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About Tom-OffAssist

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  • Birthday 01/20/1972
  1. Ok, I'm going to be in the minority here, but I love Vista. I have had zero issues with it. You just have to make sure you get all the service packs put on and it runs like a dream. That said, Windows 7 is just around the corner. I would look for a computer that comes with Vista but also a certificate for a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out.
  2. What OS is the server computer running? I've set Quickbooks up for Terminal Services on both Windows Server 2003 and 2008. 2008 is by far the better option, if you have a choice but 2003 is definitely do-able.
  3. Karen, Unfortunately, Mac's and other Linux type OS's do not support RDP straight out of the box. And since they have been such a small % of total computers in the past, no one has really taken a look at making them "RDP compatible" until recently. Here is the only solution I have been able to get working with any type of reasonable ease: http://xrdp.sourceforge.net/ I've only used the Linux version of it, so I am afraid I cannot help you with installing it on your clients Mac. Good luck! Tom Beauchamp OffAssist
  4. Pat, The best way to have a dual monitor is just to buy another monitor. Of course, if you already have that laptop just sitting there, there IS a way to use it as a second monitor. http://www.maxivista.com/ Yes, it is $30. BUT, that is way less than the cost of a second monitor. Plus: They do offer a free trial. Soooo, what can it hurt? I've never tried their software, so left me know how it goes. Tom Beauchamp OffAssist
  5. I do not know the differences, but I do know that the two do NOT play well together on the same computer. I recently had to turn down a prospect (and friend) because I already had the US version installed and the Canadian version wanted to eat it!
  6. "After the franchise wars of the late 1990's, all restaurants are Taco Bell." Gotta love Demolition Man.
  7. The ONLY time you would be "interrupted" is if you tried to log into the file while someone else was in that EXACT file in single user mode. Unfortunately, some QuickBooks functions can only be used in that mode. However, we have our system set to default to multi-user. So as soon as they log out, or switch to multi-user, you will once again have access to that file. This is not a weakness of our service, it is a "feature" of QuickBooks that we can do nothing about.
  8. Hello all! Candy asked me to take a look over here and explain the process. QuickBooks Online has a lot of problems. So do many of the the other online QuickBooks hosting solutions. That is why OffAssist was determined to create its own solution. Initially, this was for internal use only, however, it is working so well that we are in the process of determining if there is a market among other VA's for the service. QuickBooks Online uses your web browser to access the file online. Web browsers were not designed to be efficient for heavy tasks like this. So with Quickbooks Online, you will see a definite performance decrease for any applications you are trying to run while the web browser is open. OffAssist uses the Remote Desktop protocol. Most Windows based computers come pre-installed with this and a client is available for Mac's as well. Remote Desktop uses only two parts of your computer: the video and your internet. If you minimize Remote Desktop, your computer will run almost as if you were not connected to a server. Your local applications should not suffer from any noticeable performance decrease. The way our system works: you can send e-mails, you can export Excel data, you can save to your own hard drive, and you can print to either OffAssist's Printers, PDF, or even your own local printers. Sorry, but you can't print to other peoples printers. That is a security issue and not something I can work around or cut corners on. Now, I have heard a few other misconceptions out there, and I will address those here: 1.) "Your file is still on your computer, so when other people access it your computer will slow down." This is not the truth with OffAssist hosting. Our servers handle all the files. When you open your account, you will upload your file to us and we will have it set up and ready to go. Our system handles all the load associated with multi-person access. 2.) "You need to have QuickBooks installed on your computer." With the OffAssist server, you will not need QuickBooks installed at all. The server provides all the software needed. You must, however, own the appropriate number of licenses. 3.) "You do not need your own QuickBooks license." OffAssist is not a software sales house. When you create your account with OffAssist you will sign a contract stating that you have the appropriate client license for the number of logins you wish to create. Our service is provided to allow multiple clients to use a single file no matter where they are or the time of day. Our price will reflect this. That said, you do NOT need an additional license if only you are using QuickBooks with us and on your office system. You need 1 license per person. 4.) "Windows Servers are not secure." In the past this may have been true. However, we use a 3-tier, 5-stage system to protect our clients information. We use 2 firewalls (1 hardware, 1 software), virus and spyware software, and a 2 part password authentication system. I haven't seen another system that provides so much protection while interfering not at all with the service to the customer. Beyond QuickBooks hosting, we are also looking at other services. However, QuickBooks will be the first service available to our clients. If anyone has any direct questions for me, feel free to post them here or e-mail me at tom@offassist.com
  9. Yeah, Sorry, I was kidding. Except the popsicle part. Actually had to use that a while back on an old harddrive. Worked like a charm! You mean I am the only one with Server 2008? Sigh... Ah well, just call me an "Extra super duper eary adopter".
  10. Ok, I'm gonna break this down a bit: Did you IP change with a different ISP? Yes, it did. Also, unless you pay for a Static IP your IP can change every time you connect to the internet. Do my 2 computers have different IP's? Yes and no. If you pay for 2 separate IP's and connect directly the the modem, then yes, you have 2 different IP's. However, most people do not do this. Instead, your Router will get you internet IP. Anyone that sees you on the internet will see THIS IP. Your router will then provide different "local" IP's to each computer on your network. Using these IP's the router directs internet traffic and internal communications. Hope that helps!
  11. I would love to hear more about the management console options of Windows Server 2008. You could also go indepth on Terminal Services, the new Easy Print Functionality, and do a comparison of Terminal Services alone vs. TS + Citrix. If you have any extra time, explaining the event log, how to filter it and examine it contents to determine exactly what is happening within your server would be a nice bonus. If all else fails, you could do a podcast on freezing an old hard drive to get one last spin out of it to retrieve old data....
  12. Ok, I'm not going to be a lot of help here...but I do have some ideas. First: The problem isn't really with Thunderbird. It is with Firefox. If you are not using Firefox (and even if you are) go download the lastest version and install it. This may fix your problem. Second: I am on Windows Vista now, so I can't see the exact application path for the AppData for Thunderbird. But if the above doesn't work, you can try the following: Go to /mozilla thunderbird (it is a hidden folder under your User account in "Documents and Settings/User/AppData"). Open your profile folder (If there is no folder, create a directory named "default"). Make a file called user.js Add: user_pref("network.protocol-handler.app.ftp", "firefox"); user_pref("network.protocol-handler.app.http", "firefox"); user_pref("network.protocol-handler.app.https", "firefox"); Note: "firefox" needs to be the ENTIRE path to the firefox.exe.
  13. Ugh....I am so sorry to hear that your husband is being like that. Personally, I can't imagine Candy NOT owning her own business. She and I both started our own businesses back in 2002(ish). I went with the more conservative retail environment, and she went with the Virtual Assistant "thing". We both supported each other, but she definately had the harder end: she worked from home (with 2 kids), she had to put up with me being gone 14+ hours a day, and she helped me with the accounting in my business (ok, she did it all...). Well, here we are 6 years later, and her business is still going strong. My business? We decided to close it 2 years ago because 1.) It was not making money and 2.) Candy was working herself to death with a very successful business of her own and trying to keep mine in business. So now we work together. Her business is going great, she just got finished with her term as President of the IVAA, and I couldn't be more proud of her. I'm afraid I don't know what niche you are going for, but have you tried presenting it to your husband like "I'm doing remote accounting for businesses." Or "I'm an outsourcing professional"? Virtual Assistant as a term is spreading like wildfire, but it still hasn't reached many people. You mind try using a more well understood definition that won't make him run to wikipedia. (Speaking of wikipedia, here is the like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_assistant As for clients coming to you...wow...that sounds like a GCE (gross conceptual error). I do not know many businesses where the customers just "walked in the door" the second they opened. I'm sure it has happened...but not very often. Good luck, I hope he comes around!
  14. Expanding to Second Life is like opening a business where everything is free. Unless your client already has people in Second Life that want to use what he is offering, I would stay far, far away from it. Look up the following companies in Second Life: Nike, Coke, Pepsi, Subaru, Ford. They all have amazing Second Life presence. Yet all of their Second Life sites are empty. This is after spending millions of $ in research and specially targeted advertising. Unless you have even more money, or some amazingly huge reason to feel you will do better than their major corporations, I would stay far, far away from marketing through Second Life. It just isn't worth the expenditure.
  15. I agree with you, stay with XP if you can. However, some people NEED Direct X 10....Microsoft really should back down and put out a version for XP, but since it is the only thing selling Vista these days, they probably won't.
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