Interrogate The Integration Expert

Oct. 27, 2008
On the Job Experiences

A Slight Departure
I saw this at a recent site survey, and couldn’t figure out what it was. This is a door to an upscale (high-rise) multiple occupancy in downtown Charlottesville VA, shared by ground floor professional offices and several upper floors of apartments.

A: Well, the obvious answer is it’s a dog’s chew toy. But the less obvious answer is what the dog chew’s purpose is. It serves a vital function. The dog who uses it is a special needs trained dog. Her owner is a wheelchair-bound tenant. The dog uses the pull toy to open the door for the owner. She is a young, active woman. During my survey, she was leaving and arriving doing errands and chores several times in that short visit. I am preparing a proposal for the building management company to forward to the owner’s association for a pair of door operators that will integrate with the building’s intercom entry system. Hopefully this will be a welcome high tech addition to this upscale building and all its occupants.

A Reader Writes
After reading a recent article of yours in Security Dealer about the evolution of CCTV, the features and attributes of digital recorders, etc., I felt compelled to write to you. In the article, you mention robust digital recorders. After the experiences that my company has had, I must argue that digital recorders that run on a Microsoft Windows OS, are anything BUT robust. Is there something I am missing? I have to say, I do get a great deal of important information from reading these Q & A columns.

A: While there are many positive attributes, these units are not without a few flaws. Digital recorders that are PC-based and run on a Windows OS are open to hackers and malware programmers. I have had a number of customers who replaced their Windows-based digital recorders with proprietary-OS machines. Since the replacements, these customers report they no longer worry about infected machines, service pack updates, or any of the other typical concerns that IT departments must keep in check. On the other hand, my phone is not ringing off the hook either from customers with PC-based systems calling me with problems. More often than not it depends on the application and the customers’ needs. Do your homework and research the company you are considering, its dealer support, training on the products and other pertinent criteria.

Security Dealer Technical Editor Tim O’Leary is a 30-year veteran of the security industry and a 10-year contributor to the magazine. O’Leary’s background encompasses having been a security consultant since 1986 and an independent security company owner/operator, in addition to his research and evaluation of new technologies and products introduced to the physical and electronic security fields. He is a member of the VBFAA (Virginia Burglar and Fire Alarm Association); certified for Electronic Security Technician and Sales by the VADCJS (Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services); and, has served as a judge for the SIA New Product Showcase. Send your integration questions to [email protected].