Saturday, September 19, 2009

What is Sharepoint?

I recently got a notice to collaborate with another professional using Sharepoint. Included on the invitation was a great explanation on what a Sharepoint site it which I've pasted below.

Why do I think you would care? You may also be looking to eek more time out of your day! (I get such a thrill )
About a year ago I found I was spending more and more time answering emails, looking for emails, looking for documents. Being the effeciency nut I am (its that German gene :)), I started asking people how they were dealing with this problem. Through those conversations I learned even more Outlook goodies, and the idea of a Sharepoint site to replace the documents and folders that have gotten dumped into our server. Its been a tremendous help and has saved tons of time already. Here is what we've done with ours:

1. Company Bookmarks - now we have 1 central place for all the websites we use and need to keep communicated to our staff
2. Purchasing work flow - instead of having quotes and proposals flying through email we now have them in our Sharepoint library which gives us a central place to deposit them, check in/out and provide workflow status and approvals - huge for us!
3. Client reports, notes, documents you name it now all live in our Sharepoint
4. internal blog
5. Discussion board - this has stopped the string of email conversations and moved them to a place that is less obtrusive and captures them cleanly for future reference.

If you're struggling with too much email and too many documents and a place for team collaboration, give me a call.

What is a Share Point site?

A SharePoint site is a Web site that provides a central storage and collaboration space for documents, information, and ideas. A SharePoint site is a tool for collaboration, just like a telephone is a tool for communication, or a meeting is a tool for decision making. A SharePoint site helps groups of people (whether work teams or social groups) share information and work together. For example, a SharePoint site can help you:
  • Coordinate projects, calendars, and schedules.
  • Discuss ideas and review documents or proposals.
  • Share information and keep in touch with other people.
SharePoint sites are dynamic and interactive -- members of the site can contribute their own ideas and content as well as comment on or contribute to other people's.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Should I buy a new PC now or wait until Windows 7 comes out?

So you are thinking about replacing your old computer, but your thinking, “Do I wait for Windows 7?” No! is our advise, but if your purchase smart you can get the option to upgrade down the road at little or no cost!

Windows 7 is currently scheduled to be released to the public on the 22nd of October. We here at CMIT believe that to make the transition to a new operating system with the smallest amount of frustration and technical problems it is best to wait until the first service pack for the new operating system comes out. This could be up to six months down the road. But if you need a new PC now, you will need to buy one with Vista; right? Not at all, you could purchase the new system with XP Professional downgrade and get an upgrade path to Windows 7 for little or no cost, here’s how.

Dell is currently providing, through Microsoft, a little or at no cost option to upgrade to Windows 7. To be eligible for this program, you must have or will have purchased a new Dell system between June 26, 2009 and December 31, 2009. Next you will need to sign up for the program on their website at This site also contains details on the eligible Dell systems along with FAQ’s and Contact information, if you need more help to guide you through the process, along with the most current information on the program.

If you purchase the new system through us we will, as part of our purchasing assistance program, 1) guaranty you the lowest price for the new system, 2) work with you to take care of configuring the correct solution 3) take care of all the registration details and 4) track the delivery of the new system and 5) advise you of software upgrades.

The nice thing about this program is that you can take advantage of it and still get Windows XP Professional, then after the first service pack for Windows 7 comes out you can upgrade to Windows 7 and have a stable platform to conduct your business on because you already have the new software.

Author: Dave Wass

Monday, September 7, 2009

I want to buy a new laptop what should I be looking for?

A friend of mine (thank you Gail!) emailed me this morning with this question. I get this question a lot so I figured I’d post it for all to read! Here is what I told her

XP Pro will cost you more than Vista, but Vista needs more memory and processor horsepower. Windows 7 will be coming out but we probably won’t know until Q2 2010 as to whether there is an advantage to upgrade to it.

Vista on a 64-bit processor is faster

With Vista you will need to be willing to take on the GUI change. Some of your existing hardware (printers, cameras, etc) may need Vista drivers, its not always available for hardware older than 2 years.

Unless you need to network it you can go with Vista Home, but business and ultimate Editions have more commercial and multi-media features and the upgrade paths are more expensive than buying the right edition up front.

Hardware is dependent on the software you are running and how fast you want it to perform. Vista & Office 2007 & Norton 2009 require more memory, and processor horsepower than XP Pro, Office 2003 and Norton 2008.

Decide on your operating system and what you think you will want the OS to be in 4 years.

Decide on weight.

Based on weight you can then decide on display size (the bigger the display the heavier).

Buy a business model not a consumer model (for example for Dell Latitude is the business model) laptop.,

My advise get the laptop with the best processor you can afford. can be used to compare. Then get to a minimum of 2 GB of RAM, (max it out if you are doing Vista; memory is cheep). Unless you have a lot of large files, music, videos etc, you can keep the hard drive small to reduce the weight. Office 2007 Student Edition if you don’t need Outlook; If you do the Office 2007 edition that has what you need (or you can may consider Google docs as an alternative); getting Office at purchase time is a lot less expensive than buying it separate because you are getting what is called a OEM version (however it is only licensed to the processor you purchased). Get a 3 year Pro warranty that doesn’t require you to mail it in; the additional cost of Pro will save you tons of time and aggravation if you have to get onto the phone with support. Don’t forget Anti-Virus and a data backup solution. We have had poor experience with Sony Vios and other manufacturers that are targeted at multi-media users rather than business.”

Configuring the right machine for you and your future use of it takes a knowledge of the market and experience. The “right” purchase changes all the time. Nearly always you get what you pay for. If you see a “ good deal” chances are there is something in the configuration that makes it that price. If you are a careful shopper and know what to steer away from you can find some great deals out there. Because of all this we offer Purchase Assistance on a fixed or hourly basis to our non-Marathon clients (Marathon clients get it free).