The OpenSure Free Press 23rd January 2012

Welcome to the latest edition of the Free Press. We’ve been snowed under with enquiries this month and hope 2012 is off to a similarly roaring start for you. Maybe something in this edition will help speed things along.


OpenSure has been supporting HLUG‘s work taking open source software into schools, with the full blessing of Herefordshire Council’s education powers that be. HLUG will shortly be overseeing the installation of Tuxedu onto the network of a Herefordshire primary school, and last week paid an evening visit to the school to talk to parents about the software. It was a huge success with visitor numbers far outstripping those the school usually sees at after-hours meetings. Parents had a ball trying out the software and went away with Tuxedu loaded onto USB sticks. For the uninitiated, HLUG has made a YouTube video to demonstrate booting from a USB stick. It’s presented by the youngest HLUGger, a delightful young lady of nine, Polly.

OpenSure created a Google+ page a couple of weeks ago, on a ‘hmm, what’s this all about?’ basis. We’re interested in the effect it might have on our search engine ranking, and of course we want to make sure we grab our business name. It’s always a good idea to make sure you nab your business’s name in this type of context. We started a bit of a chat about it on LinkedIn and it seems we’re all a bit unsure quite how we make the most of it. People have contributed some useful links in the conversation so if you’re looking to make something of Google+ why not read what people are saying?

So you heard Wikipedia was down for the day – did your world fall apart? Probably not, but a serious point was being made. In a nutshell, the SOPA and PIPA legislation is designed to prevent online piracy, but can be construed in such a way that all sorts of ‘innocent’ sites could find themselves being taken offline and is viewed by many as a massive threat to the free flow of information on the internet. This article talks about it in a sensible, grown up way, and this is Oatmeal’s take on the whole thing. As always, Oatmeal is not for the faint-hearted.

Keeping kit tikkety-boo
Did you know computer bugs are so called because in the early days of mainframes moths and other creepy crawlies would get into the workings and cause havoc? I doubt many of us have that problem these days, but even so, grot is bad news for computer kit so follow these steps every now and again (with everything switched OFF, y’hear me?):

  • Turn your keyboard upside down and squeal with revulsion at what falls out. Try not to eat over your keyboard or throw coffee at it. Crumbs and dampness will interfere with the contacts and the action of the buttons.
  • Your screen will benefit from the occasional wipe with a soft and slightly damp cloth. You don’t need expensive specialist screen cleaner. Splashes on the screen can cause corrosion.
  • Dust acts as a blanket for your PC. Take the back off and gently use the brush attachment on the hoover to remove the dust that will inevitably accumulate over time. A dust-free machine will require less cooling and therefore use less energy, and you don’t run the risk of an overheating-related crash.
  • On a similar theme, give your PC a bit of respect. Don’t stack piles of junk on top of it and give it a bit of personal space for ventilation. This is vital business equipment, not an expensive side-table.
  • Make sure cables aren’t being jammed under doors or run over by chairs. Every so often check they’re not about to fry you.

From the archive
A year ago we were looking at the new-fangled practice of employees taking their own hardware into work (BYO). Over the last year a great deal has been written about this and it’s now quite a poser for many large companies. How do you manage this in your organisation?

Other bits and pieces that caught our eye:

Who are we following on Twitter?
Red Pepper Comms (@redpeppercomms) – Worcester-based PR company
Fraggle Works (@FraggleWorks) – Shropshire web designers
The BSIA (@thebsia) – The British Security Industry Association
Blue Sheep (@BlueSheepTweets) – Cheltenham marketing and data strategists
Black Pear Media (@BlackPearMedia) – Worcester-based PR & marketing

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