B&B Meeting Notes – Feb. 6, 2013

We had a great time on Wednesday morning at the Children’s Museum of Pgh. and a productive, informative meeting!  A big “thank you” to George, Mercy and the Children’s Museum Cafe for hosting & catering our meeting.

Meeting Topics and Resources

  • Social media questions
    • What networks? Linkedin? Facebook? Twitter? Blog?  (Find out where your audience is.)
    • Personal vs. professional – a persistent question.
    • Slideshow: 10 Social Media for Business Myths.
  • Virtual servers
    • Is one physical server/computer that has been partitioned at the hard drive level to function as two or more separate servers (they share hardware resources, but have separated disk space and operating systems).
    • VMware:  “How Virtualization Works.”
    • It’s good to have a second server (physical, not virtual) to back up the virtual one(s).
    • Benefits – you can allocate hard drive space as needed, assign disk space “on the fly,” upfront costs are a little higher but the overall long-term costs are lower (less servers to replace).
    • VMware has a feature – ability to move servers to another server easily.
    • When should you virtualize?  Generally if you have three servers or more, you should begin to consider it.
    • Backups / disaster recovery – people typically use external hard drives or cloud-based backup.
    • Sonic CDP (stands for “Continuous Data Protection”) is a good backup tool.
    • Mobile app for remote access called 2X Client.
  • Internet service providers (ISPs)
    • Connectel is a local isp/phone broker, they get paid in commission by telecom companies, so orgs pay nothing to get their assistance.  Local rep is Doug Dembiczak / ddembiczak@connectelinc.com.
    • Considerations: having a redundant internet line, shared vs. dedicated, up/down speeds.
    • Free online speed test available.
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) issues
    • Agency-owned vs. personal?
    • Who pays?  For equipment?  For data plans/service?
    • Important to have a policy for this.
  • Data/file system housekeeping policies
    • If your org has a document retention policy, use that for guidance on digital files.
    • Ok (and frequently necessary) to set limits on staff’s storage space.
    • A method for archiving email must be found.  Gmail is easy, Outlook and other programs are trickier.
    • 7 years seems to be a standard timeframe for keeping most docs, but check with your org’s solicitor for guidance.
    • Duplicate File Finder – free software that will go through your file system and find/display duplicate files.  Can be installed on a PC, doesn’t have to be the server.
  • SharePoint

Our next meeting will be at the Children’s Museum, Wednesday, March 6 (8:30-10 am).  Hope to see you there!

The 2013 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.


Allegheny B&B – March 2012 Meeting

This month was our last time for this year at the Frick Art & Historical Center in Point Breeze.  We are most grateful to Linda, Chris and the Frick staff for hosting us!

Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 4 at UCP/CLASS’s new building in Regent Square just off the Parkway East (1400 S. Braddock) from 8:30-10 a.m.  Visit the 2011 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar for more information.

Information & Resources from this month’s meeting:

In addition, Johna sent the link for the article she mentioned during our meeting:  10 Signs that You Aren’t Cut Out for IT.

Allegheny B&B – December 2009 Meeting Notes

This was our last month meeting at ACHIEVA on the South Side.  There are no Bagels & Bytes meetings in January (except for the Westmoreland group).  For the 2010 schedule, visit The Bagels & Bytes Calendar (including directions).

Here are the various resources and topics discussed during this month’s meeting:

  • Google Wave beta – several of us are playing around with this new social media/communications tool
  • Keeping equipment inventory
    • Built-in software if available
    • Need to get accounting involved at some point
    • Simple Access database and assign tracking tags/numbers to pieces of equipment
    • Some attempting in SharePoint
    • Might use interns
    • Have to stay on top of it
    • Spiceworks.com – has inventory & help desk functionality – free version or pay if don’t like advertisements
  • DonorPro fundraising software by TowerCare Technologies
    • Several B&B people moving to it soon
    • Reasonable cost (about half the monthly cost of Razor’s Edge)
    • DonorPro does data conversion too
  • Talked about NPOs’ reluctance to do cloud computing
  • Email archiving
  • Google software/products
    • Can now set up Gmail with organization’s own domain name
    • Lots of other Google collaboration tools besides email and calendar
    • Google now has shared folders – can set permissions user-by-user
  • How to track time when employees start working from home
    • Some allow exempt employees to work remotely but not non-exempt
    • Time tracking is a mgmt. and HR issue, not a tech issue
  • Have to prioritize tech projects and focus on the most important first – so don’t do all of them half-ways

Our next meeting will be held at Amani International Coffee House on the North Side, on February 3, 2010.  Please note that we are now holding our meeting from 8:30 – 10 am each month.