From: Craig Phillips [] on behalf of Craig Phillips []

Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 12:24 PM


Subject: Cocktail Talk - Up-Time


Cocktail Talk

Bits and bytes of computer chat-chat
to help you through those dreary Cocktail Parties.

August, 2011

Our Topic



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Cocktail Talk

Dear Craig,

Cocktail Talk
Welcome to
CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".

Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world.  Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.

Cocktail Talk is available on


WineDown-Time. The term came to be feared by computer people. So much that the computer people changed Down-Time to Up-Time. Up-Time is much better, much more positive, happy sounding. That's the first spin.


Up-Time measures the amount of time your internet connection, website or email is working, and it's measured in percentages. That's the second spin.


99% internet, website and eMail Up-Time sounds pretty good. Merengue, a popular Birth Control that's on TV all the time, says it's 99% effective. So 99% must be good.


99% means you will be without internet, website or eMail for 15 minutes a day on average. We are not very tolerant when it comes to our internet, or our website, and especially not our eMail. My eMail lands every 60 seconds, like jets at O'Hare, and we don't want our 15 jets circling now, do we?


If you only used the computer for work, and only worked eight hours a day, you'd have a one in three chance of having some of that 15 minutes in your day. But computer use doesn't end at 5 o'clock. Your computer is probably running more like 16 hours a day. A two out of three chance. For the sake of argument let's say that 15 minutes falls evenly across the day, with you having 5 minutes in the work day, and 5 minutes in your play day. Ten minutes of that 15.


It's not real likely you'll have exactly 15 minutes, not like you could count on 100% Up-Time just because your 15 minutes was done for the day. It's more likely you'll go days or weeks with no problems at all. But remember, that 1% is out there waiting for you. It wouldn't be 99% Up-Time without 1% Down-Time.


What if you went trouble free for a whole month and then all the 15 minute outages happened on one day? That's 7 1/2 hours. But don't worry, we promised 99% Up-Time, and anything less than 7 1/2 hours a month is still 99% Up-Time, so you're OK. That's the third spin.


With that much monthly Down-Time  maybe a magazine subscription is in order. It'll give you something to do while you wait. Doc Borman (not his real name) always had good magazines for while you wait. There was a fair share of pregnant women in there waiting too. I do not kow if they used Merengue, but 99% is not looking too good right now.


99.6% is way better. Less than 5 minutes a day, 3 1/2 minutes which end up in your day, totaling under 2 1/2 hours a month. Point 5, point 6,  is about what you can expect without paying premiums. 99.9% Up-Time guarantees are available. That gets you down to 2 minutes a day, one hour a month. One hour a month is better than 7 1/2.


We are not tolerant when it comes to our internet. People will pay the premium for a 99.9% Up-Time guarantee, maybe ten times the price of a 99.6% Up-Time guarantee. Seems like a lot to pay for that extra 3 minutes a day. But it is guaranteed, and that's the fourth spin.


Our cable company is good about guarantees. If cable goes out for a day, they credit you a day. All three dollar's worth. What else would they do? Pay you for pain and suffering? The internet companies do. If you're down for a day, a 7 1/2 hour day, they'll give you a whole month free. That should more than make up for any lost revenue. I have no idea what Merengue does if you get pregnant. Maybe they pay for your kid's braces, or cell phone, or college, I don't know.


Paying several times the 99.6% price, just to have a .3% better chance of getting a month's free service, wouldn't make sense to most people. There is no guarantee of 99.9% Up-Time, just the promise of something when it fails. Paying even twice the cost of 99.6% for an extra point 3 percent chance of getting one of 12 months free isn't a good deal. Even a free year would only get you back to even.


99.0%, good enough for Birth Control, not good enough for internet, but that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk. 


Thank you for reading,


Craig Phillips
CN Consulting, Inc.

CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!


CN Consulting Inc. (CNCI) is an independent consulting company formed in 1990 and located within easy reach of both Chicago and Milwaukee.

CNCI maintains a select client base providing consulting services concerning the  use  of information technology.  We persistently look for advantage to our clients in added value and reduced cost made available by advancing technology.

CNCI does not have financial interest in any given product or product line. We evaluate current and emerging technologies solely based on their benefit to our clients. CNCI implements the solutions it recommends and readily partners with companies that offer products and services to the advantage of our clients. CNCI offers complete client support with singular accountability.

We maximize the benefit of our clients' existing technology, systems, and platforms while integrating the benefits provided by new technology.

Business Continuity and Business Development are our goals with Continuity being  the foundation of  Development.


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