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  1. #1


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    Question "On the road computing"

    Well...new challenge at work...wooohooo!!!!!!

    Boss wants to develop some "on the road" computing. ie. wants to be able to take a laptop on the road and catch up on email, read/respond/create new, plus work on some excel documents or word documents etc.

    Not an unreasonable request...not to difficult.

    Problem is, this will be a shared laptop with sales people and therefore is not their primary computer, they all have desktops in the office. We host our own mail using MS Exchange and MS Outlook and there is the MS Outlook Web Access but its only really functionally while online via a internet connection as far as I know.

    He wants to be able to come back to the office and "sync" up his work documents automatically and anytime he gets a internet connection while on the road, have it automatically send any messages he's typed while offline plus retrieve any new email he's receiveda and hell...why not sync up those word and excel documents too!!!!

    Any one doing this stuff? or have experience regarding to sync this MS Office type data between mobile and desktop puters?

    Thanks
    Mot

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  3. #2

    =Sarc='s Avatar

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    Re: "On the road computing"

    I think a Virtual Private Network (VPN) would be a good direction. A network drive can be shared on the VPN. Your boss has his files on the network drive and can access it from his desktop or when he logs in on the VPN. Access would be slower since it's over an Internet connection but there wouldn't be any need to sync files.

    For the e-mail, I don't know of any solutions. Although, if he's checking his e-mail on the road, he's probably opening up an e-mail program. It should send any messages he's replied to while offline.
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  5. #3

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    Re: "On the road computing"

    well, anything in outlok will "sync up" when connected to the exchange server. just put everyone on a seperate profile, and you can set up seperate exchange servers for each.

    for the word and excel docs......

    right click on the desktop and choose new, then breifcase...

    as for actual "on the road" computing, well, AT&T until the end of the month is giving a rebate on a wireless pcmcia card (249.99) with a 2 year agreement to their unlimited plan (79.95 a month) so you can be connected to the internet @ ~64-130k 24-7 anywhere you can pick up cingular or AT&T. decent speed for surfing

    I am getting it and my work is paying for it. now they can get me anytime day or night on the phone or on the computer, even in the car. (YAY?????)
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  7. #4

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    Re: "On the road computing"

    I haven't messed with the briefcase feature for a long time but at one time there were issues with long filenames. You had to use the 8.3 format for files. I can't confirm that this is still an issue but maybe some more research on the Internet will turn up the answer to that question. Or DdogG, if you have used it maybe you can answer that question.

    Depending on the version of OS you use, MS has an offline file option. I think it is only available in 2K and XP Pro. The kicker is that the data has to reside on an MS Server in order for that to work. You would probably have to do some testing to see how it would work with multiple people. I personally have not used this feature but have read a little bit about it so I can't offer any more information than I have.

    DDogG, I am not sure but I think when you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by =DDogG=
    ....you can set up seperate exchange servers for each.
    Perhaps you meant something else. Could you explain a little more please?

    As far as Sarc's comment about the VPN goes, that is a good idea as well. The VPN can encrypt the information exchanged between the laptop and the VPN "server". If that is important, you may want to look into the VPN option as well.

    [volun]

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    Re: "On the road computing"

    Quote Originally Posted by =DdogG=
    as for actual "on the road" computing, well, AT&T until the end of the month is giving a rebate on a wireless pcmcia card (249.99) with a 2 year agreement to their unlimited plan (79.95 a month) so you can be connected to the internet @ ~64-130k 24-7 anywhere you can pick up cingular or AT&T. decent speed for surfing

    I am getting it and my work is paying for it. now they can get me anytime day or night on the phone or on the computer, even in the car. (YAY?????)
    Can you let me know how well this works please? Our company president is using Sprint for the same thing and word is starting to get out to the sales people. I would be curious if one is any easier or has more coverage area vs. the other.

    [volun]

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    Re: "On the road computing"

    For e-mail you could consider converting any "mobile" account users over to an IMAP mail configuration rather than POP3. With IMAP your e-mails and mail "folders" are stored on the server and when your remote client connects it gets an index of the e-mailed contained in your IMAP spool. It would allow people to see the SAME emails in their inbox without having to worry about it being stored on any individual computer as is such with POP3.

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    Re: "On the road computing"

    with xp, each profile (or user account) can connect to the same exchange server .....or different ones for that matter..... on the same machine. the whole" only one echange server at a time" thing applies to individual users.

    xp's briefcase has a 255 character limit.

    the wireless internet is a hard one to reccomend. here, AT&T and cingular cover 100% of the state with local coverage. that might not be the case where you live, but the cards work just like a cell phone, most use a sim card. whatever is most prevelent in your area would be the one I would choose.
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    Re: "On the road computing"

    We'll be all over the world. International and National travel.

    I think we can find a decent pc sync software to handle the data files and just setting up a pop3 mail account saving a copy of the email on the server will get them the email on the laptop without having to stay connected. I'm still not sure about how to get the sent messages onto the exchange server from the laptop if they initiate the message from the laptop.

    That isn't huge, at the worst they can bcc themselves on whatever they send which most likely won't be a ton of email.

    Anymore thoughts let me know.

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    Re: "On the road computing"

    Quote Originally Posted by Apophis
    For e-mail you could consider converting any "mobile" account users over to an IMAP mail configuration rather than POP3. With IMAP your e-mails and mail "folders" are stored on the server and when your remote client connects it gets an index of the e-mailed contained in your IMAP spool. It would allow people to see the SAME emails in their inbox without having to worry about it being stored on any individual computer as is such with POP3.

    Would they only view the email remotely while online? He wants to download the mail and read/respond at his leisure while "offline".

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