It used to be, they transferred data via infrared. Then, they would create an ad-hoc wireless connection between two laptops to transfer data. Recently, they have been using Kingston's Data Traveler Secure - Privacy Edition.
While these methods work, they can be cumbersome and time consuming especially for Caseware files.
When it came to sharing a printer, the USB cable was being passed along between users as each one needed to print. This method makes for a struggle when more than one person needed to print. It also endangers both the printer and the user's laptop to static discharge.
So, to facilitate the on-site accountant's efficiency, we came up with the following solution:
- Linksys NAS200 2 Bay Network Attached Storage (NAS)
- Unit is capable of static or DHCP served IPs
- Both drives configured in RAID 1 format
- 250GB Seagate Barracuda ES Hard Drives (2 for RAID 1)
- HP LaserJet P1505N printer
- D-Link DI-604 Wired Router with 4 port 10/100 switch
- D-Link DGS-10008D 8 port Gigabit switch
- Necessary cabling to connect up to 8 workers plus the NAS and printer.
- A decent carrying case. We like Pelican.
The process of getting everything working together is relatively simple:
- Put the Linksys together with the hard drives.
- Setup the D-Links with a short 1' Purple or other off colour patch cable
- Keeping the cable short and a different colour makes it easier to figure out where it belongs.
- Use an off colour 3' patch cable like Orange.
- Note that the first time it is powered up with hard drives in it, the startup process may take a few minutes.
- Use an off colour 3' patch cable like Green.
- Connect a laptop to the Gigabit switch and pull an IP address.
- Username: Admin
- Password: Blank
- Set the Linksys to a static IP of 192.168.0.110
- Set the HP LaserJet to a static IP of 192.168.0.120
- Any connected laptops will pick up the first 9 IPs
- Take note of the user name and password as this is needed for each user to gain access to the folder.
- Linksys NAS200 User Guide
- Linsys NAS200 Quick Install Guide
A batch file can be placed on the user's desktop for them to use when they have their laptop connected to it:
- net use r: \\192.168.0.110\foldershare
A little preparation will be required to get everyone hooked up to the printer.
We will install a dedicated HP LJP1505N driver just for the on-site setup. We name the printer:
- ON-SITE HP P1505
- The connected port will be IP_192.168.0.120
To keep things simple, depending on the size of the firm, they will purchase one, two, or even three identical sets of the above products. All sets will be setup exactly the same as far as IP addresses, DHCP reservations, folder share names, and user name/passwords for the shares.
It is important to do the setup of all needed sets at the same time so as to have identical products. Having more than one printer type, router, and NAS will cause pain points for connecting things up, for the users, and for us.
Some further suggestions:
- A little hot glue or Duct Tape in/across the WAN port on the router will eliminate any calls by someone who accidentally plugs something into it.
- 5' and 7' cables of various colours for users to plug their laptops into the Gigabit switch
- Labels on everything to keep them together such as: SET 1 or the like
- A decent carrying case with foam inserts, like a Pelican, that everything can be placed into in a tidy way
- A user manual (we have created one for our clients)
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
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