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MacTech Boot Camp is specifically targeted at the issues facing techs supporting home users, small office, and small to medium sized businesses, often referred to as SOHO or SMB markets. MacTech Boot Camp’s sessions cover a variety of topics from those in the know about the following topics: all designed to make Boot Camp attendees more successful in supporting these markets.
Most sessions are about 45 minutes. There are nine sessions in the 2011 curriculum titled:
- Building Your Brand: Marketing and Business Concerns
- An Experts Guide to Working with Clients
- Best practices: Hardware, Software and Network Deployment
- Troubleshooting Hardware, Software and Network Problems
- Integrating Mobility into Small Business
- Windows Concerns in a Mac Office
- Scripting, Storage and Protecting Oneself: Backing up, Archiving and Restoring Data
- How to Make Remote Consulting Work for You
- You Can’t Know Everything: Getting the Support You Need
The topics covered will include such as:
- Marketing Oneself in a Community
- Client Handling
- Client Documentation, Passwords and Records
- Resources for Finding Answers
- Basic Command Line
- Troubleshooting Hardware
- Networking Basics and Troubleshooting
- Printing Setup and Troubleshooting (Wifi, USB, Bluetooth, and Wired)
- iOS Support
- Windows on the Mac Options
- Software Updates
- Backup Systems and Options
- Viruses and Security
- Basic Scripting
- Support Call Techniques
- Remote Support and Access
Read on for more details.
Marketing Oneself in a Community
You are new in business, or you’ve been doing this for years; in either case you can’t apply your skills as a technology consultant until you have customers to apply them to! Marketing is the most important, and most overlooked skill in our business. We will teach you how to market yourself using your social skills, and contacts, as well as people and organizations you may not have considered. You will learn to market your skills to specific communities where word of mouth can catch fire to set your business above the rest.
So your marketing paid off! Congratulations you have clients. Now, can you talk to them? Can you translate those often misspoken needs and wants into tangible technical deliverables? Can you help your hard won customers to understand your ongoing value and keep coming back for more? We will guide you through the most important steps to take to be sure you are leading your customers; guiding them to the right solutions, and converting their unfocused dreams into fully understood needs. You will learn how to protect yourself from scope creep, incorrect needs assessment, miscommunicated rate structures and other communications faux pas’ that can lead to unpaid invoices, or worse.
Client Documentation, Passwords and Records
Your customer now knows what they want, and what you can deliver and you have agreed to do it for a mutually understood price. You are well on your way to a positive customer experience, and repeat business. Now, how are you going to document all of this? In fact, once you get started, how will you document your work, the customers serial numbers, inventory, and other important data they surely assume you will gather, keep and protect on their behalf? We will show you how to safely and securely document information for your customers, and we will expose you to some of the pitfalls of failing to do so properly.
Resources for Finding Answers
Your job is off to a fantastic start. You are fantastically prepared, yet as so frequently happens, you run into a snag right in the middle of the job. Something you’ve never seen before and have no idea how to solve. You feel that knot in your throat… that sinking sensation in the pit of your stomach. Where do you turn for help? Where can you find answers to those last minute, on site, make or break questions that can be the difference between success or failure? We show you our favorite places to find those answers, and how to express your searches in the most search engine efficient language.
Basic Command Line
The solutions to so many advanced technical problems are found in a string of text typed into a terminal interface. As a technology consultant you need to know the command line basics so you can feel comfortable working. Because Terminal is to the uninitiated, what a blank canvas is to an artist, we’re going to give you some of the most useful commands, how to type them, and what they are going to do. You will see how similar working at the command line is to what you imagine would be true of magic and incantations, because when you get to this level, you truly are becoming a technology wizard.
You’ve worked your magic on the problems you’ve encountered and nothing is working. It must be hardware, but how can you be sure? What are the tests and tricks you should try, and in what order? How do you know when a problem is software based or hardware based, and how will that determination change your plan of action to get the problem solved for your customer? We walk you through the best tests and utilities, along with best practices for troubleshooting methodology, and what to do when you are sure hardware is the problem.
Networking Basics and Troubleshooting
You’ve come to this job not knowing that the network was setup by the owners nephew as an after school project. Now it’s your job to take what is clearly not working, unravel the mystery, come up with a plan to put it all back together without destroying anything that is actually working in the process, and make it work like a charm. We will give you a grounding in basic networking theory including what IPv4 and IPv6 are, how subnets work, how routing works, and how DNS is supposed to work. We will then go through practical examples of how you can configure your customers cable modem, DSL modem, or T-1 modem to function according to your customers needs. We discuss the integration of Airport Extreme Base Stations, and how they and other third party wireless access points should be configured to maximize wireless coverage, speed, and security.
Printing Setup and Troubleshooting (Wifi, USB, Bluetooth, and Wired)
So the customers network works now, that’s a relief, but they still can’t print. Why is it that after all these years we still can’t print? We will walk you through the classic “I can’t print” user statement and we go through the proper troubleshooting steps to help the customer get that print job out. We will help you to understand how printer drivers are distributed in todays marketplace, and where to go to get the latest drivers and manuals. We will talk about iOS 4.2 printing from iPad, and how to make iOS printing work.
Once your customer sees how awesome iOS printing is, she realizes that she has a few other iOS questions. Who doesn’t! iOS is huge and deserving of our attention. In addition to covering printing from iOS, we also will walk you through managing multiple iOS devices in an organization. We will cover what happens if your user plugs more than one iOS device into iTunes. How to move media from one device to another. What happens if your customer plugs their iPhone into someone else’s computer? We will show you how to use your iOS device as a projection source, and how to use the Remote App, the Keynote Remote App, and we will explore the highlights of iWork on iOS. Finally, for fun we will show you how to use an iOS device to tie into iTunes DJ to request songs at a party.
Windows on the Mac Options
With everything you’ve done for your customer so far, they think the world of you. It would be horrible to lose that trust just because they ask you to put Windows on their Mac. You may not be a Windows person, but you can absolutely handle Windows on your customers Mac, and we’re going to show you how. We will cover VMware Fusion, and Parallels Desktop, CodeWeavers’ CrossOver as well as Apple’s Boot Camp solution and what you may want to avoid other options. What options should you avoid? You’ll have to attend if you want to find out!
The system is finally ready. It’s up and running. Everything works and the customer has tested it and agreed. Just one more thing you say as you are packing up your bags… You run that one last software update and, yes you guessed it, the system hangs. You’ve just been bitten by a bad software update habit. Learn from an expert what the best practices are for updating not only Apple’s software, but also third party software. Each vendor has a different method and you should know them all, and have a plan for how to deploy them. We teach you how to plan, what to do, and how to protect yourself from bad software updates. We also show you a very nifty trick to make software updates go crazy fast!
Backup Systems and Options
Well, you’ve learned your lesson, the hard way. Before making a major change to a system, get a clean backup. But what about backups? There are so many options, some free, some very expensive, and some require you to roll your own. We expose you to the software available to perform backups, and we give you best practices for backup strategies related to backup rotation, media types, online, offline and nearline storage solutions, as well as over the net solutions. We talk about the pro’s and con’s so you can make an informed decision that is right for your specific customers needs. There is no “one size fits all” solution, so we prepare you to make an informed decision.
Viruses and Security
Good thing you’ve been backing up because your customer just called and is having some very odd behavior on his computers. They are all doing the same thing and can’t be controlled. When you look at the computers you’re stumped. After lengthy troubleshooting, you learn that the first really threatening virus made just for the Mac has finally hit the streets and, Oops, you didn’t advise your customer to purchase virus protection before it was too late. We will lead you through the products that are available and best practices for protection, and we’ll try not to make you feel too bad for thinking the Mac was somehow immune to this pervasive industry problem.
One of the things that is the most fun about computers is making them do things for you automatically, so you can focus your time and effort on more important things in your life. We will show you how to use tools like Automator, and AppleScript, and even shell scripting to help you to make your computer or your customers computers, do the types of things people expect computers to do. Learn how to setup “Hot Folders” to translate media files. Learn how to make your computer read your mail for you, then move the audio file to your phone so you can listen to your mail as you’re driving to your next customer. The sky is not the limit here, but you’ll be amazed what you can do with a little effort up front setting up some basic scripting.
Support Call Techniques
You have setup the perfect small office for your customer. Every best practice followed, no expense spared, everything is right. Still, customers love to call with questions, and when they do, you need to deal with their needs in a way that meets their expectations, is fair to you and the loved ones who have to deal with you answering your phone at all hours of the day and night. We will give you solid guidance on how to handle support calls from your customers so you can keep them happy, and keep your sanity all at the same time.
Remote Support and Access
If you can’t fix it over the phone, you’ll probably have to actually work on the customers computers to fix the problem. But how wonderful would it be to do so without driving across town? If you plan ahead, and setup the proper systems like ARD, VNC, VPN and a host of other possible technologies, you can solve many support problems for your customers without ever stepping out of your pajamas. We show you the currently available options, talk about proper configuration, and costs to you and the customer, and ways you can track your remote support to be sure you make money for your efforts.
Note: All information is approximate. All sessions, speakers and descriptions are subject to change at any time without notice.