TechVirtuoso

Win a free customized phone cover if you ‘Like’ us on Facebook

December 9th, 2010 at 12:55 PM  1 Comment

The folks at Coveroo have been kind enough to allow TechVirtuoso to give away three of their custom device covers to our fans! This is an awesome service that Coveroo provides, one we’ve reviewed in the past, and I use one of their custom laser engraved covers on my iPhone all the time.

This is the simplest contest we’ve probably ever run. In order to promote our Facebook fan page, we’re going to give away the covers to three randomly selected fans. Nothing you have to do except “Like” us on Facebook. We’ll be announcing the winners of the give away, exclusively on our Facebook page, these days:

  • Friday, December 10, 2010
  • Monday, December 13, 2010
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Look for a posting around noon (central time) each day. As we expect more people to become our fans through the course of this contest, your chances of winning early are better than later.

You can easily become our fan by visiting facebook.com/techvirtuoso or just by clicking on the “Like” button on the Facebook widget in the site sidebar.

If you just can’t wait for the chance to win a custom cover of your own, you can also order one from Coveroo using our special 15% code, XMAS15, good from now until Christmas Day. They ship fast and make great personalized holiday gifts.

While you’re at it, be sure to follow facebook.com/coveroo as thanks for offering this great discount and free contest to our visitors! They give away a free cover ever Wednesday!

Sophos releases full featured Mac OS anti virus for home users

November 2nd, 2010 at 11:49 AM  No Comments

We’ve covered this before: the need for Mac users to secure their systems with a proper antivirus. But unlike the Windows space, there are not many/any really good, small footprint AV clients that are free. Until now.

Sophos has released a free client for Mac, based on their popular business product, which you can download from their website.

“While most businesses recognise the importance of protecting their Mac computers from malware threats, most home users do not,” said Chris Kraft, product management vice president at Sophos. “By offering free industrial-strength security to home users, we aim to protect Mac users against today’s and tomorrow’s Mac threats. Everyone knows that Macs are beautiful computers – Sophos wants to lend a hand to keep them that way.”

Microsoft giving all employees free Windows Phone 7

October 31st, 2010 at 12:26 PM  No Comments

Microsoft employees, who do you love? Is it this guy? Well you should, because your Christmas bonus this year is coming in the form of a brand new shiny Windows Phone 7.

Last week at PDC, Microsoft gave all 1,000 or so in attendance an LG Optimus 7 to start testing and building applications on. This was exciting for those in attendance because it makes them one of the first in the United States to get their hands on a Windows Phone 7 device in any mass quantity.

This week, however, all 89,000 employees of Microsoft will be getting a complementary, yet unannounced, Windows Phone 7 of their own. Given the diverse geography of Microsoft’s employees hopefully they’ll have their choice of handsets based on network providers. This should go a long way towards promoting their new platform internally. Up until now almost every Microsoft employee I’ve ever met in the last three years has sported an iPhone.

Google made a similar move when they released the very first Android handset, the G1.

via Network World

Lenovo A70z Giveaway Winner! Plus another chance to win!

July 7th, 2010 at 10:46 PM  4 Comments

We’re pleased to announce that the winner of this weekend’s Lenovo A70z Giveaway is… Dennis Hwang (@dennishwang) — congratulations to him, he should be receiving his brand new all-in-one PC very shortly.

We had an overwhelming response and as a consolation prize to all our visitors, we’d like to offer you all a second chance to win!

Ivy Worldwide, which was our partner in giving away the last system, is conducting a survey of people involved with small and medium business, to get their opinions on technology purchases. It’s an easy, 15 question survey, that enters you into a random drawing to win a Lenovo A70z, as well as many other prizes.

There are some caveats, and there is no set cut-off date for the contest. When Ivy receives a sufficient number of submissions they’ll take that data and select a winner. Only people who complete the survey fully will be eligible to win, and you’ll need to give them your e-mail address as that’s how they’ll contact you to let you know you’ve won. Don’t worry, they’re good people  and won’t give away your contact information to bad people. In fact, once the contest is over they’ll remove the contact data from their records forever.

We’re also looking forward to getting some other gear to giveaway in the coming months, so keep checking back for more awesome free stuff (and check back for our regularly scheduled IT content too while you’re at it.)

Complete the Survey

TV Giveaway: Lenovo A70z All-in-One PC

July 2nd, 2010 at 10:00 AM  75 Comments

The only thing we like better than getting toys to play with and review is giving those toys away!

TechVirtuoso, Lenovo, 21 other technology blogs, and Ivy Worldwide have teamed up to offer our visitors a free Lenovo A70z All-in-one PC. Each site is giving away their own computer, and this is the same machine that Frank Owen reviewed yesterday, except brand new and without his grubby fingerprints all over it! This is $1200 value that can be yours by doing two simple things!

  1. Make sure you’re following the @techvirtuoso Twitter account. (We’ll contact you via DM to let you know you’ve won)
  2. Tweet this message, exactly as it says below:
    Win a Lenovo A70z PC by following @techvirtuoso and RT this! See http://bit.ly/bRPNRI for more details. #freestufffromTV

But wait! There’s more!

As a special treat for our regular visitors, we’re giving you a second chance to enter your name into the running. All you have to do (after you do the steps above) is comment on this post and tell us what you’d do with a A70z. Would you replace your current desktop? Put it in your kitchen? Use it as a kiosk at the office? The possibilities are endless.

The contest starts NOW (July 2) and ends on Tuesday, July 6. We’ll announce a winner here on the site and on our Twitter account. We’ll contact the winner directly via Twitter DM, with information on where to send us your name, shipping address, phone number, email, etc.

There is one small catch for our visitors, we can only give this unit away to those of you who live in the US & Canada. Sorry to everyone who falls outside that area, it’s not our computer and those are the rules. We’ll get something cooked up next time that has world wide appeal.

Hardware Specs

 

  • Processor: 2.93 GHz Intel E7500 Core 2 Duo
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
  • RAM: 2GB (max 4GB)
  • Display: 19 in (diagonal) Widescreen LCD, 1440 x 900, TFT active matrix
  • Graphics: Intel GMA X4500
  • Hard Drive: 320GB Serial ATA-300 7200 rpm
  • DVD-Writer
  • Webcam: 1.3 megapixel camera
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g/n
  • Ports: USB 6 ports, Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T, Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm, PCI Express Mini Card
  • Dimensions & Weight: 2.9 in x 14 in x 18.6 in, 17.6 lbs

You can check out more specs and images or configure your own A70z, by visiting the Lenovo website.

More Contests

As we mentioned, we’re not the only site giving away this system. Each site will have different rules for their contents, and you’re welcome to enter as many or few of them as you like. But you can only win one system. We encourage you to enter as many times and visit these other sites.

Two great tools for the low/no budget sysadmin

April 7th, 2010 at 11:30 AM  4 Comments

We all know how in our struggling economy, finding effective tools that help us do our jobs, and not breaking our shrinking budgets, is getting harder and harder. A fellow in Ireland by the name of Dan Cunningham (his website is here, follow him on Twitter here), who just happened to post in post in the comments of our previous articles, has written two very excellent looking tools for the low/no budget systems administrator. Both of these will be going straight into production in my office ASAP.

Dan also has some useful tools for encoding video content on his blog, both of which are worth taking a look at.

Workstation Migration Assistant

wma_mainThe Workstation Migration Assistant is a visual wrapper for Microsoft’s User State Migration Tool, designed to simplify the capture / restore process for your end-users, and at the same time being highly configurable so that it can be customised to suit your organisations needs.

Some of it’s features include:

  • Migrate via a pre-defined network storage location, external USB drive, or user-specified location. USB drive detection is automatic, and you can decide whether drives below a certain size are ignored (ie, memory sticks)
  • Optional Hard Disk Health Check will run a CHKDSK prior to capture and fix errors if any are found
  • Optional Encryption using a pre-defined company encryption key, or per-user customised encryption (for highly sensitive data that can’t be stored on a server without being encrypted)
  • Use different configurations for “XP Only” (XP > XP) migrations via Standard (XP > Vista and Vista > Vista)
  • Automatically run pre and post-capture / restore scripts and programs (very useful to further configure machine settings)
  • Migrate domain only accounts, or domain and local
  • Automatically exclude certain domain or local accounts from the migration
  • Automatically send log files to an e-mail address via SMTP after the migration
  • On-screen status during every stage of the migration, including ETA
  • Option to limit migrations to a certain size, i.e. if over 20GB of data to backup, then fail and inform user. This is also overridable
  • Automatic checks for USMT installation and optional download
  • Command-line automation

It requires .NET Framework 2.0 on both the capture and target machines | Download

Software Compliance Tool

The Software Compliance Tool is a small application designed to reduce the overhead in managing unwanted applications in a business environment. While Windows Vista and Windows 7 have made a lot of headway in easing reduced user rights into the Enterprise, it’s still very common that Local Administrator rights are given to end users. The reasoning for this is usually to work around application compatibility (both external and in-house). However, this introduces the ability for end users to install whatever they want on their computers, including games, peer-to-peer software and security vulnerable applications. It is the company’s responsibility to ensure that copyrights are not infringed, and that their network is secure.

The Software Compliance Tool will try to automatically remove any applications which are contained on your custom-built “blacklisted applications” policy.

Some of the features include:

  • Can automatically remove most Windows Installer (MSI) based installations
  • Uninstall Strings for non MSI-based installs can be supplemented with switches (ie, “/S” for silent)
  • Blacklist allows partial name matches (ie, “Mozilla” will blacklist all Mozilla applications)
  • Blacklist allows version matches (ie, allow all versions greater than v1.6.5, remove all previous versions)
  • Blacklist, but allow exclusions based on Active Directory Users or Groups
  • Blacklist policy is encrypted to prevent tampering or reading by users
  • AD Exclusions list is cached and encrypted, to allow running SCT off-domain
  • Simple SQL logging to allow tracking of policy breaches (and potentially further action for repeated breaches)
  • Extremely fast execution. Can be run from your Active Director login scripts

It requires .NET 3.5 to run, and must be run as a local administrator to successfully uninstall applications. | Download


Win a free year of RingCentral service, and more!

April 6th, 2010 at 12:24 PM  No Comments

TechVirtuoso has teamed up with RingCentral, to offer our visitors a year of free RingCentral Mobile service! This is a $300 value, and all you have to do is a couple simple things.

  1. Make sure you’re following the @techvirtuoso Twitter account.
  2. Tweet this message, exactly as it says below:
    Win a year of RingCentral by following @techvirtuoso and RT this message, see http://bit.ly/tvrcm for more details. #YourBusinessIsCalling

It’s that easy to enter… the contest ends on April 10 so make sure to enter before then. We’ll select a random follower and announce the winner on our site, and through our Twitter account, on the morning of Monday, April 12.

This is a great way to get your consulting business going, and look as professional as the big guys by having your own phone number, extensions, fax line, recorded custom greetings, on-hold music and promotional announcements and more!

But wait, while TechVirtuoso is the first to give away this awesome prize, we’re not the only ones. We’re partnered with other technology sites to offer this service. Each site will have their own contest rules, so be sure to check them out as well. There is no limit to how many site contests you can enter.

The winners from each site, will then be entered into a grand prize drawing for one of five Ultimate Small Business Start-up Packages from Ivy Worldwide. Each package will contain, in addition to RingCentral service:

  • company incorporation services provided by LegalZoom
  • logo design service provided by Logoworks
  • 1000 premium business cards provided by Vistaprint
  • and web hosting provided by BlueHost

The value of the entire Ultimate Small Business Start-up Package amounts to over $1000!

This could be the tweet that launches the your next great idea, or helps move your current business ahead of your competitors.

Attend a Microsoft launch event and receive a free copy of Windows 7

August 22nd, 2009 at 6:54 PM  No Comments

Microsoft is running a launch campaign for Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010. The campaign is called “The New Efficiency” and is focused toward IT Professionals and Developers. There are three different tracks that you can take at this event, Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010.

There are 25 events across the country so I am sure there is one near you. Sorry international folks, Microsoft will not be holding similar events abroad.

For more information or to register for an event, visit the Microsoft event home page.