Wizard Talk For People Who Don’t Know How To Computer #2

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Wizard Talk #2
by Aly Clayton, Service Experience Manager
with help from Brian Pedersen, Implementations Consultant

Greystone is a big ol’ team of diverse knowledge bases, and not all of us can be Technology Wizards** like our technicians and consultants – but when you work in improving business through technology, sometimes you need to learn a little more! The team’s been working to teach me more as I go and we’ve found that sometimes it’ s best to explain things to me with metaphors about houses and neighborhoods, because it helps cut through the jargon and I understand more.

In case you’re as lost as I am when they start talking about networks and RAIDs and clouds, we’ve been documenting some of these conversations for you. Here’s a few examples:

Aly: What is an IP Conflict and can you explain it in house terms?

Brian: To think of an IP conflict in terms of houses you need to first think of IP’s as Street Addresses for computers. An IP conflict is when two houses have identical addresses. IP conflicts cause issues on both computers because the network doesn’t know which computer to send the data to. It may send the data to just one computer, but then randomly start sending it to the other computer. Or it may completely forget the other computer.

Aly: Why is it bad when process utilization is high?

Brian: Because the processor is what “processes” instructions given to it by programs. Each program has to a turn at using the processor to execute its instructions. When the utilization is high that means that the programs have to wait longer than usual for its place in line to execute the instructions. So your computers programs will run slower.

Aly: That wasn’t even about houses. What is a print spooler and why’s it always stopping?

Brian: Imagine that people are programs like Word or Adobe or Excel. Now the person/program wants to print what they made so they go to the neighborhood Kinkos. Now, if no one is there they walk right through the queuing line (print spooler) and get their document printed right away. However, if the Kinkos (printer) is really busy, the person/program has to wait in the line (print spooler).

Aly: Perfect. But that’s only answer’s half my question. Why are print spoolers always causing issues?

Brian: They are always stopping because the print spooler isn’t very good at holding a lot of people and so it will get overloaded and stop letting people through. Or you could get a situation where there is a person/program who is disgruntled/corrupt and all they want to do is fight with Kinkos, so they hold up the line and cause all sorts of chaos.

So now I understand more and hopefully so do you!

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