Birds of a Feather

WARNING: IT Industry Rant

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Hello, faithful readers! You know that I usually approach blogs with a common sense, easy-to-follow format that allows you to educate yourselves on some relevant tech trend. I’m easy-going and an easy read. Well, this post is going to be a little different because I need to get this off my chest.

Bad IT service providers will say, “trust us.” They lead you to believe that they provide every benefit imaginable with whatever low price attached. The truth is, low prices come with low value. And these providers can’t run their own business profitably while giving you optimal time AND attention to your platforms and systems. They will set up your infrastructure in the simplest way possible – regardless of efficiencies or advantages – and then hammer you with costs when the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. We’ve made relationships with a number of new clients who came to us after being burned by low-cost IT support individuals or organizations. All of them experienced significant downtime, data loss and frustration. This isn’t what a business owner should experience with an IT partner who is supposed to help them grow.

And, frankly, I’m sick of hearing horror stories about bad IT service providers. Allowing these stories to become commonplace in our industry hurts all of us, and it gives the industry an awful name. Shame on these “businesses” that trick customers into contracts. Shame on these “businesses” that sell unneeded services. Shame on these “businesses” that deny access to assets their customers own. I can go on and on about the appalling tactics people are using to gain a quick buck. Don’t get me started on how often we hear about unanswered phone calls and support tickets. It’s ridiculous and unacceptable! Do better!

This isn’t every IT service provider and there are plenty of good ones, but it sure seems like lots of Bad Apples are hurting our reputation. And I’m not OK with that, nor am I OK with businesses allowing these Bad Apples to negatively impact their bottom line because they don’t know what to do.

You can probably tell, this fraudulent practice is infuriating to support providers like me, and the company I work for. We take pride in our relationships with our customers. We challenge ourselves to help customers grow. We service customers with the greatest level of support and integrity. This is how our industry is built to operate, and it’s why I love my job so much.

Curved Monitors: Are They Worth it?

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I am a big fan of novelty. I like owning the newest of anything, be it software or hardware; and while many would assume that comes as result of a snobbish desire to be flashy, it is actually quite the opposite: I have a self-flagellating fondness for problems.

All brands of new technology come with a set of problems, and I actually enjoy finding them and being the first to put a device or “thing” through its paces. But, with all of that “I-love-new-shiny-things” practice comes a cost factor, more specifically, whether the newest and shiniest thing is worth the premium of early adoption.

So that brings me to today’s topic: curved monitors.

Building a Truly Fabulous, New Gaming Computer

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So recently, my partner graduated from pharmacy school, and as a “Congrats! / Now You Finally Have Free Time!” gift, I decided we would build a gaming computer together. It was a process we began all the way back in January, and completed a few weeks ago. Due to the cryptocurrency caused graphics card shortage, we delayed purchasing anything until we could acquire the hardest to come-by part. Luckily, keeping my ear to the ground, I found a cheap, brand new GTX 1070 on Reddit for sale. Even more luckily, it wasn’t a scam! With this purchased, we went ahead and bought everything else.

Internet Exclusivity

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Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans do not have proper access to the Internet? (Wait! That number seems small.) Let’s do the math: 20% of 325.7 million people = 65,140,000 Americans.

While it may seem unimportant to have good internet access everywhere (didn’t we all survive without it 25 years ago? Shouldn’t we be cherishing the moments without it?), it is hindering those who don’t have it, and hurting the American economy. Students’ grades are being affected, job opportunities (i.e. telecommuting, online interviews) are being taken away. Time is spent traveling to urban areas for access, being away from home, or waiting on slow Internet speeds. As society continues to grow alongside technological advancement, we are leaving rural and impoverished areas behind.

Will Goes Vegan

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So I’ve been concerned about the sustainability of meat as a food product for a while now. Mind you, not so concerned yet that I’m willing to give it up entirely (there will be a full day of mourning when I lay corned beef to rest), but enough to investigate what my un-meat options look like these days. Believe it or not, things aren’t looking half bad.

Laptops Overheating

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With summer starting I wanted to write about the effects overheating has on hardware, specifically laptops. As you may know, Birds on a Cable has moved offices, and I’ve experienced a spell of my laptop overheating at our new location. Yes, I know, I’m supposed to be an expert and not allow such things to happen, but even us gurus are fools at times. For that very reason, I thought this would be important subject for all of us. With laptops being so convenient and hassle-free, it’s easy to forget that they need regular maintenance. We take them into any (and every) environment without hesitation, and rarely think of the damage these elements might cause.