NRC Newsletter - May 2018

The coming Windows 7 apocalypse

Remember when Windows XP went the way of the dodo on April 14, 2014? That was an ordeal for us and a substantial number of our customers.

Currently, a little less than half the machines we manage are Windows 7 machines. It's been in the back of all our minds that Windows 7 end-of-life is January 14, 2020, but that seems like forever from now. The reality is it's less than two years away. Between now and the apocalypse, we'll need to replace or upgrade on average 1.3 computers per business day. That's no small feat—we're planning on dedicating a full time equivalent to this evolution.

If your company is a New River Computing managed customer, we'll be taking the month of May to communicate our recommendations. If you're not a managed customer, make sure to take the time to plan on replacing or upgrading your machines prior to the apocalypse! Give us a shout if you'd like to talk through your plan with us.

Password vigilance

Sometimes, being suspicious can pay off. Without naming names, I want to say, "Thanks!" Earlier this month, I had to call an NRC customer and collect a credential. I spoke to someone whom I don't normally communicate with, and she was suspicious about a guy calling and asking for a user's password, so she took the effort to verify my authenticity. That was awesome! If someone calls you and asks for confidential information, feel free to verify, call back a known good number, or flat-out refuse until you feel OK about the request. Great job!

Favorite keyboards

So, I love my Mac keyboard. I've got one at home and one at the office, even though I've been working off my docked Surface Pro 2. It has a low key throw, like under a millimeter. That way I can make typos at blazing speed.

Jeff's keyboard
Jeff's keyboard of choice

I recently had the pleasure of using a pretty unique keyboard in this day and age...a Buckling Spring keyboard. Brandy Spence at EEE Consulting is the proud owner of one of these keyboards. This puppy feels very much like a Selectric typewriter, and is only slightly quieter. And the keyboard feel is radically different than my Mac keyboard, or those awful cheap keyboards that were around a couple decades ago. Some of you all will remember those monstrosities. They had an enormous throw—like 3 or 4 mm and were made of the cheapest plastic. Anyway, I digress.

Brandy's keyboard has a low throw and a tactile and audible click when the spring buckles and a keystroke is recorded. It's a real neat feeling if you've never felt it—or haven't for a while. The thing with this keyboard is you don't have to mash the key all the way down. Rather, you can push just till you feel the slight release of the key when the spring buckles. Brandy swears she is far more accurate with this keyboard than any other, and I believe her. Maybe it's even easier on the fingers because you don't have to jam the key home every stroke.

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