Recycling and Donating Electronics

Even if you have a consumption reducing program, your company will have electronics that are at the end of their useful life.  Moving is a time when companies purge the old and electronics are no exception.  Designing a new office is a great time to modernize and check the usefulness of computers and peripherals.  Monitors, printers and battery backups are a few of the devices that you should examine closely.  Upgrading monitors and printers can give you a real return-on-investment and too often our battery backups are overlooked or neglected. LAN System has a free recycling program.  You can drop off your equipment at our office or we will make arrangements for pickup during your normal on-site support.   If you know of a school or charity that accepts donated electronics, we can prepare your equipment for donation.  There is a charge for this service as we will clean up data and … [Read more...]

A Strong Password is Your First Defense

The evolution of computers is astounding.  The increase in computing power, bandwidth and accessibility has made almost everything people do with computers easier.  Information technology not only satisfies our need for instant gratification, but changes the rules for trivial pursuit. No doubt, computers have changed our lives, but we still login very much like in the old days. Today’s computer looks much different from the main frame days. Back then most users had a “green” screen to input data, starting with username and password. There was little graphics and most user input was entered at a prompt.  Now, the graphics are remarkable from backgrounds to programs to games.  The modern computer and display makes the virtual world come alive in ways that were hard to imagine twenty years ago.  But with all the advancements one key feature hasn’t changed, we still use a username and … [Read more...]

Visiting The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is how analog systems (people) will thrive in a digital world.  People are amazing creatures.  Our analog brain is wired for all sorts of human things.  Often we can recognize loved ones with just a word or a single movement.  We can tell if people are being honest or deceptive by quickly analyzing complex facial and body movements.  We are constantly monitoring our environment and respond quickly to subtle changes.  We receive continuous input from our senses, organize vast amounts of sensory data and make continuous decisions based on millions of pieces of analog data. We are miraculous, wonderfully analog but have trouble in a digital world. The term The Internet of Things coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 has become a widely-used to describe things that can be  cataloged by computers.  Digital systems use discrete data in processing.  In computers, we … [Read more...]

Talk Like a CIO

The Chief Information Officer (CIO), sometimes called Chief Technology Officer (CTO), coined in the early 1980s is a rather recent addition to the corporate governance structure. It makes sense that the position coincided with the technology explosion as companies implemented IT to gain competitive advantage. Arguably, what was once IT competitive advantage is now essential for daily operations. Even so someone has to evaluate IT investment to be sure that it serves the organization by providing benefits at an affordable cost. Without that oversight, technology projects would be rapidly become science projects that few, other than the IT department, could understand. No disrespect to IT folks. As an engineer, I have seen this phenomenon many times. A concept to make the organization more efficient, a product more user-friendly or automate manual tasks spirals into the depths of a … [Read more...]

Large or dual monitors mean happier, more productive employees

The NEC commissioned University of Utah study shows increased productivity, job satisfaction and an incredible return on investment. It is not surprising that a monitor manufacturer would recommend larger and multiple monitor arrangements, but what do users think? There are two trends. The first is for smaller, lighter, mobile devices for on-the-go professionals and the second is for more screen real estate for the stationary worker. On-the-go professionals need access from anywhere, anytime so they can stay connected.  The screen sizes of mobile devices are definitely trending up, but in general they are still much, much smaller than desktop monitors.  Most mobile users don’t need multiple windows. They can switch between applications or use tools to work more efficiently. Mobile devices are great for staying connected and having information at your fingertips.  They are not … [Read more...]