Monthly Archives: October 2011

New announcement coming

I’ve been working hard to introduce more training for IT managers around the world, and I’m almost positioned to do so. I’ve had a few major projects underway for most of this year, , , especially in the last 3 months and it is why you have seen a little less of me on ITLever recently.

We are about to make several new announcements in regards to products and services in the IT management space. 2012 is going to be our very best year and I’ve been hard at work developing the pieces required to help us achieve it.

There is something for everyone interested in improving IT management skills and achieving more success.

Stay tuned for major announcements in a few weeks and look for even more from us in 2012.

My business computer upgrade choice

I have been needing to upgrade my office desktop for some time, , , I’m ashamed to tell you how old it is. The problem was everything worked and my philosophy of “If it ain’t broke, , , don’t fix it.”

Please excuse my southern heritage slang, , , “ain’t” is proper English in Tennessee and surrounding states.

The other problem was I dreaded, , , literally DREADED the thought of going through a system conversion. What a pain!

Then it hit me, , , my whole business is on this system , , , I can’t afford for this old server to conk out on me, , , better do something before it is too late. I already knew I had used my Dell desktop much longer than I should have.

What to do, , , time to decide what I need in my office, and what I want.

Here is what I decided from a non-technical point of view:

  • Fast processing speed with multiple programs running simultaneously
  • Large disk capacity
  • Multiple USB ports
  • Good handling of graphics, , , I use lots of graphics in my business
  • Multiple monitor capability, , , a “battle station console” for the challenging work I do
  • Microsoft Office 2010 (now is the time to upgrade)
  • An operating system that works (hated VISTA)
  • My personal data files from my DELL desktop
  • My Outlook file from my DELL desktop
  • Several software products loaded onto my DELL desktop
  • Easy setup and portability

I’ve been thinking through these issues for some time and the conclusion I came up with is that I need to replace my very reliable DELL desktop (which was a race horse when I bought it, but a snail today) with a robust laptop.

I don’t really plan to take this laptop on long trips to Dubai or Africa, but I do plan to take it to our Camp Liberty when we decide to spend a week or two down on the Buffalo River, , , we also call this “MDE West”. I have a satellite dish for Internet connection so I can work just as well down there as I can here in my office. It will be so much better being able to have my entire office with me when we are at the camp.

This means I need a very reliable laptop and one with a reasonably big screen.

My choice – a Lenovo ThinkPad W520.

I just completed the conversion last night and have been using my new “office laptop server” for a couple of days. VERY IMPRESSED !!

In my next post, I’ll outline the steps I took to completely migrate to my new system, , , it was much less hassle than I thought it would be and could not be happier with my setup.

The main reason I went with Lenovo is because I have had a Lenovo X60s for several years. I take it everywhere with me so it has probably logged well over 100,000 miles and has stood up to the travel test admirably. I like the small footprint of the X60s and the light weight for travel.

I find Lenovo laptops to be built sturdy and capable of handling true travel bumps and knocks you go through, , , I have had problems with two other popular brands over the years, , , disk problems and external power connection issues. No issues of any kind with my Lenovo X60s, , , “knock on wood”.

For my office, I need something a bit more robust than the X60s. The only major downside of the X60s is that it came with VISTA (have hated VISTA the whole time, but not enough to replace it) and isn’t powerful enough to be a true desktop replacement.

My initial thoughts of the new Lenovo W520 laptop:

  • Fast, , , especially compared to my Dell desktop
  • Screen is bright, sufficient size, and HD clear
  • Keyboard is one of the best in the industry, although I’ll use a full size wireless keyboard and mouse most of the time
  • 3 USB ports and two are USB 3.0 plus all are easy to get to
  • Multiple monitor capability
  • I’m liking Windows 7
  • Plenty of disk capacity with 500GB plus another 500GB on an external hard drive
  • Setup is easier than what I remember with my Dell desktop simply because of the weight, access to monitor port, etc. There is much to be said about “portability”.
  • Feels like a genuine desktop type of power
  • Did I say it is “FAST”? I spent a little extra money because this is for my office and business, , , felt the extra power and speed was worth the cost. So far, very glad I did, , , if only I could type faster.

I still have a few things to do to get my office computing environment completely where I want it but the “heavy lifting is completed”. Next steps are:

  • Order the docking station and a new 21″ monitor
  • Setup my “battle station console” with three monitors

In my next post, I’ll walk you through the migration steps I took to get fully functional with “what I had” plus the “new environment” I want for our MDE Enterprises office environment.

My new HP TouchPad

I was about to order new Apple iPads for us when Chris Beck, one of my IT Manager Institute graduates showed me his HP TouchPad, , , I was impressed.

Was very impressed when we watched one of my IT Manager Institute Self Study sessions at the restaurant, , , you see the iPad does not support flash.

Setup was quick and easy, , , even e-mail was a snap and just a couple of minutes, , , simple, quick, and no glitches, , , gotta love it.

I’m writing this post from my TouchPad. This is another major benefit I can see. I really haven’t been all that interested in purchasing a “pad” of any kind, but my brother and other friends of ours rave about their iPad. Didn’t like the fact it does not support flash, but was about to succumb to the fact there is some real benefit or people I know and trust would not be so high on this technology.

What’s interesting is that the HP TouchPad has been discontinued after only a few months. I purchased mine (a 32GB version) on Amazon for $275.00, , , a great deal for my needs. I just saw one on eBay listed for over $600.00. The 32GB Apple iPad is $599.00.

I ordered iPads for my wife and son so we will compare, , , from what I see so far, setup is much easier on the TouchPad.

So far, I’m very happy with my new TouchPad and sure glad I discovered it.

Thanks for the info Chris.

A visit to the Parthenon

Nashville is known as the “Athens of the South” because of the many colleges and universities plus an exact replica of the Greek Parthenon.

Last week one of my IT Manager Institute students stayed over for a few days so I took him to downtown Nashville and a tour of Centennial Park. Here are a couple of photos of James Kizza and the Parthenon.

James traveled all the way from Uganda to attend the program. One of the interesting things I discovered is that he knows and has met one of my students from Tanzania, , , small world.

James ate dinner one night with my family and our closest friends plus my “2nd Mom”, , , it was his first experience with Mexican food. He seemed to like it and we all had a great time.