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

Issue 9

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Patti Hammonds

March 5, 2006

Your success story            Monthly product special            Kevinisms            Trivia         

Articles of Interest:  Risk            Part 9:  "When is a toilet like a salt shaker?"

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Your Success Story

Ben Collver called ISC to ask about our four-post relay racks.  He specifically asked to talk to other people who had bought from us and were using the racks.  After being given some referrals, Ben contacted those clients, and based on their testimonials, he ordered the racks from us.  Here is what he had to say about them.

Hi Jack,

I purchased 2 four-post racks from you, and I like them very much.  The racks worked well for us.  They are more standard and sturdy than what they replaced.  I racked an HP L1000, some Cisco equipment, and some "home-made" rack-mount servers in the racks.



Note:  ISC can provide racks and cabinets for virtually any application.

Monthly Product Special


Information Support Concepts has sold a large number of four-post relay racks.  Our experience with these is that everyone who gets one loves it.
These racks adjust from 27" to 45" of usable depth.  They come in heights ranging from 24U to 48U, and come tapped and threaded 10/32 for normal applications, or with square untapped holes for installation of "rapid rails" or similar mounting systems.  You can even choose between 19" rack mount and 23" rack mount widths. 
All racks ship knocked-down, and are painted with black powder coat paint.

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

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

The Two Elements of Risk

Most people don’t really understand risk.  Nor do they realize they are flirting with disaster in many day-to-day situations.  As an example, what would be the loss to you and your company if your primary server should overheat and suffer damage?

There are lots of ways to deal with risk, but first you need to understand that risk is comprised of two components:

 ·   The likelihood of an event (this is the probability of something happening)

·   The resulting outcome (what will be the effect, once the cause triggers)

 Most people are pretty familiar with outcomes.  They can visualize what would happen in the situation where the company server goes down due to catastrophic failure.  Thousands (or millions) of dollars can be lost, along with significant effects on company operations (such as email, databases, accounts receivable and accounts payable, payroll, etc.).

 Where most people are weak is in understanding probability, and in determining what steps they should take to protect themselves from a particular risk.

A famous example of failing to understand probability (and therefore drawing the wrong conclusion) is the Challenger space shuttle disaster, which occurred 20 years ago (January 28, 1986).  NASA had done extensive analysis on the likelihood of “O ring" failures in the solid rocket boosters.  They knew that if an O ring were to fail, they would have a “blowtorch" situation where burning fuel under pressure would be leaking from the booster rocket.  However, their analysis of the temperature effects on O ring performance was faulty.  They looked at the probability of failure when launch temperatures were below freezing.  They compared 10 degrees below freezing with 20, 30, 40 and so on.  Their analysis showed that the temperature differences did not affect the probability of failure.  However, only looking at temperatures below freezing caused them to think that colder temperatures did not affect the failure probability at all.  This was not the case.  In fact, compared to any temperature above freezing, the probability of failure was three to four times higher for any temperature below freezing.  Thus the risk of launching in below freezing temperatures was actually three to four times higher than normal, and we all know the disastrous results that ensued. 


How does a good knowledge of risk affect you in your business world?  You know what would happen if your server failed.  So what are you doing to protect it?  There are lots of answers to this question: 

Security (limited access to the server room)

Seismic protection (rack mounting in seismic rated cabinets)

Insurance (compensation if something causes losses to your business)

Firewall (protection from hacking or viruses)

Fire suppression (sprinkler or inert gas systems to put out fires)

Electrical (surge and noise suppression to condition your power supply)

Power (battery or generator back up to allow continued operations or “graceful" shutdown)

Environmental (air conditioning) to ensure optimal temperature and humidity

Monitoring (environmental sensors and cameras)

Alarms (emergency notification when a particular condition is met)

 Some of these solutions are more expensive than others, and it is up to you to consider if they are cost effective compared to the possible outcome you hope to prevent.


Information Support Concepts (ISC) specializes in offering infrastructure solutions such as cabinets, power distribution units, environmental sensors, and other products that can dramatically reduce your risk of operations.  Click here for information on sensor hub products, then call us at 800-458-6255 to get help with your particular 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.

Kevin really likes Sandra Bullock.  He has all her movies on videotape.  He talks about how great she looks in various scenes (most notably her "tight dress" scene in Miss Congeniality).  He constantly compares other actresses to Sandra Bullock, and is always up-to-date on what she is doing in her career.

I have a hard time believing Kevin really knows what Sandra Bullock even looks like, because another of his quirks is that he says he always "superimposes Robin's face" on any attractive woman he is looking at.  Of course Robin is Kevin's wife.  So if every time he looks at Sandra Bullock (who most people would consider to be attractive) in his mind, he is really seeing Robin.  So how does he know what Sandra Bullock looks like?  This is a dilemma to which there is no answer.

One day in January Kevin came in the office with a clipping from the newspaper.  He was really excited about the Golden Globes awards that had taken place the previous day.  He took great delight in showing me that Sandra Bullock had won an award.  Right there in print it said she had won the award for "favorite actress."  Kevin was giddy with delight over her triumph.  He was so thrilled that the Golden Globes had recognized Sandra's talent.  I think he was deflated only slightly when I pointed out that she had won the favorite actress category, not the "best actress" category.

No one has ever denied that Sandra Bullock is popular.  But talented enough to win a best actress award (from some misguided group, somewhere)?  Only time will tell, but I think she has to stop winning "razzies" before she will be winning any Oscars.


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Trivia Question
The Great Pyramid at Giza was originally faced with slabs of Tura limestone.  Now only a small cap at the top of the pyramid remains.  What happened to the rest of the limestone?

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 February's Newsletter.

Q:  What is "sublimation" and what readily available compound exemplifies this characteristic?

A:  Sublimation is the process of changing state directly from a solid to a gas.  Carbon Dioxide (in the form of dry ice) sublimates.

The winner was Alex Ragnoli, from Spangdahlem AFB in Germany.


When is a toilet

 like a salt shaker?


Part 9  Continued from February

     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 Paleolithic Men.

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

Paleolithic Men

Paleolithic Men were the first tool users. 

Today, they are the only people who can recognize the toilet for what it really is:  a simple tool.  A tool with multiple uses, but still only a tool.

Paleolithic Men realize that the toilet is not only a toilet, but it is also a step-ladder.  It is even a chair.  It is so many things!

Paleolithic Men build shelves over the toilet in order to make use of the otherwise "wasted" space.  They have so much "stuff" they need the extra storage room.  Books, magazines, tools (car tools, carpentry tools, plumbing tools, etc.), toilet paper, facial tissue, toothpaste, shampoo, bars of soap, and many other toiletries are stored above the toilet.  Doesn't that just make good sense?

Paleolithic Men want to keep the lid down on the toilet so they don't have to work very hard when looking for something on their shelves.  The last thing they want to do is accidentally put their foot in the toilet, and they tend to complain very loudly about it when it does sometimes happen.  The second to last thing they want to do is accidentally drop a tool, tube of toothpaste, brand new roll of toilet paper, etc. into the open toilet.  It makes those new products almost unusable!  Paleolithic Men still may raise the lid and seat to use the toilet, but when left in its normal, "at rest" state, the toilet seat and lid should always be down.

Continued next month with the Interior Decorators




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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.