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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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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Happy Valentine’s Day From SNX Professor

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! This holiday of connections makes me think of all the ways that we stay in touch today. There have been so many changes to social networking through the years which have changed the way relationships work. This infographic from mashable.com shows the development of social networking through the years. 

How has technology changed your relationships for the better? 

 
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Information Technology: Bringing the world closer one “bit” at a time…

(Thank you to Rodel Henry for participating in our “Title the next SNX Blog Contest” and coming up with the title for today’s blog!)

 

Information Technology, or “I/T” as it is more commonly referred to, is a phrase used quite frequently today, but a term that only truly began to emerge as an every-day concept within the past 20 years or so. “Information Technology” may just make you think of the computer or computer network you’re reading this on, but in fact, it refers to everything from software to hardware to network administration and beyond. Wikipedia defines “Information Technology” as:

 “…the application of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data…also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones…In a business context, the Information Technology Association of America has defined information technology as “the study, design, development, application, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems”.

How much has I/T actually changed in the past 65 years? Here’s a breakdown, by decade.

 

The 1950’s:

“Considered as one of the most conservative decades in recent memory the 1950s were a time when technology underwent a dramatic evolution.” (-techradar.com)

Enter the world’s first stored-program computer (read our blog about “BABY” here), the first commercial modem – the AT&T Dataphone, and the microchip. While the first microchip bears little resemblance to its modern counterpart, without it, you could say goodbye to your iPhone.

The 1960’s:

  • The first commercially available microchips were released by Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in 1961 and were around the size of your pinkie.
  • A remote online search system is publically demonstrated for the first time by SRI.
  • The public sees a mouse for the first time.
  • April 22-October 17, 1964: The New York World’s Fair offers public viewing of online bibliographic retrieval at Library/USA. This is the first time the general public sees bibliographic information and interacts remotely with librarians through a computer using standard telephone lines.
  • 1969: Internet officially comes into existence.

The 1970’s:

  • The birth of modern computing was in the 1970s. The world’s first general microprocessor — the Intel 4004, came out on Nov. 1971.
  • Rudimentary personal computers began to be produced along with pocket calculators.
  • The availability of affordable personal computers led to the first popular wave of internetworking with the first bulletin board systems.
  • Beggining of the video game era – Atari is established
  • Start of Fiber Optics.
  • The integration of the computer and robot, particularly in Japan, saw unprecedented improvements in mass-produced automotive quality…such cars as the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla became some of the most popular and iconic vehicles of the 1970s.

The 1980’s:

  • On January 3, 1980: Hewlett Packard introduces the HP-85, a “microcomputer” with 16kB of RAM and a 5-inch CRT display.
  • Microsoft licenses Unix and starts to develop a PC version, XENIX.
  • Xerox introduces the graphical Star workstation, which greatly influences the development of Apples future computer models, Lisa and Macintosh, as well as Microsoft’s Windows.
  • Disney releases the movie “Tron” on July 9, 1982, the first movie to use computer generated special effects.
  • A Philips factory in Germany creates the world’s first compact disc August 17, 1982.
  • The 3.5-inch floppy diskette is introduced and later becomes an industry standard.
  • The first e-mail from China is sent to its connection in Germany September 20, 1987.
  • 1989: Invention of the World Wide Web by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee and Belgian Robert Cailliau

1990’s: The Information Age begins…

In 1991, the World Wide Web is implemented, and the Internet truly becomes a global network.

The 90’s saw the spread of the Internet which caused a sudden leap in access to and ability to share information in businesses, at home and around the globe. Technology was developing so quickly that a computer costing $3,000.00 in 1997 would cost $2,000.00 two years later and only $1000.00 the following year.

Innovations of the ‘90s:

 

The “Information Age”, which started in the 1990’s, and which we are currently living in today, is a period marked by the shift from traditional industry (brought about by the industrial revolution) to an economy based on the information computerization. The evolution of technology in the past 65 years is nothing short of astounding, and if it continues at this rate, the world our children’s children live in will probably be a far cry from this one.

 

How do you think the world of I/T will change in the next 65 years?

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