Monday, January 15, 2007

The Mac, SBS, and Parallels

I don't know if it's as a result of the holidays or what but we've seen more Macs in the first couple of weeks of 2007 then I have ever I believe. And in the Small Business environment as well. The new 24" HD IMac really is a thing of beauty. They know how to make an easy to setup box with everything you need. No mess only a wireless keyboard, mouse and iPod type control for media. Well that being stated getting it to connect to an SBS network can be intimidating but is doesn't have to be.

The one things we've seen you need bar none is to get Virtual machine usage with Parallels software. It works tremendously with the Mac. Even allowing you to seamlessly switch screens (in only a way that the Mac can do) between the Windows XP environment and Mac OS X. And still the killer reason to use the Parallels software? Outlook. There just isn't as easy an interface to use as Outlook. I think you're seeing that in a lot of software that Microsoft is using lately in the style of Outlook. Why? It's so dang easy to use. Everybody gets it. When it comes to email and calendaring on an SBS network, Outlook still is king. And yes even though the Mac users can get Entourage 2004 for free if they request it.

Anyway definitely get the Parallels software. Highly recommended.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Business Owners Confess to Checking E-mail While Driving, Using Bathroom

So just how connected are you as a small business owner? Enough to check email on the road or in the john? Now that's what I call connected. According to Inc. Business Owners Confess to Checking E-mail While Driving, Using Bathroom. Small Business owners really work hard. We all know that. It's the price of entrepreneurship.

So where has your Windows Mobile device been lately? :)

Seriously it really has affected my life. I can now easily check email at convenient times during the day and yes I've done it before while driving. Although I never respond I just read if there is anything vital I need to work on. Not the smartest thing to do.

But it does highlight the fact that people are connected more than ever and need technology that allows them too. Even more interesting is that more than half work on holidays as well. Nothing like a little downtime to unwind huh. Reliable technology must be needed as well then.

Here's to seeing you on the road.

Need IT help as a Professional Service Firm or as a solution provider talking to one?

Are you a professional service firm or a solution provider that focuses on this segment? Then you need to take a look at the book from PJ Colbeck and Perspective Shifts. Patrick gave a presentation to our Michigan Small Business Server Users Group last night and I must say that many really commented on how they enjoyed it. He takes a little deeper dive in how IT should affect a professional service firm, probably too deep for most IT consultants in our field.

But that's the thing that sets apart the good ones from the bad ones. If a solution provider doesn't take the time to get to know your business and how it will affect you and your employees then that's not the solution provider for you. Patrick's book does this. It shows that every implementation of a project will have a recourse and that there should be solid numbers to back up the implementation of the project.

For the accountants and lawyers in the group looking for IT help, this book will give you the outline that you need.

Home Server Pics

In case you're interested in the new Microsoft Home Server. Engadget has some nice pics of the new HP Mediasmart Server/Home Server configuration. It does look very interesting but this still appears to be for the higher end techie in the home out there. Not too many non techie folks that I know will want to mess with user accounts and the like. But very interesting to check out anyway.