Archive for January, 2007

How to Set Up a Home Office Network Part 2: Getting Connected – A Visual Guide

There are a lot of ways to set up a network. How you do it depends on how many devices you want to connect, what they do, and where they are in relation to each other.

In this article, I am going to give several scenarios with visual guides. I will start with the simplest scenario and gradually add devices and functionality. This should help you understand how networks are built and what equipment is necessary to achieve your goals.

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Software for Starving Students (and other cheap folks)

If you are looking for a package of free software for your starving student or starving entrepreneur, check out SoftwareFor.org.

The good people over there have compiled a fairly large collection of best-in-class free software applications. The package includes multimedia, utilities, internet, academic tools, games and productivity software that would appeal to or be useful to a student. A complete list can be found here.

There are two different packages available, one is for Mac OS X the other is for Windows. The packages are in the form of CD images that you download and burn to disk.

Start Thinking about Taxes

Tax season will be kicking off in a few weeks in the US. At least it will be for the proactive among us. Most of the rest won’t even consider their taxes until the second week of April.

I like tackling my taxes early and every year at about this time I am faced with the proposition of going with TurboTax (which I have used for over a decade) or switching to the cheaper TaxCut software from H&R Block.

Last year things came to a head when I found out that some of the investment tax wizards I needed were moved from TurboTax Deluxe to TurboTax Premier and I had to buy an upgrade in the middle of doing my taxes. It was pretty annoying, but it was easier to pay to unlock the upgrade than switch to a new software package mid-stream.

This year it looks like the people from H&R Block are really sweetening the deal by offering much more for much less in their assorted TaxCut software versions. The question is whether it is worth trying something new and risking having to start all over with a more expensive product later or simply going with the more expensive product that you know works.

I checked out the TaxCut Software Complete Features List and it appears that this software should do everything that I expect it to. But I will only find out by taking a chance and making the leap.

Does anyone have any advice? What do you use? How complicated are your taxes? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Home Office Resolutions

I am not big on New Year’s Resolutions. Generally, I believe that if you realize you want or need to make a change in your life or behavior, you need to do it at the time your realize it. Why wait?

However, the beginning of a new year is an awfully convenient time to evaluate where you are and figure out where you want to go and how you want to get there.

So in the spirit of convenience and the need for a topic to write about, here is my list of Home Office Resolutions in no particular order!

  1. I resolve to shower and get dressed most days before I go to the home office.
  2. I resolve to exercise 1-4 times a week or when it is convenient. (Whichever comes first)
  3. I resolve to be genuinely interested in my job and be very disciplined in my performance of it.
  4. I resolve to put my family first and keep the door to my home office closed when I am not supposed to be in it.
  5. I resolve to be funny. Okay, at least I resolve to be funnier… that shouldn’t be too hard considering my starting point.

Happy 2007! Good luck with your resolutions. Feel free to share yours in the comments section.