New Apple iMac Pro is on the way!

Apple has finally announced, after a good few years of selling the infamous ‘black bin’ Mac Pro, that a new one is on the way.

iMac Pro BlogComing our way December 2017, it will be called the Apple iMac Pro.

Apple are touting this with the strapline ‘The Most Powerful Mac Ever” – and the specs seems to back that up.  This 27-inch space grey workstation class computer will feature (for around $4999 / £3845)

  • A retina 5K display
  • A Xeon-Pro CPU with up to 18 cores(!)
  • AMD’s Radeon Vega GPU
  • Up to 128GB RAM
  • Up to 4TB of SSD HD
  • 4 x Thunderbolt 3 Ports which can support up to two 5K displays
  • 1080p FaceTime Camera
  • 10GB Ethernet

iMac Pro Blog

Having the Xeon V4 class CPU, this is definitely aimed at the Pro user – those interested in graphic modelling or video production work.

The $4999 price tag is for the ‘base’ model with an 8 core Xeon CPU (E5-2620 V4 @ 2.1GHz possibly, but Apple is yet to confirm), an 8GB Radeon Vega GPU, 32GB of 2666Mhz DDR4 ECC RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.

The maxed-out version can have an 18 core Xeon Pro CPU, 16GB Radeon Vega GPU, 128GB 2666Mhz DDR4 ECC RAM and a 4TB SSD HD.  Looking at this maxed-out spec, you can expect to spend…wait for it!  Around $17k!!

This will put this version of the new iMac Pro out of the reach of the average user, but it’s enough to turn even the most modest geek into a quivering wreck.

To sum up, Fully-equipped, the machine Apple will be selling will unquestionably be very expensive — at least for a traditional desktop. But if you consider this to be a professional production workstation, it’s not overly expensive. But if you’re a film company, and it’s time to make another big movie, a $17k workstation (or 4!) is not overly expensive.

EDIT: Apple has a page up on their website for the new iMac Pro, but don’t expect any extra information until the big reveal!

https://www.apple.com/uk/imac-pro/

Hey, I’m from Microsoft and you have a virus on your computer!

Here we go again.. it’s that time of the year

I’m sure you’ve heard that before when you pick up the phone and answer a call from a withheld number.  I think it’s worth talking about this scam that hits our homes – and wallets – time and time again, and especially at this time of the year when Santa is due to do his rounds..

It generally goes like this (in a hard to understand accent)…

Microsoft-virus-scam-blog

Them: “Hi, can I speak to Mr. James”?

You: “I’m sorry, there’s no-one here called Mr. James”

Them: “Ahh, that’s okay, I’m from Microsoft and we have detected a virus / malware on your computer spreading it out onto the Internet and infecting others machines”

You: “Oh!, Really?  What do you want me to do”…

It then generally descends into ‘Them’ pointing you to a website that you can download their software that will let them remove the virus from your computer.  Once you download and follow their instruction to install this ‘miracle’ software, you have inadvertently given them remote access to your computer where they will quickly install the virus / malware they told you was already on your computer.

One of two scenarios will generally now play out…

  • Your computer will become part of a botnet (a great collection of computers on the internet that can then be commanded to do all sorts of nefarious deeds like hack other computers, infect other computers or mine bitcoin etc.
  • Your computer will be infected and then the rep on the phone will tell you this and offer to help you remove it for £££’s, wait until you pay up with your favourite debit or credit card (which they will generally keep the details of, allowing them to use your card some more later on), put the phone down on you and leave your computer in an unusable state.

ParadigmIT’s Tips for dealing with these scammers

Microsoft-virus-scam-blogA few things to remember when you get a call like this…

  • There are millions of PC’s out there running Microsoft Windows – and Microsoft have no access to your computer, ever.
  • How do Microsoft even have your number?
  • Would Microsoft have time to call you? And even if they did, and there was a virus on your computer, see the first bullet point…

Knowing these three things, you can see that Microsoft wouldn’t call you. Ever.  This must be a scammer.

Best thing to do when you get a call like this, hang up the telephone, and if you have a facility on your phone to block the number that’s calling you, do that.

Never do anything to your computer with instructions provided over the telephone – unless you know the person and trust them!

It’s very simple to deal with these scammers – now here’s some of the organisations that these scammers claim to be from…

  • Windows Helpdesk
  • Windows Service Center
  • Microsoft Tech Support
  • Microsoft Support
  • Windows Technical Department Support Group
  • Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

What do I do if I’ve already done what they ask?

  • Change your computer’s password, change the password on your main email account, and change the password for any financial accounts, especially your bank and credit card.
  • Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out if you have malware installed on your computer.
  • Install Microsoft Security Essentials. (Microsoft Security Essentials is a free program. If someone calls you to install this product and then charge you for it, this is also a scam.)
  • Call your bank or building society to check that everything is in order.

How can I report these scammers?

Keep safe out there!  

Still want Windows 10 for free?

Windows 10 Blog - October 2017So the free upgrade for Windows expired on 29th July 2016.  Apparently not!

What happened after the free upgrade deadline passed?

The annoying tool to try and get you to upgrade to Windows 10 stopped popping up.

Prices for Windows 10 range from £15 to just under £200 on the web.

However, it turns out you can still upgrade for free using a number of methods.

Windows 10 Blog - October 2017How?

Limitations?

The upgrade provides you with a digital license.  That license is tied to that device so, even if you have to reformat the disk and perform a clean installation of the same edition of Windows 10 you won’t need a product key, activation is automatic.

Microsoft Media Creation Tool

To use the tool you need to run it from a Window 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 machine.  Although you can download the ISO file and load it onto a USB stick yourself.

Assistive Technologies

People who USE assistive technologies still quality for the free upgrade, though Microsoft doesn’t ask for any evidence that you actually use such tools.

“You qualify for the free upgrade if you use assistive technologies, which include such features as a magnifier to better see the screen, a narrator to read text aloud, keyboard shortcuts and an on-screen keyboard. Such tech is “designed to provide additional accessibility to individuals who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments, and disabilities,” according to Microsoft.”

Source: CNET.com – https://www.cnet.com/uk/how-to/microsoft-windows-10-free-upgrade-offer-assistive-features/

Windows 10 Blog - October 2017The future?

So, when will Microsoft publicly adopt the Apple approach of making the OS upgrades free?

Is this free upgrade option just an oversight on their part?

If it is an oversight and you still want to upgrade to Windows 10 but haven’t because of the cost, then you may now consider upgrading whilst its still free.

 

Check out this article from ZDNet for more information on upgrade options – http://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/

 

If you do a search on the web, you will find quite a few articles about the upgrade, but if you feel that ParadigmIT can be of assistance then please get in touch.