Category Archives: Environmental

the cloud storage batttle

The Cloud Storage Battle: Box vs. Dropbox

As a business that both employs cloud computing in house and implements cloud storage systems for our clients, iSupportU highly recommends doing your homework when it comes to the powers of “the cloud.” As highlighted in previous articles on Work Surf, The Virtual WorkPlace, Security & Compliance, and Business Continuity, there are many benefits of cloud storage in the professional setting. Below is another breakdown of the cloud storage market. 

Cloud Storage BattleRead More:Entire Article Source: ComputerScienceDegreeHub.com

Crew Close-Up: Shaun Oshman

shaunThis man in charge is unlike most bosses you’ll find out there. His passion for people and assisting them in understanding technology, coincides his “zen” personality to produce a pretty cool place to work. He is constantly looking for fresh ideas and new opportunities when it comes to technology support and on top of that, he juggles a long list of hobbies; from martial arts to climbing trees to grabbing a beer with friends around Boulder.

iSU and Career Thus Far

Describe your responsibilities here at iSU? I would say I am mostly in charge of cultivating new business and “steering the boat.”

Why did you choose to start iSU? Because I always really enjoyed working with people to make technology better. Technology is part of our lives whether we want it to be or not. It can be frustrating and it’s very rewarding remove that frustration from people’s lives.

How would you describe the culture of iSU? Personable, while being professional and conscientious. People who work here have a higher likelihood of being active and engaged members of the local community in addition to being members of an online community. People trust each other here as professionals and we work hard to ensure our clients trust us. We work hard to attain and retain that trust.

shaun2Tell me about your career prior to coming to iSU? I did my undergrad in environmental science with a focus in tree studies at a Unity College in Maine, graduating in 2000 with a BS. Then, I rode my bicycle for a month to blow off steam after school, from Maine to Iowa. Then I was an arborist in Tucson, Arizona. I did tree trimming with a chainsaw for palm trees, cactus, mesquite trees, palo verdes, pine trees and eucalyptus which actually grow really well in Arizona. After that I worked on an organic vegetable farm in Iowa for a year. Then I did environmental education and wound up being the director of a YMCA camp in southern New Jersey and I did all the school programming at a 600 acre camp that slept 400 people, with a staff of 15. I did a masters degree in education while at the YMCA and graduated in 2005. I bought my first computer in 2003 in order to do my masters degree online. Then I went to New Zealand and taught elementary school for 4 years with a class of 30 students age 7-9 and was also the IT administrator of that school. I taught the teachers how to teach IT as well as teaching students about how to use technology with their learning. Then moved to Boulder in 2009 and started the business.

Beyond the Office

What is the best thing about Boulder? Bike paths. I love bike paths. Being able to get from one place to another without ever touching a road is magic.

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?  Skiing in the winter, gardening, cooking, reading, listening to podcasts, dancing to music, sailing, hiking, climbing and practicing capoeira.

shaun3How would your fellow coworkers describe working with you? Fun. I try not to stress anyone out. Choosing the appropriate battles because theres a lot of things you can battle in life…I also have the ability to do acrobatic moves on our desks.

What three things do you always have in your refrigerator? Homemade hot sauce, carrots, almond milk.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Do You Realize, Flaming Lips

Describe your perfect meal. Oddly enough I have pondered this question for hours at a time already. So, on the plate would be an eggplant parmesan sandwich, a piece of salmon, an arugula salad, a crab cake with tartar sauce, a lemon wedge and if I can get away with a piece of pizza on there as well. A new york style piece of pizza.

What is a recent concert you’ve been to? BoomBox at the Ogden.

Any embarrassing bad habits you’d like to share? I am a bit like a garbage disposal when it comes to the fridge. Things that normally people wouldn’t eat that have been sitting there for a whie, I’ll just eat it.  Eating things past their due date. That’s my bad habit.

In A Nutshell

What is the most challenging aspect of your job? Managing expectations.

What is the most fun aspect of your job? Hanging out with everybody here is awesome. I love the sound system and music and that we can all DJ when we want. I enjoy our range of fluids we can consumer here. The office as a whole is pretty dope.

Sum up working at iSU in 3 words. Super freaking awesome.

LinkedIn

“The Story Of Electronics” Explains The E-Waste Problem

We’re passionate about the environment. It’s why we bike to the homes of clients whenever possible, and why we partnered with Eco-Cycle to bring computer recycling to downtown Boulder.

Why is it so important to recycle electronics? Simply put: because they are full of toxic components that should not, under any circumstances, end up in a landfill. This video, by filmmaker Annie Leonard, outlines the situation nicely:

Be sure to check out the full version of the Story of Stuff on their website, which includes links to ways you can help.

Want your old electronics to last longer? Bring them to us; we’ll do everything we can to keep them working as long as possible. If that’s not possible, though, don’t fear: we can ensure they’re recycled properly.

Stop by at 1825 Pearl Street and we’ll take care of you.

Oh, and be sure to stop by tonight (November 10 2011): we’re celebrating our partnership with Eco-Cycle. Register on Facebook or on our site if you’d like to come.

Thai Flooding Increases Hard Drive Prices

After years of declining prices, hard drive prices are suddenly going up. The culprit: floods in Thailand.

“Basically, two of Western Digital’s factories are under water,” says Stephen Boni, iSupportU’s Pit Boss. “Both have been shut down since October 12.”

Boni, who spends part of each day researching product prices, says the increase hasn’t yet hit consumer sites like Amazon and eBay. “But they will,” he adds.

The Western Digital Caviar Green went up in price from $119 to $280 in a matter of five days. Toshiba’s hard drives drives are up about 10 percent.

The bottom line, according to Boni, is that people looking to buy hard drives should consider waiting a few months. Some studies say the price increases could last as long as six months.

Of course, an increase in hard drive costs is hardly the worst part of this disaster. Hundreds are dead because of Thailand’s floods, which are ongoing.

Higher prices are an inconvinence, to be sure, but the biggest cost is the loss of life and homes.

More information:

Hard drive shortage expected to hurt consumers most via Computerworld

Thailand floods could create laptop shortage via CNN

How to be a Techie Environmentalist

The average person buys a new computer once every 3 years.  That same average person buys a new cell phone once every 18 months.  This begs the question:  How can you be a techie environmentalist in our modern world?

Here at iSupportU, we have been looking closely at this problem for quite a few years.  Here are a few ways you can do your part to lower your impact on the world’s fastest-growing residential waste stream and hug some virtual trees:

  • Get it fixed:  Things break.  Gravity is quite effective and electronics are delicate.  That’s a dangerous combination.  People also keep inventing the most sinister viruses.  While it’s true that computers continue to become more affordable, in most cases, it is still  cost-effective to get your computer serviced.  If in doubt, get it fixed.
  • Keep it up to date:  Whether you use an Apple or a Windows-based computer, it’s important to keep your software up to date.  These updates often include security patches that will keep your computer healthy.  Browser updates allow you to visit the sites that you want to visit.  We know that it’s inconvenient, but a virus is even more inconvenient.
  • Buy for the long haul:  While it might be tempting to go for the cheap special to replace your aging computer, think about the future.  If you invest in quality technology that will serve you for 2 years longer than a cheap setup, you will save plenty of cash in the long run.  In addition to the cost savings, you will also contribute to the e-waste stream less often.
  • Go for a laptop:  Laptops use less power than desktop computers do.  They are usually quicker to go into sleep mode and they have lower wattage parts.  They’re also easier to lug around than a desktop.
  • Shut it off:  When you are not using your computer, shut if off.  Not only will the computer last longer, it’s also good practice to restart your computer anyway.  Putting it to sleep is good, but off is better.

We are all environmentalists at iSU, so we tend to encourage our clients to use their technology for as long as possible and make sustainable choices.  Every time a computer repair walks through our door, we consult with that client about whether to invest in the repair for that computer or purchase a new one.  This decision will depend on a few factors including: the age of the computer, compatibility with applications and what the client will use it for.

Just because you appreciate the power that technology offers does not mean you have to give up your tree-hugging roots.  Yes, you can have the best of both worlds.