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In This Issue
Plan Now for Windows Server 2004 End-of-Life
"Two-hour Targeted Training Sessions For Office 2013
August Webinar: Word - Columns, Graphics and Watermarks
User Experience (UX) 2.0
Microsoft Virtual Academy - Free eBooks, Online Courses, and Live Events!
Excel Charting webinar online!
Word formatting webinar online!
Windows you care?
ALS Challenge
Blogs, Blogs, Blogs...
Plain Funny
Issue: #77September/2014


Last month we had our annual picnic. As usual, the weather cooperated with us very nicely, we had a good crowd. Good food and fun were had by all.


What else happened? I went down to Texas (I believe I'm supposed to say "Yee hah!" or something like that) and met with about 30 vendors over two days. A number of good discussions about products, support and the like. A number of vendors had a "we have this product, sell it to your customers and we'll get rich together" message. It was kind of fun hitting them with the "Is it the best fit for the customer? If it isn't, why would I do this?" follow up. Usually deer in the headlight looks followed.


A familiar face will be returning to Simplex-IT in the next week.

Got a bucket of ice water poured on me. More importantly collected about $400 for ALS.

Looks like we'll have some news about Simplex-IT and Microsoft in the next month or so. And no, we're not buying them.


I'm now a member of the Hiram College Alumni Executive Board. I assume they haven't seen my rant about IT careers yet<g>.


Did you know that last month was the 100th "Anniversary" of the start of World War I? It almost escaped me until a couple of weeks ago. If you think the political world of international relations are wacky now, you've got no idea. I strongly recommend reading Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August. Actually, I'd recommend reading just about anything of hers.


It's also worth noting that a majority of the military leaders of World War I were clueless (and believe me, that's the kindest word I can use) as to their tactics and the bloodshed. We've all seen it (and probably, if we were honest, lived it) where someone ignores what to most is absolutely obvious and blindly whistles their way into complete failure. Technology is littered with vendors that were riding high, and then...wham. Word Perfect, Borland, Ashton-Tate, Novell, DEC. The list goes on.

And we all do it. We all find ourselves in situations where we ignore the obvious signs of change so we can "stick with the familiar." If our blindness is of a serious oncoming issue, we're helping Darwin prove the whole "Survival of the Fittest" idea.



If it's of a more minor nature, hopefully we can learn something ourselves from it.



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Look Out, It's Coming! Plan Now for Windows Server 2003 End-of-Life


Microsoft has announced that Windows Server 2003 will reach its End-of-Life on July 14, 2015. This has important ramifications for those businesses still employing this technology. It means:

  1. No Updates - In 2013 alone there were 37 Critical Updates released for Server 2003. Imagine, if you can, what impact zero updates will have on the security and operation of your infrastructure.
  2. No Compliance - After support ends, continued use of Server 2003 means you will likely fail to meet most industry-wide compliance standard and regulations. Individuals in the health care, financial and legal fields will be particularly affected by this and should be especially concerned.
  3. No Safe Haven - Even virtualized instances of Server 2003 will be unable to pass a compliance audit. Small Business Server 2003 will be similarly affected.
  4. Higher Costs - Steps needed to isolate and protect your 2003 servers will ultimately end up costing you more in the final analysis. Why expose your company to risk and spend more than you have to?

Migrating away from Windows Server 2003 at this time is nothing less than an investment in your organization's future. And there's no better time than now to begin the migration process.


Click here to read what you should do.

Announcing Simplex-IT"s September's Lunchinar: Servers in the Cloud - Buying Service vs. Buying Boxes

Join Simplex-IT at our next free Lunchinar where we will discuss the benefits of moving your Servers to the Cloud, or what is becoming known as Infrastructure as a Service - IaaS!


The jury is in and there's no doubt about the verdict. The Cloud is changing how the world does business! Why incur the expense and inefficiency of building and owning your IT infrastructure when you can now pay for the service you need and only when you need it!


During this complimentary Lunchinar, Simplex-IT's Bob Coppedge will discuss the Pros and Cons of moving your network servers to the cloud. Can it really save you money? Are you exposing your business to compromised performance or security? You won't want to miss this entertaining and illuminating presentation!


Click  here to

Announcing Simplex-IT's Complimentary September Webinar: An Introduction to Visio 2013!


Do you work with a lot of organizational charts or flowcharts? Maybe you're using the SmartArt diagrams or shape drawings to create them. But you find they're not easy to fix when changes are necessary and you struggle trying to add new shapes to the diagram.


If this sounds like you, then check out this complimentary Visio 2013 webinar from Simplex-IT.Maybe you have already been using the program and want to learn some easy tips or you don't have a clue what it does and would like to learn more.


In this live, streaming webinar, I will show you some quick tips on working with shapes, working with stencils and creating your own, as well as how you can create quick and efficient flowcharts and organizational charts. We'll review quick formatting techniques using the new 2013 formatting features, as well as some quick formatting of lines and shapes that works in all versions of Visio. We'll also use the new Change Shape gallery to change existing shapes and take a quick look at the new diagram templates.


Click here to


User Experience (UX) 2.0
Bob here.  I started writing this sitting comfortably on a plane (in a plane, actually...on a plane inspires scenes from the old Twilight Zone series with William Shatner and I playing peek-a-boo).  I'm returning from a 3 day conference in San Antonio (XChange 2014) sponsored by CRN where for three days I had literally about 40 meetings, keynotes and presentations from the big guys (Microsoft, Dell, Oracle), the little guys (RapidFire Tools, Mobly) and the seriously we're back, please like us again (LinkSys).


The reason this conference was a bit different was that it wasn't a traditional vendors make sales pitches (ok, there was a good bit of that).  But the reason for many of the vendors was to actually engage us (the "Solution Providers") in conversations about their Partner programs, discussing what worked, what didn't, and how they could improve. 


There were about 250 or so of us Partners.  A majority, like Simplex-IT, are MSP (Managed Service Providers).


The Keynotes were particularly interesting.  One of the terms that came up several times (especially with IBM) was "User Experience."  Now some of you may remember that term.  It came into fashion about 10-15 years ago starting with Apple (surprise, surprise) but completely embraced by elements at Microsoft.


Click here to read more.
Microsoft Virtual Academy - Free eBooks, Online Courses, and Live Events!

Sarah here. Ever find yourself wanting to learn new technology but not sure where to start?  Not familiar with Azure but wondering what it has to offer to IT professionals?  Working with System Center and need to learn more?  Want to know what's coming up in SQL Server 2014?  Have no fear - the Microsoft Virtual Academy is here!


FREE eBooks


There are many Microsoft eBooks that are available for FREE!  Some of the titles available include:

  • Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2014
  • Microsoft System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks
  • Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals
  • Rethinking Enterprise Storage: A Hybrid Cloud Model
  • Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals

These are just some of the titles available.  These eBooks are available in various formats - including PDF, EPUB, and Mobi for Kindle. 


Click here to read more.
July Webinar, Charting with Excel 2013 online
It took a bit of time, but the July Webinar "Charting with Excel 2013" is finally online and available for viewing:
Excel 2013 Charts
Excel 2013 Charts

August Webinar, Word 2013 - Columns, Graphics, Watermarks, Borders online
Our August webinar "Word 2013 - Columns, Graphics, Watermarks, Borders" is also online and available for viewing:
Word 2013 - Columns, Graphics, Watermarks, Borders
Word 2013 - Columns, Graphics, Watermarks, Borders

Windows 9 is coming.  Take our 6 question poll!
So here's my question. By all reports, Microsoft is going to start releasing the Beta version of Windows 9 as soon as this month.

Here at Simplex-IT we want to keep people up to date on the upcoming technology. But we don't want to waste time looking at technology nobody's going to care about.


Can you take a minute and take our 6 item questionnaire? 


Give us some feedback and you might (again, might) win a Simplex-IT USB Glitter Lamp!

Yup, I did the ALS Challenge
Yup, I did the ALS challenge...


Ok, I found myself on stage, in front of 40 people, sitting on a stool placed in the middle of a large kiddie pool.  And yup, someone was going to toss a cooler full of cold ice water over me.


Oh, Saturday night, is there nothing you can't surprise me with?


As you've no doubt figured out, this was part of the ALS challenge.  For those of you living under an iceberg, it's a social media program that's gone viral.  In theory it's supposed to raise awareness about ALS (a very debilitating neurodegenerative disease) and raise money.

Click here to read more.
Want to find out about this stuff quicker?

Blog updates from Simplex-IT over the past month

Remember to check out our blog:


Plain Funny #77

So, you watched the Lord of the Rings movies.  All three of them.  Ok, we're done.  Then we heard there was going to be a Hobbit movie.  Cool.  then we heard there were actually going to be two Hobbit movies.  Um...ok.  Then finally there were going to be 3.


So you know what we need?  A Prequel movie to the Hobbit.


Yup, this is an independent 70 minute movie that takes place before Lord of the Rings.


Born of Hope - Full Movie - Original
Born of Hope - Full Movie - Original


Not a Tolkien fan?  Rather have a fan based sequel to an old Star Trek original series episode?  Ok, then!


Star Trek Continues E03
Star Trek Continues E03 "Fairest of Them All"




We'd love to hear feedback about this!  Send comments to, or call us at 234.380.1277!



Bob Coppedge
Simplex-IT LLC