ComTech: IT Support Stirling

When is the right time to upgrade my IT?

I have a problem and I am guessing a lot of you will have had the same problem at some point. You see my tech kit (ie laptops, Mac etc) is starting to get old and I think I might be getting to the point where they need upgrading to something newer and faster.  That however is not the problem – the problem is I don’t really want to spend the money right now but when IS the right time?

I am a big believer in if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it and this has served me well in the past.  I don’t believe you should just upgrade something because there is a newer, shiner, faster model on the market but I also don’t believe you should keep an old server going well past its sell by date just because it works either and on very old software (Server 2003 anyone?).

Finding the balance can be very tricky and in a lot of cases gets overshadowed by running a business and making money instead. I have lost count of the number of times I have had conservations with clients along the lines of “The kit is working at the moment so we shall leave it alone and fix it later”.  In one case their server died a month later!!

So back to the problem – when is the best time to upgrade your systems? When they aren’t doing what you need.  If it is taking longer to open files, access emails, or running outdated software like Windows Vista this is a green light for upgrading.  If your server is on its last legs or you aren’t confident your backups aren’t working properly this would also be a good time.

Remember if your systems fail you can’t do any work and as we all know time is money.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Cisco, Windows, OS X and Linux based IT Support to small businesses throughout Scotland.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

Which is better a Mac, Windows or Linux? I don’t think it matters that much anymore

I got asked the legendary question this week from a client which is better a Mac, Windows or Linux? Now a lot of users will have strong opinions of which is best and each operating system will have their own merits but my answer to the client was “none of them as your choice of operating system is slowly becoming irrelevant” to which I got a blank look of confusion.

Let me explain. Last week I purchased a Mac for the simple reason I have a new client who wants support on his Mac so I had better brush up on my skillset.  The first thing I did when I bought it was to install Google Chrome and sync my bookmarks.  Like most people these days (both corporate and home users) I spend most of my time in a browser and in my case this happens to be Google Chrome.  The underlying operating system is irrelevant.

I also have all my files stored on Dropbox which is cross platform so I can access them from any operating system or from any browser. I have clients (big and small) who are also going down the route of accessing everything online.

My office also contains a Linux system and multiple Windows virtual systems which also have Chrome installed and synced.  My choice of which system to use will obviously depend on what I am doing (eg testing some windows software, SSH into a server etc) but 90% of the time I spend in Chrome updating social media, updating website, monitoring servers etc.

Now if you have to use a specific package that only runs on Windows, Mac or Linux then you have already answered your own question but for the rest of us the choice of operating system is slowly becoming a non choice.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in Stirling and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter


Linux, Windows or Mac – I don’t really care

I went to a Linux User Group (LUG) last night to meet up with some fellow ‘techies’ and have a natter (I always leave feeling thick!!).  Most of the guys who go only use Linux but some like myself are exposed to both Linux, Windows, and in some cases Mac, in our daily lives.  If I had said I thought Windows was superior in any way to Linux I would have got shot down immediately.  It is not only Linux users who are like this (not all mind you).  I have had numerous ‘discussions’ with fellow IT ‘techs’ who say that they will never use Linux in any way due to it ‘being shit’ and it is only for ‘techies’.  Windows all the way for these guys.

Now I would never say that one operating system is definitely superior to the others but instead I would say that it depends on the situation.  For example if you need a file server for your office then take a look at Linux (in my case either Ubuntu or Debian).  For sharing printers I would say go with Windows (due to availability of print drivers) and if you want graphics then go and get a Mac (I can see the appeal of a Mac but they are overpriced for me).  I could go on and on citing examples but I think you get the point.  However I seem to be in the minority.

Being an IT Engineer when faced with a problem I will use all the available tools at my disposal to fix it.  For example I use Linux Live CD’s to recover data from broken Windows installations while I always carry around (now) a wireless adapter that works on both Linux and Windows systems.  I even have a password cracker (Ophcrack – Linux based) which is very handy when Windows users have forgotten their passwords (non domain)

For me to limit myself to one OS would be foolish as I would be cutting myself off from tools I could use to help my customers.  Windows, Linux or Mac based I don’t really care as long as it does what I need it to do!!

So what do you think? Are you are purist or someone who likes to dabble in the dark side?

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter





Today I am going to introduce you to a different way of sharing files.  That way is Dropbox.  Dropbox is a piece of software that allows you to store all your files, securely, online.  With your files stored online  you can then access them from anywhere with an internet connection.

How does Dropbox work?

Dropbox installs a folder onto your computer during initial set up.  Anything you store inside that folder is then automatically synchronised with the Dropbox online servers allowing you to access your files from anywhere.  It is that simple.  You can run Dropbox on Windows, Linux and Mac which allows easy set up of a cross platform network.  It can also provide a solution when accessing network resources from tablets too.

How much does it cost?


You get 2 Gb free.  It costs $9.99 for 100 Gb or $19.99 for 200Gb.  All these prices are per month.


For business Dropbox charges $795 for 5 users with additional users costing $125.  These prices are per year.  For this you get 1 Tb of storage space with 200 Gb added for every user.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages?


1. Folders are synchronised automatically.

2. Allows file sharing across multiple platforms.

3. Files can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

4. Very easy to set up.

5. You get 2Gb free!!


1.. Bandwidth.  If you upload large numbers of files or big files then you are going to use up your ISP allowance very quickly.

2. Your data is being stored off your premises and looked after by someone else.

Personally I use Dropbox as a sharing and backup solution and in both cases I am very impressed by it.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter



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