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.


Entries in Cloud computing (23)


Outlook Connector update

If you are using Windows Live Mail, Hotmail or MSN mail for your email (really, these are all the same thing), and using the very functional (and free) Outlook Connector to sync email, contacts and calendar with Outlook on your PC – good for you! This relatively little-known combination can deliver, for free, almost the same experience with webmail, Outlook and mobile devices that the non-free Microsoft Exchange delivers (and did I mention it’s free?). The overall experience is superior in many ways to the more trendy Gmail.

This add-on, the Outlook Connector, will from time to time demand to be updated. I use the word “demand” advisedly. Unlike most maintenance, the Outlook Connector will stop functioning if not updated.

The message: do the update when asked!



LogMeIn user creation process

Interconnected Technologies provides many of its clients remote access to their computers using the same secure service we use to provide remote support: LogMeIn.

Giving a client user access to his or her computer involves the creation and acceptance of an invitation. The invitation is sent to the user’s email address, which serves as that user’s LogMeIn userid:




Clicking on link under “To accept the invitation . . .” will take the new user to this screen, on which the user enters his/her name and chooses a password which only he or she will know:


Choosing a password that the system rates as “Strong” is essential, since this is, after all, providing access to one or more computers from “outside”. Strong passwords are those that are at least 6 characters long and contain upper and lower case letters, numbers and at least one special character, such as a hyphen or comma.

Once the user fills in the required information and presses the Create Account button, he/she will see the screen displaying the computer(s) to which the user account has been given access.

Subsequent access can be accomplished by visiting http://www.logmein.com, entering the email address and password. The same screen mentioned above will be displayed, allowing the user to access the computers to which the logged-iin account has access.

For more information on the next steps in this process, see:


And, as always, call us if you need additional assistance!


XFINITY EasySolve: just because you can do a thing . . .


Comcast is sending out emails announcing a new service called EasySolve. It’s a self-help tool that purports to help resolve multiple types of issues that users may face. While this may be a good and valuable tool, the first question should be: “Is it necessary?” For Interconnected Technologies clients the answer is, for now, “no”.

Just as with the ConstantGuard offering from Comcast, EasySolve may or may not ultimately be a part of what we recommend to clients. For now, though, there is enough concern about stability and function to cause is to advise staying away from both offerings, with one key exception, which we’ll discuss below.

The Comcast home and Business internet service remain rock solid, and we recommend them. It’s just the add-on products of which one must be wary. Not because they’re bad, but because they’re new, relatively untested, and at least for now largely unnecessary. They may prove to be useful, or they may prove to be at best unnecessary, and at worst potentially destructive (like Registry Mechanic, Driver Detective and other well-meaning but overly-invasive programs).

One principle on which we base our service is that we should obtain services from the best specialists in each area, bundling those services only where it makes clear sense. Comcast is an excellent Internet Service Provider, and their phone service is quite good, but as they grow into other areas: product provider, Exchange provider, support provider, backup provider, etc., those other areas must be evaluated individually: are they the best provider of that service?

The one exception? Norton Security Suite, which is at the core of the ConstantGuard offering, is absolutely necessary, which is why our Comcast residential clients use that one piece of the ConstantGuard suite of products.

Navigating all this can be complex and fraught with difficulty, unless you have Interconnected Technologies guiding you through it!


Windows 8 is coming!



Just a placeholder, a forecast, a prediction, a hope. Windows 8 is coming. Most people have heard that in one way or another or seen a picture, or something.

Windows 8, if done correctly, can change everything. We’ve worked with clients to give them access to much of their Windows “stuff” on smartphones and tablets in some way shape or form. It’s not straightforward, no matter what Microsoft, Apple, Egnyte, or anyone else says. Imagine if your smartphone or tablet actually ran Windows, and ran it well - if your stuff were just there, in largely the same way in largely the same place across your phone, tablet, laptop and desktop.

That would really be something. And Windows is really the only platform that could do it, given current market share numbers.

But we’re not talking about Windows as we all know it. We’re talking about the same Windows files and data and applications, but running in an entirely different way, on an entirely different OS.

We’ve been looking at Windows 8’s beta release for a couple of months and like all betas it’s not finished yet, but if Microsoft can pull this off, it has the potential to make using a phone, tablet, laptop and desktop a much more seamless experience than has been possible, or could be possible, with any other platform, ever. With the futures of Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Dell, Lenovo, HP, Nokia, the cellular carriers, and a thousand other companies that nobody’s ever heard of all tied up together in this, there certainly is potential for a circular firing squad. If, however, they can focus and really bring this off, it’ll be the most significant platform upgrade since Windows itself. And yes, I do know about MacOS. And yes, I’m guessing Apple has a few tricks up its sleeve too – MacOS 11 anyone? iOS 6? Maybe some convergence? A unified MacOS and iOS would be significant, since Apple still has a majority share of the tablet market, and a significant share of the smartphone market. But this would pale in comparison to what Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 have the potential to do, if done correctly.

The convergence of phone, tablet, laptop and desktop. Not to mention radio, television, and movies, is happening. Microsoft and Apple still control the computer market with 92% and 4% respectively (that’s 96% total; the rest is Linux and “other”), and while Android tops the smartphone market, and will probably continue to do so, Gartner and IDC have predicted that Windows Phone will be #2 within 3 years. And Windows 8 comes out this year, maybe along with Windows Phone 8, which will in some large part be based on Windows 8.

This all started just a couple of years ago, remember, and 2012 may not be the year that the earth changes rotation and we all go flying off into space, but Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and maybe MacOS 11 and some sort of MacOS/iOS convergence, could be the earth-shattering occurrences the Mayans predicted!

This should be fun.

Just in time for Christmas!


Rackspace Email or Outlook Web Access Login

Over time I am migrating more clients to Rackspace’s web-based email and Exchange offerings. These services can be accessed it in several ways, one of which we’ll describe here: via the web.

“Webmail” used to mean a completely separate, independent internet-based mechanism to access one’s email from time to time, typically when away from one’s “main” computer. It was entirely separate from one’s main way of doing email, and nothing done in Webmail was ever reflected back in the “Main” email program (typically Outlook). That was before Microsoft Exchange became available as a hosted service at a reasonable price. Paired with the less-expensive Rackspace Mail, now clients can access email through Outlook, smartphones, tablets and via any internet-connected computer, and all with no loss of information: everything is available in each place, and changes in one are reflected in the other. This is one of the key advantages of this type of email.

With Rackspace’s service, there are two types of accounts: Rackspace Mail and hosted Microsoft Exchange. Each has its advantages; among them: access from any internet-connected computer. Rackspace Mail is intended to be used as an entirely web-based email program (like Gmail, Yahoo, and others), but also allows use through mobile devices. Microsoft Exchange can be accessed via the web, through Outlook and through mobile devices.

Logging in via an Internet-connected Computer

To access one’s mailbox (of whichever flavor), you may visit Interconnected Technologies’ web site and follow the link to Rackspace’s services, or you may go directly to this site:


You will see the following screen, regardless of whether you are a Rackspace Mail or Exchange user.



Enter your email address and password


Press the Log In button

(if you are on a private, secure computer, used only by you, you may first check the “Remember this info” checkbox to allow the web site to sign you in automatically in the future)

If you are a Rackspace Mail user, you will see the webmail screen:


If you are a Microsoft Exchange user, you will see the Outlook Web Access screen:


That’s it – this is how you access your mailbox from any Internet-connected computer.