Stories by James E. Gaskin

Laptop wireless security refresher

Let's recap: during my first Laptop Safety Seminar in Indianapolis on April 23, I was surprised at how many questions from the audience concerned basic laptop wireless security. People love laptops and love wireless connections, but don't love the extra security steps required so too often just avoid them. Not a good plan.

SMB - Mail services reach out for you

If e-mail is the killer app of the Internet, spam is the scourge of the same. Small businesses that reach out via e-mail campaigns, trying to do the right thing after listening to marketing advice, often run into a buzzsaw of criticism from e-mail recipients. "Spammer scumbag" is a relatively polite response businesses see even when they carefully monitor the e-mail campaign they run themselves without help.

Younger workers and data security

Ever had to examine one problem from two completely different viewpoints? I got to do that after speaking to the Mystery Writers of America Southwest chapter in a session called "Technology goes bad" on Saturday, then on Tuesday talking to Symantec about protecting data. Saturday I told writers how to help characters steal data, then Tuesday I considered how to stop them.

SMB - E-Mail options improve

E-mail: Can't live without it, can't stand the hassles. Is it any wonder many people rely on Instant Messaging for co-worker communications?

SMB - Remote storage management

Growing companies must break through many barriers, and technology provides barriers aplenty. Moving from a small company storage model to a medium company storage model takes effort, planning and more manpower. For those fighting to get a better handle on their storage resources, CommVault wants to throw you a lifeline.

Money-saving tips for SMBs

On the response sheets I get from those who attend the speeches I make at the ITEC conferences, "Reducing hardware and software costs" always ranks in the top third of important issues. One of my goals is to help SMBs maximize the value of technology in their business. Sometimes that means spending less, sometimes it means spending more. Let's talk about spending less today.

The problem with Leopard's Time Machine

I'm sorry but I have to interject a bit of negative feedback into the parade of praise about Apple's new operating system, Leopard (aka Mac OS X 10.5). I'm impressed with many of the improvements, but recent reports about the built-in backup utility, Time Machine, overlook a critical flaw: Trust Time Machine and you run the risk of losing all your data, period, if bad luck targets you and your Macintosh.

Modifying software-as-a-service

One of the complaints about software-as-a-service (SaaS), at least from large companies, is the inability for a customer to modify the software. Enterprises often buy applications based on a database, such as Oracle, and have in-house programmers to make any required changes.

Iomega and removable storage

Good data backup means taking your data offsite. Most people think tape drives when this subject comes up, but Iomega wants you to think "removable hard drive" and created this market almost 25 years ago.

NetWare Cluster Services - Two Choices

"Mission critical" today translates in its basic form to server uptime. But it's hard to know what the best option is for ensuring uptime in your environment. Do you put all your eggs in one basket and go with a new megaserver? Or do you distribute applications across multiple servers, each with standby capability? Or do you set up server clusters?