Just like Batman with his utility belt, good IT techs are only as powerful as the equipment and tools they have at their disposal. Okay, maybe comparing ourselves to Batman is a long shot, but I have been told by clients that I’m their, “hero," so I'm going to embrace the title. Anticipating our clients' problems and being prepared for anything thrown our way is half the battle of being an IT superhero.
Ahhh, the 13” MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Our daily workhorse. Our life blood. BAE. Whether we're plugging it into snazzy dual monitors at the office or carting it around a client's office, this thing makes our job possible. The MacBook Pro is a perfect blend of portability, computing power, reliability, and battery life with a gorgeous display to boot.
1TB EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
My external hard drive, or Playa Drive in Jones IT lingo, does it all. When I need to transfer files from an old computer to a new one, back up files, or save installation files to set up a new computer I call on my external hard drive. Because our clients use both Windows and OSX operating systems, we also make sure to partition, or split, the hard drive in half so it's doubly handy. This thing also satisfies our need for speed because it transfers data fast: up to 5 gigabits per second!!
New laptops have phased out CD-Drives to stay slim and light, but sometimes software is only available via CD. An external CD-drive has come in handy a number of times when a downloadable installation was not available.
PORTABLE BATTERY PACK
Today’s smartphones have more computing power than desktop computers from less than a decade ago. 4G LTE internet speed is comparable and sometimes even faster than home broadband speeds. A small handheld phone now allows us to do just about everything with only a few swipes. While all of these advances in technology are great for us, it can be demanding on the phone’s battery. My phone is essential for keeping me in constant communication with both clients and coworkers, so keeping it powered at all times is a must. It isn’t always convenient to crawl under desks to plug into a power outlet and I'm often on the go, so I opted for a portable battery pack. I make sure to charge the pack every week and it gives my iPhone 6 about 4 ½ full charges.
MagSafe 2 Power Adapter
Having your computer die while on location is an IT tech’s worst nightmare. The idea of my MacBook dying in the middle of a job haunts my dreams even more than poor cable management. The trusty MagSafe 2 Power Adapter is a necessity because we often spend the whole day helping our clients at their offices without even having time to stop by Jones IT headquarters.
I never realized how much I needed a good multipurpose tool until I was at a client’s office trying to use my car key to open up a desktop computer case. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. Thank goodness my colleague had his tool kit on him. Since then, I make a point to never leave the office without my tools. Yes, those Allen-keys have more uses than simply setting up IKEA furniture.
If football is a game of inches, technology is a game of millimeters. A 21.5 inch display privacy filter does not fit a 22 inch screen. Mounting a conference room TV an inch left of center ruins a great setup. I’ve tried and failed to fit a desktop tower into a cabinet that was off by a mere .25 inches. When it comes to getting numbers right, there is no room for guessing. That's why I always have a measuring tape in my bag.
RJ45 Cat-6 Ethernet cable 3’ and Apple Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet Adapter/ USB to Ethernet
It may have a long name, but the list of times this thing has saved my life is even longer. This handy cable & adapter duo is great for testing if an ethernet wall port works or connecting to the internet when a client is experiencing WiFi connectivity issues. Nothing beats the dependability of being hard wired into the network with an ethernet cable. The adapter allows me to plug a standard ethernet cable right into my Macbook Pro's Thunderbolt port.
When a computer crashes and needs a fresh version of the operating system, this helps keep us out of a bind. No need to wait for a download or search for the right version of Windows when I have Windows AND several other operating systems loaded on flash drives, just in case. All I have to do is plug and play.
Sticky Notes + tape
Sticky notes are perfect for any occasion: Labeling computers, leaving directions and passwords for a user, keeping an IT storage area neatly marked, or making sure everyone at the office knows that burrito in the fridge is MINE and mine only. Be sure to use tape to secure the sticky notes with a piece of tape if you want to make sure it will stay put.
USB 3.0 SATA Plug-In
This handy & fancy sounding plugin allows me to connect to an external hard drive and see what’s inside. This is especially helpful when I’m looking at a box of stray hard drives a client has collected from past employees to store their files after they leave. This has actually happened to me, and instead of being sad, I was able to plug in to the hard drive to retrieve the files so they could be organized and stored in a much more easily accessible way. I saved the day and lots of time for both the client and myself.
Snacks & SUSTENANCE
Most location visits last 2-3 hours but larger projects can last up to 8+ hours. Crawling around under desks, moving equipment, mounting 60” TVs, and walking around San Francisco with a heavy backpack can be exhausting. Staying hydrated and having something to munch on while on the go is the difference between a stellar job and passing out under one of our client's desks. Luckily the latter has not happened to anyone at Jones IT so far.
We put a lot of thought into what we're lugging around the city on the daily because it makes a difference in the quality of service we can provide to our clients. At the end of the day, what we're getting paid for is our ability to make IT happen and get your technology to do your bidding. Having the right tools for the job makes all the difference because that gets us one step closer to making your day. And if you haven't yet experienced the magic of Jones IT resuscitating your PC or fixing your Outlook issue just in time to prepare for your 10 AM meeting, well, all I can say is push the button.