Virtual Reality

I was first introduced to Virtual Reality (VR) about 2 years ago when my family and I took a trip to Minneapolis and spent a day at the Mall of America. My wife and daughter, who was 6 at the time, went shopping while my 5-year-old son and I wandered off to entertain ourselves. We made our way to the Microsoft store where my son immediately sat down at a gaming PC with Minecraft and three 24-inch monitors. He was in heaven! My attention was drawn to the 3 VR stations that they had setup within the store. I kept 1 eye on my son playing Minecraft and my other eye on the closest VR station watching people experience different things. Some people chose the Home Run Derby simulation, others tried their luck with virtual fishing, and some chose to be artistic by painting things in a virtual 3D space. Whenever somebody’s time was up, and they removed the headgear it was easy to see that these people had just experienced something in a new and exciting way. I immediately began to wonder what was possible with VR outside of the world of gaming. I will cover a few of the uses that I found most interesting. Travel: Soon you will be able to be virtually transported to many popular tourist destinations. Imagine clicking a button and finding yourself at the Rome Colosseum, the Louvre in Paris, or my personal favorite, Graceland! Sports: Many of the 2018 Winter Olympic events were filmed in 180 degrees and 360 degree VR. The NBA on TNT has also started a VR broadcast...

Road Time Thoughts

As I had a long drive home tonight I was trying to decide what cool technology news I should write my blog on.  My mind kept on wondering to something I have been thinking about for the last couple months.  How does ReadiTech differentiate and separate ourselves from all of our competitors?  I do believe competition is a good thing and it makes everybody better, and in my competitive spirit I believe competition is a better thing when you are winning.  The question now becomes; how do we win your business? I was at working a conference a couple months ago where we set up the ReadiTech booth to promote our managed service business. Directly across the room from us was a competitors’ booth.  As I was passing by their booth, I stopped and chatted with them. We talked about our service offerings, the tools that we use to support our customers and what new things we were trying.  They were very friendly and just so happen to offer same services as ReadiTech and use the same tools that we do. Ever since that moment I have been wondering how do we compete with a company three times our size, that has the same type of certifications, doing the same type of work, with the same tools that we are?  Spoiler alert, I still don’t have the answers, but I did pick up on a couple things since our conversation. I have been told by many customers how nice it is that when they call the office they get somebody on the phone that is ready to help them...

Virtualize Your World

Virtualization?  What is it? Why use it?  These are good questions to ask yourself and your business.  I am not talking about a virtual person or Bitmoji, but servers, desktops, switching and more. While many people think of this as a new technology.  Virtulization got its’ start with large mainframes decades ago, to avoid wasting expensive processing power, it really caught hold in the early 2000s. Before virtualization, servers would run one application on one server with one operating system.  The number of servers would grow depending on how many applications were needed.  This would lead to expensive hardware purchases and very little of the hardware resources used.  On average each server would only use 12 to 15 percent of its resources.   Leaving up to 85 percent of server resources completely unused. Virtualization is possible because of a software layer called a hypervisor.  The hypervisor is used to create “software containers” known as virtual machines (VM).  The virtual machines can be servers with different operation systems or desktops, such as Windows 10.  Every VM created on the hypervisor is separate and operate independently of each other.   Virtualization allows you to run more applications on fewer physical servers thus using resources effectively. In a nutshell virtualization takes the CPU, memory, network and storage of the physical hardware and shares it through the hypervisor to the virtual desktop or server. This technology also lends itself to other capabilities.   High availability, migrating VM’s from one host to another, adding memory and processing power all while the VM is running.  Backups can change from file and folders to having a complete image of...

Back 2 School

The day some dread, others look forward to as soon as the school supplies hit the retail store shelves.  Yes, it is Back to School time.  Time to discover.  Time to Learn.  Time to purchase notebooks, pencils, calculators, and more. Time to watch the next generation develop those life-long learning skills. One of those skills is learning how to conduct research. The Internet has made research easy compared to my high school days where we had to go to the library, search for books, journals, newspapers, and magazines looking for any information regarding a specific topic. So how do we find the information we are looking for on the Internet.  First, you must select which search engine you are going to use—Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, etc.  A search engine is a web-based tool that enables users to locate information via the World Wide Web. Google is the most popular and commonly used search engine.  Simply go to Google search and type a keyword, phrase or question.  You can even use the Internet to access resources and apps to help you study. To conduct research on the Internet, you need a device—computer, laptop, tablet or smart device.  If your back to school shopping list includes a new computer or laptop, please give ReadiTech a call.  Our technical support specialists can assist you with the purchasing of a new device that is just right for you and your family.  We can custom order machines.  ReadiTech also has laptops on hand for those who need a device immediately. A computer/device with Internet access is an awesome tool not only for students but...

Social Engineering: Gone Phishing

  In recent years we have seen more and more conflict on the cyber battlefield.  As more attacks and breaches occur, more and more resources go into defensive actions.  Firewalls, strong passwords, and updating software are essential to securing the home front.  However, when considering cyber defense, you must not forget that the most commonly exploited component is the human.  This exploit is commonly called social engineering.  Why bother learning the skills to hack into a computer when it is easier to trick, manipulate, or intimidate a person into handing over their credentials?  Thoughts like this have led to a surge of hacking by use of psychology.  Hopefully shedding some light on what is out there will help you identify these scams before you fall victim to them. Think of social engineers as related to the classic conman because both use similar tactics.  The only difference now is the medium.  Social engineers primarily use email due to how simple it is to reach large groups of people.  The general term for email scamming is phishing.  Just like the conman you will see scare tactics, fake urgency, deals too good to be true, and impersonations.  Phishing emails always have a subject line that catches the eye, examples:  Cancellation of Health Care Coverage, IRS Tax Inquiry, Bank Account Overdrawn, Get 90% Off New iPad Order Now.  You can also expect all caps and excessive amounts of exclamation points.  If you suspect an email to be a phishing attempt don’t click any links or attachments.  To distinguish between the imposter and the original hover your mouse over the sender address compare it...

Inside the Business World

My name is Alyssa Nishek. I would like to tell you about my experience as the Marketing Intern at DRN/ReadiTech for the summer; everything only an insider would know. Before I inform you on the details of my internship, I first need to tell you a bit about myself. I graduated from Ellendale High School this year. I plan on attending NDSU in the Fall to pursue degrees in both Communications and Criminal Justice. My goal is to become a lawyer. I grew up in a small town, but have seen forty of the US states. I don’t plan on living in the Midwest my whole life. I have a passion for music, family, reading, writing, traveling and dogs. Summer jobs have been part of my life for five years now. I first started as a babysitter, then I moved up on the totem pole to lawn mowing for two years, next came waitressing for a summer, and finally, the most prestigious of them all, my internship at DRN/ReadiTech. I had a few initial worries going into this internship. First was that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the summer weather, as I did in past jobs, sitting inside all day at a desk. First world problems, I know. Second, I would have a desk job, eight to five every day. My jobs the past five summers had very flexible hours and as long as the work got done I could pretty well choose when I wanted to work. That being said I wasn’t sure I was ready for the kind of commitment that came with the internship. Lastly,...

Cloud Hosting

To understand hosting, you first must understand the cloud. Simply put it is a mega server hardware that can run many machines using combined hardware resources. These mega servers can be hosted by anyone, so the cloud is made up of a lot of companies across the globe that offer these services. Now you don’t have to outright buy equipment that depreciates, and you won’t have to manage it. You can essentially rent it from a hosting company and they take care of the back end of things.  There are several types of machines hosted in the cloud from web hosting and services to backup your regular Windows 10 machine and many more. Here at DRN ReadiTech we are a hosting services provider. We host websites, email hosting and customer servers here in-house. So, what’s the process? You must have a hosting need. Whether you want an e-mail hosting provider or a new website. Then you must find a hosting provider that you trust. There are different compliances hosting providers must abide by to ensure the safety of their customers data and machines. After you find some cloud providers and know your needs, you compare. Cost is very important – some people charge based on the amount of resources you use, some charge based on the number of machines, or some charge based on the bandwidth you take up. It’ll be wise to figure out what price structure benefits you most. Next, physical and geographical location. Where would your data and the machines be stored is something to take into consideration. For example, you don’t want your machine anywhere...

10 ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Event

What do you do when your business is holding an event and the traditional posters, newspaper and radio ads are not reaching the audience that you want it to?  Easy! Time to turn to social media. Seventy-six percent of Facebook users check it every day! Here are 10 easy ways to use social media to promote your event. Create a catchy hashtag – keep it pertinent, short and unique.  Encourage participants to use the hashtag when posting about the event. This will help to create a social buzz for your event. Create a Facebook event – this is a separate page just for your event. Here you can post all the details about your up and coming event.  It will also provide a place for attendees to network and share information. Facebook Ads – Use Facebook ads to promote your event. For a small investment you can target the exact audience you are hoping to reach with your event. Highlight the headliner – bringing in a special speaker? Having a regional band perform?  Highlight them with pictures that include quotes from them.  Ask them to provide you with a personalized video of how excited they are to come to the event. #TBT – Is this an annual event? Pull pictures and video from last year to create a highlight reel of all the fun last year’s attendees had. Create a contest – hold a contest across multiple social media platforms for free tickets to the event. Have contestants use your catchy hashtag in some way to be entered. Poll the audience – create more hype by asking what the...

DRN ReadiTech takes backup to the cloud!

Have you ever wondered where your backup data is stored when you purchase DRN Readitech’s backup service?  Until recently, DRN has stored our customer’s data on site locally.  However, this summer DRN ReadiTech’s team made a change.  That change was to move our customer’s data to the cloud.  There are several reasons for moving to the cloud.  These reasons include internal resource efficiency, enhanced security, process validation and ease of scalability.  Moving to the cloud solution will bring about several positive changes for our customers.  The most notable change will be the enjoyment of a monthly price decrease.  Our in house storage cost was $0.30 per gig per month.  Our new cloud solution is $0.20 per gig per month. Do a quick Google search for online backup solutions.  You will find that there are thousands of companies offering online backup services and some at very low prices.  When selecting a backup service provider, proceed with caution.  Several companies selling backup services online do not have a customer service support team.  I’m referring to a real live person you can talk to or chat with when you’re in need of storing your backup.   With some of these online solutions, you are completely on your own to resolve any issues that may arise.  In the event that you have lost all your pictures that were stored on your computer or those important business files, the last feeling you want is to have no one to call for help.   You want and need someone to help you as soon as possible.  Therefore, make sure that whatever backup solution you purchase, choose one...