Toys for Techs
Why not treat your
technical staff to the things they have been
asking for all year long? It will give them
the chance to familiarize themselves with
new technology and equip them to handle even
tougher situations in the new year! You can
improve morale and make your organization
more effective at the same time! If you do
not have anything left in your budget, worry
not! Some of my ideas are free! If you
want something that costs money, we can help
you plan for next year too!
Why Do it?
been recommending Toys for Techs for over 10
years and everyone who has tried it has
gotten good results. Why not try it in your
organization? You do not have to do this
during this holiday season. Any time of the
year can be good for toys for techs. Heck,
if you want to do it quarterly, go right
The subject of this message sounds silly,
but it is not. Sometimes simple things can
make a big difference. Many studies have
shown that company holiday parties are an
enormous productivity tool. They introduce
people to each other in a relaxed atmosphere
and allow them to talk about themselves and
their jobs. Often, very significant
discoveries are made ("We are doing WHAT?").
Similarly, studies have shown that more
technically oriented people like to "play"
with new toys. It improves their
productivity and job satisfaction. It also
can benefit the organization because the
toys the techs are playing with today may
become critical tomorrow. If someone would
have told you fifteen years ago that web
sites and e mail addresses would be
ubiquitous, you would have probably laughed
them out of the room.
So, it can really make sense to buy toys for
your people and let them play with them. You
can even make it tax deductible. Using the
Section 179a tax deduction, you can expense
rather than depreciate a toy over several
years. The tax savings can be substantial
(up to $500,000 in 2010).
If you are Ebenezer Scrooge, you can stop
reading now. But, if you want to know more
about how you can make Toys for Techs work
for you and bring happiness to techy girls
and boys, click here:
To make this game
productive and fun, you must have rules:
(1) The toys must have a business use.
(2) The toys must cost less than some dollar
amount you set. More than one person can get
together and pool their money. You can beg
for more from Scrooge if you think it is a
real business need (good luck) or he will
play with the toy too (now you are
(3) Toys must have a cool factor. Someone
else has to think it is cool, too. What is
the good of a toy no one wants to borrow or
use? e.g., it probably is not a good idea to
give your wife a vacuum cleaner as a holiday
(4) Toys cannot take you away from your job
too long. In fact, it is best if you can
open it right away and be playing with it
before the year comes to an end. The
holidays are a great time of year for doing
things that you otherwise could not do
because vacations, parties, and the holidays
themselves can allow you to do things, like
rebooting a server during the day, which you
would never get to do at another time of the
(5) A tech could be anyone who is using your
computing resources and thinks they see a
way to get more out of them. Toys can be
especially valuable to non-geeks.
(6) Shopping is part of the fun and a
learning process in itself. So is
negotiating with and talking to coworkers
over what toys to get and in sharing them
once you get them. This game is a great way
to break down communication barriers. You
can make a substantial improvement in your
business and motivate people by letting them
take on a project and run with it with
management support. Be open to new ideas.
Ask a trusted advisor like Iron Horse what
they would recommend for you.
(7) Have fun and be open to surprises and
Gift Ideas for Good Techy Girls and Boys
Consider these toy
-The best toys are
ones you want to play with all the time.
Anything that will make your work life
easier or more fun over a long period of
time is a great toy idea.
-Give a toy. Some people would rather give
than receive. Let them spend their effort
and their funds in giving a tech toy or tech
help to someone who needs it.
-Break down the
barriers to using a computer:
Speech recognition software and a microphone
can help those who do not type well or who
have motor difficulties, dramatically
improving their productivity.
-Learn how the
world works: Training has a great
return on investment. We suggest security
training for the organization, but you might
also benefit from application training or
network administration training. Typing and
language tutoring software might be a good
idea as well. The computer is a tool. People
should be trained how to use it well. Few
tools work well in untrained hands.
imagination: Consider hiring Iron
Horse for a network security and business
analysis. Have Iron Horse look at where you
are and have been and then point you towards
a more profitable and desirable future.
Something that sounds like a luxury can
still produce many desirable results. Toys
need not be physical. What is more fun than
imagining a better day and knowing you can
make it a reality? The best toys get your
-Uncover what was
previously hidden: I have written
about the Cymphonix network appliance
I have had two customers tell me it paid for itself in less than one day! We
will be happy to tell you the stories. This
toy can find and manage what otherwise would
-Keep up with the
other techs: You may
not transition to the newest software or
hardware right away, but someone should know
something about it and try it out first.
-Tools can be toys:
Utilities can keep your computers running
smoothly or restore them to their former
glory. After removing unnecessary software
and files and using Diskeeper disk
defragmentation software I have seen 400%
improvements in speed! Antivirus and
firewall software can safeguard your
information. You do not have to install this
software on every machine. Try a pilot
project and see how it goes.
-Keep your toys
safe: Buy a better backup
solution than the one you have now. Disk to
disk backup, disk imaging, continuous data
protection, data deduplication, and
automatic remote backup are available now.
Are you using them or are you putting all
your work at risk?
-Fix a toy you
have: Maybe your antispam is not
working as well as you would like. Maybe you
think your computers could use a tune up.
Get a professional like Iron Horse to help
-View the world
differently: Large high
resolution flat screen monitors are proven
productivity enhancers. A second display
also improves productivity (you can even
connect them via USB ports!). Newer flat
screens can also lower electric bills and
save desk space. You can have immense
productivity improvements by choosing the
correct keyboards, mice, monitors, chairs,
telephone headsets, paper holders, keyboard
drawers, laptop backpacks, docking stations,
extra chargers and batteries, and other
items a person uses to interact with their
computer. The easier and more natural it is
to use a tool like a computer, the better.
-Hand me down toys:
If someone gets a new toy, their current toy
can go to someone else and become their toy.
For example, an engineer gets a higher
performance computer, while someone in
accounting gets to swap out their computer
for one that will crunch their spreadsheets
better, and their old computer goes to a
school so kids can surf the net.
You get the idea. If these toys are not for you, we can help
you pick out other good ones. Who says toys
cannot be fun and make your business better?
previous ideas on toys, many of which
still ring true today, look at:
Call Iron Horse Today!
Better, Safer Networks
Toll Free Sales Hotline:
Hours: 9AM to 5PM Eastern
Tony Stirk, Iron Horse firstname.lastname@example.org