Wednesday 30 October 2013

What is the world coming to? (About 400mb)

I was rebuilding a work machine today and had to re-install all the drivers and software necessary for the user.

It was while downloading the mouse driver and the printer driver that I suddenly noticed that both of these seemed to take a long time in installing.

The mouse driver took longer to install than the anti virus program (We install a business/networked version of Kaspersky) and the printer driver was over 400mb, which was also bigger than the install size of the anti virus!

I couldn't believe it!

Is this a crazy pattern that developed from a sloppy practise of programming? Or is it simply the amount of code necessary to drive the hardware nowadays? 

Have computers gotten so complicated, that the devices that connect to them are requiring large chunks of programs to keep control and make them accessible? 

Talking of which, I need to switch my twitter enabled coffee machine on. 

Thursday 17 October 2013

The Benefits of a Social Network

I was quite surprised today to hear somebody say that they deleted an invite to "LinkedIn" because it was of no benefit or use to them as a salesperson.

While its true that Social Networking has a history of being a bit of a 'gamers and gossipers way of keeping in the know', it also holds some value for businesses.

How often have you met a friend of a friend (Fig.1) and found that you have a lot in common? Or needed some work done at home, and were able to get in touch with a friend who knows somebody that can do the job reliably for you?  As a human race, we prefer dealing with people that we know, than pass the work on to an unknown untrusted person that we found in the local business directory.

Social Networking can be a powerful tool in enabling you to get to know the people that your friends know, and getting your business credentials across to a customer of a customer.

Its quite normal to join a social networking site and start finding people that have similar needs to your existing customers, or who you are not normally able to approach because they don't know you.

However, now that you have a common interest, a common friend, the door has opened for you to have the opportunity in extending your network in that direction.
(Fig 2)

So don't be afraid of the technology. It's a tool that will save you a lot of leg work and will open doors of opportunity.

A properly worked Social Network has the ability to work more effectively than cold calling on the telephone. So join, fill out your profile in the best way you can, and start meeting the people that might make a difference to your working life.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Old Tin Can

An article in The Telegraph today, reported that Britons are losing around 5½ days because their computers are slow. This got us thinking... and calculating.

Lets say the basic wage for an office worker is around £16,000.  That's around £307 per week, or £61 per day. So 5½ days at that rate is around £338.

Most IT departments would purchase a basic office machine for around £300. They'd get a reasonable machine for that price and everybody would be happy. But add another £338 to that budget and suddenly it's a different story..

The difference between the two is striking. You go from a 2 core processor to an 8. You increase your ram from 4gb to 16gb. The graphics processor leaps from a built in motherboard display to a 2gb graphics card and the storage also increases from 500gb to a 2TB drive and 128gb Solid State Drive.

Certainly the performance between the two machines would make a huge difference in the lives of the workers, increasing efficiency and reducing stress.

It doesn't surprise us to read these stats. This is something we've been a great believer in, giving the worker a full orchestra to do the job instead of expecting them to write a concerto with a tin can and a cocktail stick. 

We've seen workers struggle with slow machines and seen support staff spend countless hours trying their best to find ways to tweak a little more speed out of the workstation. In the end you spend more money in time and resources than you would have spent investing in the right equipment at the beginning.

Don't be afraid of the tech and invest wisely.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

In Defence Of The Tech [I]

The first in what I fear will be a regular series...

We've read a recent spate of news articles that turn up at least once a year. In their simplest form, they go like this,
'I went on holiday, came home and got a mobile phone bill for £27 million.'
There is a recurring theme in almost all of these stories. And it goes something like,
'I didn't know I was going to be charged £120 per MB while abroad.'
And therein lies the problem. Not that the bill was a mistake. Not that the phone was racking up a phone bill with an evil smile on its face. The issue was that the human in this equation didn't know all the facts.

That's not to say the mobile service providers are completely blameless. Historically, roaming charges were notoriously hard to find. It really wasn't even made clear enough that charges were significantly increased while abroad. There again, how could it not be. Being able to phone or text the same number and have that person or message reach you wherever you are in the world is a phenomenal technological achievement.

So this seems to be down to getting all the facts, then using your phone within your means. Data use is what will rack up the largest portion of your mobile bill while abroad. Some apps will use data to check for updates and that data can mount up quickly. Most phones have the facility to switch off roaming data and if you don't need constant internet access and can live off of WiFi only, switch it off. If you do need mobile data overseas, it's worth asking your provider what offers they can give you or buying a SIM card specifically for the country you're travelling to.

Estuary IT - Defenders of Tech since 2013!