Dear friends and subscribers,
"Mike's politically incorrect" newsletter hasn't let it hang out in a while. Slightly irreverent perhaps, but not politically incorrect. Time to step out on some thinner ice.
Let's start with the Olympics in Beijing.
It would seem that one of China's goals in hosting the summer games is to demonstrate both to the western world and its own citizens that the "century of shame" is truly behind them. Yet so many instances of manipulated reality are seeking their way to light that one can't help but be disturbed. Disturbed that as China resumes its multi-millennia long position as an economic superpower, it brings with it ideals so counter to western culture that it's nearly impossible to wrap our free-world brains around them.
Digitally simulated fireworks. A girl lip-syncing for a 7 year old who wasn't pretty enough to show the world. Miniature gymnasts. Car travel restricted, construction halted and scores of factories closed to temporarily lighten the smog crisis - although a competing Australian marksman quipped, "I would have liked a bit more smog". There are scores of glimpses into the lengths China has gone to manipulate their reality as they provide a rare, global glimpse into their amazing and complex society.
Conversely, so much opportunity - business and otherwise - surfaces when a society with 20% of the Earth's population integrates with the rest of the planet as a work force and a market - exciting on many levels!
(I do imagine, with much amusement, the degree of fear and apprehension that must exist within China's politicos as the threat of their subjects gaining access to unfiltered information and the certain upheaval it will eventually cause).
Back stateside - we're eking through our ridiculously long election process. I personally find politics too frustrating, complex and inefficient to dedicate much brain matter to. Yet every time I do peek under the sheets, I wonder how any critical thinking, intelligent individual can survive in an environment where so many shallow versions of the truth exist, and rarely do any stand up to the slightest scrutiny.
But - it is what it is, at the end of this extended courting season (which could easily yield the same results in 20% of the time) has yielded us one highly presidential candidate will little experience and a nebulous set of positions, and one "old school" candidate, who is likely too old-school and not "presidential" enough to get elected regardless of his plans.
Curious and complex drama, one that is assured to unfold repeatedly each 4 years. Participate, be passionate, but don't get too worked up over it.
Instead let's get worked up about the things we can do to make our own mark. We don't need to take on the complexities of China's dictatorship or American politics. You can never go wrong if you Keep It Simple (see how I've left off the "Stupid?" - that's the sort of tasteful discretion that keeps me out of sensitivity training).
Simple has been a theme around here lately. Simple solutions, simple user interfaces, simple, simple, simple.
Like Asphalt Al. Al is a celebrity in the B&B catalogue. Al had just repaved his parking lot, when management announced that a production line would have to move to the other side. On top of that, the machines need to share data with his production control office. Al faced the choice of tearing up the parking lot and spending a bundle for trenching and cabling-or calling B&B Electronics. We set him up with a Zlinx wireless system that saved his asphalt.
Nice solution. Simple. Yet don't let me mislead you into thinking that wireless is simple in itself. Hey, if you've got a wire available, use it. But if, like Al, you can't get a wire from here to there, our Zlinx radio modems will provide the simplest way to replace an RS-232, 422 or 485 connection.
Or how about Chuck. Chuck owns an HVAC Field Service business (you can bet Chuck doesn't lead a simple life!) and he needed an easy way to collect diagnostics and trend data from the systems he maintained. These units output data to a maintenance computer using a serial link. The trouble was Chuck needed new laptops for his technicians and they only came with USB ports.
Not really. Chuck called us and ordered a USB to RS-422/485 converter to go along with each computer. These converters are small enough to fit in the computer bag and are packed full of advanced features including a high retention USB connector, 2000V Optical Isolation, and LED's to monitor data flow. All powered by the computer's USB port.
Tough problem-simple solution.
Got a tough communications problem of your own? Give us a call and we'll see if we can simplify it for you too.