Covid-19 Computing Center Update 3/30/2020

The response to the Covid-19 outbreak in the US and around the world has been unprecedented. For practical purposes, nowhere has been spared. For highly dense population centers, such as New York City, the health care issues are daunting with many cases of the virus. And although the percentages of infected, hospitalized, and patients requiring ICUs are not way out-of-line with what has happened elsewhere, the sheer numbers are large and can be frightening.  

Our community, while not spared, has hunkered down, and socially distanced ourselves pretty well. Cayuga Medical Center created a drive-thru Covid-19 testing center at the Shops at Ithaca Mall in coordination with the Tompkins County Health Department. There is capacity to perform about 500 tests each day for those showing symptoms or possible exposure.  The turn-around of test results has sped up somewhat as well. As of this writing only two patients are currently hospitalized and no deaths due to Covid-19 have occurred locally.

The Computing Center is considered an essential business because of our work in supporting essential businesses in our community. We are allowed to maintain in-house operations.

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Covid-19 Computing Center Status Update

 

 

Friday, March 20, 2020 @1:00pm

 

The events of the past week have affected every business, organization, and person. Nothing has been unaffected. A long-time friend contacted us Wednesday evening and during the conversation, we talked about what the Covid-19 pandemic would have been like before the Internet; say 25 years ago.  We would have been getting the news from the newspaper, listening to the radio, and from mostly broadcast TV and the fledgling cable news channels.  The shutdown of non-essential businesses would have been essentially 100%. No remote computing, little or no email, and only a very few people being able to work from home. We would have hunkered down and sat. Maybe it would have been simpler.

 

As of this writing 100% of non-essential employees can no longer report to work.  Because of what The Computing Center does in supporting essential businesses in our community, we are allowed to maintain in-house operations. Some of the essential local organizations we directly are supporting include:

  • Healthcare organizations, hospitals, and physicians’ offices
  • Financial institutions including banks, credit unions, and insurance companies
  • Accountants offices
  • Animal shelters
  • Human Services organizations
  • County and other government offices
  • Tompkins International Airport
  • Logistics companies

 

To be clear, we are doing this with virtually our entire staff operating remotely.  Only a small skeleton group that handles product logistics and in-house repair are reporting to work.

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eNews 2018 in Review

We have been publishing The Computing Center eNewsletter since 2005. Our current database has been used since 2011 and contains over 380 stories, some written by our staff, others written by computer industry experts and other commentators.

In addition to our actual monthly eNewsletter which many of you receive via email, all our stories are also published on our website - click on eNew Cabinet on the home page of www.compcenter.com. Here they live on forever while more and more people (and systems) also read and scan them. This is one of the places we look to get the statistics about our readership.

So, here's the review of the best read entries for 2018:

1. We actually go back to 2017 for this one. In Sept 2017, The Computing Center aquired the assets of Sherpa Technology. By December 2017, there were about 1,630 views of that article. During 2018 and nearly 3000+ views later, this is our most read story of 2018.  www.compcenter.com/client/index.cfm/2017/9/8/The-Computing-Center-acquires-the-assets-of-Sherpa-Technologies-Inc

2. Something far more mundane comes in 2nd. The Computing Center's Privacy Policy which we published an update to in May. Obviously there were readers who needed help falling asleep! www.compcenter.com/client/index.cfm/2018/5/25/The-Computing-Center-Privacy-Policy

3. Ithaca has a lot of freelancer's and micro/individual businesses.  This article received a lot of views in March 2018. www.compcenter.com/client/index.cfm/2018/3/27/Freelancing--When-to-Save--When-to-Spurge

4. All of us have to deal with lots of passwords.  Are they slowly becoming passe?  Our article in February 2018 covered that idea. www.compcenter.com/client/index.cfm/2018/2/27/Are-Passwords-Pass-Not-Quite-Yet

5. And ending on a bit of a sad note.  Last December, The Computing Center's first client (from 1978), David Flinn passed away. We wrote the article in December, but many of you read it during early 2018. www.compcenter.com/client/index.cfm/2017/12/29/A-Sad-Farewell-to-The-Computing-Centers-First-Client

Please keep reading  We regularly get suggestions and try to find interesting stories to cover and to reprint.

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

Mary Stazi - Talking Business over Coffee

The Computing Center and Mary Stazi were invited in late September to do a Podcast with Chet Osadshey, the Vice-President and General Manager of the Cayuga Radio Group in Ithaca.  In that podcast, Mary discusses our company, it's history, what we do, and the recent acquisition of the assets and employees of Sherpa Technogies, Inc.

Here's the Link to the entire Podcastt on WHCU:

While we were looking at the Podcast link, we noticed two additional Ithaca onnections:

  • The Podcast Series is sponsored by Ithaca Coffee Company, a long-time Ithaca Business and Computing Center client.
  • The Podcast itself is powered by SoundCloud. Part of Soundcloud's technology comes from an Ithaca based company that they acquired a couple of years ago.

If you're a new client of The Computing Center or wish to learn a bit more about us, this is a great overview of who we are and what we do.

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