ComTech: IT Support Stirling
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Where do you work?

Working outdoors

I was having a meeting with someone (lets call him Jeff) over coffee last week when the topic got onto where we actually do our work. Jeff is your typical office worker who has an office with 2 PC’s, 2 printers and is in the office at 9am on the dot and does not leave until 6pm at the earliest. For 90% of his time he is bound to his desk as he thinks he is more productive that way. If that works for him I am not going to knock it but then we got talking about me.

My style of working is completely different to Jeff’s. I have set up ComTech to be a mobile business (just look at the top picture) which means I am not tied to a desk all day unless I choose to be. I have an office setup with my lovely iMac and multiple monitors but I also have a mobile setup which allows me to work from anywhere when the weather is nice or I just fancy a change of scenery. “But how can you help your clients if you are half way up a hill somewhere?” was Jeff’s response to this.

My mobile setup consists of the following:

  1. EE myfi (4G) and Three myfi (3G) which covers my internet needs.
  2. Lenovo 10 inch Android tablet and Acer Chromebook for actually doing the work.
  3. Teamviewer for remote access and Pulseway for remote monitoring of my clients systems
  4. Ankar powerpack for tablet and myfi (Chromebook has 12 hours of battery life)

This setup has proved it’s worth time and again and multiple clients have been helpt when I am out and about. It is a standing joke with a lot of my clients that they ask “Where are you today then?” before they tell me what their problem is!!

I am not saying this approach works for everything and yes there are times when I have to sit at a desk to finish a piece of work or project but it gives me the flexibility to choose how and where I do my work. In almost 7 years of business I have never failed to respond to a client with the SLA of 4 hours and I am usually much quicker than this. For those times when boots are required on the ground the car is never that far away either.

Like I said earlier this approach works for me and makes my work / life balance more enjoyable but it may not work for everyone so lets start the conversation. What works for you?

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Cisco, Windows, OS X and Linux based IT Support to small businesses throughout Scotland.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

Why Google’s Chromebook might just work


I have been looking at Google’s Chromebook recently, specifically the Samsung Series 3 Chromebook with the intent on buying one.  Now I know what you are thinking – “what is the point?” but I find myself thinking more and more that the Chromebook concept might just work and  I shall explain why.

1. Simplicity of design

The Chromebook is a simple piece of kit.  There is only one ‘program’ which is the Chrome browser, you don’t have to worry about updates and there are less settings to configure wrongly.  Users like things to be simple.  For example take the iPad.  It is very good at one thing – consuming data and playing it back to the user (eg internet, video streaming etc). The Chromebook has been designed along these lines – it is designed to get you online.  Nice and simple.

2. No viruses  

Most viruses are written for Windows, a couple for Macs and maybe one (that I know of) for Linux.  Chrome OS is based on Linux so no viruses issues here then.

3. The Cloud

The Cloud is coming and more and more people and businesses are actively taking an interest in it, whether it be for hosting emails, online productivity suites (eg Google Apps) or business ctitical online apllications.  Most people use their devices (laptop, tablets or smartphones) to get online and connect to these services.  In the work environment I am seeing more businesses then ever use online applications or file sharing and it is here I can see the Chromebook really taking off.  If you are moving to the cloud the Chrombook could seamlessly slip right into your infrastructure.

4. Price

The Chromebook is a hell of a lot cheaper than a standard laptop and if you are solely using the internet to run your business why pay the extra for a device you probably wouldn’t use to its potential?

5. IT Administration

You lock down the browser and er thats it.  You can’t transfer any viruses onto the system using a USB pendrive and all your files are stored online.  IT departments will love the Chromebook.

Now I know that the Chromebook has some limitations (working offline is one example, broadband speeds) but personally I am beginning to understand the concept.  Now where did I put my wallet?

Do you agree or disagree? 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

 

 

 

Can the Blackberry Playbook handle my everyday work needs?

I have been looking at my work ‘toolkit’ recently to see if I have everything I need to do my job.  One of the things which stood out the most is the number of computers I use.  I have my main server, my netbook (Asus Eeepc701), Blackberry Playbook and several virtual desktops.  Now the server and virtual desktops are used to test software so I can’t really get rid of those.  Could I combine the netbook and Blackberry Playbook though?


So I did a little test to see if I could solely use the Playbook to cover all the tasks I would usually use the netbook for.

1.Blogging

I am typing this blog using the Playbook and a bluetooth keyboard.  So that is one I can tick off.

2.Configuring routers

Now this is a bit more difficult as the Playbook does not come with an ethernet adapter as standard  (I am looking though) but once you are connected to the wifi you can access the router directly and configure the settings.

3.RDP into a server (Windows based)

This is accomplished by an app called Remote Desktop which allows me to control the server in exactly the same way as you would from a local system on the network.

4.SSH into Linux servers

This is again accomplished by using various apps in App World.  Nice and simple!!

5. Social Media

This is bread and butter on the Playbook.  Using the apps for Twitter and Facebook you can be as social as you like very quickly.  There is still no LinkedIN app available yet but you can use the LinkedIN website which is no real hassle.

6.Using the internet as a knowledgebase

Searching the internet is sublime on the Playbook so looking for solutions to unknown problems becomes much easier (and quicker).

7.Remote Assistance using Teamviewer

Again there is no native app but you can use the web interface which works just as well. The lack of right click is frustrating though!!

To sum up the Blackberry Playbook can handle about 90% of the daily tasks my netbook can handle.  The lack of ethernet adapter is the most compelling reason to still use a netbook (for configuring routers only) and the lack of right click is frustrating for remote assistance but overall it does pretty well.  When a tablet finally comes with USB and ethernet ports as standard then the netboook will finally become extinct.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more

 

 

 

CyberChimps
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