The Comedy Of Thinking We Must Understand Computers

Every so often I get on these odd thought tangents. I usually just let the thoughts run; it reminds me not to take myself too seriously and to stay humble about what I do and don’t know. It is a big part of my job to help business owners understand how technology can incrementally increase work efficiency and productivity. Knowing the subject is just the base layer. Being able to explain it well is the rest of the whole outfit. Much of what supports our daily lives we already take on faith (and take for granted) and today I am struck by the comedy of thinking we must understand computers.

Let’s Talk About The Hoover Dam

Granted, the lessons in public school about hydroelectric power were, um, a while ago. The Hoover Dam spans the Nevada/Arizona border, about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. It harnesses the power of the Colorado River to irrigate 2 million acres of farmland in Arizona and southern California. It provides hydroelectric power for 1.3 million people each year in major urban areas in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Building on the Hoover Dam began in June 1933, and this American icon remains a modern wonder of engineering and the use of natural resources. In our region, we just have less spectacular power plants. I’ve never been to the one that services my property, but I pay the bills and sure enough—the lights continue to come on. I appreciate that electricity is now as necessary as sunshine.

Do Modern Cars Still Have Internal-Combustion Engines?

Did you know that an electric-powered motor was invented and patented in 1837 before the first successful commercial combustion engine was invented by Étienne Lenior around 1860? Remember, the year 1860 was the start of the American Civil War. It was not until 1885 that a German engineer named Karl Benz designed and built the first practical internal combustion car. He patented his gas-fueled invention in January 1886. Gasoline engines have been in use for 135 years. Also remember that early on, gasoline was considered a useless byproduct of crude oil in the refining of kerosene. It boggles my mind to try to think of the lifestyle advancements in harnessed energy and transportation that my great-grandparents got to incorporate into everyday routines.

Wind Farms, Solar Panels—How Is That Energy Processed And Distributed?

Okay, I kind of know but don’t ask me to explain it all in detail. And if asked to start using either, my first question would be about cost and the second about reliability. My third question would be about backup resources. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. If viewed in this context, I hope I can ease the anxiety of business owners when it comes to “understanding” the hows and whys of Information Technology. Computers in business are akin to the integration of refrigerators in homes. They have created monumental change in the use of time and money and the elimination of waste. Computers, again like refrigerators in homes, have broadened the spectrum of possibilities for creativity, invention, and productivity. Monumental change is now basic service, just like refrigerators. It is the reason it is so important for Managed Service Providers like Aptica (my business) to find a way to get past the objections like “But I don’t really understand computers  . . .” and “How do I know these seemingly expensive machines and programs are really helping me, are cost-effective, etc.?”

Give It Up And Just Turn That Corner

I have to wonder that if, now that commercial space travel is becoming a thing, people are ready to trust more in technology. Managed Information Technology is as basic today as indoor plumbing. IT is only as “woo woo” as electricity. It’s a line item in every budget and should be included in projections for upgrades and expansion. But you as the business owner don’t have to be able to explain technically how your computers work. You just have to have that company that can show you the efficacy of your choices in that area of your business.

Find an IT company that you can talk to and trust. You could start with us at Aptica. We answer questions from the get-go and we offer free assessments. We stay on the cutting edge, and we take pride in being absolutely honest. If we are not your fit, we will tell you. Old-fashioned business standards in a new-fangled business world.

Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.

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