We Know Technology

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Technical Timing: How to know when to upgrade your technology

This article was originally published with Deseret News.

Technical timing: How to know when to upgrade your technology

By Josh Linton
For the Deseret News
Published: Friday, May 24 2013 8:45 a.m. MDT

The three-year window is simply the average lifespan of computer and technical equipment. For me, the best indicator of deciding if it’s time to buy new equipment is if employee productivity has dropped as a result of the equipment I’ve provided them.

With the rapidly changing technology landscape, it’s difficult to know when it’s the right time to upgrade equipment and take advantage of the newer technology.
In my experience, the normal lifespan of a business class laptop or other equipment is about three years. This is consistent with what I’ve read in industry and trade publications. After three years, the cost of maintaining a laptop or a desktop becomes more expensive than buying a new one.
The three-year window is simply the average lifespan of computer and technical equipment. For me, the best indicator of deciding if it’s time to buy new equipment is if employee productivity has dropped as a result of the equipment I’ve provided them. If an employee is unable to work for a full day due to a computer issue, the day’s loss of productivity is probably going to outweigh the $1,000 or so to buy a new laptop.
Over the course of a laptop’s or desktop’s lifetime, there are a few simple things you can do to extend the life of a computer, including:
    Free up memory whenever possible: Every app or piece of new software you add takes up space and slows the computer down. As computer apps and software improve there seems to be a disconnect between these upgrades and the space they take on a computer. Newer apps and software always take more space. Managing memory will keep the computer running fast. One important thing to remember is that if you have an app or software you don’t use, remove it from the computer and free some space up that way.
    Re-image your computer: Every computer will pick up or maintain programs, software and apps that aren’t being utilized or are outdated. By re-imaging your computer, you create more space and optimize the computer’s performance.
    Rebuild or reinstall Microsoft: This can be challenging as it takes time and if not done properly can cause issues with your machine’s performance. Some companies will do this once a year to eliminate any old or unwanted documents or software to free up space. If you choose this route, I recommend only reinstalling once a year.
    Invest in new batteries: Battery life, especially in laptops, is critical. I recommend looking at new batteries about every year and a half or so. Batteries lose the ability to maintain a charge for extended periods over the course of time. A new battery will breathe new life into a computer and help increase or maintain a high level of productivity.
In every aspect of assessing a computer’s viability and the question of when to upgrade, I ask the question, how much is productivity worth? If productivity is down and it’s due to a questionable computer and the tips listed above aren’t helping the issue, then it’s probably time to buy a new machine.
If you’re coming up on a three-year anniversary of a computer’s lifespan and haven’t had issues, I usually start looking at potential replacement equipment at about the two-and-a-half year mark. If you can spread the purchasing out over time and do it in cycles, that will help save on the costs.
I’ve focused on laptops and desktops but I also get asked a lot about cellphones and tablets such as iPhones and iPads. In my opinion, iPads and cellphones are consumer oriented and are not designed to last more than a year. For the most part, people are buying them because they’re cool or for the “wow” factor. In these instances, you should expect to go through or to upgrade more frequently.

About Josh Linton
Josh Linton is the vice president of technology at VLCM, which is celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2013. Josh manages the company’s technical team that provides tech support and services to its clients. Josh graduated from BYU.

VLCM and The Tour of Utah

VLCM and The Tour of Utah
For the 2013 Tour of Utah, VLCM is hosting a stage. Take a look at the Stage 6 summary from the official press release below.

 The following was taken directly from the official Tour of Utah Press release (www.tourofutah.com). 

Southern Utah Swing Brings
Record Mileage and Climbing for
2013 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah

586 Miles and 43,621 Vertical Feet of Climbing Most Ever in
Nine-Year History of Americas Toughest Stage RaceTM this August

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (June 5, 2013) Rolling through
Bryce Canyon National Park and two national monuments for the first time, the 2013 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah professional cycling stage race will be the longest and most difficult in its nine-year history. The August 6-11 event will challenge some of the worlds best professional cycling teams with a total of 586 miles and 43,621 vertical feet of climbing. Organizers of the Tour published course maps today at  www.tourofutah.com, revealing that the race will pass through or near eight national forests, monuments and parks as well as six ski resorts.

Now in its third year as a 2.1-rated stage race by the
Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the Tour of Utah
is recognized for challenging climbs and descents along the western Rocky Mountains. Known as Americas Toughest Stage RaceTM, this year’s route plans to have 12 Ski Utah King of the Mountain climbs and 12 XO Communications Sprint linesAt 9,600 feet in elevation, the overall start at Brian Head on Tuesday, August 6 will be the highest starting point for any North American race this season.
Returning to the Tour for the first time since 2010 is a climb on Thursday, August 8 across the summit of Mount Nebo, the highest mountain in the Wasatch Range at 11,928 feet. And for the first time since the race began in 2004, a time trial will not be held during the six-day race.

Featuring the signature red rock country of southern Utah for the first time, there is tremendous anticipation for this years race and the new courses. The opportunity to bring our race to these national parks and national monuments is unprecedented for professional cycling. Athletically, the Tour of Utah will truly challenge our riders while spectators enjoy the competition against the backdrop of the states stunning scenery,” said Steve Miller, president of Miller Sports Properties which organizes the Tour of Utah.

FOX Sports Network will provide a total of 18 hours of national programming, including 12 hours of live coverage, for the Tour of Utah. All six days of programming, August 6-11, will be produced in high definition. The Tour of Utah will be the first weeklong UCI 2.1-rated stage race in North America following the Tour de France. All five road races are scheduled to finish just prior to 4 p.m. MT, which allow for the live FSN broadcast to broadcast stage results and awards presentations. The circuit race in Salt Lake City on Friday, August 9 is scheduled for a special time, from 5:30- 7 p.m. MT, to minimizimpact on busy streets in and around the state Capitol, as well to provide a more convenient time for local residents and downtown employees to watch the action in person.

"It makes us proud to host the Tour of Utah - one of the world's premiere professional cycling races. Utah's spectacular and diverse scenery is on the world stage as we host the sport's elite riders right after the Tour de France. Television viewers will get a peek at The Mighty Five our five spectacular national parks and will experience our scenic byways that transport visitors through our red rock
country. The world will see that some of nature's greatest accomplishments are right here in Utah," said
Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism.

Stage One presented by Zions Bank begins in Brian Head, the home of Utah's highest-elevation ski resort. The 112-mile (180-km) road race on Tuesday, August 6 begins with a sharp ascent to Cedar Breaks National Monument. The spectacular red rock spires of the Monument contrast sharply with the alpine forest of the Markagunt Plateau as the racers crest the days highest point at 10,300 feet. From there the course descends past Panguitch Lake and the undulating roads of Cedar Canyon, meandering alongside the ancient lava beds and alpine lakes of the Dixie National Forest. It reaches a summit of 9,600 feet in the shadow of Cedar Breaks National Monument and overlooks the northern portion of Zion National Park. Due to the location on a high plateau, temperatures in this area are expected to be moderate for summer, highs ranging from 68 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. The racers will descend nearly 4,000 feet to the finish in Cedar City, with three loops through downtown Cedar City and the campus of Southern Utah University.

Stage Two presented by Utah Office of Tourism will begin on Wednesday, August 7 in Panguitch and meander through the multi-hued sandstone terrain that has been sculpted over 325 million years into hoodoos, spires, mesas, cliffs and slot canyons. This is the longest day for the pro peloton at 131 miles (210 km) and will include 9,877 feet of elevation gain. The road race will pass through portions of Bryce Canyon National Park, the first time the race has entered a national park. It will also cross through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the nations largest national monument. This stretch will use Highway 12, one of America’s top scenic byways. The second day of racing will conclude with a climb of Boulder Mountain, which is part of the Dixie National Forest, and a sweeping descent into Torrey. This part of Wayne County rests in the shadow of Capitol Reef National Park and the geologic wonder known as the Waterpocket Fold.

The 119 miles (191 km) of racing for Stage Three on Thursday, August 8 begins in Richfield, the seat of Sevier County. This is a relatively flat day, and is the second longest stage of the week. The course does turn upward for a climb of Mount Nebo, which returns after a two-year hiatus from the Tour route. Mount Nebo is the southernmost and highest mountain in the Wasatch Range of Utah, with its lofty peak sitting at 11,928 feet. The cyclists will summit the roadway at 9,300 feet, then have a twisting and exhilarating 22-mile descent into the city of Payson, which rests between the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains and Utah Lake. While the Tour of Utah has passed through this section of Utah County in previous years, it is the first stage finish in this classic western town.

Stage Four presented by University of Utah Health Care reprises the popular circuit race in Salt Lake
City on Friday, August 9. The route is similar to the circuit race held in 2011, with the start/finish on CapitoHill. This years 33.8-mile (54.7-km) version will start later in the afternoon, at 5:30 p.m., and include five laps from the Capitol, past the University of Utah, and through the Historic Avenues community. From a start in front of the Utah State Capitol, the course skirts the mouth of City Creek Canyon, with a beautiful
panoramic view of the city. Fans in Reservoir Park will get great vantage points as the race passes on three sides before making a hard turn westward onto South Temple. This wide, leafy avenue is Salt Lake Citys stateliest boulevard, including the Governors Mansion. After a sharp right turn under the Eagle Gate in front of Brigham Youngs house, riders will confront the 11 percent climb up East Capitol Street toward the front door of the Capitol Building, and complete the circuit.

Saturday, August 10 is Stage Five, the “Queen Stage” of the Tour of Utah which covers 10,611 feet of climbing over 113 miles. This year marks the sixth consecutive finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort for this stage. The stage features a new start at Snowbasin Resort, just northeast of Ogden, for the first time. Stage Five will cross five counties and pass six ski resorts. From the Snowbasin Resort, its all downhill into Mountain Green and the Morgan Valley, then up and over an imposing red rock escarpment to East Canyon Dam. After skirting East Canyon reservoir, the peloton will make a short but steep climb
over Hogback Summit into the town of Henefer. The route will roll through scenic ranchland areas and take a long, gradual ascent of Browns Canyon to access Park City. The showdown for the true climbers begins at this point with an 11-percent gradient across Guardsmans Pass and crossing for the first time ever into Big Cottonwood Canyon. Following a 14-mile descent through the canyon, the route enters the south end of
the Salt Lake Valley to conclude with the final legendary six-mile climb into Little Cottonwood Canyon for the finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.For the third time, the Tour of Utah returns to Park City for the grand finale, this year on Sunday, August 11. 

Stage Six presented by VLCM & Barracuda Networks. Like 2012, the route climbs through the scenic and private Wolf Creek Ranch, with its 2.15-mile climb among aspen trees that reaches a maximum pitch of 22 percent. The race crosses the Heber Valley through the friendly mountain towns of Heber City and Midway before winding its way to the base of Empire Pass. This six-mile climb has sections that surpass a 20-percent gradient and should witness another all-out assault by the
pure climbers. Following a blistering descent down Mine Road that was climbed one day earlier, the 78-mile
(125-km) road race expects to finish in front of massive crowds in historic Park City on lower Main Street.

The Utah Sports Commission is thrilled to be part of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, and again welcome some of the world's top cyclists to our state.  With the event's expansion statewide this year, the economic impact and media value will grow significantly, strengthening Utah's economy and showcasing Utah, The State of Sport, worldwide,” stated Jeff Robbins, president & CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique pro sports in the world today. For more information about host cities and venues, visit the Tours web site,  www.tourofutah.com. Additional Tour updates can be followed via  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and  Vimeo.

2013 Tour of Utah Stages and Stats

Start - Finish
August 6
Stage One presented by
Zions Bank
Brian Head to
Cedar City
11:35 am
3:40-4 pm
112 miles
180 km
5,748 feet
1752 meters
August 7
Stage Two presented by Utah
Office of Tourism
Panguitch to Torrey
10 am
3:45- 4 pm
131 miles
210 km
9,877 feet
3010 meters
August 8
Stage Three
Richfield to Payson
10:50 am
3:45-4 pm
119 miles
191 km
6,202 feet
1890 meters
August 9
Stage Four presented by
University of Utah Health Care
Salt Lake City
(circuit race)
5:30 pm
6:45-7 pm
33.8 miles
54.7 km
3,550 feet
1082 meters
August 10
Stage Five
Snowbasin Resort to Snowbird Ski
and Summer
10:50 am
3:45- 4 pm

113 miles
182 km
10,611 feet
3234 meters
August 11
Stage Six presented by VLCM
& Barracuda Networks
Park City to
Park City
12:15 pm
3:45 -4 pm
78 miles
125 km
7,633 feet
2326 meters
*All times listed are Mountain Time, and subject to change

About the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
Deemed "America's Toughest Stage RaceTM," the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is a weeklong, professional stage race for the best cycling teams in the world. Now in its ninth year of racing, the 2013 Tour of Utah will include some of the states most beautiful and challenging terrain with lush forests and red rock spires in the south and the urban
corridor and epic peaks along Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains in the north. The 2013 race will cover a record 586 miles and more than 43,000 vertical feet of climbing. The Tour of Utah is scheduled to take place August 6-11, 2013, as a UCI 2.1-rated stage race. A team presentation event will be held on August 5 in Cedar
City.  A portion of the race routes for the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah pro cycling race will be located partially on the
Dixie and UintahWasatchCache National Forest. The event is owned and operated by the Utah Cycling Partnership. Larry H. Miller Group of Companies continues as the title sponsor. Official Partners of the 2013 event include the Utah Office of Tourism, an agency of Governors Office of Economic Development, and the Utah Sports Commission. For more information about the event, visit  www.tourofutah.com.

About Utah Office of Tourism
Home to five national parks known as The Mighty Five™, 43 state parks, seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and The Greatest Snow on Earth®, Utah represents the best of both the Rocky Mountains and the Desert Southwest. Utah has it all - holding true to the Utah Life Elevated® brand. For information on planning your Utah vacation, visit us online at  VisitUtah.com or contact the Utah Office of Tourism at (800) 200-1160 or (801) 538-1900.

About Utah Sports Commission
The Utah Sports Commission is a not-for-profit 501c3 charitable organization governed by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees consisting of statewide sports, business, community, and government leaders. The Sports Commission was created to foster national and international amateur and professional sports competitions to be held in the state of Utah, acting as a catalyst in unifying the states sports community and strengthening Utah's presence in the global sports marketplace. The Sports Commission works closely with communities, sports entities, and organizations to provide event services ranging from the bid process, on-site logistics, volunteer coordination, sponsorships and promotional opportunities and other related services. For more information, visit www.utahsportscommission.com

Media Contacts:

ackie Tyson, Media Relations Manager                                              Matt Morgan, Utah Office of Tourism
TourofUtahPR@pelotonsports.net  * 678-362-6228                              matthewmorgan@utah.gov *  801-538-1378