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Preferred Blog

Preferred has been serving the Tinley Park area since 1991, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Huawei’s Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Huawei’s Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Make no mistake about it, Huawei is one of the largest technology companies in the entire world. It employs over 200,000 people and in 2018 saw revenues of over $100 billion. Over the past few years, their devices have been pushing the boundaries of what is possible in tech all while being relatively unavailable to one of the major technology markets in the world, the United States. The fact is that outside the U.S., Huawei is a major player.

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How to Prioritize Your Upcoming Technology Implementations

How to Prioritize Your Upcoming Technology Implementations

No matter how hard some organizations may try, the technology solutions that a business leverages simply aren’t meant to last forever. You may have noticed that some of your systems are less effective than they once were, and that your competition seems to be playing with a different set of rules. Sounds like it’s high time you implemented a few upgrades.

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The Top 5 Smartphones For You Heading Into 2019

The Top 5 Smartphones For You Heading Into 2019

With the smartphone market losing ground for the first time in its short history, many of the manufacturers you’ve come to know are either non-factors in the current market, or don’t even produce smartphones anymore. With new demand growing every year, new manufacturers such as OnePlus and Xiaomi are primed to fall in line behind Samsung and Apple.

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Obtaining the Right Tools Is Extremely Important for Businesses

Obtaining the Right Tools Is Extremely Important for Businesses

Your business’ technology infrastructure is built from hardware, and this hardware needs to be properly managed if you want to succeed. The first step to this is to acquire the proper hardware, but for businesses that don’t have dedicated in-house IT departments, even this is challenging. Outsourced hardware procurement is a solution to this dilemma, and we’ll explain how it works.

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Your Technology May Fail, but You Can Still Succeed

Your Technology May Fail, but You Can Still Succeed

If you’ve been in business for a while, there are devices on your network that see little to no use. Even for the most frugal business, due to the fact that technology eventually winds up being arbitrary thanks to the continued development (and deployment) of more powerful solutions, there will always be situations where you have devices that do nothing but take up space. You can reduce the chances of this happening by finding the right IT for the job the first time, while sparingly implementing only IT solutions that will provide a return on your investment.

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How Technology Could Change the Classroom

How Technology Could Change the Classroom

Children are the future, as the saying goes, so do we really want the future to be taught using tools from the past? While some schools are still using technology that better belongs in the 20th century, others are embracing innovation and teaching in ways that better translate to the “real world.” Let’s take a look at how our evolving technology is transforming the classroom and explore some ways to get it to more students.

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Tech Term: Motherboard

Tech Term: Motherboard

A computer is made up of many parts, one of which is today’s Tech Term: the motherboard. We’ll discuss what the motherboard does for your computer and why it’s such an important part for its continued operation.

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Tip of the Week: Here’s an Easy Way to Update Your Hardware Drivers in Windows 10

Tip of the Week: Here’s an Easy Way to Update Your Hardware Drivers in Windows 10

The average employee and business owner relies on various hardware solutions to go about their day-to-day duties. These hardware devices--think keyboards, wireless mouses, external microphones, and any USB devices--utilize drivers which allow for inter-device compatibility. What happens when these drivers aren’t installed or kept up to date? Your technology suffers, and so does your productivity.

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When IT Implementation Goes Wrong, Focus on End-Users First

When IT Implementation Goes Wrong, Focus on End-Users First

Often times, people can get distracted by flashy new features, and with technology, this happens more than anywhere else. Since IT grows at such an abnormally fast rate, end-users can be left in the dust if you’re not intentionally trying to keep them in the loop. In fact, it’s highly recommended that you implement IT solutions for your business that are not just effective, but also user-friendly.


The reasoning for this is simple: your end-users are the ones who will be using the technology. Therefore, you need to consider how they will react to new solutions, and whether or not it will be something that they can understand how to use. The first step toward improving the way that your IT infrastructure functions is by implementing solutions that are user-friendly first, and great technology second.

In fact, when organizations implement new solutions to increase productivity, what they see is often the opposite. InfoWorld claims that this is due to two reasons: 1) Lack of training, and 2) A reluctance to change habits or behaviors. If your business implements new solutions, like an updated office suite or a brand new operating system, it will have little effect on your productivity if your team doesn’t know how to properly use it. In fact, they may just resist the change altogether.

More often than not, your end-users will only care about one thing: functionality. They don't care how technically sound a solution might be, so long as it’s simple to use on their end. Therefore, if you hope to get the most out of your new IT solution, you need to ensure that your team is both educated on the benefits, as well as competent in its usage. This can help to cut down on resistance to the project, as well as make it easier to hit the ground running once the implementation has finished.

InfoWorld states: “You might stagger the rollouts so the disruption is spread out. Rolling out a series of smaller changes takes more time, but it also lets users get more comfortable with the changes, reducing the disruption to their work. It might even let some users get deep into new capabilities and share their excitement with colleagues, who won't be so overwhelmed with changes that they can't focus on the benefits.”

The idea is to make your new IT solution not just a successful deployment for your IT department, but also for your users. This is what defines a successful solution deployment. After all, your end-users are the ones who will be using it, so if they get very little out of the solution, then why bother spending the time and resources implementing it?

If your organization is having difficulty implementing new IT, or training its team on how best to use your new technology, we can help. We want your business to succeed, and by helping you master your new technology solutions, we succeed ourselves. To learn more, give us a call at 708-781-7110.

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4 Options When Discarding Old Technology

4 Options When Discarding Old Technology

So you’ve gotten yourself some new hardware. That’s great, but what are you going to do with your old equipment? You need to make sure that you’re handling your old technology properly, and there may be ways for your old hardware to find a second life. Before chucking it in the trash, first consider your options.


Be Sure to Take Care of Your Data
First off, no matter what you end up doing with your old hardware, if you’re dealing with a hard drive previously used to store important files, then you need to take steps to ensure that this data won’t be recovered and fall into the wrong hands. The common mistake made here is for users to think that just deleting the files by way of emptying the Recycle Bin is enough. This simply isn’t the case, seeing as many of these deleted files can still be recovered.

Instead, before passing an old computer on to someone else, you’ll first want to make sure that the hard drive gets wiped--a procedure that truly erases everything. Also, if you decide to throw your equipment in the trash, it’s best practice to first physically destroy the hard drive so that it can’t be found by a tech-savvy dumpster diver (which isn’t as farfetched as it sounds). For example, this can be accomplished by putting the hard drive under a drill press or sledge hammer. To know for sure that you’re properly taking care of your old hard drive, be sure to consult IT professionals.

Donate Your Old Hardware to a Good Cause
It feels good to give to charity (not to mention the tax incentives), and there are likely some great non-profit organizations in your community that would find your old hardware to be useful. However, if your old equipment is on its last leg, then it would be better for you to dispose of it so that you’re not burdening them with your junk. Be sure to talk with a representative from the charity before showing up with a truckload of old computers.

If you are passing on your old equipment, one way that you can both protect your data and make sure that they’re getting working technology is to swap out the old hard drive for a new one. New hard drives are generally inexpensive, and seeing as the average hard disk drive has a lifespan of five years, you don’t want to gift an old computer that could essentially crash at any time.

Reuse and Repurpose Your Old Hardware for Around the Office
If there’s still some life in your old equipment, you may be able to find a use for it around the office. Here are some examples:

  • Using an old computer for a print or fax server will take some stress off of your network, though it would require reconfigurations to be made.
  • Keeping the computer on hand for spare parts.
  • Keeping an operational workstation on hand as a spare PC, just in case an operational PC runs into an issue and needs to be swapped out temporarily.

Be Sure to Recycle
When it comes to disposing of old technology, we highly recommend that you recycle it. Computer components are made up of some highly toxic metals that can damage the environment if tossed into a landfill. Instead, old computer equipment needs to be disposed of properly and recycled in a special way. Preferred can take care of this for you. To arrange a time to drop off your old equipment at our office, feel free to contact us at 708-781-7110.

Your technology is important, both in how you use it and you dispose of it. To go over these technology disposal options with our knowledgeable IT technicians, contact us today.

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Tip of the Week: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB or More - How Much RAM Do You Actually Need?

Tip of the Week: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB or More - How Much RAM Do You Actually Need?

You can tell when a workstation might need an upgrade if it’s slowing down, or if the machine is so absurdly slow that you can barely accomplish your daily tasks with it. One of the easiest ways you can improve the quality of your workstation is by increasing the amount of RAM.

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Tip of the Week: How to Clean Your Monitor, Keyboard, and the Inside of Your PC

b2ap3_thumbnail_clean_computer_tips_400.jpgA clean computer is a happy computer. Just like any other piece of gadgetry, a computer requires regular cleanup sessions that allow users to get the most from them. In fact, January is known as Clean Up Your Computer Month, so what better way is there to ring in the new year than making sure your computer is in tip-top shape?

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What’s the Benefit of Using Solid State Drives vs. Hard Disk Drives?

b2ap3_thumbnail_HDDSSD_400.jpgWhen it comes to storing data locally on your organization’s workstations, you have a couple of options. There are solid state drives and hard disk drives, but the average user isn’t tech-savvy enough to understand the difference between the two. Regardless of what kinds of devices you use for your business, you should be aware of how they work and what you can expect from them.

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Will the Surface Book Be Microsoft’s “MacBook Killer?” [Video]

b2ap3_thumbnail_the_surface_book_400.jpgOne of the most storied competitions in the technology industry comes from Apple vs Microsoft. For the past 35 years, they went back and forth by offering consumers their own twist on similar technologies. The latest chapter in this story comes from Microsoft’s new Surface Book, which aims to compete directly with Apple’s MacBook Pro.

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5 Signs Your Hard Drive is About to Fail

b2ap3_thumbnail_hard_drive_failure_400.jpgWe all know the fleeting moment of fear as a computer slows to a grinding halt, taking forever to perform the most basic of tasks. At the same time, we also know the relief of when you find out there’s nothing wrong with your PC. Still, what if that relief never comes? What if you’re dealing with one of the most dangerous computer issues of all: a hard drive crash?

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How Samsung Going With Non-Removable Batteries May Cause Injury to Idiots [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_battery_safety_400.jpgIt’s been confirmed that Samsung is getting rid of both its removable battery and MicroSD slot for its newest line of Galaxy Note devices. This is a sad day for Galaxy fans that have always preferred the Android device over Apple’s iPhone for its customizable options such as these. For Samsung, it’s too early to tell if this will affect sales or not, but one thing’s for sure: a lot of phones will be destroyed before users “get it.”

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Nanotechnology Holds the Key to Doubling Computing Power

b2ap3_thumbnail_ibm_processor_400.jpgEarly in July, IBM announced that they have developed an ultra-dense computer chip that has roughly four times the computing capacity of today’s most powerful chips. These prototype chips, and ones they will develop to fuel computing into the next decade and beyond, are the result of the evolution of 21st century informatics.

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Why You Should Think Twice about Throwing Away Working Technology

b2ap3_thumbnail_ewaste_becoming_a_major_issue_400.jpgWhen it comes to getting new technology, it’s typical to spend a significant amount of time agonizing over which product is the best. All the while, little regard is given to the disposal of one’s old tech, which often gets tossed in the trash. You may not have realized it, but haphazardly disposing of our old technology is wreaking havoc on the environment.

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The Best Way to Take Advantage of New Tech is With a Long-Term Replacement Plan

New technology is meant to improve upon its previous design. This is technology 101. Despite this well-known fact, many business owners are hesitant to adopt new technology, choosing instead to continue using older equipment in an effort to save money. A better approach to technology for your business is to have a long-term replacement plan.

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Be the Life of the Party: Server Hosting

When it comes to hosting a party, it can be exhausting – it's a matter of space, cost, and responsibility, among other things. If you're too busy trying to organize everything, nobody will get to see the best side of you. Wouldn't it be so much easier to just hire someone to take care of the details? You would actually be able to enjoy your party!

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