Let’s Roll…

Thirteen years is not a very long time in the scope of history, but in our tiny lives it can feel very long.  Thirteen years ago, I was still in my 20s, trying to make ends meet off of two jobs, and headed for two life-changing events that would shape me for the years to come.  Who I am now is a direct result of both of these things…one of them being the Attacks on 9/11.  It can sound cheezy, and silly to some, but like the baby boomers and the Kennedy Assassination, I grew up a lot on that fate-filled day in September 2001.

we will never forget

It was a bumper deal for me…I had managed to get two days off in a row…and any of you who have worked or work in retail know, that’s still a feat to pull off.  So for the first time in 5 months, I was going to go to bed and sleep for a full 8 hours.  It’s the small things in life that make it bearable, right? 🙂  So I fell asleep the night of September 10, 2001 with the radio on tuned to KLOS here in Los Angeles.  I’m awakened at 5:55am by the morning hosts, Mark & Brian, talking about a great tragedy…and something about a plane crash.  At one point, my sleepy brain registers the request from them…”If you haven’t, go to a television and turn it on.”

So I did.  Part of me still wishes I hadn’t.

6:01 am.  Bleary-eyed and confused, I stumble out to the living room of the house I share with my best friend and his girlfriend.  I can hear them moving around upstairs in their morning routine, trying to be quiet because they think I’m asleep.  I flick that old television on, and it warms up right to channel 4 NBC news.  There it is…the image of the World Trade Center, smoking and probably on fire.  PLANE HITS THE WORLD TRADE CENTER at the bottom of the screen.  “Oh how horrible,” I think.  “How did that happen?”  There is speculation abound on the news, and as usual, they are making plenty of suppositions about the “accident” and what it means.  I sit there stunned.  This is pretty horrible…one of the worst things I think I have ever seen.  Behind me I somewhat hear my best friend say, “Hey Mike, why are you…”  That sentence never gets finished…

6:03am – The second plane strikes the South Tower on live television.  The video is burned into our collective memory forever.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Like most Americans I was glued to the television for several hours…watching one of the greatest losses of life on American Soil go through its motions.  The falls of each of the towers, the Pentagon being hit, and Flight 93 going down in a field in PA.  The sense of loss and helplessness was traumatic, I knew I had to do something…anything.  I had to change who I was.

—-

Looking back, that day helped me to understand that I needed to be helping others.  Not just lending a hand, but to help fight the lack of hope that impacts peoples’ lives.  I went on to turn a collectible card game challenge into a food-raising powerhouse for Food Banks across the US, and for charities in europe. I know now that even after I left that company, the team took the amount raised to over 100 tons in 6 years.  Now I look back on the friends made in doing that, and feel proud of everyone involved who helped organize those drives.  Watching kids who didn’t have a lot give what they could, and those who had more give even more than expected.  It taught me that humanity is still good at heart.

911_Dennis-Signature-Art_sm

When I moved into tech sales, I made it my creed that it was my job to help IT Managers and companies get what they needed…not just quick fixes, but to help them build long lasting solutions that would keep their companies running well for years.  I’ve been lucky to have been a part of helping so many clients over the past 6 years…I look forward to helping every day.  I hope you can do the same.

Peace to all of you…friends, acquaintances, co-workers, readers and all.  I leave you with two important quotes to me:

Courage is not just a matter of not being frightened, it’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.” – The 3rd Doctor, Doctor Who (Jon Pertwee)

“No one has the answer, But one thing is true, You’ve got to turn on evil, When it’s coming after you,
You’ve gota face it down, And when it tries to hide, You’ve gota go in after it, And never be denied,
Time is runnin’ out, Let’s roll.”  – Neil Young, “Lets Roll” (Tribute to the victims of Flight 93 and their heroics)

 

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Google Apps & PCM!

This is a rehash of my post on LinkedIn…I don’t know how many of you cross pollinate so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post the information here. 🙂

Howdy Folks! We here at PCM just added on Google Apps for work as something we can help provide for our clients. With specialized packages and plenty of options…which you can see below, we can help you be more successful!

Google Apps has unique characteristics that makes it the right solution for more than 5 million companies…

Better Collaboration – a new way to collaborate, resulting in higher productivity and more connected teams.

Cloud-Based – Accessible online, Google Apps is easier to use on the go, and on any device, but allowing for offline editing. No hardware to purchase and install either!

Continuous Innovation – Between online storage through Google Drive, Priority Inbox for organization, and video meetings with Hangouts…Google’s innovations are there to save you time and money.

12 Month licenses for this product start at $45 per seat. Contact me for more details! 🙂

Passwords are broken and need to be fixed

Just because this is funny…doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be instituted. 🙂  Thank you strange twitter feeds. 🙂

Ergotron Workfit – A Personal Review

Howdy, my millions of fans!  (Actually I think it’s hundreds, but I can dream right?)

I’ve been quiet as of late because Summer has been really busy for me work-wise, and I was on vacation for half of August.  (If you like games and have never been to Gencon, you need to go)  But during July I won a contest with Ergotron, one of our suppliers and a great partner of mine here at PCM.  They specialize in providing ergonomically focused accessories for displays and workstations that help us be healthier at work.

At first I was skeptical of what something like the Workfit could do.  At the time I had 3 screens on my desk and did find myself hunching into them every day.  My back was miserable, and I started seeing a Chiropractor in June.  While he helped, he did tell me that I needed to stand half of my workday and stop sitting so much.  Along came the Workfit prize, and I was excited to give it a try.  I came from a Retail Management background where I stood for 90% of my day in a retail store…and since I was healthier when I worked that way, I thought it wouldn’t hurt much to give this a try.

So, I was told that it was all given the OK through Human Resources, and the prize arrived the week before I was to leave on vacation in August.  Ergotron, in their awesomeness, opted to install it for me while I was out of the office…so after 2 weeks I came back to find it installed.

workfit day 1

Pretty cool isn’t it? 🙂  When I lift it up off of the desk from where it sits, it is level with my eyes, and I can stand “at ease” and work away.  Resting my hands on it doesn’t force it down, and it is rather stable.  So the first day I think I stood for 6 hours…I was so excited.  Later that same day, I discovered that I could sit with my chair at the right height for my stature, and with the unit on the desk like you see in the picture, my back was straight and it was a WORKOUT for my slouchy back!

In a day and age where “Sitting Sickness” is a real thing, and people combat it with expensive gym memberships or eat-like-a-bird diets…in the past 2 weeks, I’ve lost 3 lbs.  No diet change, no exercise change…just standing for at least 2 hours during an 8 hour workday.  My back and shoulders don’t hurt as well.  My feet complain a little bit, but they’re just out of shape.

EVERY BUSINESS NEEDS THESE FOR THEIR PERSONNEL.  Hands down, end of story.  Go to JustStand.org for information!

Sitting should not be the norm.  I’m in sales…I need to be moving, on the ball, excited.  Nothing is exciting when you’re sitting.  My coworkers are jealous in a good way…they want to know how they can get one too…and that’s going to drive HR and Facilities nuts…but I don’t care.  We all need to be healthy, and this is a step in the right direction.  Heck, I gave up Aspartame in my diet last week and haven’t looked back…the Ergotron Workfit has shown me how.

Try one today at your company…see the difference it will make.  Save your company money on sickdays, back injuries, diabetes issues, heart issues…the list goes on.  Have any questions, contact me and ask!!!!

Here’s a shot of it at full height.

workfit 2

Best of Health to you!

HP Recalls Millions of Power Cords – Are you in danger?

You all know how much I HATE sensationalizing things, but power cords that catch fire are no joke.  If you’ve bought an HP Laptop from September 2010-June 2012, you need to exchange that power cord with HP.

Save yourself any potential issues and follow the instructions in the article below from Forbes.com

  8/27/2014 @ 1:10PM 6,043 views

PSA: HP Just Recalled Six Million Laptop Power Cords Due To Fire And Burn Hazard

By Jason Evangelho Contributor

If you purchased any HP or Compaq laptop between September 2010 and June 2012, you may have a faulty power cord potentially capable of causing skin burns or fires, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This has resulted in a recall by Hewlett-Packard HPQ -1.1% of approximately six million power leads.

The power lead is the portion of an AC Adapter that extends from the power brick to the wall outlet. The recall specifically targets the LS-15 AC power cord which was distributed globally with HP and Compaq notebooks, mini-notebooks, and certain AC adapter-powered accessories like docking stations. Look for the “LS-15″ mark branded into the cord itself.

HP indicates that they’ve received “29 separate reports of power cords overheating and melting or charring resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage.”

Hewlett-Packard and Compaq notebook computer AC power cord.

According to HP, this affects 5.5 million power cords in the US, and 446,000 in Canada. They’re recommending that customers immediately stop using the laptop and unplug the power cord (it’s perfectly safe to operate these notebooks under battery power).

As you’d expect, HP is offering a free replacement, and you can get in touch with the company two ways: Head to HP.com, navigate to the bottom of the page and click “Recalls” followed by “Power Cord Recall,” or call their customer service line at (877) 219-6676 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. MT.

While it’s a sure bet that only a small percentage of the 6 million recalled power cords are faulty, this is one situation you don’t want to leave to chance. Reach out to HP if you have any doubts or concerns whatsoever.

 

 

PCM Partnering with Sprinxle

SprinxleI love a good partnership.  Why?  Because growth only happens when we take the time to listen to others and expand our horizons.  Our PCM blog posted this out last week, and I’ve just been too swamped to actually get it up here.  But thankfully that swampiness has been crossed and I’m back on the posting wagon. 🙂  Take a look at what I and my organization should be offering from the folks at Sprinxle soon…

PCM Partners with Sprinxle

PCM NEWS  16 JUL 2014  

PCM is pleased to announce its new partnership with Sprinxle, a certified Intel technology provider. As the first official partner with Sprinxle, PCM’s services and solutions customers utilizing vPro enabled devices can now enjoy an easier to use console for device management. This console can be accessed from any device, anywhere in the world. For those unfamiliar with Sprinxle, the organization recently announced the release of its Sprinxle Web Management Console, which lets IT managers manage all of their Intel vPro processor enabled devices from a single, user-friendly console. Key features of the console include:

  • vPro technology activation
  • Intel SCS integration
  • Auto provisioning of compatible vPro devices
  • Auto import of all vPro devices
  • IDE redirect from desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile
  • Hardware based remote KVM
  • Hardware based bare metal imaging
  • Hardware based power management
  • Asset management
  • Serial over LAN remediation

By coupling these features in a clean UI with PCM’s  robust virtualization solutions and vPro services, PCM is more equipped than ever to deliver comprehensive, customized, and sensible solutions for both SMB and enterprises.  To learn more about how PCM can simplify your vPro solution with Sprinxle, email PCM or give us a call at 800-700-1000 x55517.

Looks pretty cool to me.  Anyone have any insight they want to share on Sprinxle or Web Management for your vPro devices? 🙂

Raining Down…

I’ve always had a soft spot for Phil Collins.  Call me a dork.

Anyway, I’ve had Cloud on the Brain the past few days, talking to clients about PCM’s new Cloud Data Center that has opened in Ohio recently.  Cloud Services are a tricky thing to manage, let alone be a business in need of them.  You have to know if you need a Private Cloud, can use a Public Cloud or a little of both…known as a Hybrid Cloud.  Every business that has more than 10 people out there already has a private cloud, because you have data storage at your offices on premise.  That’s that stuff you have to back up now and then so when Mongo pulls the Power Cord, you’ve still got a business.  A Public Cloud is going to an outside service like Amazon, PCM, Barracuda, or Google Cloud, and allowing them to keep your data for you.  The trick is to utilize a Hybrid Cloud model…the best of both worlds.  Let me explain…

cloud need data

 

A Hybrid Cloud setup utilizes on-premise hardware as per normal storage (Private Cloud), but for your failover, you reach out to the provider’s (Public Cloud) setup you have for more storage, permanent or temporary.  The control still lies in the your hand, as most Public Cloud companies have their own interfaces, and they don’t always work with everything…while SAAS (Software as a service) has its benefits, the detriments of system redesigns breaking your setup are a reality.  So that calls for you to build something AND go offsite…best of both worlds!

The Cloud IS a useful tool, if you’ve got experts on your side to help you.  Secure those allies and it can be bent to your will.  I’ll give you a hint, while i’m not a HUGE expert, I have people on my teams here that always make me feel the mental midget when it comes to this topic.  I’d like to get you in front of them to talk about this.

So really, let’s sit down for 20 minutes and talk in depth about what you want to do with your storage and how the Cloud can make things easier.  I have several clients I can refer to , and I know there are many others my employer has helped so far that we can talk about.   :):):)

-Mike Leader