NTP: Inaccurate Time – How Is It Silently Killing Your Company?

How Is Inaccurate Time Killing Your Company?

The Absence of Network Time Servers

The cost of lost timeClocking off time, the end of another productive day for your business and your trusty wall clock displays the time as 17.00pm.

Your staff start to leave for the day bidding you a good night, but wait a minute, your computer clock shows the time as 16.50pm, which is in fact the correct time.

It’s only 10 minutes, no harm done. But wait, how long has that wall clock been wrong? Six months? 12 months?

Suddenly, you realise that your business has been losing 10 minutes of valuable work time, per employee, for 5 days a week over an entire year. That’s the equivalent of 4.2 days for each staff member, almost an entire working week, presuming your business hours are Monday – Friday.

Over a period of 12 months you’ve being paying salaries, in full, for less hours from your staff. But all this could have been avoided, if only you had accurate time.

The cost of poor timekeepingIn multi-departmental organisations the absence of accurate time across all departments can result in chain-of-production breakdown.

How? An urgent, large order has been placed for one of your products. The order is only guaranteed if it leaves the warehouse by 4pm.

The order is processed at 10am by the administration team. All the relevant credit checks are carried out to ensure the customer can pay, which is completed by 11am.

The order is actioned and packaged, then you’re informed it’s ready for distribution. Fantastic. To make sure it has left the distribution centre, you give the distribution manager a call at exactly 4pm, well at least according to your wall and computer clock.

“What do you mean it hasn’t gone?” you exclaim. “It’s only 3.55pm and we’re just loading up”, replies the distribution manager. It turns out the clocks across the way in the production department are 5 minutes out of sync. Suddenly, 5 minutes has cost you a £100,000 order, and slightly tarnished your reputation with this particular customer.

Inaccurate Time Ignored

If your wrist watch is out of sync with the bus time table and you miss your bus, resulting in you being late for work, this is a problem for you. So, you adjust your watch to ensure that you don’t miss the next one.

In business, inaccurate time can cause far larger problems. Unfortunately, many organisations take time for granted, until 5 or 10 minute discrepancies between a few clocks creates a major issue.

Without Network Time Servers in place, there is no reliable method of maintaining accurate time across your company, and clocks begin to drift, filtering through the entire organisation.

Ignoring inaccurate time is silently costing your company thousands in lost labour and lost orders. Additionally, you earn a reputation for poor time-keeping, leaving you with a three pronged combination that can bring even the biggest business to its knees.

For Truly Accurate Time, The Only Way Is A Dedicated Time Server

The installation of a dedicated, NTP time server – a device designed specifically for the synchronisation of time across numerous devices connected to a network – is the simple, safe & secure way of achieving total time synchronisation throughout your business.

Why Should I Buy A Time Server? I’ve Heard You Can Get Them Free

It’s true, the internet is awash with free NTP servers and they’re attractive because they’re free.

However, does free mean reliable? The answer is no, otherwise there wouldn’t be any companies investing in dedicated network time servers.

The flaws of free time servers are numerous, raising questions concerning security because they operate without a firewall, leaving your network vulnerable to attack.

They’re also out of your control, operated from various university campuses and other facilities. If their systems fail, your network is affected.

In reality, free internet time servers have the potential to create more problems than they resolve when it comes to time accuracy.

How To Speed Up The Process Of Loading DVD To iPod

Would you rather be spending less time loading DVD to iPod? If you answered ‘No’ then you’ve probably got too much time on your hands. Time certainly flies by when you have a lot of things going on. Even a few minutes a day waiting can add up to a huge amount of time. Just think about all those minutes spent stuck in traffic, waiting at a bank or bus stop. A person spends on average 45 minutes a day waiting.

By the time your 70, you will have spent 3 years of your life waiting! So what do you think, is time precious to you? There are several good DVD to iPod converters on the market, however choosing the right one could save you more than just a few minutes a day extra compared to a slower converter.

No one wants to spend hours loading DVD to iPod, monitoring the slow progress bar every 5 minutes only to see it gain 1%, or worse a crash! This can prevent you from doing other important things. If you like to watch your movies then you’d probably want to be downloading more than just one DVD at a time.

If you’re planning to transfer more than one DVD to your iPod, you might find that you’re going to have to spend the whole weekend doing so. If you consider the file sizes of most new DVD’s on the market, then the last thing you want to happen is a computer freeze when it hits 99%! More reason to make sure you get one that is fast and reliable when shopping for DVD to iPod converters.

Not all DVD to iPod converters are in the same league, while others boast fast transfers, some may guarantee flawless conversions. Some may require several steps to loading DVD to iPod, when all you really want is one that has a ‘Start loading now’ button and be the end of it. Can it really be that easy though?

The answer is ‘yes’, but there are only a few converters on the market that can deliver high standards and speed when loading DVD to iPod. So save yourself time and start loading your favorite movies. Less time loading means more time for you. The next time you’re in a queue or waiting at the bus stop you can take out your trusty iPod and watch a DVD you effortlessly downloaded the same day.

Tortuguero Gone Wrong

Wet Season 2007

Traveling with a backpack, a Lonely Planet guide, and the hopes of city transportation with no concern of timeframe or itinerary was my idea of an adventure. I was traveling with one companion, and our trip had begun. While in Costa Rica we decided to venture to the Caribbean coast to the home of many rare species of sea turtles and birds. Tortuguero was in the northeastern portion of the country and received the greatest amount of rainfall annually. We traveled in the wet season to avoid overcrowding and high seasonal rates.

Our adventure began with a four-hour bus ride to Cairo, where we got off one bus and onto another older bus better described as an antique. Another 3 hours on this bumpy hot ride through flooding that challenged our buses ability to stay grounded and we were to the safety of our docks. This is where it got interesting.

Ticos (the local term for a Costa Rican) use the term “dock” very loosely. First off, there was no wood or cement structure to which to tie a vessel. Instead there were trees along a shoreline and small six to seven foot boats were tied up to a tree keeping them “secured.” The locals explained that the location of these “docks” could be hundreds of feet away depending on the amount of rainfall they had recently had. The international travelers and locals alike disembarked from our antique bus and climbed onboard to our trusty dingy with our confident captain that proclaimed that we could indeed all fit into his boat without sinking. I couldn’t help but notice that there were only a few life vests on the boat, but after all, we were in Costa Rica, “Relax”, I told myself. It took about 30 seconds after we pushed off from our tree to encounter our first major problem.

It seemed that steering wheel was not working. Somehow the connection between the one outboard motor that drove us and the steering column had disconnected. Meanwhile, the front of the boat was drifting into a section of barbed wire (why there was barbed wire in the middle of nowhere in swamp lands I have yet to figure out). Our captain’s trusty deck hand was out on the bow of the boat and noticed the wire just in time to jump over the section and grab hold of a sand bar. Once temporarily secured to the bar I looked over my left shoulder where we had almost drifted. Only to see a raging chocolate river charging the opposite direction of travel, churning with vehemence. “Ok,” I said to myself, “Now it’s time to worry.” I have white water experience and know that if we would have drifted into this raging river at the angle we were going we would have been flipped like a burger at McDonalds. The captain apparently noticed this too, because he went through the small boat and rolled open the plastic windows (which were previously blocking the rain, and would have also blocked our emergency exit in the event it rolled).

The captain also proceeded to place the few life jackets he had onto the children on the vessel. So I recapped to myself, even the captain thinks that we are going to flip. He proceeding to talk to the passengers in Spanish, “I was really wishing I had studied more Spanish right about now.” Just when I thought that I could not be more terrified I remembered that there were caiman and alligators in these waters… Then our leader devised a plan. He commanded his deck hand to hold the throttles, freeing him to climb to the back of the small boat and direct the outboard manually pushing it right or left as needed. When he needed more or less speed he simply shouted to his compadre. The moment of truth was when we shoved off of the sand bar and held our breath as we entered the furious water. The captain skillfully commanded the appropriate entry speeds and angles to keep the vessel upright. Thirty minutes of white water and knuckles later we entered a large throughway, allowing the rest of our two and a half hour journey a more cope static ride. One last hurdle was a tree branch that assaulted and broke the blade of our outboard motor. Fortunately, our captain had one spare blade (this, it seemed, was a common occurrence). He tinkered with the motor until the repair had been completed and we arrived safely in Tortuguero.

Tortuguero was more of a village than a town sitting barely above water between the Caribbean Ocean and the river-ways of the Amazon-esc portion of Costa Rica. The small hostels were inviting with a small town neighborly feel. Tortuguero had no banks or ATMs so some planning ahead was necessary. After one night in our cozy new village a stubborn storm set in that seemed as if it had no plans of ending. We spent much of the second night out in the elements with the hopes of seeing the leatherback turtle make it’s journey to shore and lay her eggs as they often did in this region. Unfortunately, the turtles had more sense than we did staying away from the storm that would have met it at shore.

The village flooded, thankfully our room was on cement blocks, however walking anywhere required rolling up your pant legs and tromping through shin to knee high murky waters of god knows what. We overheard the locals say that this was worse than it was a few years back when they evacuated the gringos; that was our cue, it was time to go. We found a resident who had a boat and offered to pay him for a ride down to Limon (a four hour trek down a canal that paralleled the Caribbean) he accepted stating that he needed to leave in 10 minutes. We made a mad dash to our room; meanwhile six other European travelers took cue and joined us for the ride to our next adventure…