Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Learning more about the Apple iPad

The iPad was officially released last Saturday (300,000 sold on April 3, 2010) and the buzz in the media is finally dying down. While we at C&G Consulting focus primarily on business technology, this device will likely have an impact on computing in general like the iPhone has had: a device that you use throughout your day, rather than strictly “for work” or “for personal” use. We have fielded questions regarding the iPad from our clients, so here are a few useful links to save you time in learning about the iPad and what it can do:

Apple’s landing page for the iPad is clearly biased about how “magical and revolutionary” the product is, but it a good place to start: http://www.apple.com/ipad/

Reading the “getting started” guide from one of our favorite technology blogs, Gizmodo, is good way to understand how the iPad works:

Here are some additional insights into using an iPad:

Apple’s competitors aren’t sitting idly by while Apple defines a new market. Here is information on HP’s entry into the “slate” market with a device that differs from the iPad in several features: it plays Adobe Flash web pages, it has a memory card slot, and has standard USB ports:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blackberry Enterprise Server Express Now Free for Small Businesses

Research in Motion announced recently that the latest version of the Blackberry Enterprise Server Express is now available at no cost for the software. Previously, small businesses were required to spend approximately $99 per user to add licenses. C&G Consulting has found the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) Express to be the best practice in ensuring reliability and security of Blackberry mobile devices. We recommend that it is installed in any business with multiple Blackberry smart phones in use.

More information can be found here: http://www.blackberry.com/besexpress or contact Michael Senkbeil at msenkbeil@c-gconsulting.com.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

MiFi: Mobile Wireless Access Point

Several major wireless carriers now carry a “MiFi” device which is essentially a mobile broadband (Internet access) device packaged up with a battery and a wireless access point. This device provides Internet access wherever you can reach your mobile carrier’s network. Simply power on the MiFi device (about the size of a deck of cards) and it connects to the Internet. The MiFi then broadcasts a WiFi signal (regular wireless access, as found in every modern laptop) to nearby Wifi-enabled devices.

In our testing, we have found that this device works well for basic web browsing and email, but for high-demand applications (database applications, large file transfers, etc.) it is clearly limited by the Internet access speed. For extended use, it should always be connected to a USB port for charging, as its internal battery is typically only sufficient for about one hour’s use.

Here are links to pages with more information about two carriers’ MiFi mobile devices:


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Adding Endicia to Starship to streamline shipping

C&G recently assisted two clients with the implementation of V-Technologies' Endicia add-on to the Starship shipping software. Starship allows companies to ship multiple carriers (UPS, FedEx, USPS, Spee-Dee, and Airborne) from the same interface. The Endicia add-on allows the clients to print postage directly on the shipping labels with 2-D barcodes and receive discounts on priority and express mail shipments over retail rates.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Recent server consolidation project

C&G Consulting assisted a local sales and service business whose servers were nearing retirement (five years and more in service). We installed a single new server with several redundancy features and consolidated three servers onto the single new server using VMWare software. The performance of the network is noticeably improved, and the server hardware is now updated and under warranty, all without requiring a full reinstallation of any network software.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

C&G chosen to serve on Sage Product Advisory Council

One of C&G's team members, Dawn Anastasi, was chosen to serve on Sage Software's Product Advisory Council. Dawn was nominated to the Council by a Senior Product Manager at Sage for her active participation in the Sage online community. The PAC's primary purpose is to serve as a dedicated group of business partners that support the long term success of Sage's products through validation of product plans and designs. PAC members are a resource to product management, designers/business analysts, developers, and other groups that require product related feedback.