Atari Game Console

The 'Game changing' Atari Game Console

I’m continuing my theme from last month of influences on me which resulted in a career in Information Technology and computing. This month – the Atari Game Console.

I still remember the feeling of awe when I first heard about the Atari Game Console as a child. It was simply unbelievable!

 

I was playing the state-of-the-art tennis game on my TV – people of a certain age may remember it as ‘Pong’. You plugged the console into your TV and it allowed one or two players to move a ‘bat’ up and down, to ‘hit’ a ball that was bouncing horizontally across the screen.

 

For anyone who doesn’t remember, there is a Youtube link below that demonstrates it.

This was as good as home video games got in the early 1980’s!

 

Then a friend of my parents visited us, saw me playing ‘Pong’ and told me all about the new games that were coming out. He described being able to control a small biplane and shoot at another biplane on screen.

 

For a nascent teenager who was into ‘gaming’ it was mind-blowing!

Before too long I got to hear all about it – it was called Atari and it wasn’t limited to just one game – there were hundreds! You simply plugged in the relevant game cartridge and away you went.

 

The true genius of the Atari game console was that it recreated arcade games in your own home. I was fortunate to receive one for Christmas, and of course, all my friends, and friends of my parents in the older generation, were all completely hooked.

 

There is an interesting Youtube video below on the evolution of the Atari Game console.

I don’t recall all of the games I had, but I think it’s safe to say my favourites were the ones I still remember today:

 

  • Space Invaders (of course!)
  • Defender

 

Clearly some love of science fiction was already built in (I was in the Star Wars generation after all!)

So there you have it. The Atari Game Console was an early indicator of where my eventual career would lie. By modern standards of course the games look  remarkably primitive. Yet I think there is an innocent purity to them. The game designers achieved amazing results with very limited computing power, and they deserve great credit for that.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Next month, another Atari….

 

Guy Phoenix

How long have you been in IT?

I’m often asked if I’ve been in IT all my life. In terms of career roles, the answer is ‘no’ since I’ve been fortunate to hold a variety of positions in the companies I’ve worked for and owned.

 

But I thought about the question a bit more recently and realised that I’ve had an interest in electronics/IT/computers for as long as I can remember. I can still remember the surprise (or was it exasperation?!) on my parent’s faces when they asked me what I would like for my birthday, and I told them I would like one of the new electronic calculators that had just come out.

 

I was 7 years old!

 

I’ve turned the house upside down but can’t find that original calculator. I was able to unearth a picture of one like it and attach it here. It’s interesting to see that calculators haven’t actually changed that much, so it was amazingly ahead of its time.

 

So there you have it, my new answer to the question of ‘how long have you been in IT’ will be ‘as long as I can remember’!

 

IT all my life

 

Guy Phoenix is the Managing Director of Fresh Mango Technologies and Their sister company in the British Virgin Islands.

Going to the Dentist

Your IT Team - like your Dentist only without the pain

What on earth is he on about in this blog? What has dentistry got to do with IT or computers? He’s obviously still in the ‘Christmas Spirit’…

 

Well maybe (although in my defence I first thought about writing this in early December, just didn’t get the chance. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…)

 

OK bear with me here. Try to remember the last time you had to go to the dentist – not for a check-up and clean – but because you were in pain. If you’re anything like me you would have put up with it for a while, in the delusional belief that it will somehow go away all on its own. But it doesn’t, it gets worse and at some point, the pain reaches a tipping point and you finally make an appointment to see the dentist.

 

You get there, explain the problem and they take a look. They identify the offending tooth/teeth and take appropriate action to resolve it.

 

The relief! Suddenly this constant pain that you have been living with has instantly gone!You leave the dentist walking on air, feeling like you’re ten years younger.

 

Drive home, an hour later you’ve pretty much forgotten all about it and are back to dealing with whatever matters you have to deal with in your everyday life or job. Certainly, within a couple of days, the whole thing is a distant memory.

 

Now remember the last time you’re email didn’t work. Or your printer. Sod’s law guarantees that they stopped working at the worst possible time. You need to get an email to your client within the next hour. You’re trying to print a document that you need before heading out of the door to a meeting. Arrgh!

 

Believe me, even though I work in IT I still experience these same frustrations. The simple fact is that computers and their systems sometimes go wrong. And just like your toothache, it’s painful and incredibly inconvenient.

 

So you ring one of the Tech guys at Fresh Mango. They fix your email or printer, and you’re back in business (literally). The only difference with the dentist is that you have almost certainly forgotten the issue within a matter of minutes. After all, we’re all incredibly busy.

 

What’s the point of this blog? Well, there isn’t one really, other than to spare a thought for the IT Technician who just fixed your email or printer.

 

Remember he or she is doing this all day long for people just like you. And just like your dentist, they’re helping you get on with your life as efficiently as possible. Yes, it’s their job, but believe me a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way to making their day that little bit better as well.

 

Wishing you a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2024!

The importance of cyber awareness aka cyber hygiene

From the outset I want to be very clear. ‘Cyber awareness’ doesn’t mean being aware that there are cyber risks, or that there are hackers ‘out there’.

 

It means being aware of what those actual risks entail. It means being aware of the methods (or vectors) that attackers use to gain access to IT systems. It means knowing how to avoid successful hacks. It means knowing what to do in the event of a breach.

 

But most of all, the absolute number one thing to understand, is that there is no technical solution that can guarantee 100% IT/cyber security. That’s because hackers don’t always look for technical weaknesses. They look for – in fact rely upon – human fallibility.

 

The cyber media conducts annual surveys of cyber threats and attacks and consistently finds that 4 out of 5 successful cyber attacks can be traced back to poor cyber hygiene from internal staff.

 

Believe it or not, your staff can inadvertently allow or help hackers to gain access to your systems.

 

 

That’s why Cyber Awareness (or Cyber Hygiene) for all computer users in an organisation is of paramount importance. It needs to be deployed alongside technical measures. This combination represents the most powerful cyber security defence.

 

Fresh Mango Technologies provides cyber-awareness training to staff in companies across the UK, USA and Caribbean.

 

What to expect from Cyber Awareness Training

Fresh Mango’s Cyber Awareness Training covers all of the areas described above. These include:

 

  • Phishing
  • Passwords and Authentication
  • Responding to a Cyber Attack
  • Staying safe online
  • Reporting cybercrime
  • Malware Attack
  • Protecting your business from cyber attacks
  • Safe Device use
  • Whaling Attack
  • Handling data

 

Cyber hygiene training opens eyes to the threats that are out there; not just in emails, but on Facebook, websites, LinkedIn, pretty much anywhere online! Cyber hygiene refers to how you and your staff conduct yourselves from an online perspective.

 

So, it’s not just about IT usage within your business, but also an individual’s overall approach to internet usage and your internal policies and processes.

 

 

 

The Training event

 

The training can be conducted over Teams video or in person. It typically lasts 2 hours.

 

Provided by qualified and experienced instructors, our cyber awareness training is designed to provide more depth and detail than standard e-learning packages.

 

Our instructors share real-life experiences and examples of the latest cyber-attacks and threats. Current best practices and the best techniques for avoidance of cyber issues are discussed in detail. We’ll advise how to stay cyber-safe within the workplace and at home.

 

There is a test at the end and participants will be issued with certificates on completion of the training.

 

In Conclusion

 

Every organisation should take appropriate technical and procedural measures to ensure that you are as robust as possible against the cyber threat. Achieving Cyber Essentials accreditation is an excellent means of achieving this.

 

In tandem with these measures, regular (at least annual) cyber hygiene training will ensure everyone in your organisation understands what to look for and how to deal with it.

 

Top Three Cyber Security Tips

Cyber Security Tips

 

Cybersecurity is never out of the news these days. A day doesn’t go by without news of a company having a data breach or a threat from a new cyber Actor. With so much in the news, it can be quite overwhelming and difficult to know what to do.

 

So, herewith are our main Cyber Security Tips for maintaining the security of your IT systems:

 

  1. Ensure your server, network equipment and computers are updated with the latest versions of their operating software regularly. The best way of ensuring this is to engage professional IT support.
  2. Implement Two-factor authentication (TFA). Fresh Mango uses Duo TFA on all of our systems, and many of our customers have implemented TFA. The increases in security and peace of mind far outweigh any minor annoyances of having to go through an extra security step when accessing systems.
  3. Don’t fall for scams. It’s so easy to do so, especially when busy. The key issue to look out for is urgency. If you receive a phone call and it relates to anything financial or IT, and the caller is saying it’s an urgent issue, hang up. Call the actual business they claimed to be from (e.g. your bank) to verify. The same applies to emails. If in any doubt call your supplier on the number you have on your records to verify an invoice.

Please contact us to find out more about our cyber security services and to get more cyber security tips!

Cyber Security Tips

Did you forget your Microsoft 365 password?

Did you forget your Microsoft 365 password?

 

In these days of multiple logins, it’s all too easy to forget your password!

 

Here’s how to reset your Microsoft 365 password if you forget it.

Reset your password


If the password you typed is incorrect, you’ll see a message that says:

Your account or password is incorrect. If you don’t remember your password, reset it now.

 

Tip: We recommend following the steps below to resolve your password issues. If you already tried this but it didn’t work, use the Microsoft Sign In Helper tool.

 

1. Select Forgot password


If the Enter password window is still open select Forgot password?

(Or go directly to Reset password and enter the username name again for the account you’re trying to reset and select Next).

 

2. Verify your identity


For your protection, Microsoft must verify your identity before you can proceed with resetting your password.

 

How to verify your identity depends if you previously added security info to your account and if you can still access them. Select from the two options below.

 

Option 1: You received and can select a verification option

Select which option to send the verification code to.

Select Next.

 

Option 2: No verification options are given or you can no longer access any of the options

If you don’t see an option for where to send a code or you no longer have access to any of the verification options shown, you won’t be able to reset your password this way.

Tip: If these steps didn’t work, or you have other account sign-in issues, use the Microsoft Sign In Helper tool.

 

3. Get a verification code

Depending on the contact method you chose, retype the first part of the email address or the last four digits of the phone number hinted at in the previous window.

 

Select Get code.

 

Microsoft will send a verification code to the email or phone number you selected.

Go to the recovery phone or email where you expect to receive the code.

 

Tip: If you didn’t receive a message, check your junk folder or if you selected the phone option, make sure your phone has service and can receive texts, and verify your phone isn’t set up to block texts from unknown numbers.



4. Enter code and reset password


Paste or type the code you received and select Next.

 

Type your new password and select Next.

How Professional IT Support saves money

We’re often asked how professional IT Support saves money for businesses. Clearly, we believe it does (we would, wouldn’t we?!) and in this blog, we set out the reasons why.

 

If you’re reading this then it’s likely that you fall into one of two kinds of business. It could be that you don’t have any professional IT Support in your company, or it could be that you do and for whatever reason, you’re dissatisfied with it. Either way, the savings rationale that follows will apply to you.

 

Firstly, let’s think about your car (Stick with us!). Most modern-day cars have sophisticated engine management systems that pretty much make maintaining the car yourself impractical. So you take it to a garage to do the maintenance work, whenever the next service interval comes along.

 

Even if you have (say) a classic car that allows you to do the servicing yourself, you accept the need for servicing the car, right? Of course, you do. If you don’t maintain the car, its performance will degrade and eventually, it will let you down. You depend on your car. It cant let you down. It’s a no-brainer.

 

So, back to the point. Your business depends on your computer systems, however simple or sophisticated they may be. So why wouldn’t you maintain them? Why would you allow them to gradually degrade in performance, and inevitably let you down? Surely that’s a no-brainer too?

 

If you agree, you’ve understood the first reason why professional IT Support saves money for businesses. 

 

Efficiency

 

So now you’re getting your IT systems maintained professionally, how is it saving you money? Well, one word – efficiency. 

 

Professionally-maintained systems don’t go wrong very often. So that means all your employees can get on with their jobs. We have gotten IT out of the way, as it should be. It should be there to facilitate, not frustrate your business.

 

The other efficiency gains come from having IT Technicians readily available for any issues that may come up. Instead of potentially wasting hours trying to fix them yourself. A huge efficiency gain.

 

We put it like this: there are two aspects to how professional IT Support saves money for businesses.

 

  • The proactive maintenance that we conduct (patching, health checks and so on) to ensure everything is running smoothly

 

  • The reactive support that we provide, when you do need help with something.

 

So there you have it! Professional IT Support, thanks to efficiency savings in your business, more than pays for itself. 

 

If you would like to get in contact for a no-obligation consultancy on how Fresh Mango will help your business save money, please do so here.