about off-the-grid vacations in Russia’s remote, volcano-heavy Kamchatka peninsula, Mr. Kaspersky also peppered his points with laugh lines and pulled goofy faces. Even while admitting that yes, he’s a paranoid man, he still flashes a Chesire Cat grin.
One exchange during the Q&A period offered a concise example of the tenor of the afternoon.
Reporter, after a good quarter hour listening to Mr. Kaspersky talk about cyber dangers: “You paint these very negative pictures.” Mr. Kaspersky: “I’m paranoid!” Reporter: “Is there a positive?” Mr. Kaspersky, relishing the exchange: “Yes. I’m optimistic. We will survive. I don’t know how, but we will survive.”
After a Formula One-heavy press conference with Mr. Alonso–the highlight of which was the correspondent from Playboy Russia asking what he liked about Russian girls–Mr. Kaspersky and we tech journalists adjourned for a Q&A about online security.
The Woolworth Building peeking out over his shoulder, he opened with a brief overview of the history of hacking. Teens wreaking havoc for the fun of it gave way to cybercriminals. Now, the actors are more sophisticated: ”There are criminals, there are hacktivists, maybegovernment-sponsored guys,” he said, adding, ”The worst is now there are instances of what I call cyberterrorism.” Examples would be the 2007 Estonian Internet blackout and the recent Aramco attack.
“What to do?” he asked rhetorically, before answering his own question with a Bond villain-like chuckle: “Pray.”
Presumably he’d also like you to download Kaspersky antivirus software.
Kaspersky’s role in unraveling Stuxnet also raises the question of whether national maneuverings on the cyberfrontier create a conflict of interest for not just Kaspersky, but American firms like McAfee.
For his part, Mr. Kaspersky loudly denies any official connection to the Russian government, especially the FSB. It’s not as though his company intends to find out governments are behind these viruses. “The reality is when we find the new malware in the network or somebody sends us a sample, sometimes we recognize maybe they’re not criminals. Maybe they’re states,” he admitted. “But we detect it anyway,” said, comparing Kaspersky Labs to a metal detector that pings regardless whether it’s a policeman or a gangster wearing the gun.
“It’s a new game and still there are no rules of this game, and what we are doing is trying to establish these rules,” he said. In the meantime, he added, “I do my best to stop cyberweapons.”
And while Mr. Kaspersky expects cyber-spying will always be with us, cyberweapons, he believes, have a limited future. He told us that he believes nation-states will eventually ban them in some sort of international treaty, similar to the restrictions around nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. They’re just too unpredictable. He said he’d met with officials at Russia’s department for cybersecurity and been told they shared his opposition.
Asked about whether any nations were more likely to develop cyberweapons than others, he merely repeated a little tidbit he’d already shared: “Russian software engineers are the best. Condoleezza Rice said that.”
“I think when the Russian government comes with their message that, let’s make cyberweapons forbidden, that’s a good idea to follow,” he added.
Duly noted.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Soarsoft extends offering with Metalogix’s inclusion of Syntergy’s SharePoint solutions

Soarsoft Africa, a specialist in archive, migration, collaboration and messaging services, has extended its offering with Metalogix Software’s recent announcement of its purchase of Syntergy’s SharePoint solutions.  Metalogix will integrate Syntergy’s SharePoint products into its portfolio of SharePoint Content Lifecycle Management solutions.

Syntergy features the market leading SharePoint replication solution, Replicator for SharePoint, which is a web-based solution used to synchronise and manage business intelligence in real-time across multiple SharePoint environments.

Says Chris Hathaway, Director at Soarsoft Africa:  “The incorporation of Syntergy’s SharePoint solutions into the Metalogix stable is a very neat fit with the existing tools and will provide local businesses with the enhanced functionality that Syntergy’s solutions deliver, bolstering their SharePoint mobility and providing them with more choice in how they manage, move, store, archive and protect their SharePoint Content across networks.”

“By adding the leading SharePoint Replication solution to our Migration and Storage product lines, we are able to extend our range, reach and leadership in the SharePoint content mobility market segment.  This investment in SharePoint technology and talent achieves another milestone in our strategy to provide our customers a better way to enhance the use and performance of their Microsoft SharePoint platform investment,” says Steven Murphy, CEO, Metalogix. 

By utilising SharePoint replication, organisations with multiple SharePoint servers have uninterrupted access to content that enhances employee productivity and efficiency and improves company performance globally. Replicator for SharePoint provides for two-way data synchronisation by replicating content and settings back and forth between server farms, even if they are not identical.

“We believe that Metalogix will bring Syntergy’s breakthrough SharePoint technology to more clients,” says David Seaman, COO, Syntergy. “Replicator for SharePoint has become the leader in the SharePoint replication market and its ability to allow end users from around the world to work seamlessly on the same content will boost productivity for any organisation.”

Replicator for SharePoint is easy to install, transparent to end users and maintained through the SharePoint central administrator. The solution optimises SharePoint performance for growing SharePoint environments by preventing version control conflicts. Replicator for SharePoint allows administrators to create a highly available environment that is well-prepared for disaster recovery scenarios. Syntergy SharePoint solutions include Syntergy Connect for SharePoint, which provides the ability to visualise, monitor and manage the replicator-enabled SharePoint wide area farm environment.