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

Issue 12

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Patti Hammonds

June 5, 2006

Your success story            Monthly product special            Kevinisms            Trivia         

Articles of Interest:  Seismic Ratings (Part 2)            Part 12:  "When is a toilet like a salt shaker?"

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Your Success Story

ISC recently received a nice letter from James M. Phillips, Jr.  James is the Material Manager at one of our clients, and he does the annual review of supplier performance.  His letter advised us of our performance as a vendor in 2005.  ISC was judged in two categories:  Delivery and Quality.

In delivery, there were three ratings that could be achieved:  above average, average, and below average.  ISC got the highest rating for performance in 2005 - above average.

The categories in the quality area were a bit more illustrative:  A = supplier met commitments 96-100% of the time, B = supplier met commitments 90-95.9% of the time, C = supplier met commitments 85-89.9% of the time, D = supplier met commitments 80-84.9% of the time, and X = supplier met commitments 79.9% or less of the time.  ISC got the highest rating for quality performance in 2005 - A.

Testimonials are great, and it is always fun to publish them, but we also enjoy getting the results of a formal evaluation.

Note:  ISC strives to perform at this level for all our clients, whether they be large companies with material management departments and procedures, or with individuals ordering for their SOHO application.

Monthly Product Special


Information Support Concepts offers the complete line of Middle Atlantic Products seismically rated racks.  The seismic rating, and NEBS and NEC standards are all included at no additional cost.

The ERK series is for shorter depth hardware, and is an "economy" cabinet with outstanding features found in much higher price cabinets.

Compare these ERK Economy Computer Cabinet Features:
  • Choice Of 20"D And 25"D
  • 2500 lb Capacity
  • Welded Side Panels With Vents
  • Locking Rear Door With Spring Latch
    And Configurable Thermal Management Knockouts
  • Vented Front Top And Bottom
  • 1-Set Front Adjustable 10/32 Tapped Rackrails
  • Removable Rear Plate For Cable Bundles
  • UHF / VHF Antenna Knockouts
  • Electrical Knockouts On Rear Plates
  • Grounding - Bonding Stud In Base Per NEBS And NEC Standards
  • UL Listed in US And Canada
  • Numbered Rackspace On Rackrails
  • Black

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

*The 5% discount  will be applied to retail customers only, and cannot be combined with other offers. 
 Valid through June 30, 2006. 

Seismic Rating:
A Major Consideration In Integrating
and Installing Equipment Racks

by Bob Schluter, President, Middle Atlantic Products. Inc.
Part 2 (continued from May)

Keys To Safe & Successful Racks
The tests underscore two critical aspects of racks in a seismic situation: installation (the interaction between
the racks and the building) and distribution (how equipment weight is configured within those racks).   Both considerations will affect performance of the racks and enclosures under stress.

For maximum protection of equipment in the rack, and to comply with the code specifications outlined by the
ADCE, CBC,  IBC, NFPA and UBC, the rack must be properly and firmly anchored to the facility floor. In
choosing fasteners, the type of flooring first needs to be determined:  concrete, wood, etc. But choose the quality
of the fastener with the same degree of care you would any critical component of any system. Fasteners with high shear rating and high tensile strength are the best choice. Quality fasteners combined with proper installation creates
a synergy between the rack and the physical structure around it.

Though not as critical as the floor anchors, anchoring the top of the rack is also important. A cable ladder used
to anchor the top of a rack or enclosure to the sidewall measurably reduces the tension load on the floor anchors
 and can act as an extra level of security in the installation process.

Enclosures that are certified to meet all five seismic codes increase the probability of defending electronic equipment from becoming damaged or inoperable during a seismic event.

Rackmounting of essential equipment necessitates compliance with the essential equipment code rating and the observation of the following procedures:

A.  If the following three criteria apply to an individual piece of rackmounted equipment, the unit MUST be blocked or rear supported to facilitate the proper functioning of the entire mounting system:

  • Unit exceeds 10 pounds per rackspace, AND
  • The center of gravity is towards the rear, AND
  • The overall depth of the unit is greater than 2.5 times the racking height.

B.  If the rack mounting ears of an individual piece of equipment are incapable of cantilevering the weight of
the unit, blocking or rear support is required.

C.  If the mounted unit flexes when pushed down or the rear of the unit lifts, rear hanging or blocking will
prevent the equipment from whipping during a seismic event.

The recent trend has been toward deeper, shorter components as more digital audio and video processing
gear - typically lighter and more compact than their analog predecessors - has come to the market and been
put to wider use by system contractors.

Companies such as Compaq are marketing single rackspace servers and control systems, which are shorter
and deeper than previous systems, but just as heavy.  As systems evolve, their weight is being redistributed. 
Racking has to keep pace with that evolution, and it is.

Center of gravity is crucial to maximizing the rack's protective potential and its resistance to seismic volatility. 
Keeping the center of gravity as low as possible puts less strain on footing and wall anchors.

Heavy equipment such as amplifiers must be placed at or near the bottom of the rack  The heavier the individual
piece of gear relative to all the other equipment, the lower the placement.  Anyone who has ever helped a friend
pack a truck on moving day understands this principle.  Half the weight should be in the bottom third of the rack
with the remaining weight evenly distributed between the upper two-thirds of the rack.

A seismic-ready rack should be filled from bottom to top with either equipment or blank panels.  Empty rackspaces would take away from the support.  During the assembly and installation process of racks and enclosures it is important to ensure that all of the fasteners, both those fastening the enclosure system to the physical plant and the rack screws, be tightened and remain tightened.  This ensures the rack is assembled and remains square, even if it's assembled offsite (one of the collateral benefits of a seismic design is that it travels well), so that the torsion due to travel or misplaced weight does not distort this shape and keeps it ready for
the seismic challenges for which it was intended.

When the rack is properly squared, any side-to-side motion it will experience in an earthquake will travel down to
the floor.  In a well-bolted enclosure system, the floor and walls become part of the enclosure system, and vice
versa.  This adds exponentially to the survivability of an enclosure system, even in the most severe of seismic events.  It's also suggested that the enclosure system's plumb be checked at installation.

Enclosure Types
Middle Atlantic Products offers an impressive array of rack and console types from which to choose.  These Middle Atlantic Products racks and consoles are configured standard for seismic certification.  Depending on the type and amount of equipment, an installer may want a design that offers good capacity but allows significant space for cable management, such as Middle Atlantic Products WRK series.  Smaller areas benefit from racks designed for higher density storage, like the MRK series.

Racks such as the DRK series have been designed for use in network patching and high-density cable management.  Middle Atlantic Products SC and SCQ Series monitoring consoles offer Passive and Active thermal management solutions and can be configured in conjunction with the SCRK and SCQRK Series enclosures.

The available choices also include the aggressively priced, economical ERK Series and the VRK and VMRK Series enclosures featuring the modern, broadcast-standard 22" enclosure width.

With adherence to each of the seismic guidelines, even racks that are designed to pull out for rear equipment access can be certified.  This is useful as equipment gets more complex and has to be reconfigured more often.  For
example, many Middle Atlantic Products slide-out AXS Series enclosures are installed at the Getty Museum in California for a seismically certified job.

These Middle Atlantic Products racks and consoles are pre-configured for seismic installations at no extra charge.

These are some of the major considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right rack system for a facility's seismic circumstances.  Remember that the system will only perform as well as its weakest link will allow.  Racking may not be as glamorous or as technically fascinating as the equipment that those racks will hold, but
it is the first line of defense that will keep that equipment - and the businesses of systems installers' and designers' clients - working without interruption in the event of seismic activity.  Dollar for dollar, it's the best insurance a
facility can buy.

ISC distributes the entire Middle Atlantic product line of seismic rated enclosures and
consoles.  Call 800-458-6255 for help in selecting the correct product for your application.



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.

Strictly speaking, this month's offering is not a Kevinism.  Instead it is a complaint/rant regarding the "you are here" maps we all run into in public buildings. 

During a recent visit to Houston, we decided to visit the Galleria.  We parked in the parking garage under the Galleria and walked to the nearest elevator.  If the elevator had come fairly quickly, I might not have even noticed the map.  Here is what it looked like:

The words "you are here" were printed under the red circle.  Not only was the map hard to interpret (what are those rectangles? elevators?  On our level, there were two elevators and one locked storage room per side), but it provided no useful information at all.  There were similar maps on the other levels.

These maps are pretty worthless if you are trying to find Neiman Marcus (at one end of the Mall) or Saks Fifth Avenue (at the other end).  Why not put something on here that a person can really use? 

We will return next month with a new Kevinism, but for now and into the future, let's try to recognize and eliminate instances such as this that fail in their efforts to provide useful information.


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Trivia Question
How is it possible to draw a triangle with three 90 degree angles?  Please describe the process.  Answers like "with a pencil and paper" are not what I am looking for.

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 May's Newsletter.

Q:  Why is Friday, October 13, 1307 considered to be an original source (there are competing theories) for the superstition that Friday the 13th is unlucky?

A:  On this date, King Philip IV of France (known as "the fair" - as in handsome, not as it honest or righteous) had his agents simultaneously arrest all the Knights Templar (Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem) and had them tortured into admitting heresy.  This allowed the King to confiscate all their wealth and property.

The King was well practiced at this technique, having done exactly the same thing to all the Jews in France the previous year, then expelling them from France.

Because October 13 fell on a Friday, the folklore around the episode developed into a superstition that Friday the 13th was unlucky.

The winner was Ray Champney.


When is a toilet

 like a salt shaker?


Part 12  Continued from May

     Here is the table of  the names I have applied to each group of respondents to the survey described in the October issue.  This month we will define the Warrior Princesses.

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

Warrior Princesses

There have been many films and television shows about women warriors, Amazons, female secret agents, or something similar.  In a fantasy environment, the lead character is an Amazon princess or person of royal blood, so the title Warrior Princess has grown quite popular lately.  Even though the fantasy genre is densely populated with them, there are surprisingly few Warrior Princesses in the real world.   For purposes of this personality comparison, the Warrior Princesses are the women who are capable of competing and winning in what they like to call "a man's world."  They are often professional women like lawyers, doctors, business owners, etc.  They spend all day doing battle with glass ceilings, inequitable pay, male chauvinist pigs, etc.

Real Warrior Princesses cannot take the time to be troubled by something as trivial as the position of the toilet seat.  If this did bother them at all, they would quickly revert to being Queens of the Realm, and what could be more natural than the evolution from Princess to Queen?  However, since Warrior Princesses are either not "naturally" bothered, or they have made a conscious decision to not let themselves be bothered, they are usually amenable to the prevailing situation in the home.  The prevailing situation then becomes dependent on the man of the house.  This unconcern on the part of the Warrior Princess deludes the man into thinking he is in control.

As you might expect, most men dream of finding their own Warrior Princess.  The trouble is they are so rare.  When a man does find a Warrior Princess, he gets to rule the bathroom.  What he may or may not realize is that his control of the toilet seat is directly in proportion to his lack of control everywhere else.  The Macho Man, especially, does not care to acknowledge this fact, even if he is aware of it.  So in the long run, men who actually find and win a Warrior Princess of their own, will definitely get more than they bargained for.  This is not always to their advantage, but at least they get to control the position of the toilet seat.


Continued next month with the conflicts that arise between different personalities in the same house.




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Copyright, 1998-2006
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.