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Cool tools: free PDF creation software for Windows

We've recently been advising clients using the Microsoft Windows operating system (OS) on the tricky issue of generating PDF files. Unlike competing business OS products like Ubuntu, Windows is hamstrung right out of the gate in its inability to generate PDF documents without third-party software.

CrashPlan: backup software for Ubuntu

A critical aspect of your business IT is ensuring that data is regularly backed up. Files and folders stored on your computers are especially vulnerable to loss through scenarios such as theft or a computer parts failure (such as the computer's internal storage drive). With a robust backup system in place, you are protected against the costly and damaging risk of permanent data loss.

Dropbox offers first-class support for Ubuntu

Popular cloud storage vendor Dropbox recently announced huge price cuts for its premium Dropbox Pro product. The changes represent a substantial increase in the amount of storage available per Dropbox account—one terabyte—for the same monthly fee.

UK government snubs Microsoft Office, moves to open standards

Earlier this year we covered reports of a UK government proposal to adopt open source and open standards-based software across all of their departments. In short, they were seeking to reduce reliance on a very limited selection of IT vendors, and an associated huge spend on the Microsoft Office software suite.

"I Love Product Activation!"

Said no business owner, ever. In working with customers, we're regularly exposed to the questionable practice of vendors forcing businesses to prove the authenticity of expensive proprietary software—which the business has legitimately paid to use. While product activation is marketed to businesses as a seemingly minor measure against software piracy, the stark reality is that it leaves your business open to the risk of productivity being severely crippled—and often at the most critical times.

WordCamp Auckland 2014

Apertura Designs recently attended WordCamp Auckland 2014 – the local (Auckland-based) gathering in the global series of conferences for WordPress customers, developers and enthusiasts. We heard from a fantastic series of speakers covering a variety of WordPress applications. Of particular interest were the sessions with a small business focus, some highlights of which we're covering in this blog entry.

Zero-cost business website management using your smartphone

In previous blog entries we've highlighted the incredible benefits of using an open source content management system for your business website. In particular, websites hosted on WordPress.com come with a tonne of great features—including automatic search engine optimisation. In this blog entry we'll take a look at another compelling advantage of using WordPress: easily managing your website for zero cost from your smartphone or tablet.

Optimising WordPress.com websites for search results

We've recently blogged about the benefits of basing your business website on an open source CMS such as WordPress—especially when compared to other closed source alternatives. While recently assisting business owners on getting their websites up and running, we've been asked about how well WordPress.com-hosted websites work with popular search engines—such as Google and DuckDuckGo.

Cool tools: Thunderbird Saved Search folders

Continuing our series of Thunderbird power tips, today we're going to highlight the Saved Search folders feature. This is especially useful for business owners wanting the same functionality offered by Microsoft Outlook—but without the cost, complexity, limited operating system support, and licensing hassles.

Adobe Creative Cloud outage costs businesses time, money

Small businesses paying to use Adobe's rental-only Creative Cloud product were left reeling after a recent outage resulted in their staff being locked out of the software.

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