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

Issue 11

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Patti Hammonds

May 5, 2006

Your success story            Monthly product special            Kevinisms            Trivia         

Articles of Interest:  Seismic Ratings (Part 1)            Part 11:  "When is a toilet like a salt shaker?"

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Your Success Story


The adjustable shipping racks you are providing are working out great for us.  We take the racks, assemble them, set the depth to match our equipment, bolt them to a skid and then load our equipment into the racks.  Once loaded, we configure our system so it can be fully tested.  Once all the components are tested and fully operational, we simply box up the rack with wooden panels on all four sides and on top, then ship the equipment to our client.  This saves us a huge amount of time, effort, and money, as we donít need to individually package and ship each component.  In addition, once tested, we know everything works properly, which might not be the case if we had to individually handle and repackage each component.

Our client gets a complete system in one package, which they can easily remove from the rack and install directly into place.  So the shipping racks are doing a great job for us, and for the client as well.


Rick Blais
Materials Manager

Note:  ISC can provide racks and cabinets for virtually any application.  See this month's special for shipping racks and transit cases.

Monthly Product Special


Information Support Concepts has introduced the SKB shock mounted racks to our product line.  In addition, we offer a number of different types of shipping racks.  Call to discuss your particular needs, and we can find the perfect shipping rack or transit case for you.

The SKB racks are available in 20"  24" or 30" usable depths, and a wide variety of rack heights.  Common features include:

       19" rack mount width
    Tapped and threaded (10-32) fixed vertical rack rails
    Gasketed, water resistant front and rear latching lids 
    Easy grip molded handles or spring loaded handles
      Recessed, heavy-duty twist latches
    Casters or caster bases
    Pressure equalization valves
    Shock mounts with a load range of 40-150 lbs.

Other styles of transit cases are available on request. 

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

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

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

by Bob Schluter, President, Middle Atlantic Products. Inc.
Part 1

Earthquakes are not limited to California and The Discovery Channel. Neither are they infrequent; Weather Channel watchers know that seismic events take place on a daily basis throughout much of the continental western United States, as well as in Alaska. Globally, thousands of earthquakes of a wide range of  Richter values take place each day (only the big ones make the front page!).  In the United States, California is not the sole prime seismic location. The New Madrid Fault, runs through parts of Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois, and has as much kinetic potential than the much more widely known San Andreas Fault in Northern California. The New Madrid Fault actually changed the course of the Mississippi River when a slip in the fault produced a massive earthquake in the 19th century. Residents of New York City, proud of their deep bedrock foundation, have been surprised to read in the papers that Manhattan had experienced its own tremblor in recent years.

The amount of seismic activity occurring on a daily basis is quite remarkable. No one needs to be more aware of this fact than professionals who design, specify and install racks of equipment for audio, video, data and security systems. Those responsible for every type of structure, from sophisticated restaurants running paging systems, multi-zone music programs and house video; to mega-stadiums where computer-based multimedia systems run everything from audio at concession stands to the 60-foot scoreboard, need to understand what's required to meet the minimum standards which will keep them up and running - and safe - in the event of significant seismic activity. Millions of dollars of technology depend upon the quality of the racks it is stored in for their continued viability in the face of a riled Mother Nature.

When is a Seismic Rating Needed?
Fire and medical structures, police facilities, critical government agencies, etc. are classified as "essential" facilities and must be seismically certified. Since these facilities require internal audio, video and data intercommunication, systems designers are increasingly interfacing with the architects and engineers who create and renovate such facilities. Even facilities which do not fall into this classification, so-called "non-essential" structures, are implementing more and more highly sophisticated and expensive audio, video, data, and security gear. These electronics would benefit greatly from the overall higher level of protection implicitly offered by seismically rated racks or enclosures.

What Seismic Ratings and Standards are Used?
Traditional building codes that govern the design and construction of building structures in the most earthquake-prone regions of the country generally have provisions for the design of the seismic anchorage of equipment as well as other non-building structures and components.  At present (2006), the most common US codes dealing with installations of equipment in seismically active locations are the Uniform Building Code (UBC), the California Building Code (CBC), the International Building Code (IBC), the National Fire Prevention Association Building Construction, Safety Code (NFPA 5000), and the American Society of Civil Engineers Standard 7 (ASCE7).

The UBC is the most widely used code in the seismically active Western US.  The 1997 UBC is the most recent edition and is also the basis for the 2001 CBC, the current building code governing construction throughout California.  For purposes of calculating seismic design forces, the entire country is divided in four seismic zones (one through four) based on the general seismicity of the particular region (see map).  Structures located in areas designated as Zone 4 are designed for the largest seismic forces.  All of coastal California falls into this zone.


The UBC and CBC provisions also include modification factors to address equipment importance (whether it is installed in a facility that has post-earthquake importance - hospital, fire station, etc.), in-structure amplification (equipment installed on a roof tends to shake more than equipment installed on the ground floor), and site soil conditions (buildings founded on soft soils shake more than those founded on harder soil types).  However, neither of these codes is considered to be performance-based (standards that specifically state post-earthquake performance goals and provide approved methods that can be used to demonstrate compliance with their requirements).  Rather the UBC or the CBC codes provide a minimum standard for protecting the life-safety of building occupants and assuring that there will be a reasonable post-event path of egress.  For equipment anchorage design, this means that the provisions are intended to make sure a given piece of equipment does not overturn or otherwise become a hazard for people or systems with a building during an earthquake.  The provisions of these codes do not guarantee that properly anchored equipment will be operational following the design earthquake, but having a seismic certification will provide an extra measure of protection and security. 

The other common standard guiding the design of seismic equipment anchorage is the International Building
Code (IBC).  Like the UBC and the CBC, this code is not performance-based.  However, it is considerably more precise in characterizing the seismic hazard of a given site and hence determining the seismic forces for anchorage design.  The IBC seismic provisions are based in large part on 1996 US Geological Service (USGS) ground motion maps (see example below).  These USGS maps are a significant departure from the ground motion maps used in the previous building codes.  The IBC approach is to provide an approximate uniform margin against collapse throughout all regions of the United States, something the UBC maps did not do. .

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has adopted the IBC seismic provisions and maps in its national standard "Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, Standard 7 (ASCE7)."  ASCE7 has national prominence as being the standard for determining all types of loads used for the design of building and non-building structures owned by the federal government.  The 2003 and 2006 editions of the IBC code directly refer to ASCE7 as does the NFPA 5000, an alternative building code.  The next update of the California Building Code is expected to be based on the 2006 IBC, which directly references the ASCE7 load provisions.

A common feature of all these building codes is the use of an Importance Factor (Ip).  The Importance Factor increases the design loads for installations of equipment identified as essential or high-importance because of their function of installation location.  Essential equipment is deemed necessary for effective emergency response following an earthquake (fire suppression pumps, communication racks, etc.).  Equipment within hospitals and fire stations is often identified as essential.  Other equipment units may also be essential or of high-importance if they are necessary for the containment or safe handling of toxic or otherwise dangerous materials following an earthquake.  For all these essential installations, the minimum seismic design loads provided by the building code are typically increased by a factor of 1.5 (Ip = 1.5).  This is an arbitrary adjustment developed by a consensus of the engineering community that is intended to provide a greater margin of safety against anchorage failure.  The importance factor does not guarantee post-earthquake operations.  It only decreases the probability of anchorage failure and possible equipment dislocation or overturning.

The professional engineer (P.E.) involved in the design and construction of a facility is responsible for determining the rating of the facility, because the certification is applied to the structure itself (which is viewed as a system with numerous components including racks and enclosures). That observation then becomes part of the specifications of the bid put out for the job. It is the systems designer/installer who is responsible for assuring that the enclosures and racks that will be used are ones that comply with and conform to the seismic specifications from the engineers and architects.

How does one know if racking will withstand seismic activity? The racking should come already evaluated, rated and certified for seismic applications. Middle Atlantic Products enclosures and consoles are rigorously evaluated and certified by a highly respected independent seismic engineering and rating firm.  The certified results from one such evaluation showed that the MRK series enclosures are capable of withstanding the highest recordable seismic activity in an essential-facility environment with up to 900 pounds of equipment uniformly distributed in the racks. Bidding on projects that have significant  seismic implications should not be intimidating.  Middle Atlantic Products welded, floor-standing enclosures and consoles, including  the MRK and WRK series, are ensured to meet the seismic challenge.

See next month's newsletter for the second half of this article.

ISC distributes the entire Middle Atlantic product line of seismic rated cabinets. 
Call 800-458-6255 for help in selecting the correct cabinet 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.

Kevin does not like to eat "dead stuff."  This means Kevin is mostly vegetarian, although when forced to eat meat, there are some things that he likes more than others.  One of these items is Texas barbeque.

There are a number of good barbeque places around the area, and when asked why he can eat barbeque while avoiding all other meat products, Kevin states that "barbeque sauce hides the dead taste."

At many of the local barbeque restaurants, they offer small cones and soft ice cream.  These are gratis if you eat in the restaurant.  Kevin always gets a free ice cream cone when we go to one of these restaurants.  However, he always says the best part of the cone is the very bottom, or the last bite.

On one occasion, Kevin wanted a second cone, but not a complete one, so he tore off the top part of the cone, and just put a little ice cream on it, in order to have another helping of the "best part."

What remained of Kevin's sugar cone.


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Trivia Question
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?

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 April's Newsletter.

Q:  What was the name of the great naval battle between the Greeks and the Persians, taking place in 480 BC, which was the turning point in the Persian attempts to conquer Greece?

A:  Salamis.  From the island of the same name, South of Athens.  The Athenians  fled to Salamis after the battle of Thermopylae in August, 480 BC, while the Persians occupied and burned Athens. The Greek fleet joined them there in August after an indecisive naval battle.  The combined Greek fleet had 371 triremes and smaller ships, while the much larger Persian fleet consisted of 600 ships (roughly half of their original invasion force) .
The Persians, led by Xerxes I, decided to meet the Athenian fleet off the coast of Salamis Island, and were so confident of their victory that Xerxes set up a throne on the shore, on the slopes of Mount Aegaleus, to watch the battle in style and record the names of commanders who performed particularly well.
Confined in the strait, the much larger Persian fleet could not maneuver effectively, and a smaller contingent of Greek triremes flanked the Persian navy. The Persians tried to turn back, but a strong wind sprang up and trapped them; those that were able to turn around were also trapped by the rest of the Persian fleet that had jammed the strait. The Greek and Persian ships rammed each other and something similar to a land battle ensued. Both sides had marines on their ships (the Greeks with fully armed hoplites), and arrows and javelins also flew across the narrow strait.
Only about 100 of the Persian triremes could fit into the gulf at a time, and each successive wave was disabled or destroyed by the Greeks. At least 200 Persian ships were sunk.
According to Herodotus, the Persians suffered many more casualties than the Greeks because they did not know how to swim. Those Persians who survived and ended up on shore were killed by the Greeks who found them.
Xerxes, sitting ashore upon his golden throne, witnessed the horror. He remarked that Artemisia (Queen of Halicarnassus, and a Persian ally) was the only general to show any productive bravery ramming and destroying nine Athenian triremes, saying, "My female general has become a man, and my male generals all become women."
Because the Battle of Salamis saved Greece from being absorbed into the Persian Empire, it essentially ensured the emergence of Western civilization as a major force in the world. Many historians have therefore ranked the Battle of Salamis as one of the most decisive military engagements of all time.

The winner was Shannon Jehoich.


When is a toilet

 like a salt shaker?


Part 11  Continued from April

     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 Philosopher Kings.

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

Philosopher Kings

The name Philosopher King comes from Plato's Republic.  According to Socrates, the Philosopher King was the epitome of the enlightened and benevolent ruler, and that all men should aspire to be one.

Today, the Philosopher King is the most intellectual of the types of men.  They are proud their brain power and their ability to reason.  The Philosopher King is the type of person who fully understands the concept of the toilet seat being like a salt shaker.  I mean, what could be more obvious?  After all, it is a brilliant analogy:  Whatever condition you find the toilet seat in is immaterial.  All you have to do is adjust it for the job you intend to do and then leave it that way.  This is because you never know who will be using the toilet next.  It could be the Philosopher King again, and odds favor the seat being in the right position already, thus being a time saver.

Philosopher Kings tend to be very stubborn.  They enjoy the intellectual give-and-take, and are very proud of their ability to argue persuasively.  It drives Philosopher Kings crazy when they cannot convince an otherwise intelligent woman of the superiority of their method.  However well equipped they may be to deal with logic, they are equally inept when dealing with emotion.

Because they are very logical beings, Philosopher Kings eventually realize that they are never going to win the argument, no matter how elegant a solution and no matter how persuasive they are.  Logic simply cannot overcome emotion.  This means Philosopher Kings are the group most likely to shift to another personality type, at least as far as the toilet seat argument is concerned.  Some Philosopher Kings will adapt significantly faster than others, but almost all with change into Men of Leisure.  Note that after they do, they will defend themselves by saying it was the most logical thing to do.

Continued next month with the Warrior Princesses




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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.