Archives for January 2014

Information Technology Tip Thursday – RFP-IT ACT

Two members of Congress are floating legislation that would give the U.S. government’s chief technology officer the power to review and in some cases take charge of major information technology projects throughout the government. The Reforming Federal Procurement of Information Technology, or RFP-IT, Act would put the power of legislation behind the position of federal chief technology officer, which has existed since the start of the Obama Administration.

todd park

Someone is going to be very busy! Read the entire article here: RFP Information Technology ACT

LAN Station products overview

LAN stations have been around forever, but I don’t remember feeling a boom in demand for them until the late 90’s during the dot com bubble.

control room

LAN Station furniture has recently been more popular with video editing companies for their control room needs so depending on what your needs are you’ll find many different types of possible set-ups that may suit you best. Let’s check out a couple.

If your setup is not complex you might want to consider a 24 inch station. The lower shelf is 14 inches deep and is great for shallow components and allowing you room to stretch your legs. The two 16 inch shelf’s above can be adjusted in different increments. Includes a built-in cable management channel keeping your communication and power cables organized. With it’s 1000 pound weight rating this will be a station that will last, a lifetime! There is a lifetime warranty, so you’ll have something to pound on for a while. You may also want to consider some accessories that’ll make life easier. I’d start with casters, keyboard tray, LCD mount and maybe a utility drawer.

24 inch work bench

Maybe you need to make the most out of the space you have at your location and you have multiple monitors you work with. You might want to consider a corner station, shove it in the corner of your location and you should have enough room for about 3 monitors.

LAN-corner-station

Or, your in charge of a team of people and need to provide an organized solution for multiple work stations. You might want to consider a 96 inch station, this larger station also provides larger lower and top shelf’s and is completely modular.

96-inch-lan-station

I just wanted to highlight a couple of options for you and hopefully you can find something that will fit your need best. For me, I especially like the cable management, it drives me crazy when all those cables get messy and I have to have casters to easily get behind my equipment. Example.

wiring-lan-station-mess

Share if you care, Thanks!

Information Technology Tip Thursday – 2013 Stories Missed

Here’s a great read from WIRED

zmap photo

I think the ZMap story is the most interesting.

Share if you care, thanks!

Information Technology Tip Thursday – MAC flashback trojan

It’s alive! MAC flashback trojan still infecting 22,000 computers! Will this thing ever die.

Check out the full article here: MAC Flashback Trojan

MAC BOOK

Does armored fiber optic cable need to be grounded? Yes!

How to bond and ground

Understanding how to bond and ground a fiber-optic system with armored cable can be confusing. First, it is important to understand the difference between the terms bonding and grounding. According to the NEC and industry standards, bonding is the permanent connection of metallic parts to form an electrical path that will be conductive and continuous. Grounding is the act of connecting that path to the earth or some conducting body that serves as the earth. When all the components of a system are properly bonded together and grounded to the earth, the risk associated with electrical current harming personnel or damaging property and equipment is reduced.

The first step is to connect/bond the cable armor to a bonding or grounding electrode conductor. This can be accomplished right after the cable is accessed, and the armor is exposed. A bonding conductor or jumper is a short length of conductor, such as copper wire, that maintains electrical conductivity between two metal objects. The bonding conductor is required to be UL-listed and made of either copper or another corrosion-resistant conductive metal. This stranded or solid wire can be insulated, covered or bare. Most cable manufacturers supply an insulated, UL-listed 6-AWG copper strand. The 6-AWG size is preferred for the bonding conductor because that allows it to comply with both the NEC and ANSI-J-STD-607. The bonding conductor can be attached to the armor by the use of a listed clamp, lug or connector, as stated in NEC Article 250.70.

Once the clamp is installed, vinyl tape can be applied around the clamp and exposed armor to protect the installer and the fiber from any sharp edges where the armor is exposed.

grounding armored fiber

For the conductive fiber-optic cable to be fully grounded, the bonding conductor from the cable needs to be bonded to the intersystem bonding termination (if present), or another accessible location per NEC Article 770.100. The intersystem bonding termination is the device that connects the bonding conductors to the building’s grounding electrode and ultimately, to earth. Typically this is accomplished by connecting the bonding conductor to a dedicated path back to the telecommunications main grounding busbar (TMGB) or the telecommunications grounding busbar (TGB). The dedicated path can be a direct run or created by attaching to a rack or cabinet’s bonding system that bonds the rack or cabinet back to the TMGB or TGB. Specific requirements on how the TMGB or TGB are designed can be found in ANSI-J-STD-607 and other industry standards. When the armored cable is correctly bonded and grounded, it minimizes the risk of unwanted electrical current that could potentially harm personnel, property or equipment.

Props to Sara Chase with Corning Cable Systems.

Information Technology Tip Thursday – The return of a classic

I just wanted to notify you IT professionals that “the best-selling router of all time” is back!

Linksys WRT1900AC

Check out the article here:Classic Blue Router with Open Source

Looking for cable management ladder rack? Try U hooks with Unistrut!

CADDY “CAT CM” is an alternative to cable tray in low-voltage and power cable applications. This cable-support system has cULus®-Listed components and allows for customized support spacing and simple horizontal and vertical change of direction.

U-hook

Beginning with the J-Hook, ERICO® continues to innovate and develop the complete line of CADDY® CABLECAT products to support today’s high-performance cable. The CADDY CAT CM provides a cable tray alternative utilizing rod and strut components together with specifically developed steel brackets.

Features:

  • Includes specially designed U-Hooks and double J-Hooks with large-diameter, rounded support surfaces/edges to avoid over-bending and kinking of cables
  • Accommodates U-Hooks in a range of sizes for different cable capacity needs
  • Offers two installation options that can easily be combined resulting in installation flexibility to meet a variety of needs
    • Rod-mounted option
    • Cantilever-mounted option

The Rod-Mounted option allows for field assembly of the hooks onto All-Thread Rod. Benefits include:

  • Customized intervals between hooks to comply with ISO/IEC 18010
  • Easy level changes – under or over ductwork, piping, etc. – no level change fittings necessary
  • Direct attachment to the ceiling or building structure with threaded rod and CADDY® Fasteners

The Cantilever-Mounted option consists of U-Hooks mounted with brackets to walls and columns. This option allows for:

  • Cable runs along walls
  • Specification of individual hook spacing as needed
  • Mounting of cable within existing column grid

If you still reading I’m sure you probably want more so let’s check out an overview from our YouTube channel.

For me, what makes this attractive is that you can pick up unistrut local to you. A very common issue with long pieces of long ladder is the freight, lead time and cost can hurt your project estimate or hurt you on the back end after the freight bill arrives eating into your margins.

Information Technology Tip Thursday – 30 Skills every IT person should have

With the complexity of computer networks evolving so fast it’s every IT professionals job to also be on top of his skills. Nunchuck skills did not make the list.

1. Be able to fix basic PC issues.

2. Work the help desk.

3. Do public speaking.

4. Train someone.

5. Listen more than you speak.

6. Know basic networking.

7. Know basic system administration.

8. Know how to take a network trace.

9. Know the difference between latency and bandwidth.

10. Script.

11. Back up.

12. Test backups.

13. Document.

14. Read “The Cuckoo’s Egg.”

15. Work all night on a team project.

16. Run cable.

17. You should know some energy rules of thumb.

18. Manage at least one project.

19. Understand operating costs versus capital projects.

20. Learn the business processes.

21. Don’t be afraid to debate something you know is wrong.

22. If you have to go to your boss with a problem, make sure you have at least one solution.

23. There is no such thing as a dumb question, so ask it … once.

24. Even if it takes you twice as long to figure something out on your own versus asking someone else, take the time to do it yourself.

25. Learn how to speak without using acronyms.

26. IT managers: Listen to your people.

27. IT managers: If you know the answer, ask the right questions for someone else to get the solution; don’t just give the answer.

28. IT managers: The first time someone does something wrong, it’s not a mistake — it’s a learning experience.

29. IT managers: Always give people more work than you think they can handle.

30. IT managers: Square pegs go in square holes.

If you want more information on these 30 skills ckeck out the full article:

30 Information Technology Skills

napoleon dynamite