Welcome to InterconnectNow - Interconnected Technologies' blog about technology and other items of interest to small businesses and individuals.

The topics here will usually deal with productivity-enhancing technologies of interest to small businesses and individuals, but are often of broader interest.  Productivity is the goal of all of this technology that we use. Enabling productivity through refining or adding technology-based capabilities is what we're obsessed with at Interconnected Technologies, and so this blog is dedicated to discussions of all things related to that.



Rackspace Exchange Account setup

One of the best and most powerful capabilities of hosted Microsoft Exchange service is the ability to use it seamlessly on mobile device(s), computer(s), and via the web. image

Rackspace provides a handy reference site for setting up your account on a wide range of devices.

Go to the Rackspace Email Help facility here:


Enter your email address and password.

You will be shown which Exchange platform you are using, and then given links to show how to set up the account on various devices.

If you need additional assistance setting up your account on any particular device, let us know!


Sharing your screen using LogMeIn Pro

One side benefit of being an Interconnected Technologies Managed Services client is the ability, provided by the LogMeIn Pro tool we install, to share your desktop with another user remotely.

To accomplish this, you right click on the LogMeIn icon in the lower right corner of your screen by the clock (you may have to expand the group of icons down there, as shown here):


When you click on Share my desktop…, you will see the following screen:


Once there, click on the Send an invitation… button.

You will be taken to the screen where you can give the invitation a title if you want to, and select the duration of the invitation:


Make your choices here, and click Next

On the next screen, we recommend that you choose to let LogMeIn send the invitation:


Click Next.

You now enter the email address of the guest, and craft the invitation you want sent:



The system will then send the invitation:




Your list of invitations will show in the original Share Your Desktop window:



The guest will receive an email like the one below, and can follow the simple instructions provided. The guest will click on the secure link in the email, and then click on Continue.



When a guest uses the link, you will see the following on your screen, and have 30 seconds to respond. If you don’t respond, the request will fail:


If you click Yes, you can specify whether the guest can control your computer, or simply view your screen:


Once your guest is connected to your screen, you will see the following status window at the top of your screen, reminding you that the guest is connected:


Your guest can switch between screens if he/she wants. To disconnect the guest, click on the Disconnect button in the status window.

If the invitation you sent is intended to be used more than once, your guest can save the email and use the link again!


Something Is Not Right!

OK, that’s pretty tongue in cheek, but simple mnemonics help me remember things. Maybe you too!

When something isn’t right and you want Interconnected Technologies to fix it, and if we’re not right there with you when it’s happening, the more information you can give us about the issue, the more likely we can fix it quickly and get you back to work.

Here’s a guide to how you can give us a more complete problem report that can help us help you!

Tell us where the problem is happening

Which user or users?
What device(s) or software program(s) or service(s)?

Describe what’s happening that indicates there is a problem

What is happening that’s bad?
What isn’t happening that is good, or that you expect, or usually happens?

Share with us what you see that indicates there is a problem

What error messages do you see?
What visual evidence can you share (a picture is always good!)?

Share with us any steps you’ve taken to try to resolve the problem

Have you restarted the devices, program or service, or done other things to try to resolve the problem on your own?

Here is a link to an already-written email that will help Outlook users send a problem report:


Using this link will open a new email in Outlook with a table ready to be filled in.  If you don’t use Outlook, you can send an email to support@interconnected.com with information about the items above. Thanks for helping us help you!


Help! I’m getting bounce-back messages for email I never sent!

“I’m getting all sorts of emails telling me that emails I never sent, to people I don’t know, couldn’t be delivered!” Or a variation on that theme. image

It happens from time to time, and it’s almost always the result of a practice called “spoofing”.

Anyone can, with the current architecture of internet email, cause email to be sent that appears to come from you, or me, or Rob Ford, or anyone! It’s one of the bigger problems on the net that the big spam filters work to shut down. It’s called “spoofing”:


There are mechanisms in place to address this to some extent, and their use is growing, but the problem continues.

What happens is that a spammer finds your email address somewhere, and then proceeds to send out hundreds; thousands; tens of thousands of emails that appear to come from that address. Most bounce back since most of the addressees don’t exist. Since those emails appear to have come from you, you get the bounce-back messages. Lucky you!

It’s nothing you did, and nothing you can control. The emails were not sent from you. They were not sent using your computer, or from your email account. They weren’t sent using your current email provider. They were “spoofed”. The spam filters will catch up with each round of spoofing and shut it down, over an indeterminate period of time. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Fun, huh?

As always, if you are a client of ours, or would like to be, please let us know if you have any questions about this.


Size matters, but so does resolution

“I want a laptop with a big monitor.” We hear that a lot. But what does it mean, exactly. First of all, “big” is relative. Is big 14” or is big 17”? What is “small”? 10”? 13”? Those are personal definitions and choices that vary from individual to individual.

Beyond that, though, lies a discussion about what “big” means when the term is applied to a computer display. Unlike a television, where this has become pretty much a one-dimensional discussion – all about physical size – “big” when applied to computer monitors is a relative term in two dimensions: physical size, and screen resolution.

Physical size means just what it sounds like: how big the thing is. Usually this is measured diagonally from corner to corner in inches. Screen resolution means the number of horizontal and vertical dots that make up the display. Even if you can’t see them, all displays are made up of dots - “pixels” – and the measurement is usually expressed as a number such as 1920x1080, which means that, regardless of its physical size, the display is 1920 dots across and 1080 dots high.

We’ll focus on laptop screens, since that’s where this comes up most often. Let’s deal first with physical size. A screen’s physical size is of primary importance only in that “television” sense: how big stuff looks when you look at the screen.

This is where people most often get mixed up. Ignoring for the moment the coming of 4K TVs (which hasn’t really happened yet at any reasonable price point) right now most televisions are the same resolution: “1080p”. 1080p in computer terms is 1920x1080 (dots, as described above). So, for televisions, a 32” economy model has the same resolution as a 60” super fancy one. The latter is just “bigger”. You don’t see any more stuff on the screen, but you can make it out from farther away. That distance factor is the only reason, other than impressing your guests, to choose a bigger television over a smaller one. This same concept applies to the physical dimension laptop displays.

The second dimension that’s important when discussing computer monitors – screen resolution - determines how much stuff you can see on the screen. That’s where the laptop discussion about “big” differs significantly from the television discussion about “big”.

In the case of laptops, both measures of “big” are important, and they interact in one key way. We’ll talk about that after we talk about resolution a bit more.

The lowest resolution available in current laptops is 1366x768. It’s available on laptops ranging in size from 10” to 17” and every size in-between. On any of those laptops, you see the same amount of stuff – 1366 dots wide and 768 dots high –  regardless of the physical size of the display. Resolution matters most when you’re discussing *doing* stuff on the laptop. If you want to see more stuff on the screen – if that’s why you want “big” – then it’s not bigger physical size you seek, it’s higher resolution.

There are laptops with 1600x900 resolution, 1920x1080 (the aforementioned 1080p) resolution, and some with even higher resolution. Apple tends to discuss resolution in terms of PPI (Pixels Per Inch), but still at any given size display this comes down to a horizontal and vertical measurement of resolution.

As the resolution goes up, the cost goes up. Current “premium” Windows laptop displays are 1600x900 or 1920x1080. Premium Apple displays vary, but are generally higher than 1080p. Laptops with resolution higher than 1080p cause issues that we’ll touch on only briefly later in this post.

Right now (and this will certainly change over time), a laptop between 13” and 14” at one of the premium resolutions discussed above balances physical size and resolution in a way that provides the best combination of size, visibility, and ability to get stuff done on the laptop.

There’s another aspect of this discussion that is important, especially for people of a “certain age”: the interaction between physical size and resolution. If you’ve been paying attention, you will see immediately that if the resolution is very high and the screen size is on the small end, the stuff on the screen (text, icons, etc.) will be very small. For a given physical size, if you raise the resolution, then necessarily the sizes of the dots that make up the screen gets smaller. That means icons, pictures, text – everything – looks smaller on a screen as we keep the physical size the same and up the resolution, or keep the resolution the same and shrink the physical size. This is important to keep in mind if you’re a member (or will be soon) of the reading glasses crowd. More important, even, if you are of that age and resisting becoming part of that crowd. Super high resolution is great, but not if you can’t read anything on the screen. All operating systems allow scaling of text and images on the screen that can mitigate this to some extent, and the internet is full of people complaining that this scaling doesn’t always work well.

Let’s wrap up: From the point of view of doing work on a laptop, 1366x768 is too low a resolution. At that resolution you must pretty much resign yourself to doing one thing at a time, and toggling between apps if you need to, for example, look at one thing while writing another. 1600x900 offers just enough resolution to allow looking at two things at once (as: one thing to which you’re referring, and another which you’re authoring). Laptops with 1920x1080 screens are interesting, and becoming more prevalent, but unless you get a 15” or 17” one of those, the super high resolution can result in text and icons that are too small to read comfortably for some people.

Some rules of thumb, then: 

  • If you just want to do one thing at a time, or don't want to spend the money for a higher resolution screen, get a laptop with 1366x768 resolution. The 15” laptops are currently the least expensive in this resolution.
  • If you want a laptop to mostly serve as a television / DVD player for a dorm room, apartment, or just for the heck of it, get a 17” one and don’t worry about the resolution.
  • If you want a tiny laptop that still offers reasonable ability to see what’s on the screen, get a 10” or 12” 1366x768 machine (or thereabouts – at this size there are several variations that are roughly the same as 1366x768).
  • If you want a balance of size and ability to multitask on the screen, get a 13” or 14” screen that’s 1600x900.
  • If you find yourself with a laptop that’s 1920x1080 or higher, and you’re over 40, be prepared to squint, to spend some time fiddling with scaling to get the sizes of things right.

And, as always, Interconnected Technologies stands ready to help you make the best choice for your situation, finances, preferences and usage patterns. Call us!