Computer Consulting Services
I consider it a mission to help non-profit organizations, small businesses, and hard-working (or even retired) people like you find the best solutions in the rapidly-evolving technology world. For too long we have been forced to settle for second-best. But now the seismic shift occurring in the technology world due to Free and Open Source Software allows choices previously unavailable to anyone but the “true geeks” at the start of the personal computer age – or those earlier with possession of a pass for unlimited free access to the mainframe!
Are you puzzled over what kind of hardware to buy? Afraid to spend a bunch of money, only to find out that your purchase needs to be replaced after a year or so – or fails to do what you want now?!
I can advise you on what to get to ensure that you will get the optimal service for your hardware dollar. Generally there is a “sweet spot” for any technology purchase. This will be above the absolute cheapest option, where it fails to do too many things … or just plain fails (too soon!). And it will be (further) below the pricey high end – unless you have very specialized needs. I can help you assess your needs and target your hardware acquisitions accordingly, based upon my experience and research.
I can also help you squeeze the all the usefulness out of the hardware you have — and practice environmental stewardship. Sometimes a simple repair or upgrade can work wonders! I can diagnose you problems, and advise you of the most prudent options
Whether it’s a complete Open Source Linux office with servers and desktops, or just a way to extend the usefulness of your current Windows environment, I can help you find software that will best accomplish your tasks, and help keep you off the painfully expensive path of forced upgrades. In the evolving world of technology, you now have choices like never before. Fear not! I can help you make good choices that you will be pleased with – and feel smart about having made!
For example, if you are terrorized by the Windows XP End of Support prompt (or have turned it off!),
know that you do have options other than shelling out for new hardware and oodles of software!
[Please call me ASAP if you are running Windows XP on any machine that is connected to anything! This is like inviting the robbers into your house!!]
Likewise, if you are intimidated by the hardware requirements of Windows “7” or “8:” you don’t have to buy all new machines and all kinds of new software! …
- I have noticed that functionality that was actually in older versions such as 98 has been removed(!) from all but the priciest versions, as Microsoft has segmented its offerings.
- the DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) “lockdown.” I have so enjoyed the freedom that Linux offers, relying on Windows would take all the fun out of things!
Even for those who want to keep using Windows, there are many choices and many good reasons other than just cost to use F.O.S.S. Consider the radically changed interface in the new version of Microsoft Office. For 99% of people, the easier upgrade path is to (free!) LibreOffice.org (or OpenOffice.org)!
I love to teach you and your colleagues – personally, or through written manuals/presentations. I find most satisfaction in teaching you the basics – and how to figure some things out yourself. Not only does this give you confidence, but then I don’t have to keep doing the same things over and over. I get to try new things(!), and have the satisfaction of seeing you grow in skills and knowledge!
I can help you with web design. I can do it all – or I can teach you how to use some tools, and just help you with the heavy lifting. We can meet at the growing edge of your abilities, and move that border as your needs and skills change. I can also recommend or obtain for you the services you need, such as web hosting. We can tailor this to the web presence you want, with the level of service and the goodies you need (like databases and scripting). I can find appropriate web-based solutions, and make these cooperate or integrate with WordPress or other sites. (I have even created web-based methods to allow distributed data entry and presentation.)
I can help you with System administration, configuration, security, networking and productivity with a variety of Linux distributions, as well as with Windows. In so doing I will show you where you can use Free and Open Source software to save licensing fees, better fulfill function, and avoid your getting locked in to a vendor who could go out of business (or just decide to drop something!) and leave you “orphaned.” Some of the fancy names for things I can do include: “LAMP” setup: Linux – Apache (web server) – MySQL (database) – PhP (scripting). I can help with things such as secure remote access.
I can help you set up hardware and software for the optimal security situation: so you are locked down but not locked out.
And More …
Just to list a few of the many random things with which I have experience:
- WordPress expertise: setup, customization, social media integration
- other web-based applications
- btrfs, RAID
- hosted CalDAV and CardDAV to securely integrate mobile phone and maintain privacy
- the “holy grail” of integrating phone, calendar, addressbooks, etc.
- bash, PhP, CSS, perl, python, HTML/XML
- remote administration, SSH secure shell
- virtual machines
- MySQL, etc.
- Teaching … presenting
- LibreOffice.org as Microsoft Word/Excel/Powerpoint/Access replacements
- online alternatives for office functions, storage, etc. — and pertinent security issues
- systematic backup and restoration
- Did I say networks? …
… and I’m always up to learning something new!