Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Home Office List (strictly personal)

This is strictly a personal note to myself.

To get up and running as a Telecommute Service Support Provider, I need a few things yet.  This is a simplified list, in no particular order, but some things have indicators that indicate their importance for immediate employment.

*USB Headset like this one, it is from Plantronics, and available at Amazon.com, as well as other places.  These are used to communicate through the computer with clients.

*Second Monitor  like this one, from Acer, available from Amazon.com, as well as other places.  This allows remote desktop work, while having my desktop displayed on first monitor.

Important items for the work are marked with an asterisk (*).

Wireless Laser Mouse  like this one from Targus, available from Amazon.com and other locations.  This is a bluetooth mouse so it requires a Bluetooth USB 2.0 Micro Adapter Dongle to work with my current desktop computer.  This mouse combination will give better performance with additional mobility on the desktop.  Also can be used with the laptop, so an additional one would be good to have for mobile applications.

Wireless keyboard such as this one from Logitech, available from Amazon.com or other locations.  With this keyboard it eliminates the need for an additional mouse, as it comes with a wireless mouse, which also eliminates the need for the bluetooth dongle.  Although I am very reluctant to relinquish my old IBM keyboard, it is getting very dated, and at this point except for some letters most of the print has worn off.  I would also like to upgrade to a more ergonomic keyboard, and this hybrid keyboard would move me that way, while not making it impossible to work until I re-learn to type.  However needing to write a lot more, I think I really need to switch to a more ergonomic keyboard.

The next few items are above and beyond the need list, but on to the it would be good for various reasons.

Web Camera like this one, from Logitech, available from Amazon.com and other locations.  This high quality camera will allow me to perform live video chat with clients, increasing the amount of work I can do for clients from my office locations.  It will also allow conference calls and other such calls with its built in stereo microphones.  A tool for collaboration and education, as well as work, it is versatile and of sufficient quality to even produce video productions for posting how-to and help videos for the website.

Computer Desk such as this one, available from Amazon.com and other locations.  This would greatly enhance my office space, and increase my productivity.  The one detractor from it is that it does not really feature a space for paper goods, and such, but that can be rectified as can the lack of a file cabinet.  It appears that you can not have both a computer desk and paper desk at the same time.  I will look for a paper desk to suit the need for a paper desk, which will hopefully complement the computer desk.

Paper Desk such as this one, available from Amazon.com and other locations.  This is from the same company that makes the computer desk, and although not an exact match, it does complement the computer desk, and actually the computer desk can be purchased in the same chocolate coloring, but it is not necessary.  This doesn’t solve all the filing needs, but it does provide paper handling capabilities, a filing drawer for immediate files, and a nice surface for working upon.

Desk Chair such as this one, highly recommended on Amazon.com, and available at other locations.  This will provide a comfortable seat for me to sit in while I spend many hours at the computer working.

Place to sit, and what to sit at covered.  Not essential by no means, but certainly makes working long hours at the computer much more comfortable, and productive.

Now on to the next upgrade, the technology that will enable me to work faster, and more mobile.

Desktop computer, unfortunately for computers I have to go outside the Amazon.com site, as I will build the computer to suit the needs of the work.  At a later time I will post a link to a site that list the parts, from sources, and how much it will cost.  This will give me a more stable system, able of performing many tasks at once, as well as be efficient to operate.  It will operate in a server network, so some of the power will be on the server, but because of the nature of my work, much of the computing will be performed on the desktop, although the data will be ported out to the SAN/NAS through the server.

Laptop computer, here again there is no Amazon.com link, because it will have to be customized to suit my uses.  I will use it for mobile work sites, so it will not be especially powerful, but have what I need to remote into my server through the net, and have the ability to perform low level web video chat.  It will also dock into my vehicle, as well as to the server when I return from the field, to upload any data collected in the field.

Tablet computer, used mostly in the field to collect data, eliminate paperwork, and access various other computer networks through wireless networks.  Will be docked into the vehicle, as well as into the server.  No decision has been made on this except that it will most likely be an Android powered tablet.

I already have a very good cell phone (Atrix running android) that will work fine for what I need, although I may want to upgrade the headset, and get a bluetooth link for the computer, so I can link my phone with my bluetooth enabled computers.  Of course I would like to remove the service provider need, but that will have to wait until I have paid off my network contract.  In the long run, if I can get another Android powered phone that allows use on any network, and is unlocked right from the beginning that would be idea.

Software, anything I need I can get one way or another, at least for limited use I will need it for.  All the main stuff will be Linux based, open sourced, and for the most part cost very little.

Other tools, I have most other tools I would need, although there are always some that would be nice to have, a better satellite meter, a better DM, a better set of tools in general.  These can be obtained as needed, or as I can afford to upgrade them.

Of course I need office supplies, shipping supplies, and other sundry items, to make the office work.

Laser Printer, I have not worked this out yet, as I have a decent one that just needs an additional part, so that is most likely where I will go with that.  I might get a color wide carriage printer for promotional items someday, but as long as services exist that can do this relatively cheaply, for the amount of work I need done the services are a better option.  I also have a multi-function inkjet printer, for which I can get the color ink, so I can do some limited color work on that.

Camera like this Cannon EOS, or this Nikkon D3100, both available from Amazon.com, or other locations.  Either of these would be good, however since I have not had a lot of experience with digital SLR cameras I have to go by the reviews.  Both these cameras are reviewed well, and are in the middle price range with the packages that come with it.  This will increase my ability to generate better photographs of subjects and objects, however for most of my work, they are not essential, as my phone has a camera that will provide photos good enough for most my clients.

Well that’s the list for the most part.  I will think of some other things for sure, but that always happens.  Sure this is not a cheap list, but it does build on itself.  The items marked with an asterisk (*) are important for immediate operations.  Everything else will make working better, but it will not prevent me from working.

One last thing, I need to be able to host my website, and that requires the cost of my ISP, my web host, and registration of my URL with a DNS provider.  These are on going cost, as are things like electricity, food, rent or house payment, and insurances.

Thanks for reading.