To Drive File Stream Or Not To Drive File Stream

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There are some awesome features that G Suite Basic and Business offer.  The advent of Google Drive and the Google Drive client for Mac/PC were big game changers, especially when it came to being able to access your files from anywhere on any device.  Google has now enhanced that ability with Drive File Stream.

Challenges with Google Drive for Mac/PC
One of the challenges that Google Drive had, and specifically with the Google Drive client for Mac/PC, was that you had to sync the files/folders that you wanted to be able to work on to your Mac or PC, or use some type of Chrome Extension like the Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office to directly access Google Drive for web and load the data into the application. Kind of a pain and it may have warranted you syncing a plethora of files and folders to your workstation, taking up valuable drive space on your computer. Well no more!

Drive File Stream
Introducing Drive File Stream! Drive File Stream is a new app that allows you to access your Google Drive files directly from your Mac or PC, without using up all of your hard drive space. Drive File Stream doesn’t require you to download your files first in order to access them from your computer. Instead, when you need to view or edit a file, it automatically streams from the cloud, on-demand. Teams will spend less time now waiting for files to sync and worrying about disk space.

What if I’m not connected to the internet?
You can still access files even if you’re not online.  As with Google Drive for Mac/PC, you can still select files or folders that you want to access offline at anytime. The files that you are likely to work on from your Mac or PC become available in the background intelligently, making it much quicker to access them later.

Access files in File Stream directly from my desktop apps
With Drive File Stream, you can work with Drive files directly from the apps you’re used to, like Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop. Any changes you make to files in those apps are saved automatically to Drive and can be accessed from any of your devices later.

Benefits of Drive File Stream

  • Frees up disk space and network bandwidth
  • Decreases sync time
  • Minimizes the amount of company data stored on users’ hard drives
  • Access files directly from apps you use like MS Word, Excel, or Adobe Photoshop
  • Access files in Team Drives
  • Stream files on demand
  • Sync selected files and folders in My Drive folder

Will Google Drive for Mac/PC go away?
Yep. So you’ll want to move to File Stream prior to the dates below. Google stated on their official G Suite Blog that “With this launch, Google Drive for Mac/PC is officially deprecated. It will no longer be supported starting on December 11th, 2017, and it will shut down completely on March 12th, 2018. We encourage you to use Drive File Stream.”

OK, I’m sold! How do I install Drive File Stream?
Installing Drive File Stream is pretty straightforward. If you are receiving the below pop up on your computer, click on the “Install Drive File Stream” button and then follow the below instructions. Please note, you will want to disconnect and uninstall Google Drive for Mac/PC after installing and verifying that Drive File Stream is working IF the Drive File Stream installation doesn’t remove the Google Drive for Mac/PC client automatically.

As always, if you have questions or want to drop us a line, feel free to do so. We’d love to chat with you!

Steps to install:

Download File Stream here

After downloading the client, clock on the installation file to start the installation process

In the “Sign in to Google Drive” window, enter your G Suite email address

Next, enter your G Suite password

NOTE:  If you have 2 step verification enabled, just follow the instructions – if not, goto next step

In the permission window, click on the “Allow” button

Once the installation is complete, click on the “Close” button

Verify Drive File Stream is working by access Finder or Windows File Explorer

If the Google Drive for Mac/PC client isn’t uninstalled automatically, disconnect and uninstall it by following these instructions

Once completed, verify that the data in the Google Drive folder is on the web by accessing Google Drive via your web browser.  Once you have verified the data is there, you can delete the old Google Drive folder.  You may choose to keep the folder around for a few days just to make sure.

That’s it!

Backing Up Your Text Messages – 101

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SMS Backup +

So there you were….reviewing your most recent email when suddenly your phone dies.  You try and try and try some more, to get it back up and running.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zippo.  You put in a call to your carrier’s tech support for help.  After working with them for sometime, they finally tell you that you are going to need to reset your phone and all your data will be lost.

So you think to yourself, that’s not going to be so bad.  So you’ll have to reinstall apps and re-configure the look and feel of your phone.  Big deal!  Your email and contacts are safe and sound in Gmail.  Nice!  And your documents are good to go on your Google Drive.  No worries!

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Saving Dollars Makes Sense

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Small businesses around the nation pretty much have one thing in common.  They have a phone line or two coming into their business.  Another thing they have in common?  They are paying WAAAAY too much for those phone lines and not receiving any features, except basic ones, like call waiting or caller ID.

Case in point.  I was implementing Google Apps for Business for a small, construction company.  After chatting with them I had found out that they had three phone lines from the local phone company.  Their total bill was $230/month or almost a whopping $2800/yr!  Another business I work with was spending close to $2100/yr. for four phone lines coming into their shop.  To small businesses, these are huge costs!

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I.T. Business Services LLC, Now Telcom VAR

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I.T. Business Services LLC has recently become a telcom VAR (Value Added reseller). With this addition to our portfolio, we can now provide end to end solutions for the small to medium sized business.  This takes the worry out of having to work with multiple vendors and gives the business owner or project manager a true one-stop-shop option.

For example, if a small business needs a VoIP business phone system solution, not only can we provide, setup and train the client on the phone equipment, but we can also provide the internet service needed for the VoIP solution.

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Shazam! Google Keep… an Evernote killer?

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Have you ever had that quick thought come to mind and you immediately reach for those sticky notes?  Of course you have.  We’ve all done it.  Then, we take that note and stick it to our desk, fridge, mirror or dashboard.  Rarely, however, are we back at the spot where that note resides when we need it.  So what do we do?

Enter Google Keep.  Google Keep is an Android app that allows you to quickly capture thoughts, checklists, voice annotations or pictures via your smart device and then stores them in the cloud so that you can access that info from anywhere.
With Google Keep you can:
  • Keep track of your thoughts by notes, lists, and pictures
  • Color code your thoughts
  • Setup home screen widgets to capture thoughts and info quickly
  • Store your notes in the cloud and access them from anywhere

New Service – SOS Online Backup

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Are you backing up your data?  If not, why not?  Is it a hassle?  Do you forget to do it? Is it just one of those things that you have on your list of things to do and will “get to” when you have more time?

I work with a lot of different clients, from individuals to businesses, and a large percentage do not backup their data.  So I always ask the question, “What would you do if you lost all your family pictures?  What would you do if you lost company data, like Quickbooks?”  First they will say “cry” and then they start to think about it a bit more and they will inevitably tell me, “You know, I don’t know what I would do.”

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Are Big Tech Companies Just That Nice?

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In the past few months we have received calls from clients saying that a big tech company, like Microsoft, contacted them saying that they have detected a virus, malware, or some type of issue on their PC.  Pretty nice of them right?

Does this really happen?  Are these big tech companies just that nice?  In a lot of cases, they are great to work with…but this is NOT one of those cases.  Microsoft, or any other tech company, is not going to pick up the phone to let you know that there is something wrong with your PC let alone software on your PC.  They have already put measures in place (think “Patch Tuesday” and automatic updates here people) that help prevent a lot of these types of issues.  Can you imagine the amount of phone calls that they would be making?  A lot of phone calls…a LOT…of…phone calls!

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Password Security… Who needs it, really?

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Passwords.  We all use ’em, we all need ’em… or otherwise.  With recent security breaches in the news, (LinkedIneHarmony, etc.) being diligent and vigilant with your password management is key.

According to a recent blog post at OpenDNS, one of the biggest issues is people use weak passwords.  The most common passwords are:  “123456,” “12345,” “123456789,” “password,” or “iloveyou.”  Are you using one of these passwords?  If so, it’s time to change your ways!
A dilemma that everyone struggles with, however, is having different, strong enough passwords for all the sites they visit on the interweb.  The argument is that there is no way to remember all of those passwords, so we will just use one standard password….everywhere, all the time.  Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG!!  Did I mention that it’s wrong?
“So if it’s wrong, Mr. Smarty Pants, how do I come up with strong, unique passwords AND….remember them” you ask?  Enter LastPass!
LastPass Password Manager is a free password management service that plugs into just about any browser like Chrome,FirefoxSafariOpera, or Internet Explorer.  In a nutshell, with LastPass you can auto generate a password based on length, numbers, letters (upper and lower case), special characters, and with a minimal digit count.  Once the password is generated, you can store it, along with the site URL, your login name to the site, any other pertinent info about the site and you can then place it in a category (i.e.-shopping, banking, sports, etc.)  But, that’s not the greatest thing about LastPass.  The greatest thing about LastPass is that the next time you visit, say that shopping site, LastPass willAUTOMAGICALLY enter your login credentials to the site for you.  You don’t even have to remember them!  That’s the beauty of LastPass, you don’t have to remember ANY of your passwords EXCEPT the master password to access your LastPass account!

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Printing… from Pluto?

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Have you ever needed to print something and you were away from your printer?  We’ve all been there at some point.  Google Cloud Print allows you to print from anywhere to any of your printers.  Maybe not from Pluto but hey, if there were an internet connection?  Hmmmm….

Cloud Print is a new technology that allow you to connect your printers to the web.   Whether you’re on the road, visiting a client’s office, or at your friend’s home you can print to your Google Cloud Print connected printer anytime, anywhere.

What happens if you can’t get back to your printer to get your print job when you really need it?  No problem, you can now use Cloud Print to send your print job to any FedEx Office locale.
So, if you need to print something in a pinch, use Google Cloud Connect.  Printing….from the cloud….made easy!
*Currently not available on Pluto.

The Kitchen Sync

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We’ve all heard that saying, “You can’t take it with you.”  Now, you can… least when it comes to your favorites, button bar, history and various settings in Google Chrome.

Chrome is fast and it’s minimalism is great, two reason’s I switched to it back in the day.  I still use it because it’s fast but also because of the different extensions and the various development that has gone into the product.  Being able to sync Chrome settings from one computer to another and have that same familiar feel is a great addition.
To access the sync feature, you will need to upgrade Chrome to the latest version (16.0.912.63).  To do that click on the wrench in the upper right-hand part of the window, then About Google Chrome, and in the next window the update will start to happen automagically (yes, it’s a real word….go ahead and look it up.)
Once updated and you have restarted your browser session simply click on the wrench again and then Sign into Chrome. Use your Google Apps account to sign in and then select the items that you want to sync.  It’s that simple.
If you want to see a bit more, feel free to view the video below or visit Google’s Chrome blog on this feature.