Learning


Laptop Monitor Docking Base Screen Resolution Problems

This time of year, we like to discuss our New Year’s resolutions. Here’s a new twist on that subject.

QuickBooks demands lots of screen real estate. You know how important screen resolution stability is to your productivity.  Unfortunately, mobility and screen resolution can often be problematic. So your computer screens suddenly become upside down with two different resolutions after an electrical issue or removal of your laptop from your docking station.

So how can your resolutions be returned to normal?

Try the process below that I use to clean up laptop monitor docking base screen resolution problems.

Shut off your laptop using shutdown and remove it from your docking base.

Turn off the power to your docking base if you have a powered docking base.

Turn off your monitor.

Turn on your laptop without connecting it to your docking base.

Fix and/or confirm your laptop’s resolution is ok.

Turn off your laptop using shutdown.

Turn on your docking base.

Turn on your monitor.

Reset the default settings on your monitor using the monitor’s configuration menu.

Attach your laptop to the docking base.

Turn on the laptop.

Give the laptop about ten minutes to find everything and complete configuration.

Your monitor should auto adjust to it’s best resolution and the laptop should retain it’s best resolution.

If your laptop is a “Domain” computer and your resolution does not reset correctly, contact your domain’s IT support folks. You may need administrator access to run through these steps and correctly reset your resolutions, provided you remember your resolutions.

Happy New Year!


QuickBooks Virtual Server and QuickBooks Virtualization

I have a different approach to QuickBooks virtual server installation issues and virtualization in general. When it comes to accounting software and computer systems, I want the best for myself and the SMB community. Whether you’re a SMB business person or support SMBs as an IT tech, CPA or accountant, you deserve the best. Intuit possesses both the money and power to deliver the best accounting software that runs in virtual environments, for all Intuit customers.

Please take a small journey with me to investigate Intuit’s strange relationship with virtual server technology.

First, click the link to look at this interesting paper from Intuit titled “Maximizing the Value and Performance of QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions with Remote Desktop Services” It’s a long read but well worth it. Note the item on page 4 titled “Try Virtualization to Save More Money.”

Second, click the link to look at Intuit’s system requirements for QuickBooks. Note the requirement under “QuickBooks Desktop 2018” defining “Natively installed”, a requirement in force through QuickBooks 2018 and inserted into QuickBooks system requirements around 2010.

Intuit defines Natively Installed in the system requirements as; “natively installed means it was installed on a particular system or environment that it was designed for. This also means that it doesn’t need to run in a virtual environment or emulation software.”

Intuit contradicts itself, by recommending a virtual environment then, quite simply stating in 2014, “No, QuickBooks is not supported in a virtual environment.” Consequently, Intuit’s requirements confuse Intuit’s customers.

Finally, check out this thread on Spiceworks, one of the larger communities of SMB IT support folks. Note how Intuit support fails to address issues once the support person discovers that QuickBooks is installed on a virtual machine.

Virtualization, whether on VM Ware, HyperV or other tools, proves to be the defacto standard in Windows Server environment deployments. It’s the goto way to run computer systems by most of the IT crowd, myself included. Yet for some undisclosed reason, Intuit continues to pour cold water on supporting QuickBooks desktop software users on virtual infrastructure, a very unfortunate situation.

I’m not going to speculate on Intuit’s reasons for not supporting QuickBooks on anything other than a “natively installed” system. Suffice to say, it’s time for Intuit to stop this confusion and embrace virtual technology for all of their QuickBooks Desktop products.

Intuit, please listen to your customers. Some of us appreciate your “cloud” software and your certified hosting providers, all built on virtual infrastructure. But, many of us want robust desktop accounting software that runs fully supported in our own virtual environments.

You can indeed save money by running your own QuickBooks virtual server. So, how can you “Try Virtualization to Save More Money” when “QuickBooks is not supported in a virtual environment?”

Consider learning how I build and support a QuickBooks virtual server. I welcome and would enjoy discussing my different approach to QuickBooks virtual servers with you. Please contact me by calling (936) 228-8108, email me at PainlessQuickBooks (at) gmail (dot) com or “Leave a Reply” with your contact information below.


Software VPN and Multi-User QuickBooks

Software VPN provides the security glue that holds together remote access through the Internet to your Multi-User QuickBooks server. The complete picture appears relatively simple.

Overall, substantial cost savings can come from utilizing multi-user software on a Windows desktop operating system containing a multi-user QuickBooks software installation. Access using Remote Desktop Connection gets secured by VPN software sealing up QuickBooks from any risk from the Internet. Many types of commercial VPN software exist, among which LogMeIn Hamachi seems to be the most widely used.

 

If you are the least bit technical, gaining familuarity with the “SoftEther VPN Project,” an initiative of the University of Tsukuba in Japan will be a productive use of your time. Their website, at https://www.softether.org/ provides extensive information about software VPN and is a very comprehensive VPN resource.

Deploying “SoftEther VPN” will gain you additional savings over LogMeIn Hamachi. The default deployment, “Remote Access to LAN” described at https://www.softether.org/4-docs/2-howto/1.VPN_for_On-premise/2.Remote_Access_VPN_to_LAN works well as a secure remote network access tool for a small business. The only cost, your time to learn about “SoftEther VPN.”


Stabilize Windows 10 Updates

In earlier versions of Windows 10, selecting “Current Branch for Business” means your Windows 10 QuickBooks computer will get only updates “ready for wide spread use in businesses” postponing updates until they get more fully vetted.

The configuration, located at “Settings” >> “Update & Security” >> “Windows Update” >> “Advanced options” produces a stable operating system not prone to those Windows Upgrade mistakes that make the news occasionally. Most recently, Windows 10’s updates changes the required configuration label selection to “Semi-Annual Channel.”

When your target of operating system stability becomes mission critical, make the change. You will be glad you did.

 


Key To Successful Windows Desktop Servers

Windows Desktop Operating System Servers provide an inexpensive alternative to Windows Server Operating System Servers. Headless operation provides one of the key tenants of success.

Millions of Windows Desktop Operating System Servers exist in the wild today. Since 2001, Windows XP Pro and Embedded provided the impetus for Windows Desktop Operating System Servers development and proliferation.

I know of many Windows XP Pro video, point of sale, manufacturing and medical application servers still functional, long past XP’s announced end of life, proving the importance of  Windows Desktop Operating System Servers. Their application support remains important and relevant.

Headless operation means that the CPU (the box containing the motherboard, hard drive and power supply) boots to operational status without the presence of a monitor, keyboard or mouse. Various remote session tools like Remote Desktop Connection, VNC, RMM Desktop Support and many others provide access to the server.

Headless operation places the computer beyond everyday use as someone’s desktop computer, achieving a higher level of stability and dedication to a subset of applications required to complete work. Attach a UPS to it and put it in the data closet, then get to work.

My most current offerings focus on Windows 10 Pro Desktop Operating System Servers for legacy type applications and off domain remote desktop servers.

The Windows XP Pro upgrade path, whether to the cloud or Windows 10 Pro provides revenue streams to many technical businesses and a good living to those technical businesses’ employees.