3D Printing & First National Technology Solutions

What was once considered a novelty, has now become an important aspect of manufacturing, dentistry, and even First National Technology Solutions (FNTS). It’s 3D printing.

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Kicking off college football weekend, and new technology

Perhaps nothing is better for a college football fan than the opening kickoff weekend. There are dozens of marquee matchups to keep you entertained, your household is stocked up on snacks, and every team gets a clean start, with the aspirations of national relevance.

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Pokémon GO: collecting pocket monsters and problems

The Pokémon GO app has gone absolutely viral, and is now the biggest mobile game in US history. As of writing this article, the app tops the charts in downloads in both the App Store, and Google Play, and that’s with just the United States, Australia and New Zealand marketplaces. Not only has the app seen success in downloads, but Nintendo’s stock price also rose 25% the first week. The kid in me loves the app, but as an employee at a technology solutions company, I realize some of the app’s problems can no longer be solved by simply blowing air into a game cartridge like previous Pokémon games.

With all this rampant success and demand for the game, it only makes sense that some issues will arise. One particularly frustrating error was inability to access the game itself due to server connectivity issues. Niantic, the company which developed the app, released the following statement regarding the issue:

“Due to the incredible number of Pokémon GO downloads, some Trainers are experiencing server connectivity issues. Don’t worry, our team is on it!”

A possible solution to this highly demanded server? According to a Network World article, the answer may just lie in cloud technology. Specifically an IaaS cloud computing platform which is ideal for viral workloads with spikes in traffic could be the solution to the server woes.

Whether IaaS is the solution to the server issues remains to be seen, what is very apparent however, is that these issues will need to be improved if they want continued success. Simply, it will be quite impossible to “catch ‘em all,” if you can’t connect at all.

Even more concerning than server problems however, are the privacy issues that have been brought to public view. iPhone users playing with a Google account were unknowingly agreeing to grant Niantic full account access. While the app couldn’t change passwords, delete accounts, or make Google Wallet payments, it was able to see the contents of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive and Google Calendar. An update was released to resolve this issue, but the damage has perhaps already been done.

Besides these main problems, there have also been complaints of distorted audio, heavy battery usage and temporary resets. The pressure is certainly on Niantic to resolve these issues.

While there have certainly been issues, the Pokemon fan base patiently waits for improvements to the app that brings their beloved Pocket monsters to life. As for this trainer, I need to go, I think I see a Nidoran. “Gotta Catch em all.”

 

Sites referenced:

Apple Insider

Niantic Labs

Network World

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Mainframe vs. the Engineer

Mainframe vs. the Engineer

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The BiModal Strategy

While attending the Gartner Sourcing Summit a few weeks ago, I was able to participate in a few sessions and talk to several attendees about their BiModal strategy – being able to keep their current systems operational, as they look for new ways to innovate with different technology capabilities.  This can be a real struggle for IT departments having to task employees with responsibilities to keep the existing legacy infrastructure up and operational, while also trying to innovate with new applications, mobile and other capabilities that are a completely different delivery model.

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Mobile Applications on the Rise

Mobile applications have experienced a surge in popularity with global users climbing into the millions.  Companies are investing thousands into planning, developing, launching and managing mobile applications for their customers.  
Here are a few tips for developing a mobile application:

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What is Elastic Cloud Storage?

Tim Stephenson is working on big things at First National Technology Solutions. For one, he’s trying to incorporate elastic cloud storage into the FNTS data center. 

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3 Benefits of Cloud You May Not Know About

When cloud first hit the market, some buzz words surrounding it were security, on-demand, lower costs, scalable and bursting. As technology evolved, and more companies implemented cloud solutions, some additional benefits started surfacing as well:

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Beyond the hype:  Getting real with XtremIO

Since very early in the XtremIO lifecycle for EMC; FNTS has designed an offering for customers to enjoy the benefits in the cloud. The ability to see performance in sub millisecond response times, to being able to take advantage of a shared pricing structure with a right sized approach to storage usage; First National Technology Solutions (FNTS) customers have been able to take advantage of an all flash array to host their business applications. 

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Evolution of ASP to SaaS and Beyond

I have worked in the Software business for a lot of years; and it used to be simple in the past. You would find a hardware vendor, buy a server, put your software on it and ship out to a new customer. The customer would put it into a closet, which always got too hot, along with some tape cartridges. The customer had a maintenance contract with a hardware vendor to fix the hardware when it broke. Then there was the lucky sole who would get to wait after the business closed to run the backups of the data to tapes, so they could be taken off-site. This usually meant they took the tapes home with them for “secure” storage.

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2015 - The Year of Flash?

The Year of Flash

One of the advantages of working for, and being a customer of, an “Enterprise” Cloud Service Provider is the ability to test and use the latest, best-of-breed, technologies available in the marketplace. 

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War and Technology

I recently finished reading the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (Hillenbrand, 2010) about the life of an American POW during World War II, Louis Zamperini. It is an amazing read and I recommend all to pick it up. It is a beautiful story of life, determination and forgiveness. If you don’t read, please go see the movie.

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Christmas Magic!

Ever heard of a 3-D printer? It is a lot like Christmas Magic. I purchased an entry level model about 6 months ago and have been learning how to use it to its full potential ever since.

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IT Dinosaurs – is the Mainframe Extinct?

I was playing with my grandson and he loves dinosaurs. As we were playing my mind wondered to the mainframe being called a dinosaur over 25 years ago and how it was soon going to be extinct. When I first heard this, I assumed that it would happen in 5 to 10 years. As I know today the mainframe is still running many critical applications and transactions every day. So the mainframe is not extinct…yet the people that administrate them are retiring at a very fast pace, so it makes it hard to find someone to take care of the mainframe on a daily basis.

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The 3rd Platform

One of the many perks of working for a company such as FNTS is the ability to evaluate, test and prototype new and emerging technologies.

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