planIT HARDWARE Sponsors Local Charity Golf Tournament Raising Funds for Critical Research and Support

planIT HARDWARE, an industry-leading provider of Networking hardware and services, today announced its participation as a sponsor of the Fore Hadley Golf Classic, a charity tournament designed to raise funds for CHERUBS, an international non-profit organization for families and care-givers of children and adults who have been diagnosed with the devastating birth defect, Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH).

The Fore Hadley Golf Classic, which will be held May 9th at Atlanta’s Capital City Club, is the inspiring creation of Ryan and Katie Bush – a Georgia couple who lost their daughter, Hadley, to complications from CDH in July of 2015. Since Hadley’s passing, the Bushes have made it their mission not only to honor her memory, but also to ensure that other families will not experience similar loss from CDH. As part of their commitment, 100 percent of the profits raised from the Fore Hadley Golf Classic will be donated to CHERUBS, with a portion being allocated locally with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) to help advance their academic research of CDH’s cause and possible preventative or corrective measures.

“We’re proud to stand behind the Bush family and CHERUBS as they continue their work to support families affected by CDH by funding research of CDH within the medical community,” said Paul Hogg, Founder & CEO of planIT HARDWARE.

Organizers estimate that, planIT HARDWARE, along with other event sponsors, will make proceeds from 2016’s Fore Hadley Golf Classic the largest single donation to CHERUBS in its 20-year history.

As common as Cystic Fibrosis and Spina Bifida, CDH is an in utero condition in which a hole remains in the developing baby’s diaphragm allowing abdominal organs to move into the chest cavity, subsequently preventing the lungs from developing normally. It affects more than 1,600 babies in the United States alone each year, and has a survival rate of only 50 percent.

“Every day, at least 3 families in the United States alone lose a child to CDH,” said Dawn Williamson, CEO of CHERUBS. “Funds raised from the Fore Hadley Golf Classic will support our overall mission to help families affected by CDH by searching for the cause, prevention, and best treatments while continuing to support the CDH community.”

To learn more about the Fore Hadley Golf Classic, Hadley’s story, CHERUBS, or Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) please visit,http://www.forehadley.com.

About planIT HARDWARE – As a leading provider of New and Refurbished Networking Hardware & Services, planIT HARDWARE, an ISO certified organization, continues to shape the way Hardware Technology is procured today. Founded in 2009, we have transformed into a true market maker in all aspects of Networking equipment. This includes Cisco, as well as HP Procurve, 3COM, Dell PowerConnect, Extreme Networks, Brocade/Foundry, and Juniper Networks. Today, our organization is also widely recognized as a Secondary market industry leader in all aspects of the Cisco Cerent / ONS Series. For more information visit, http://www.planithw.com

About CHERUBS – CHERUBS is the most recognized promoter of CDH awareness worldwide, with over 5,700 members from 62 countries and all 50 states. For the past twenty years CHERUBS has been serving at the forefront of research, support, and education for families affected by CDH. Their mission statement, “…to not only help children and the parents of children born with CDH but to lead the medical community into finding the cause and prevention of this devastating birth defect.” Based in Wake Forest, North Carolina, CHERUBS is an IRS recognized 501(c)(III) non-profit organization and a recognized Guidestar Exchange – Gold Participant. For more information please visit, http://www.cherubs.org

Cisco WTS “Want to Sell” New and Refurbished Network Hardware Recipient List

We are updating our recipient email list for our “Want To Sell” new and refurbished Cisco stock list. Please let me know if you would like your email to be added/updated/ or removed from this list. As always, we appreciate the connections and look forward to future business.

Farewell, Windows XP: 7 Reasons to Love Windows 7

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As of today, April 8, 2014, Windows XP, the loveable, highly-obedient and loyal OS we’ve come to know and love over the last 13 years, will be taken out back Old Yeller style by its owner, Microsoft. End-users will no longer receive support such as drivers, security updates and various fixes; this could cause compliance issues and sub-par performance, leaving many businesses vulnerable (and that includes their customers!). Let me frame that for you: about 95% of ATMs in the US are running on Windows XP right now. To those of you who have not upgraded yet, I say this: Yikes.

So, in honor of Windows XP’s execution tomorrow, I thought it’d be an appropriate time to highlight some of the best aspects of Windows 7, its immediate successor (can you tell I’ve been watching a lot of Game of Thrones?). I’m not even going to mention that other Microsoft OS.

7 THINGS THAT ARE GREAT ABOUT WINDOWS 7:

1.)    Windows Taskbar

This was the first feature that really jumped out to me when I made the switch in 2011. Replete with goodies, the taskbar is now a powerful workstation that contains all your major running programs, represented by a single icon. Hover over a program and *bam* you’ve got a live thumbnail that shows you exactly what’s going on in that window as its happening, which means your Jennifer Lawrence and cat .gifs are still looping for you to peek at.  You can even pause and skip tracks on media players from here.

windows 7, taskbar, live thumbnail preview, XP

2.)    Jump Lists

Another aspect of the redesigned taskbar, the jump list is super convenient. This new addition allows you to perform actions and tasks for another program without having to actually navigate through it. Simply right click on a program and get a list of unique actions, recent documents (which you can individually ‘pin’ into place to always be there), and time-saving controls. It’s the Leatherman of Windows 7.

windows 7, jump list, XP, taskbar

3.)    Better USB Detection

This is a pretty noticeable performance upgrade. Improving on XP’s plug-and-play system, W7 is much better at detecting external devices quickly and loading/locating the proper drivers. For example, when you plug your iPhone in, it doesn’t take much time at all to start charging and letting you open applications via Autoplay.

windows 7, performance, XP, USB detection, drivers, plug and play

4.)    Windows Search

Windows search works in two ways now: in the Start menu and in any Explorer window. In a manner similar to Google Instant, once you begin typing in the search bar of W7, you’ll start seeing relevant results. Pretty cool how smart technology is getting, huh? This is how Skynet started, folks.

windows 7, search, XP, explorer, instant, predictive

5.)    Snap

Believe it or not, when I’m at home, I sometimes find myself missing my desk at my office. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of owning dual monitors, so when I’m doing some serious work on my little HP laptop, it’s kind of a pain to jump between MS Word and whatever I’m researching on Chrome. One thing that makes it far more bearable is W7’s smooth UI adjustment, Snap. Snap allows you to drag a window and bring it to one side of your screen, causing it to ‘snap’ into a formation where it takes up only half the screen. Do this with another window, and you’ve got a nice side-by-side view of whatever it is that you’re viewing.

windows 7, snap, dual display, side by sidewindows 7, snap, dual display, side by side

6.)    Peek

Peek’s pretty cool. Tired of clutter? Me too. Hover over the bottom right corner of your taskbar, and W7 will make all of your windows transparent, so you can take a good look at your desktop widgets or admire your desktop wallpaper of Connie Britton.
If you want a quick glance at, say, your music player to check the name of a song, just hover over the thumbnail preview of any window, and Peek will make everything but that one window transparent, so you can hone in your attention.

windows 7, feature, peek, transparent, XP

7.)    Shake

I’m saving the best for last here. Okay, maybe it’s not the best in many regards, but it’s pretty ‘neato,’ to quote the ‘60s. Shake is the one feature I only just found out about while working on this list, but when I did find it, I instantly knew it had a place in listicle famedom. Simply grab the top of a window with your mouse and shake the window from side to side like it’s a can of soda and someone is rounding the corner. After doing this, all other windows will suddenly get sucked into a vacuum of space and time, so that you can focus on getting that one thing done. When it’s time to get the band back together, just do the same little trick and everything will be as it once was.

Windows 7, features, shake, tricks, easter eggsImage

Here at planIT HARDWARE, we have Windows 7 on all of our computers. This allows us to work efficiently as a small team that performs many different roles. Whether we’re checking inventory in IQ Reseller, evaluating the marketplace online or drafting up a blog post, Windows 7 keeps things flowing here. At least on the level of an average consumer, I don’t lament the loss of XP at all. Do you?

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If you’re in IT, let us know why you’re more inclined to stick with XP, and whether you’d eventually make the switch to W7 or not…we’d love to hear another perspective!

For any network hardware needs, contact us for a quote.

The Dirty Secret of E-Waste: Are You Part of the Problem?

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via Treehugger.com

I remember when I was a kid, we used to go up to the barn attic. We rented our home, and our garage was an old fire dept. barn that had its own upper level; the landlords used this attic for their storage. There was a lot of it. When you’re five, six years old, climbing a large pile of what is essentially junk is kind of a dream come true in a weird way. Maybe it’s because you feel rich or self-sufficient in a time when you exclusively rely on your parents to provide you with all of your needs (but not necessarily all of your wants).

When you’re that young, anything can become a toy, and for the kids of my generation, we’d find out that any toy could (and would) eventually become electronic. Speak & Spell educated us, Gameboys let us catch Pokémon, and MS-DOS forced us to become mini-programmers in order to get a simple game to start on our computers.

How many of us still own all of these toys? More than likely, the majority of them got thrown out over the years. Even as adults, our insatiable appetite for new ‘toys’ has created quite the conundrum: electronic waste.

E-waste is a massive, global problem of today. Before it, plastics were the big problem—they don’t biodegrade (meaning there’s a doll from the ‘50s probably just sitting around somewhere out there, eternally smiling as Blinky the Fish swims by).  I’ve gotten older and realized that pile of junk isn’t so majestic anymore:

planit hardware, e-waste, landfill, wasteland, it consignment, it asset, it disposal, used cisco reseller

(image via Transitionconsciousness)

There are many villages and cities around the world that have become dumping grounds for the e-waste of the world, most of them in developing nations. Our very own country is just as guilty for dumping our e-waste overseas, and while it might seem like only a big, inconvenient heap, there are plenty of toxins being dispersed here (lead and mercury, for example). Computer monitors and old TVs are the biggest offenders. Once the screen cracks, the toxins become airborne or bleed into the water supply. This is all in addition to the fact that there is a massive amount of plastics from these devices that has to be incinerated, too.

One of the main principals of our business here at planIT Hardware is that we are giving second life to many still-useful electronic products and components. We help keep the secondary market alive, because there are hundreds of thousands of units out there that don’t need to be trashed. Save the planet, save money: it’s a winning combination every time. We live in a culture where we are being programmed to believe we must need the newest and latest in electronics. As folks in data centers and server rooms know, the benefits of refurbishing units and buying from the secondary market far outweigh the cost of buying new, more often than not. In addition, we do consignment deals so that a bankrupt business, for example, doesn’t need to dispose of their defunct hardware—we can sell it for them, putting money back in their pocket and these products back on the market.

So, business owners, network engineers and electronics consumers (i.e., everyone else), make sure you’re disposing of your IT assets properly, and while you’re at it, you might as well see if you can make some money off of them!

 

 

For a more in-depth look at the effects of e-waste, check out this Dateline expose:

In Anticipation of Final Month of Obamacare Enrollment, Gov’t Makes a Dramatic Move

planIT Hardware, healthcare exchange, obamacare, healthcare.gov, cisco, used cisco reseller, CMS, HHS, network equipmentBig money was dropped recently in the world of network equipment.

The HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) is anticipating plenty of traffic in the last month of open enrollment for Obamacare (the deadline is March 31st). After the now-infamous debut snafu of Healthcare.gov, the government is taking preventative measures to ensure a smooth registration process for those still holding out until the deadline. As a result, the HHS has recently ordered $2.5 million worth of IT hardware to bolster the anticipated bandwidth.

Surprisingly, only $56,782 of this large order was spent on Cisco devices; these were purchased for a firewall upgrade.

Unfortunately, the agency within the HHS that’s responsible for the purchasing, CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), was not legally able to partake in the competitive bidding process that’s typical of most large IT infrastructure buildouts. According to a quote on freebeacon.com, “‘CMS is not in a position to take the time to compete the added capacity requirements and successfully implement the exchange program as mandated by law.'” Basically, they’re spending a fortune for the sake of time.

If only they’d gone through us! (Oh well…there’s always the next government buildout)

planIT HARDWARE has both new and refurbished network hardware at 60-90% off list prices. Contact us for a quote on whatever parts you need.

Speaking of urgency, looks like the POTUS is eager to get the news out about the deadline by whatever unconventional means necessary:

Young Abe Lincoln Says: “Happy Presidents’ Day from planIT HARDWARE!”

planit hardware, network hardware, used cisco reseller, presidents day, abe lincoln, young abe lincoln, february 2014Happy Presidents’ Day 2014!

Today seemed like the perfect day to let my co-workers here at planIT HARDWARE have their fun with their running ‘Young Abe Lincoln’ joke, so, here’s that.

If you’re fortunate enough to have the day off, enjoy it! Spring is just around the corner and some areas in the South are starting to see those temperatures climb; the fair Georgia lady has shone her golden radiance down upon the northern slush.

On the other hand, if you’re at work, good for you…so are we!

Snowpocalypse 2.0 (Winter Storm Pax) Descends Upon ATL, 90% Chance of Panic

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It’s Coming…

The Snowpocalypse (v.2.0) is upon us…or, in this case, what I’m going to go ahead and dub ICEPOCALYPSE.

Yes, the threat of Icepocalypse is very real. What’s the fuss? you might ask, after failing to notice a single snowflake, It’s only a little rain…

This is where you are dead wrong, friend.

All you need to do is step into a metro Atlanta Kroger and you will see pure chaos, the likes of which you’ve never seen. Milk shelves are empty. Chicken breasts? Gone. As for the bread shelves, paleo diets are out….carbs are way, way in. AND SOMEONE TOOK ALL THE KRISPY KREMES!

Okay, maybe we’re not getting the most snow/ice possible, but it’s enough for folks down here to react strongly enough to, so mind the panic. We hope that all those in our community will stay safe regardless, and we’re looking forward to seeing/hearing about more acts of do-goodery by our fellow ATL denizens.

Also, pre-packed, sodium-filled deli meats were apparently in high demand:

Winter Storm Brings Metro Atlanta to Its Knees

atlanta, snowpocalypse, snowmageddon, leon, traffic jam, gridlock, winter storm, walking dead, the walking dead atlanta, atl snow storm, icy roads

Photo Courtesy of Snowed Out Atlanta

It’s been all over the news. On Tuesday afternoon, January 28th, 2014, snow began to fall in Atlanta. What started out as a light dusting continuously came down to quickly form 2 inches…and it stuck. Any snow that ever falls in Atlanta rarely sticks to the ground, as it stays generally pretty warm. However, weeks of below-freezing weather had primed our area for the best (worst?) conditions for the storm dubbed “Leon” to have its reign of terror. Roads began to slush up, and with temperatures rapidly reaching the 20s (and eventually the teens overnight), Atlanta became Rockefeller Center (but without all the cocoa and smiles). Seemingly everyone in the immediate universe left work at the same exact time at about 1pm that day, causing a massive gridlock worthy of Walking Dead proportions.

The chaotic scramble to get home turned into an 18-hour ordeal for some. Children were stuck in schools and, even worse, in buses that were in transit at the time of the gridlock. Little to no preparations were made by the city as far as treating the roads ahead of time (this writer didn’t see a single plow truck or vehicle salting the roads on his 2-hour drive home). As a result, folks abandoned their vehicles (mostly on I-285) and trekked through the snow to find shelter and food for the day. One of planIT HARDWARE’s very own employees, Doug Love, was a victim of this gridlock, and ended up taking part in the exodus (and occasional fun) that ensued. Before finding his own shelter in the form of a friend’s not-too-far house, Doug snapped a few pictures to post on Instagram, one of which became virally shared by publications like Business Insider and Buzzfeed in their coverage of the spectacle.

We’re very proud of Doug for not only surviving (good job, Doug) but also helping others out, having fun and becoming an unwitting Field Correspondent via his snapshot. The silver lining in all this is that this storm brought out the best in people in our community (like the folks who started the Snowed Out Atlanta page on Facebook, which led to hundreds of people connecting and helping one another amidst the crisis). There are many articles from various media outlets highlighting the do-goodery that ensued; I suggest you give it a Google.  

3 Simple Ways You Could Be Compromising Your Mobile Security

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In two years, internet traffic (IP traffic) from wireless devices will exceed traffic from wired devices. With greater percentages of total global web traffic originating from mobile devices (this includes both smartphones and tablets), it’s time bust out your inner Kevin McAllister and step up your defense game. Ever notice how there’s no McAfee or Symantec on the average person’s iPhone or Kindle Fire? That means it’s partly up to you to make use of best internet security practices when going mobile. Here are just a few tips:

Connecting Over Unsecure/Public Wi-Fi:

unsecure wifi, planit hardware, don clark, used cisco reseller, mobile security, best practices

photo credit: Don Clark

Right now, major mobile carriers have abolished the old unlimited data options and are charging plenty of money every month for very small caps of usage. 3 GB just doesn’t cut it anymore, what with all the streaming services that have become a normal part of everyday web use. So, now more than ever, everyone is more meticulous than ever about making sure they’re connected to every wireless network and hotspot possible. And if you can find one that doesn’t require a password, even better, right? Well, not quite. You never know who you’re sharing that network with and for what purpose they’re using it. Additionally, hijackers can gain access to your device via apps with certain security vulnerabilities. Bottom line: if you can get access to the password by walking up and asking the barista, do it; it’s better than taking a risk on that sketchy open network, ‘BOBS_DEN,’ that’s open nearby.

passlock, smartphone passcode, lock smartphone, planit hardware, used cisco reseller

 

Use That Passlock Feature:

I cannot stress this enough. It is a rather simple but effective way to ward off unnecessary hackings. For the slight nuisance of having to thumb-in four digits every time you pick up your phone (and this is even being relieved by new technologies such as the 5S’ finger scanner), you can soak in the dividends like peace of mind when your phone goes missing, knowing that no one can snoop through your contents and providing yourself with a nice buffer period to attempt to track the device down–or wipe it remotely.

 

Careful with That Bluetooth!:

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Bluetooth is a really great feature that allows you to invisibly (wirelessly, really, but it sounds much cooler this way) stream content to a number of powerful devices (first, home stereo systems; now, cars) from something as singular as your pocket-sized smartphone. Bluetooth is also annoyingly vulnerable. While I would never leave mine on (total battery hog on my already-weak-iPhone 4S), I know many people that do, either because they have headsets for work, driving, home stereo systems or any combination of peripheral devices that incorporate the technology. Leaving Bluetooth on could make your device discoverable to someone shady who is looking to hack unwitting users. The best practice here is to turn that Bluetooth off when you’re not directly using it. Period.

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