Windows 10 Update 1703 Release April 2017 Breaks Eaglesoft 18

Urgent Warning if Using Eaglesoft 18 on Windows 10

Do not update to Windows 10 Update 1703 (also known as Creators Update or KB4015583) if you are using Eaglesoft version 18.

If your computer is set to automatic updates, it will automatically update to this version. How do you know if your Eaglesoft is being affected? Your login screen date will look like the one below:
EaglesoftDateIssue

Even after you set the date it seems to not take it correctly. The issue causes certain screens within Eaglesoft to appear garbled.

Patterson is reporting that this is a Microsoft Issue that appears to impact areas within Eaglesoft that were written in C++. Patterson Eaglesoft support is reporting that Microsoft will be issuing a hotfix within 60 days to address the issue.

We will keep you updated on the issue as we investigate further. If you need assistance rolling back the update or restoring, please feel free to call us.

For all our clients, we have taken steps to disallow the update from getting on your system. The update will not be installed automatically nor will it prompt you to install. If you believe you are experiencing this problem please call our support team promptly.

Information on the update from Microsoft:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4015583/windows-10-update-kb4015583

Release Date April 12, 2017

Windows 10 Upgrade?

Should we upgrade to Windows 10? That is the question we are confronted with on a daily basis. Today we will explain the reasons for upgrading and not upgrading. The reality is change is not always welcomed, why change something and have you and your staff go through the learning phase all over again. Is upgrading to Windows 10 really free?

The first question we will answer yes Windows 10 upgrade is really free. if you have Windows 7 or above you can upgrade for free until July 29, 2016. After such date you will have to pay to upgrade. When considering if you should upgrade now the first question you may want to ask if you don’t upgrade now will you in the future? Because if so it will cost you per each computer you upgrade after July 29, 2016. We can only guess somewhere between $99-$199 as has been typical in the past.

Why is Microsoft for the first time ever allowing free upgrades to it’s newest operating system. Well we believe Microsoft has learned from the past. Having to extend support for Windows XP because it was still widely used even after Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 had been released. The reality is few people pay for upgrades, they usually wait until they buy a new computer that comes with the new operating system. By making the upgrade to Windows 10 free, Microsoft is benefiting from the fastest adoption of the new operating system ever. When everyone is upgrading to Windows 10 it forces software and hardware vendors to make sure their software or hardware is compatible with Windows 10. If you are choosing not to upgrade to Windows 10 you have to realize that very soon you will be the minority.

What are some reasons to avoid upgrading? What can we do to keep our Windows 10 upgrade option available to us? Well if you have hardware or software that you know is not compatible with Windows 10 then holding off on the upgrade might not just be an option but a requirement. I would encourage you to pressure your hardware or software vendor to make their stuff compatible by letting them know how much they are costing you by preventing you to upgrade. Another reason not to upgrade is if your computers are already at end of life and you will likely be replacing them soon. While we must say Windows 10 has proven to run very impressively on old hardware, sometimes making your old computers feel new again. But if you will be paying someone to upgrade all your old computers and then a few months later paying again to install new ones it may not be worth it. If due to incompatible hardware or software you are unable to upgrade by July 29, 2016 there are still some options to help you preserve that upgrade ability. For example you can clone your existing hard drive and upgrade one of the clones to Windows 10 while keeping the other one at the older version of Windows. That way when you are ready to make the switch you can simply go to the hard drive with Windows 10 already. This process may come at a cost so you have to weigh that in, when considering it as an option.

Benefits to upgrading to Windows 10 are the additional features offered by Windows 10. While we are sure there are countless features and depending on if you are upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8 you will be introduced to new features. Being that we often times work in regulated environments that are highly regulated a notable feature is that Windows 10 Professional includes BitLocker Encryption both for the hard drive and BitLocker To Go for protecting portable USB drives. Also has mentioned before Windows 10 runs well on older computers and computers with slower processors.

The reality is if you are able to upgrade you should do so! If you are not upgrading because of the learning curve or because you don’t like change we would strongly advise you that you upgrade because change in technology is inevitable and will likely happen if not now in the near future. If you have other specific questions about upgrading please contact us and we will be happy to help!

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Eaglesoft on Windows 10

As of writing of this post Patterson Eaglesoft latest version (Eaglesoft 17) still does not officially support Windows 10 operating system. This makes Eaglesoft the last standing major dental software (based on the clients that we support and software they use) that does not support Windows 10. To be even more detailed the likes of Dentrix, OpenDental, Practice Work, Dexis all now support Windows 10 and have supported Windows 10 for some time actually. So what does this mean for you?

The dental industry has typically been slow to adopt changes, many times even skipping full versions of operating systems unless they are widely adopted. However this time Patterson’s slow adoption of Windows 10 may actually hurt your wallets and affect your practice. Microsoft is for the first time ever giving free upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 10 until July 29, 2016. This practically guarantees the rate of adoption of Windows 10 to be much greater then we have ever seeing before! Patterson is working on Eaglesoft 18 which would be compatible with Windows 10, however a release date is still pending and has been moved up several times. Last we heard they would release in April, or May or maybe June… This means that as soon as they release you will need to upgrade your Eaglesoft to then upgrade to Windows 10 or you risk not taking advantage of Microsoft’s free upgrade to Windows 10. If you do not take advantage of the free upgrade it could end up costing you $99-$200 per computer just for a license fee that you could have had for free.

Well why upgrade just because its free? Not exactly, there are many benefits to upgrading to Windows 10. We know it changes things, and like every other upgrade, Windows 10 may initially be a challenge for you and or your staff to adopt. While we agree there are some things we really like about our good old fashion Windows 7 in our opinion the pros far outweigh the cons for upgrading. Windows 10 may actually run better on your older computers then Windows 7 did. Unlike Windows 7 Windows 10 includes BitLocker Encryption which allows you to encrypt your computers at no additional cost. Some may argue you don’t have to encrypt your computers since all of your patient data ideally is saved on the server. Well before you make that argument ask yourself, have you ever saved a patient file/xray/name etc on your desktop? Maybe just temporarily? If you answered no, ask yourself has your staff? More often than not we find some form of patient data on your local computers, so why not encrypt it and not worry about dealing with HIPAA implications if a computer is lost or stolen (Even more important for Laptops/Tablets).  Well Windows 10 will allow you to do that without buying additional encryption software. There are several other reasons to upgrade but we will leave that for another post.

The effect that this very late release to adopt Windows 10 will cause is not good! A very limited amount of time for your IT provider to all of a sudden upgrade all their Eaglesoft clients from version 17 to 18, and then Windows 10. Do you remember your last upgrade? All the little kinks you had to work out and you likely waited to upgrade until you knew version 17 was stable, you may not have that luxury if you are trying to upgrade right away. We are not complaining (okay maybe just a little) but this isn’t going to just affect us. Imagine if even just 60% of Patterson clients upgrade Eaglesoft in a 2 month span, the Patterson Support Team is going to be inundated with upgrade requests and support tickets. Let’s hope Patterson will have extra support available when they release Eaglesoft 18.

Okay finally some good news! Being that we support several clients using Eaglesoft we cannot conform with waiting for Eaglesoft 18 to upgrade our clients to Windows 10. We tried several methods to get Eaglesoft 17 to install on Windows 10 with no luck initially! We then discovered if you have Windows 8.1 previously with Eaglesoft 17, you can do an in place upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 and Eaglesoft 17 runs great. We have to warn that others online have reported some issues after doing such upgrades (our clients have not reported such issues). We typically recommend you do this with one computer in the office and once you are sure everything works well the rest of the computers can follow.

(If Patterson is reading this, our advice: Don’t rush Eaglesoft 18 that could lead to potential disasters, simply provide an upgraded installer for Eaglesoft 17 that works on Windows 10.)

The Ideal Computer for Dental Offices

It seems about every week we are tasked with the responsibility to recommend a computer for a dental practice. Every time the same questions arise and each time we present doctors, owners, and office managers with options. Today my goal is to provide you with the information you need to choose the ideal computer for your dental practice.

This recommendation applies to most of the popular dental imaging software, most have similar minimum requirements and recommended requirements. The Ideal Computer for your dental office will meet or exceed the recommended requirements for Dentrix G5, Dolphin Imaging, EagleSoft, EasyDental 11.2 and likely many more.

When choosing a computer you are to look at 3 main hardware components, the processor, the memory (RAM), the harddrive (storage), and for software the Operating System that is required for your application.

Let’s begin with the processor, most of the above mentioned digital imaging software will technically work with a Pentium 4 2.4ghz processor, but you are truly scratching the bare minimum requirements and as mentioned prior the Ideal Computer will meet or exceed at least the recommended requirements not the bare minimum. The recommended processor is an Intel i series processor. Such as the i3, i5, or i7 processor lines, now it would be easy to tell you to purchase the most powerful processor an i7 4th Generation processor but the Ideal Computer is not a very powerful and expensive computer it is a computer that provides the most noticeable performance benefit while remaining price conscious. The difference you would notice in a dental office from an i5 processor to an i7 processor would be very minimal, compared to the difference in price you will surely notice. As dental technology continues to advance processing power is important as it can help determine how fast your digital x-ray is rendered on the screen. So we determined an i7 processor is likely overkill for your typical dental environment, what about between the i3 and i5? What does 4th Generation and 3rd Generation mean? Are those the only options? It would be to simple if those were are only options, there are various i3 and i5 processors that operate at different speeds and as mentioned can be found in both 3rd Gen and 4th Gen versions but for this article I will try to keep it simple and recommend if you are purchasing an i3 processor make sure it is 4th Gen and if you are choosing an i5 processor 3 Gen or above is acceptable.

Now memory/RAM not to be confused with your harddrive which is responsible for storing your files. RAM is the memory space where open applications run and is cleared every time you restart your computer. The typical recommendation would be 4GB because if you are running Windows 7 Pro 64bit it is recommended to leave 2GB just for the operating system, therefore the digital imaging software has another 2GB to use for opening patient charts, digital images, etc. When does it make sense to have more than 4GB of RAM and how much more in a dental office? Well in some cases we do recommend up to 8GB of RAM if the computer will have various applications running. For example if the computer is the dedicated doctor computer, the doctor may want to have several web pages open, outlook, excel, patient charts, digital images and other applications all open at the same time. It is highly unlikely that you will ever use even the 8GB of RAM in a dental office, so anything above 8GB is just not worth the expense as it will remain unused.

The Harddrive where your computer files are stored is often the most wrongfully judged device in a dental office. Typically you hear how much data a harddrive stores 100GB, 500GB, 1TB or 2TB but not often does anyone ask how fast is the drive. This is a perfect example of more is not always better, in fact more storage on a dental computer is not just useless it could be more of a liability. Computers with more storage are more likely to store files that should be default be stored on the server such as patient information or digital images. It is is highly unlikely that you will ever need over 50GB in a typical dental computer harddrive. Do not spend more upgrading the storage space, find out the speed of the drive and see upgrade options that may result in less space but faster speed such as SAS drives or Solid State Harddrives. While it may still cost a bit more I would recommend a 120GB Solid State harddrive over a 500GB or 1TB SATA drive that spins at 7200RPM.

In the dental industry adoption to new Operating systems has historically been slow, in fact too many users are still using Windows XP. Only two of the above mentioned digital imaging applications currently support Windows 8 and 8.1. Therefore the ideally recommended operating system for a dental office currently is Windows 7 Pro 32bit or 64bit. As for whether to choose 32bit or 64bit, the answer is simple 32bit limits you to 4GB of RAM, therefore use 64bit whenever possible unless you have a specific requirement for 32bit. However you do have to make sure to use Windows 7 Pro, sometimes you might think why can’t I buy the computer on sale in Best Buy for my office, well you certainly can but it most likely will have Windows 7 Home Premium.

Conclusion

Quick recap, i3 4th Gen or i5 3rd Gen or better is the ideal processor for a dental office, and purchasing an i7 or better is more likely unnecessary and wasteful. 4GB of Memory is ideal but if additional applications will be running simultaneously you may consider 6GB or 8GB anything above 8GB will remain untouched and again be wasteful. As for the harddrive forget looking at storage space any drive with 50GB or more is more than sufficient, instead see if you can get a SAS 10,000 RPM drive, a solid state drive, or even a hybrid solid state drive / sata for improved performance. For the operating system choose Windows 7 Pro 64bit!

 

Resources that may help:

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/core/core-i3-processor.html

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/core/core-i5-processor.html

http://ark.intel.com/products/family/65504/3rd-Generation-Intel-Core-i5-Processors#@All

 

 

Portland Dental Office Fire Caused by Overheating Computer Equipment

Dental Chair After Fire

Investigators determined the fire. in a Portland dental office was caused by overheating computer equipment. The fire caused an estimated $642,000 of damage. While we can only speculate what type of computer equipment caused this fire and why, there are various actions that can be taken to protect a dental office and any other business from fires caused by overheating computer equipment.

Too often proper implementation and placement is overlooked when installing computer equipment in a dental office. Over the past years technology has become an essential part of a dental office. Computers are now placed in dental operatory rooms and many times the placement is as hidden away from the patients view as possible. However these computers need proper air circulation to avoid overheating. Just as importantly the computers need to be cleaned to avoid dust buildup inside that can create a perfect environment to start a fire.

How can an overheating computer lead to a fire? While there are various ways that this can happen here is one potential option. A front desk computer tower is installed underneath the desk at the front desk. Overtime the computer collects and builds up dust, depending on the environment this could take only a  few months to happen but so many dental offices go years without proper cleaning of the computer equipment. The dust in the computer builds up and causes the internal processor fan to stop spinning. Once the processor fan stops spinning the computer could reach extremely high temperatures and with enough dust build up could lead to a fire.

How to prevent overheating of computer equipment? Dental offices are usually maintained very clean and most have cleaning crews that come in every night to clean the office, this however does not prevent the inside of a computer from building up dust. Follow the following tips:

  • Have computers professionally cleaned at least every 6 months
  • Check placement of computer equipment and make sure fans have proper circulation
  • In server rooms/closets always check temperatures, keep it clean and make appropriate changes for proper cooling.

For more information the computers experts at OCS Onsite are always eager to help. Call 877-333-6532.

To view the full news article from WMTW visit:

http://www.wmtw.com/news/maine/portland/Cause-determined-in-early-morning-fire-in-Portland/-/8865266/19100638/-/7ubuusz/-/index.html

Can you TRUST the IT contractor in your office?

Today, your typical IT professional has access to so much sensitive information. With everything going digital, most companies are at the mercy of the IT guy. If your office has credit card numbers, personnel information, patient data, legal documents or even just email addresses you might be at risk. Is your business protected? Did you know there are regulations that require you to take steps to protect your information such as PCI Compliance for credit cards and HIPAA for patient data?

When you hire an employee most businesses do their typical background checks and provide necessary training to be compliant. Too often however the IT contractor hired is overlooked.

At OCS Onsite we want to ease your worries. Every IT professional is extensively vetted before they enter your office. Our IT professionals have to pass a background check, personality assessment check, reference verification, driver license check, vehicle insurance check, work eligibility verification, verification of certification, HIPAA training and additional training if necessary.

Below is a checklist of what to ask for when hiring your next IT professional:

Checklist:

  • Criminal Background Check
  • HIPAA Certified (Required for healthcare industry or if will be exposed to patient data)
  • PCI Compliant (If dealing with Credit Card data)
  • Reference Verification
  • E & O Insurance Verification
  • Driver License Verification
  • Vehicle Insurance Verification
  • Eligibility to work in the US
  • Verify All Certifications
  • Personality Assessment

Or give OCS Onsite a call and you can check all of the above. Call 877-333-6532

OCS Inc. is now a VMware Solution Provider Professional

OCS Inc. is pleased to announce our new partnership level with VMware as a VMware Solution Provider Professional. This achievement demonstrates our commitment to be an expert in helping customers virtualize their IT environments. Further, in achieving this we acknowledge that this distinction and other VMware solutions are key accelerators for enabling our growth in the virtualization and cloud markets.

Special thanks to our team of IT professionals that helped us achieve this milestone. As soon as we became partners with VMware our team quickly brought their knowledge and competencies to the partnership. Additionally some members of our team underwent training to add additional competencies to themselves and the partnership.

VMware Partner Network is a comprehensive program that provides a common infrastructure, extensive sales and services tools, margin opportunities and industry-recognized training for the entire VMware partner ecosystem, including solution providers, technology partners and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). VMware Partner Network is designed to help ensure a more consistent and successful user experience as well as help partners increase their business potential by increasing their skills in VMware solutions. The program helps partners maximize their investments in VMware virtualization to provide customers with the best end-to-end virtualization solutions available.

OCS Inc. is looking forward to further growing our partnership with VMware and leveraging the VMware technologies to help our customers succeed in their business.

#VMware is a registered trademark and/or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. The use of the term “partner” or “partnership” does not imply a legal partnership relationship between VMware and any other company.

To find out more visit: http://ocsonsite.vmwareshowcase.com/