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cable closet reorganized

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Was called to this client site about 18 months ago. The older building has a tangle of cables running to several separate rooms in this office. Runs weren’t labeled, not all runs were finished, additional runs needed to be installed. Client also couldn’t upgrade from DSL, as Verizon was servicing this building, and neither they or Comcast would run new cable without substantial cost to the client. Client stuck with DSL – non-digital, old, slow and based on copper wire lines (lines which Verizon no longer services in Boston). Now, they are having network problems. We came back, analyzed the installation and found a few problems. Workstations were under-configured and using older software, the DSL modem-router was not managing the network very well, their upload speeds were 1.0Mb (constant), hardly sufficient for business usage. Solution – upgrade to digital broadband, upgrade workstation hardware and software, replace DSL router/service, put computers on ethernet (as opposed to wireless whenever possible), restart or shut off computers daily (to refresh internet/network configs).

tech insights (1.00)

golden_smiling_buddha-normal

Doing technician work in-house (on the bench) and delivering tech services onsite (home-office or business network users) are two different worlds. So many techs that can do good bench work are completely incapable of doing onsites. Granted, onsites are many times more complicated. You are not simply diagnosing and repairing hardware or software problems. For onsites, you must also fully assess the many variables that impact productivity. The network needs proper mapping and testing, the computers on the network may need individual attention, other network devices and services may be malfunctioning, the router/gateway/wireless antennas may not be working properly. THEN, you must have a thorough dialog with the client, asking careful questions and listening intently to responses. Clients with network problems usually don’t know what the problems are… that is why they called you. You must be analytical, intuitive and sensitive. People need to open up on a personal level, so that you can understand the hurdles preventing this person from being productive and efficient with their technology. The average technician is not a people person. Being shy and introverted, they easily get lost in the world of technology (service techs and software programmers, too). They avoid clients, and frequently do not have highly evolved people skills. For a business owner and service provider that employes hardware techs and software developers, this offers a world of frustration. It requires being in constant contact with techs and clients, it requires managing psyches and expectations. Without someone who can intervene and oversee, the client relationship loses value, it dissolves and falls apart. Good technicians usually can’t also service the human relations aspect of the sale and delivery of technical services. It can be both satisfying and frustrating to the business owner or manager.

google glass project (00.5)

Google-Glass-AD

Received the Glass Explorer v2 a few weeks ago, and have yet to take it out of the box. The programmer selected to get started with learning the available developer tools and the basics of the device is off on a 1 month vacation. I spent the last week reading and viewing the handful of articles and intro videos available online, created by people who have already had the device for awhile. So far, it seems that the people choosing to write about it publicly are really just gadget geeks. The serious developers who may be looking at it aren’t writing about it, maybe to maintain a competitive advantage? I need to first have a better handle on the features, functions and tools offered via the SDK resource kit. Specifically, the Glass GDK is an add-on to the Android SDK. By integrating the tools in both the GDK and the SDK, you can access the Android APIs. Unlike the Mirror-APIs, Glassware (apps) built with the GDK can run directly on the Glass device. I need to see just how open the device is for innovative programming. To date, it seems that the Glass device offers two main features: (1) a wearable camera that integrates transparently into your line of vision, and (2) voice or touch activated controls. The bulk of the functionality resides in tethering the Glass to your Android phone. The interesting features of GPS, location awareness, internet access and email/texting are phone-required and phone-based. The big limitation of the Glass is the integrated (and inaccessible) rechargeable battery that powers the Glass. This battery is inaccessible by the end-user, and I have yet to see any info on Google’s warranty and serviceability of the Glass device (and on the battery, which we all know will likely have a limited shelf-life). Google offered the first buyers of the V1 Glass Explorer the option of picking up their Glass at a Google Glass Studio, which included a free training session. I cannot seem to find the contact info for the NYC Studio, so I will try calling Google in the next few days. Next update will be posted after i have had a chance to pick thru the Glass Developer’s website tools and reference materials. Click on the weblink link that follows or on the graphic chart-box below for more information…

https://developers.google.com/glass/develop/gdk/index

Google Glass GDK & SDK