What Does Gamma Mean?

Father and Child

Many people ask what Gamma means. Some think it’s for the Greek letter. Others just think I chose it because it sounds cool. But, it means “God Anticipates My Many Actions.” It’s something I came up with as a kid and something that always stuck in my mind for any business I started.

To me it always meant that God is there, waiting on us to make decisions that honor Him and He therefore anticipates our faithfulness. I guess it’s more of a reminder of the fact that although we have free will, God expects our faithfulness. It’s anticipated.

But recently I’ve been introduced to another angle on the meaning. The reality is that my life is full of choices that I can’t be proud of. Certainly choices that God wouldn’t approve of. But these choices are nonetheless anticipated.

By that I mean, God expects my faithfulness but He also expects my unfaithfulness. It’s the reason He sent His son and why we are not worthy of His love or care. It’s encouraging to me at this point in my life to know that God waits for me to return to Him and when I do, He has glorious plans for me.

I’m reminded of the story of the prodigal son. It’s a story in which a rich man has a son who asks for his father’s inheritance early and leaves him. A famine hits the land and the son is quickly out of money and realizes the mistake he made. In humility he comes back to the father and before he can even say anything to his father, the father embraces him and celebrates his return.

It’s a story that quite honestly brings tears to my eyes because I know that son is me. So many times I take matters into my own hands and when I have no where else to turn, I turn to Jesus and He’s there to embrace me and celebrate my return.

If you haven’t yet experienced the peace and the joy that comes from finding Jesus, you’re missing out! God is waiting for you and truly is anticipating the moment you come to Him so He can begin the celebrations.

He knows you’re a screw up, but He loves you because you’re his child.

Our Customers Can’t Stop Talking about Us

Gamma Tech Services is on the rise and we have our customers to thank. Reality is we rely on word of mouth advertising for growth and the growth has been stunning to say the least.

If you haven’t checked out our reviews page, you should. It’s filled with customer after customer writing about their experience with Gamma Tech Services and the overall theme is very positive. Glowing is probably a better description.

The reason is simple: a customer first mentality and treating people as we would want to be treated.

Of course, being good at what we do in our field is very important, but to us it’s secondary. Customers understand that we don’t know everything about everything, but they are comforted in that they are in good hands with techs that demonstrate first class service and excellent competence.

So if you’re looking for technology services ranging from simple computer repair to complex corporate networks to a whole home automation system, look no further that Gamma Tech Services. If you need a further recommendation, just ask around. We know you’ll find that our customers just can’t stop talking about us!

Sonos + Control4 = Awesome

Sonos. If you haven’t heard of it, it is only a matter of time.

Sonos is a whole home music system. What makes it different is that it allows for you to control multiple rooms or “zones” of music all from a single app on your smart phone. But what makes it even better is that instead of playing from your phone, it plays from the cloud.

That means that the music keeps playing even when your phone is off, getting a phone call, or playing some other audio or video. It also means that you truly are using one application to manage your music and choose the volume and content for each room.

Sonos may be great, but even better is Control4 and Sonos together. The end result is truly awesome.  Features such as in-wall control pads that can control volume, play pause and more truly bring the experience up to another level.

In addition, we are freed from the plug in speakers that Sonos sells and can install in-ceiling speakers that not only offer superior audio but are much cleaner visually.

Control4 also introduces some other features such as having your music automatically lower when someone rings your doorbell or pushing one button that turns off all the music in the home.

Sonos is an excellent solution by itself but it really becomes a beautiful solution when combined with Control4.

If your building a new home, remodeling, or just looking to install some audio video in your home, be sure to give us a call and ask about our home packages that include solutions such as Sonos and Control4. Once you experience the convenience, you won’t be able to live without it!

Bible and Computer

Use Scripture to Protect Your Password

 

If you’re like most internet users, you have experienced a hacked email account or some other online account. Most people assume that like credit card fraud your password was stolen in some unknown way, but the actual reason is actually far more simple.

They guessed at your password and got it right.

You’re probably thinking there is no way this can be true but it most definitely is.  The catch is that it wasn’t a person doing the guessing, it was a computer or more specifically a program. The technique is called Brute Force.  By guessing thousands of passwords a minute, it is only a matter of time before they get your password right.

Thankfully, by understanding how this works, you can protect yourself.

Most password generators use statistics to increase their odds of success and one of the ways they do this is by using an English dictionary for their guessing. Other tricks include using all lowercase letters or only the capitalizing the first letter of the word. These are all common items found in passwords and by employing these techniques with the luxury of being able to guess so many in such a short period and it’s not hard to see why so many get hacked.

So how to protect yourself? Well God’s word is always a good place to turn for wisdom and security… So that’s why we argue that using scripture is a great strategy. Read more to find out why.

Before we answer that though, here are the rules for a secure password:

1. At least 1 lowercase letter
2. At least 1 uppercase letter, preferably not the first letter only.
3. At least 1 number.
4. At least 1 special character.
5. Not comprised solely of an English word or combination of English words.
6. At least 12 characters long but preferably even longer. It seems for security that longer is better but some sites will limit you to only 16 characters.
7. Find a way to change up your password so that you aren’t using the same password on multiple sites.

To accomplish this task, we like to use a sentence or phrase and then take the first letter of each word in that sentence and use it for the password. The trick is finding a sentence that meets all of the criteria above. The good news is that almost all of scripture does this!

For example, let’s take a popular Bible verse and give it a try.

Philippians 4:13 – For I can do everything though Christ, who gives me strength.

The password for this would be: P4:13-FIcdetCwgms. Despite looking like complete nonsense, this password is easy to remember and best of all, meets all of the criteria we specified above except number 7.

To accomplish number 7, we recommend adding a letter to the end or beginning of the password that marks the website. For example, if it was for Facebook, it would be letter F. Twitter would be T and so on. Therefore, your Facebook password might be P4:13-FIcdetCwgmsF and your Twitter password would be P4:13-FIcdetCwgmsT.

If you are using passwords that don’t meet this criteria, we recommend you take the time to change them ASAP. It’s a little tedious but worth the time and effort. Focus first on your email accounts as they are the easiest to crack and then move to social media and banking.

In the end, it’ll take some time but you’ll be able to sleep easy knowing your accounts aren’t susceptible to hacking via brute force and maybe even memorize some scripture along the way. It’s a win win!

Is 4K Worth It?

The short answer: yes. The long answer? Read on to find out.

Every year TV manufacturers work to create the next buzz that will sell TVs. Reality is that TVs haven’t changed much since they went flat and HD, but that’s a problem for technology manufacturers who need a reason for you to replace your TV with a new one every couple of years.

So it started with “Smart” TV’s a couple years back. There is no defined standard for what a smart TV is and with so many options to make your TV smart with devices like Chromecast and Apple TV, it is really something that is not needed and often is slow and hard to use. But it helped to sell TVs as everyone had to have a “smart” TV.

Then it was 3d. Let’s just say it was a desperate year for TV technology and thankfully that came and went.

Then it was Curved TVs and in-fact this is still being pushed. We aren’t sure how this one will pan out but we see it being something a little longer lasting than 3D. It does have some added benefit but mostly is just different for the sake of being different and for some people that’s all it takes.

This year it’s 4K. And unlike the others, 4K is most definitely here to stay. So first, what is 4K and why is it needed? 4K refers to the resolution of the TV and like “HD” before it, promises to bring enhanced image clarity and sharpness to everything you watch on your TV. It is truly 4 times the clarity of 1080p. But, you may wonder why we need a clearer picture than 1080P HD.

To answer that question, we need to get a little technical, so hold on!

Every TV is comprised of thousands of little color dots called pixels. These pixels individually change color to create the image you see on your TV. The smaller the pixels, the clearer the image. Notice that last sentence and consider this. An 80″ 1080P TV has the same number of pixels as a 32″ 1080P TV. This is done simply by increasing the size of each pixel to fill the 80″ TV.

Therefore, as TVs have grown in size, traditional 1080P HD TVs have become less and less clear. 4K promises to fix this problem. But it’s important to understand that there is no problem to solve for TVs about 55″ and under. That’s because at these sizes, the pixels remain small enough even with traditional 1080P HD to produce a very clear image. In fact, at these smaller sizes it becomes difficult to tell the difference between HD and 4K.

Finally, it’s important to understand that 4K, like HD when it first came out, is ahead of its time and has limited content available. Most of the content currently is being delivered through the smart TV’s software and is therefore cumbersome to use and limited to only a few shows or movies. This should change in the next year as more set top boxes become available with 4K that you can plug into your TV, but count on this: it will take at least 1 more year before there is any useable 4K content to watch. In the meantime, all of the 4K TVs support 4K upscaling which does hold some value and presents a picture that’s between HD and 4K.

So the longer, short answer is this: if you are purchasing a TV that is over 55″, go ahead and splurge on a 4K set. But reality is, you’ll be waiting quite some time before you’ll actually enjoy some 4K content.

Security You’ll Actually Use

Traditional security systems really haven’t changed in many years and unfortunately are crippled by the limited information that they provide. Often we are simply notified of an alarm going off, but we don’t have any information regarding the reason.   Many times it is a false alarm, causing us to simply believe it is “crying wolf” or worse we find we don’t even bother to use the system.

At Gamma Tech Services we present true security that isn’t just binary on/off but instead uses intelligence to alert you of abnormal activities without you even needing to arm the system. We can apply rules and take different actions based on if it’s night or day, if you are home or away, and which doors/windows are opened. Combine this intelligence with security cameras that can provide visual confirmation when you are away and you have security that is truly worth using.

Perhaps one of our favorite features is our auto arming and disarming of the security system. We can do this based on a couple rules such as at a certain time each night, during the day if no one is home, and really anything else you can imagine. And when your security system is integrated into your whole home automation system you’ll find that you’ll use your security much more. We can program a single “Goodbye” button that arms the security system, turns off all the lights, turns off the music and TVs, and locks the doors.

At Gamma Tech Services we may not be marketed as a “security” company, but in actuality we provide complete, true security that you’ll actually use. Your home is worth protecting, trust Gamma Tech Services with your security needs!

6 WiFi Secrets You Should Know

If there is one area that Gamma Tech Services leads the market, it is WiFi networking. In fact, several of our competitors have contracted us to install and debug their WiFi networks when it exceeded their abilities. Our expertise was further affirmed by our contract with Summit Broadband in which they relied on our expertise to advise about 1000 Pelican Bay residents in Naples on how to get full WiFi coverage in their homes.

Reality is that there are only a few WiFi “secrets” that need to be known to deploy a powerful WiFi network.

1. WiFi range is ultimately not determined by the router or access point but instead by the FCC. The FCC are the ones who set the power limits of wireless devices including the WiFi in your home. They govern this as there is only so much bandwidth available and they want to prevent your neighbor from creating a WiFi that takes up all of the bandwidth in your area. In the end, it’s a good thing, but the result is that manufacturers are severely limited in the range that they can provide. The lesson? Although there are devices with poor range, the better quality devices will all share a similar range performance and it shouldn’t be a deciding factor in which device you purchase.

2. Routers are for newbies and Wireless Repeaters don’t work. Access Points (APs) are where the real power lies. Without going into too much detail, it’s easiest to explain it this way: It’s only possible to have one router in a network, but there is no limit to the number of access points you can have. “What’s wrong with repeaters?” you ask. A repeater takes a wireless connection and emits another wireless connection while an access point takes a wired connection and emits a wireless connection. In order to use a repeater, it has to have a strong wireless connection to the source, but if you place it too close it will introduce interference and limit the distance it extends. Place it too far away and the receiving signal is too weak and therefore what it emits is a garbage signal. An access point doesn’t suffer from these challenges and instead takes a reliable wired connection and emits a clean wireless signal.

3. There are only 3 channels of 2.4ghz WiFi and even that may be generous. This topic gets messy quick, but the moral of the story is that WiFi has 11 selectable frequencies in the 2.4ghz band allowed by the FCC, but to achieve faster speeds, most WiFi devices use multiple neighboring channels at the same time. The result is that there are only 3 channels (1, 6, and 11) that do not have any overlap. The 5ghz band uses multiple frequencies at the same time too, but it has many more channels to choose from, making the issue far less problematic.

4. WiFi interference is easier to understand when you compare it to sound waves and conversations in a crowded room. The more people you put in a room, the more difficult it becomes to hear and focus on a conversation. At the same time, the closer you are to someone in a crowded room the easier it is to hear them. And finally, it’s very difficult to hear through walls or other solid objects. These principles can and should all be applied when designing a WiFi network. If you attempt to put too many access points in a space, you’ll just cloud up the frequencies with interference but the biggest determining factor of your speed and reliability is your proximity to the closest access point. Therefore, you must balance these two facts. Finally, understand that walls are the antonym of WiFi and that even the most powerful access points won’t go through them and yield 100% connection speeds.

5. WiFi operates mostly in the 2.4ghz band along with your cordless phone, Bluetooth headset, wireless camera, microwave oven, car alarm remote, and plenty of other devices. Needless to say, your WiFi doesn’t just compete with neighbors WiFi or other access points in your own network, but also hundreds of other devices that use the 2.4ghz band. The best way to use this information is to understand that WiFi interference is a very complicated subject and the closer you live to your neighbors, the more this holds true. Plan accordingly and remember, the closest device wins.

6. 5.0ghz is a mixed bag. Yes, it doesn’t suffer from nearly as much interference as 2.4ghz, but it also can’t penetrate objects as well as 2.4ghz. This is combined with the reality that not every device supports 5ghz meaning that even if you use 5ghz, you still must accommodate the 2.4ghz band. In the end, 5ghz makes many promises it simply can’t keep and 2.4ghz will be here to stay for quite some time.

WiFi is a complex topic that can’t be fully explained in a single blog post, but these 6 truths are probably the most influential in how we design our WiFi deployments.

If you’re looking for WiFi in your home or business, trust the professionals at Gamma Tech Services. No space is too large or too challenging for our team of experts.

VoIP: It Rises and Falls on the Network

VoIP is finally making a place in most businesses. It is estimated that over 50% of all businesses have switched to VoIP and that the remaining businesses will switch within the next 5 years. VoIP is a great advancement in voice services. A physical cooper line is no longer required and the ability to have multiple office locations and/or mobile offices is easily possible with the power of the Internet.

But for those that have switched, it’s not all peaches and roses. The reality is that most people do not fully understand that VoIP stands for “Voice over IP” and that the “IP” is your network.

No one understands the importance of the network and networking better than us. After all, it was networking that ultimately has allowed us to have so much success in the Audio Video market. While our competition struggles to understand the network so their customers can control their music, security, TVs, and lighting from their phone, we only seem to excel. The reason is because of our understanding of the power and importance of the network.

And now, we are applying the same expertise to our newly launched VoIP product.

Like the foundation of a home, the network is what everything else runs on top of and VoIP is perhaps the most picky. VoIP is almost like a fine marble floor. It can be gorgeous and of the finest quality but if the foundation is uneven or unstable, it will crack and fall apart. So many might be quick to blame the marble, but the actual cause is the foundation below it.

It is for this reason that we believe GTVoice will be such a reliable product. Our team of network engineers will ensure that a solid network foundation is provided for the VoIP services creating a perfect combo. Our wisest customers will combine our managed services with our GTVoice product for a comprehensive technology solution from a single provider.

Which brings us into the importance of a single provider for your VoIP and networking team. By using separate companies, you are stuck in the middle of two companies pointing fingers and blaming one another for each other’s problems. We have been involved in these environments and the result is anything but fun. In fact, it was part of the reason that we decided to launch GTVoice as we were tired of being involved in that finger pointing game. The customer was being hurt the most, and that goes against our promise for a more productive technological environment.

Reality is that GTVoice is still in its infancy, but we expect to rock the market as we have with audio video by understanding the importance of the network and continuing to provide our excellent level of customer-first, customer service!

One Vendor for them All

This blog post is a little biased, we have to admit that. But are you really wanting to have to call 4 different vendors for your technology? Wouldn’t you rather have one company that takes care of it all? That’s the advantage Gamma Tech Services offers. We are truly a one stop shop for everything technology in your business or home.

One call for your computer repair. One call for your networking. One call for your phones. One call for your security. One call for your audio/video. One call for your home automation. One call. Period. The biggest advantage is that you never have to worry about finger pointing or explaining to one company what another company did. You can truly leave the technology to us.

If you’re looking for an end to the pain that technology can bring, give us a call. After all, your technology is supposed to make you more productive and/or for your entertainment. Trust us to bring that back!

Fixing Your Own PC Could Cost You

Today we had yet another customer who ended up with a larger than expected invoice due to a decision to fix her own computer. She needed a software to open a file she couldn’t previously open and downloaded a software that promised to do the trick. It most certainly did the trick, but not the kind of trick she wanted.

She ended up with a computer loaded full of malware and tools that brought up ad after ad on her computer. Thankfully, like most of these issues, we were able to remove the problem softwares and get the computer back up to speed. What’s sad however is that it could have been avoided with a simple call to our office and some good antivirus software. Her computer is now protected properly with Gamma Tech Anti-Virus and she’s educated on what not to do. Hopefully, you can learn from her mistake and avoid the pain of an expensive invoice.

Give us a call before you play PC doctor. In the end, it may be something we can just help with over the phone, or if nothing else we can save you quite a bit compared to the potential damage the “fix” could cause.