Upgrading to Windows 10 – Sage, Quickbooks, Business applications

Posted on: August 11th, 2015 by Ashley No Comments

With the new hype out about Windows 10 and Microsoft forcing the upgrade out to many users domain or not its time to issue a word or caution. Currently neither Sage or Quickbooks has a released a version that is officially compatible with Windows 10. Throwing caution to the wind and upgrading anyway could land businesses in hot water as they struggle to keep their accounts running. Accounting software is not the only business critical application that can be affected. Tetrabyte are currently advising all customers wanting to upgrade to Windows 10 to speak directly to our support team and allow us to check that your software is officially compatible.

Solve issues when upgrading to Windows 10

Posted on: June 12th, 2015 by Martyn No Comments

If you experience issues when upgrading to Windows 10 from windows 7 or 8.1 you might try the below steps to help resolve your issues.

Peform a “Clean Boot”

To perform a clean boot in windows 7

1. Open msconfig

2. Click the general tab

3. Choose selective startup & clear the load startup items box

4. Click the services tab and tick the “hide all Microsoft services box” Then disable all non microsoft services.

5. Reboot & try install again



To perform a clean boot in windows 8.1

1. Open msconfig

2. Click the services tab check the “hide all microsoft services” box and then click disable all.

3. Click startup & then click “open task manager”

4. For each item in the startup page in task manager highlight and click disable on each program.

5. Reboot & try install again

Artificial Intelligence Current and Upcoming Technology

Posted on: January 16th, 2015 by Martyn No Comments

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the intelligence that is simulated/demonstrated by computers, machines and software to make them perform / act in a similar way a human makes decisions and takes actions. Or at least to emulate this as much as technically possible, or as much as current technology will allow.

Artificial Intelligence or (AI) as it is commonly referred, is no longer the work of fiction. As it’s slowly working its way into our everyday lives, this article will outline the rise of Artificial Intelligence the progress that it has made in the last fifty years and will highlight potential future and in development applications for this technology.

Origins & The imitation game

artificial intelligence

One of the earliest widely recognised researches into artificial intelligence was undertaken by the British mathematician / cryptanalyst Alan Turing. Who along with his team stationed at Bletchley Park were responsible for cracking the German enigma encryptions during the war.

Along with this Turing made many of the early advancements in computing history and some of his papers / concepts are still studied today, I have had the opportunity to study these concepts first hand.

Getting back to the topic at hand Turing’s research into artificial intelligence, he produced a paper in 1950 outlining his beliefs that in time, machines (computers) could be programmed to acquire abilities or to learn in a way that rivals that of the human mind. He devised a test to check that when such a machine was created / programmed if the machine was truly intelligent, sometimes this test is referred to as ‘the imitation game’ which is where the 2014 film of the same name got its title.

This test works by the using the following steps a human being and a computer / machine will be questioned by a questioner who would not know which is which. The communication would be made entirely via text based messages so that no visual cues would assist in the questioner making the final decision as to which chat the human was using. When the questioner can do discern between the two the computer is sufficiently intelligent to qualify for the category of artificial intelligence.

As yet only one computer in the world has passed the Turing test (the imitation game) this is discussed in the section below.

Recent developments in AI

Current notable projects in the field of artificial intelligence most recently there is IBM’s Watson supercomputer who is an artificial intelligence that is designed to answer questions in natural language. This has been tested on the American quiz show jeopardy against two human former gameshow winners. Where it won the first prize of $1 million dollars or £656991 in pounds. During the test the computer was not connected to the internet and relied solely on local data stored on its internal 4tb storage. This data was in both structured form and unstructured, structured data being data that is sorted in a certain way to aid is the finding of certain objects within the dataset.

artificial intelligence

The only system as yet to pass the imitation game or the Turing test is a computer program dubbed Eugene Goostman which is primarily a Chat – bot based artificial intelligence that will attempt to simulate human speech and conversation. Although the application of this technology could be far reaching. Possible applications for this will be listed in the applications section below. To give you a rough idea on how this system works you can try a more primitive version of the artificial intelligence called Cleverbot which can be used online from a web browser. If you would like to try this system visit the following web page: http://www.cleverbot.com

Google’s self-driven cars currently in development and a long way off from public release but still I think worth a mention. Google have developed a fleet of driverless cars that have collectively logged over 190,000 miles being tested on public roads and purpose built testing tracks. This kind of technology could change the way we all drive in the future with little to no human intervention required. Although this may not be so appealing to some for others, for example people who are maybe not well enough to drive etc. it could be a very efficient means of transportation.

Risks Associated with the development of AI

The risks of the implementation of artificial intelligence have been portrayed in many films over the years e.g. Terminator with the Skynet AI, 2001 a space odyssey with HAL and iRobot with VIKI to name a few. All of these films explore the possibility that humans could lose control over the artificial intelligence and that it could cease control over the earth and the human race.

These kind of issues would only occur if the Intelligence became self-aware and was able to modify or improve itself.

Although this sort of intelligence is a way off, to address this possibility leading scientists in the field of AI have signed an open letter. To ensure that all research and development into the field of AI is carried out to ensure that it is done with humanities best interests at heart. This letter was put together by the Future of Life Institute and was signed by leading scientists such as Stephen hawking and Elon Musk


Benefits of AI implementation

The benefits of artificial intelligence have also been demonstrated in popular films / TV shows for example Iron man with Jarvis, Knight Rider with KIT and star trek.

With technology changing and smart home appliances becoming more and more popular, a home integrated AI could not be too far off. Think of apples Siri or Google’s (google now) features in smartphones being able to integrate with your smart thermostats and lights. Especially now since apple and google have introduced voice activation on both systems.

Combining this technology with the field of robotics similar to what google have done with their self-driven car fleet could be another possible advancement. For example take the wildcat robot from Boston dynamics that can run at up to 25 mph over terrain. This could be programmed to work out the fastest / easiest route to a location. Delivering supplies to soldiers on the front line eliminating the human risk.


 artificial intelligence



Windows 10

Posted on: November 5th, 2014 by Martyn No Comments

Windows 10

The next windows operating system as you will have probably heard by now will be called windows 10 and not windows 9 like many of the rumours leading up to the official announcement suggested.

Windows 10 or Windows X as it has become known, heralds the long awaited return of the start menu, albeit with a little Modern UI thrown in for good measure. (Modern UI being the rebranded metro feature).

Microsoft has invited people who would like to trial a very early version of the software to download and run it, although they recommend that you don’t use it as your primary operating system, and to run it as a virtual machine instead. As in its current state it is not suitable for day to day use. Links to these downloads can be found and the bottom of this page.

Microsoft have also made it clear that the current feature set in the technical preview may not (In its entirety) be included in the final release of ten, which is said to be in late 2015.

Along with the start menu windows ten brings a host of new features to the user such as…

Multiple Desktops

The feature of multiple desktops has now been included in windows 10.

This will allow you to separate your running applications onto multiple desktops, for example below I have the command prompt open on one desktop and internet explorer open on another.

If you have used a mac or any mainstream desktop based Linux distribution over the last 3 years or so you may have already seen or used this feature. In my experience this feature is especially useful on laptops with smaller screens that perhaps your desktop monitor/s.


Command Prompt

Microsoft have finally given in and made a very small change to the command prompt by adding keyboard shortcuts such as ctrl-v, ctrl-c and shift-select. Although these are by themselves very small changes they will be gladly received.

Taskbar Search

A handy taskbar search is included by default which will allow you not only to search your machine but also to search the internet as well. This will use by default the Bing search engine and internet explorer. I have yet to discover a means of changing the default search to another engine e.g. google or select another internet browser to display the results.

taskbar search

Adaptive interfaces

Windows 10 includes a set of software features to allow certain interfaces to change based on whether the device is docked or being used like a tablet. For example when in ‘tablet mode’ the device will try to use metro apps over standard desktop apps.

Notification Centre/Pane

There is a notification centre similar to what mac has been using for the last few releases, which is where all of your skype, email update messages will be stored.

Notification Pane

As mentioned above some of these features may not make it into the final release of windows 10, we will just have to wait and see what makes the final cut.

With its current feature set, Windows 10 looks set to be what windows 8 should have been.

Keep Your Email Private

Posted on: December 11th, 2013 by Martyn No Comments

Microsoft’s latest advertising campaign dubbed ‘Keep Your Email Private’ has been targeted directly against Google’s Gmail service. The campaign features around Google’s latest effort’s to turn one of its free services into a source of revenue, in this case using selective advertising based on the user’s private mail content to deliver relevant advertising.

The system works by scanning your Subjects and Content from your email for key words that will help deliver personalise targeted advertising to the user.

In most of Microsoft’s latest advertisements they include a reference to their website keppyouremailprivate.com which has been created to highlight how and why Google is able to scan users email. It also provides several mock-up examples on what kind of advertising you would expect to encounter when using the Google mail service. The main objective of this website is to highlight that Microsoft’s equivalent free service ‘outlook’ does not actively scan your email for keywords, for use in advertising. Microsoft does state that outlook will only scan the contents of your email to help protect you, and to display, sort and categorize your e-mail. This is most likely a reference to their spam filtering service.

In one of Microsoft’s adverts they satirically suggest using an alternative language called Pig Latin where the words written in English are translated according to a set of rules. This can be done using an online translator. The purpose of which is to prevent Google from finding any relevant adverts based on this content.

An example of how the ‘selective advertising’ works could be as follows. You receive an email from a known sender about buying a house in the local area, Google would then provide you with adverts based on this content, which could include the area in which you were looking for a house, type of house etc.

What Microsoft doesn’t mention is that the mail scanning process is fully automated and at no point does a human ever read your emails or account information. Google has stated that the Advertisement targeting in Google mail will not deliver adverts based on sensitive information, such as race, religion, health etc.

Any users who don’t wish to receive targeted advertising from Google based their personal email content will have to find an alternative free email provider, or install a piece of ad blocking software such as ad block, which will run as an add-on to your browser to prevent all advertising, targeted or otherwise.

Signatures in Outlook 2013

Posted on: December 6th, 2013 by Martyn No Comments

To create or edit an email signature in outlook 2013 first open outlook and click file in the top left.


On the following menu click options.


Click mail on the left pane then signatures.


To create a new signature click new then on the following popup window give the signature a name.


You can then edit the signature in the box below, then choose when it should be applied in this case I have chosen on new messages & replies/forwards. Once you have finished editing click okay to save your changes.



Posted on: November 21st, 2013 by Martyn No Comments

Cryptolocker is a variation of Trojan horse Malware that is referred to as Ransomware. Once infected will effectively hold your data hostage by using encryption, demanding a ransom to have it unencrypted. Additionally if the ‘Ransom’ isn’t paid within a set amount of time (72 hours from notification) the files will remain encrypted with no known way to recover them as yet. This malware is not only capable of encrypting your local files but your shared network drives and connected external devices such as USB memory sticks and external hard drives.

The virus is spread through email attachments using a spam campaign that is thought to be designed to target small and medium businesses. Who are less likely to have a contingency plan in place to recover the files if lost.

Some Anti-Virus software is capable of removing the software, but it is not capable of preventing the software from running in the first instance and encrypting at least some of your files.

The ransom can be paid using alternative online payment methods such as Bitcoin or Moneypak. Using either of these methods makes the transaction very difficult to track and determine where or to whom the money will eventually end up. The typical ransom amounts to around 691 pounds, there are several reports that state after companies had paid the ransom there files had indeed been decrypted and full access restored, although others had reported problems during the decryption process where it would only restore partial access to a small selection of their files.

One example of Cryptolocker affecting a larger organisation recently was in America as a local police department fell victim to the virus. They resolved the issue by paying the ransom and subsequently recovered there encrypted files. Although they have recovered there files from the Cryptolocker encryption virus their reputation has been damaged, as they store large amounts of personal data and sensitive information which was compromised.

Our team of engineers have devised a solution that should effectively prevent the Cryptolocker virus from ever being able to run on your machine. Our current clients have little to worry about as this preventative measure will have already been applied to their computer systems protecting each device on the network.

Our clients can rest assure, that even with our preventative security measures, we can perform a full restore of your files back to an earlier state, as we take full backups of your critical files every night.

Going from 360 to 720

Posted on: May 21st, 2013 by admin No Comments


Tonight is the unveiling of the latest Xbox gaming console from Microsoft. The features of the new device have been kept very secret and no one really knows what’s going to be in the new system – rumour mills as always have been churning over what it thinks could be in the new system from the removal of the DVD/HD drive to a slimming the whole unit to compete with the PS3 slim. Microsoft are the last of the Gaming consoles to release a new unit in recent times and you can guarantee that all three vendors will be fighting for the top spot at this year’s E3 show next month.

The gaming market has become as cut throat as a trading floor. Microsoft will want to increase the performance against its old 360 unit that was the first to be released to the marketplace but was never top of global sales. When it comes to the best games console there are many people who will choose different units. With technology growing and software becoming just as important as the hardware, designers have to be at the top of the game.

Nintendo have already noticed that Gaming community is not for the light hearted with the WII U not selling as they had hoped. When the Xbox came on the market it landed with an explosion of graphics and games which left gamers and game-makers smiling. Now the world is a very different place – mobile vendors change hardware every other week and games are now more common from places like Steam and origin.

Microsoft doesn’t need to worry about Sony or Nintendo they have to worry about Apple, Google and Samsung. Microsoft always packed in loads of extras to the Xbox for example Sky Player and DNLA capability’s to make it a complete entertainment system. As an Xbox owner I will be sitting waiting for the new unit to be unveiled.

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