CIO Solutions
Summer 2014 - Issue 44            
Find It Fast
Check with the Tech: Email Safety
What's New at CIO: Brew Off Winners!
CIO in the News: CIO Serving Local Non-Profits
Product Review: Alternate Business Monitor Solutions
App of the Month: Duolingo
Employee Spotlight: Paul Brooks
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Ryan Popke - May 2
Chris Narvaez - May 9
Michael Biancone - June 6
Rich Beckett - June 19
David Ashamalla - July 6
John Petote - July 14
Nicolas Picon - July 22
Hass Sadighi - July 28
Bjoern Freiherr - August 5
Michelle Baca - August 25



CIO Anniversaries


Michelle Baca - 1 year - 5/6

Dat Nguyen- 1 year - 5/15

Richard Clark - 4 years - 6/7

Mike D. - 1 year - 6/10

Nicho Loza - 2 years - 6/22
Sean Gill - 4 years - July 6 

Brian Donovan - 4 years - Aug 17

Hannah Sanchez- 8 years - Aug 29




Cinco de Mayo
May 5, 2014

Mother's Day
May 11, 2014

Memorial Day
May 26, 2014

National Flag Day
June 14, 2014 
Father's Day
June 15, 2014


Summer Solstice
June 21, 2014   

August is National Goat Cheese Month!

Viva la Fiesta!
July 10 - August 3

Left-Handers Day
August 13, 2014

Labor Day
Monday, September 1st

Please Note:

CIO will be closed on Monday, September 1st in observance of Labor Day.

To receive emergency support please call 
805-692-6709 and select option 3.

Holiday rates may apply.

For non-urgent requests please email

Summer Solstice




   The pleasures of a Santa Barbara summer are many; from the fun of Solstice and the historic revelry of Fiestas, to the mild weather and beach sunsets these months remind us that we're lucky to call this place home. This summer CIO is keeping busy with projects, and our usual great customer service. Many of our clients find the calm of summer to be the ideal time to schedule projects that might not work during busier months. Here at CIO we're eager to meet the needs of our clients, and take advantage of these summer months. Don't worry, we'll make sure to catch a few sunsets too. 



John Petote
CEO, CIO Solutions


Inbox Zero Program
Check with the Tech: Email Safety
Check with the Tech

I just clicked on a mail attachment from someone I don't really know - I may have given myself (and possibly my company a virus) - how do I know for sure?


Unfortunately you are not alone - lately we have seen more of these support requests recently than normal and in some cases, the person calling in was correct.  Fortunately we have had success cleaning out client machines and getting everyone back on track.  Here are some tips to help everyone involved:

  1.    Practice safe computing!  Don't run a program if you are not sure what it is.  Don't open the email attachment if you're not expecting it.  Don't click on the link unless you intend to see that website.
  2.    Ask!  Even if you don't use CIO Solutions as your trusted IT provider, you should ask a professional if you are not sure if you are opening a safe item.'
  3.    If the email you are opening is from someone that you don't know, it should be considered suspicious.
  4.    If your email contains several noticeable spelling errors that the spellcheck should have caught or it feels like a poor translation from another language (and these are not expected), it should be considered suspicious.
  5.    Some advertisements can lead you quickly to malware - don't be seduced into clicking on the ad asking "Wanna know Chumlee's secret weight loss plan?"  Sure, we're all curious, if you are just google it yourself - don't be tempted by the advertisement.
  6.    Checking with your trusted IT provider BEFORE clicking on the attachment/link/application.  This is typically a 2 minute call that our helpdesk is happy to connect remotely and assist with.  If you click first and call after, you should still call, but that 2 minute call just ballooned significantly while we scan your computer.
  7.    Understand that spammers and hackers are creatively destructive and can "spoof" a friend or familiar-sounding email address to lend credibility to their email.  You might even get an email seemingly from yourself!
  8.    Know that a virus scanner can only do so much.  Smoky the Bear tells you that only you can prevent forest fires.  That bear doesn't literally mean you should be out in the woods like him - toting a shovel.  In the same way, Smoky the Antivirus would tell you that only you can prevent viruses.  Prevention is the best cure.

Given the increased number of virus and malware calls that we have received lately, I have noticed a social phenomenon around people working for companies where someone has infected their servers with a virus.  In order we typically see:

  1.    Discovery - someone notices that something is fishy on their network.  Maybe their files are all missing.  Maybe their files have turned into an extortionist's advertisement asking for $300 to release the hostage files.  This first caller is simultaneously scared, relieved and proud to have identified the situation.
  2.    Waiting - Once a virus has been identified and the scope has been determined, the IT Company will typically drop everything to assist in the effort.  Unfortunately this can mean that they need to pull offline servers or file systems to stop the virus or clean it up - sometimes this can be for hours or days depending on the spread or complexity.  At this phase, company kitchens become a hub of activity.  The company can quickly run out of coffee and people are milling about making small talk while they wait for their computers to work normally again.
  3.    Annoyance/Inconvenience - once the coffee and small talk run dry, folks typically want to get back to work.  Some might call their IT Company for an ETA only to be given rough estimates at best.  The more creative users will find a way to use their email or attachments from sent items to work on knowing that they can later save them to their mapped drive when it comes back online.  Everyone starts to get a little edgy and impatient at this point.
  4.    Anxiety - Suddenly it occurs to the average user that maybe THEY were the cause of this whole ordeal!  They start playing the day back in their head - I deleted that email, right?  I wouldn't have clicked on it if I didn't know the person.  Then again, the buttons are so close together - and why is my boss speaking in hushed tones to the owner?
  5.    Suspicion/Rumor - correct or not, someone got a hot tip on who caused the initial problem.  This person is rooted out like a poppet-toting housewife from Salem.  People have had to wait too long to get to their shared files and they want blood!  Never mind the fact that moments ago they thought that it could have been themselves.
  6.    Bargaining - at some point employees may feel that IT has had enough time to clear out this menace - regardless of its complexity.  Increasing ETA calls to the IT Company lead to answers of "almost there."  Statements abound like "well if I need to wait, I may as well just go run errands" and "at my last company, when this type of thing happened, the boss once let us all go home early!"   Some will call IT support requesting that their files just be returned to them for a few minutes - you guys can do that for me, right?
  7.    Resolution/Relief - once the IT Company has successfully eradicated the problem, all of the computer resources return back to normal.  Work resumes for those not tempted by the theoretical half day that the boss from another company may have approved.  Management and the IT Company send out an email explaining some of the details and reminding everyone to practice safe computing.

This has been the experience that I have noticed with company employees over the years.  Unfortunately in the event of a virus, we all experience pain - general employees, management, the IT Company.  It is important to work together, practice patience and plan for the future.  Most important of all is to be safe on the computer and stay away from potential undesirable viruses.


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Mike Shinn - New



Safety Coordinator:

Mike Shinn

What's New at CIO: Brewoff Winners!


CIO Solutions 3rd Annual Beer Brew Off

The Winners for both Taste and Presentation!


Goodland Brewers

Eric Engmyr, Brewmaster

Michael Biancone, Ryan Popke & Michelle Baca



Thank you to everyone who brewed and sampled the brews.

What's New at CIO: Annual Fiesta Winner! 


Zorro went out on the town to find the best client Fiesta party!



Fiesta Party Winner: Reicker, Pfau, Pyle & McRoy!


Santa Barbara Travel  
Granada Theater


Buynak, Fauver, Archbald & Spray


CIO in the News


Read All About It!

CIO Solutions Proud to Serve local Non-Profit Organization



   CIO Solutions, Santa Barbara's premier IT firm celebrates its 28th year. In addition to serving local business in the TriCounty area, CIO is proud to support local non-profit organizations. Hearts Riding Therapeutic was the winner of our 2013 CIO Tri-County Cloud Giveaway. We're honored to support such a valuable organization. Hearts Therapeutic provides equine therapy for children, families, and veterans. As they describe it, "Our mission is to employ the power of the horse to enhance the capabilities of children and adults with special needs in Santa Barbara County." Hearts uses Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EATT) to help people with various disabilities build in areas of cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being. Their instructors are highly trained, and Hearts has been recognized as a premier equine therapy institution. Check out their website for more information on their services, or to donate, or volunteer!

   United Parents in Camarillo provides valuable to support to families with children who have emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders. United Parents creates a network of parents, volunteers, and trained professionals to bridge gaps in support from traditional services. United Parents provides support in the form of educational advocacy, respite service, parent support groups, and workshops and conferences. They offer informational tours twice a month. Contact Shelly at to sign up for a tour, and visit their website at for more information.

   We remain committed to supporting our community by providing IT maintenance to the organizations that support our community. We know that by providing a reliable infrastructure to organizations like Hearts Riding and United Parents we are freeing them up for the valuable services they provide.


CIO Solutions has been providing IT management and design services to the Central Coast since 1986. CIO specializes in helping businesses focus on their core business by designing and managing their IT department. In addition to managing IT networks, CIO also provides consultation on Private Cloud Services, Enterprise Storage, Virtualization, VoIP Phone Systems and other solutions.


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arketing Contact

Michelle P. Baca



Peter and the Whale


  When CIO Field Engineer Peter Summers isn't on site for a proactive, or deftly solving your IT problems remotely he can be found on the open water saving whales. Peter is a trained volunteer for the Channel Islands Marine Wildlife Institute:


   Check out this post from EdHat featuring the team rescuing a humpback whale back in May: EdHat


Thanks for helping our ocean friends, Peter! 


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Whale Saver:

Peter Summers


Product Review: Alternate Business Monitor Solutions


   Last issue we talked about a simple cable management solution for your desk. This month I would like to talk about what's connected to all those cables; monitors. Your average desk at work probably has one or maybe two monitors on it with the occasional power user's desk housing four or more. If you ask people if they could use another monitor they would probably say "Sure that would be great. I could get more work done and multitask..."

   I have always felt that I get more work done when I have more monitors on my desk and if you have ever been to the CIO office you will see many desks with four monitors and our central support agents happily working away. This extra real-estate allows for you to have heavily used programs open and available for viewing at all times. Outlook is a perfect example. Being able to have that access at a glance is a big boost to productivity and often well worth the cost and desk space.

   The following three products will highlight different monitor requirements that I have come across in my years as a hardware technician. The first being the two in one solution.

   Two monitors in one, sounds like a great idea. Bigger screen, less cables, no screen bezels in-between. In actuality this monitor is 30% wider than your typical monitor coming in at a resolution of 2560 X 1080. Now you'll say to me "30% isn't two monitors in one" and you'd be right. However if you have ever used Windows 7 split screen feature where you drag two windows to opposite sides and they are evenly split across the display then you will realize the genius of this display. There is more than enough space for both windows and you actually will get a result very similar to a double display setup without losing the extra desk space or needing a new graphics card.




At 29" this monitor offers a great amount of screen space and with 3 different ways to connect is will accommodate most existing computers.


   The second monitor I would like to present takes the concept of multiple monitors on one screen to the next level. You have probably heard the term 4K Television. Basically it means that a 4K TV has four times the resolution of a standard television. Think four screens stacked up forming a square. Now you ask how this equates to an office setting, no one is going to buy a 50" TV to put on their desk. Right now there are several manufacturers that are creating desktop monitors with this extremely high 4K resolution. The one shown below is a 28" model that can essentially replace 4 monitors. However there are a few drawbacks to this design. When comparing four actual monitors to a single 4K monitor you quickly realize that everything on the screen will be quite a bit smaller. You will also likely have to upgrade your graphics card to accommodate the new display.




   If you find yourself always wanting the latest technology this would be a great way to be on the cutting edge. A couple of years from now when your friend starts to show you his new 4K TV you can say "That's old news, I've been using one of these at my office for years!"


   The third and final offering I have for you today is a second display for your laptop. Now most of you with laptops probably use a second monitor on your desk, but this pencil thin portable device allows you to take that second monitor along with you in your laptop bag!

   At 15.6 inches this monitor is a great way to help you be more productive when out of the office. Powered by a single USB 3.0 port this screen is fully compatible with most current generation laptops. Just plug it in and within a few seconds you have that second display you've been missing. With a resolution of 1366x768 it is not quite as clear as your typical laptop screen but there is a higher resolution model in the works for those of you with 1080P screens.




Here at CIO we pride ourselves on our ability to engineer a solution to almost any technical challenge that our customers could encounter. If you are interested in any of these solutions please contact Michael Biancone at our sales department. His direct email address is



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Hardware Expert:

Ryan Popke


App of the Month: Duolingo


    Duolingo - The latest cure for even the most hopelessly monolingual comes in the form of Duolingo, an app available for your Android or iPhone device. Duolingo gameifies language lessons making learning a new language easy and fun. Students read, listen, and speak their lessons while earning in game currency, and trying to maintain streaks for the most correct answers. Students can choose to learn Spanish, French, Italian German, Portuguese, and Dutch (Netherlands). The app is completely free because students are translating real life documents for real people. If someone needs a webpage translated they upload it to Duolingo and it is incorporated into a lesson for Duolingo students. Once the document is fully translated Duolingo returns it to their client who then pays for the translation. According to their own study, 34 hours of Duolingo study is equivalent to 1 University semester language class. Give it a try today!

iTunes App Store
Android App Store



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Employee Spotlight: Paul Brooks, Remote Engineer


Full name: Paul Brooks  

Family info: Wife - Amy, married 3 years


Where did you grow up? I lived most of my life in Indiana, but I was born in Pittsburgh.


When did you move to Santa Barbara? April 6, 2014


What you like best about the Santa Barbara area: Warm weather, blue skies, green plant life - it's brown half the year out east


When did you start working at CIO: April 2014 


What you like best about working at CIO: Learning new things, being challenged, using cool tools


Dreams/aspirations: To do IT like a boss


What would you do if you won the lottery: Give to charity, get the wife some gifts


Favorite color: Blue or black


Favorite food: Seafood, crab, lobster, shrimp.


Favorite book/movie: Aside from the Bible, the Lord of the Rings trilogy


Anything else that is interesting about yourself: When I was in college, I bypassed our schools download monitoring program, but got caught/banned.  Had to spend a semester using dial-up in order to get internet.  Oops


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