Uncovering the Hidden Costs of Legacy Systems

“I’m in favor of progress. It’s change I don’t like.” — Mark Twain

Any CIO or IT manager thinking about upgrading legacy equipment would agree. Many who were forced to shelve upgrade plans during the 2008 economic downturn now face a vastly different digital world where they must embrace change or lose ground to competitors.

It’s a tough decision to say the least. Business hardware and software carry a hefty price tag. Plus, companies must rebuild the legacy equipment infrastructure without undermining everyday operations. In a recent Forbes article, one Nationwide executive aptly compared the task with changing tires on a moving car.

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A Thank You Letter to Our Repair Department

For over forty years, The Computing Center has been providing computer and repair services to our clients. In the early days, we repaired terminals and dot matrix printers.  Later on we repaired desktop PCs and the early laser printers.  Today, we repair and maintain all sorts of laptops, desktops, printers, and servers. Although we can work on most computer equipment, we specialize on Hewlett Packard, Apple, and Dell equipment.

 

As important as the technical training, skills, an experience needed to properly repair computer equipment, so is understanding how clients feel about having their equipment being out of their procession while the repair takes place.

 

By mid-August each year, we see an influx of new people joining our community, typically to attend or be employed by Cornell, Ithaca College and TC3.  So our repair departments gets quite busy with new people and regulars.  However, in every situation, we work hard to have all clients feel important and special. 

 

One of those repairs was for a lovely person, Roberta Moudry, who had a couple of Apple MacBook Pro laptops with screen problems. Sara Herman and Rose Christofferson walked through the issues with her and got the equipment quickly scheduled for repair. And one of our certified Apple Technicians, Emily Vannoy did her masterful repair work to get the equipment operating properly.

 

All, in a day’s work. Well, not quite…

 

Here’s the email we received from Roberta along with her permission for us to reprint it here.

 

To all the staff at the Computing Center that helped us:

 

My son and I had a problem with our MacBook Pro screens. I have a difficult schedule due to elder care responsibilities out of state. You helped us so much, were so kind, professional and efficient….and during a really busy week for you (first week of Cornell classes). We are so grateful to you — you are an oasis of professionalism and respect.

 

I can write this email and see it through my beautifully clear screen. My 93-year-old dad was amazed — I had to tell him several times this is not a new laptop!

 

Thanks again for your help. We appreciate you!

 

Best,

Roberta Moudry and Reade Otto-Moudry

Be Good to your PC

 used with permission from HP Tech@Work

Here’s how to keep it in top shape

Let’s be real: You probably can’t swap your PC in for a new one as often as you’d like. A PC is an investment—and taking good care of it pays off in the long run. If your PC has a few years on it and you want to make it last—or you have a new machine and you want to treat it right—here are some simple ways to keep it running smoothly and extend its life.

Keep it clean

This may seem obvious, but seriously, do not let the Sriracha sauce from your lunch drip into your laptop—it’ll cause more problems than just a sticky keyboard. Make sure these other parts are spiffy as well for maximum longevity.

  • Wipe your monitor. First dust it with a cloth, then wipe it down with glass cleaner. Better yet, use monitor wipes for serious cleaning.
  • Inspect your tower. Check the air vents on the back and remove dust and buildup. If your tower opens, clean the inside with a can of compressed air.
  • Keep peripherals tidy. Use compressed air on your keyboard and wipe it down with a cloth. Check over your mouse as well—if it has a roller ball, remove the plate and swab it with isopropyl alcohol to get the gunk off it.

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Thermal Event Destroys an Apple Notebook

By Emily Vannoy – Apple Specialist – The Computing Center

 A Cornell student had their 2013 15” MacBook Pro battery rupture in mid-June. It was in a backpack that started to “smoke” during a class. Fire personnel and Police were called in and fortunately, the laptop did not catch fire; only one battery cell was involved.

Laptop and phone batteries (or any lithium ion battery), under some very unusual circumstances, can begin to swell. Swelling can cause a rupture which leads to what Apple refers to as a “thermal event”. Batteries expand when gas builds up inside of the battery cell. Over charging from a faulty charger, extreme heat, and a manufacturer fault in the battery can cause swelling to occur. In this case, one battery cell expanded to the point of rupture causing smoking and extreme heat. In some cases, this can cause a fire. This is one of the first such situations we’ve seen at The Computing Center. 

Once we got the machine into our shop, we were able to determine that only one of the six battery cells in this model had ruptured. The remaining cells were, thankfully, unharmed and stable. In a stroke of luck, we were able to recover most of the data contained on the Solid State Drive (SSD). At the bottom of this article is some of the details regarding this event.

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Don't overlook Display Monitors

 Don't overlook your monitor

For some, the term "tech innovation" brings to mind new PC form factors and unique printing methods. But high-tech innovation doesn't stop at hardware—it also includes displays.

In recent years, display innovation has produced heightened resolution, connectivity, functionality, and ROI. Displays are sleek, stylish, more robust, and thoughtfully aligned with today's dynamic, agile, and collaborative workspaces. Designed to drive work teams, the latest iterations of this oft-overlooked, but critical technology can boost your performance, productivity, and efficiency.

Displays: Then and now

Given the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and laptops in our mobile business environment, displays often fade into the background, with users never questioning how they contribute to a more productive workday. However, displays are office necessities that have a powerful, innovative impact on productivity.

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