splashtop

Splashtop: A Better Remote Session Experience

If you’ve been working with us you probably already know that LogMeIn has been our go to staple for remote desktop access to your PC if you needed assistance. This is a perfect way to help our clients as quickly and efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, LogMeIn is extremely costly compared to their competitors who offer the same quality of services and features more or less, if not better. We found that better solution that significantly cut down costs and provides a simplistic approach for remote access. That solution is Splashtop.

 

So what is Splashtop and how does it work?

Here’s the basic rundown of all the quirks, bells, and whistles:

  • It’s function: remote desktop into PCs.
  • Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Chromebook.
  • It can run on Windows servers and workstations.
  • It’s a few steps of a download and a few clicks of an installation.
  • Just like LogMeIn, it’s active on the desktop 24/7 (so as long the PC remains on.)
  • Boots up with your PC.
  • Uses a desktop program to access the machine in one click.

To be quite honest, the LogMeIn desktop app almost always made it difficult to log in quickly enough to access all our client’s PCs. It would consistently auto-check for updates when launching and could take up to a whole minute just to get things started. It should not have to take that long to use a remote session, especially when said person needs help asap. Obviously there are different situations and scenarios for every problem that persists on the clients side to prevent the remote session from launching as well as the host side of things. This is not the case the majority of the time, and if I had to estimate, I would say 95% of that time there isn’t an issue logging into a remote session no matter what program you use.

Another issue we had with LogMeIn was the ability to save credentials and just log in without having to input the same information on login screens every single time. Some would say that this should not be something to moan about as this provides an extra layer of security, but it makes this unnecessary barrier between us and the client when we need to solve a problem. This is where Splashtop excels at, they have the ability to save that information for the next time we need to remotely access a desktop by a single click.  That single click saves us a plethora of time and it gets the job done. Everyone is happy at the end of the session. LogMeIn does have the same ability to do this, but for some reason it likes to forget any previous inputs.

Splashtop has defientely helped our business exceed at response times for various agendas that people seek us out for. We began the move around mid March to the majority of the firms we service and fresh clients that would love to stay with us for the long haul. Splashtop uses very minimal computing resources on devices to make things even faster for everyone. We are beyond satisfied with their services.

For more information on how it works you can visit their website here. If you would like to get a quote from us for our IT consulting services, feel free to give us a ring or contact us through our various social networking pages.

 

Dropbox

Dropbox Microsoft Office Integration for Collaboration

Dropbox is a convenient way to store your files in an easy to use cloud environment. You may be using it right now to store your most precious data files and other information in the likely event that your PC suffers a major hiccup. Dropbox now has another wonderful option for collaborating with the people you may be sharing excel sheets with. Microsoft and Dropbox revealed that you can now make Office documents such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel with a group of people. It works just like Google Drive’s version of collaboration only this time with Microsoft products. Dropbox also created a brand new Windows 10 exclusive application and I’ve covered all the main features to show you what they have to offer.

 

 

This new app is only available to download through the Windows 10 store. You get nifty features just like you would with other cloud services such as Drag & Drop, Notifications, and accessing files from any machine you sync with whether that be a tablet, phone, or PC. Dropbox for Windows 10 has a few features that sets it apart from other cloud services like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. You can also add comments to discuss files in collaboration with others like Google Drive. For this article, I’ll be showcasing a few examples using a “dummy doc” of what you can do with their features.

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You can “Quick Search” by just typing for what you are looking for if you have a bunch of files and you can’t seem to figure out which folder you stored it in. You don’t have to use the search icon at all. Just being typing anywhere within the Dropbox program and it will find what you need in seconds.

Making documents for offline reading is another useful feature if you happen to be in a place where you can’t access any internet services.

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On the top right of the window there is a toggle button for quickly making documents and other files for offline use. One click and it shows a purple tiny icon next to the file of choice in the Dropbox listing on the left panel. You can also access the offline documents by clicking the last icon on the left side of the window to find all your offline files in a separate folder/area. This comes pretty handy especially if you go through tons of important files and decide to make a lot of them for offline use.

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Kind of a gimmicky feature but impressive nevertheless, “Windows Hello” can be used to secure your Dropbox with fingerprint, facial recognition, or eye scan. I don’t have a camera device capable of this feature on any of my current machines so I can’t really say whether or not this actually works well enough to use or recommend. But hey, feel free to let me know in the comments section if you have this feature on your Windows 10 device and how well it works.

“Jump List” is now integrated into Dropbox for quickly accessing your files by right-clicking the app on the taskbar. You don’t have to go through your windows file system just to see your recent files you opened. I find this feature pretty handy when I need to access a file quickly and with ease. There are a couple other programs that do this as well for other purposes and I find that the Windows 10 operating system excels at. I’m within reach of all my recent files by two clicks on my taskbar.

Want to save your camera roll on Dropbox instead of locally on your device? Well now they include an option to sync all your pictures taken to Dropbox directly so you don’t have to worry about your local storage being used up by vacation pictures and cats.

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It even comes with an option to “use any connection type”, if you want your photos uploading on any connection you’re on and not caring whether or not you’ll go over your data plan limits on the device being used. I would highly suggest that you consider this option if you’re a photographer nut that needs to upload everything directly to Dropbox, as well as buying extra storage space through Dropbox because I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the device you have takes some pretty high caliber shots. Those pictures come out to look amazing but at the cost of really big file sizes.

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I took this picture of myself using my pretty OK built in webcam on my laptop. Once I took the picture Dropbox automatically found it and uploaded it in seconds to the cloud. So yeah this feature is pretty neat and works as expected.

The added comment system is probably the shining feature of their new application. You can collaborate with others easily by messaging others who use the Dropbox system or send messages via email tagging right within the program. Not quite like annotation from Google Drive’s version of their collaboration system, but a nice start for Dropbox productive situations.

Here’s when things got a little messy…

I had trouble testing the messaging system for about a week and a half until Dropbox finally contacted my about my problem. None of the messages I created to any of my email addresses worked. I don’t normally use Dropbox and I had never had friends that used Dropbox exclusively enough to use their contacts list feature. Just to get the ball rolling though, I decided to test the feature without local contacts from Dropbox and use my other email addresses for communicating.

msgtest

 

As you can see above on the left of the window, there is a tiny red circle with an exclamation in the center. This problem kept persisting no matter what email address I used for testing…that is until I found the solution on my own.

For whatever reason, Dropbox thought that I had never verified my account. When I logged into the site to test this same feature using the browser web-based version, it asked me immediately to verify my email. Once that was done, a miracle happened. I was able to see the message without the same program and I received the email in my inbox.

So if you happen to run into this same issue, make sure to verify your email address or else your comments or messages won’t go through.

Dropbox and Microsoft also mentioned that they are indeed working on a Windows 10 Mobile version as well for people who use Windows Phones. So if you use a Windows Phone, look out for the mobile version in the coming weeks, hopefully ready soon. We’ll keep you guys up to date on when it releases.

There seems to be a lot more in store being hinted at for the future of their new partnership with Microsoft. Actual documentation editing in real-time collaboration unfortunately has not completely made it’s way from the core website onto the new program, which is something they could possibly add down the road. If you want to be able to edit files with your partner, go here and find out how to do it. They have a pretty simple guide to follow so I didn’t have any reason to replicate any of it for our followers. So why use this new handy feature over using Dropbox instead of OneDrive? Yes, OneDrive has had this feature for quite some time now, but if you don’t have a OneDrive account and use Dropbox exclusively, then that’s most likely why you’ll stick to Dropbox.

Dropbox app for Windows 10 is accessible via the Windows Store for download on Windows 10 devices.

Dropbox Collaboration is available ONLY through the web-based version, just to make it clear once more.

Credit to Dropbox: Source 1 Source 2

 

Outlook Logo

Moving Outlook Contacts to a Public Folder

Earlier this month, we wanted to be able to transfer and share our contact information to another Outlook account. Problem is, we didn’t know how to. So we researched a couple days to figure it out. Most articles and forums suggested things we either already knew about or had no answer. We even called Microsoft tech support and they couldn’t even give a clear solution!

But I figured it out! How? By exporting and then opening the .PST contacts file, then moving all the contact information to the folder we wanted. That easy.

 

Click File on the top left corner of Outlook.

FIle

Click Open & Export. Then click on Import/Export.

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Click on Export to a file and click next.

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Click Outlook Data File (.pst) and click next.

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Click on Contacts.

NOTE: If you have subfolders that you want to include in the transfer, make sure to tick the check-box under the selection panel in the window.

Click next to continue.

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Save the exported file somewhere convenient for you. Usually the default Outlook folder should suffice.

You also have additional options to replace existing exports, allow duplicates, or no exporting duplicate items.

Click finish.

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Now go back to File and click Open & Export. Click Open Outlook Data File.

Export 1

Choose the file where you saved it. After choosing the file, go to the opened Outlook data file under your personal folders listing on the right. Highlight all the contacts by using the following keyboard shortcut: “ctrl + a”. Then right click anywhere on the highlighted area to move them to the specified Public Contacts Folder.

This article was made with Outlook 2016, but any version of Outlook is basically the same process. If you need further assistance, let us know in the comments section.

Home Computer Repair Services

Home Computer Repair Services!

Our Company has served the IT needs of Nashville since DOS 1.0. Most of our business clients have been with us between 15 and 29 years. We think this home division is going to be exciting in the number of people we help.

Like the Godfather, “We’re making you and offer you can’t refuse.” One completely free 30 minute support session.

We often fix the most basic problems in the first session. Afterwards, you’ll receive an evaluation with prices on how best to move forward. What good is a PC that isn’t fast? That means starting by helping you decide whether or not to quickly buy a new PC or simply upgrade one part and make your baby fly again.

Like the Godfather, you’ll simply owe us a small favor

When a friend of yours is mad about his computer, simply let them know about the team that got you up and going again,

The Software Knowledge Company.

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