|This month we look at:
Lots of people are talking about cloud computing. But what is it? In essence it means running your computers from the internet: data, programs, the lot.
So why do it? Well, it can give you access to your files anywhere you can get an internet connection; you can back up to the internet; you can share documents with others; programs are always the latest updates.
Sounds cool, but should I be worried about anything? Well, how do you work if you lose your internet connection? What if it takes days to restore your documents? Do you want someone else looking after your confidential files?
Bit swings and roundabouts, really. One thing to be aware of is data protection. If you place your data in the cloud, it might end up being stored outside the EU. Different data protection rules might cause problems for you if you have any files that need DPA registration.
Not many new businesses buy faxes these days, but we still often need to send or receive maps/diagrams or whatever.
So we turn to scanning and emailing – a nice solution but one that can take a lot of time and frustration unless you have a plan. The three main parameters are size of the original, scanning time and file size.
So what if the thing you want to copy won't fit your scanner? You have three choices, all of which will give a lower-quality copy:
scan it in sections and then 'stitch' it together – but this will create a massive file and more problems
Take a photograph of it – it may look a bit distorted
scan it in sections and send them individually – let them glue the pages together!
The bigger the image, the greater the resolution and the higher the colour quality all affect the time it takes to scan the image and also the size of the resulting file.
Look at the original: if it's a simple pen sketch will a black and white scan do? Or grey scale?
And think of the final use: will it be printed or just looked at on a screen? Will a resolution of 100DPI be enough? After all, most monitors only have a 96 DPI resolution.
Now we have to send it. As a general rule, it is best to keep the size of attachments under 2mb as most email systems will accept these. You also need to think whether the recipient has the programs to open the file.
Saving the scan as a jpg image from your scanning or image software gives a file that virtually anyone can open. But think about the level of compression that you can use to reduce the size of the file. Setting the quality/compression to 75% is pretty much undetectable by the human eye. 50% is acceptable if you really need to squeeze the size. You can also reduce the colour depth to 16-bit.
You only really need 100% and 32-bit for print-ready artwork.
So follow these tips to save time in your scanning and emailing.
Sending large files
Above, we talked about scanning and file sizes. But what if you really have to get a massive file to someone else?
Well, we need to use one of the many online sites that let us upload the file to it and we then email a link to the other person who can then download the file.
Type “large file transfer” into a search engine and see what comes up. Some are paid-for, some have a trial period and some are free. But they do work.
Two things to bear in mind:
you are entrusting a third party with your data, so someone else might read it;
it may be held outside the EU, where data protection is much lower.
Now the first issue is the same as someone intercepting your email. It is possible to save your document as a password-protected pdf file, for example, and send the password separately. An alternative is to download and use 7-zip to create a password-protected file although the other end will need to download it as well.
For the second, you may consider password protection to be enough. If not you will need to increase the encryption and/or find a way that keeps the file inside the EU
Keeping your mobile going for longer
Many of us have these clever smart-phones. But the batteries don't seem to last long, do they?
So what to do? Well most of the battery power goes on radio communication. So the simple answer is to turn off what you don't need. The two big killers are 3g data connections and especially WiFi. If you don't need continual emails, twitter feeds and other stuff, then check your phone and turn 3g and WiFi off. Just put them on when you need them.
If you have an android phone, there is a great free app called Quick Profiles that lets you you can set up a number of profiles of settings so that you can select exactly what you want with one button press.
People that I'm working with
I've spent some very useful time with Sarah McCloughry of Anrah Mind and Body. She works on giving people influence, presence and impact using very interesting methods. Well worth a chat to help you with sales and communication.
Janice Morrison of Thames Training provides inhouse and public first-aid training courses. You'll need it when you build up a staff.
Franchise partner opportunities
We've released the next five territories for franchise partners to join the fleet using our proven business model to build a successful business.
The flying doctor is looking for enthusiastic individuals who enjoy working with computers. You can help them run their own business and turn their passion into profit!
Think of the people you know who would like this opportunity then get them to:
call the flying doctor on 01865 748197
visit the website
to start on their success.