Microsoft ends support of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008/R2 and Exchange Server 2010

This is just a friendly reminder that Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008/R2 and Exchange Server 2010 on the 14th of January 2020. It means the end of Sales, end of support and end of monitoring and updates.

This will mean no more updates and patches on security leaving your operating system vulnerable and could result in your data being compromised.

Please contact us if you need assistance with budgeting and upgrading.

Openserve Uncapped Home Fibre Special:

10/5Mbps – R750 per month
20/10Mbps – R950 per month
40/20Mbps – R1100 per month
100/50Mbps – R1340 per month
200/100Mbps – R1790 per month

All connections are month to month with 1 calendar month notice. No contracts. All prices VAT included.

Turn your TV into a SMART TV with the Ematic 4K Ultra HD Android TV Box

The Netflix and Google Certified Ematic AGT419 runs Android TV OS (8.1 or newer), which is specifically designed for use on a TV and navigation with remote control. With Netflix certification, you can enjoy stunning Netflix content in up to Ultra HD (4K) resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR).

The AGT419 offers the fastest connection speed and the highest image quality. With the Google Assistant and Chromecast built-in, it improves users’ viewing experience. Watch hit shows, classic movies and viral videos or listen to music from your favourite Apps. Rent or buy movies, shows, music and more from a library of thousands of options from Google Play.

With YouTube, see what the world’s watching – from the hottest music videos to what’s trending in gaming, entertainment, news, and more.

With Android TV™, you can quickly cast photos, videos, music and other content you love from your favourite device right to your TV.

Priced @ R 1375.00 incl VAT this is a much cheaper option than buying a new TV.

Introducing the Mikrotik Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ Router – RB4011IGS+RM

The RB4011iGS+RM is a powerful router with 10 x Gigabit ports, an SFP+ (10Gbps) interface and IPSec hardware acceleration. Although the metal enclosure is compact, two rack mount ears are included that will securely fasten the unit in a standard 1U rack space.

The RB4011iGS+RM router uses a quad-core Cortex A15 (AL21400) CPU clocked at 1.4GHz, which is the same as the carrier-grade RB1100AHx4 unit. The router is also equipped with 1GB RAM and can provide PoE output on port 10.

Priced at R 3300.00 incl VAT, you will agree that this is an enterprise-grade router for a very good price

Yealink Wireless Wi-fi Desktop phones

Yealink released a new range of Desktop phones with built-in dual-band Wi-fi. The range is currently on special. Send us a message and we will send you a personalized quote.

Let DECT technology assist you being mobile in the office or at home

The Yealink W60P – the flagship of the Yealink DECT phones

Yealink recently released a new updated version of the W56P, the W60P. The main feature is an upgrade to the base station.

The new base station allows for up to 8 connected handsets and to top this great new feature, it can handle 8 simultaneous calls too.

The W60P still boasts with excellent standby and talk times as its predecessor as well as the elegant styling.

Some of the main features include:

• 2.4″ 240 x 320 color screen with intuitive user interface

• Up to 8 concurrent calls

• Up to 8 DECT cordless handsets

• Up to 8 VoIP accounts

• Support Opus audio codec

• Up to 30-hour talk time

• Up to 400-hour standby time

• Quick charging: 10-min charge time for 2-hour talk time

• TLS and SRTP security encryption

• Noise Reduction System

• Headset connection via 3.5 mm jack

• Charger wall mountable

See the below datasheet to found out more information. You can contact us for great prcing on this phone.

What new in IBM Notes 10?

From upgrading the client to working with it.

I decided that we have to have a look at all the new features that was released in IBM Notes 10. Let’s take a few days to cover each item that IBM released on their website as new.

I upgraded my client from 9.0.1 FP7 admin and designer to 10.0.1 Admin and Designer.

The upgrade is pretty standard if you are used to the old setup. It picked up my custom location for the current notes client fine.

The install completed successfully as expected, although it was very lenghy, but that can be expected with the almost 1GB install.

At the first glance everything seems to be exactly the same. The workspace has a new look with a nice background. You have the option to change it according to your liking. To change the background image, from any workspace page, right-click, select Background, and then select one of these options:

  • None to remove the image and use the workspace tab color as the background color.
  • Default to use the default background image.
  • Choose to use your own background image by selecting an image file from your computer.

IBM notes on their release notes that you can revert to the previous Workspace look by adding the following to your notes.ini:

V10Workspace=0

Customize colour themes

Another new option IBM has added is to change the colour themes of certain parts of the interface. This isn’t entirely new as some options was available before and you could match to the system etc, but they also incorporated it into templates.

To change the theme colours you can visit the preferences of the client:

  1. Click File > Preferences. Click Fonts, Colors, and Themes.
  2. With IBM Theme selected, click Customize Theme.
  3. To choose a new color theme, click the color box next to Choose your theme and select a color. Or, keep the default theme.
  4. To adjust the color theme for individual components in Notes, expand a component and select new colors.

I will be reviewing the rest of the features IBM mentioned as new in IBM Notes 10, Notes Administration 10 and some of Notes Designer 10 soon so come back often to read about the rest.

Mikrotik releases new Power-line wifi extender

Mikrotik recently released a new wifi router that can extend your network reach through the power network already installed on your premises.

The unit has one ethernet port and a 802.11b/g/n 2.4Ghz wifi radio. The unit also has the ability to connect to other PWR-Line products via the power grid. It is especially useful in homes with thick walls, where you can extend Wi-Fi coverage to those rooms, where signal is poor, without having to re-wire your house.

Since the units run the same Mikrotik operating system (RouterOS) that all Mikrotik devices use, the options that you can configure is almost endless.

The unit ships with a default easy setup that is almost plug and play, but the RouterOS combined with web-access and Winbox allows setup of firewall, queues, DHCP, DNS, virtual access points to name but a few.

If your main router on premises is also a Mikrotik you can also implement the CAPsMAN access point manager feature to manage it from the main router.

Up to eight units can be connected to a network, making the possibility to extend your network quite vast and will suite the biggest of houses or office buildings where wiring is tough.

Specifications (as per Mikrotik Specsheet)

Product code PL7411-2nD
CPU QCA9533
CPU nominal frequency 650 MHz
PLC chipset AR7420
Size of RAM64 MB
Memory 16 MB Flash
10/100 Ethernet ports 1
Wireless Built-in 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n, dual-chain
Wireless regulations Specific frequency range may be limited by country regulations
Antenna gain 1.5 dBi
Antenna beam width 360°
Wireless chip model QCA9533
Supported input voltage 100 V – 240 V
Dimensions 50 x 68 x 33mm
Operating temperature -20°C .. +60°C
License level 4
Operating system RouteOS
Max power consumption 7W
Power plug type Type C (commonly used in Europe, South America and Asia)

IBM sells Notes and Domino

IBM announced that they entered a strategic Partnership with HCL Technologies, an Indian company that has high hopes for bringing the product back to its former glory. They will be taking over development of Notes, Domino, Sametime and Verse collaboration tools.

HCL Technologies paid a mere $1.8 billion for these products, since IBM acquired it back in 1995 for $3.5 billion. Note and Domino has lost lots of ground in the market in the last decade as IBM has not given the attention and development it deserved.

Alan Lepofsky, analyst at HCL says that they will be investing heavily in development of the products. “HCL is far more interested in Notes/Domino than IBM has been for a decade. They are investing heavily, trying to rejuvenate the brand,” Lepofsky told TechCrunch.

IBM and HCL have entered into an ongoing intellectual property partnership for five of the products. The companies said the products have a total addressable market of $50 billion.

This deal is still subject to the regulatory processes, but it should be concluded mid 2019.

Rock Business Solutions supporting Domino

Rock Business Solutions will remain supporting Notes and Domino and most of the integrating products like Sametime and Traveler. If you need any support with administration, development or licencing, please feel free to contact us.

What is contention ratio? Why is it important to include in your decision?

A lot of things can influence your internet connection at home or at the office – Wireless network strength, local area network quality, type of router you have etc. One of the most overlooked ones is contention ratio.

Simply put, ‘contention ratio’ refers to how many users are sharing the data capacity on a provider’s line. To put it even simpler, it’s a count of how many households/offices are using the same main broadband line as you.

If your contention ratio is 20:1, for instance, that means twenty households/offices are using one line. Standard contention ratios used to be around 50:1 for home broadband, and 20:1 for business broadband, but these days even this is not completely accurate.

How does contention ratio affect my broadband speed?

When your contention ratio is high – meaning a lot of people are connected to the same line as you – it can potentially drag down your broadband speeds, especially at peak times. “Peak Times” are referred to as times when everyone tends to use the internet more.

If the line you have access to is a 10Mbps one, for example, you can easily get average speeds of around 3Mbps or 8Mbps on a good day. But if your contention ratio is 50:1, with 50 people connected to it, and you’re all using it at once… you’ll only get speeds of about 1Mb.

That means that if you’re in an area with a high contention ratio, you’ll probably get slower speeds in the evening when more people are online or if you are in an area with a lot of businesses between 8 am and 10 am will be particularly slow.

Think of it like a road. A small road can easily handle 20 cars cruising up and down it at various points throughout the day, but if all 20 cars try and pull out onto the same section of the road at once, they won’t be able to go very fast and might cause a jam

This is why some providers practice web traffic management. By prioritizing data for certain online tasks, like video streaming, they ensure that you’ll get a stable connection on your line regardless of your contention ratio. It’s like opening a fast lane for the cars that really, really need to get somewhere.

However – here’s the good news! Your line speed only tends to be seriously affected by a poor contention ratio if you’re subscribed to standard ADSL broadband. Fiber optic broadband, on the other hand, has a far higher capacity – so more people can share a line at once without getting a major dip in speeds.

Can I find out the contention ratio in my area?

Unfortunately this isn’t something providers often advertise or have a proper knowledge of. You will find though that they will quote a number like 1:25 or 1:50. Bear in mind that a 1:50 could mean that on a 100Mbps link, you can still end up with only 2Mbps in peak hours.

Are there any true 1:1 links?

In our experience providers sometimes provide a proper 1:1 contention ratio at a premium. They are quite costly, but it makes all the difference, especially for businesses that need the extra throughput.

The providers peer with all the different peers from their data center like Google (Youtube, GMail, etc) and Microsoft to name just 2 of the biggest bandwidth consumers. An important question to ask a 1:1 provider could be which of these they are directly peered with.

Contact us if you need information on the links available and the contention experienced on all the different products.