Introduction

1. What is remote CD/DVD writing?
Writing data to a CD using a Burner installed inside another computer on the network is called Remote CD writing

2. What is LANwriter?
LANwriter is an intranet software which when installed on a WinXPP workstation, allows it to host a remote CD writing service. In addition to Remote CD writing, LANwriter can write to removable flash or Pen drives. LANwriter also serves as a browser accessed remote FTP client.

3. What is so special about LANwriter?
LANwriter is the first product that brings Browser-based remote CD writing to the WinXP platform.

4. Are there other competing products like LANwriter?
To our knowledge, there is no product with the functionality and features offered by LANwriter.

System Requirements

5. What are the Hardware and OS software requirements of LANwriter.
Please visit this page :- http://www.lanwriter.com/

6. What supporting software does LANwriter need?
LANwriter needs Internet Information Server (IIS) to run as it is an intranet application. Additionally LANwriter needs a MSSQL server or MSDE server as a backend database. MSDE can be installed from within the LANwriter installer program.

Installation

7. Is Setup, Configuration and Maintenance easy?
YES ! Setup is very easy. Even a lay computer user will be able to install LANwriter without any difficulty, thanks to the intelligent setup program that automatically installs the required system components and guides and prompts the user in a friendly way to input appropriate information as and when necessary. After the initial installation is done, the basic LANwriter setup may be further configured from any machine on the network via a web browser.

Basic Operation

8. How does it work?
LANwriter is installed on a WinXPP workstation equipped with a CD-Burner, USB Ports for flash drives and connectivity to the Internet for FTP . A LAN user wanting to write a CD or transfer data to a pendrive or an FTP server, starts up the browser on his machine and points it to a web application running on the LANwriter sever, logs in and is guided along by the software in transferring files to the LANwriter workstation. He then creates a data transfer job and asks LANwriter to write the data to the chosen destination viz. CD, Pendrive or FTPserver. LANwriter executes the writing job in a queued manner and stores the information about the job in a database and safely archives the files to an archive location for future reference and reuse. LANwriter thus keeps a detailed record of the History of all data writing jobs and acts as a secure data publishing system for the enterprise.

9. How do I use LANwriter as a data cataloging and archival tool?
LANwriter stores complete information of every data writing job in its database. Job description, purpose, username, date and time, data size and a complete directory listing of all the files and folders written as part of the job is preserved in the database. This information constitutes a fully searchable catalog of data published through LANwriter. In addition to storing the job information, optionally, LANwriter can backup the entire data itself to an location on a spare disk drive. This disk drive which is preferably of very large capacity, can then serve as a full blown data archive of all past projects. Past project data can be readily fetched, reused and republished from this archive. Thus LANwriter acts as a complete cataloging and data archival tool in the enterprise.

10. How can I use LANwriter as a Website Content Management System?
LANwriter can upload data to remote FTP servers. Account information for an unlimited number of FTP locations can be stored in the LANwriter databse. Specific users can be given access to specific FTP locations from this database. They can then upload files and folders via LANwriter to any of the FTP locations alloted to them. In this way they can manage data in subfolders of a larger website and can be made responsible for publishing content to these subfolders.

11. Can I run LANwriter simply to share a CD Burner without the complications of cataloging and archiving?
Not completely, but you can minimize the complications by switching off the “mirror data” option which will make LANwriter store only metainfo related to the job and prevent it from backing up all written data to a spare disk drive for archival. It is important to understand that LANwriter is security conscious application designed primarily to keep track of data publication in an organisation and so it does not encourage uncatalogued and untracked data writing and publication. Hence you cannot just use it as a dumb network CD writing software only. LANwriter likes to keep at least some minimal information of data that it writes for you and so you will have to feed in that minimal description as a job compilation before you can make it write the data for you.

12. Does LANwriter support multiple CD / DVD drives?
The present verison supports only a single CD / DVD writer on the LANwriter machine. The next major version of LANwriter will have support for multiple DVD drives.

13. What types of CDs can I write using LANwriter?
The current version of LANwriter is for writing Data CDs only. Audio CDs will be included in future versions.

14. Can LANwriter be used over the internet?
LANwriter being a browser-based application can be accessed over the internet if the LANwriter host is published as a virtual server behind your firewall. However this accessibility is best used for approving jobs remotely rather than for creating jobs which requires actual bulk file transfer over the network and cannot be done through the browser.

15. Can I use LANwriter as a CD/DVD copier?
The current version supports only a single CD/DVD device and so cannot be used as a CD/DVD copier. Future versions with suppoprt for multiple drives will provide this feature.

Security

16. What are the security features in LANwriter?
Every user is required to have a valid login account before using LANwriter to write data. User validation is against the WindowsXP security database of the computer hosting LANwriter. Users are of different kinds and there are ascending levels of security privileges. For eg. Admins have full control while Normal users can only compile data writing jobs and write them only after Approvers give approval. All data is cataloged and optionally archived to a spare Disk Drive before being written. This can be referred to at anytime to find out what data was written by any particular user for any particular job.

Administration

16. Does LANwriter need any administration? What’s involved in it?
LANwriter is a security conscious intranet application and as such requires some routine administration for tasks like adding new user accounts, setting their privileges, reconfiguring some changed system parameters like drive letters, etc. LANwiter smoothens the admin process with its admin-friendly interface and animated tutorials.

17. How is LANwriter administered?
Administration of all aspects of LANwriter is done via a web browser from within the LANwriter application itself.

18. Can more than one user administer the LANwriter system?
Yes, any LANwriter user having administrator privileges assigned to him, can administer the LANwriter system over and above using it as a normal user.

Maintenance / Troubleshooting

19. Does LANwriter need any maintenance? What’s involved in it?
LANwriter is software for secure data publication, cataloging and archival and as such requires typical routine maintenance tasks like monitoring account usage, SQL database and system configuration backup, data backup to offline DVD archives, etc. LANwiter smoothens the routine maintenance process with its friendly user interface and animated tutorials.

20. My LANwriter PC crashed and my LANwriter database is corrupted. What should I do?
Using Admin Panel, restore the databse from the latest database backup file.

21. Can I backup and restore the internal database to protect against a crash?
Yes you should be creating database backups periodically for restoration in case of disaster. Backups can be created via the Admin Panel. Restoration command is also available in the same place.

22. Is there a limit to the number of users that can be added to the LANwriter User database?
LANwriter base purchase comes with a 10 user license which should suffice for most small and medium scale offices. If you want to add more users you will need to buy additional user packs.

23. Can I import users from Active Directory?
The next release of LANwriter will provide this facility of connecting to an Active Directory server on the network for user management.

24. I cannot transfer my job files to LANwriter machine. I see a blank popup window or a “resource not found” warning dialog box. Why does this happen?
This happens when you login to LANwriter using a username and password that is different from the username and password used for your current Windows session. This may also happen if you have a disabled network connection. Ensure that you have a working LAN connection and that you have logged in to LANwriter using your Windows account credentials.

Help and Documentation

25. What is the best way to get new users started with LANwriter?
Have them view the animated Quick-Tours available at the click of an icon located on the LANwriter login page.

26. Where is the LANwriter help file?
LANwriter comes with a Simulated Interactive Help (SIH) facility. The SIH is a clickable application which mimics the LANwriter software itself. Using the SIH, the learning user can freely explore all the menus and options of the software without the fear of messing things up due to a wrong button-click. Every element within the SIH is loaded with informational, context-sensitive help and guides and leads the user along to give him a feel for actual application usage. The SIH substitues and enhances the linear or indexed type of help file that comes bundled with most standard software applications. The SIH is accessible from within the LANwriter application itself.

27. Can I get LANwriter installer CD and printed user manuals?
Currently LANwriter is distributed only as downloadable software. The software comes with a printable user manual in PDF format which you can print out at your end. In future LANwriter will be available as a boxed product.

Pricing and Licensing

28. How is it licensed?
LANwriter is licensed on a per server basis. One license allows you to install LANwriter on a single PC for use by multiple users on your LAN subject to the maximum user limit of 10 users on the base purchase.

29. Can I upgrade at concessional prices in the future?
Yes. Upgrade from lower to higher version can be done at any time by paying an incremental price.You will have to surrender the licence of the lower version post the upgrade. Concessional pricing offers will be sent to existing registered customers after release of every new version.

Premium Trial Versions

30. Is LANwriter available for Free Trial?
Yes. The Premium Trial is available to corporate users who evince special interest in the product for early purchase. In either case the Premium Trial is made available only on special request and prior consultation with LANwriter.com sales representatives.

31. What are the limits of the Trial version?
The Premium Trial version is a full featured LANwriter product for 10 user accounts that runs for 30 days after installation. All product features are fully enabled and there are no limits on data size.

Support

32. What support is available to Trial Users?
Trial users may contact us and seek help in case they face problems due to any bugs in LANwriter software. LANwriter support will help via email in the shortest possible time. However we might not be able to reply to issues for which self-help is available in the help files or on the LANwriter forum

33. What support is available to Registered Users?
Registered users get prompt support via e-mail for any issues related to LANwriter installation, configuration, operation and maintenance. Response time is 24 to 48 working hours at the most. LANwriter forum is also available for support related discussions.