December 4, 2001
By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
I knew this guy who took his TV out into the woods behind his house and blasted it with a shotgun. He explained to his censorious wife that he’d had it with the thing. She told him to clean up the mess. Not that I am recommending anything, but if you’ve ever had a crash-prone computer for your workstation or if you’re in charge of keeping the workstations at your outfit up and running, maybe your first reaction to Bubba’s tube-icide was “sweet, I should do that to some of the stuff around here.”
Reliability is where it’s at whether at home or work. A sketchy computer at home is maddening, but at work it’s unacceptable. Your livelihood and maybe even your enterprise depends on you being able to do your work without unnecessary interruptions created by your equipment.
So it struck me as odd when I was reading the white paper that serves as today’s Check It Out that computer manufacturers almost never speak of reliability. Car manufacturers do. Airlines do, although they call it “on time arrivals.” Cellphone providers, tractor companies, and even educated fleas do it. So, let’s do it. Let’s talk about reliability.
“Lenovo ThinkStations: Supporting Enterprises’ Key Business Objectives as a Leader in Reliability” is a 5-page PDF sponsored, as you probably figured out, by Lenovo. It’s written by Technology Business Research (TBR), a business information research and analysis firm out of Hampton, NH, that specializes in the computer, software, telecom, mobility, and professional services industries.
Last Spring, TBR surveyed 240 IT decision makers—people involved in the purchase of workstations from leading manufacturers over the previous three years—about workstation reliability. The response indicated that Lenovo ThinkStations had an average failure rate 1.6% less than similar workstations, according to the paper. To put it another way, work was interrupted 26% less of the time with a ThinkStation. Do the math to determine what that means in hard dollars at your joint.
Of course, your mileage may differ, but that’s not the point. The paper explains the process that Lenovo uses to build reliability into its systems, such as software-controlled cooling and ISO certified process. None of it is going to bury you in technical details. Rather, the paper provides some interesting things for you to consider that are not often spoken about during the workstation purchase decision process.
And while you’re considering matters, also consider checking out the other side of the link to the CAD/CAM Performance blog. Co-sponsored by Lenovo and Intel, the idea here is to improve the performance of CAD/CAM applications like AutoCAD, CATIA, Creo, NX, and SolidWorks by getting designers, engineers, and engineering managers talking, sharing tips, tools, resources, and so forth. I wrote about it a year or so ago when it opened, thinking it had potential. Blog host Bill Martin-Otto has done a good job with it since then. Look for a bunch of good white papers under the “resources” tab.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
About the Author
Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering’s founding editor. He is now retired. Contact him via [email protected].Follow DE