Shortarmguy’s Favorite Websites

May 25, 2008

“‘Green PC technology’ is a huge buzz term in people’s purchasing decisions,” said Todd Swank, marketing vice president at Northern Computing Technologies (Nor-Tech), a Burnsville, Minn., custom system builder that sells energy-efficient desktop computers and servers. “We were pretty early to the table with these.”

Energy-efficient power supplies, for example, generate less heat. “And obviously heat leads to bad things,” said Nor-Tech’s Swank, noting that heat can shorten a computer’s lifespan. “We could probably save [as much as] 50 percent on our power supplies if we didn’t buy ‘green.'”

CRN, The Power Of Green: Demand For Energy-Efficient PCs Grows


Miami Ink Finished! — I guess after they finally got me to appear on the show, there was just no sense in continuing!

Cottonwood School District — Nor-Tech’s Dr. David Bollig donated a bunch of computers to a school that recently experienced tragedy.


Watch Out, Kasparov!  That looks pretty scary!


May 18, 2008

Live Local Maps — You know how in Google Maps you can see satellite photos of your house?  This site takes it a step further by blending in aerial photography from planes giving you ultra clear pictures.  Select a location and then select Bird’s Eye View.  Neat stuff!

You’re the Voice by John Farnham

May 11, 2008

Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based system builder, says Microsoft has made the process of exercising downgrade rights easier than in the past.

“Microsoft is simply being realistic: They know that XP is a good product, and they’re getting a Vista license sale whenever downgrade rights are exercised,” said Swank. “Microsoft obviously wants companies to transition to Vista, but I don’t think they would have made downgrade rights as easy to use if they really were against people using them.”

CRN, Debunking 15 Myths About Microsoft,  May 5, 2008


Animoto — This is an awesome website that helps you turn your photos into amazing slideshows!  I did a couple samples here and here so you can check out the possibilities!

I Do Dog Tricks — Hours of Fun!

MadTV: Hilary Clinton Feat Barack Obama Music Video Spoof

(Naughty Content Warning!)


May 4, 2008

Nor-Tech is excited by the possibilities extended by AMD Business Class to help us support a wide range of customers, particularly those who want an open, flexible solution, said Todd Swank, Vice President of Marketing, Nor-Tech, the secondlargest custom systems builder in the US. We appreciate that the AMD Business Class standard utilizes open industry standards, including TPM and support for todays widely-used in-band systems management tools. For the many schools, hospitals and government agencies we work with, the use of open standards lends another layer of essential security and manageability to future-proof their mission-critical systems.

AMD Press Release, April 27, 2008


ESPN —  Central Washington offers the ultimate act of sportsmanship


Amazing Ping Pong Shots


April 27, 2008

Wow!  I have a whole bunch of Nor-Tech stuff to link to this week!!!

First, I was quoted in This AMD Press Release about the new Phenom Triple Core Processor:

“By using the combination of AMD Phenom X3 triple-core processors and the latest AMD 780G motherboards, we now have the ability to create incredibly powerful high definition home entertainment systems for our customers. When customers witness the smooth playback of their Blu-Ray movies and their other high definition content on our machines, they are just blown away!”

Todd Swank VP of Marketing, Nor-Tech

Next, I was quoted in 3 different articles on this week!

This one, this one, and this one.

Here’s some quotes from the last article:

Todd Swank, VP of marketing at Burnsville, Minn.-based custom builder Nor-Tech said he believes opportunities for custom system builders exist within the high-performance computing (HPC) space. “The primary opportunity we’ve seen is in HPC clusters, where that segment is dominated by open source,” he said. “They tend to prefer clean code, a very light code [that] won’t get in the way of the calculations they want to perform.”

Those clients exist mostly at the enterprise level and consist of customers with their own IT staff and their own Linux programmers on staff, Swank said. “You always think, ‘Oh, people with no money want open source,'” he said. “But if you’re a business looking for a real application, you need to have somebody who can make that work, so you’re going to go with Microsoft or hire someone [who knows] how to support that open source format for you.”

Swank said Microsoft has the kind of resources available that allow Nor-Tech to build their custom systems business, he said. The training, advertising support and technical support they can provide allows Nor-Tech to spend time focusing on the solution and not worry about the interoperability and stability issues often associated with open source-based custom systems. “For small companies like us, it’s very beneficial,” he said. “In the open source community, you’re kind of on your own.”

Like Maser, for Swank and his customers it comes down to a reliability and trust issue. “Open source works in certain aspects but a business doesn’t want to spend all day long figuring out how to get their applications to talk to each other. They want it to work,” he said. “Just because the code is free doesn’t mean the people who know how to support it work for free, or even cheaply. In effect, you may be paying more than people skilled on the Microsoft programs.”

Swank pointed out as more success stories around open source systems emerge from the enterprise, open source solutions may gain additional prominence, but demand for technicians who can navigate the intricacies of open source operability will also rise. At the same time, he recognizes a push for greater compatibility and interoperability. “It’s not an easy skill—you don’t just read a book and become a Linux programmer,” he said. “You better know what you’re doing, but if you have those skills already, the sky is the limit.”

Todd Swank, Unlocking The Future: Open Source Opportunities In Custom Systems,  Var Business Magazine

Finally, this is our Press Release about the Nor-Tech Portable Cluster winning Best in Show at the Intel Solutions Summit!


That’s What She Said – Michael Scott

April 21, 2008

Todd Swank, vice president of marketing for system builder Nor-Tech, Burnsville, Minn., said he thinks Psystar’s attempt to create a chink in Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple’s armor is not likely to succeed in launching a machine that runs Apple’s proprietary operating system.

“It would be shocking to me if Apple let that happen. They don’t want to be a software manufacturer, they want to be the complete solution,” Swank said.

Apple says using its OS Leopard on non-Apple hardware violates its user agreement.

“I can’t imagine Apple allowing anybody to do that. Its so antithetical to their marketing strategy,” he said. “But it’s very interesting. Microsoft is going to have to take a real close look at that, because Microsoft really has their eye on Apple,” Swank said.

Microsoft, he said, has had a lock on the operating system market for along time, and Linux doesn’t have as strong an organization backing it as Apple is.

“We’re a great partner with Microsoft. They’re one of our biggest partners and help us in a lot of ways,” Swank said. “They take as good care of our company s anyone else out there, but of course competition is always good for people that are in the channel. It would definitely be interesting (by kostis iacovatos). Do I believe its going to happen? Not any time soon, but its interesting.”

— Todd Swank’s analysis of system builder Psystar and their attempt to bring a Mac Clone to market, The Apple Channel Blog, April 15, 2008

Opening the Door To Hell On Earth!

Survivor Ponderosa —- See Ozzy’s reaction to being blind sided in this week’s tribal council!

The Inner Light —- George Harrison

April 13, 2008

“For high-end storage, SAS is important,” Swank said. “This will enable a whole new level of storage servers. For customers who need the higher capacity and performance, this is exciting.”

— Todd Swank commenting on the release of the new Seagate 1Terrabyte SAS Hard Drive,  CRN, April 7, 2008

Miami Ink Blogsite — This is my favorite Miami Ink Blog Site and she just wrote a post about my visit and tattoo!


What might happen if you find Naked Pictures of your Buddy’s Girlfriend!

Naked Pictures of Your Buddys Girlfriend – Watch more free videos

April 4, 2008