PMAco's Mission
Purpose is the driving force behind the actions of any individual or group.
Our purpose (I actually prefer the word agenda) is to safeguard your computer systems and networks as carefully as you would yourself if you had all the knowlege and experience that we have. One of the primary means of accomplishing this is by imparting as much of that experience and knowlege to you as we can along the way. Knowlege is power and the more powerful we make you, the more capacity we have left for others.
Is your computer system and network properly installed?
How do you know?
I tested the things it needs to do when I installed it.
What does it do that you *DON'T* want it to do?
I don't have time to test all that other stuff, I have a job to do!
Do you have time to start from scratch when some malicious program or hacker invades your network and destroys your system?
Go away! I'm too busy. I have a job to do right now and I don't want to hear all these questions.
reprinted with permission of Paul Rogers
My favorite term for the above is "head in the sand" syndrome (ie: if I can't see it, than it can't get me). The cure is--of course--post learning curve knowlege, but before most folks are willing to take the medicine, they'll have to be the victims of a horrible disaster that kills their ability to produce much of anything for a couple of days or weeks. That is usually the point at which the learning curve is less distasteful than the ignorance.
Sometimes we have to just bide our time until said disaster strikes before one of our clients will let us implement some of our programs. That's probably been the worst lesson I've had to learn, let go and let be, because our help isn't going to be useful if it isn't accepted.

If however, our counsel is accepted, here's what we'll be doing to you in the immediate future.
Local Area Network is what every one calls it, but it can also stand for "Lying About Necessities". I wrote an article about it back in '99 that explains the "Lies" and why they're important.
Click here to see it.
The primary lesson to learn here is that if you're going to lie, at least keep the lie consistent throughout the office so that you don't have to remember which lie you told where.

Geeks call this "Network Topology" and without it, our job would be hopelessly confusing and cumbersome. Therefore, step Zero-Zero would be a Network Topology Map in our files and your's carefully documenting The Big Lie. Step Zero would then be to control access to some of the resources. Your data entry folks don't really need access to your Accounting data and you probably don't want your Accountants rummaging around in your software development databases. Therefore Access Control would be next on the list of our agenda.
How much would it cost you if all your computer systems went away? You can't post checks, write invoices, no work orders coming in from your website, etc. I suspect you'll have to admit that this would be a fairly serious disaster. Moreover, you'll also have to admit that disaster could happen fairly easily.
Computers break, crash, gimp out, and get diseased all within a blink of an eye.

We worry about that a lot. As a matter of fact, we take it as a personal and professional affront if your functionality is down for any time at all. Unfortunately the resources necessary to minimize this disaster do cost money, but we're pretty confident that we can "underwrite an insurance policy" that will give you adequate protection to whatever budget you can find. Redundancy Services include:

R.A.I.D. subsystems & Mirrored Servers are always proposed custom for each client because there're just too many variables to try and second guess for a webpage.

Off-Site backup systems
Please click here for my article on Plan B.
Beyond the service in that article, we also offer our vault as a very serious Off-Site solution.
Please click here for CD Archive.
PMAco's QuarterBack service has us arriving every 90 days to do a cursory inspection of your network and individual workstations, archive each workstation's OS drive, examine the backup logs and take one of your backup drives to our vault. We'll schedule these visits with you to minimize their impact on your productivity.

Doing regular backups of your data is Step One of our agenda.
Network Security
Does your LAN connect to the internet? If not today, it's probably going to in the future, because that's another pet agenda of ours and when it does, there's a whole new set of rules that begin to apply. The internet is a network (actually an enormous network of networks) which implies two-way communication. You are not only going out to the internet, you're also making your network available to anyone else with internet access and unless you set up some systems to control that traffic the potential for problems is incredible. Here's what we plan to do to help cover you against these eventualities:

A Network FireWall lets the requests you send to the internet in, but stops intruders from accessing your L.A.N.
Here's an article on Firewalls.

Innoculate against computer disease. Worms, viruses, trojan horses and macro scripts are some of the problems you're going to encounter if you haven't already. Now add to that Spyware and DataMining agents and you'll realize that having a constantly updated agent protecting you from these problems is not just a good idea, it's now considered vital. We like to install a server based database that gets updated from the Web on a schedule and then install clients on each workstation that access the server's database of virus definitions and spyware patterns and do real-time protection of the Operating System as well as periodic scans of the workstation's files. I guess we'd have to call this Step Two.

Virtual Private Networking (VPN) - is an inexpensive (relatively speaking) means of accessing your Office network resources from home or launching a rudimentary Wide Area Network (WAN) by connecting multiple office locations using the internet as the connection medium. It uses an encrypted data stream (usually called a tunnel) to protect your information from being tapped by disreputables. Although not an agenda item, we can help you with this if you'd like.

Here's some of Alan's ramblings on VPN from research we did a few years back. Click here
Consulting Services
All I want to do is __{insert computer related task here}__.
Okay, get a copy of "_____ for dummies", search Google for the "How-To_____", install ______, download ______.
No, no, NO! All I want to do is . . .
Alright. Give us $__00.00 and we'll do it for you.
No, no, NO! All I want to do is . . .
Life is a balancing or juggling act of resources against desires. In my experience with clients the two resources we juggle most are Experience & Money. Sometimes the desire just gets tabled forever because we're not willing to pay either of the bills, usually a result of the desire being overshadowed by the required resources.
There is however, always a bill. If you're willing to throw lots of money at the problem (the Government solution), you can have the desire without the learning curve. With this solution, you also sacrifice control. The outsource becomes the controlling principle at that point. An important issue to keep in mind, the government solution invariably results in an out-of-your-control area of your business.
The other way you can pay that bill is via the deadly learning curve. When you learn how to do it yourself, you retain control of the desired area and you don't have yet another invoice. As you may have gathered, our preferred course is to teach you how to accomplish it yourself, but we're also willing to do work orders on your behalf if that is the better solution for you.
Web Services
Does the internet have an important role in your future? Well, you're reading this on the Web right now, how important should it be that your potential future clients/customers be able to do the same? Be prepared for a fairly intense campaign from us on your strategic Web Presence and how to go about achieving it. Establishing your internet domain is probably Step Four of our agenda.
Domain Registration - This title is a link to a policy I wrote in '95. It's desperately in need of revision, and I'll probably get around to rewriting it before it's a decade old. But the basic premise still has value. You're going to want us to be listed as your Administrative or Technical contact at the Registrar of your choice.

Registration is the first phase of developing your Web presence, it's how you access and get into the Master DataBase for the entire internet. This is how you become the owner of "" or dot org, or dot net, or dot biz, or dot info, or dot cc, or {well, suffice it to say that there are a LOT of choices of TLD (top level domain)s}.

Hosting - The computer that offers your website to the world is called a HOST (like the person hosting the party), the computer itself isn't all that special, but it's connection to the internet is relatively complicated, so most people rent this service from a professional rather than jump through the hoops themselves. Generally all that you're going to want to accomplish in the beginning is a website and e-mail which is definitely cheaper to use a hosting service. is our hosting service, but you can also get this service from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), Telephone service provider (telco), or a large variety of other Web hosting providers. The primary advantage to using our's would be that we're already familiar with your business, we're recommending what you should do with your Web Presence and we're also very familiar with Draq's capabilities.
Draq's pricing

Electronic Mail (e-mail) - Probably one of the most powerful tools of the 21st Century is e-mail. I like to consider it an answering machine on steriods, not only do you NOT have to catch the person at their desk so you can do a verbal exchange with them over the phone or their desk to do serious business with them, this little tool enables you to work with someone on the other side of the planet in a completely incompatible time zone. And because this little tool is so powerful, it is taking the business world by storm. You can dramatically change your company's image in the eyes of the world just by changing your e-mail @dress from "" to "". That one little change, when properly exploited can make an enormous difference in how your customers view your business.

One of the lessons in NETiquette (Internet Etiquette) that you should learn is the use of Plain Text in e-mail messages, the following is a link to an essay I wrote in '02.
Smiley essay on Plain Text

Helping you develop your website is definitely on our agenda, but it's such a vast subject that I'm going to have to get back to it. Here's some of the links that I'm going to be developing down the road:
What the internet Isn't
Website development

Web Presence Do & Don'ts
Website hackers
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