Free talk on continuing the use of XP & the alternatives

Primrose Hill Community Centre, Hopkinson’s Place, Fitzroy Rd, NW1 8TN

Wednesday April 30, 2.30pm

To discuss: how to keep older machines with XP running well, and well into the future

Details to follow …

Here you are

@Metro_Online modern #computer screens causing #depression #health #co2 #Apple

exposure to light at night may cause depression
– commenting on an article from today’s Metro newspaper, page 37.

A new study suggests special cells in the eye respond to bright light, elevating stress hormone levels and affects the brain’s centres for mood, memory and learning.

This is not the first news on this topic, there has been talk for some time as modern LCD screens, and in fact more and more lighting products not computer related, use ultra white (6000K-plus virtually ‘full spectrum’) LEDs as their light source. The older screens used cold cathode tubes, and all? new laptops having a long battery life have LEDs now as they use so much less energy. These screens are also in computer LCDs, televisions, mobile phones, tablets and ereaders. To make it worse, how many of these devices would we routinely reach for if we cant sleep .. doh!

This is great is you suffer from SAD (you dont so much have to buy expensive daylight lamps), but it’s also known that if you cant sleep at night you need to avoid such white lights: I know of people who have to switch their day-lights off by 6pm or they feel wired all evening.

Gone are the days of cosy yellow tungsten lights (hello energy saving LED), but it does raise a worrying question: should we be exposed to this intense white light so much?

Of course, in many devices there is the option to turn down the brightness (or in ereaders to reverse the colours), and this makes a dramatic energy saving too. But many, the young especially, influenced by companies such as Apple (ok, prob not true, but had to mention them somewhere) are used to enjoying the strong vibrant colours of fully bright screens.

I shall be giving my evening activities some thought on this, but hopefully it wont keep me awake at nights. Perhaps start work earlier in the morning and avoid late nighters. Maybe the paper-publishing industry demise is further away than we thought.

Installing a network: an observation in client needs

The Story
A while ago a we were called to carry out some computer maintenance and installations for a client we have done sporadic work for in the past. Invariably the time came to discuss integrating the computers onto their network. We knew vaguely about their network already, as we had quoted for some work some time ago.

Avoiding technical details, the story goes that a fairly well known, medium sized firm had carried out a major network installation for them, complete with rack cabinet, industrial network switch, etc. So far so good. Subsequently, they proceeded to connect this switch directly to the main Internet gateway of the organisation, as might be expected,

The problem arises as the rest of the organisations administrative computers are also connected directly to the Internet gateway, and that the new network contained some computers with ‘public’ access. This came as much as a shock to us as to the client – just how could such a thing happen?

Further to our original work for the client, we were commissioned to fix the problem. This is not an easy task, especially during financially difficult times: ideally the rack arrangement would have been replaced with more appropriate and flexible equipment resulting in completely separating private and public networks. The location and manner of the wifi installation/s is an additional issue. We have installed an effective, though sub-optimal, solution with the option of upgrading it at a more appropriate time.

The Moral?
The client is ending up paying twice, because, to be blunt, the original installers did what they knew and did not fully assess what the client actually wanted/ needed. Without carrying out a detailed inspection, their work seemed to be to a good enough standard, using decent quality kit. However, there is little evidence anyone assessed the entire set-up, and just tacked the new network onto the old.

Our recommendation: take the time to sit down with the installer and insist they adequately explain to you what they intend to do and why. If they cannot explain it in plain english do they really understand it? This should give you the opportunity to ensure their plans meet your needs.

Our original quote was still about right, only this time it was for the repair rather than the installation (with extra kit, etc.). Without asking the sensitive question of how much the work had cost, we guess at least twice our original quote. In total then, the client paid about 3 times what we had expected such a job to cost. Unfortunately the full upgrade will cost more on top.

This is not the first time we have come across such situations. Of course it is not the client’s fault: their job is running the business, not to be worrying about technicalities – that’s our job. But as we care about our clients, it is unsettling for us to see them pay over the odds and not be happy with their purchase, even when we didn’t do the work.

We might even go as far as to say that IT should be an invisible asset with visible benefits(C2012).

We dont feed off clients, we want them to be wonderfully successful and to have as much money to spend on investment as possible. That’s true sustainability. And hopefully they will keep coming back 🙂

#Sharp announce new 5″ uber #retina display screen in production this month

5in, 1920 x 1080
that’s 441 pixels per inch (326ppi for the iPhone 5)

Continuous Grain Silicon (CG-Silicon) thin film transistor technology
– enables switching apparently 600x faster than current LCD films

Screens should be thinner and lighter, and allow more light to pass through them, improving contrast

We could be looking at far superior screen tech in 2013!
And surely Sharp wont be the only ones.

Lets hope they are kept repairable/ replaceable & manufactured sensitive to the environment

*retina being a meaningless marketing term of course, mostly used by a certain fruity company 🙂 As with most things, at the end of the day, it boils down to just numbers