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Platform Agnostic

GB Labs products are all platform agnostic, which means exactly what it sounds like. They don’t care what operating system you are using. They can all plug in at the same time. Equally. GB Labs software also requires no licenses, with no proprietary issues along the way, at least none they caused.

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You didn't build your house...

You didn’t build your own house. In fact, you know if you built your house all by yourself, it probably wouldn’t stand quite as straight as it does. It probably never even occurred to you to build your house all by yourself because the idea is absurd. 

Why are you trying to do exactly that with your NAS/SAN system? 

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Fiction Friday: "Movie' on Up," Chapter 1

“We need a new Editing room,” Pete said, the same way he brought it up at every week’s meeting. “I’m working with older tech, and it’s really slow, and business has picked up. That means I’ve had to put in more hours, many of which involve me watching a loading screen.” 

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EVO Prodigy

The EVO Prodigy is digital media storage with built in asset management software—it keeps files safe and organized. All EVO products do that. This one is interesting because it takes the workflow and stability provided in a larger EVO system and makes it available for much smaller groups at a reasonable price. 

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Server Safari

Server Safari—the act of traversing the Serengeti of files stored on your hard drive to find one specific thing when you can’t quite remember what you called it or when you made it. 

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TIME TRAVEL

Ignoring all paradoxes and actual science, if we were to travel back to the beginning of time and stop every hundred years to look around, the difference between stops would be subtle at first. As technology was introduced to society, there were huge leaps forward that made obvious changes in daily life. Imagine on our 100s Time Tour watching the hills and farmhouses that have existed in one form or another since the beginning giving way to streets and skyscrapers from one stop to the next, with the streets and skyscrapers again reimagined at the next stop...

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Backseat Drivers

Ever been in the car with a backseat driver? Everyone hates that. No one wants to be told how to turn, how soon to signal, how fast to go, etc.

But what if you’re in the car with a relatively good driver, someone you trust, and everything is going well, but you see a road hazard—someone coming from a side street, or some other dangerous situation that it seems the driver doesn’t see. It’s not “backseat driving” to yell “Look out!” at a critical time, and no one in their right mind would say, “I saw the truck coming but I decided to let it hit us—I didn’t want to be rude.”

You boss is driving you somewhere. You shouldn’t ever be a backseat driver, because that’s a shortcut to a rather difficult work environment, but if your entire company hinges on the functionality of equipment that, let’s face it, your boss doesn’t have to use the way you do, and the proverbial fuel light is on, say something.

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Fiction Friday: "Getting it Done," Chapter 4

“Monica, Chris—my office, please.” Greg did not seem pleased. He waited until they were behind closed doors to begin. “I watched the video clip, Monica, and I saw that it went to the client as well—”

“Did it? Oh no.” Monica hoped she was convincing but she was pretty sure Greg knew it was intentional anyway. Not getting that cat back in the bag…

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SHOPPING

If your industry relies at all on tech, and just about all of us do, you are in a pickle. How do you make the best long-term choice for tech purchases when you don’t know what you are going to need down the road, you don’t know what’s going to come out tomorrow, and these are not the kinds of things you can afford to buy every year when there’s something new?

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Life-hack—LISTS

This isn’t something that everyone likes to do, but if we were honest, we all benefit from making lists on some level. As free-spirited as a person might be, a to-do list, shopping list, priority list, etc., keeps things on track.

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Fiction Friday: "Getting it Done," Chapter 3

Monica looked at the screen. She watched it for a moment, expecting something to happen, then realized that the screen had seemed unchanged the whole time she had been there. Since the monitor was the only source of light, if something had changed, she probably would have noticed. The longer it went on, the closer she moved to the screen, as though getting a better look would somehow unravel the mystery. She was about six inches from the screen when she found her voice.

“How long has it been like this?”…

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4 out of 5 Doctors agree...

Does the shared digital storage at your office give you headaches, stomachaches, confusion, anxiety, bad dreams, insomnia or other sleep disturbances, poor concentration or lack of focus, or, in extreme cases, symptoms of digital hoarding and paranoia that coworkers might lose your files? This can result in difficult work environments and relationships, and half-files stashed on scattered drives to prevent data loss only worsen the potential for problems.

There is hope.

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I won’t waste any more of your time…

I don’t have time to deal with that right now—I’m on a deadline.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard that. Guess what? Before you finish this project, you are going to start talking about the next one, so there isn’t going to be a good time if you’re waiting for a significant break, and when the “that” is your network, you are not only rolling the dice on a rather dicey bet, you are seriously shooting yourself in the foot.

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Fiction Friday: "Getting it Done," Chapter 2

“Ok, now I’m really confused. Who is we, what are we stuck on, who isn’t listening and what are they supposed to be listening to?” Monica asked.

“We is the company, or at least the video department. Them are the people who decide how we spend money, or at least the ones I have access to who take the message up the food chain so it can be rejected by someone I never get to meet. And what we’re stuck on is everything.”…

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WOULD YOU RATHER

Let’s play a quick round of “Would You Rather,” that horrific game where we list two terrible things and you get to decide which one is less-terrible to you.

“Technical crash at work, or…”

If you’re already prepared for me to say things like “having all of your teeth removed without the aid of anesthesia,” I really want to talk to you. And give you a hug, actually.

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Avoiding Traffic Jams

Big cities often suffer from traffic for one reason—the streets were designed for fewer cars when the city had fewer people, but there are more people then they originally anticipated and there’s no room for more street. Everything has a capacity, the trick is accurately predicting the future, something we as humans haven’t really figured out yet. Luckily, your system doesn’t have to suffer the same fate.

If you work with a Qualified Engineer, you can design a system that’s good for now with room for later—something scalable so you don’t buy more than you need or find yourself suffering from data-traffic jams.

It’s like being able to scoot the skyscrapers over and just pop in a new lane. Legoland City Planning. And yet it’s still all in the server room.

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Fiction Friday: "Getting it Done," Chapter 1

Is lunch the food, or the break?”

Monica had been walking past all the dark offices on the way back to her desk, but one of the dark offices wasn’t as empty as it appeared. She froze, took a step backward and peered into the open door. “Why are your lights off?”

“People work through lunch but still eat at their desk, so if lunch was the food, they didn’t actually work through it. Other people run errands on lunch and don’t eat, so they both skipped lunch and returned late from lunch at the same time. Yet another aspect of the English language that is lacking for the specific circumstances.” He paused. “And it wasn’t dark when I got here. The light left me, not the other way around.”

“Why are you still here?” Monica asked.

“I guess if we were talking about now it would be more of a dinner break, or even ‘4th meal,’ whatever that’s supposed to be. I won’t be stopping for food or break anyway so the question is more of an academic exercise.” 

“Have you noticed those academic exercises tend to come up more often the longer you go without food or a break?” Monica asked, rolling her eyes dramatically. 

“Sorry. My capacity for logic left me approximately four hours ago, so I see no connection.”

“Chris, go home.”

Chris turned towards the door in one swift movement. “I can’t Monica. I can’t. It’s not done, and it’s not going to be done, and I’ve told them that over and over again, and their answer is always, ‘It has to be done, Chris,’ ‘Get it done, Chris,’ ‘That’s why we pay you, Chris.’”

“Hey, hey, Whoa. Calm down. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…trigger you.” Monica noticed she had raised her hands defensively when Chris started to lose it, and she crossed her arms over her chest so she’d have a place to plant them. “It’s going to be ok.”

“Really? You know that, do you. That’s nice for you. Is that a Fortune Teller App you’ve developed, because if that’s what you’re bringing to the table I should just tender my resignation now.”

“Chris, come on. It can’t be that bad. I’ve never known anyone to really lose it over one part of one project. I’m sure we can talk about what’s wrong and troubleshoot together, and maybe they’ll give you help or something. What are you stuck on?”

Chris sagged. “You don’t understand. I’m not stuck, we are. And I’ve talked to them about it until they actually start saying no before I even start—they can see it coming.”

For the first time, Monica could see that something was really wrong.

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Vampires Suck

There are real vampires.  There are vampire bats and insects that drink blood, sure, but I mean the things in this world that suck the life out of you.  Some people are just vampires—they take forever, never give, and seem to think you owe them for some reason.  Some jobs are vampires, and you need to quit those jobs and find somewhere to be a team with others who are working together rather than being life-sucked, because that makes life, well, suck.

But even in the best job ever, there are things that you have to do that leave you feeling more tired than the passing time can explain.  These things drain you, and they stop you from feeling creative and from performing at your best.

The biggest vampire is the progress bar.  Sometimes it’s an actual bar, sometimes it’s a wheel that just keeps turning, but whatever it looks like, it’s the complete stoppage of all things that makes time pass as though magically slowed.  It doesn’t help that sometimes the progress bar says that it will take 5 minutes, then 7 minutes, then 3 minutes, then 20 minutes, and it still says 3% uploaded.  Kill.  Me.  Now.  

But these vampires do more than suck away your energy and joy, they steal your time.  If you’ve budgeted for that time because the terrible condition of your data storage is not a surprise, then you are truly stuck, like one of those writhing sub-vampires who don’t really get to do anything other than hiss and stay right next to the Master.  Next time you’re staring at the progress bar wondering if you’re going to get to work again that day, you’re going to picture that, and you’re going to roll your eyes at the thought of the words, “Yes, Master.”  At that point, the Powers That Be have resigned themselves, and you, to your fate and just planned around it rather than fixing it.

Oh, mysterious Progress Bar who controls my very existence, I offer you my life, presented in 5/7/3/20 minute bursts, as I sit and stare at the screen, helpless until You will otherwise.   

I would like to offer you a visit with a (not really) World Renowned (not really) Vampire Hunter, specific to Progress Bars and similar maladies.  With a well-designed work flow and a system that can keep up, there are no Vampires.  

Our Engineers bring their own tools, and we’re pretty high-tech, so don’t expect to see stakes and garlic, but we still got this.

    

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Techno-grateful

For today’s tech-tip, let us take a moment to appreciate our tech.

  • I woke up because my iPhone alarm chimed, and with it came the notifications for today’s schedule.  

  • I enjoyed the coffee my coffee pot made for me while looking at the news on my tablet.  It was terrible—the news, not the tablet—so I switched to a logic puzzle.  

  • While I was getting ready, I surfed YouTube for a video and played it in the background.  It was the “Babysitting Blues” scene from the movie “Adventures in Babysitting.”  That was 4 minutes of nostalgia heaven, and I don’t have to watch the rest of the movie—I feel like I already did.  That means I felt like I watched a whole movie while getting ready for work.  Total party bonus.

  • Most people need their car to get to work, and that’s technology.  It’s also full of it’s own technology, like the camera that prevents me from running over some kid’s bicycle or the glorious GPS that has saved me from my nonexistent sense of direction since it was invented.

  • I work from home, but that means that I have a home office with a Mac.  I have a printer, but SkyTech is a Green company, so we work digitally most of the time.  So, I have multiple apps and programs running that allow me to work remotely.  I can sign on to the server from here, and I can have a SkyTech Engineer sign into my computer to help me.  Most of the business software we use is web-based.  That means that our team can all access everything we need regardless of where we are.  That’s essential because we travel to see our clients, and we have folks all over the country.  

  • And through it all, I’m on the phone—that amazing, high-speed computer that can connect me to anyone, use the web, get texts, send email, take pictures, watch videos, and play games for hours.  Our phones are more powerful than early NASA projects, and we not only take it for granted that we can also use it as a music player, we complain when there’s a problem with reception, as though it is not a miracle that a message was just transmitted over thousands of miles, in the speaker’s voice, in real time, wirelessly.

  • Tonight when I take food out of my refrigerator and place it into my microwave—it’s too hot outside to use the oven, which is also digital—and toss a load of laundry in the wash at the same time, I will think fondly of those who had to butcher whatever was hunted that day and cook it over a fire while someone else spent their whole day with chafed hands scrubbing their clothing against a ridged board in the river to accomplish what took me about three minutes of active work.

You are reading this, over the internet, at the same time as a bunch of other people, instantaneously, using a device that you probably feel you can’t live without.  This is fabulous.   People used to send messages by pigeon.  The messages only went to one person—don’t ask me how the pigeon got it to the right person, because I have no idea—and it took a long time. 

We design great cities, towering buildings and shining examples of technology.  Pigeons poop on shiny things because they don’t like the light.  They don’t share our priorities.  This is way better.

If you can read this, hug your Engineer.  If you don’t have one, call us.  Not only do we want to help you, we always like hugs.  

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