Jim Fisher

My name is Jim but I want to be frank with you for a moment. Young people don’t have much to worry about with this new Coronavirus but I’m worried about my old-folks friends. There have been no reported cases of the Coronavirus in the Shoals yet but it is coming. I’m certainly not going to offer medical advice as I am woefully unqualified to do so. I will only state that this is not fake news. No one should “panic” but I love my reader so you darn well better be “concerned” and prepared.

The whole point of minimizing contact with others is so we can spread out the inevitable tide of infections so that our local hospitals are able to handle the load. We only have three hospitals in the area and roughly 140,000 people located in Colbert and Lauderdale counties. If a significant number of those people need emergency services at the same time . . . Well, that’s not good.

A large part of my business centers on providing technology services to medical doctor’s offices. They have to stay open, so we have to stay open regardless of the severity of this outbreak.  We have plans to work on their computers from our homes if that become necessary. My business has some expensive remote control software we use to work on client computers remotely but there are free ways for you guys to accomplish the same thing.  So here are some ways that you can continue to work in your office from home if you are able to do so.

The Chrome browser itself has a built-in “remote desktop” function. You must have a Google account and must be signed in to Google within your browser. Once enabled on both your home and office computers you can sit at home and operate your office computer exactly as if you were sitting in front of it. Simply point your browser to remotedesktop.google.com to get started.

Apple computer users also have a free utility built-in to the operating system called Screen-Sharing. As long as both computers are signed in to the same iCloud account, this option is available.

Another free and easy option is a separate piece of software called TeamViewer. Some of my readers who have been scammed may be familiar with this software because TeamViewer is so easy to use that dumb scammers use it to gain access to your computer and fool you into giving them money. TeamViewer is 100% legitimate and will allow any computer (Mac or PC) to control any other computer (Mac or PC). It’s secure and easy to use once you create a free account. It’s free for home users but business users are supposed to pay.

Lastly, Google Drive and Dropbox are options for those who simply need to access documents while away from the office.

Any competent local computer shop should be able to help you if you require assistance implementing any of these measures. Y’all stay safe!

Jim Fisher owns Excel Computer Services in Florence. Reach him at www.ExcelAL.com