Outstanding Remote Support Tool13 Jan

I know this isn’t my normal domain, but I’ve recently started using a tool that I just have to recommend. Copilot is a remote support tool built by Fog Creek Software. It makes reaching out to work on someone’s desktop as painless as it really can be.

To start a remote support session, you simply login to your account on the Copilot website and enter the person’s email address. Then you click a button to install a little application and the other person clicks the link in their email. Within seconds you are viewing their desktop and able to work on their machine just like you were there.

I don’t generally do desktop support so I’ve signed up for the pay-as-you-go plan. This only costs me $0.25 per minute. There are also unlimited use plans starting at $19.95/month. Those plans allow you to setup computers you might regularly access with one-click access so you don’t have to get a new access code every time.If you ever need to access remote computer, I’d highly recommend giving Copilot a try.


Hurray for Verizon Wireless!27 Nov

I rarely write about developments in mobile computing. But today’s announcement by Verizon Wireless that they will allow phones to use the network even if they’re not hand picked by Verizon is welcome news.

Wireless network operators have historically offered phones on the cheap with the stipulation that you sign a 1-2 year contract for their service. In addition to that lock-in period, the operator typically cripples the phone in areas that may compete with their own offerings. For example, Verizon cripples the Bluetooth features on their phones so that you can’t move pictures back and forth between your phone and your PC without going over their data network. And their Wi-Fi enabled phones certainly wouldn’t support calls over a VOIP service such as Skype.

So how will this affect the typical business owner?



Scared of Windows Vista?26 Nov

Following my disaster last weekend, I decided to upgrade to Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows Vista. There was not a huge reason for me to do this upgrade. I had mostly been operating ok under Windows XP Pro. But since I was down anyway I figured I might as well get the upgrade done.



Running Your Business on Free Software20 Nov

There’s a great blog post on Found|Read about free or nearly free software offered as web based services.  I love #3 – Don’t do that custom development!


Free WiFi at Starbucks?31 Oct

Ina Sebastian at Jupiter Research wrote about a ComputerWorld prediction that Starbucks will evenutally offer free WiFi service.  Personally, I avoid Starbucks in favor of coffee shops that offer free connections.  My guess is that Starbucks has found this to be a popular stance.  I believe free WiFi will become expected and that SMBs will be able to offer real value to their customers through creative use of this connectivity. 

Question: You run a destination type SMB like Starbucks.  How do you use the WiFi service you are offering them to build a community of your customers?  Do you allow them to engage each other a la Facebook or MySpace?  Do you give them the opportunity to "speak" to you directly?

Contact Me

Granite Peak Systems, LLC
PO Box 80892
Billings, MT 59108
Tel: 406-672-8292


Since 2007, I have funded a Kiva account in recognition of my clients. Whenever I get a new client, or find a microloan that relates to the industries my clients serve, I contribute to the account. You can see my lender profile here: