Check your computer specifications for Windows 8.1

Creating some video content to test out different video editing software. This was created with Camtasia Studio 8.

This video will show you how to check your computer specifications for Windows 8.1.

Your CPU, Ram, and Hard drive space, Windows 8.1, 32 or 64 bit and see if your computer is activated.

Start the video and click the box in little box in the lower right hand corner to enlarge the video.

Thanks for watching.

Welcome To The World’s Largest Server Farms, Why Washington State?

rackmount 19 inchData centers can be very impressive but there is one state that stands out from the rest and that is Washington. In Quincy, Washington, there are many hills and farms particularly in Grant County. This location is where the biggest server farm in the world can be found. Quincy may be a small town but it is home to several huge warehouses designed for computing clouds that are globally known.  

The Big Companies

From Yahoo! to Microsoft, the small town, which is located in the center of Washington State, houses the big names in the Internet industry. Since these companies are giants on the Internet, it is only right that they have enormous sizes when it comes to their data centers. As a matter of fact, these data centers are comparable to the size of many football fields, which are loaded with powerful computers by the thousands. There are also storage devices in 42u racks and all of them are connected to the Internet through fast fiber optic links.  

The Biggest Surprise  

The biggest server farm is in the state of Washington but this is not what intrigues most people. Apart from the supersize buildings, the exact location makes the farm quite controversial simply because it is in the middle of nowhere. The town of Quincy is three hours away from the largest city in the state, Seattle. However, corporate Internet giants did not choose Seattle or any of the other large cities in Washington for its data centers.  

Computing has slowly become a utility that allows almost all services to be consumed anywhere using many devices. As a result, tech giants have wondered where to put all the infrastructure that computing requires. Data centers are crucial to all industries and they have become a part of functioning society, just like electrical power stations. There are many data centers located all around the world and most of them can even be found in places that people may find hard to believe. These include: areas where shopping malls used to be, in cities with extremely cold climates and even in old missile bunkers.  

Why This Town in Washington  

A few years back the server location was just a late addition that did not really matter. There were even firms that would use their basements as their corporate data centers. However, dedicated server farms suddenly sprouted and soon enough, Internet start-ups began to place their machines in a proper location. Most of them can be found in Silicon Valley and other high-tech hubs in the United States.  

Many people question why these firms chose a remote location like Quincy, Washington. The reason does not concern the peacefulness and tranquility of the location but rather, it is actually because of a very important resource which is electrical power. In this part of Washington, electricity costs are extremely cheap. Microsoft shocked the world in 2006 when the company bought around 75 acres of land where its data center can be found. With this huge land size and considering Microsoft’s size as a company as well, the data center needed electricity and loads of it.  Microsoft is located in Redmond, Washington, on the other side of the mountains.

This part of Washington comes with hydroelectric generators that get their power from the Columbia River. As a result, Microsoft as well as the other tech giants are not only energy-efficient but sensitive to the environment as well.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source:

+Katrina  specializes in products for the leading custom design and manufacturing of racking products for your tech needs at

Sliding Shelf Versus Fixed Shelf: Which Is Right For Your Server Rack?

The IT tech guy is knocking on your office door again, asking when the new server racks will arrive. You assure him that the racks are on the way, while secretly doing a keyword search on your computer. In all the hustle and bustle of running the company, you haven’t ordered the racks. Even worse, you are confused over which racks to get. Should you buy the ones with the fixed shelves or the sliding shelves?

Fixed Shelves And Sliding Shelves For Racks

2 Post Rack Shelf - 21" Heavy DutyThere are numerous benefits to both a fixed shelf and a sliding shelf to your server rack. To understand the benefits, you need to understand the differences between the two shelves.

Fixed Shelf: Also called a stationary shelf or flat shelf, fixed shelves are secured to all 4 rails inside a 4-post rack. Fixed shelves are not designed to be moved as they can hold varying weights from the standard 150 lbs up to 300 lbs. A fixed shelf will usually take up less than 1U (1.75″) of space inside the rack. Heavy duty fixed shelves will take up a full 1U of space. Adjustable shelves and ventilated fixed shelves are also available.

Sliding Shelf: Just as the name implies, a sliding shelf mounts to the 4 posts inside the server rack as you can pull the shelf partly out. Some sliding shelves are designed to hold keyboards that fit inside the rack. There are also rotating sliding shelves when the IT technician wants to rotate the keyboard. Sliding shelves can hold 50 lbs up to 150 lbs of weight.

Which Shelf Is Right For Your Rack?

You can have a server rack with both sliding shelves and fixed shelves to hold equipment. The type of shelf you will need will be based on the type of equipment in the rack and where the shelf is placed. For equipment you won’t move often, such as a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) system, a fixed shelf works fine. Server equipment that may need repaired or upgraded should be placed on sliding shelves as the IT technician simply pulls it out for easy access. 

Light Duty, Sliding, Seismic, Transport Shelf w/ CMAYou may also want to take into consideration the type of rack you use. If you have server racks with no side panels, then fixed shelves may work best as the equipment can be accessed from the side. For fully enclosed server racks, sliding shelves will allow access to equipment inside. Sliding shelves are also convenient when you have equipment that cannot be mounted in the rack, such as monitors and keyboards.
Sliding shelves should be placed within arms reach to prevent IT technicians from straining to reach equipment up high or standing on shaky ladders. Consider using a fixed shelf for any equipment that will be placed at a height above the head of the IT technician.

Get Both Fixed Shelves And Sliding Shelves For Your Rack

Sit down with your IT technician and find out which shelves would work best for the rack equipment. With the technician’s information, purchase the shelf that will allow them to have an easier time completing their work for your company.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 

+Katrina is a product specialist for rack solutions solving issues for your computer server and power needs

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