Archive for Business Owners

Verifone VX680

Yesterday we were working with our good friends at Portland Merchant Services with some very technical work on a pair of Verifone VX680 handheld payment devices.

I am very surprised by how little information is available about these devices on the open web. Now certainly, limiting the information available is important because of the need for security. But closed source devices like these often have numerous gaping wide security holes that never get patched because of their limited exposure.

Is anyone familiar with them? Is there a community of developers, administrators, or engineers that has deep experience with them?


Verifone USB Cable on eBay

Drivers for Verifone VX680 Terminal (COM8)

ServiceCEO Consulting

Some of our clients run ServiceCEO! We are privileged to help them with various aspects of the software, including Backups, Credit Card Processing, Data Migration, Reporting, and Troubleshooting. If ServiceCEO is something you need 3rd party consulting help with, please give us a ring at (503) 383-9243!



Buying and Selling Domain Names: What is the Best Domain Name Marketplace?

Like many internet companies, we have been buying and selling domain names for a long time. While Joker has been our very favorite registrar for a long time, we have never really standardized on a marketplace for selling.

What are the best places to sell domain names these days?

We have accounts on Sedo, Snapnames, Flippa, and of course the Big Daddy.

Which one is your favorite?

Customer Spotlight: Lever Bar

Your Computer Genius has worked with Strength Productions LLC for a long time. When they needed a web site to support and sell their new product, YCG came through for them. Strength Productions is a training success story — once WordPress was installed, they practically designed and built their own site!

Visit them at

New Favorite Inexpensive Desktop

We have been recommending these to everyone:

Just don’t buy up the whole stock of them as we have more clients to order them for!

WordPress Plugin: Redirection

Here’s a review of an interesting WordPress plugin called Redirection.


Open X Onramp Closes Down

Wow, we’ve been busy with so much else this came in under the radar:  Important Update Re Termination Of Onramp Service

It looks like it’s true, OpenX’s Onramp services is no more… and we have slightly less than 24 hours to get our data out. We have setup Onramp services for a number of clients, but have always been less then impressed. It was supposed to be an improvement over self-hosted OpenX installations, where staying on top of security updates was a nightmare.

Now we are looking for other options, mostly for single publishers managing various direct and automated ads on their own website or small network of websites.

There are a number of promising options out there, we’ll keep you posted on what we find.

What to look for in 2009

In 2009, companies looking to cut IT costs will benefit from the low cost of virtualization, revitalizing older systems through remote desktop or terminal servers, and the outsourcing of tech support.

VMWare: Virtualization Market Leader

The big news in ’08 was that the big players made their entry-level bare-metal virtualization software available for free. For the small company that does not require the sophistication of the entire virtualization infrastructure, this is a perfect opportunity to reap the benefits of virtualization — call YCG to help you start your server consolidation today.

Remote Desktop

With all the server hardware you save by effectively using virtualization, you can devote a machine or two to remote desktop. With the server doing all the heavy lifting, client machines can be reduced in computing power and sophistication. Suddenly, 2 to 8-year-old hardware becomes relevant again. YCG can help you create custom boot patterns — with or without client hard drives — that instantly connect your new ‘thin clients’ to their home servers.

Outsource Tech Support

Still have in-house IT guys? Get with the game and start our phones a-ringing. After the competent experts at YCG get you squared away, your servers will be safe and secure.

2009 will be an exciting year for computing. The Apple iPhone and the Blackberry will continue to go head-to-head for the business mobile computing environment, all hardware’s prices will fall, especially as consumers and businesses demand lower prices, Netbooks will come increasingly into style, and desktops will continue to fade.

Your Computer Genius can help you in all these departments. Contact us now for a strategic consulting session.

The Digital Road Warrior


Today marks the second day in a row I’ve worked from the same place — the YCG Northwestern Headquarters. Above you can see the lovely scene that greeted us as we cruised into Vancouver, B.C. this last weekend for an extended series of face-to-face client meetings.

Being on the road constantly has lead us here at Your Computer Genius to perfect the Digital Road Warrior’s arsenal, or rather, to make the most of the available technology, while striving to keep costs down, equipment fresh, and the backpack light.

The current mobile setup I use is as follows:

This worked great all the way to Canada and back!


As Christmas approaches, remember the advances that have been made in NetBooks! These may not run the latest games, but they’re great for email, messaging, web browsing, word processing and more!