Remote Admin Services

Thoughts and rantings of a Virtual Assistant

Swimming In Technology

Posted by remoteadminservices on July 9, 2009

Whilst my children are out with their father for their swimming lessons this morning, I took stock as to what I did in terms of keeping Remote Admin Services in touch in the cyber-world.

Partial list of today’s activities:

  • Finally finished the Remote Admin Services Facebook Page
  • Added this blog to said Facebook Page
  • Updated RAS website with a widget to hopes to gain more fans/followers.
  • Tweeted on Twitter
  • Updating this blog…long overdue

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of options out there in getting the word out for your business.  The challenge I am finding is remembering to update all the social media sites every time I make a change or update and finding the time to do these changes. Ideally I would have one website or application that can cover all the components mentioned above.  You make a change and seamlessly would reflect all the sites.

The hunt is on.

In the meantime, I am off to chase down a cloud computer.


Posted in Blogging, Clients, Internet, Small Business, Social Media, Technology, Twitter, Uncategorized, Virtual Assistant | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Follow The Consumer Electronics Show on Twitter

Posted by remoteadminservices on January 8, 2009

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone!  It has been a LONG time since I posted on this blog and I hope to do better this year.  Things have been so busy and Remote Admin Services plans to have a great year for 2009! Recession or not!

One thing that I started doing late last year was catching the Twitter bug and you can find me here.

And speaking of Twitter, C-Net is covering the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as we speak.  They are Twittering the latest gadgets with links as well indicating their frustration on waiting 20 minutes on a Starbucks line when the show had not officially started yet.  You can follow  their twitters either here or here. The Twitters will be fast and furious, but already I have found some interesting items that I plan to keep an eye on such as the next generation SD cards.

Happy twitters.

Posted in C-NET, CES, Technology, Twitter, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Need To Change Your Search Engine Default In Internet Explorer?

Posted by remoteadminservices on September 7, 2008

For those of you who have Internet Explorer 7, you might have noticed the little search box on the upper right hand corner of the  browser.  By default it is set to Live Search, but you can change it. Heres how:

1. Click the arrow by the search field and select, ‘Find More Providers’.  A Microsoft webpage will open up.

2. You have two categories of search engines, select one or more and select, “Add Provider”.

3. If you use none of the browsers listed, open a separate tab to your browser and type in all caps TEST. Copy the search results URL at the top of the browser and go back to the Microsoft page.  Paste in the field provided. Then type the name of the search engine in the second field and click “Install”.  Go to the drop down arrow by the search field in IE7 and your selected search engine should be listed.

4. To make your search engine of choice you default, again, click the drop down menu by the search field, select “Change Search Defaults” Highlight your browser, and click “Set Default”.  This is also where you can remove unwanted search engines.

I use Goodsearch, a Yahoo-based search engine as my preferred browser so as to raise money for my kid’s school.  If the searches are not up to my standards (very rare), I click down to Google and try again.  It only takes a few extra seconds.  Even better, I removed both search engines off my browser at launch, which in turn now loads faster. Originally I had 8 tabs at launch.

Posted in Google, Internet, Microsoft, Technology, Uncategorized, Yahoo | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Google Chrome – Worth The Hype?

Posted by remoteadminservices on September 4, 2008

As if I needed yet another application installed into my already over-bloated Vista Business Laptop.  But when I heard about Google’s new Chrome (Beta) browser, I figured my laptop can’t get any worse off, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Installation was dirt easy and took less than five minutes to install and import all my bookmarks (I do not store passwords). I did not opt for the quick launch for or to have it launch from my systray, rather I added another icon to my ever growing desktop. As I have not fully explored the browser yet and certain web sites I utilize only allows for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, it will not be my default browser at this time.

The homepage will look something like this:

It will show your most used pages that you visit, along with a list of your most recently book marked items.

Of the web sites it does not work with, which I use daily are Office Live & Airset.

One of the best features hands down is the Bookmarks bar, which is also on Apple’s Safari.  Explorer does not have this feature and as a result, I have a whopping eight webpages that I use daily set to their own tabs and take 22 seconds to fully load. With the bookmark bar I, there is no need for me to load all these pages at once and it is faster for me to create an additional tab and load from from the bar.  I can event switch the order or the bookmarks. I have yet to test the speed as to how fast multiple tabs load on Chrome.

Interestingly, while doing work for a client, I had to download an image from the web. Once I saved the JPG in my designated folder, on the lower left hand corner of the browser shows the file I downloaded, which I can either open direct, or open the entire folder.  On the lower right hand corner of the screen, I click and it shows my download history and it is searchable. Great if I misplace a downloaded file .

On setting up a default search engine, I was not too happy to see that I could not make, a Yahoo-based search engine, my default engine, since I use the searches to support my kids’ school.  So until I figure this out, I have it set as a bookmark on the bookmark bar.

So is it worth all the hoopla? I will need another week or so. This entry will likely be edited multiple times as I get used to the browser and it’s capabilities.  Stay tuned!

Posted in Google, Internet, Office Live, Technology, Uncategorized, Vista, Yahoo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gristmill Investments & Terry Waya – Two Scams To Take Note

Posted by remoteadminservices on May 13, 2008

The junk mail has been busy and must admit kudos to Microsoft for their filtering system.  Two new scams arrived over the past few days and thought I would bring it to your attention.  Now mind you, I am not 100% sure exactly how they work, but I will at least give you supporting links that confirmed my suspicions.

Gristmill Investment Company [ginvestmill6 [AT]]

The letter I got was thus:

Dear Sir/Madam,


We are brokering an Investment deal in your country on behalf of a client of our firm.


This deal will involve the eventual investment of USD 25 M. (Twenty Five Million Dollars) in any of these fields: Manufacturing Businesses, Real Estate and other Small businesses.


We are by this letter offering you our partnership in business, so as to allow us have you as the representative and manager of invested funds in your country.


Since we can not determine if this email is still functional and also your willingness we have kept this proposal brief.


If you are Interested in this offer of partnership, please respond and give us your direct email address, telephone and fax numbers and your company’s full contact information & profile, and in response we will send you an elaborate proposal and details of this offer.


Your expedient response will be appreciated.


Thank you.


Mr. Bruce Miller.

Gristmill Investment Company.

First of all, anything related with investing raises my red flag. Personally if I ever do any relationship with any investment company, it will be in the States and registered under the SEC.  Also they are asking for my direct email address, telephone and fax numbers and contact profile…hmmm, did they check out my website? Apparently not.  Here are the links that confirms my suspicions:

Terry Waya [waya.terry [AT]]

I am not kidding the subject in the heading was “Can I trust you?” Not to mention the “To:” heading was missing (looks like a bulk mailing to me). Here’s the letter:


Can I trust you?

I have found your information on the internet very intriguing and implore you to take a moment of your time to do same about me and let’s examine the possibility of a lasting business relationship.

I have a business portfolio in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and I need you to handle it for obvious reasons.

If you’d like to work with me, I would expect us to sign a mutual non-disclosure confidentiality agreement, and await your advice on this.

You may provide me with your most secured telephone number(s) so that we can discuss the modality of this business on the phone. Or please feel free to contact me to arrange it.

I’ll call you as soon as I have your feedback.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Waya.

Forgive me, but I really feel the need to tear this apart.  Let’s start with the greeting, “Hello”. Not even a ‘Dear Sir or Madam’, how very rude. That spells bulk mailing.

‘Can I trust you?’ – Creepy sounding to say the least.

I have found your information on the internet very intriguing… – What is so intriguing? And where on the Internet did you find my information? Pardon the sarcasm but the line sounds like a bad response to a dating advertisement.

….and implore you to take a moment of your time to do same about me… – No problem, I did.  This is what I found:

 Virtual Assistants and other home office warriors, take note!

Posted in Internet, Scam Alerts, Uncategorized, VA's, Virtual Assistant, Work From Home | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Need To See Your Virtual Assistant Face To Face? Consider Oovoo

Posted by remoteadminservices on March 26, 2008

One of the great things of being a Virtual Assistant is that we have the freedom to try out new technologies to make our work a little easier and our clients at ease!

Many ‘old-school’ business owners and managers still believe that they need to be in the same office and be face to face with an assistant.  The innovative concept of virtual assistance might make one hesitant in giving it a try.  VAs still will not be in building with their clients but there is an alternative if one needs to actually see each other. Video conferencing.

After reading an article in PC World (unable to find article online but an alternative review can be found here) I decided to give it a try. The graphical interface is slick and you can converse and view with up to six people at once. Best of all Oovoo is free with no advertising and pop-up banners!

Sample Oovoo Screen

I had the privelage to have a morning coffee with another VA halfway across the country. For some reason her video camera was not working (Oovoo is in Beta and suggested to her to contact support to figure out the problem), and I could only see her static picture but the video from my end worked great (camera is intergrated into the laptop). One has to get used to allowing another person to speak as there are brief second delays, but other than that I was very happy with the result.

As a word of advice, once you get the software installed and create an account, if you are a very private person, go to the Settings section and adjust your privacy preferences, as by default, you are listed for all to see.

One thing that I was not wholly impressed was phone feature (free until April 1, 2008). I called a potential client and the sound was really choppy. So for now, I will stick with Skype.

Posted in Clients, Internet, Secretarial, Small Business, Technology, VA's, Video, Virtual Assistant, VOIP | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

At Last! Microsoft To Help Users With Vista SP1 Service Pack Installation

Posted by remoteadminservices on March 25, 2008

Now they finally get it!  Of course this is after I had to figure out the darn thing myself when the SP1 installation wreaked havoc on my Word 2007 and the ability to use the mouse. The news from C-Net this morning that from now until March 18, 2009, Vista users who encounter problems after their SP1 installation will be able to contact Microsoft to receive help via email, chat or phone (provided they are part of a subscription service), see below…

There are three options available under the free support plan for U.S. users: e-mail support, which will be answered within one business day; online chat, which has a current waiting time of around 40 minutes; and call, available only for users who have a software-assurance agreement, professional contract, TechNet subscription, or MSDN subscription, or for those who come under the Microsoft Partner Program. 

 You can view the Vista blog here. I made the leap from 2000 to Vista and never used XP.  I was getting to thinking, however, that those who used XP and still have the disks and now have Vista, should perhaps look into setting up their PC as a dual boot.  That way programs that are not Vista friendly can still be used.I wish you all luck!I’m off to figure out how to get the Hibernation mode restored. 

Posted in Blogging, C-NET, Microsoft, Technology, Vista | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Online Calendar Options

Posted by remoteadminservices on March 24, 2008

Ok, so you’ve considered hiring a Virtual Assistant, but there’s an item of note that is holding you back.  How can he/she set up appointments and keep my calendar in check for me?

Thankfully there are a few free to low-cost alternatives that can keep you right on track.  Here are a couple that I use depending on my client preference: 

Officezilla –  A free site packed with a bunch of bells & whistles.  Calendar can be exported to CSV. One thing that might be a turn-off to some is the Bible Verse section, but it is not in your face. The good news is that the module can be removed by doing the following:

Go to Admin > Configuration > Modules (A million thanks to George Scott of Officezilla for letting me know about this.)  

Individual user privileges can be determined by the administrator. 

Airset –  Another very good site in which you can have multiple groups neatly tabbed.  Calendar is pretty easy to use, and can export to .ics format.  Also calendar events can be set-up to send email reminders. My clients really like this feature, especially in the event I am not in the office to call and remind them of an appointment. One word of advice, DO NOT use add your mobile phone at sign up and do not add it on your profile lest you get a series of text reminders.  A real hassle if you pay-per-message. Again user privileges are determined by the administrator.

There are many others out there and will be reviewed in the near future. 

Posted in Clients, Internet, Small Business, Technology, Uncategorized, VA's, Virtual Assistant | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Remote Admin Services Press Release Is Out!

Posted by remoteadminservices on March 7, 2008

Remote Admin Services is proud to have submitted the following press release to the general public.

In a previous article, I  mentioned the need to make yourself known in the local community as well as striving for client relationships beyond the border.  I still hold firm by this belief.  Interestingly, I am now beginning to submit proposals outside the borders of my home state.  It will be an amazing journey to see which will come into solid clients.

Now to get into the habit of doing these releases on a seasonal basis.

Posted in press releases, Small Business, Virtual Assistant | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tax Time! (or What’s In The Shoebox?)

Posted by remoteadminservices on March 3, 2008


Not a topic we like to hear, unless you are an accounting professional.  But tax season is well under way! Have you given thought as to what you might be able to deduct?

I was recommended a very good book called, 422 Tax Deductions For Small Businesses & Self-Employed Individuals by Bernard B. Kamoroff, C.P.A. The 7th Edition is out.  As a rule of thumb, it pays to get a new book every year to make sure the deductions are up to date.  Some book publishers offer a discount if you, for example mail in the cover of a previous edition.  But this varies.  The book is a good reference of topics in alphabetical order that can be looked up quickly, like a dictionary. However, as you will see in the Amazon listing, there are mixed reviews, so to each his own.

As always, for the home office warrior, if you are thinking about taking the home business deduction, or deductions recommended from a book such as the above for example, you should consult a tax professional.

Are you overwhelmed with expenses for deductions and no one to help? Consider Remote Admin Services to help sort out deluge. We will organize those receipts in a manner that your accountant will love you for!

Posted in IRS, Small Business, Uncategorized, VA's, Virtual Assistant, Work From Home | Leave a Comment »