The Changing Landscape For SMB IT Consultants

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When Microsoft announced that it will provide free or cheap support for Windows and Office and common computer problems, it wasn’t a surprise for any IT consultant who’s been paying attention.

This is a look behind the scenes, some thoughts about the trends that are changing the landscape for IT consultants. […] continued

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Improved Wireless Performance And Range With Cisco Business Products

Cisco WAP4410W wireless access point

Recently I set up a Cisco RV220W wireless router, and a Cisco WAP4410N wireless access point. They are part of Cisco’s small business line and cost roughly twice as much as comparable consumer products – roughly $260 for the router, for example.

The wireless range extended far beyond my expectations. […] continued

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Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Part 3: Backups

Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

Previously:
Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Part 1: Overview
Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Part 2: Remote Access

Small Business Server 2011 Essentials has one overlooked feature that fills an important need in most small businesses. Every night, SBS 2011 Essentials backs up all of the workstations in their entirety.

Microsoft originally developed this backup technology for Windows Home Server. […] continued

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Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Part 2: Remote Access

SBS 2011 Essentials remote web access login screen

Previously:
Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Part 1: Overview

Microsoft has done more than anyone else to promote remote access to small business networks. Almost ten years ago, Small Business Server 2003 opened up Outlook Web Access and safe remote desktop access to small businesses for the first time. SBS 2008 and the various iterations of Windows Home Server refined that first portal to make it easier and cleaner and more likely to work properly. […] continued

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Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Part 1: Overview

sbs2011essentials

Small businesses are finally in a position to set up Microsoft Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, the perfect server for many small businesses with fewer than 25 users. Today’s technology world does not offer any one-size-fits-all solutions but SBS 2011 Essentials should at least be closely evaluated by almost anyone with 2-25 users looking either for a first server or a replacement for a dusty server in the closet. […] continued

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The Joy Of Networks, Routers, And VLANs

Cisco network equipment for small business

The request was deceptively simple:

Six very small offices want to share a single Internet connection. Each office wants to have a secure network for its own computers, not shared with the other offices. The offices want to share a single big Toshiba eStudio printer/scanner.

That shouldn’t be so hard, right? […] continued

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Whining About Wireless – The Home Edition

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Previously:
Whining About Wireless

I’ll tell you a story about my own experience. You won’t learn anything and there’s not a happy ending, but perhaps it will give you a little perspective on why I’m not urging you to ditch your wires and set up wireless everywhere.

I’ve had a wireless access point at the global headquarters of Bruceb Consulting for a long time. […] continued

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Whining About Wireless

unbalancedweight

When you have a choice between running a cable and relying on a wireless connection, you simply must not consider them to be equal choices. The reliability of a wired connection seriously tilts the scales. I have told my clients for years that the equation is simple: people with wireless connections call me for help; people with wires don’t. […] continued

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Looking Forward: Hosted Windows 7 Computing

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Feeling confident about your ability to keep up with the pace of change? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Small businesses will soon have the option to have all of their computing power hosted offsite. No servers in the closet; no workstations under the desks. Onsite you’ll have a monitor, a keyboard and mouse, and a fast Internet connection. […] continued

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The Increasing Need For Bandwidth, Part 2

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Previously:
The Increasing Need For Bandwidth, Part 1


You should know the basic details of the Internet connection at your home or business.

sonicdsllevelsFind out the speed of your existing service. If you have a DSL line – typically from AT&T or Sonic, occasionally from smaller players – it has a rated speed. […] continued

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The Increasing Need For Bandwidth, Part 1

needforspeed

Many small businesses and homes will feel the need to increase the speed of their Internet connection in 2011.

In the late 1990s, we began the serious movement away from our dialup modems and started signing up for DSL service as it became available in selected areas. Moving from a 40K connection to a 1.5Mb connection was such a staggering improvement that many people still think of plain old DSL as a “broadband” connection, ten years later. […] continued

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Disappearing Mapped Drives In Windows 7

mappeddrives

Here’s a moderately geeky tip about how to fix a nagging problem when a mapped drive disappears during installation of a program from a shared folder on another computer on the network.

Until a small business starts to use a document management system, it almost always stores business files in shared folders that appear on each person’s computer with a mapped drive letter. […] continued

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Looking Forward: Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

sbs2011essentialsart

Previously:
The Future Of Small Office Technology
History Lesson, Part 1: Small Business Server
History Lesson, Part 2: Windows Home Server
Looking Forward: Small Business Server 2011 Standard

I have a long article for you about an exciting new platform for small businesses scheduled for release in six months. Take your time and read this over the holiday weekend, but don’t get lazy and decide you can skip this one – there will be a test when class meets again. […] continued

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Looking Forward: Small Business Server 2011 Standard

smbservers

Previously:
The Future Of Small Office Technology
History Lesson, Part 1: Small Business Server
History Lesson, Part 2: Windows Home Server

Let’s see if we can keep the big picture in mind while we look at the specific features of Microsoft’s servers for small businesses, starting with Small Business Server 2011 Standard, scheduled to be released in December as the replacement for Small Business Server 2003 and 2008. […] continued

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History Lesson, Part 2: Windows Home Server

windowshomeserverlogo

Previously:
The Future Of Small Office Technology
History Lesson, Part 1: Small Business Server

Some of Microsoft’s best technology has been overlooked for three years, hobbled by a poorly chosen name and a market that wasn’t ready for it. Microsoft is about to take that technology and put it front and center. […] continued

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