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

Issue 28

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Patti Hammonds

October 3, 2007

Your success story            Monthly product special            Kevinisms            Trivia         

Articles of Interest:  What Good is a Blank Panel?          Two Texas Aggies in Florida

Back to ISC Main Page

Your Success Story

          Here is a recent testimonial where a quick delivery of missing hardware was very important.

Patti / Jack,
Once again, thank you very much.  I just received the hardware kits.  All 3 arrived as expected.  Therefore, I now have a total of 4 kits that will allow me to correctly assemble the tables I purchased.
I appreciated the excellent customer service you provided to us, helping to solve this problem with a very quick turnaround.  I look forward to dealing with your company in future purchases.
Ryan Dotterer
Engineering Leadership Program

Monthly Product Special


BL Series
16 GA Aluminum Panel

HBL Series
11 GA Aluminum Panel

Horizontal Slotted Vent Panels
16 GA Aluminum
Black Brushed and Anodized (top) or
Silver Brushed and Anodized (bottom)



Information Support Concepts (ISC) offers a wide variety of blank panels.  Blank panels can be steel or aluminum, flat or flanged, black or various colors.  We even have vent panels, security panels, and panels with fans.

Almost any piece of non-rackmount equipment can be made rackmountable with the use of the appropriate size blank panel.

See this month's feature article on blank panels, for an explanation of their many uses and benefits.  If you have a question about the type of panel that makes the most sense for your application, just call us at 800-458-6255.

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


*The 5% discount  will be applied to retail customers only,
and cannot be combined with other offers. 
 Valid through October 30, 2007. 


What Good is a
Blank Panel?

Blank panels come is a variety of  heights and are usually made from aluminum or steel.  They can have different colors and textures, can be flat or flanged, and can be used for a surprisingly large number of applications.  Most people don’t realize that blank panels are very important to their overall rackmount application.  So this article’s goal is to provide information you can use in selecting the correct panel for your application.

Most people think blank panels are “filler panels" and only occupy space in a rack that is to be filled by some other component in the future.  While this may appear to be the case to the uninitiated, the truth is that blank panels fill a very important role.  In today’s rackmount applications, most servers are designed to pull cooling air in from the front, and blow the warm air out the back.  Cabinet design has evolved to meet this requirement with vented front and rear doors.  Room design has evolved to provide cool and warm aisles to maximize the efficiency of the air conditioning systems available, and to prevent warm air from being directed back to the front of a cabinet.  But what prevents warm air inside a cabinet from migrating back to the front to be re-ingested by the servers?  The blank panel does!  Unless a rack is full to the brim with components, and they rarely are, then there are some open spaces between servers and other components.  It would be great if the warm air in the cabinet was trained to sheepishly exit the rear doors where it is supposed to, but unfortunately, warm air doesn’t like to be controlled like that.  When it gets a chance, it will come back to the front of the cabinet.  When it does, the servers will ingest it and can sometimes overheat.  Blank panels in every open space greatly reduce the chance of the warm air getting back to the front of the servers.  In situations like this, where the servers are supposed to be getting cool air, it is not too strong a statement to make that “every empty space should be covered with a blank panel of the appropriate size."

What if you don’t have servers?  What good is a blank panel then?  Well, blank panels do a lot more than just help control the airflow in cabinets.  They look nice, they are easy to work with, they take up very little depth in the cabinet, and can fulfill multiple roles. 

If all you want to do is to keep the cabinet from looking empty, then they work great as a “filler panel."  They make the cabinet look well organized.  This can be especially true in a home entertainment installation.  Matching blank panels with custom rackshelves makes a very elegant display.

Blank panels can be used to mount equipment that is not normally rackmountable.  By drilling a few holes in a blank panel of the appropriate size, just about anything can be mounted in a cabinet.  Do you have a small power strip or ethernet hub that keeps getting knocked around in the cabinet?  All you have to do is mount them to a blank panel.  As a device for turning non-rackmount components into rackmountable ones, an aluminum panel works best.

Another great use for a blank panel is as a plaque or label. 

Unlike peel and stick labels, or other printed materials, an appropriately engraved panel does not fade, fall off, get accidentally erased, or fall victim to any other hazard that paper labels face.

What happens on the back of the panel has an effect on the front of the panel.  Flat panels are typically made from thicker steel or aluminum.  This gives them added strength.  A flanged panel’s stiffness comes from the additional bends in the metal, thus it can be made from thinner material.  Components can be mounted to either type, but care must be taken to ensure you choose the correct panel for your application.  If you don’t know for sure, your best course of action is to ask for advice.

ISC has the perfect solution for helping to control active or passive cooling in rackmount computer server cabinets,
and in organizing and protecting your high value 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.



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 recently said that the trait allowing him to distinguish the “dead" taste in meat and seafood (which of course, he does not like), is what he calls "true taste."  It also allows him to pick up on all the flavors in things like broccoli, corn, green beans, etc.  It allows him to determine the bad taste elements in things like Romaine lettuce, eggplant, and spinach, which you would think vegetarians would like.  However, Kevin says if you can perceive the true taste of these supposedly “good" foods, you will find they are really not that good.

Intrigued by the true taste concept, I asked Kevin to explain what physical characteristic allows him to be the master of true taste.  Kevin proceeded to explain that he had extrasensory taste buds (EST).  I asked him to expound on this idea, and of course Kevin loves to expound.  He said that his taste buds were larger and more sensitive than the average person’s.  This allowed him to determine the true taste of any food, and based on this experience, Kevin is able to limit his menu to only those foods that are good.

Having heard this explanation, two thoughts came to my mind.  The first was from the old Budweiser® commercials where they had the “taste buds" which were people dressed up as a giant tongue.  They would take things like chips and pretzels and rub them over themselves, and the climax of the commercial was when they got drenched in “Bud" beer.

My other thought was of a sea anemone.  I recalled the films I have seen of the fish going in and out of the many tentacles, with the tentacles wrapping around the fish or any other item that would come within range.

I mentioned both of these images to Kevin, and he liked the sea anemone analogy best.  However, he said that if you examine his tongue, you won’t see anything unusual, since the operation of his taste buds can only be seen at the microscopic level!

So there you have it, the explanation of true taste.  For a photo of Kevin's tongue, see below.  It seems odd to me that Kevin does not like seafood.


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Trivia Question

Q:  Where is this famous statue of Achilles, and what is significant about its composition (what it is made from)? 


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 MD88-25RLBK reel of reusable velcro cable tie, 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:   If you had one each of every paper note the United States currently considers as legal tender, how many dollars would they add up to?

A:  $188, as follows:  $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100

The winner was Richard Wilkins.  Congratulations!




Two Texas Aggies in Florida


     Most people know that an Aggie is a graduate of Texas A&M University.  Here is the story of two that found themselves in Miami.

     The first Aggie (Aggie1) was a recent graduate, and had never been out of the State of Texas until he accepted a job with an import/export firm in Miami.  After having been with the company about three months, he was getting to feel comfortable with the city and all the various people that made up the Miami "scene."  Being young and single, he understood that there were a lot of opportunities in Miami if you were able to recognize them.  One such opportunity came along in the form of a newspaper ad:  $50 Caribbean Cruise!

     Having earned a few days off, Aggie1 decided he would take advantage of this great offer.  He followed the instructions in the ad, packed his bags, and headed off to Pier 21 at Midnight.  Being Midnight, it was very dark on the Pier.  He made it all the way to the end of the pier with his bags, where he saw a lone individual wearing dark clothes and sunglasses.  Aggie1 said, "Is this where you sign up for the $50 cruise?"  The strange dark man answered that it was.  Aggie1 produced his $50, and when he bent down to grab his bags, the dark man whacked him on the back of the head.  While he was unconscious, Aggie1 was dragged down a ramp to a row boat, thrown in the boat and pushed out to sea with the receding tide.  Then his bags were stowed away safely in a locker under the pier.

     Another Aggie (Aggie2), who had lived for nearly 10 years in Miami, happened to see the same advertisement and thought he would take advantage of the offer.  He arrived at the pier shortly after the dark man resumed his station at the end of the pier.  Naturally, he experienced the same welcome.  His luggage was stolen and he was unceremoniously dumped into a second waiting row boat.

     When Aggie1 awoke he next morning, he found himself bobbing about in the middle of the ocean.  As the row boat had neither oars nor sail, he was at the mercy of the wind and the tides.  He tried to find something to eat, and to find shade from the sweltering sun.  He was smart enough not to drink the sea water.  After three miserable days in the open boat, he made out another boat getting near to his location.  This was Aggie2.  As the boats got close enough that the occupants could shout to each other, Aggie1 said, "Are they ever going to serve any meals on this cruise?"  To which Aggie2 replied, "They didn't last year!"

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter. 
Please direct your comments to Jack Burlin.



High magnification photo of Kevin's tongue.


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Information Support Concepts, Inc.

Mansfield, Texas
ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc