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Frequently Asked Questions

OKI - FAQ
OK.  Where are you hiding some samples of your work?!
What do you really do? What I mean is what is your main focus.
Do you do web hosting?  If so what does your package entail?
Can you help me with developing an intranet(s)?
Can you help me with my internal networking systems?
Do you do home networking system configuration help or Advanced Home Networking?
What operating systems can you help me with?
Can you help with our internal servers, networks and intranet services?
Do you Computer Forensics?
What do you mean by "Front End" and "Back End"
My buddy used MS Front Page to make our web site. What can you do for me that s/he didn't?
I have a halfway decent site, why do I need your services?
We do not have the resources to keep our site current. Can you help?
No one visits our site anyway, why do I need you?
Maybe I should have you do my family's site?
What is the basic process for working with new customers?
What kind of turnaround time can I expect?
How do you bill us? Are their payment plans, fixed package prices, $////hr or what?
OK, well, about how long did it take to make this site?
Do you have artists that create original artwork just for me?
Do you host sites?
Do you do audio work? Voice overs, soundtracks and the like?
How about video work? Animation and the like?
Do you recommend operating systems, tools, equipment and gadgets?
What compilers do you use?
What HTML editors do you normally work with?
What image editing applications do you normally work with?
What is your test lab setup like?
What is your favorite computer platform.
What browsers do you use?
What database systems do you use?
Are the founders married?
Where on earth did you come up with "Outa Knoware" for a name anyway?
Why is "International" in your name?
Where are your stereograms?
Q: OK, where are you hiding some samples of your work?!
A: Sorry about that!  We weren't really hiding them. They can be found on the front page by clicking on the not so obvious link shown here to the far right, the OKI Certified sites page.  You can click the plaque here too to get there.  The listing shown is not all we've done but a cross sample of some of the variety we did.  We have many more too. Unfortunately some companies we did work for did not survive the '2000' internet implosion but we still have their sites and can show you pieces that might be closer to your industry.  Call us for more info! This link goes to the Outa Knoware links page.
Q: What do you really do? What I mean is what is your main focus.
A: We create, perfect and maintain computer based medium delivery systems. Like that? OK. We design, build and maintain web based information services. We make and maintain portals to your business data. That means a web browser front end (portal) that displays what ever you want, anywhere, to any data you consider company relevant. A simplistic example is a simple Home Page. We create/design, add to, or finish a company's web site and then provide maintenance. By maintenance we're implying: adding and deleting old/new products, changing/adding specifications, phone numbers, employees, pictures, special stuff and the like. At the other end of the spectrum is a full back end solution that uses your internal network (intranet) to share corporate data for all your employees. This could be anything from HR benefit's page to training programs to stock availability, customer support, work tips. Anything. Seriously anything.  Contact us!
 
Q: Can you help me with developing an intranet(s)?

A: Of course!  A lot of our clients start with their external (publicly visible) internet web site and shortly realize an internal (intranet) can simplify a lot of things inside the company.  Typical use is to centralize document and information.  Does everyone use the same forecasting docs? Quotes and sales docs? Client and employee names and addresses? Put them on your internal site.  Add a database and the sky's the limit.
We can help you add the few pieces you need to get going faster than you might think.  Call us and we can tell how you how useful and easy this can be to implement. 1-978-688-1388.

 
Q: Can you help me with my internal networking systems?
A: Yes.  We have extensive server expertise from both a harware and a software perspective.  From advice on adding a router or switch to the most cost effective means of breaking up a congested system, we can help.
 
Q: Do you do home networking system configuration help or Advanced Home Networking?
A: No.  However, our subsidiary will definitely be able to help you.  Try www.inknoware.com for all your Advanced Home Network problems and solutions!
 
Q: What operating systems do you normally work with?
A: Our expertise lies in Linux/Unix http, DNS, DHCP, SAMBA, NFS and SendMail servers to setting up, configuring and troubleshooting Linux, Macintosh and Windows workstations.  We also maintain security expertise and forensic skills for the reconstruction of data on these workstations and servers.
 
Q: Can you help with our internal servers, networks and intranet services?
A: Absolutely!  We can recommend systems (we do not sell them, you can buy them as cheap as we can) and operating systems for whatever you have in mind.  We are fluent in Windows, Macintosh and Linux both workstation and server setup and use.  From complex httpd (Web) servers to DHCP and DNS to SendMail MTA's we can help you.  Need Network Attached Storage (NAS) or RAID we can do that do that to.  We also do calls on an hourly rate and yearly maintenance contracts. Call us and we'll discuss your options!  1-978-688-1388
 
Q: Do you Computer Forensics?
A: Yes, in a variety of ways.  We have from time to time been requested to take an image of a hard drive and look for certain data it might contain.  Several local police departments have asked us to search for deleted mail files, AOL instant messages and other items they were interested in finding.  Click here for  more info.  However, we do not perform data recovery services on physically damaged hard disks. Sorry.
 
Q: What do you mean by "Front End" and "Back End"
A: "Front End" means the visual look and feel that the user sees and manipulates to view your company data and information. The basic idea is what the user will see in their browser when they access a specific URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Its called the front end because its the front of the thing being shown to you. "Back End" is the engine that is driving your data and information to the front end. There is a substantial amount of work being done on the back end of a typical site. Task such as, validating credit cards, searching an inventory database, tracking shipments, on-the-fly page construction, validation, the list is endless. Add to this, your information may be a compilation of data from sources that are world wide! Updating, synchronizing and paralleling data is an extensive tricky operation.
 
Q: My Brother's Wife's Sister's best buddy used Microsoft Front Page to make our company's web site. What can you do for me that s/he didn't?
A: We can fix it. We can maintain it. Seriously. Sure, you can use Front Page to make a reasonably Professional site, but most users can't, don't or find out it's a whole lot harder and time consuming than they thought. Additionally, does your Wife's buddy know SQL Server and MS Advanced Server for database integration?? Kinda need that stuff to make anything really useful. Oh, and do they happen to have a digital video/photo studio at hand? We're sure they do and they're really creative and a talented artist too. They create Masters Degree level ad and product copy. Perl, Java, HTML, XML, C, C++ software engineering experts too. Wow, can we hire them? Seriously, a lot of our clients started on their own and then figured out they need help. We can help you too. Other clients of ours built their own site and then, due to economic conditions, no longer have the manpower to maintain it.  Face it, who needs to pay a full time IT staff to maintain a site for 2-10 hours a week? We'll do it for you. Contact us.
 
Q: I have a halfway decent site, why do I need your services?
A: If you think your site is only "halfway decent" think what your customers/users think about it. I'll give you a hint - Useless. Terms like "they don't get it" come to mind. Your company's external web site is an integral part of your marketing mix and a valuable performer for a combination of information, support and advertising. We transform your static, Yellow Page looking billboard front page to a truly useful tool. We look at your business model with you and plan incremental site improvements to achieve your goals. Not really sure what you need or how a web site can be a competitive advantage? CALL US, you'll be glad you did. Contact us.
 
Q: We do not have the resources to keep our site current. Can you help?
A: Absolutely! Many, many of our clients are in the same boat.  They have a site but do not have, for a variety of reasons, the time slices necessary to keep it current.  You do not need an entire IT department to maintain your site.  We will spend the few hours a week it needs to keep it up and working hard for you.  Once your site is up and running, we are your perfect partner for maintenance mode operations.  Who needs a dedicated IT staff when you only need them 5-20 hours a week?  You need us.  Contact us.
 
Q: No one visits our site anyway, why do I need you?
A: If no one is visiting, you have several problems, all of which we can help you with. The biggest error is making a static billboard front end. Great, XYZ Corp is now on the web. So what. It's the same ad that is in the Yellow Pages. Great. Add content! Show off your services. Make the site into a personal salesman. Give users a taste of what you do! Display specials. Merchandise better. Answer questions. Provide brochures. Your site should provide EVERTHING AND MUCH MORE that you can get if someone walked into your store and started asking for things. I don't want to have to call or drive down to find out if XXX has YYY or ZZZ is in stock or isn't available in purple at 11:30pm at night! I might be real timid and afraid to ask a salesperson something (for real! happens all the time). I never would of guessed adding product Z to my product Y purchase would make me much happier (and you too!). Use your site to educate your customers. Gosh, golly, gee. The list is ENDLESS. Can't think of how to work this medium into your strategies? CALL US. Let me repeat, CALL US. We have advanced degrees in Marketing and lots of real world experience. We know how to meld technology and promotional marketing to make your company better off. We can help you. Contact us.
 
Q: Maybe I should have you do my family's site....
A: Sure! If you want the best and you have the money.
 
Q: What is the basic process for working with new customers?
A: Every customer is different. But, very generally, we sit down with you and discuss your needs. Brand new site? Update Site? Add features? Strictly maintenance? Link internal data to an external site or source? Just do a cleanup job? For new sites typically we do a needs analysis meeting, basic prototype site mockup, three phases of implementation and then sign off. Call us and talk to a human here to see what we can do for you. 1-978-688-1388. or go here Contact us.
 
Q: What kind of turnaround time can I expect?
A: Again, it depends on what you want us to do. We literally have built a little bit of everything. Drivers, applications, utilities, web sites, server side/client side this and that, DB access engines, applets, you name it. Some typical times are: Custom artwork - a day to a week. Voice/sound work - day to a week. Site analysis - week to two weeks. Full site design creation and test - two to six months, or more. Custom software development - five button panel - a week, java applet for company specific validation - 2-10 days. Full blown utility sized application - 6-9 months plus 3 month to shippable state. Did that help? We know, its hard. Call us. We'll give you a real estimate when you tell us what you want to make! Contact us.
 
Q: How do you bill us? Are their payment plans, fixed package prices, $/£/¥/€/hr or what?
A: It turns out we're incredibly flexible. As for billing you, very basic. You set up an account for us with a PO number and we'll invoice you weekly or monthly. Individuals, we accept MC and Visa, half down, half on completion. For specific projects with a written specification (we'll help you make it!) we get paid when its finished or when we hit pre agreed upon milestones for larger project. Our typical customer is in maintenance mode and we bill them weekly/monthly for services performed. Again, we're very flexible. We have done on-line stores for some of our customers who couldn't really afford a custom built turnkey system. So we ended up making a deal where we significantly lowered our development rate but we receive a percentage of their web sales for a fixed time period. Not for everyone, but in unique cases it works out well (we still have a great relationship with that company). Just for a reference point, our per hour fees are $55-$120US/hour depending upon what you want. One call and we'll happily help you 1-978-688-1388
 
Q: OK, well, about how long did it take to make this site?
A: This site took about a week and half for a design concept. Graphics and page layout took another 2 weeks. Content verbiage, a week and a half. Javascript coding, 3 days. Full integration and HTML coding another 2 weeks. Testing and review another 2 weeks. So about 2 months to go from an empty page to a fully functioning site. At the low end that would have cost you about 2 months = 480 hours X $50US = $26,400US. This site has all the basic things you might want, custom graphics, animation, database access (its there you just don't see it!), emailing, form work and more. Get fancier, it gets more expensive, quickly. Part of what we can help you with is a transitional web model. You probably do not need a giant full featured web site immediately. Chances are your still in the process of "training" your customers (and perhaps yourself) to use your site instead of calling you to ask for printed material, questions or to place orders. This is exactly what you need us for. Start small and slowly move to a full featured site as your customers learn the advantages of using your site over just calling you.
 
Q: Do you have artists that can create original artwork just for me/my company?
A: Yes. Our artists can do conventional paint, ink and paper and, of course, extensive CG (computer generated) artwork. Even if you can't think of it they can probably make it! They prize themselves on going from vague concepts to finished graphics. I really believe they could draw the wind if they had the right paint :)
 
Q:  Do you host sites?

A: Yes!  We provide domain hosting for $30US per month. We only offer one, and only one, Hosting Plan. Cheaper hosting can certainly be found, but buyer beware, the feature set we provide in our single package, are very expensive add-ons for many other hosting companies. Click here to see our plan's feature set: OKI Hosting Plan.

A lot of our clients already have their sites hosted either externally or internally. If you have your own domain name and an IP address, we can switch you over or we can help you set up your own site in-house. We can also help you build an intranet too. We are very experienced with IP, DNS, DHCP, IIS, Linux-Apache and all that other server stuff.  Give us a call an we'll be happy to explain your options. Yes! I want to contact you!  1-978-688-1388

 
Q:  Do you do audio work?  Voice overs, soundtracks and the like?
A: Yes. We do limited audio work. We have clients who like to add some sounds to their portals to enhance the overall effectiveness of their site. We have a lot of canned sounds and plenty of digitizing gear to fulfill most requests. For more intense work and voice over talent we tap into the local DJ's here in Boston. One of our favorites is J.J. Wright of Boston, MA. Check out his site: www.JJWright.com.
 
Q:  How about video work? Animation and the like?
A: Yes. We do limited video work too. We have clients who like to add some video clips to their portals to enhance the overall effectiveness of their site. Again, we have pro-sumer video equipment and editing software but we generally farm intensive video work out to a few favorite local companies we know.
 
Q:  Do you recommend operating systems, tools, equipment and gadgets?
A: Not really. We have them all (well, those that we think matter!) so that we can provide services and testing on all the major platforms. Those being, Linux, Macintosh and Windows OS. However we LOVE gadgets here! When we get to know you we'll swap tips, ideas and gadget goodies for the common good.
 
Q:  What compilers do you use?
A: Our compilers are somewhat of a personal preference to our programmers. MetroWerks CodeWarrior Professional and Microsoft Visual C/C++. We debug with their respective source code debuggers. For the hard core stuff we use Numega Soft Ice (PC) and Macsbug (on the Mac). We subscribe to (belong?) MicroSoft Developer Network and the Apple Certified Developer Program, and of course, we're friends Tux and the rest of the Linux Community.
 
Q:  What HTML editors do you normally work with?
A: For web design work we use MacroMedia Dreamweaver UltraDev and Microsoft Visual InterDev with a touch of Homesite and FrontPage thrown in for good measure. Additional pieces that interact well are Flash MX, Fireworks and the rest of the Macromedia suite.
 
Q:  What image editing applications do you normally work with?
A: This is a no brainer - Adobe Photoshop. There is just plain no finer program on the market. We only wish other software vendors would use the same quality and usability criteria that Adobe uses. Multi platform too. Its just great. We can't say enough about it.  Spend the money, buy it.  Thomas Knoll (the original developer) deserves it.  (and, no we do not get any ad money for that endorsement!).  For animated gifs we use its sister product Adobe ImageReady.
 
Q:  What is your test lab setup like?
A: Its cool. We are very proud of it and besides its great for multi player games late at night! Seriously, we have a dedicated 2.2Ghz Pentium 4 server running Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Microsoft Enterprise SQL Server. That system also has over a Gig of RAM and 1.5TB of storage. It is fully automated with RAID storage and automated tape backup. It hosts our own site and more, it has dial-in remote access for our VPN (virtual private network) along with our internet based VPN. Our main test area has a raft of CPUs running from 486 systems up to P4s and a multiprocessor system to boot (uh, I mean "additionally", not "to boot up"). We run Mac OS 7.6, 9.1 and 10 (X), Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 and XP. RedHat Linux and SuSE Linux. Browser selection is Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Opera and Mozilla. All with varying point releases and a huge pile of plug-ins. As such, we can do compatibility testing with virtually any product matrix and test e-training type development with multi user course work real time.
 
Q:  What is your favorite computer platform?
A: Since I am writing this you get my answer, which "doesn't necessarily reflect the view and opinions of the management of Outa Knoware, Intl.", it's the Macintosh. The Mac truly is a superior user experience. Everything made for the Mac has the user in mind and generally software development companies work extremely hard to make sure things are right on the Mac platform. Unfortunately, Windows is the "just good enough" platform of choice. Although it is slowly catching up to the Mac in its interface, its improper and very often unexpected results still keep it as an inferior platform. However, hardware costs for a PC is so astronomically low most companies have opted for Windows and made Bill Gates a billionaire. As I sit here, I am typing in MS Word on a P4 PC. Sigh.
 
Q:  What browsers do you use?
A: Our browser selection is Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Opera and Mozilla. We test for compatibility only on these four.
 
Q:  What database systems do you use?
A: We have our own Microsoft Enterprise SQL Server we use both for business and for testing. We also have MS Access and Filemaker (for those clients that request it).  Our hosted sites all run on BSD servers with Chili!soft Active Server Pages, PHP 4.0 and mySQL databases.
 
Q:  Are the founders married?
A: Yes. As of this writing it has been 15 years and two offspring's later...
 
Q: Where on earth did you come up with "Outa Knoware" for a name anyway?
A: Dan started some work in the early 90's for a networked educational course development project. The content was poor (but it was what the customer wanted) and jokes started going around about where the knowledge could be found - nowhere in this product. The next step was piecing knowledge and software together - Knowledge and software. Knoware. Hmm. Out of nowhere came Knoware... Outa Knoware! Dan says it has great marketing potential, "you found us Outa Knoware", "Knoware can you find a better..." and the like. Dan thinks this is amazingly clever so tell him so if you meet him. PS the invisible man logo's name is Knoware - he's Knoware to be found....
 
Q: Why is "International" in your name?
A: Because it sounds cool. Well, OK. We did do a bunch of work and still have a working relationship with a company in the Ukraine. We have also sold some of our packages to Canada (that counts, eh!), United Kingdom, France, Australia and Indonesia. We figured that was worldwide enough so that we could say it in our name.
 
Q: Where are your stereograms?
A: Ya gotta have stereograms.... go here.
 
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