SEP 2017 EDITION
Boise’s Humble Roots
The Changing City of Trees
These days, Boise is a bustling hub of development and business, with one of the most rapidly expanding populations in the country. Despite its growth, I still believe that the Treasure Valley remains a supportive hotbed for small businesses. Sure, a few corporations have moved in, and a some local companies have grown far beyond their small-business roots, but the fact remains that the little guys still account for so much of the city’s livelihood. I think the Treasure Valley’s drastic changes over the past 30 years have really been a double-edged sword. It’s not necessarily bad or good — it’s different. I can sit here and say that, sure, it’d be great to live in the Boise of old,completelydevoidoftraffic,withhuntinggroundsrightinyourbackyard, but youcanbesure that in that versionof theCityof Trees,MicroTechsimply couldn’t exist. We depend on the thriving local small-business economy as much as they depend on us. Living in Boise for so long certainly gives you the feeling that you have some claim on it, and that can make you wish it hadn’t changed — especially when you’re driving down Eagle or Chinden at the height of rush hour. But the influx of newcomers and the success of tried-and-true local businesses (like our own) drive a growth and prosperity that has become the lifeblood of this great city. Truly, it’s been a privilege to see Boise flourish during the many years I’ve lived here.
Years back, before Boise exploded and long before people began migrating into Idaho, I was growing up between Maple Grove and Five Mile, far from any semblance of human civilization. It was absolutely a place you’d call “The Sticks.” Corn fields and unkempt, undeveloped land stretched out far to the west from our house. Though the first roots of development were starting to spread between Cloverdale and 5 Mile, Meridian, Nampa, and Eagle barely existed at the time.
Like many others, my dad came over to Idaho from the Basque country when he was about 14, invited over by his relatives who had been living here
“At the time, Eagle Road was just your typical two-lane highway with dirt on both sides — a far cry from the traffic nightmare it is today.”
for years. My mom was one of the rare Boise natives, living in an even more undeveloped Idaho long before I ever showed up.
As a child, I obviously had no inkling of how Boise might end up. My dad and I would drive just down the road, over to the Glenwood bridge, and we’d be in duck-hunting territory. At the time, Eagle Road was just your typical two-lane highway with dirt on both sides — a far cry from the traffic nightmare it is today.
that could’ve easily been put off. Use smaller activities as a way to break up larger ones, and you’ll find a more consistent work rate. Another important component of flow is what Csikszentmihalyi calls the “autotelic experience.” Autotelic means that you view what you’re doing as an end in itself and find the work intrinsically
Everyone has days when work just seems to fly by effortlessly. You feel laser-focused and hyper-productive. In short, you are “in the zone.” This proverbial zone, though, can feel elusive when distractions are plentiful and time is at a premium. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “Chick-zent-mee-hal- yi”) has spent his career investigating this state, which he calls “flow,” and his insights can help you harness your most productive self. Csikszentmihalyi’s seminal work, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,” asserts that finding flow doesn’t just increase your ability to accomplish tasks, it also raises your happiness level. “Whenever the goal is to improve the quality of life, flow theory can point the way,” he writes. According to his research, a state of flow is reached when skill and challenge are balanced against one another. When the challenge is too low relative to skill, boredom follows. When it’s too high, anxiety overwhelms the ability to reach flow. Just the right proportion of challenge and skill, and your mind becomes totally engaged in the task at hand. So, how do you get yourself into flow state? The first step is to set clearly defined goals. Once you know what you are working toward, it becomes easier to maintain the focus required to reach optimal flow. The next step is to eliminate distractions that will divert your concentration. Flow is easier to maintain than it is to build up to, and you don’t want your flow broken by something
Find Your Flow How to Get in the Zone
rewarding. If you find meaning in the activity at hand, rather than relying on external motivators, it’s easier to throw yourself into a project.
The next time you find yourself going through the motions or watching the clock at work, don’t write it off as “one of those days.” Instead, take a step back, plan out your task list, and approach your assignments with vigor. Flow doesn’t
strike you like a bolt of lightning; you have to work for it. Once you find a routine that puts you in the zone, stick to it, and great work will follow.
See What Are Customers Are Saying September Testimonial
“I am responsible for the IT at Hayden Beverage. We have multiple warehouses in Idaho andMontana. All IT is based inBoise. I partneredwith MicroTechtomanageallmyserversandrelatedinfrastructureinFebruaryof 2017,afterinterviewingseveralITprovidersintheTreasureValley.Theyhave liveduptothepromisestheymade.Oneservicetheyprovideisanonsitevisit once aweek. The fact that Chad, my lead engineer, is onsite once aweek to physicallycheck thesystems, talkwithmeabout projects, and tellmewhat heseesisgreat.Whenmyleadengineerisnotavailable,anotherengineerwill takehisplacefortheweeklywalkthrough.ThecomfortIgetknowingthatmy leadisnottheonlyonewhoknowsmysystemisverycomforting.Callbacks by the service team are timely; they have learned that I do the first level of troubleshootingbefore I call, somost of the time, they jump to thenext step inthetroubleshootingprocess.Idon’thavetostartatstepone.Itwasagreat decision to partner with MicroTech.” –Richard Rigg
Imaged-Based Vs. File-Based Backups —Who Wins?
Different image-based backup software includes a variety of different features. Microsoft bundles image-based backup software with their operating systems — no need to install anything extra. However, solid as they are, they’re basic, lacking additional tools. For those looking for a more feature-rich backup option, we recommend Shadow Protect, a software with many features that outshine its Windows counterparts. The best and most obvious difference between Shadow Protect and the standard Windows backup is the speed of its incremental backups. The incremental backups are very fast, and they’re faster for everyone we implement. Typically, we’ll configure it to back up every hour or two, taking about two minutes each time. Virtual Boot technology will allow us to boot your server in a virtual environment to test the backup images, while dissimilar hardware restores are beneficial for recovery in the event of physical damage to your server. So, for the title of your article, who wins? Our recommendation is to use both; they serve different purposes, and when implemented together, you get an excellent multi-methodology backup solution.
When you’re deciding on the best method to back up your files, it can be difficult to discern which type will work best for your business. Imaged- based, file-based — what’s the difference? And which one should you turn to for secure data storage? A file-based backup solution will, true to its name, back up your file — for example, a specific Word document or Excel spreadsheet. When it’s time, you’ll be able to grab that file directly and restore it to your system. An image-based backup, on the other hand, stores the entirety of your hard drive underneath the file level. Image-based backups give you two options. First, you can access the image and still restore an individual Word or Excel file, much like a file-based backup. But more importantly, they allow you to restore the entire computer in the exact state it was in at the time of the backup. When you examine the options closely, it’s obvious that an image- based backup has significant advantages. Since Windows Server 2008 platforms were created, image-based backups have been the standard for Microsoft systems. We like them and highly recommend them.
Have a Laugh!
• • • • •
1 cup sugar
• • • • • •
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup water
1 cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract Vanilla ice cream, optional
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups chopped, peeled apples
3. Bake 60–65 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water, and vanilla. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or
1. Heat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of mixture into a greased 2½ quart baking dish or a 9-inch square baking pan. Cover with apples.
until thick and clear. Pour over apples. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.
Recipe courtesy of tasteofhome.com .
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Boise’s Humble Roots
Find Your Flow
Imaged-Based Vs. File-Based Backups —Who Wins?
Winning Apple Crisp
Book Review: ‘The Productivity Project’
Book Review: ‘The Productivity Project’ An Exercise in Reaching New Heights of Productivity
Through these productivity experiments, there is one thing Bailey didn’t want to do: waste your time. Every chapter begins with a takeaway. Bailey tells you what you’ll get out of the chapter and how long the chapter will take to read.
We all strive to be more productive. We are surrounded by advice, apps, and devices purported to boost our productivity, yet we don’t seem to be any better off. This challenge to achieve greater productivity is explored in “The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy” by Chris Bailey. The author has a passion for productivity that most of us only dream of; he spent a full year attempting to be more productive. During that year, Bailey’s goal was to get more out of life by being more productive and working smarter, not harder. “The Productivity Project” takes that idea to the extreme. Much of the book recounts Bailey’s productivity experiments and what he learned along the way. Plus, he gives the reader tools and insights so they, too, can apply what he learned. One by one, Bailey works his way through a number of tasks to understand productivity and ultimately master it. He prepared by reading about the successes and failures of others with similar goals. He experimented with meditation, a modified sleep schedule, an altered diet, and even strategized his coffee consumption, among many other modifications — all with the goal of living and working better.
But Bailey challenges the reader, as well. Most chapters include a challenge for you to try. It’s all about relevancy to your life, personal and professional. At its core, “The Productivity Project” is a trove of ideas. When you want to master your productivity and live and work better, this book serves as a worthwhile starting point.
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