HireFriday: it’s about community.
This week on Hire Friday chat ( #HFChat ) we have our own local Emerald Coast expert Marie Journey who will be hosting the topic “Hire a Hero, relocation, military vets in the job market”
Marie is a Recruitment Expert and Advocate for Hiring Military Veterans, and will be discussing relocation and how to minimize the disruption to your life.
Since last year’s signing of the Veterans Oppotunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act by President Obama, there has been a strong movement to help get military veterans back into the workforce. This law provides tax credits for emplyers who hire unemplyed verterans and veterans with service-connected disabilites. Partnering with the Chamber of Commerce as well as the private sector, this movement is making it easier to connect our veterans with the companies that want to hire them.
With people like Margo Rose, the Founder and CEO of the HireFriday Community & Movement, many veterans are being connected with jobs all across the country. “Rose blends social media strategy, and human resources to strengthen job seeker, employee, and employer, and business brands. Margo realized that the strength of HireFriday is in its community. HireFriday increases your findability factor by making you rise to the top of google, bing, and all search engines. HireFriday optimizes your presence on internet platforms (SEO) on the open web. HireFriday blends the human resources and social media sphere with seamless continuity.”
Marie Journey can be reached at www.weselectthebest.com/military Everyone should #Follow Marie on Twitter! http://twitter.com/marie4CSWG.
Marie is currently in the middle of her own relocation. With her new job at C&S Wholesale Grocers, she is relocating her family from Florida to corporate headquarters in New Hampshire. In the past she has moved both nationally and internationally for employment opportunities. As a recruiter, she has also walked hundreds of candidates through the process for making the most of making a move.
Marie’s past includes working as both a corporate and agency recruiter. She has worked on behalf of such companies as Microsoft, SAP, Intuit, Dolby as well as providing agency support for clients such as Accenture, Cisco, Chase, and state government needs.
The present and future for Marie is located at C&S Wholesale Grocers. This company provides first-class warehousing and distribution services to some of the largest supermarket chains in the nation. In 2010 Forbes Magazine ranked it as the 10th largest privately held company in the nation with nearly $20 billion in revenue. Marie’s role includes executive level recruiting, building talent pools, and being available to connect with those interested in working at an action oriented, high growth, and privately owned company.
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview was opened to the public this week, a pre-release version of the full Windows 8 operating system, bringing with it a bounty of new features. The most drastic change, a new user interface designed for ease-of-use on touch-screen systems (especially tablets) is obvious, but that’s been a known factor since the Developer Preview back in September. The new interface is certainly different, though it may be awkward for those who have grown used to the typical taskbar-and-start-menu of previous Windows versions. Tiles take the place of folders and files, making for a sleeker but blockier interface, and customizing the layout of tiles on the screen is possible, though not a focus.
Another new feature is the Windows Store, which (like the Apple Store and Android Market found on modern mobile devices) allows for the distribution of programs in “app” format. Apps take up the entire screen while running, rather than existing in windows like programs in previous versions of Windows, and in many cases integrate gesture-based behaviors for things like scrolling or switching between views. The departure from the traditional interface of buttons is somewhat jarring, but has potential to be used in interesting ways.
Also similar to mobile devices is the new corner functionality, where simply scrolling the cursor over the corners of the screen produces different effects. Clicking in the bottom-left corner switches to the start screen, which allows access to apps much like the old Start Menu allowed access to programs. The upper-left corner allows for quick switching between open apps, while the right edge of the screen is home to the Charms menu, similar in function to the buttons on Android phones. The Charms menu includes the Start screen, the search function, settings for the computer itself and for individual apps, and quick access to content sharing and device management features.
A separate, but equally important component of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is the latest version of the Internet Explorer browser: Internet Explorer 10. As with the operating system, IE10 has been redesigned with touch-based controls and more space on the screen is devoted to the websites being browsed as opposed to toolbars and menus. Browser speed and security have also been improved since IE9, resulting in an all-around better experience. Also on the internet front, Windows 8 contains integrated cloud networking compatibility for Hotmail and SkyDrive, allowing files and messages to be retrieved from any Windows 8 device.
The Consumer Preview should not be confused as being the “final” version of Windows 8. It is stable, but not nearly finished, and certainly isn’t ready to replace Windows 7 as the primary operating system used by home or business users. All the same, those who don’t mind troubleshooting and updating frequently, and who have an extra system that they don’t mind taking a risk on, should give it a spin.
You can download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview at this link: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download. Any problems can be brought up on the Microsoft Answers forums at http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8.
After completing 8 upgrades of OfficeMate 8 to OfficeMate version 10.5 ( 10.5.23 is the lastest as I write this), a few observations from my own experiences and from things I have gleaned through conversations with others who have done the upgrade:
Firewalls are not really mentioned in the installation guide, but they can definitely cause issues, especially trying to get clients to connect to the server – if you have an issue with the clients not successfully working, and you can see the files on your network share, it is most likely a firewall issue. Open task manager, look for Login.exe and if you find it running, kill that process and then turn off the firewall on your server. If it work after that you will need to go to your server and configure the firewall for the ports that your SQL installation is using.
If you are upgrading from the Access based version of OfficeMate, make sure you have a backup solution that will properly backup your SQL database file (normal file backup programs do not work properly for SQL databases). You will need either a backup program that has a SQL database backup component, such as iDrive, or you can script a backup through the SQL management console then create a scheduled task to back it up. (There are plenty of guides out there on how to do this).
Make sure that you download the latest installation files from OfficeMate IMMEDIATELY prior to installation. There is no easy way to tell the actual version of the file you download (OfficeMate doesn’t properly sign their installation files nor do they include the actual version of the OfficeMate installation in the install executable), so if you download it days or weeks prior to installation you might not have the most current version.
As I have experiened a few issues in the Server installations and database conversions, I highly suggest that you have a full bare metal backup/image of you server that you can use to roll everything back in case an installation goes bad. Even though it is time consuming to make a full backup on some servers, it is well worth the effort for peace of mind if anything.
If you have any questions or issues, feel free to contact us via our contact information at http://pensacolacomputers.com
* Pensacola Computers is not officially connected to OfficeMate software in any way, and all opinions stated are my own observations and you may experience different results. This guide is meant only as a narrative of my own experiences and is current as of the date posted.
I have been working as an IT consultant with Optometrists that use OfficeMate for over 5 years and have installed OfficeMate numerous times for 7 different practices. I have successfully done 7 upgrades in the past few months and assisted on a few others. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
I recently ran across an issue where a client using a Windows Vista machine could not connect to a specific server via RDP. Every time they would try to connect to this specific server they would get an error that stated “The remote computer disconnected the session because of an error in the licensing protocol”. This computer would connect ok to other servers via RDP, and I could connect to that specific server via RDP from many other computers I tried. So I searched the web for an answer, and many seemed to point to a specific registry key.
The instructions I found all said to delete a couple of keys using these instructions:
1. Click Start, type regedit and hit enter.
2. On registry editor window, navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSLicensing
3. Right click on MSLicensing, click Export and give a name to file e.g. RemoteKeyBackup and click Save it on the Desktop.
4. Right click on HardwareID and Store keys folder under MSLicensing and click Delete.
5. Restart the computer for the changes to take effect. Restarting the computer will create new keys.
I did this and it did not create the new keys and I kept getting the same error.
After a bit more digging, I found the answer, a very simple on it seems in hindsight, but one that escaped me.
**Note: I am not sure if doing the above mentioned registry fix had anything to do with the final fix or not, but it made sense to try it.
To fix this, all I did was go to Programs > Accessories, and right click on Remote Desktop Connection and select “Run as Administrator”
Running as administrator fixed the issue – I think that I probably had a corrupt registry key and only by running Remote Desktop as an administrator was I able to recreate the proper keys.
Hopefully this will save someone else a ton of searching
After performing numerous OfficeMate version 10.5 installations and upgrades, I have found a few issues that I would like to share that may help ensure a successful installation or upgrade.
First: Make sure to read all the ‘official documentation’, being aware that there are some ommisions and some mistakes, but overall the procedures should be followed as closely as possible. Especially important is to ensure that you have setup Security Preferences and that at least one user has checkmarks next to “Access All” AND “Maintain User Security”.
Second: Ensure that you have full backups – I personally recommend having both a full SQL (or access) database backup, as well as a full backup of the OfficeMate Data directory. In addition, it is highly recommended to do a full server bare metal backup, or similar backup image in case you have a conversion/upgrade error and need to roll back the server.
Third: It is highly recommended to install SQL server express 2008 R2 if at all possible before upgrading or installing OfficeMate v 10.5 as this version has a 10GB database size limit as opposed to the 4 GB limit in the defualt installed SQL server express 2005. (If upgrading, do a SQL upgrade from 2005 to 2008 R2). Also, if you are using an Access Database, ensure you backup your database BEFORE running the Repair utility.
When downloading the upgrade software there are a couple of things you should do which are not mentioned in the ‘official’ documentation: If using IE9 or other browser with security, you may get a warning regarding the OfficeMate installation files, unfortunately there is no way to verify the authenticity of the files - for some reason, OfficeMate did not digitally sign their installation files (in my opinion this is a serious security issue as there is no way to verify the authenticity of the installation files – as it is, the files have a Product name of Install Shield and copyright from Macrovision – the maker of the install packager they used) – most legitimate software makers digitally sign their installation packages to ensure their customers of the authenticity of the files. When I downloaded the files, they appear to be hosted on an Amazon server instead of directly from OfficeMate.net.
Once the files are downloaded you will need to right click on them, select properties, then click the ‘Unblock’ button. Also, when installing, when using Windows 7, Vista, Server 2008 (R2), right click on the installation file and select run as Administrator to ensure a smooth install.
Before installing there are still a few other issues to deal with such as User Account control, and firewalls, and proper configuration of your SQL database.
The user account section of the installation instructions is not quite complete or clear as with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 there is no “Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer” checkbox, instead there is a slider which you can set down to the “Never notify” position. **NOTE: unfortunately, turning off UAC on a workstation that is connected to the internet is not usually a good idea as the whole reason for UAC is to help PROTECT your computer from unauthorized changes and is a major defense against viruses and malware being installed (if OfficeMate had followed best practices guidelines for Windows Security, they probably could have programmed their software to not conflict so much with UAC).
Firewalls: If your systems are using an active firewall you may have to set some custom permissions to allow OfficeMate to function properly on your network – if you install OfficeMate and are having difficulty connecting to the SQL server, disable your firewall – if you are then able to connect, you will need to adjust your firewall settings to allow OfficeMate – as many firewalls have different ways of doing things, you will have to check the documentation of your firewall for how to do this.
If you are upgrading your SQL server to 2008 R2 Express, or you are moving your SQL database from one server to another, make sure you follow the instructions for OfficeMate SQL server installation – you can find a guide here ffor Reinstalling SQL server: http://www.officemate.net/omkb/Article.aspx?id=21190 - a couple things to note here: make sure that you enable named pipes and TCP/IP ports via the SQL Server Configuration Manager or you will not be able to connect from a client machine, also, I personally prefer to use the backup and restore method when moving a database rather than the detach and attach database method and have not had any problem doing it that way (there is issues with doing it each way – you decide which is best for you). Also make sure that you don’t forget to create the OM_USER using the link provided in the above instructions once you have your database restored or reattached to the new SQL installation/instance.
In Part 2 of the Guide, I will cover the installation procedures and how to deal with some of the issues I have run into.
OfficeMate is an eyecare practice management software used by a large number of area eyecare offices. I have been working with OfficeMate software installations and upgrades for the past 6 years and have done quite a few new installations, upgrades and conversions. Just recently released, OfficeMate version 10.5 has been certified as a Complete EHR cy CCHIT and is part of what is needed to achieve the ‘meaningful use’ neccessary to receive federal stimulus money.
OfficeMate has had quite a history with version 10, and its release date has been changed quite a few times, and in addition its hardware requirements have also changed massively since even last July: http://web.archive.org/web/20110723232816/http://www.officemate.net/officemate_sys_req.aspx
In July, there were minimum requirements for workstations an Intel PentiumE5800 or better, and minimum Dedicated Database Server requirements of a Quad Core Xeon 3100, 4 GB RAM and a 250 GB SATA 7200 RMP Hard drive (no Raid). Since that time, OfficeMate has radically changed its requirements, they eliminated the minimum requirements and instead made the new minumum what was previously the ‘recommended’: http://www.officemate.net/officemate_sys_req.aspx
What these official changes in hardware requirements mean to the average practice is quite a bit of money $$$$, and pity any practice that based their hardware on the previous requirements (not really, but officially according to OfficeMate). The new workstations have a minimum requirement of a Core2 E8400 processor which is a bit heftier requirement than a Pentium E5800, but where the big difference lies is in the server requirements – the drive requirements change from a single SATA drive (about $100 or so for a good quality drive) to 3 15k SCSI or 10k Enterprise SATA drives which means about $750 for the drives, another $200 or so for the needed RAID controller card, plus another $100 or so for the needed power supply upgrades. This of course assumes you don’t need extra imaging storage which would of course raise the price substantially more.
Now OfficeMate information states: Failure to meet hardware and system requirements may lead to an unsuccessful upgrade, including the inability to install or run v10.5 on your computers in your office.
The Upgrade guide actually states: “You will not be able to install the software on computers that do not meet the stated requirements” – somewhat false, basically for the server, if you have 4GB of RAM, regardless of anything else, it should install. I actually installed the server version on a $400 i3 single hard drive system with 4 GB of RAM that I bought from Office Depot to use as a test and it installed fine (I wouldn’t recommend using it for more than a few clients, but it did install) – in addition I have installed it successfully on a number of Virtual machines using 4 GB of RAM and as little as a single core of processing power. I also installed the client software on a number of older Pentium 4 single core machines (purely as a test, I got it to install on a system with only 512MB of RAM and it actually ran no slower than version 8 had on that same machine).
**NOTE: I would of course advise coming as close to the stated requirements in order to have an optimum experience, but it should be noted that if you have hardware that is close, you ‘should’ be ok.
I have done a number of full start from scratch test installs as well as a number of ‘in production use’ upgrades for clients, and so far I have not had any complete failures, although there have been some issues with firewalls, one database conversion that failed on the first attempt (not really sure why, but it worked on the second attempt – thankfully I had a full server backup to roll everything back!). The official guides from OfficeMate are not completely accurate, nor do they deal with all the issues properly. My next post will detail the issues I have had, as well as steps to take to ensure a proper upgrade experience: OfficeMate version 10.5 Software upgrade and installation guide – dealing with real world OfficeMate installations and upgrades for hardware and software.
For questions, please contact: Pensacola Computers at http://pensacolacomputers.com
* Pensacola Computers is not officially connected to OfficeMate software in any way, and all opinions stated are my own observations.
With the popularity of social media like facebook and twitter, and the growing use of mobile devices such as tablets and smart-phones, having a website and Internet presence is becoming more important. Many business owners are sometimes overwhelmed with all the information out there and it can get confusing when people start talking about SEO and Places pages, and Facebook widgets etc, but the nice thing about the web is that you can start small and simple and then easily grow as you learn and expand.
I run into people who own small businesses every day who do not have a website and I wonder how much potential business they might be losing because of it. With so many people now using the Internet to shop and to find places to purchase things, having a web presence is more important than ever. Unfortunately, there have been many small business owners who have been ‘burned’ by unscrupulous web designers who have charged them thousands of dollars for websites that are not really worth it, but there are certainly many of dollar wise alternatives available if you do a little bit of research. For many businesses, getting even one customer from it can easily pay for the website, and having a website definitely increases your advertising exposure in one of the most cost effective ways possible.
I had one business owner that called me and asked if I could help him setup a website and he proudly told me that he had gotten his domain name himself. I asked him how much he paid for the domain and he told me that he was happy that he found the name he wanted at a bargain price of $300 (for a year). Unfortunatley, he too fell prey to a company that misled him and sadly I could have shown him where to get that same domain for @ $10 a year.
For a small simple website, you should be able to find a domain for @ $10 year, and then find hosting for it (the server that holds the website files and makes them available on the Internet) for $4 – $10 a month depending on your needs. Of course it takes a bit of research to find the best deals – and the best deals are not always the cheapest. You should always be careful of shared hosting companies that offer a lot for a little, as you may find your website on a server with hundreds of other websites and find that pages load so slowly that people usually leave your website before they even see it! There are however a number of large and reputable companies which offer good deals and good performance for a reasonable price, so a bit of beforehand investigating can certainly save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Then there is the website itself. Setting up a simple website is not that hard, nor should it be expensive. Personally I tend to stay away from those all-in-one site designers that many companies offer. The built in site designers are often slow, clunky and end up giving you a website that just looks bad. I have found that using a content management system like WordPress is often the easiest and cheapest way to get a professional and easy to manage website up in minimal time. Systems like WordPress allow you to design and edit your website without any special software and there are a ton of free themes and plugins available to help you customize your website.
I have setup many WordPress sites over the past few years for local businesses, and what I like the most about using WordPress is that the websites can be easily customized to be unique and professional, and the business owner or their employees can easily update information on the website without having to call and pay a web developer every time they want to make a simple change. The ability to control your own website is something I think is very important as I have seen far too many business owners who have websites that they hate because they have some developer that they have to call (and usually pay) every time they want to change a line of text or a picture.
At Pensacola Computers, we have helped many local Pensacola area businesses start their own websites and have a lot of insight in the local Pensacola area market with experience in both website design and local search engine placement (getting on the first page of Google search is always a plus!). We are also experts with WordPress websites and have setup a number of websites for local businesses with excellent search engine placement and front page google results. Visit us today at http://pensacolacomputers.com or call us at 850*390*4242
I was recently informed that there are companies out there that can get me better rankings on search engines for my web sites, but I am wondering how this is possible when I am already number 1 on all the keywords I want, and on the first page of google for many secondary ones. I also have learned how to jump onto a Google page in less than 1 minute for specific targeted keyword phrases. Using a phrase like Rely on Local Pensacola Businesses, or Rely Local Pensacola, it isn’t that hard to get onto the first page of local Google results (RelyLocal.com is a national company that promotes local businesses, and the RelyLocal.com Pensacola section is a great collection of local area businesses that are a great example of Pensacola business solidarity).
While I could certainly go the route of trying to make money by charging people for SEO, I personally prefer to help local businesses establish a local web presence, and teach them the simple ways of getting good local search placement for themselves. Small business is about helping the community around you, for if the local economy thrives, then you thrive. This is why you must rely on local Pensacola businesses to help you as you help them. I have found more profit by giving things freely that help others profit, than by concetrating only on my own profit. That being said, there are some good programs that are fairly inexpensive that do help local businesses that need some help in the web marketing area (such as RelyLocal.com).
Pensacola SEO rankings (search engine optimization) are not all that difficult to come by as Pensacola is a fairly small market. With the right marketing strategy, and relying on your local Pensacola Business friends, it is easy to rise quickly to the top. If you can use a computer in Pensacola, you can promote your business. Learning SEO goes hand in hand with learning the basics of Social Media. Social Media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are a source of promotion (though the true value of these outlets has not been properly analyzed with time data yet).
Social Media is exploding across the global marketplace at an unprecedented pace, and local job seekers are learning how to best market themselves into previously untouched areas. Using Social Media tools such as YouTube coupled with Facebook, Linkedin, and other portals, career seekers are finding that a well placed and timed promotion can lead to amazing offers.
Take for example a local businesswoman, Marie Journey. Marie has an incredible amount of experience in marketing, recruiting, and is an expert when it comes to the Global aspects of Social Media. Using her own special Global Talent Strategy, she has positioned herself as the go to person when it comes to companies that are looking for someone with real world experience with how to use Social Media in a global marketplace.
Posting one of the most interesting and captivating video resumes on YouTube, Marie Journey has gone viral with a testimony to her talents. A proclaimed Social Media Do-er, Global Thinker, Results Provider, and Producer of Anti-WTB (watch the video for what that means), Marie is poised to explode across the Global Talent market.
Wireless networks ( wifi or wi-fi) are everywhere these days with more and more people coming to depend on having an available signal for their laptops and portable devices such as smart phones and iType devices, but with this proliferation comes some issues that people need to be aware of. While it is admirable to want to share your wireless internet access with others, doing so caries a legal risk. Government and law enforcement tend to hold the owner of the internet connection responsible for what is transmitted over it and as such, if your neighbors are using your wireless to illegally download songs, movies or other material that is illegal, it is your door that gets pounded on by the law, putting you in the position of having to prove it wasn’t you. A quite simple solution is to ensure that you have wireless security enabled on your router (if you are unsure of how to do this, you can visit the manufacturers website of your router and check out their support section for directions, or talk to your local computer expert).
Then of course their is the initial purchase of the wireless hardware needed for your network. Wireless a, Wireless b, Wireless g, Wireless N, Wireless super G, MIMO, bgn, abg, dual band, multi band etc etc – it can get kind of confusing. A quick history on the wireless types as well as their basic specifications and uses:
Wireless a (802.11a) came out in 1999 and is one of the lesser used types of wireless due to the it’s higher initial price and the fact that its signal generally cannot penetrate as far as wireless b/g/n devices and its signals are abosobed more by walls and other objects. This type of wireless operates in the 5 GHz band with a data rate of 54 Mbit/s (realistically about 20 Mbit/s) which gives a big advantage when it comes to interference as the 5 GHz band is much less crowded than the 2.4 GHz band which is used by many other devices.
Wireless b (802.11b) came out in 199 as well and was the first widely adopted kind of wireless router device. With speeds of 11 Mbit/s (real world about 6 Mbit/s) and a typical indoor range of about 100 ft at the rated 11 Mbit/s speed and about 300 ft at 1 Mbit, wireless b was a great choice for early home and small office environments. Unfortunately, wireless b operates in the 2.4 GHz range which causes it to suffer from interference from other devices such as microwaves, bluetooth, older cordless telephones, baby monitors and of course other wireless routers that operate in this range. This kind of interference can get quite bad in populated areas and can cause a lot of frustration from dropped and poor quality wireless signals.
Wireless g (802.11g) came out in 2003 and operates in the same 2.4 GHz spectrum as wirelss b, but with a higher rated speed of 54 Mbit/s (around 20 Mbit/s real world). It is fully backward compatible with wireless b devices, however using mixed wireless g and wireless b devices will significantly reduce the overall speed of the wireless g network. Wireless g unfortunately also suffers from the crowded 2.4 GHz spectrum and is prone to interference issues in areas with other devices which operate in the same frequency. *Note: Super G wireless is a term that refers to a wireless device which uses to wireless g channels to achieve a rated speed of up to 108 Mbit/s, however these devices also have the potential to cause more interference.
Wireless n (802.11n) was released in its approved form in 2009, though many devices were sold before then as ‘pre-n’ devices. Wireless n has significantly higher potential data rates (up to 600 Mbit/s) and is backward compatible with previous wireless a, b, and g devices. Wireless N can operate on both the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz ranges, although it is quickest when operating in ‘pure’ wireless n mode at the 5 GHz mode (‘pure’ n mode being where there are only wireless n devices hooked into the network). Wireless n uses MIMO (technology which uses multiple antennas) to achieve greater data rates over greater distances. There are also now a number of Wireless n routers which offer multi-channel broadcasting which allows the router to actually have 2 wireless networks – one for legacy 2.4 GHz devices and one for 5 GHz devices.
So what does all this mean in a practical sense when trying to figure out what kind of equipment to get? While generally the older wireless b and g devices are cheaper by a few bucks, they are also much more prone to interference so it is recommended to go with wireless n devices whenever possible. Also, if you have an older laptop (or desktop) that is using a wireless b or g card, if you have a newer wireless n router, you might consider upgrading the wireless b and g devices with a wireless n card (you can easily install a wireless n usb dongle on either a laptop or desktop that is currently using wireless b or g, and then just disable the older device through your device manager). Be aware that wireless N devices come in many configurations and different speed ratings (some are rated at the a lower 150 Mbit/s while others are rated at 300 Mbit/s)>
So for a quick recap: If you are setting up your wireless network, or thinking about upgrading it, consider going with the newer wireless n devices. When setting up your wireless network, be sure to enable wireless security to ensure that only allowed people are using your wireless signal. For questions, or help setting up your home or office wireless network here in Pensacola FL, contact Pensacola Computers