The Story of a Brake Job That Went Well… almost

I have a little changing of the brakes story from this weekend…

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           I am not a mechanic and I haven’t even played one on tv.  I do know that I am pretty logical and I like to tinker.  I have also changed brakes on some other cars but always with the help of someone else near that knew what they were doing.  Still, there were issues.  Like any great “at home” mechanic I went to Autozone and picked up brake pads, rotors, brake cleaner, brake fluid, pad spreader and maybe a few other things.  Waited a few days for the rotors to come in and during that time found a few websites through a google search telling me the steps to do a great brake change.   I found out that I would need a 13mm socket to take the caliper and pad housing off.  Awesome, I have that, so no other parts necessary.  Rotors come in and now I am set.  After jacking up the car and putting stands under the right parts of the car, I take the tire off and go to take the bolts off that hold the caliper on.  Great!  The tool I have works!  Then go to take the pad housing off.  Wait, what?  It needs a 16mm socket.  My socket set doesn’t have this and I promise I watched the guy on the youtube video and he said for certain, “13 mm socket will take off both sets of these bolts that hold on the caliper and the pad housing.”  I think to myself, after I go buy this socket, I am suing them for all they have for misinformation (kidding, well no, I said it to myself but I wouldn’t sue for that).  Well, now I need to take the first trip to Autozone to get a tool.  After getting the tool coming back and taking off the necessary parts, I find that the brake pads that were given to me by the experienced 18 year old Autozone employee were the wrong part.  Almost like an uninformed google search.  Anyway, went back received the right part and was back on the way to car stopping nirvana.  All in all, this process took about 4 hours.  The actual taking apart/labor of the event took 45 minutes.

             I did this because I had the time and I wanted to experience the experience but imagine if I was trying to run a business of transporting important documents across the city and I had to do this to one of my vehicles.  That would be a complete waste of money and resources. Now imagine I am a lawyer or doctor trying to fix peoples lives and a computer messes up or I have a piece of malware that is sending my data out into the internet…  kind of the same thing.  That google search may have given answers and it may be fun to tinker, but if our time and resources are worth anything, wouldn’t it be time to call on someone that you trust and trusts you to keep this all in check.

Technology in any industry today has to be a line item in your budget.  You will not know if you have computer issues like malware or viruses that can be destroying your hardware or sending personal client data out of your network until it is too late.  Find a great team of people that can be proactive in preventing your systems from being damaged.  It may feel like a place to cut corners because IT is transparent.  You can’t see the effects while it is working.  When things are at its best in IT you won’t even think about it and this is why it is underfunded in all the organizations we go into.

We all get into “I can do anything” mode which isn’t a bad thing… some of the time.  In 2014 – 2015 if you think that you can run a business without touching technology you might not be looking from the best angle as a business owner or manager.  Do everyone in the organization a favor and adjust your budget. Put a bigger priority on function and it will pay for itself.  You will see higher productivity, your equipment will last longer and when things do go wrong you will have a trusted advisor to help get through the pain.  Tinker with your kids new toys instead… that will get your blood pumping!

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Ipad mini vs Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″

With all of the choices available for tablets and e-readers, buyers must consider their options very carefully before making a purchase. We have looked through the many different tablet and e-readers available and chose the Ipad mini and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ as our final two contenders.

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Source: https://www.apple.com/ipad-mini/specs/
Source: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BHJRYYS/ref=fs_ta#tech

 

Specs:

Kindle Fire HDX

Ipad Mini

Battery Life

  • 12 hrs
  •  10 hrs

Resolution

  • 2560 x 1600 (339 ppi)
  • 2048 x 1536 (326 ppi)

Input/Output Port

  • Micro-USB
  •  Lightning port

Retail Store Availability

  • No
  •  Yes

Requirements

  • No software
  •  Itunes installation required

TV Compatibility

  • Yes (second screen and mirroring with Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Samsung TVs)
  •  Yes (Airplay and mirroring available with apple tv)
Camera
  • Front and rear
  • Front and rear

Music

  • Cloud and digital store
  •  Cloud and digital store

 

Price:

For the price comparison I chose the 64GB of storage on both with wifi and cellular capabilities and no lock screen ads on the Kindle Fire HDX to make them comparable.

Kindle Fire HDX8.9″: $554.00

Ipad mini with retina display: $729.00

 

Deciding factors:

The Kindle’s interface is a bit more confusing, especially for first time users, but it also has the mayday button which connects users to technical support 24/7.  This allows users to explore their new tablet but to have a lifeline to a representative if they get a bit lost.

Two other things which are original to the Kindle are the parental controls (freetime) and the test drive option. With freetime users can set limits for their children with the length of time they can use the device and also which apps are available to them. This essentially creates a completely different tablet for children to use. Test drive is also a great option which allows users the opportunity to test apps before they purchase them.

Getting down to the actual e book component of each, the Kindle and Ipad have very similar looks with the readers. On the Ipad users can highlight, make notes, and bookmark pages. With the Kindle, users have all of the capabilities of the Ipad but can also translate large chunks of text (up to the entire book) and have it read back or in print for the entire selection. The Kindle also has a seamless shift from audiobook to print allowing users to read in print, pick up in the same place with the audiobook, and then begin with print again without sifting through the pages to find their spot.

The Kindle syncs content wirelessly to many different devices whereas the Ipad content is only available on apple products.

For the money, the Kindle wins out over the Ipad with a higher resolution and PPI, compatibility across multiple platforms, new features, and battery life.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=szlMD8qcSW19xM&tbnid=oN_w_V40qg2lGM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.laptopmag.com%2Famazon-kindle-fire-hdx-vs-google-nexus-7&ei=j27JU8n6H86syAThrYDIDg&bvm=bv.71198958,d.aWw&psig=AFQjCNFqLsNYnM8XTRp04zYqUPq_l-1ilQ&ust=1405796354199313
Source: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=szlMD8qcSW19xM&tbnid=oN_w_V40qg2lGM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.laptopmag.com%2Famazon-kindle-fire-hdx-vs-google-nexus-7&ei=j27JU8n6H86syAThrYDIDg&bvm=bv.71198958,d.aWw&psig=AFQjCNFqLsNYnM8XTRp04zYqUPq_l-1ilQ&ust=1405796354199313

What are your thoughts on the two finalists? What features do you like or dislike? Share your comments below and subscribe for more product reviews.

 

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Illinois Mission of Mercy 2014

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The SNX team were honored to be invited to the Illinois Mission of Mercy event this year. We provided computers, set up, and support for all the data processing for the event. PC’s were divided into two groups for the volunteers, data entry and exit interview.

 Upon entering the Peroria Civic Center, patients were shown to the data entry room which was separated from other areas to protect patient information and follow all HIPPA privacy regulations. Patients spoke with a volunteer who entered the patient info into an online database. We set up 4 PC’s in this area so patients could be moved through as quickly as possible.  From previous MOM events, organizers have learned wireless internet access is not entirely reliable for an event of this size. SNX staff worked with the Peoria Civic Center maintenance staff to set up an access point in the data entry room that was wired to the civic center internet. Once the access point was set up, CAT6 cable was run to all 4 computers in the Data room and the computers were set to the Mission of Mercy database to enter patient information.
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Exit Interview – Every patient treated at the Mission of Mercy event was interviewed upon completion of their treatment. We set up 15 computers in an area where patients exit the Mission. Each computer was manned by a volunteer who performed the interviews. Each station was set up to navigate to a survey page designed specifically for MOM2014.
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Also in the Exit interview area we set up 3-4 printer/copiers for volunteers to make copies of paperwork for the patients.
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Once we set up all the necessary machines we provided IT support during the actual event, Friday and Saturday. Almost 2000 people were seen in two days. During those two days SNX provided any computer support needed including access issues, PC software and hardware issues, and printer troubleshooting.
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At the end of the event Saturday evening, SNX assisted in taking down all the equipment in both patient areas, taking down the access points, and returning all cabling provided by the Civic Center.

We were so delighted to take part in this event and look forward to the next opportunity we have to work with this fantastic organization!

If you are interested in volunteering with the next Mission of Mercy event or know of other events we might be able to help with please comment below.

 

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Now Open: Ocean Market Atlanta – An SNX I.T. Customer

There is a new sandwich shop in town!

Chef Shane McIntosh, executive chef and owner of Ocean Catering Company, is thrilled to announce the opening of his first dine-in concept, Ocean Market – a new Atlanta eatery located at 489 Peachtree Street NE Atlanta, Ga 30308 opened on Monday, March 10, 2014.
Offering a grab-and-go-style lunch menu tailored to busy professionals, area residents and more, Chef Shane’s new concept will be open every Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The well-rounded and expansive menu features a variety of reasonably priced lunch fare available for dine-in or takeout, from fresh salads and soups to traditional and panini style sandwiches and delicious crepes, all with Chef McIntosh’s signature creative spin. Known for his sense of humor and always-positive outlook, Ocean Market’s not-so-traditional sandwich selection includes twists on classics and plenty of vegetarian-friendly options. The Kinda BLT, sliced pancetta, roasted garlic aioli, crispy lettuce and fresh tomato, and the DLT – What!?, a vegan version of the BLT that is served with toasted dulse seaweed, ground gomashio, crispy lettuce, fresh tomato and garlic aioli, speak true to Chef Shane’s style and offer diners an alternative “BLT” experience. Sandwiches like his Smoked Salmon Club, house-smoked salmon, crisp turkey bacon, and citrus marmalade, double stacked with fresh lettuce and tomato, and the Oh Yeah! – Pimento Cheese satisfies cravings for a more hearty meal. Panini-style sandwiches like the Greatest Grilled Cheese Ever!!!, a smoked Gouda, triple crème Brie and homemade spiced pimento cheese grilled cheese sandwich, and the PB&J Panini, a toasty combination of fresh pear, Brie cheese and jambon served with creole mustard and arugula promise to delight those looking for a hot lunch.
Featuring soups made fresh daily on premise, diners are invited to indulge in adventurous options like Chef Shane’s African peanut or potato and parsnip soups, while his seafood bisque, roasted corn chowder, and white bean and turkey chili are sure to be crowd pleasers. Numerous made-to-order salad options served with homemade dressings cover everything a discerning palate could want: Asian, Indian, Italian and Greek flavors can all be found in the thoughtfully crafted selection. Salads like the Dirty South Bread Salad, mixed greens with Heirloom tomatoes, thick croutons, steamed crab and seared crawfish tails tossed in basil pistou; and the Roasted Beet Salad: roasted beets, fresh segmented oranges on a bed of mixed greens tossed in citrus vinaigrette and topped with fresh goat cheese and basil, are sure to become fast favorites. Sold by the weight, Tuscan pasta salad, cous cous salad, Jamaican slaw, Grandma’s Mc’s egg salad, and Chef Shane’s blue cheese chicken salad are just a sampling of menu items that can also complement a meal at home.

A variety of crepes, both sweet and savory, round out the Ocean Market menu. Flavorful options like the Tripping Daisy, a vegetarian crepe filled with wild mushroom duxelle and parmesan aioli; the Yard Bird, a grilled chicken option with Gruyere, lettuce, sliced tomato and green onion aioli; and the Bleu Beef, a hearty beef tenderloin, sliced aged cheddar, horseradish aioli and crumbled bleu cheese crepe, provide a delightful alternative to traditional sandwiches. For those with a sweet tooth, Ocean Market’s Berries and Crème and Apple Crunch crepes can serve as the perfect ending to any lunch or are an ideal mid-day snack.
Visit their website at http://www.oceanmarketatl.com/ or like their facebook page at www.facebook.com/OceanMarketAtlanta
We look forward to seeing you in the market for lunch soon. The Kinda BLT sounds amazing!

 

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Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration Ideas

In the past, Saint Patrick’s Day has fallen to the wayside of holiday planning for me but this year I have decided to give it a bit more effort. So I started planning.

My first stop for planning was, of course, the internet. While surfing around for different party ideas I found some great resources and I wanted to share my two favorites with everyone.

 

CNET correspondent Kara Tsuboi shares a few fun ways to add a splash of technology to your Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in this video:

Link to Original Page: Tech to make part of your St. Paddy’s Day festivities

 

Alice Truong also shared a list of great high-tech Saint Paddy’s Day additions here:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/products/story/2012-03-17/st-patricks-gadgets-truong/53573122/1

This beertender looks incredibly handy!

 

I simply couldn’t decide which page I liked best so I will be taking ideas from both and I think this will be my best St. Patrick’s Day yet!

How do you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day? Do you have any favorite tech additions that you love? Share them with us in the comments section below so I can start planning for next year!!

As always, your safety is our number one concern so please enjoy this holiday responsibly. Make sure that you have a dependable ride or call a cab. Please don’t drink and drive. Stay safe and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day from SNX Professor!!!

 

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