ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc
A Certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)


Publisher:  Jack Burlin                 Editor:  Patti Hammonds

      Issue 4    October 5, 2005

Your success story            Monthly product special            Kevinisms (an inspiring story)      

Articles of Interest:  Power to Spare              Part 4:  "When is a toilet like a salt shaker?"

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Your Success Story 

Binh –
We are a growing full service metal fabrication company that spins sheet metal as a core business. We have been asked to fabricate server racks for another company located in our industrial park. This project and all of its requirements was overwhelming. At one point we had nearly given up on providing a valued customer the quality and economy that they expected. That’s when we decided that the project consisted of two distinct and separate processes. One was construction of a solid rack frame and the second was “dressing it out" with lockable doors, side and top panels, wiring struts, etc. We set out to determine our capability and competitiveness in the two
separate processes. During this investigative process we asked for information on several ISC (Information Support Concepts) rack configurations. I was very impressed
with your responsiveness and attention to detail. In the end, we decided to order a rack for prototype purposes from ISC based mostly on a perceived level of customer service. We have since received this rack frame and are delighted with the quality…we can easily conclude that this part of the project would not have been where to place our efforts. We “dressed out" the rack with the accessories required by our customer and they were delighted, as well. Our company looks forward to increased business with this and other potential customers for this unique service. We have decided to include ISC as a partner in this important business venture.

 Craig Stainbrook
Commercial Ventilation Division Manager
Iowa Metal Spinners, Inc.

Monthly Product Special

RPM 1601 Remote Power Manager


ISC can provide 15Amp, 20Amp or 30Amp remote power managers Each unit can control eight individual AC outlets, and
can be "daisy chained" to allow control of up to 128 outlets.
These remote power managers have built-in surge and spike
protection plus EMI/RFI filtering.  They accommodate most
network and security protocols.  The RPM units can be
configured and controlled from anywhere in the world through
the network using a single IP address and Web browser
interface.  A "Smart" telephone interface allows the RPM
units to provide "fail-safe" device rebooting from any
telephone, with no modem required.

ISC will be demonstrating this unit at the AFCOM show in
Chicago (October 10 and 11).  Mention the October newsletter
or the AFCOM booth number (514) for a 5% discount, good
through October 31, 2005.

Power To Spare

Article by Douglas Schweitzer, From Processor, July 1, 2005      

Tips For Selecting A Data Center UPS

Organizations who’ve suffered a power outage have to rely on alternative power sources, usually in the form of uninterruptible power supplies. Power losses may occur as the result of malicious acts, fires, storms, brownouts and blackouts, and even voltage spikes and dips. Such power failures can end up wiping out heating and cooling systems, vital mechanical equipment, lighting, security, and other protective systems, as well as all-important computer systems.

Damage can also occur in the aftermath of an outage, when power is restored. Regardless of how an outage originates, you can minimize monetary losses if you choose the right UPS. How important is a UPS? Power disturbances are a leading cause of hardware damage, data corruption, and system freezes, with some estimates putting power disturbance as responsible for nearly 50% of those losses.

E-750 extended runtime UPS
Available in tower, wall mount, or
rack mount configurations.

For the most part, organizations today recognize the need for firewall and/or antivirus software to protect their workstations and servers, but are they as aware of the dangers that can arise from power disturbances? An effective UPS ensures that your business will have power long enough to keep your data center running in time to save data and shut down all your equipment properly, before damage can ensue.

Types Of UPSes

There are four fundamental UPS system types: standby, online, line-interactive, and ferroresonnant. The standby, or offline UPS, while protecting you from the majority of outages and most small power spikes, will not offer sufficient protection against large power spikes, power sags, or A/C frequency variations under mission-critical applications.

UPSes for computer use should be the high-grade “online" types that keep the power flowing to the load with no appreciable break or change in the output if the input power fails, browns out, or spikes. These typically route the incoming mains to a DC battery charger and a bank of deep-cycle, lead-acid cells. The output is supplied to the load from the batteries through an AC inverter. The batteries provide the “smoothing" and no-break function. On the downside, this approach demands a constant power drain due to losses in the charger, batteries, and inverter. The inverter must also generate near sine wave output. High-power UPSes of this type are therefore expensive.

According to IsecT CEO Dr. Gary Hinson, “UPSes, which normally supply the raw main direct but can switch over to a standby supply on demand, must be capable of switching very fast without switching transients. Even a few milliseconds without power can cause IT systems to fall over or behave unpredictably." Hinson believes that an alternative solution that would suit a small to medium-sized enterprise or a larger company that cannot commit the funds for a big UPS or cannot project its UPS requirements for the next few years is to have small, rack-mounted online UPSes in every (critical) rack.

Factors For Determining UPS Capacity

Like closet space and RAM, you can never have too much capacity. It’s easy to under-size UPS units, as demands almost inevitably change. “Monitor your power demand and don’t let the IT or facilities people change things without reconsidering the power demand and capacity," maintains Hinson.

Hinson explains further that it’s important to note that items such as air conditioners create very heavy power loads, often too much to consider a UPS, but they can generally be supplied directly from raw mains and switched over to a standby generator, without the same online requirements as IT equipment. Virtually 100% of the main’s power that goes into the computer room ends up as waste heat, so power and air-conditioning capacities must remain in step.

Pro-700E (rear view)
Line-interactive UPS

Another important factor to consider is that lead-acid batteries give off hydrogen gas while being charged. Sealed types use a gel to reduce the gas vented, but open types must be in a ventilated place with fresh airflow to prevent an explosive buildup of gas.

Remember that all rechargeable batteries have a limited life. Make sure they are properly maintained and regularly tested to ensure there is sufficient capacity to hold the load for the projected period (cell voltage is not a perfect guide to the condition of the battery). Full on-load testing is the only acceptable way to be sure that the systems work. (If you are too doubtful to risk an on-load test, then clearly you have not engineered your power system properly!)

Not just the first part, but especially the second part of “lead-acid" should be a big hint. Use extreme caution and follow health and safety advice (for example, avoid acid splashes or getting acid on the electrical connections). “Have emergency eye-baths and rubber gloves available," adds Hinson.

“In my experience, most power failures in computer rooms protected by UPSes are caused by accidents, overloads, and maintenance problemsin other words, the people, not the equipment, are largely to blame," Hinson says. “Make sure to have solid procedures in place to deal with design, change control, testing, and maintenance of the power and other support systems."

On a final, most important note: Seek professional advice for designing the power system. Issues such as safe and reliable switching to isolate parts of the system for maintenance or safety purposes demand professional power engineering. Professionals won’t forget, for example, to design interlocks to the fire alarm system so that equipment power is cut automatically if a fire breaks out, especially power to the air conditioners with their huge fans.

by Douglas Schweitzer, Sc.D.

The ISC Newsletter
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A Kevinism is a funny or intriguing statement or idea from our Vice President of Sales, Kevin Hunt.  Kevin is a big fan of Sandra Bullock, Pizza Inn black olive pizza, and Dr. Pepper (not necessarily in that order).  He is not a big fan of Chinese food, seafood, or other types of "dead" stuff.

One of the interesting things about Kevin is, that once he finds something he likes, he really sticks with it.  In keeping with this theme, Kevin eats lunch at the local El Chico Mexican Restaurant (on Collins Avenue near I-30, in Arlington, TX), every Wednesday.  Wednesdays are the enchilada special, and Kevin orders the same thing every time:  three cheese enchiladas with queso, double rice, no beans.  Since the Spanish rice is about the same color as the queso, this makes his plate very mono-chromatic.  Now I am not telling you this so you can either envy or feel sorry (your choice) for Kevin's palate, but to tell you a very inspiring story.

Joe Chavez is one of the managers at the El Chico.  Here is a photo of Kevin and Joe. .
Joe has not always been at El Chico, and during a period with another company, he met Edward Stubbs.  They worked on the same sales team and usually shared some coffee in the morning, but otherwise were not very close.  During some office small talk, Joe mentioned that he was going through dialysis.  Ed and Joe exchanged numbers, and planned to socialize a bit (fishing or billiards were activities both enjoyed), but never really found time.  Joe returned to work at El Chico due to his "lack of sales ability" but would run across Ed occasionally.
About four years after they first me, Joe and Ed happened to meet at a local billiard parlor, and had the chance to play each other for "bragging rights."  Ed asked Joe about his dialysis treatments, how he prepared, how they made him feel, how he was coping with his condition, and so forth.  Joe had always maintained a positive attitude and told Ed there were worse afflictions, and he was lucky to have something that was manageable.
About two weeks later Ed called Joe for a rematch.  Ed was waiting when Joe arrived and after a warm greeting said, "Joe, I believe God sent me to give you a kidney."  This was quite a statement!  Joe thought, "Oh sure."  Many people think they would like to do something for someone else, but they are either not serious, or the difficulties involved become overwhelming.  Ed asked Joe for the number of the Dallas kidney transplant center, and Joe gave it to him.
The process for donating a kidney is difficult.  You can't ask someone for a donation, it has to be freely given.  Also, they need to carefully evaluate the proposed donor, not only for compatibility, but what their reaction might be if the transplant is not successful, or if the recipient dies.  Joe says you have to consider the "worst case scenario."
Another six months pass and while Joe is at his doctor's office, the nurse asked if he knew an Edward Stubbs.  She said he had been undergoing testing and had been approved as a kidney donor for Joe!
Joe rushed home and called Ed.  Why had he not told him about his efforts?  Ed did not want to bother Joe, and at the time had no vehicle, so he was getting rides to Dallas, but had not asked Joe to provide any help.  Joe was quite stunned by Ed's commitment and generosity.
It took over a year to run all the necessary tests and schedule the surgery. 
The date was set for October 31.  Halloween! and Joe was a little bit superstitious.  Joe still did not want to commit to the idea for fear that something would happen at the last minute and he would be disappointed.  It turned out that Ed was not at the hospital at the appointed hour.  Joe knew if they did not complete the surgery, it would take another year before it could be rescheduled.  Joe started to feel some disappointment, but the feeling turned to excitement when Ed finally arrived.  They were both prepared for surgery, and eight hours later Joe had a new kidney and a lifelong best friend.
According to Joe, Ed can now eat all the free El Chico's he wants!

Trivia Question
What is the name of the captain of the battleship USS Maine, at the time it was blown up in Havana harbor, precipitating the Spanish American War and creating the war cry "Remember the Maine!"?

Note:  I am looking for full first, middle, and last name.

The first person to correctly answer this question will win a free 25 foot reel of reusable velcro cable ties (part number MD88-25RLBK), plus free ground shipping.  Send your answers to:  Jack Burlin

See next month's newsletter for the winner and the correct answer.

Answer from September's Newsletter.

Q:  What is the relationship between the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet?

A:  No one successfully answered the question.  Since it seems to be such an excellent brain teaser, I reserve the right to offer it again in the future.

When is a toilet

 like a salt shaker?


Part 4  Continued from September


The Analysis

To try and figure out where other people were on this monumental question, I devised a simple survey form.  I asked people to answer the following questions,
by checking the appropriate circle:

Male  O                    Female    O

In my bathroom at my home, I prefer:

The toilet seat up         O

The toilet seat down    O

The lid down               O

No preference             O

Here is how the different responses were distributed for each possible answer:
  MEN WOMEN Disparity*
The toilet seat up 35%  4% 31%
The toilet seat down 12% 50% 38%
The lid down 17% 44% 27%
No preference 36% 2% 34%

* Disparity is the size of the gap between how many men or women chose that particular option.  With all
disparity numbers exceeding 27%, it is indicative of how different the men's and women's opinions are.

It is clear from this response that nearly all the women (96%) want either the toilet seat down, or the lid down.  Note that the toilet seat and lid must both be down together.  Only 29% of the men share the same preferences.  Also, very few (2%) of the women do not have a preference, while more than a third of the men do
not have a preference at all.
I believe the collected data provides significant information about the personality traits of each group, and I have applied names to each group to illustrate and
highlight the core attributes of each group.


The men who prefer the toilet seat up are: Macho Men
The women who prefer the toilet seat up are: Fairy Godmothers
The men who prefer the toilet seat down are: Men of Leisure
The women who prefer the toilet seat down are: Queens of the Realm
The men who prefer the lid down are: Paleolithic Men
The women who prefer the lid down are: Interior Decorators
The men who have no preference are: Philosopher Kings
The women who have no preference are: Warrior Princesses

Continued next issue with the "Macho Men"

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Information Support Concepts, Inc.
Mansfield, Texas

ISC, Information Support Concepts, Inc. offers an Extensive Selection of Quality 19

ISC, Information Support Concepts, Inc. offers an Extensive Selection of Quality 19" and 23" Rackmount Enclosure Computer Racks, Server Cabinets, Server Racks, 2-Post and 4-Post Racks, LAN Racks, Portable Racks, Power, Rackmount LCD TFT Monitor Keyboards, Accessories and Much More for IT-Network-Telecom Professionals.