Serial Port Software Solution Leads Triple by 10 % – Port Mapper and USB Over Network

Recently Software MarkTech Foundation released the SLS data on the software popularity market and other research. All the data was based on all possible software market gatherings. Multiple white papers were submitted on this issue indicating the list of the most popular softwares on the market. Over 2, 304, 123 estimates have been given on this research. Linux-based solutions dominate considerably over the Unix -based and Windows-based will grow by 50 % in 2009.

A special attention (and this article as well) was given to Serial Port Mapper solution which is claimed to triple its leads by 10 %. An increasing demand in serial port products defines the software market. In this article we will outline a general sketch of what Serial Port Mapper is. Serial Port Mapper is a windows-based solution which allows to map any serial port to any new port name. In other words, it allows to create aliases for serial ports. For example, a person installs additional serial port expansion card to computer as COM5 serial port. But his/her favorite software can work with COM1…COM4 ports only and cannot be reconfigured to work with COM5. To resolve this problem one needs to map COM5 port to COM1 port. As a result, a software can open COM1 port but actually work with COM5 port. Serial Port Mapper functionality can be easily integrated into any other application. So serial ports can be mapped and swapped from any application directly.

USB over Network is both Windows- and Linux-based solution allowing to work with the remote USB devices over a local network or Internet as if they were connected directly to a local PC. Usually, when a person needs to use any USB device (like scanner, flash-memory, etc) he/she plugs it into USB port of his/her computer. But for all that, the device is accessible only for the computer it is plugged into. And what if someone else needs to use the same USB device?

The problem was resolved in a different extraordinary way. USB over Network allows to work with remote USB devices over a local network or Internet. To do that USB over Network Server is to be installed on the PC where USB devices are plugged in. USB over Network Client must be installed on the PCs a person wants to give access to those very USB devices he/she has already plugged in. That’s all. USB over Network Client is a free software. The solution is very simple, any user which has installed USB over Network Client can work with remote USB devices as if they were connected directly to his/her local PC.

The Most Commonly Used Smartphone Applications

Smartphones are being spotted in the hands of almost everybody who can afford it. There’s a plethora of brands that cater to almost all types of smartphone customers in the market.

Sensing that the popularity of smartphones would surge northwards in the coming years, software companies are introducing new applications at frequent intervals, not to mention the several ones that are already there in the market.

Here are some of the most popular smartphone applications.

The Weather Channel

Getting to know about the day’s weather, in earlier times, simply involved reading the newspaper. The Weather Channel software is now available to smartphone users who can check the weather and the forecasts for any place across the globe via a simple click on the button. The application offers text views and map views as well as a screen shot of the weekly weather forecast. Whether you are watching an amazing storm video which has been captured on film or have a fetish to know about the latest weather, The Weather Channel is gaining popularity with each passing day. It’s compatible with several popular smartphones and even some cheap smartphones as well.

Pandora

Pandora is an automatic genome music system which creates music recommendations based upon the personal listening preference of the listener. Besides playing music continuously, the software also inserts new music to the play-list, that’s likely to interest the listener. The application analyses the songs being heard by the listener and determines his genres and choices. It then matches its results with other songs or artists. The user is able to continually morph his selection of music either approving or disapproving the music selected by the software. The best part of Pandora is that the first 40 hours of listening, every month, is free. Following the expiry of the free limit, a listener can continue using the application by paying a small fee.

NeatCall

NeatCall is a fantastic application which can be used to organize your profession or career. Even small businessmen, starting off sans any substantial knowledge of the application, love it. The basic package of the application is currently available for free but one has to pay a monthly fee to download additional features and gadgets. With the simple click of a button, the application determines the best time slot for your conferences and meetings. It even follows up the event with appropriate attendees. There’s no more any need to make additional phone calls or send lengthy emails for confirming the scheduled appointment. In fact, the application not only determines the correct time for your calls and meeting, it also updates your calendar by inserting the necessary information. In the event you chance to look on the calendar, you’ll be instantly reminded of your appointment. NeatCall stores all the information in its server. It’s easy and can be installed on several smartphones, including cheap smartphones.

There are hundreds of useful smartphone applications that you can download and install on your handset. But before everything else, always install good anti-virus software and keep harmful viruses at bay.

Project Management Applications For Small Businesses

If you manage a small business or project, using email communications, Excel spreadsheets and company hard drives for managing and storing project information might be okay on a temporary basis, but as the number of your projects grow (and your number of collaborators grow with it) you’ll need to consider a more sophisticated system to incorporate in your business processes.

In fact, it has been proven that for small businesses having a collaborative tool providing multiple features including task assignment, time tracking, CRM, document management, mobile connectivity and third party invoicing can make a huge difference in company’s bottom line.

For large organizations, systems like Primavera, MS Project or SharePoint are the most popular software programs for project planning, reporting, document sharing, progress updating and tracking. They are used worldwide and have their own benefits and disadvantages.

On the other hand, for small businesses or small projects (such as creating new websites, new software programs, new mobile apps or even a minor manufacturing projects) Primavera and MS Project might not be the best solutions, the most important disadvantages being higher costs, heavy platform environment, learning curve, the need for sophisticated support team and unavoidable staff training.

Deciding which project management application or software to incorporate into your small business processes can be a daunting task as there is quite a wide selection to choose from and they are all continually evolving and advancing. To make matters more difficult, each software creator provides different packages to choose from, depending on the number of projects, the number of users (collaborators) and the storage space offered.

On the lower end, developers seem to categorize their packages based on one of these two choices:

– Unlimited collaborators, but limited number of projects

– Unlimited projects, but limited number of collaborators

But, they also offer unlimited projects/collaborators packages at much higher monthly rates.

Even if you select a low-end package to start with, as a growing business the high-end packages should be an important criteria for your selection because in a few years when your number of projects/users grow you would want to be able to keep the same platform, and avoid having to transfer all your files to a less costly solution.

Storage is also another differentiator for choosing your package. Depending on the type of projects your organization is managing, and the size of files your team members share on a daily basis, this could become a make-or-break factor in your selection.

The ability to use the software on your mobile smartphone or tablet is another factor to take into consideration, if that is indeed important to you or your organization. Some applications are just web-based, others use HTML5 code that fits and adapts to any screen size, and others provide their own iOS, Android or Windows Phone apps for the most popular devices such as iPhone or iPad.

Another factor to consider is whether you want (or need) to work with Gantt charts that are simpler versions of MS Project and Primavera. Some project management apps offer visual Gantt-based (rather than a task-assignment based) software.

To make your selection a little bit easier, outlined below are some project management apps we briefly examined for small businesses (in no particular order):

Product Name: Basecamp (Web-based + Mobile App)

– Lower End Package: 10 Projects, Unlimited Users, 3 GB Storage, $20 / month

– Higher End Package: Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Users, 100 GB Storage, $150 / month

Basecamp keeps all your project documents and communications in one place. You can control who sees what on the projects and who can communicate with whom. The user interface is quite user-friendly and provides quick access to the latest project progress, communications, To-Do lists, etc. Basecamp also provides iOS and Android apps for mobile phones and tablets.

Product Name: Mavenlink (Web-based + Mobile App)

– Lower End Package: Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Users, 20 GB Storage, $25 / user / month

– Higher End Package: Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Users, 100 GB Storage

Mavenlink is fully integrated with Google Docs, Tasks and Contacts. It allows you to centralize your project information, files and communications in a shared environment. Real-time messaging ensures your team members stay on the same page. You can also stay connected using your mobile smartphone as the software offers an HTML5 mobile version as well.

Product Name: Apollo (Web-based + Mobile App)

– Lower End Package: 18 Projects, Unlimited Users, 5 GB Storage, $23 / month

– Higher End Package: Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Users, 75 GB Storage, $148 / month

Apollo helps you keep track of what’s happening on your project, tasks, and calendar using interactive timers. In the activity screen you can see who did what, and even communicate with other people. Files can also be kept within the platform. Mobile versions of the software for iOS and Android are also offered.

Product Name: Wrike (Web-based + Mobile App)

– Lower End Package: 5 Users, Unlimited Collaborators, Unlimited Projects, 5 GB Storage, $49 / month

– Higher End Package:: 50 Users, Unlimited Collaborators, Unlimited Projects,100 GB Storage, $199 / month

Wrike is another project management software providing task management, time tracking, document sharing, and real-time news-feed. It also provides Gantt-chart integration as well as Outlook and email integration to facilitate communications.

Product Name: Projecturf (Web-based only)

– Lower End Package: 20 Projects, Unlimited Users, Unlimited Storage, $40 / month

– Higher End Package: Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Users, Unlimited Storage, $120 / month

Projecturf provides a user-friendly web environment giving instant access to various projects using tabs. It allows you to grant and change access permissions in every section, and even remove some section if they don’t apply to a project.

Product: Project Bubble (Web-based only)

– Lower End Package: 10 Projects, Unlimited Users, 5 GB Storage, $24 / month

– Higher End Package: Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Users, 100 GB Storage, $99 / month

Project Bubble allows you to assign tasks and sub-tasks to team members, as well as define user permissions. It also allows you to enter the amount of hours you expect a given task should take (planned) and compare with the amount of hours is actually took (actual) to compare your actual costs with your planned budget. A timesheet feature is also offered for team members to help track the hours

Product Name: TeamGantt (Web-based only)

– Lower End Package: 5 Projects, 5 Users, 1 GB Storage, $10 / month

– Higher End Package: Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Users, 20 GB Storage, $79 / month

If you like using simplified Gantt charts, then TeamGantt might be the solution for you. The software also incorporates simple task commenting (by team members) directly in the Gantt chart. You can still take advantage of sharing documents and many other resources, and even view multiple projects’ Gantt charts in one screen to help with your resource planning.

In a nutshell, if the essence of project management is the breaking down of multi-faceted projects into smaller tasks and milestones assigned to various collaborators, then project management applications and software should assist you in organizing and breaking those complex operations and individual tasks down into specific data available at your fingertips; thus, providing more efficiency into the process than contemporary paper documents and spreadsheets offer. Therefore, your decision to purchase a project management software for your small business should be a long-term strategy for your organization:

1- Make a list of features you need today (and maybe in the future)

2- Assign weights to each feature based on its importance to your business

3- Review each software platform (start on their website)

4- Use a simplified QFD chart to compare various programs and narrow down your choice to just a few

5- Test the waters by emailing/calling each software provider to evaluate their customer support and agility to respond to your requests in a timely manner.

A final note of caution: Not all these project management software programs will survive today’s competitive marketplace, and one can easily predict that only a few will remain in a few years. So make sure your selection is not just based on price and short-term advantages, but also looks further on the horizon. If you like the content of this article, please share it on social media.