IVAA BoD Nomination
of you may already know this, but I have been nominated to serve on the upcoming
Board of Directors for the International Virtual Assistants Association. I am
truly honored to be considered for this position within the IVAA organization. I
have come to rely on IVAA and the membership there to help with questions and
concerns about my business. It truly feels wonderful to have the opportunity to
give back to the community. I already hold quarterly IVAA Virtual Assistant
Connections here in Austin, which have always gone wonderfully, a great
opportunity to speak to other VAs in my area and speak to those interested in
becoming a Virtual Assistant themselves. The term would be for three years
beginning April 1, 2005. Elections are in March. Just being nominated is truly
an honor. To learn more about IVAA, visit http://www.ivaa.org
Tech Talk With
How to speed up that
slowed down computer
We all do it: Write a file, delete a file, install a
program, delete a program. It is the nature of people that use computers. Times
change and so do the files you use. But then it starts to happen, files that
used to open instantly now take 30 seconds or more. And computer boot up? Well,
might as well go get the morning paper, you've got 5 extra minutes while you
wait for Windows to come up.
What happened? You just spent your yearly
computer budget on this top of the line machine and suddenly what once seemed
almost too fast is taking forever to load the most basic file. What has happened
is call Harddrive Fragmentation.
The technical stuff: Your harddrive is
made of rows of magnetic strips that store information in the order that it is
saved. Well, this is ALMOST true. As you delete older files, you leave blank
gaps that the harddrive tries to fill up as you save new files. Since these gaps
vary in size, one file or program can get spread out across a relatively large
storage space. This doesn't really adversely affect your harddrive, but what it
DOES affect is the time that it takes the harddrive to find every piece of the
program or files that you've saved or installed. This is called "seek" time, and
the more fragmented your harddrive gets, the longer this seek time
So, how do we get all of our programs back into a nice, easy to
find order? Defrag!!!
First off, it is important to note, Defragging can
sometimes take several hours, so it is best to start it right before you leave
the office. Make sure all programs are closed and that noone is going to Remote
Connect to your computer.
Ok, that said, open your "My Computer" window.
This is usually the first icon on your desktop in the upper left hand corner.
Ok, you should see a list of your available drives. Right click on the drive you
wish to defragment (Usually C: is the most important one to do).
clicking will bring up a little menu, sellect "Properties". Just below the top
of the Properties window, you should see several Tabs (General, Tools, Hardware,
etc). The tab we want is "Tools".
Once you are in the Tools tabs, just
click the button labelled "Defragment Now". Once the Disk Defragmentor window
opens, just hit the "Defragment" button near the bottom, and go home. Or read a
book. Or watch grass grow. ANYTHING except sit and watch the defragmentation
process. (Trust me, it is THAT boring.)
What Disk Defragmentor does is
make a list of all your installed files and programs, and moves them so that
everything that goes together is physically close together on the disk. You
should notice and immediate (though sometimes not drastic) speed increase on
your computer when booting and loading files.
I usually recommend
defragmenting once a quarter, but if you are a heavy file user, or have just
gone through a major software upgrade, I recommend defragmenting immediately. An
ounce of prevention now could save you a lot of heartache
Beauchamp is the owner of LAN’s Edge in Austin, TX. LAN’s Edge is a computer
gaming center that offers PC and xbox gaming as well as a high speed internet
connection and PC sales and repair.
He can be reached at email@example.com.
Visit http://www.lansedge.com for more
An accountant is having a
hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. "Doctor, I just can't get to
sleep at night." "Have you tried counting sheep?" "That's the problem - I make a
mistake and then spend three hours trying to find it"
This newsletter is published monthly by Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist. (c)
Much of the advice in this newsletter is based upon the research,
professional and personal experiences of the authors. If the reader has any
questions concerning any material or procedure mentioned, the publisher and
authors strongly suggest seeking the advice of a qualified CPA.
|Important Tax Deadlines|
|2/15 - Last day for filing Form W-4 by
employees who wish to claim exemption from withholding of income tax for
02/28 - Form 1096 with supporting 1099s and Form W3 with
supporting W2s for 2004 must be mailed to the IRS and SSA,
|Reminders to close out year end|
-- If you use an "Undeposited Funds" account, make sure to run a ledger
report for this account to check for anything that may have been posted
-- Don’t forget to depreciate your assets!
Verify year end totals in your A/R and A/P accounts.
-- Remove any unused accounts from your Chart of Accounts.
-- Double check that all prepaid assets
have been expensed for year end.
-- Run a year end balance sheet and Profit and
Loss and compare to what you believe the "real life" numbers
-- Do not make any adjustments to the previous
year once you give the books to your CPA.
*This list is not all-inclusive, but some
quick reminders of commonly forgotten items.
|Spotlight On... Linux Journal|
month the spotlight swings on over to the Linux Journal. Linux
is a multi-user, multitasking operating system that runs on most platforms. It
interoperates well with other operating systems, including those from Apple,
Microsoft and Novell. Linux (pronounced with a short “i” and the first syllable
stressed—LIH-nucks) is freely available — it can be copied and redistributed
without fees or royalties. The source code for Linux is available on the
Internet to anyone who wants it.
The Linux operating system is the
brainchild of hacker extraordinaire Linus Torvalds. It began as a project while
Linus was a 21-year-old student at the University of Helsinki. The operating
system Linus originally created featured a mere 10,000 lines of code — today it
boasts over 1.5 million lines of code written by more than 10,000 developers
Today, with a firm base of at least 15 million users, Linux is
growing exponentially as programmers, enthusiasts, vendors and end users
exchange thoughts, implement ideas, contribute code and cooperate in the
phenomenon known as Open Source to produce the operating system known as
Linux Journal is the premier Linux magazine, dedicated to serving
the Linux community and promoting the use of Linux world-wide. A monthly
periodical, Linux Journal is currently celebrating its eleventh year of
publication. Linux Journal may be purchased at all major bookstores and
newsstands and may also be ordered by visiting http://www.linuxjournal.com/.
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