The Unspoken Hero or Silent Killer of your Business

In our busy internet influenced life we often don’t think too much about how being without our electronic stuff would be. Because of a recent electrical storm, I didn’t think too much about it. Until I thought about a nearby restaurant and wondered if they had a particular item on the menu, I immediately grabbed my tablet, turned it on, then it hit me, the power is out and there is no internet (duh!). Imagine this same scenario but this time we need to send an important document, a powerpoint presentation, or even a contract. But, instead of just the electricity being down we’re permanently down because our computers drive has just crashed.

The silent killer is definitely the outage, and not having access to our data. We depend on it, and it would destroy our business without it. Even for a short time I couldn’t last long without the internet.

Most of the time being a computer consultant I go about doing my regular tasks. These tasks are unseen by customers and occur on an ongoing basis, its just part of the job to spend so much time working with backups. Recently with my new “Managed Service” offering I changed my strategy because of the difference between a consultant that is called when things just break, and a true “Managed Service” provider.

There are several factors to consider when creating a good backup plan. What kind of business is involved? How long could this customer be without their files? How many days could they gap if they lost part of their information? If a ransomware attack occurred how are the backups stored? What if a tornado landed?

Computer Hardware

Certainly, the list can go on, but, taking the most important ones and developing the plan is what a good consultant and a “Managed Service” provider do. I just started implementing mock ransomware attacks on my managed service clients as an ongoing test to make 100% sure they are ready. Have concerns that when your network crashes you’re ready? Give me a call, I’ll be happy to offer a 68 point network review at no cost. In the Dallas / Ft. Worth area call 972-571-4808.

Time face
What was your time?

Should you want to see how long you could go without your network or internet connection, turn off or unplug your electronic devices and see how much time it takes you before you reach for one.

 

 

Inspiring: My Secret of Success and Some Pointers or What’s the Deal about Dale?

My History

The back story.

Growing up in Southern California seems like it was a lifetime ago. Like looking into a pond and seeing a reflection, you see things around you, but they seem like a shadow. They are real but untouchable.

My early 20’s I spent working as a Union employee for the service industry. My work ethic was always strong and I tried to take on every task like I was doing it for God. I always excelled in my positions. Then after a store closing and a layoff, I got a job sweeping floors and preparing shipping labels for a precision sheet metal fabrication company.

After just a year I had worked my way from that position to run a precision sheet metal sheer then as an NC punch press operator. I went to school at nights to study basic engineering and worked my way to the office where I did order entry, learned job design, planning, and NC programming. On my off hours for a hobby I studied computer programming, it was new at the time and the only PC’s were TRS-80’s, K-Pro, or Commodore 64’s.

Old Faithful in the 80’s, I wrote my first stock graphing software entering the stock share price from the WSJ every day.

The one thing about learning computers (the hardware and software) was it came very easy. It felt like I knew things already and was eager to learn more.

The owners of the precision sheet metal company had me develop a new work order entry program, which traced jobs from the time of the initial start all the way to shipping. It was a very exhilarating  feeling to see something you created actually being used. My ex-wife had a job as a medical biller and through her I got a consulting job creating an admitting and billing program for the Home Health agency she worked for. I remember charging them just $500.00, but eventually, they wanted to resell the application and asked me to come on board to work onsite for updates and selling the software.

After a few years, I met the marketing director for a home health IV Pharmacy, and we became partners in a company to create a new Home Health, IV Therapy, and private nursing admitting and billing application. Once developed we sold it to a few companies. When one of the companies offered to hire me full-time I jumped at the chance and relocated to Texas.

Through a chance meeting, I met the financial secretary of a local Labor Union and began doing computer hardware maintenance for their office which eventually ended up with me creating a complete dues collection program for them.

As word got out I started creating a program application for the self-insured benefit offices to process medical claims for the Union members, and then a pension application that would calculate and process pension checks to Union pensioners and created an application for keeping track of students for the apprenticeship schools.

Several other consulting and computer applications were written along the way, you can see my LinkedIn page for a thorough history. But, the story isn’t over and to this point, It has been an amazing and exciting trek.

So What is the Secret?

Work for the right person.

The number one thing is to do your work as you would to the Lord, this takes the sometimes disappointment and misunderstanding of why things happen out of the way and insulates you from developing a bad attitude, especially when you might have a boss that’s less than kind or very demanding. Trusting God and working in the correct spirit is the most important. I’m not saying you have to be a fanatic, I’m saying you have to have a good attitude and trust what your doing has a higher consequence than what you may see. Even the most seemingly insignificant task is important and if you’re good at it, having the right attitude will make all the difference. This will also enable you to find your correct path, many times I’ve had to center myself back to this truth and once I do, things work out or develop into something even better.

Concentrate on what you are good at.

Sometimes we find ourselves doing a lot of different jobs, and there is usually something we enjoy doing instead of something else. Like the saying “If you are doing a job you enjoy, you’ll never work a day in your life”.

Forgive yourself.

Just as important as forgiving others. When we don’t forgive someone we make an imaginary bond with that person that will grow in intensity and distance. It’s the inverse square law (1/r²). It will eventually take over our thoughts, it can keep us from achieving our goals, happiness and clear thinking. It will rub off on others and our work. Until we don’t have a breath in our lungs we must forgive each other and ourselves. If we’re striving to be better, the journey is the education and we’re not finished.

I have a definite separation from work and personal life, NOT!

Be careful of fear, it lies.

It is easy to have self-doubt, to be timid in doing something we’re not immediately comfortable with. I’m sure there’s a lot of books written on this. But, what I would convey is this thought; every month when the house payment or rent roles around, I get anxious because of being self-employed and not having a steady income that I won’t be able to pay my house payment or rent. The reality is that I’ve been a consultant for 30+ years and in that time never failed to pay my house payment or rent. But, I have that fear. So, I have to trust that when I’m sticking to my basic rules that my goals will work out and they do. I know it’s easier said than done, but I have to put it on the list.

Having a life partner is important.

I’ve always been that type of person that tells everything about my day when I’m home (In fact, I’m often told I talk too much!). It’s important for me to share my experiences and get that comfort and caring that having someone who Loves you can give. It completes the package of going through everything day to day. Sometimes I get things wrong and having someone who cares to bounce an idea off of can make a difference and gives confidence.

My Personal Life.

Well, I can’t skip this topic with all the history. I have a definite separation from work and personal life, NOT!

I can say that I spend a lot of my time inside my head. I’m either working out a solution to a program, thinking about business development, or being silly crazy with ideas and nonsense.

Traveling I kept seeing Amish Jam, and Amish Furniture, so I thought “What about”…

I’m not an easy person sometimes and sometimes I blow off too much steam in unconstructive ways. I have issues like everyone else and I’m thankful to have my girl (KC) who has become a part of my life and me. She stays beside me and not behind me. Like programming, computers, technology, and living, things are ever changing and I hope that we can keep striving for better, keep changing and turning the tarnished areas into bright and shinning things. I have faith and with the help of God and her, anything can be possible.

 

I can map the drive by IP but not name

The Other Options Didn’t Solve the Problem

When I had the problem of being able to see a shared drive on the file server only by using the IP address and not the name I began searching the internet for answers, some workstations would see it by name and some wouldn’t. There is a mixture of XP, Windows 7, and Windows 10 machines on the network and some of each different type would connect while others wouldn’t. When I searched the Internet I found solutions about going to ‘Credential Manager’ (Control Panel, Credential Manager, Windows Credentials) and removing the saved credentials and that seemed to solve the problem for a lot of people, but not for me.

Back Story / How I got in this Mess

The machine that the file server was on crashed. The drive was fine, but the system itself stopped working. After tracing it to the motherboard I knew there wasn’t going to be a quick fix. This is a small company and they only have one other machine that is used as the SQL server, there old machines, but were pretty good when they were purchased years ago. Anyway, I needed to get this drive up as soon as possible, so not having time to get a new machine and do a bare metal restore, I took down the SQL machine long enough to install the file server drive into it. Then installed Virtualbox, and having the virtual computer use the physical hard drive of the server computer. Whala (voila if your french), file server is back online inside the SQL server box. (They both had similar hardware that aided in making this possible).

As we move ahead in time a few weeks, I built a new machine and kept the old server drive as a virtual drive except converted the physical drive to an actual virtual drive. My thought here was that later I can virtualize both of them (file server and SQL server) and come up with a clustering solution spread over a couple physical machines. So, after putting it all together on a new machine and firing it up suddenly not all workstations see the shared folder on the file server. This is where the trauma begins…

The Solution

I used Windows 10 for the pictorial solution, but, if your familiar with things, just un-check IP version 6 from the list of protocols from the workstations that are having the problem and things should work for you too.

1. First, right click on you network taskbar icon

2. Then when the settings window opens select “Ethernet”

3. Next Select “Change Adapter Options”

4. On the next window “Right Click” on the “network adapter” and select “properties”

5. Next, Un-check the IP Version 6 protocol and select “OK”

Conclusion

You can’t make this stuff up. Anytime when you least expect it something will happen. I handled this with very little user disruption. Even when the server crashed, the time back up was under 3 hours and when the IPv6 problem happened it was intermittent and I could handle most of that over the weekend. Need expert help with your network? In the Dallas / Ft. Worth Area, call me. 972.571.4808.