The following are a few examples of the services we offer our clients:
All of our services are rendered on-site. We'll come to your home or place of work, assess your needs, solve your problems, and provide you with expert assistance. We have experience, and a large library of troubleshooting software that assist us in performing the following:
- Diagnosis of computer problems
- Purchase recommendations for new computer systems
- Workflow analysis
- Upgrades of computer hardware and software
- System cleaning and optimization
- Moving files from one computer to another
- PC to Mac switching support
For Microsoft Windows users, we also offer the following services:
- Eradication of Spyware and Popup Advertisements
- Virus prevention and removal.
(We would offer these services to Mac OS X and Unix users, but those systems don't tend to have these kinds of problems).
Some examples of services we offer across all platforms:
- Backup - Making sure the data you have on your computer today is still there tomorrow is probably one of the most important, and most neglected things you can do. We have experience setting up multi-platform backup and restore systems, so you can rest easy knowing that your data is safe.
- Security - We take a holistic view of security, from protecting the physical hardware to making sure that the computers are inoculated against computer viruses and other net-borne ailments. While the outside threats might seem the largest, accidental deletions and malicious former employees can often wreak havoc with a computer system that isn't properly secured.
- Upgrades - With computer parts becoming commoddity goods, it's
relatively easy to add peripherals or storage to a computer - the biggest problem is knowing what will work in your system, performs best, is most reliable, and would best meet your needs.
Mac OS X
We've been using Macs since the original 512k "fat" Mac was released in 1984. With over 21 years of experience using Apple products, we know the Mac - it's not just something we do on the side.
With the advent of Mac OS X, the power of Unix comes to the Mac platform. While this entails a huge change for long time users, the changes usher in a new age of power, speed, and reliability. It also makes it easier to provide custom solutions and leverage the huge library of software available on Mac and Unix platforms to make your work easier.
We support many versions of Mac OS, from the classic systems up to 9 to the new Mac OS X 10.0-10.4. Here are some solutions we provide using the Mac:
- Video editing - Apple's Final Cut line of video editing programs brings professional video editing to the masses. iMovie gives the casual user a new way to jazz up a home movie. Building a Mac that runs these applications well while keeping a reasonable budget can be frustrating without the right help.
- Graphic design - While not as demanding as the Apple's Pro
Apps (Final Cut, et al.), photo editing, design, and page layout
programs from Adobe,
Quark, and Macromedia products make up a huge portion of the Mac
Setting up a good pattern for workflow in an home or office environment
can be a daunting task without a good set of tools, and knowhow to use
- Leveraging the Unix underbelly of the Mac OS X - There's a huge amount of Unix software out there that the power user can use to do what was previously impossible on a Mac. Running an in-house webserver or setting up some automated scripts can greatly simplify your work.
To say that Microsoft's Windows operating systems are ubiquitous would almost be an understatement. More computer systems run Windows than any other operating system, and more software is produced for it than any other OS.
We have experience on several flavors of Windows, starting with the 95-98-Millennium series and NT 3.5, 4.0, and then moving on to Windows 2000 and XP. Also, we've administered server versions of NT 4, Windows 2000 and 2003 Server, with Active Directory, Terminal Services, Exchange Mail, and Software Update Services.
Solutions we support for Windows users:
- Terminal Services - As a part of Microsoft's Windows 2000 and 2003 Server products, it is now possible to replace the PC at your desk with a thin terminal, or even use older PC's that couldn't run an upgraded OS to run the newest applications. This can lead to a savings in both upgrade cost and administrative time.
We've been using Unix since 1995, on a variety of platforms, and supporting it's various incarnations since 1998.
Unix based operating systems offer flexibility and elegance of design, along with the ability to be customized at an extremely low level for the task at hand. This makes them excellent server machines, and some of the most secure systems available when properly configured.
Systems we've used and administered:
- Linux - on x86 (PC) and PowerPC (Apple) hardware
- OpenBSD - on x86 (PC) and Sparc (Sun) hardware
- FreeBSD - on x86 (PC) hardware
- NetBSD - on x86, (PC), PowerPC (Apple), and 680x0 (Apple) hardware
- Solaris - on Sparc (Sun) hardware
We're also familiar with administrating several other Unix systems (AIX, HPUX, Digital/Compaq/HP Tru64). Here are few Unix-based solutions we've set up:
- Web Serving and Media Streaming - Using the Apache web server, and various server side programs such as Perl and PHP, we've set up sites that get hundreds of thousands of hits per month. We've also set up Helix (RealNetworks) streaming media servers to allow the streaming of live video and audio streams over the internet.
- Firewalls and Network Routing - Using ipf and pf (on OpenBSD), along with the various firewall functionalities of Linux (ipchains, iptables, etc.). These provide a best of breed security solution, with a flexibility unmatched by dedicated hardware solutions.
- Mail and DNS services - While we have used Sendmail and Bind, most of the new systems we've set up use the more secure qmail and djbdns, both of which have excellent security and reliability records.
- File services - A unix file server can serve files for both Macs and PCs, using netatalk and Samba. In the pre-Mac OS X days, this was often the best way to get files between the two platforms over a network.
- Network Caching - By a web caching program such as Squid, it's possible to make a small internet link work for a large office, while speeding up the web browsing experience for everyone.
- Various other services - There are a myriad of other
smaller services, such as a DHCP server to assign IP addresses on a
network or NTP servers to keep all the clocks on the right time.
We assist in setting up networks from beginning to end, from planning and site surveys to running the cable. We support both wired and wireless networks, and we use the latest technology to ensure that you get the best in speed, ease of use, and security for every dollar you spend. Here are some examples of service we provide:
- Wired networking
- Fast and Gigabit Ethernet
- SAN's (storage area networks), and NAS (network attached storage) solutions
- Wireless networking
- Within a home or small office
- Across a larger office or campus setting
- Point to point between buildings
- VPN (virtual private networks) solutions to let you securely connect to a home or office network from a remote location.
- Security and network firewalls, to keep your computers and data from being compromised
- Setup of network printing, and other network attached devices
If you require training in a certain piece of software, we can often provide you with a comprehensive solution, including written documentation and presentations in your home or office. Both individual and group training is available - please inquire for a quote for larger groups.
Here are some examples of individual and group training we've provided in the past:
- Document creation, organization, and management
- How to design, code, and maintain a website
- Technical training for system and application administration
- Backup system maintainence
Support plans are offered mainly for business users - we can arrange to visit your workplace on a periodic basis, and you can purchase a block of hours at a discounted rate. During these times, we can provide assistance with current problems, do periodic system maintenance, or any of the other services we offer.
If you require a solution that goes beyond what is available off the
shelf, we can create a customized solution tailored to your exact needs. We specialize in cross-platform development, and integrating diverse systems - for example, having your e-commerce website able to access your inventory system would be quite useful for a retail business. If there's no packaged solution available to solve your problem, we can help.
For web design, we occasionally refer to outside designer, but for simple or database-backed sites, our in-house team will tackle the job. We design to web standards, and use the latest technologies to give you a beautiful, maintainable website that can easily be extended to fit your future needs.