Case Study: Removing regionalization from your business

I was talking to a single person business today, and the subject of de-regionalization came up. This individual has clients all over the nation, primarily corresponding by telephone and mail with those outside of the Des Moines metro. He has a three year old Windows PC, which is used as the sole computer for his business.

I quickly defined two ways that a Mac would improve his ability to communicate remotely using iChat, which is built in to Mac OS X.

First, I started up a video session with my wife, showing the fact that you can embed virtually any file within the video stream, making it very easy to share concepts; whether they are easily spoken about, drawn, presented, or written.

Second, I showed the built-in ability to share screens via iChat. The nice thing about this is that it automatically creates a voice chat session at the same time, so the two individuals can talk about what is happening on screen. This is useful for both my clients as well as those that are teaching computer-based concepts to remote clients.

Finally, I demonstrated what is quickly becoming the greatest benefit of utilizing Macs in business- Automation. I will talk about my general automation demonstration later.

I realize there are third-party solutions available to do all of this in Windows. However, the tools that I demonstrated were built in Mac OS X, and do not incur additional costs for software.

The individual in this case study is now considering how he might afford to replace his HP a couple years early, given the benefits of using a Mac, and the additional revenue opportunities it provides in de-regionalizing his business.

iChat Video Freezing in Snow Leopard

Since buying a MacBook Pro for my wife (which also serves as a backup machine in case mine disappears) I’ve had the opportunity to use the video chat feature more often than I have before. However, it seemed to not work nearly as well in Snow Leopard as it had in earlier version of iChat. The video on both of our ends would freeze, with the only remedy being to end the video chat and start over, only to have it freeze seconds later. To add insult to injury, iChat seemed to have an eye to always pick an inopportune frame to freeze on. Needless to say, this issue makes iChat video unusable.

There’s a fix for that.

First, you need to find iChat in your Applications folder. I usually tell people to click on the desktop, then go to the ‘go’ menu, and select ‘Applications’ from the options. Single click on iChat.

Next, either select ‘Get Info…’ from the ‘File’ menu, or press ⌘-i on your keyboard to open the Information panel.

In the information panel, there should be a checkbox next to “Open in 32-bit mode”. Put a check mark in that box and close the window.

Finally, quit iChat and open it back up again.

Your video problems should have gone away.