Site Redesign

Today SofTouch Systems unveiled their newest website redesign.

We’ve migrated to WordPress. Have a look around. Drop us a line if you find something out of place.

SofTouch Systems was founded in 1993, and currently helps clients large and small more effectively deploy, manage and protect their networks.

PSA: Windows Server 2003 End Of Support

What does this mean for you?
If you have no Windows Server 2003 machines, you may ignore this message.

However, if you have even one Windows Server 2003, or virtual machine in use, you need to understand what Microsoft means by this.

Periodically, Microsoft discontinues older software. To examine the Microsoft Lifecycle, see this page:

Microsoft will create no further security or critical updates for Windows Server 2003. Your business will be left vulnerable to security risks, such as malware, which could lead to compliance issues.

What can you do?
Contact us today about obtaining a supported OS. We can help you select an appropriate replacement server, upgrade your network, and migrate your data and applications!

PSA: Microsoft is giving away Windows 10!

You may or may not have heard that Microsoft is giving away Windows 10 for current registered users of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

What does this mean for you?
If you have Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 you can receive an upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost, that will download directly to your computer.

Why is Microsoft doing this?
While they aren’t fully disclosing their reasons, I can speculate:

  • Most other consumer operating systems are now free. Mac OSX has been free for the last few versions already, and anyone can download and install Linux. Not only that, but most new computers ship with Windows for “free”.
  • Windows 8 and 8.1 have not been received well, and many, many people are still very comfortable running Windows 7. While Windows 7 has been great, Microsoft doesn’t want another XP on their hands… they want people to move to something newer sooner, rather than 10 years down the road.
  • Microsoft wants to get into the “Software As A Service” model, rather than the “buy once, use forever”… after all, if you aren’t getting security updates, you can’t really use it forever. Office 365 is a really good example of this model. $99/year for 5 computers? That’s pretty easy for most businesses, and fairly easy for most families.

What do you need to do?
Simply find the Windows 10 icon on your taskbar, and double-click it, then follow the instructions. You can skip the “email notification” if you wish. It’s the stylized black & white Windows flag, as shown in this picture:
Get Windows 10

For a more detailed walkthrough, follow Microsoft’s instructions, here:


PSA: Windows End Of Support

As you may or may not have heard, Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 on April 8th of this year.

What does this mean for you?
If you have no Windows XP machines, or machines with Microsoft Office 2003, you may ignore this message.

However, if you have even one Windows XP machine, or Virtual Machine in use, you need to understand what Microsoft means by this.

Microsoft will create no further security or critical updates for Windows XP or Office 2003. Your computer will still work, but will become much more vulnerable to security attacks and viruses. Note that you may even get a popup warning from Microsoft, alerting you to the end of support.

Why is Microsoft ending support?
At the time of this article, Windows XP is 12 years old. Three versions of Windows (desktop) have been released since. Technology has moved on.

What can you do?
1) Upgrade directly from Windows XP to Windows 8.1:

If your current PC meets the following requirements, you should be able to upgrade directly. Note that your experience running Windows 8.1 on an older PC may not be as quick or responsive as you are accustomed to.

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Free hard drive space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

2) Purchase a new device:

  • Tablet: Since Windows XP was created, the technology landscape has changed significantly. If your needs only include daily tasks, such as email, web browsing, note taking, and media consumption, a tablet is the right device for you. A tablet has many advantages, and can be less expensive than purchasing a full desktop system.
  • New Windows PC: If you have specific applications that require a Windows desktop, you can purchase a new Windows PC, and migrate your applications and documents.
  • New Macintosh Desktop: Over the past decade, the Macintosh has proven itself, even for general business use. With options like Microsoft Office for Macintosh, Apple’s own iWork Suite, and even Google Docs, a more secure, nicer desktop experience can be had by all. If you purchase your new Mac at an Apple retail store, an Apple Genius will even transfer your PCs data for you.

Whether you choose to upgrade your existing PC, or migrate to a new device, SofTouch Systems can help.  Contact us today to discuss your options in more depth.

Why put your documents at risk? Migrate away from Windows XP today.

Missing Text In Drobo Dashboard For Mac

After my upgrade of Mac OS X to Mountain Lion, my Drobo Dashboard decided that I didn’t need to read the text. After troubleshooting the issue with the very helpful tech support at Drobo, we came to the conclusion that most likely one of my fonts was corrupted.

I was asked to perform font validation on my system. To do this yourself, open Font Book, select one font, then hit select all, and then choose Validate Fonts.

I found a duplicate font, and some minor errors in a few fonts that I had installed over the years.

Turns out, the duplicate font was Arial, which is the base font that Drobo Dashboard uses. I removed the Arial font, but that didn’t immediately fix the problem. I had disabled the wrong one, the one that came with Mountain Lion, instead of the additional one. I replaced it, and Drobo Dashboard started working perfectly.

In the process of troubleshooting, though, I discovered the “styles.xml” file that controls which font Drobo Dashboard uses. Note this is with Drobo Dashboard for Mac, version 2.2.3. To edit it, navigate to your Application folder, and right-click on “Drobo”. Choose Show Package Contents, and navigate to Contents / Resources / Styles / Default. Now, edit the styles.xml file in your favorite text editor. You can search and replace for the word “Arial”. Try replacing it with something fun, like “Marker Felt” or “Copperplate”. Feel free to experiment a bit, but note that not all fonts will work correctly. Also, of course, this is completely unsupported by Drobo or myself, and if you break it, you bought it, right? Don’t forget to save the file, and restart Drobo Dashboard each time you try a different font. If you mess up the styles.xml file, simply quit the Drobo Dashboard app, throw it away, and re-install it.