ComTech: IT Support Stirling
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My journey to Android

A while back I wrote a blog stating I could now use Android to run my business but would I want to? After writing it I decided to run a test to see if it was feasible so I have been slowly moving my software across to Android over the last couple of months. Well two weeks ago my MacBook died so I decided to take the plunge and go all Android.  I am suprised how easy it was and if I am honest I would find if very difficult to switch back to a traditional PC or laptop running Windows or Mac OSX (still use Linux on my servers).  My tablet of choice is the Lenovo S6000 which is a fantastic piece of equipment with a very sharp screen, 1 GB RAM and 16GB storage running Android JellyBean. I have also coupled it with a usb keyboard case which effectively turns it into a mini laptop.

There is a core of packages that I need to run my business – word processing, remote desktop, remote system monitoring, emails and of course printing.

Accessing files

Trying to store all your files on a tablet can be a pain as tablet hard drives are small. To mitigate this I would suggest using cloud storage and in my case I use Dropbox.  I have used Dropbox for the last 5 years and it has never let me down. I highly recommend it.

Word Processing

For word processing I use Docs 2 Go which has the ability to open cloud based files and also save them back to their original position in the cloud which is very handy. You can open and edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint files and so far I can even do my work books through a spreadsheet.

Emails and Calendering

These are covered by the inbuilt apps. My emails are setup as IMAP (stored on server) and since I use Google Calendar I can sync my calendar across multiple devices without the need for Outlook.

Remote Desktop and System Monitoring

This is covered by Teamviewer and Pulseway and out of all the apps I use these two are probably the most important and they work well.  Teamviewer on a tablet is a breeze, especially with a stylus.

Invoicing

I have recently switched all my invoicing to Invoice2go which makes my life so much easier!!! It allows you to produce professional looking invoices quickly for a small yearly fee and works across multiple devices by syncing with the cloud. It also has the ability to log your clients details therefore becoming a mini crm.  This has become one of my “must have” apps.

Printing

This is the one area I was most worried about but I have solved it by using a combintaion of HP ePrint and Google Cloud Print. Google Cloud Print was very easy to setup and printing to a HP wireless printer from a tablet is easy.

I would say that my business has specific needs and these needs are more than covered by the Android ecosystem but this will not be the same for everyone.  If you use a specific package which only runs on Windows (eg ACT!) then this approach will definitely not work.

As always though it is nice to have the choice of which platform you want to use.

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

Why I have finally turned my back on the PC

Well it has finally happened.  I have turned my back on the PC and surprisingly it doesn’t feel strange at all.


I have been getting more and more mobile over the last year and I had noticed that I was doing some work on the PC, some on the Mac and some on my tablets (Android and to a lesser extent my Blackberry Playbook).  I store all my files on Dropbox so I can access them from anywhere and the only thing that was really keeping me using the PC was the dual monitor setup.

I thought it was time that I centralised my work and the equipment that I do it on. This coupled with realising that I could purchase a mini DVI to DVI connector and setup up extended monitors on my MacBook was the final nail in the coffin for the PC.  I can do everything on my MacBook that I could on the PC with the added benefit I can take it “on the road”.

Not everyone will go down this route. If you sit behind a desk all day then a PC is the best system for the job – fact. If however you are becoming more mobile like me then there are better options.  You can use a laptop or tablet and which you choose will depend on what work you do and what applications you use.

And the PC? It has now become a Linux server with my virtual machines on it (Windows and Linux based systems). These can be accessed from anywhere using Teamviewer.

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

 

Is the PC dead? I don’t think so!!


Over the last couple of months there have been numerous rumblings in the media about the imminent death of the PC.  That lovely box that usually sits underneath your desk, sips electricity and minds its own business while you use it to get stuff done.

You see there has been a dramatic fall in PC sales over the last couple of years and not even the arrival of Windows 8 has halted the slide (that is a whole different topic in itself).  On the other hand tablet and smartphone sales have gone through the roof prompting the media to declare ‘that the end of the PC has arrived’.  I have another take on the situation which I will share with you.

Consumers don’t need a PC anymore (I bet that shocked you!!) and the reason is that most consumers are now mobile.  These days consumers tend to want to access their data on the move.  People historically bought home PC’s to surf the internet, play games, watch videos and maybe do some word processing on.  All these tasks, and more, can now be accomplished using either a smartphone or a tablet and this makes the PC obselete in the home, hence the downward spiral when it comes to sales.

It is not all doom and gloom for the PC though as it has one major ace up its sleeve – business users.  If you work in an office chances are you will be doing most of your work on a PC.  In a business environment the PC has the advantages of:

1. Bigger screen size

2. Mouse and keyboard

3. A lot of processing power for your money

4. A ‘proper’ operating system which allows you to run your software (eg Microsoft Word etc)

PC’s are designed for doing productive work on unlike a tablet.  You can type (with a keyboard) and move around the screen (using the mouse) much easier than on a tablet or smartphone.  Yes you could use a laptop but if you sit a desk all day what is the point when a PC will offer much more performance for the same money?

Tablets are fantastic at consuming data but not so good at producing it whereas the PC is fantastic at both.

But critics will still point to the dwindling sales.  Consumers are switching to tablets and smartphones while businesses are still purchasing PC’s (along with laptops) and it is this which is driving down sales.  Sales will reach a point where they will drop no further as businesses still need PC’s.  The landscape is definitely changing but don’t write off the PC just yet.

Do you agree or am I talking rubbish? Please let me know!!

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

 

Is the PC dead?


I spent way to long on the weekend browsing the internet and came across an article that HP in the last quarter lost $8.8 billion!!!!  This was apparently based on declining PC sales and this got me thinking – is the PC dead?

So what is the answer then? I don’t think the PC is dead just yet but I would say it is on its last legs and I shall explain why.

1. Tablets

Tablet sales are increasing year on year.  People are increasingly using tablets for a variety of reasons and one of the biggest is you can take them anywhere.  They provide an easy to use interface and you are able to expand their use by downloading apps.  Contrast this with the cumbersome PC which is installed in one place and can not be taken anywhere.  The PC uses more electricity too.

2. Laptops

Laptops can now provide the user with anything the PC can.  A laptop now comes with more memory than an average user will ever need and like the tablet can be taken anywhere.  You can also run your favourite programs on them which means you are still able to be productive.  Where the laptop wins over the tablet is that you can actually do proper work on them!!

3. Mobile Computing

Users and businesses are getting more mobile – fact.  Users can now work from anywhere that has an internet connection and are no longer limited to the office – the domain of the PC.  With more and more company employees working remotely there will be less incentive to go out and purchase new PC’s.

Where the PC still stands proud is gaming, however with laptops and tablets getting more powerful with every release surely it is just a matter of time before the PC goes the same way of the dinosaur.

Goodbye old friend we will miss you.

What do you think?

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

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