Horse Sense #146

Spring Cleaning for PC Users

Now is a good time for you to improve your business and personal computing! Below are a few ideas for making things better. If you want to talk to someone about them, we are here to help!

1. Stay up to date and you will stay safer.
1A. Make sure your operating system is up to date.
1B. Make sure your programs are up to date.
1C. Make sure your security software and hardware is updated.
1D. Are any products out of warranty or support?
1E. New PCs can do more while costing less. Look to replace yours after 2-4 years, especially laptops.

2. Slim down.
2A. Get rid of any programs you are not using.
2B. Clean your disk of space hogging leftover log, program, backup, and other files.
2C. Eliminate old data to make way for new data and eliminate risks.

3. Make better use of your resources.
3A. Optimize your hard disks.
3B. Manage your connection to the Internet.
3C. Find your zombie, slacker, dead, and incompetent machines. (Horse Sense 140)
3D. Are you trading fashion, like name brand, for function?

4. Use the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) Principle
4A. Consolidate servers. Consider hyperconvergence to add reliability, performance, and scalability.
4B. Make it easier and less expensive to print.
4C. Simplify your networking and security.
4D. Are you using two programs to do the same thing? Keep just one.

5. Join the modern age.
5A. What older equipment and software should you replace now?
5B. What older equipment and software will need to be replaced soon?
5C. What new technologies and techniques aren't you using that could make things so much easier?
5D. Are you budgeting and thinking about repair and replacement cycles?

6. Be safe.
6A. Do you need better backup, archiving, or disaster recovery?
6B. How much redundancy do you need?
6C. What are your capabilities and plans when things go wrong?
6D. Are you promoting safety or ignoring your security?
6E. How do you know your plans will work?
6F. Who is responsible for what and are there one or more backup people who know what to do if needed?
6G. Do you protect yourself with identity checks before allowing appropriate access? How do you manage the “keys to the kingdom?”

7. Be cost conscious.
7A. Buy good tools.
7B. Buy more capability, capacity, and features than you need right now and you will pay less over the long run. Buy so that you will have enough resources for 3-7 years when buying hardware, for example.
7C. Computing is for people. Anything that helps them do their work pays off handsomely. The needs of the business and its people come first.
7D. Anything that makes managing your computing easier pays off handsomely as well. Automate whatever you can.
7E. Buy the software you need to help your people do what they want and make sure you can administer it to keep it useful.
7F. Buy the hardware, networking, and connections you need to make that software work well. The priority order is 7C>7D>7E>7F.
7G. People need to know how to use the tools. Invest in their training and support or your other investments are worthless.

8. Learn something.
8A. If you want to get good at something, get some training.
8B. EVERYONE needs to be thinking about security and get reminders. How are you doing that? Think *safety*, not security. Everyone is responsible for keeping themselves and others safe.

9. Take inventory
9A. Do you have good documentation?
9B. Does the inventory of your capabilities fit your needs?
9C. Do your policies inform people how to stay safe and do well?
9D. How do you present yourselves to the world on the Internet and protect yourself from harm?
9E. Do hardware, software, and security audits.
9F. Take a functional inventory. Be honest. Especially if you are not going to do something, you probably need to outsource it.

10. Get someone to encourage and help you meet your goals. Good partners are good investments.

©2019 Tony Stirk, Iron Horse