November 2007 Tech Talk Online Q & A

Q: No matter how well I plan on specifying the correct camera lens for my installs, the customer wants a different view when I get the system set up and I have to often order another camera lens. How can I prevent these delays in the future?

A: Two suggestions I can think of … (1) show a live demo for the customer when you specify the systems at sales time. For high outside camera locations you may want to take my suggestion of using a camera on a pole (see Tech Talk in the December 2007 issue); (2) always have a couple of “varifocal” lenses with you. These are good for manually adjusting the field-of-view your customer is looking for.


Q: As a technician, I am finding myself having to support more and more PC-based security systems. I recently had a customer complain that he did not get any warning the hard drive in his system was about to fail. Do you have any suggestions on having an advanced warning when  a hard drive is about to fail.

A: One technique that comes to mind is utilizing the “self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology” (S.M.A.R.T.) that now comes in most commonly used hard drives. It is an option that can often be switched on in the computer’s BIOS settings. This hard disc technology has saved me personally in that it closely analyzes the performance of the hard drive and can often give you advanced notice when a disk is about to fail.

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