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

Issue 14

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Patti Hammonds

August 5, 2006

IN THIS ISSUE
Your success story            Monthly product special            Kevinisms            Trivia         

Articles of Interest:  Charity Begins at the Office            Part 14:  "When is a toilet like a salt shaker?"

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Your Success Story

Lisa,

Sorry I have not had a chance to call you back, my experience with you guys was fantastic, I think the racks were here
before I finished the PO, I will definitely use you guys in the future and will recommend that anyone needing network equipment should contact you also.

Thanks Again,

Norman Dascoli, Data Center Engineer

 

Monthly Product Special


19" LCD Monitor
8U Panel


RP117
17" LCD Monitor
1U Drawer


15" LCD Monitor
6U Panel

 

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Information Support Concepts (ISC) is offering larger sizes of panel mounted  LCD monitors.  The older 17" and 19" versions have been upgraded to 19" and 20" respectively.  Together with the drawer mounted versions, clients have a wide variety of sizes to choose from.
Compare these Features:

Class A LCD panels
Panels manufactured by Samsung
Low power consumption
Standard 6' VGA cable supplied
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Flat panel monitors have 6mm aluminum panels
Available in high brightness - sunlight readable versions
Available with touchscreen options
Viewable through closed glass/Plexiglass cabinet doors
Drawers have variable mounting depths
16.2 (or more) display colors
Outstanding technical specifications

Call ISC at 800-458-6255 for more information. 
Mention the August newsletter article for 5% off*!

*The 5% discount  will be applied to retail customers only, and cannot be combined with other offers. 
 Valid through August 31, 2006. 


Charity Begins At The Office
Equipment Donation Puts Hardware In The Hands
 Of Those Who Need It Most

by Elizabeth Millard

                from the July 7, 2006 issue of  

As technology advances and upgrade cycles get shorter at many companies, the issue of what to do with older equipment is likely to become even more prominent.

In the past, some businesses held on to servers, desktops, and other hardware until they
sputtered and nearly died. But with the importance of having up-to-date technology, companies can no longer afford the support headaches involved with decade-old equipment. Magnifying the disposal problem is much-needed legislation designed to keep electronic waste out of landfills.

One answer to the conundrum is equipment donation, a strategy that not only keeps a company
in line with disposal laws but also helps local and international organizations. And let’s face it: When was the last time a tech decision made you feel all squishy inside from being a good person?

Donation Station

Donating equipment to charities, schools, and nonprofits is increasingly popular, says Barry Cranmer, founder of Share the Technology, an organization that pairs donors with schools, groups, and individuals with disabilities. “Considering how many people and organizations need technology, it just doesn’t make sense to throw away working equipment," he says. “It benefits everyone to see good, usable equipment kept out of the waste stream."

To make sure an organization is legitimate and won’t just turn around and dump the equipment
in the nearest landfill, an SME should ask for its tax ID information. A nonprofit or school that’s credible will have this number handy. If there’s still hesitation, ask for references from other companies that have donated or from asset disposal firms.

Asset refurbishment or disposal firms can also recommend organizations, and many would be willing to share the information even with those who aren’t their clients, Cranmer says. “There’s a drive to bridge the digital divide through donated technology, and asset disposal companies are
a big part of that effort," he notes. “Even if they’re not the ones facilitating the donation, they’ll usually help. It’s in everybody’s best interest."

Think Locally

While donating to a large, international organization has its benefitsthere’s a certain charm to imagining the company’s computers helping students in Tanzaniafocusing on local nonprofits and schools can also be compelling, especially if employees have a tie to the organizations. Some companies choose to help schools that staff members’ children attend or charities that are favored by the business. Selecting a local donation spot has a number of advantages, Cranmer says.

First, shipment becomes less of an issue. Sometimes if a large-scale donation is done, boxing up and sending the equipment can be expensive, whether it’s paid for by the organization or the SME. Local charities can often pick up the equipment, or company volunteers can do the work.

Also, pairing with a local organization can be a long-term and ongoing relationship, allowing the SME to understand more deeply the nonprofit’s needs. For example, joining up with a school will give the company insight into what type of computers are compatible with the school’s network, whether the equipment fits in with an overall educational technology plan, and if there are any problems running instructional software programs. Once questions such as these have been addressed during the first sweep of donation, subsequent donations will go more smoothly.

As the benefits are realized, keep in mind that there are also challenges that come with local donations. Since many small nonprofits have very limited funds, they often struggle to come up with the budget to do system installation, support, or hardware upgrades. An SME should establish up front whether the donation also comes with volunteer time from an IT staff member to get the computers up and running.

Clean Sweep

Important to remember before handing over any piece of equipment, even to a local church, is that it should be as clean as the day it arrived at the company. Shredding data is not an easy feat, as many IT managers know, but it’s worth the extra time and expense to make sure that drives don’t contain any company data.

Even after high-profile incidents involving data left on computers, many recycling firms still see occasional information pockets, says Kory Bostwick, president and CEO of PC Disposal. “We have to be very, very serious about data cleansing in order to take data security seriously," he says.

For companies that aren’t going through an equipment reseller or asset disposal firm, there are a number of cleansing tools that will make sure you’re donating only the equipment, not the data as well. One example is Sanitizer from Pinion (www.pinionsoftware.com), which meets a stringent Department of Defense standard for data overwriting. The software utilizes a user-selected combination of characters, renders data unrecoverable, and is nicely affordable, at $12.50 for a single copy, with a dramatically dropping price with more volume.

Another vital component of donation is the tax deduction that could result. Some companies choose organizations based on whether they’ll get a tax break from the charitable act, and for good reasonwith regular donations, the tax credits could be sizable. When donating, be sure to get a letter stating the market value of the donated equipment, the organization’s ID number, and the date of the donation. (For more information on determining the value of used equipment,
read “Find Value In Your Used Equipment" on page 9(ed note:  of this same Processor issue.))

Once a computer or drive is sparkling clean, the nonprofit chosen, the paperwork done, and the equipment shipped off, all that’s left to do is luxuriate in that do-gooder feelingasset disposal has never felt so nice.

 

ISC has the perfect solution for organizing and protecting your new equipment.
Don't put your hardware in danger, call the rackmount ranger!
  Call 800-458-6255 for help in selecting the correct product for your application.

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Kevinisms

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.

In previous articles (see last month) I have commented on some of the things Kevin likes to do when we are at lunch.  Lunchtime is when Kevin's mind is free to take ideas or words that other people are discussing and then go off on a "tangent."  Kevin is so well known for this that Robin always tells people joining Kevin for lunch for the first time that they don't need to take anything Kevin says seriously while they are away from the office.  She tells people that when they are in doubt, just look over at her.  If she is shaking her head, they know Kevin is "off on a tangent."

We recently had lunch at the local El Chico.  (See the October 2005 newsletter issue for the story of Joe Chavez and a photo of he and Kevin at the restaurant.)  On this particular day, Robin met up with us after spending the morning attending jury duty.  She was included as part of the pool for one court, but was released during the "voir dire" process.

Kevin commented that if you can reason and have any intelligence, you are going to get released from jury duty, as lawyers only want people who can be swayed by emotion.

After lunch we were heading back to the office, and the street we use in Arlington is one of the access routes to the Ballpark where the Texas Rangers play.  As such there are lighted signs over the lanes, which can have red Xs or green arrows.  There is also a written sign that says, "use lane with green arrow."  Of the four lanes on this street, two had arrows and two had Xs.

I commented that some people might be confused, since there are two green arrow lanes.  Some people could read the sign and be unable to choose a lane, since more than one has the required green arrow.  Kevin did not think that was likely to happen, but going off on a tangent,  suggested that  those would be the kind of people that got placed on juries.

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Trivia Question

Here is a question from the early days of television.

Q:  What were the names (one for each head) of the two-headed dragon in the Crusader Rabbit cartoon series?

All correct answers will be placed into a pool for a random drawing at the end of the month.  The winner will receive 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 July's Newsletter.

Q:  What is this a map of?

A:  This is the map from the Galleria Mall in Houston, that was referred to in the Kevinism article in the June newsletter.

The winner was Rica Nipower.
 

 

When is a toilet

 like a salt shaker?

 

Part 14  Continued from July

     Since the October 2005 issue the following personality types have been defined:
 

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


     In the July issue, we used the chart below to address the conflicts that can arise when different personalities interact within the same household.  Conflict is inevitable when multiple personalities interact, although the level of conflict differs depending on which of the four types of men are interacting with which of the four types of women.  We have already gone over the intersections where no conflict exists (NC).  This month we are going to cover the instances of possible conflict, represented below by the + OR - symbol.

  Macho Man Man of Leisure Paleolithic Man Philosopher King
     Fairy Godmother NC + OR - + OR - + OR -
     Queen of the Realm ++ NC + +
     Interior Decorator ++ + OR - ++ +
     Warrior Princess NC NC NC NC

     Here is what the symbols in the above grid represent:

     NC = no conflict,     + OR - = possible conflict,     + = minor conflict,     ++ = major conflict
 

     Conflict Analysis

     Areas of possible conflict exist between the Fairy Godmother and all of the men other than the Macho Man.  As discussed last month, the Fairy Godmother is a product of her association with a Macho Man.  If for some reason she becomes paired with someone other than a Macho Man (or in the rare case where the Macho Man inexplicably transitions into one of the three other types), then the Fairy Godmother becomes confused.  She may decide to simply go along with the man's wishes, which she excels at, but in doing so can no longer be considered a Fairy Godmother.  In order to continue as a Fairy Godmother, she must prefer the toilet seat up, by definition, and is thus conflicted when the man does not insist on the toilet seat being up.  Therefore, rather than enter into conflict with someone who is not a Macho Man, and insisting on them being Macho Men, the Fairy Godmother will usually transition to a Queen of the Realm.  On rare occasions the Fairy Godmother will become a Warrior Princess.  However this is highly unusual because the transition from being a person who only cares about what the man wants to being a person who does not care what the man wants, is a very severe one.  The exception is where the Fairy Godmother becomes associated with the Philosopher King.  In this case, the transition to Warrior Princess is facilitated by the effort the Philosopher King makes to persuade her that the position of the toilet seat is not really an issue.  If successful in converting the Fairy Godmother to a Warrior Princess, the Philosopher King thinks he has done the world a great service.  Fairy Godmothers never become Interior Decorators.

     The Interior Decorator may or may not have a conflict with the Man of Leisure.  She likes the toilet lid down (to show off the nice cover or embroidered pattern), while he likes the toilet lid up.  Since the seat is always down, they have an area of agreement, which tends to head off any arguments.  If the lid is not a key feature in the Interior Decorator's overall plan for the room, then she might not mind if it is up most of the time.  However, if the lid is highly decorated (or a very expensive item like inlaid wood), then the Interior Decorator wants it to be seen, so conflicts will arise when the Man of Leisure keeps leaving it up.  In most cases, there is not enough conflict to get one or the other to change personality types, so they just continue to live with the occasional minor irritation.


Continued next month with the areas where conflicts do arise between different personalities in the same house.

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