Member Since: 8th Aug 2003
Stewart Twynham is an experienced information security expert and AccountingWEB contributor. He recently founded the independent cyber-security consultancy Brandfire (https://brnd.fr/) to help businesses in Scotland tackle these issues.
5th Sep 2008
If she had a Mac, it would come with Time Machine which fully and seamlessly manages all hourly, daily, and weekly backups onto any external USB or Firewire device, allowing you to search for and recover anything - file, folder, e-mail, etc from any previous point in time - as well as providing one-touch full system recovery.
Oh, and there would be no need for antivirus or a firewall.
More money saved, and no 2am phone call... :)
4th Sep 2008
Get a Mac...
You'll find a MacBook is an ideal companion for a busy student. Small, light, great battery life and powerful - and much cheaper than the equivalent spec 'small' laptop brands.
You'll get cracking educational discounts on the MacBook itself, qualify for the dirt-cheap education edition of Office 2008 for Mac, and in the coming weeks there may even be a back-to-Uni offer.
12th Jul 2007
I usually recommend Techgate plc (www.techgate.co.uk) who are based at an IBM disaster recovery centre in London. They used to be part of Energis, so they have massive bandwidth to their data centre.
Of the features I particularly like (other providers do have similar things, by the way, but do look out for these):
- They offer "proper" server backup solutions through agents which facilitate bare-metal recovery for servers, MS exchange, Oracle, SQL Server, etc. Some solutions are more desktop solutions, so recovery of a server will be pretty hit and miss.
- There is a management console which lets you check all machines that you back up anywhere on the net - last successful backup, number of files, disk usage, etc.
- Web based access means you can download anything critical from a browser WITHOUT installing the backup software (handy if your server goes belly up and you need to restore an urgent file quickly, whilst waiting for the repair).
- They charge for backup licences separately to disk space - so you're not buying 10 desktops @ 4GB each, you can buy 10 desktops + 40GB - and allocate the space accordingly.
In the last 2 years, my clients have had no end of trouble with tape backups - yet the Techgate software has never let them down.
Bawden Quinn Associates Ltd
9th Jul 2007
Just plug in the second screen and try it?
You should have no trouble running a second monitor - and you'll only need to plug one straight into the VGA port at the back (the blue D-shaped socket).
On the notebook, right click on the desktop, choose Properties and then select the Settings tab at the top. You should see the option for the second monitor and then be able to set the options e.g. screen size, extend the desktop onto the second screen.
Hope that helps.
9th Jul 2007
Try Virtual PC
Not really a solution, but if report designer really cannot run on Vista 64 bit, you could use Virtual PC to run a copy of Windows XP, and then run the report designer on that. Virtual PC 2007 is free, and designed for exactly that kind of problem.
17th May 2007
Re: Multiple emails
If you use a single POP3 account at your ISP rather than SMTP, it sounds like this old chestnut:
Basically, an email addressed to [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] can be split by your ISP into three different messages (each with the same list of recipients), and when Exchange comes to download the email it will send each of the three messages to each of the three recipients.
Your ISP should be able to resolve this. Does that help?
Bawden Quinn Associates
10th Nov 2006
SQL (pronouced as either "S-Q-L" or "sequel") stands for "Structured Query Language" - this is the language used by most RDBMS's ("relational database management systems") or simply "databases" to Create, Retrieve, Update and Delete information.
Databases are absolutely critical to businesses - they usually hold accounting transactions, customer records, stock records - just about everything of value in a business, so choosing the right one is often an important event, although many business applications won't give you a choice - they'll just come with brand X.
There are several "X's" out there, and MySQL (often pronouced "my - sequel") is the name of one such product - which also happens to be an open source one. MySQL has been around for a while and is popular with many web developers that use the Linux / Unix operating systems, although MySQL also works on Windows as well.
Other popular choices include Microsoft's SQL Server ("sequel-server", but often written as MSSQL - which is obviously easy to confuse with MySQL) and Oracle.
Hope that helps!
1st Sep 2005
Hee hee... I thought I was going through a bad spell!
1st Sep 2005
Know your target market...
Lots of sensible comments here, I'll try and summarise some important points:
1) When planning any website you must know your target market. The easiest way to do that is to look at your clients' websites... Ultimately this will drive your budget, perhaps 70% of which should be spent right now, with 30% to update and tweak over the next two years as you learn and grow. After two years, you'll be well placed to either leave well alone or rebuild it into something more exciting.
2) The DIY route is generally a waste of money. A simple but professionally produced site need not cost the earth - probably much less than your Yellow Pages display ad, and you won't have to "renew" the whole thing every year! Remember that you opt for a professional web design company for the very same reasons that you would opt to use a professional bookkeeping service... saving time / money in the long run, better results, peace of mind, time is money, etc, etc.
3) Make sure your site is Search Engine friendly. Many sites (esp DIY) fail this test and people wonder why they never get any business from their site. Search engines cannot read images, FLASH graphics and poorly written (X)HTML. You can validate your HTML at:
...the results of which are usually quite revealing!
4) DON'T be fooled into spending £lots on companies which claim to offer brilliant search engine ratings. Search engines are not a panacea (you may not be able to service clients in Bangalore or even Bognor), and few people will ever type "bloggs accountants in lower boddington" into Google. The SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT factor in getting high ratings is the number of other sites which link to your site - put simply: popular sites score better. Get free listings with companies like Applegate / Kelly Search etc as well as submitting your site to any local / regional websites. Customers may never search for you on these sites, but they will all indirectly help your ratings.
5) As others report here, many people only refer to the site as a selection aid once they know you exist. Your URL (web address) needs to be on all stationary, emails, invoices, business cards, flyers, adverts, etc, etc.
6) Remember to track the results. If you don't know where leads come from, you can't re-assess your campaign every year. As an example, one of my clients is a professional photographer. He gets 60% of his business through his website - 90% of which did not originate from a search engine, but where potential clients have picked up his brochure / card at a wedding fair and then contacted him via the website. This has all encouraged him not just to reinvest in his website but also to spend more money on the literature that he hands out to clients at wedding fairs.
Getting a website IS important for a small business, but remember it's just one piece of a larger puzzle.
Hope this lot makes sense!
25th Apr 2005
It's based on Citrix technology - which is as good as it gets when it comes to remote thin-client technology. If you can see the application on your PC, you can see it 10,000 miles away just as easily.
Plus - there's a free trial!
PC/Anywhere is really a remote administration tool, and far too fussy - plus you'll either need to connect in via a modem, or you'll end up opening up a big security hole into your network. And it's not as efficient as Citrix.
VPNs aren't a "remote access solution" par-se - you'll still need a mechanism to access your machine or data. So although not expensive - plenty of low-cost routers and firewalls support them - it's not the full story.
Plus there are lots of gotchas that mean VPNs are not for the faint hearted. After all, do you really want to consider the compatability issues of running behind NAT with certain IPSEC compliant VPN technologies, or do you want to consider L2TP or PPTP? No, thought not!