Hi Everyone! Just back from a great time at InfoComm. We showed an “alpha” of SIX and the responses were fantastic. From the redesigned interface, to the new/improved features to make your job easier, we saw a lot of happy faces (see here for preview vid of SIX).  Besides all the “ooohs” and “aaaahs”, two of the most asked questions while demoing were (paraphrased) – “whoa, is SIX really that fast?” and “why doesn’t my SI5.5  load that fast?”.

Besides a more user-friendly UI, SIX has vast improvements over SI5.5 on speed. All new code, optimized to make your data, proposal, and design creation faster. We added: queries to help you manage your product data more quickly and efficiently, mass import of Clients and Contacts from Outlook/QuickBooks, you can drag items from one project to another, you can check in all your projects at once, improved scheduling of Tasks and Service Orders, new reports, spell check throughout, seamless QuickBooks integration, it goes on and on…trust me, I have to document this beast!

But…this is a hardware post. No matter how good your software is, you can’t be proficient at your job without proper hardware, period. Don’t skimp on hardware. In fact, I think…most of you sell hardware, yes? And you push for the best optimal hardware in the systems you design, yes?

The laptop I use is has an Intel i5 2.4 GHz quad core processor, 8 GB RAM, Win7 64-bit, solid state HD. That last part is the most important bit. Solid state hard drives improve your machine’s performance considerably. When I boot my laptop it takes 28 seconds to get the Windows login screen, yes I timed it. On my desktop, identical specs to my laptop except it has a standard HD, it takes about two to three minutes before the login screen, depends on the day I guess. The laptop is consistent. Everything I do on my laptop is remarkably faster than my desktop. I never thought I’d say that.

Not to mention, no moving parts! Laptops are delicate. A slight bump or a fall from a cocktail table (yup, working in a bar is acceptable) can knock a “spinning” hard drive “silly” and then you may have slower performance…assuming it still works. It may work for a while and then decide that its spinning days are over.

I’m not bragging on my gear. You can build a machine w/ the fastest processor, 16 GB RAM or more, etc…

My point is: if you are using a standard HD vs. solid state, expect to wait. Flash memory is named that for a reason. My second point is: don’t blame your software when it takes an extra 30 seconds to a minute to produce results, take a look at your hardware.

We rely on our PCs (okay, and Macs). They are how we run our companies. The faster the better. It is so easy to blame speed issues on the software you are using instead of identifying the real problem. You owe it to yourselves to have the fastest machine(s) to do your work, so you can then go play. Seriously.

This video is a few years old and over the top, but it is still awesome and is what got me wanting a solid state drive. I’ll never look back.


Seth Enos