Every year, Deltek® honors its customers who use its software in an exemplary fashion with the Deltek® Project Excellence Award, and this year Design Concepts was honored by being named a finalist for the 2012 award. Our nomination was for a new report developed in-house called the “Dashboard”, which helps project managers here at Design Concepts get an overview of their projects. The Dashboard pulls information from all over the modules of the Deltek® Vision software and presents it in a quick, meaningful way.
On a single screen, project managers can now see remaining hour and dollar budgets by department, who worked on the project in the last week with the 8-week “burn rate”, and the past and future project milestones. It looks nicer, too.
The old report:
And the new report.
In the 8 years that I’ve been at Design Concepts, I’ve been asked one question an awful lot: “When can we get a new plotter? This one is really old and slow.”
So after the better part of a decade, we purchased a brand new, very shiny HP Design Jet Z6200! This thing, in one word, is a beast. It is gorgeous, fast, accurate and amazing… But when it got here, it was possibly the most intimidating box I’d ever seen. It was up to my chest, eight feet wide, and three feet deep. It arrived via special shipment, no FedEx or UPS for this bad boy.
I’ve got quite a bit of assembly experience under my belt, so I was excited to see what was inside this thing and get it put together. What awaited me was a marvel of packaging! I easily removed the top and then lifted up the outer shell of the box to reveal the “guts.” Against my better judgment, I located the directions to see what they wanted me to do.
Now I have never in my life gone through assembly instructions and marveled at how easy to follow they were, but that’s what happened here! The packaging of the plotter not only protected the precious electronics inside, but it also served as tools in the assembly process. Certain packing boxes went on to the ground so that I could assemble the legs without scratching them, then after attaching the legs, the boxes holding the inks and power cables were placed on the ground and used as fulcrums to pivot the plotter right side up. It was pretty amazing! I can tell a ton of thought and brain power went into the packaging and instructions of this plotter, and for that, I will salute HP. Job well done!
Along with the plotter, we ordered the Postscript upgrade. It was a box about two feet wide and deep, and about a foot tall. I’m thinking that I’m going to have to open up this plotter and install some kind of crazy hardware here.
Upon opening the box, I am greeted by another box inside. Super dense foam surrounds all four sides of the inner box, and I’m wondering if I am going to need some kind of hazmat suit to get this thing out without breaking anything. I slowly open up the inner box, wade through the air bubbles and find an oversized DVD case in the bottom of this box. Not the huge hardware install I was expecting.
After cracking open the DVD case I am face to face with the Postscript install – it’s a USB stick! That’s right, to send me a USB stick, they used up a ton of plastic for a case, lots of air-pack, lots of foam and 2 huge boxes. It was the antithesis of the plotter packaging, that’s for sure!
For quite some time, mankind/womankind (especially American mankind/womankind) has enjoyed the pastime of chasing around an oblong ball and running into each other at high speed. Yes I’m talking about football, the single greatest sport of all time in my professional computer geek opinion
The biggest problem over the years with football has been that the participants of the game get beaten to a pulp on a regular basis, and the lingering effects of these beatings are still not fully understood. If you look at the lifespan of former NFL athletes, there are some very scary statistics out there that playing professional football can have grave long-term consequences on the human body (especially the brain).
Over the past few years, football helmet manufacturers have been trying to create better products that protect the precious cargo stored within them, but what is pretty amazing is how slowly the NFL has embraced these new products. High school and college football players have been flocking to these newer helmets, but the highest level of competition doesn’t have any rules in place for the safety of their helmets. In fact, they have a contract with only one specific helmet manufacturer (Riddell), and if any player wants to wear a different helmet, they MUST cover up the name of the manufacturer!
Enter the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences of Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. They developed a standardized testing procedure to effectively rate the safety of helmets for how well they can help protect from concussions. Their study can be found here http://www.sbes.vt.edu/nid.php.
One of the biggest findings was that there is no correlation between price and safety, and that the most popular helmet in the NFL is one of lowest rated! With the exploding concussions statistics in the NFL, many players are now switching, but it still makes you wonder why the NFL isn’t mandating more safety for their most precious commodity, their players. They spend countless hours making up new rules about how person A is allowed to hit person B, but they don’t require that either person be wearing safer helmets.
As you look over the list of helmets, I’d like to point out one in particular that was styled and revolutionized right here at Design Concepts, the Schutt DNA: http://www.design-concepts.com/portfolio/industry/sports-recreation/schutt-dna-football-helmet
(I’ll also point out that it has the best safety/cost ratio… just sayin’)