CIO Solutions
May 2015 - Issue 52
Find It Fast
What's New at CIO: Ask Us Questions!
App of the Month: Farmstand
Tech Tip: When the Power Goes Out
Employee Spotlight: Matt Walker

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 CIO Birthdays 

Ryan Popke - May 2
Chris Narvaez - May 9
Matt Walker - May 31  


CIO Anniversaries 

Eric Egolf - 11 yrs. - 5/10

Michelle P. Baca - 2 yrs. - 5/6

Dat Nguyen - 2 yrs. - 5/15

  

May is

National Bike Month! 

  

Star Wars Day

May 4

 
Cinco de Mayo

May 5

 
 

Memorial Day
May 25

May Possibilities


"The world's favorite season is the Spring. All things seem possible in May." 

                           - Edwin Way Teale

 

Edwin Way Teale was a nature writer on par with John Muir and Henry David Thoreau who sought to capture the beauty of the American landscape with his writings. Nature writing is generally, and beautifully descriptive, but it should also capture the parallels between our so-called civilized lives and the ebb and flow of the natural world. This quote seems apt for Santa Barbara right now. We are rolling from Spring into Summer, but we are also contending with May Gray and a devastating environmental disaster on our coastline. Like Teale, we at CIO are choosing to greet this season with optimism. We know that our clients are calling us because something is wrong, but we are endlessly optimistic that we can help. We know we can help, and we know that all things seem possible in May - and always.  

 

What's New at CIO: Ask Us Questions!

 

For the past couple of months, CIO Solutions has been working to make it a little easier, and more convenient for our clients to get answers to some of the most common questions received by Central Support. 

 

CIO has come up with an interactive widget on the CIO website. If clients have a question that they would like to share and think would be helpful to others, they can go onto the website and ask their question on the widget. After the question has been received, an agent will respond with a step-by-step solution to the client's question.

 

When clients visit the CIO website and open the widget, they can type in keywords related to their question in the widget's search bar. If the solution to their question does not come up, clients can create a question on the widget and CIO agents will respond to it.

 

On some questions, there will also be screenshots that follow the responses for clients to have a better understanding of what to look at when resolving their problem.

 

Test out the widget for CIO Solutions by going to http://www.ciosolutions.com/ , click on the "Questions?" widget on the right-hand corner, and ask a CIO agent a question. Let CIO Solutions know whether or not this widget is helpful and if you will continue using it in the future, by simply taking a short survey.


 

 

App of the Month: Farmstand

 

The Farmstand app helps users connect to locally grown food in their area. No matter where users may be located, the app will find the farmer's markets closest to the user. The app will provide the times that the farmer's markets will be open, directions to get there, and photos from other users who have been to that market before.

 

Users can also "favorite" the markets they enjoy going to most. The photos option allows users to view images, taken by other users, of foods available at the market that day. By sharing photos with the Farmstand community, users can even help to promote their local (or favorite) market in the area.

 

For any user that enjoys going to farmer's markets or would like to begin going, this app is for you. Seek out the freshest, locally grown food in your area today!
 


The Farmstand app is available for FREE for iOS users! If you don't have an iOS smartphone, you can also access it through their mobile web page

 

Send your favorite free app to checkwiththetech@ciosolutions.com and it may find its way into next month's newsletter!  

 

Tech Tip: When the Power Goes Out


Anyone who has lived or worked in the Santa Barbara area knows that the power here goes out a lot. Whether it's because of lightning, rain, wind or some piece of equipment failing on the power grid at one point or another you'll be sitting in the dark wondering when the power will be back. Santa Barbara has a known issue with aging power infrastructure. In the charts below you will see that over 60% of power outages are cause by equipment failure with another 22% being caused by weather, fire or earthquakes. Several other slides in the report below show that Santa Barbara has around 50% more power incidents then the average city that uses Southern California Edison power.
 https://www.sce.com/nrc/reliability/reports/SantaBarbara.pdf 
 


 


What all this means is that we have to be prepared for power outages at our homes and offices because they will happen often. There are several things that you can do to minimize the impact of an outage.


 
The first thing that most people think of when they are trying to protect their devices from a power outage would be a surge protector. These have been around for a while and they work great when a power surge happens. What most people don't realize is that what you have you computer plugged into right now may not actually be a surge protector. Often times it is just a power strip, no real protection there, just extra power plugs and if there is a power surge then you will likely have some damaged equipment. 
 

When purchasing a surge protector make sure to take a look at the specifications and ensure that you are getting the protection that you are expecting. An Ethernet pass through and the number and types of outlets are usually top of mind when buying one of these but what you should really be looking at is a Clamping Voltage of 330 Volts and an AC Suppression Joule Rating of more than 1000. A surge protector with these specifications will protect from your standard everyday power surge and it will typically be able to protect you devices for a number of years. Over time these devices will lose some of their protection so if there have been a lot of power outages lately or it's been a few years then it's probably time to replace them.
 

Moving up a level from here would be a UPS or battery backup. Not only do these devices provide temporary battery power to your devices but they also include surge protection. (The same rules apply for the Joules and Clamping Voltage rating above.) Typically when purchasing a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) there are two bits of information you will need first; how much wattage you need to provide and how long you want to have battery power. How much wattage you need will be the sum of all of the components plugged in. Monitors, computers and phone chargers will all typically have a maximum wattage rating listed on them, add all that up and you'll probably have around 300-500watts. Next you will need to come up with a reasonable run time. We're talking minutes here, not hours. 10 minutes is a reasonable amount of time for you to assess that the power will be out for a considerable time and to shut everything down safely. I have included a UPS calculator so that you can get a sense of which one you will need.

 http://www.apc.com/tools/ups_selector/US/en/home/load 

 

My last bit of advice is that if you know there are going to be power issues in your area then you should simply unplug your sensitive devices. No amount of consumer grade Surge Protectors or UPS Batteries will protect your devices from a direct lightning strike. Likewise, power coming on and off due to an outage can cause several surges over just a few minutes essentially wearing down and disabling your surge protectors ability to mitigate damage.

So take a quick look right now and see what you have protecting your devises, hopefully it's a surge protector or a UPS with a good amount of protection. If you need help with picking out a UPS battery or surge protector feel free to contact our team here at CIO.

 

Ryan Popke

 

 

Field Services Engineer

Ryan Popke

805-692-6700 x118

rpopke@ciosolutions.com

Employee Spotlight: Matt Walker, Remote Engineer

 

Full name:

Matthew James Walker

 

Family info (optional):

Parents - Kathy Walker/Fred Walker

Uncle 11 times (was 12) - I have 2 brothers, and 2 sisters all which are

The late 'Oops!'

 

Where did you grow up?

Simi Valley

 

When did you move to Santa Barbara?

4 years ago, was in Santa Ynez area prior for 3, off and on

 

What you like best about the Santa Barbara area:

In n out is really really close... We have good food here though in general.

That and when you tell people you get the "YOU LIVE IN SANTA BARBARA?!"

 

When did you start working at CIO:

March 9th, 2015

 

What you like best about working at CIO:

The amount of room to grow and learn. At Central Support I intend to take advantage of that... Have something you can teach me? Teach me and I'll buy you lunch!

 

Dreams/aspirations:

Currently - to be mini Bjoern/Hass and get some certs under my belt now that I have the resources to do so. Long term? For Bjoern/Hass to be mini-Matt! :P

 

Non work-related - To attend the Olympics in Japan at 2020, and to finish my current car project.

 

What would you do if you won the lottery: 

Life probably would not be much different. I wouldn't live in a much larger space, but I would have a really big garage...

 

Favorite color:

Clear...

 

Favorite food:

Thai

 

Favorite book/movie:

Book - The Sword of Truth series. Movie - Serenity

 

Motto/quote:  

"Cowabunga!" - Donatello

 

Anything else that is interesting about yourself:

I am a racecar driver! This is me on the Autoclub speedway in North LA in my other miata (The NASCAR track, this is one of the turns coming into the infield that is encompassed around the infield).

Yes - That is bullet bill on the side!

 

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CIO Solutions | 150 Castilian Drive | Suite 100 | Santa Barbara | CA | 93117