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eThinker Newsletter August 2019 

     This is an ancient threat, but it can still rise up like a zombie from the grave. We just saw this headline: "It's 2019, and one third of businesses still have active Windows XP deployments."
     Sounds grim, since Microsoft support for the popular workhorse ended five years ago, but when reading past the headline, you learn that 32% of organizations still have at least one Windows XP device connected to their network. Not quite as bad as the whole business depending on an unpatched gaping hole into their data.
     The logical explanation is that there is some irreplaceable legacy software that won't run on modern equipment. If that's the case, and there really is no way to retire the dinosaur, at least find a way to isolate it from the rest of the network. Perhaps the input data to the program and the results of whatever it does could be fed into an external drive that can be virus-scanned before the data completes its journey to and from the outside world.
     If you need help with this, give us a call. It's what we're here for. After all, just because Windows XP won't die, it still can kiil.


Paul Fountas
MicroComputer Resources, Inc.
Top Five Budgeting Mistakes to Look Out For
    Budgeting is no fun and even worse are budgeting mistakes, which often aren't seen until late in the game. TechRepublic's Tom Merritt, who does the popular "Top 5" blogs, offers these five budgeting mistakes to watch out for:
  1. Leaving out the revenue forecast: It's not just about how much you spend--if you don't have the money to spend, it doesn't matter if you budgeted for it. Revenue forecasts are the starting point to making sure you aren't budgeting too much.
  2. One budget owner: Yes, your financial person is the one who keeps the budget, but he or she is not the one doing the majority of the jobs the budget is spent on. If you want purposeful, effective budgeting, make your team leaders budget owners. They know what line items are unnecessary and which ones are crucial.
  3. Disorganization: Make sure you are accounting for every dollar and where it should be spent and where it actually was spent. Don't leave gaps--it sounds simple, but it's one that often catches smaller departments as they grow big.
  4. Illogical budgets: Your budget should show you how your investments in time and money will lead to growth. What money do you expect to make, and what money do you need to spend to make it?
  5. Include time: Yes, money is what a budget is tracking, but knowing how much time you have available and how much time you spend is a very good factor in knowing whether you're on budget—ahead or behind.
    People think of budgeting as a restriction, but when done well, it will let your company make more money, which hopefully lets you do more things that increase your budgets!

Hands-Free Real-Time Two-Way Translator
Is Like Something Out of Science Fiction
    If you find yourself constantly traveling (for business or pleasure), and the language barrier tends to be an issue, it could go two different ways. You could haul out a translation guide book and amuse your host as you mispronounce "Dov'è il bagno?" Or you could produce your Wearable Translator 2, slip the host bud in your ear, have the person you want to speak with do the same with the guest bud, and then engage in a conversation that can run the gamut from art to sports to politics to, of course, "Where's the bathroom?"
     The device, which debuted this year, is a real-time, wearable hands-free translator that enables communication between two people speaking completely different languages. Each person wears one earphone – you speak in your language, he hears in his. It is startlingly close to a technology envisioned in Star Trek reboots, meaning even Captain Kirk didn't have one.
     For more details, check out this review by TechRepublic's usually critical Jack Wallen.

In This Issue
Top Five Budgeting Mistakes to Look Out For

Two-Way Translator Like Something Out of Sci-Fi

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You CAN Do These
at Home
There's nothing like hands-on experiments to get kids interested in science, and the Exploratorium Science Snacks website has dozens that you can put together with common objects found around the house. The children have fun, they'll learn while they're doing it, and you might learn something as well.
Fun Facts
Citroen is a French manufacturer that's been producing cars for more than a century. In one of its darkest hours, the Nazis conquered France and forced Citroen to start turning out trucks for the war effort. Citroën president Pierre-Jules Boulanger had no choice, but he did see this as an opportunity to sabotage the Nazis. According to a Jalopnik history article, Boulanger told his engineers to move the little notch on the trucks’ oil dipsticks down a bit. This meant that German mechanics would be sending the trucks out with insufficient oil, causing the engines to seize up and stranding the vulnerable Germans at hopefully critical moments.
Quotable Quote
"In the early days of robots people said, 'Oh, let's build a robot' and what's the first thought? You make a robot look like a human and do human things. That's so 1950s. We are so past that."
-- Neil deGrasse Tyson