Computer Systems and Networking in Orange County with Marc Winger, Zephyr Networks

Computer Repair Orange County - Marc Winger of Zephyr Networks

Computer Repair Orange County – Marc Winger of Zephyr Networks

Marc Winger: Your computer, so that’s an area where we focused a lot of our energies. We have a lot of people out in the field doing that pretty consistently where we’re out there making sure that your interface into this larger network of the rest of the world is safe, secure, and productive. That’s the most important thing for us.

That’s really our number one focus is trying to make you productive. On that productivity thing the mobility thing, it’s your tablet and your phone all interconnected so that your e-mail, your calendar, and your contacts are all right where you need them when you need them. So, that’s a big part of it.

Making sure it’s all backed up is kind of behind the scenes. That’s the business continuity plan. But, business continuity means so much more than just backing up. It means having a plan in place for when something happens, when this earthquake that they swear is going to happen, happens.

What are you going to do with your business if your building gets condemned or something, and you can’t even get into it? How are you going to keep your data running? How are you going to keep your business? There’s a lot of discussion about what happened in New Orleans. The businesses that were prepared had really excellent business afterwards, after the disaster
– after Katrina, because they were prepared.

They could do business after that and then they excelled far and above their competition about that point in time. So, just being a little bit prepared will put you in a better place should something go wrong.

We’re also very involved in Cloud. You’ve heard me talk about Google Apps before, and I can talk about Google Apps forever. This presentation was done in Google Apps and then downloaded as a pdf. You can do almost anything with that. We’re doing that.

We’re also more and more involved in the data center colocation. A very good friend of mine owns an ISP that is headquartered in the data center in Orange County, in Santa Ana, and it looks like we’ll be taking over that responsibility. We’ll be doing a lot more data center work, so you can do what’s known as colocation which would be putting a server…

Business Growth Innovators Member: …I wanted to get closer to you…

Marc Winger: …Oh, okay. If you want to put a server into the data center where it’s secure, it’s backed up as well, and the power is consistent and taken care of for you. The other side of the thing is the server internally to your network. That’s network design, security monitoring, and maintenance. We make sure that we secure and maintain all of our clients who have servers. We deal with a lot of them, and we do a lot of network design. We also install and maintain those devices.

So, the thing that I’m working on that’s a little bit new for us is the concept of sustainable computing. You hear a lot of blabber about it. Really, the big thing is to minimize the impact of all these devices that are going around. You’ve heard about that. We’re trying to extend the life cycles of your IT equipment. A lot of you guys get tired of replacing out your computer every two, three, or four years. It gets pretty annoying. We’re trying to get people to reuse their old equipment.

I’ve just been working with Penny Lambright, many of you know her, with recycling a lot of computers to get them to some veterans who can really use them. So, we’ve been working with businesses. It can be any of your businesses that do this as well. It’s a really good program. It’s called Patriots and Paws.

The last item is lowering your energy usage. Why is this important?
Well, that’s why. If you hear about the stories in Bangladesh, India, and Africa there’s all of our e-waste that tends to show up there in a big mountain. It’s pretty disgusting. We work with a lot of recyclers and we return a lot of these things. Specifically, how are you going to make a difference in this little mess and try to make it so that all of our kids have a little greener future I guess you could say?

A lot of people will keep their computer on 24/7. They’re just afraid to shut it down, like it’s going to blow up if it shuts down. Do the math on it. It really pulls a lot of power. I’m encouraging you to shut down, sleep, or hibernate your computer. If you go to sleep mode it pulls like one watt, so it’s like a little mini vampire on your power cycle. If you shut down or hibernate it it basically pulls nothing at that point in time. So, make sure you try to do that. Hibernation is a great solution.

I use it probably far more frequently than I need to. It’s just easier for me to hibernate than it is to shut down sometimes because it comes up a little faster for me.
Plan to use and keep your computer a little longer especially in a business cycle. A lot of people will have automatic three year cycles. A lot of big businesses have three year cycles. What I’m encouraging you to do is to think about it as a five year cycle. Technology now has gotten to the point where it’s mature enough that you don’t need to replace it every three years. For most of what we do on a daily basis you can do it on a tablet.

Let’s face it, you don’t necessarily need to keep replacing and have the fastest, fastest, fastest. You can refresh, maybe put a new solid state hard drive in or something like that. Your computer will be just like new and maybe faster than it was when you bought it.

Purchasing higher quality computers, this makes it so your computer will last longer. I know sometimes getting the money to buy a computer it seems like you’re spending a lot of money. But, going to Best Buy and buying the cheapest one they have there guarantees that you’re getting lower quality components, and those lower quality components will break down faster, will go slower, and will become more annoying than it’s worth having.
So, when you’re in the market for a new computer think about it, look into it, and talk to me about.

Usually if you buy a business class computer, even if it’s for your home computer, there’s the parts cycle. Dell’s a perfect example of this. If you buy their OptiPlex they keep parts in stock for their OptiPlex line and their laptop line for, I think, seven years. They keep it that way. If you buy some of their Inspiron line, the ones you buy at Costco or Best Buy – they don’t keep those parts in stock long enough. When something starts failing on them they just don’t care any more. But, on the business class ones they take care of it. So, you can keep that computer longer which means that whole computer doesn’t go down to the landfill.

In particular, this part right here, encourage industry leaders to support products longer and plan for a longer product cycle. Planned obsolesce is a fact in my industry. It’s done in a way that is masked by security and masked specifically by, like, oh it’s technology it’s always changing. Once again, the industry’s mature enough now that you don’t have to have it.

Well, Microsoft is typical of this. They force you to buy new computers. Right now their XP, mind you I’m plenty tired of XP. There are plenty of security risks with XP. But, for many applications it works just fine. As long as you’ve got a hardened firewall you’re in pretty good shape with that one. You’re not going to have much problem with it.

Why are they pushing it out? Well, they’re pushing it out so you’ll buy the newest, greatest, latest. Let’s face it, we got tired of that with the automotive industry 20, 30 years ago. That’s probably why they’re struggling. I encourage you guys to say, listen it’s going to last longer, it’s going to be fine. If you buy quality it’s going to last longer.

Printing less, that’s something that, of all things, my father needs to learn more than any human being on the planet. He prints everything. So, I encourage you guys to look into all sorts of different solutions for that between pdf’s and storing things on a network attached storage device or storing things in a place where you’ll be able to find them. As long as they’re backed up you’ll be able to find them, and usually you’ll be able to find them easier than digging around in a file or something like that.

There’s also a font, I think it’s called ecofont, and it’s designed so it will use less toner or ink. If you use that font consistently you can save money on ink and toner.

The last part of it was recycling with a reputable recycler. Many of you know I’ve worked with Orange Coast Computers and Recycling over there, and I’ve followed their whole track of where it goes. It goes to a recycler in L.A. It doesn’t go to Bangladesh. I’ve been working with them for a long time on the recycling side of it.

You want to know where it’s going when you’re recycling. At a lot of these big fairs that go on all the time you might want to ask, because the environmental impact of the pile you saw on the previous slide is really pretty nasty. I’ve watched a few programs on it. It really affects. There’s a lot of lead going in there. There are birth defects in some of those cities and places where the people are living next to this waste. It’s not worth it. Take it to a reputable recycler when the thing’s finally dead.

Business Growth Innovators Member: Can you tell me what’s the difference between sleep and hibernate.

Marc Winger: Yes I can. In sleep it takes what you’re actively working on and puts it into memory, which is your quick response kind of thing like what’s just in your head right now. When you hibernate it takes that data of everything you’re working on and writes it to the hard drive and then turns off all the power. So, sleep on the Macintosh just puts everything into – and there’s not a hibernate mode…

Business Growth Innovators Member: …that’s what I was asking…

Marc Winger: …that at least I’m aware of on the Mac. But, specifically, it puts all the things that you’re working on into memory as opposed to writing it on the hard drive.

Business Growth Innovators Member: Are there things that you can do or shouldn’t do to kind of maintain the life of your hard drive?

Marc Winger: To extend the life of a computer?…I don’t know. I think that for hard drives there are some drive fitness tools out there that can help your hard drive work, I guess, a little bit better at the time. When hard drives fail it seems to be the most random of things. They can fail right away, or sometimes they last like ten years. So, you never know, and I just don’t know the answer to that question for sure.

Thank you very much.

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