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Replace Microsoft Visio with LibreOffice for network diagrams

For businesses looking to create professional-grade diagrams and charts, LibreOffice Draw is a fantastic, no-cost replacement for Microsoft Visio. Draw is included in the LibreOffice suite of open source business applications, and with Microsoft Visio costing close to US$600.00—for installation on a single PC only—it's the perfect alternative.

The benefits of open source for startups

As a startup founder, the software you choose in the initial setup phase will have a critical impact on costs, efficiency, and innovation—especially as your startup grows into a viable business. Open source software offers compelling benefits compared with proprietary software, and can help put your startup on the fast track to success. In this blog post, we'll look at the specific advantages.

The business cost of Windows ransomware: $300 million

In previous blog entries, we've highlighted how Microsoft Windows-based ransomware (such as CryptoLocker and Wanna Cry) severely affects business bottom lines. Thanks to a recent article in industry publication The Register, we now have a clear picture of the specific costs incurred from these infections.

Kiwi businesses: how to change from Vodafone email

With Vodafone New Zealand announcing the shutdown of their email hosting service, businesses have until November 2017 to look for alternatives.

Apertura Designs is available to assist your business with switching from Vodafone email accounts to FastMail.

FastMail email accounts include:

SuiteCRM: open source Customer Relationship Management

Apertura Designs is pleased to announce today a new offering in our business product portfolio. SuiteCRM is the world's leading open source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. Powerful, flexible, easy to use—and with all compelling benefits of open source—SuiteCRM is the perfect CRM product for businesses of every scale and industry.

When implemented correctly, SuiteCRM:

Dell offers beautiful, high-end PCs powered by Ubuntu

Since we first blogged about Dell's move to offer Ubuntu-powered computers, their lineup has gone from strength to strength. 2017 marks a high point, with Dell releasing powerful, high-end desktop and laptop systems to outstanding reviews. These new products are intended for professional use—such as digital content creation or engineering—and feature high speed storage, substantial processing capability, powerful graphics cards, and ultra-high resolution displays.

Microsoft dropping support for Office 2007

In October 2017, Microsoft will formally cease support for Microsoft Office 2007—including all bug fixes and security updates. As we blogged at the time of Office 2003's end of support, businesses using Office 2007 without this safety net of regular updates can similarly expect the software to transform into a critical and disruptive IT security problem. Additionally, Office 2007 will eventually cease to run on newer computers, leading to expensive forced hardware and software upgrades.

Use Ubuntu virtual machines to protect against Windows ransomware

We've previously blogged (here and here) about the benefits of running Microsoft Windows as a virtual machine (VM) within Ubuntu. To recap, VMs enable a best of both worlds scenario for businesses: the incredible productivity and cost advantages of Ubuntu, combined with the ability to easily retain Windows-specific software where needed.

Insert PDFs as images in LibreOffice Writer

LibreOffice 5.3 features the ability to insert PDFs as images into LibreOffice Writer documents. This is useful for customers who wish to use existing PDFs as image source material, without having to go through the hassle of converting to an image file format such as JPEG or PNG.

The process is exactly the same as inserting any other image file into a document. We've summarised it in the following brief screecast.


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