MERIT Solutions Blog

MERIT Solutions has been serving the Chesapeake area since 1982, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Ensure your online security with these tips

The recent Playstation security breach has opened many Internet users’ eyes to the importance of online security. If the wrong person gets their hands on your information, there is a chance that the outcome could be harmful. Luckily, there are a number of simple steps you can take to better protect your online identity.

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Working from the road can be tricky - simplify it with these suggestions

For many people, frequent traveling is a part of business. Unfortunately, most business travelers do not find that they are as productive from the road as they are at the office. Luckily for them, there are plenty of tips and tools that can make on-the-go productivity and security more attainable.

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Green your business with these tips

Building an eco-friendly office is a fantastic way to save money and do good for the environment. While building a greener office does take hard work, it can be done by just about any business, big or small. In honor of Earth Day we are supplying you with a few straightforward tips that can help you convert your office into a greener environment.

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Ways to clean your keyboard

Most of us have heard the rumor that our keyboard could be dirtier than a toilet seat. While that statement is alarming, many wonder if it’s in fact true. While levels of germs vary from keyboard to keyboard, some have shown higher levels than those on a toilet seat, which is a scary fact.

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Make virtual meetings less difficult to manage with these 3 suggestions

While many prefer face-to-face meetings, virtual meetings are a common part of today’s business environment. It is vital, however, to remember certain things when you’re conducting these meetings.

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Is an e-reader ideal for you?

E-readers have become very popular in recent years. Those who use them love them for their convenience and portability. Everybody doesn’t share their excitement, however. There are several things to think about before you decide whether or not an e-reader suits you.

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4 methods for sustaining employee motivation

Employee motivation can often be tough to maintain, especially when you’re running a small business with limited funds. Incentives are really imperative when it comes to motivating your employees, however, so finding simple and inexpensive alternatives is necessary.

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Smartpens can help allow you to be more efficient - here's how

Smartpens are an awesome office trend whose possibilities are constantly evolving.  They’re still rather new to the scene, but so far, they are full of convenient features to make office life a little more efficient.

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Check out Gmail Motion - the new, cool feature

As you may have heard already, Google has just revealed its new feature, aptly named Gmail Motion. In an attempt to keep up with the ever-changing technology of the Internet, Google has built a series of motions that is translated into actions and commands in Gmail.

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Security tools for on-the-go protection

If you’re traveling a lot for business purposes, or even working every once in a while at the local coffee shop, you know how valuable data security is. Sometimes, security isn’t all that attainable when you’re on the go all the time, but there are plenty of tools like these three that make it more feasible.

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How to organize your email inbox

Your email inbox is likely one of your primary connections to the world but, if it goes unattended for just one day, it can quickly become overwhelming. Missing emails can mean overlooking important details or missing out on opportunities. Luckily, there are a number of tricks that can help prevent your inbox from becoming untamable. Here are three of them:

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Are wired mice superior to their wired counterparts?

The wireless vs. wired mouse debate has been transpiring for quite some time. There are strong arguments on both sides, but a few of those arguments are stronger than others. What are the pros and cons of each?

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Google Docs has a brand new commenting system

Google Docs is a fairly popular tool. Many of us use it on a regular basis – often in a business setting. Google has made some recent changes to Google Docs, which can help users become more productive

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Who are the stars of SXSW so far?

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a yearly compilation of conferences and festivals that has been around for 25 years. SXSW draws together some of the most innovative thinkers in the fields of film, music, and interactive media. It is known for its wealth of creative content, which is quite prevalent this year.

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Flash storage - how it works

Flash storage is something that is commonplace in many of our daily lives, whether we realize it or not. Plenty of the devices we use on a daily basis, such as smartphones, and laptops, have flash storage built in.

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Is there a tablet in YOUR business' future?


This week Apple introduced their new and improved iPad2 to much fanfare. In January the tech buzz was all about the new tablets being introduced at CES from just about everyone else, especially the Android-based devices. These tablets are really cool and useful as the 15 million iPad users have already found out. (There is NO comparison between Angry Birds on an iPad and Angry Birds on an iPhone. Trust me.)

From a business use case, however, there will ALWAYS be applications that are based solely on networks and PCs. Line of Business apps (LOB apps are programs written specifically for your particular business type) come to mind as well as programs that access large, shared files on corporate LANs. With this in mind, how do you access your corporate programs from these small tablets? Many people are cobbling together remote desktop control software to aid in this process. I think there is a better way to access these apps than traditional GoToMyPC methods.

Using Terminal Services (now known as Remote Desktop Services -RDS) or some new, clever Windows 7 mods, you could connect to your corporate network via RemoteApp (RA). This technology allows you to virtualize a single, running application on the host and see the program running on the remote device as if it was local. It is pretty cool and we have started using this technology for some of our clients on their remote PCs.

The downside is that setting up this sort of thing is complicated and getting the Gateway Services installed to handle multiple endpoints cannot be done by your average A+ or GeeksOnCall tech.  If you are interested in this idea and don't quite understand how it works or need more information, contact us.

Microsoft has already shown how Small Business Server can simplify Remote Desktop configuration. If they decided it was in their best interest to do something similar with RDS-RA, it would be a HUGE step forward in mobile computing.

As the tech world moves quickly toward near universal acceptance of the new mobile platforms, I am sure Microsoft is trying to figure out where it leaves their traditional golden geese of Windows desktop, Microsoft Office and Windows Servers. The pressure to move these functions to the cloud is amplified by individual's desire to "take their office with them". If Microsoft would embrace the remote connectivity needs of companies large and small, and lead the way with great (and secure) solutions, I think it would cement their hold on the enterprise for many more years to come, PLUS make a lot of mobile people really, really happy.

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These are the stars so far of the 2011 TED Conference

The TED Conference takes place twice a year, and brings together people from the technology, entertainment, and design fields. TED gives these people a platform to demonstrate their knowledge and ideas in an 18-minute time span.

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The top ideas emerging from the DEMO Spring conference

The DEMO Spring 2011 conference, the “launchpad for emerging technology”, is going on this week and, already, many great ideas have emerged from it. One of the major focuses of the conference is social technology. These are some of the best products so far, social or otherwise:

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Spam levels are quickly decreasing

Spam in the form of email has seen a radical decline in the last few months. One report shows a fall from 200 billion spam messages being sent each day in August to only 50 billion per day in December. It’s hard to say exactly why this has happened, but there are several ideas.

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How risky is unplugging a USB device without ejecting it?

We’ve all seen the frightening warning icon that pops up on an iPod when you plug it into your computer. It warns that if you disconnect it, something dreadful will happen. So, just how dangerous is it to unplug a USB device without unplugging it first?

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