For the majority of the time, the Infotex team are working from home. We asked some of our team what their setup looks like, and what tools they have at their desks to help them get on with work more productively. 

Cameron

When I started working from home, working at the kitchen table did not work for me at all. Working at a single screen in a non-professional space was unlikely to be productive so now I have a small home office set up in the box room. I have a shelf above my desk for my laptop and screen. It is also the dressing room, so the views are limited… but I make sure to take good breaks at lunch and walk the dog.

Cam's Desk
Cam’s desk

 

Debbie

I am fortunate that my children have grown up and flown the nest so I have set up my office in one of our spare rooms. I have a stand for my laptop, a special chair for my back, and a homemade footstool because being short I can’t touch the floor! I do not have any particular gadgets for my desk but I do take an extra-strength vitamin D tablet every morning. From my office window, I am able to see the blackwater estuary in the distance.


 

John

I work in my home office which also doubles as a bedroom. I started out with a portable table and never really liked it so over Christmas 2020 I spent a day making a custom desk – it’s one of the best things I’ve done. Being custom the height is just right and it is relatively sturdy with no wasted space. Best of all the monitors are raised giving additional space and the right height. When I was in the office I had persistent neck pain but since the change I haven’t noticed it. Next step is to varnish the desk top, which should be over the Christmas break this year. 

Desk
John’s custom desk

 

Katie

After 3 months of working at my kitchen table, I needed more space and longed to not have to pack everything away each evening. I am now in what used to be my children’s playroom, it is quite small but works perfectly.

My monitors are on adjustable arms to give me as much desk space as possible. As well as a lamp directly above my desk I have a light therapy lamp for the winter time which does help with the lack of daylight.

Katie's Desk
Katie’s tidy setup

 

Michael

I have been working from home since before it was cool, so I have spent a lot of time and effort getting my setup just right. My main hobby at the moment is video game development, so I spend a lot more time behind my desk than the average person.

Here is a breakdown of what I use:


 

Richard H

From my home office window I can see the tops of some bushes and trees with a rambling rose growing over it which looks lovely when it is in bloom. For a change of scenery, I’ll occasionally work in the living room or conservatory. 

Lighting is important to me – I don’t use anything special, just a 100W equivalent LED bulb so that there are no shadows in the room.

I’ve built a monitor stand out of some old kitchen units to support my two monitors to get them to the correct height. I’ve raised my desk to a suitable height using bricks as an adjustable desk is excessively expensive! I have a decent adjustable chair (but I do partially regret not getting a proper osteopath approved one) and a foot-stool built from more old kitchen unit pieces! Why didn’t you buy one: They are expensive and I like upcycling spare items.

Richard’s led keyboard

 

Chloe

Being a one-screen worker, and not nearly precious enough about my back, I like moving around and working from my laptop with cable headphones in whichever library, café, or kitchen will have me! Because of my work I have few meetings and so can afford to be in more bustling, noisy places, or in silent zones of a library, and find I really thrive off the changes in scenery.

On days when I work from home I have a desk that belongs more to the house plants that live there than it does to me, but they make space for me when they have to…

 

It is estimated that data centres contribute 2% of all global greenhouse gas emissions – a figure that is rising as digital demand increases. However, by utilising cloud-based services for our hosting we are sharing resources and facilities, which reduces the number of duplicate, energy-hungry single-use servers.

We are conscious that site hosting will have an impact on Infotex’s carbon footprint. Because of this we are always looking to make sure our technical partners have, or are, taking steps towards sustainability. Our monitoring systems also help us to ensure that we are using these resources efficiently.

For the hosting of our primary websites and systems we use three main providers: Rackspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and ionmart. 

 

Rackspace

Rackspace’s approach to the environment is straight-forward: they aspire to give back more than they take from the planet.

In 2019, Rackspace reviewed its energy strategy and opted to focus resources and efforts on energy reduction instead of purchasing carbon offsets.

Rackspace’s UK data centres LON3 and LON5 run on 100% renewable energy. Data centre LON8 does not, though Rackspace publishes an Environmental, Social and Governance Report (2021) showing steps they are taking to be net-zero across all sites by 2045.

Their commitment to a greener business isn’t just limited to energy. They have a host of creative ways to minimise waste in offices, such as composting coffee grounds and shipping pallets, refurbishing retired IT equipment for aftermarket use, collecting HVAC condensate to maintain landscaping and operate cooling towers.

As part of their route to net zero, they have been publishing a greenhouse gas emissions inventory every year since 2008, covering their global operations.

For further details visit Rackspace’s Corporate Responsibility section of their site.

 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is targeting their global operations to be powered by renewable energy by 2025. The London and Ireland based AWS (where we host our sites and systems) are currently powered by 95% renewable energy.

In 2019 Amazon launched the UK’s largest wind Corporate Power Purchase Agreement, located in Kintyre Peninsula, Scotland. The new wind farm is expected to produce 168,000 MWh of clean energy annually – enough to power 46,000 UK homes every year.

Amazon provides a Customer Carbon Footprint Tool which allows us to monitor our own carbon emissions and how those would compare to running on-premise computing equivalents – cloud computing can be 80% more efficient in this respect. 

For further details visit Amazon’s Sustainability in the Cloud section of their site. 

 

iomart

All of iomart’s data centres are powered by 100% renewable energy. They continuously evaluate sites to continue to reduce emissions, such as looking at how waste heat can be turned back into usable power. This project won them the ‘Best Use of Emerging Technology’ from the Digital City Awards in March 2022.

In 2022 iomart developed a Carbon Roadmap to help understand their Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, and set carbon reduction targets. They also comply with ISO50001 Energy Management to reduce energy usage.

Further details can be found on iomart’s Environmental, Social & Governance page.

October 2022 is Cyber Security Awareness Month.

This is a topic which started over 10 years ago and is led by the USA’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and is shared with the European Cyber Security Month (ESCM).

While the topic may seem ethereal and mired in complicated titles, the principle behind it is very simple and one which every business should take time this month to consider if you haven’t already.

What are you doing to ensure that your business is safe online?

October is a month when many businesses start to focus on the busy period ahead and getting the basics in place before that rush could save you valuable time later on so here are some thoughts and actionable tips.

Cyber Security starts with the simplest of things, which hopefully everyone reading this knows and implements already:

It’s more than just good passwords

Have you considered becoming Cyber Essentials accredited?

Infotex have gone through the accreditation process, and while we had a good security understanding beforehand this has helped focus everyone’s attention on the issue. 

Phishing

Phishing is when a fraudulent email is sent to you asking you to take some action believing the email originated from someone else you know. This is one of the biggest threats to any organisation today with almost a quarter of breaches in the Verizon Data Breach Report 2022 started via a phishing attack.

It is believed that around 3% of all phishing emails successfully entice their viewer to click the link. The emails are often very convincing using a combination of familiarity, based on information colleagues have posted about themselves online (sometimes unwittingly), and also a sense of urgency. It is always worth taking that moment to check because clicking a fraudulent link could be the start of a chain of events you’ll never forget.

Phishing doesn’t just happen via email. Text messages and phone calls are also becoming more common targets for phishing attackers as awareness of email phishing rises. 

Ransomware

Ransomware is designed to prevent you from getting access to the files on your computer by encrypting them. You are then invited to pay a ransom to unlock the files. 

It is generally recommended not to pay ransoms as you can’t be sure that the attacker will fulfil their side of the deal. You’re also funding organised crime and encouraging future attacks. It is better to invest in good protection and well-protected, external backups that are not directly connected to any device. Ensuring your computing devices and programs are up-to-date and have good antivirus software installed costs very little but offers a lot of protection, also maintain a good policy on keeping the operating system and software patches up to date, such as Windows Updates, finally if you run as a limited user rather than an administrator that often reduces the damage an attacker can inflict.

The Fun One – Play Capture The Flag

Within Cyber Security the term “capture the flag” is an exercise whereby one team set out to obtain some item of data held by another team within the business. If they are able to obtain it then both teams stop, learn how it happened and agree on steps that can be taken to ensure that a genuine attacker could not do so, thus increasing the overall security of the organisation.

You don’t need formal “red & blue teams” to do this, even the smallest of businesses can benefit from trying this, perhaps start by seeing whether one staff member can find the login password (or passphrase) for another member of staff’s computer. is it on a post-it attached to their monitor, is it the name of their child / cat / favourite holiday destination? Do they leave their PC logged in while they take their lunch break allowing anyone to walk up-to and use the PC in their absence?

The aim of Capture The Flag is not to belittle anyone but rather for everyone to learn from the experience and collectively improve your defences.


These are just a few of our thoughts, there’s much more advice available online as well as events in both the virtual and physical world but now you’ve read this article do ask yourself whether even that advice is genuine or is someone trying to get information out of you?

On Sunday 9th October 2022 an Infotex team completed The Suffolk Whole Hog – a gruelling 5 miles (8km) run through multiple muddy and wet obstacles. This time the team was raising money for BIG KID Foundation which strives to see no young person lose their life or potential to youth violence.

We have combined our fundraising efforts with a team of runners who were tackling the London Royal Parks Half Marathon and so far have raised over £12,000.

Before the Race
All smiles and white shirts before the race

The Team

On the start line were Ant Agar, Chloe Agar, Katie Robinson, Matt Adlem and Will Ridd from Infotex. A special thanks goes to Will for stepping in with just 2 weeks’ notice after James Fulford suffered an injury. The numbers were swelled by friends and partners Kevin Bolton, Shaun Bailey and Theo Glashier.

The Race

Taking place in the picturesque surroundings of Wantisden Valley, there was an early morning nip in the air following overnight lows of 4°c. However, by start time the sun was out and the mercury was just breaking through double figures.

A group warm-up was led by the enthusiastic Whole Hog staff and followed seamlessly into the start of the race, with the team’s pristine white t-shirts disappearing into the distance. Thanks to Suffolk company EcoTeePrints.com for all the help with our amazing shirts – they definitely made our team easy to spot.

Whole Hog Start
And they’re off

Thereafter followed 5 miles of off-road running, which involves a nice early soaking from a firehose to get the blood chilled and obstacles that wouldn’t look out of place in a SAS selection course.

The ones the team talked about most after the event described a lot of in-the-water, under-the-water, in-the-tunnel experiences, enhanced with an infusion of mud, so that it seemed to be coming out their pores when they returned.  Some of the mud, we understand, was more-than-mud, the clue being surrounding fields of free-range pork in production.

whole hog montage
A couple of the obstacles tackled, and starting to feel tyred

One section late in the course saw competitors scrambling through a tangle of elastic ropes while being showered by freezing water, then up a hill to rapidly slip down into a deep, dark and murky pool to go under and over a series of beams.

As they got out of the water the foul stench of the following obstacle was met by equally foul language as they realised they had to go under a low cargo-net through some mixture of thick sticky mud and other unidentified farm-yard deposits.

whole hog montage 2
In varying states of distress

The run into the finish culminated in a steep rope climb up a 10ft stack of hay bales, before a staggered descent down the other side.  Then a welcome rinse under a hose, which the organisers had thoughtfully provided.

The Results

Whole Hog
Still all smiles but fewer white shirts after the race.

Matt and Shaun came home first and second from our team and, despite being sent temporarily the wrong way by marshals, beat last year’s time by some distance (52:54 / 56:10). These fantastic times put them in 4th and 6th overall for the entire event!

Theo beat the hour mark with a 59:59 (9th overall), and Kevin not far behind in 1:00:16 (11th overall).

Our Production Manager Katie clocked 1:04:36 which made her 4th fastest female on the day!

Father / daughter combo Ant and Chloe crossed the line together, followed not long after by Will – all finished in under 1 hour 20 minutes and in the top 105 competitors out of 659.

About BIGKID Foundation

If you wish to find out more about why we’re supporting BIGKID this year please view our “A Whole Hog and Half a Marathon for BIGKID” article.

To find out more about the charity itself visit www.bigkidfoundation.org

Finally, and most importantly, to support the efforts of our team (and our friends who ran the Royal Parks Marathon) you can still donate here.

Finishers
Our Whole Hog 2022 Team Runners as they crossed the finish line

To those of you who supported us for the Whole Hog last year – Thank You! The money you helped raise for Home Start will have a lasting impact: it has enabled the equivalent of more than 52 isolated families joining life-changing support groups, 113 families accessing one-on-one support, or 227 families receiving emergency supplies. 

Your generosity made it all worth while, so we are at it again; preparing to get muddy in a smelly way, sweaty, and (as we now know) pretty bruised, but all with a purpose. 

This year we have chosen to join forces with our friends running in “Sam’s Team” in the hope we can attract greater support for BIGKID Foundation, who are a smaller charity facing huge challenges as they work tirelessly to meet demand. Trust us when we tell you that if you are going to give some money to charity, this one deserves your backing. And so does the Infotex team, who after a complacent start (we’ve done it once before, how hard can it be?) are now feeling the fear… training is well underway, but it’s not as easy as we thought. 

Training updates from the team are only slightly concerning…

Chloe: Last year I was excited because I didn’t know what was coming, but this time I am more apprehensive because I know what’s going to hit me… the strong smell of pigs and a mass of mud to the face. 

Running has been really difficult this year (I like to blame that on the heat), but I’ve taken up squash and bouldering to try and build some strength for all those obstacles, so maybe I won’t be last again…   

   

Ant: I’m feeling my age!  It’s all very well trying to deny it, but aging is a real thing that happens to all of us – as I am learning …

ant on kigkid whole hog training run
Ant on a training run, in his Bigkid Tshirt

Katie: It’s been harder to find time to train this year (or I’ve found more excuses) but I’ve stepped it up in the past few weeks and the Autumn weather is very welcome after such a hot summer!

Katie in training
Katie getting those miles in

Our team members might have a way to go before feeling ready on the 9th of October, but sore legs are ever accompanied by a sense of hope and inspiration that maybe we can raise even more money this year. 

We’re running in solidarity with a group running the London Royal Parks half-marathon on the same day and have joined forces with them to double up our support for the BIGKID Foundation. 

Injuries

We’ve already had one team member have to pull out following an injury whilst on honeymoon (don’t ask)!   Here’s the evidence ….

Happily, our new apprentice Will Ridd has stepped in at the last minute to fill his space.  When we last caught up with Will, he was expressing doubts, but we have promised him he is in for the experience of a lifetime.  I’m not entirely sure that made him feel any better.

A bit more about the BIGKID story

changing the world one kid at a time

While still in sixth form in 2000, Shaninga Marasha began a mentoring programme for students at risk of exclusion and on their final warning.  After a few years, the mentoring grew into a bigger programme of youth engagement that Shaninga and friends implemented through touring music events. Realising the potential of their grass-roots action and working in schools, they formed a charity in 2006 based around running workshops and activities to improve life skills for young people. Now they run Community Engagement, Mentoring and Leadership Programmes for countless young people in London. Read more about The BIGKID Foundation’s story here.  

Many of the young people that BIGKID work with are gang affiliated and have been excluded from school. Your donation (and we encourage donations of any size big or small) could make all the difference in helping a young person build confidence, stay in school, get qualifications, and build a better life. For £25 a month you can sponsor a young person – giving them a mentor, invaluable support and encouragement, and helping to change their life immeasurably. 

To donate please click HERE. Thank you so much to everyone who chooses to donate, every donation really does count, any amount.

It’s not every day our beloved pets get a mention, but 26th August 2022 is International Dog Day. We felt it was a good time to show appreciation for the dogs that keep us entertained as we go about our work

Extra personalities hanging about during work can be a great morale booster and dogs are known to alleviate stress and anxiety in the workplace. There are some well-known characters amongst this lot, as many of them used to come into the office. Even now that our default is remote-working, many of the dogs like to make themselves known throughout the day on our video calls and have been featured in many a company chat!

So here’s a little peek into the lives of the canine companions who look after some of our team behind the scenes.


Amber is Cameron’s personal supervisor; she comes into the office at 8.30am and remains on duty until 5pm when she clocks off for her dinner. She can be regularly heard during calls, with her opinions and suggestions. 

Despite being very dedicated to her hours, she does actually tend to sleep on the job quite a bit, although she’s always super quick to greet anyone at the door.


Juggles is called juggles as he has three spots on his head and when he was a puppy Jonny used to say they are his juggling balls. He was born at a puppy farm and Jonny found him at a rescue centre at 10 weeks old.

The Infotex team has a sweet spot for Juggles because he came into the office pretty much every day for over 5 years. He proves wrong the stereotype that whippets are lazy – he loves his walks! He is scared of most things though… especially zip wires for some reason. He spends most of his life under a blanket and whinges if he doesn’t have one.


Jessy is a rescue dog and a cross between a black lab and a springer spaniel (loyal… but crazy!). She spends most of her time lying on the sofa, in the sun, or on a boat. She enjoys long walks, sneaking off to go hunting, or going on a sailing adventure with James.

She is a very picky eater… her favourite food is kettle chips sweet chilli & sour cream.


Moz’s black and white Springer Spaniel, Jazz, (affectionately known as “Woofit”) and Cocker Spaniel, Buzz, (affectionately known as “Dufus”) are a sight for sore eyes, but don’t be fooled… they’re a troublesome two.

1-yr-old Buzz is still in puppy-world with whirlwinds of energy and only 2 speeds: sleep and turbo. Jazz is an 11-yr-old rescue but she thinks she’s a puppy; she can sleep anywhere including at the feet of the friendly librarian at the library. She’s faithfully by Moz’s side during work, but her mad barking and star-jumping has been heard in the background of a few online meetings!

Of course being a techie Moz has attached a Bluetooth activity tracker to Jazz so that he and his wife can monitor her every move from their phones (think a Fitbit for dogs). They are also on a waiting list for the GPS enabled version for Buzz so that they can work out where the little tyke has run off to next.


Murphy is Jono’s 10 year-old cocker spaniel.  Joining in with video calls has become a favourite day-time activity of his, as well as eating any food that he can steal. He has a particular love of getting hold of any type of fruit…


Pickle is Matthew’s small but mighty friend. She overcame a dramatic and difficult time last year when her health suffered and she had to have an IVDD. Completely out of the blue, her back legs became very wobbly which resulted in a week of surgery. Following that she had next to no use of her back legs, but gradually, after 5 months of physio and slowly increasing her walks, she was back doing what she does best and even went on a camping trip last September. Since then she’s continued going from strength to strength and is currently on her second of two camping trips already this summer!


Ellie used to come into the office a lot, but now can be found wherever she thinks is warmest – usually under a blanket or in the sun. While she is in her element running about on land, she hates water and has sometimes been dragged onto a boat on the River Alde with Ant, much to her dismay.


Willow is another whippet who made herself well known in the office. She would often be found sitting on Cameron or Matt’s lap having a cuddle (and secretly being given food!). Willow kept Katie company when we moved to working from home but sadly she passed away in February this year. Katie says the house really isn’t the same without a dog and so has got a new family member moving in soon – a Doberman puppy called Raven.


Lucy was the first dog to consistently make herself comfortable in the office back in the 2000s. Making sure Ant got his health kick with a midday walk, we remember her for her lunch-time stretching. She is no longer with us, but she set the trend for more team whippets to arrive in the following years, as you’ve seen!

Who said dogs are man’s best friend? It was no word of a lie! There are over ten million dog pets in the UK today.

Dogs aren’t for everyone, of course, but we are certainly grateful for ours.

We are delighted to announce Infotex have been accepted into the Crown Commercial Digital Outcomes 6 framework, which will be live later this year.

Crown Commercial Service supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring goods and services.

Acceptance onto the framework allows local government and healthcare organisations access to services provided by Infotex. Our ambition is to work more closely with a wider range of organisations in order to design, build, improve and support the back-end systems that sit within healthcare and government to produce better outcomes for all.

Frameworks are agreements between the government and suppliers to supply certain types of services under specific terms. Infotex Ltd have been accepted to provide:

As a digital outcomes supplier, we must:

Jonathan Smith, Director of Infotex Healthcare Systems commented “We are delighted to be accepted onto the framework. It gives us greater opportunity to support the NHS and wider services using our experience in the development of the systems we are already delivering into the care sector”.

“This additional platform reflects the hard work and dedication of our team to really deliver systems in the right way, to the right audience. We can continue to support healthcare teams and patients on the path to better digital assessment and care which is so important.”

Most recently, the team launched a digital self referral platform that allows the smooth and carefully managed assessment of podiatry patients which decreased our client’s 800+ patient backlog to manageable levels within just a few weeks.

Take a look at a review by Dr Hinkes of this system.

In 2019/20, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits worth over £1bn – supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.

For further information about Infotex’s health systems get in touch.

We all know the importance of keeping tech up to date, whether that be your phone, tablet or laptop. At Infotex we host, support and maintain over 600 client websites, with our DevOps team working tirelessly to ensure that security patches are in place and servers are running smoothly.

As part of our site maintenance we carry out regular updates to all of our WordPress sites, and the next update will bring WordPress 6.0 with which we are including an enhanced CMS (Content Management System) experience for all of our direct clients.

The new-look dashboard will include updated branding, quick access to our support team via a handy form and a news feed, keeping our clients up to date with helpful hints and tips to manage and improve their own site.

WordPress, of course, will continue to allow you to customise your own choice of dashboard widgets, show/hide and reposition any widget should it be required.

This is just the initial release in our plans for improving our WordPress client’s CMS experience and we hope that our clients feel the benefit of these changes.

If you’re considering refreshing your website or just want to chat about how to ensure your site is secure and up to date then get in touch.

In March I reported on our office closure.  Last week we held the first of our quarterly “All Company Gatherings” since then.  The format of these gatherings is an evolution of how we used to gather together in previous years – in an age before words like “covid” and “pandemic” were in our vocabulary.  We have enjoyed on many occasions the opportunity to spend extra time together, and do something unusual, not specifically about our work, but often related to it in some way.  Events have usually been based in Suffolk, which is where the company is rooted, and included sailing trips, barbeques in remote fields, country house sleepovers, and visits to arts and crafts centres.

HMS Queen Elizabeth

This time, released from our “Suffolk HQ” constraints, we branched out and chose Portsmouth as the location. The rationale behind this decision was characteristically eclectic.  In January we had set the dates for 4 gatherings across the whole year, and asked everyone to keep their diaries free.  Around that time, I also happened to enter my newly acquired sailboat in the Round-the-Island race, which is a 1200-yacht yacht race around the Isle of Wight.  This was on 25 June, the day after our Summer Gathering. 

Realising I had a formidable logistical challenge looming – to spend 2 days with the company and then get onto the water and across to the island on the Friday evening – I just needed to persuade our head of production Katie, who has assumed the role of “chief gathering organiser”, that we could go to Portsmouth.  Leveraging some of the tactical persuasive skills learned from my children, I was able to make the argument that it was high time we headed further afield, several of our staff live and work in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and London, so how nice it would be for them to have the Suffolk mob make the effort this time.  She was quickly persuaded and seized the opportunity to create a fantastic company event. 

In our maritime hotel next to the historic Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, we all soon grasped what a fascinating and fun place Portsmouth is – steeped in maritime history, packed with things to do and interesting mixture of serious stuff going on – university, MOD, shipping, business – blended with a holiday atmosphere, the bars and restaurants of course all brimming with potential.

Portsmouth Get Together

During our visits, we were able to carry on working operationally, and also spend a useful afternoon discussing the world we are in, our place in it and our own strategy for the business. Reflecting on these, we set ourselves the challenge “how  can we improve Infotex in a time of climate emergency and facing economic uncertainty”.  We have committed the business to work on projects that aim to do more with less, so that we can help our clients to beat inflationary pressures, and we can operate using fewer resources. Over the summer, our ideas will be developed into projects, and when we next gather in October, we aim to pick up the best projects and move these forward.

Portsmouth

Outside of work, we had a vibrant and competitive escape room session, which taught us all more about ourselves, followed by a visit to Boathouse 4 in the Royal Naval Dockyard, and a tour of Portsmouth harbour in their restored landing craft, which everybody who likes boats and naval history (like me) loved, but that might not have been everybody!

Portsmouth escape room

Portsmouth

 

Apple have stormed forward with the announcement of IOS 16 this month, which will be compatible with the iPhone8 onwards – leaving behind some much-loved Apple models including the iPod touch, which was discontinued recently.

A decisive end to two decades of the iPod led to a trip down memory lane for some of us at Infotex. We asked some of our team to share their stories about their music listening habits and what the iPod has meant to them over the past two decades.

James Fulford

“To a 14-15 year-old boy it was a complete game changer!”
James Fulford, Account Manager

James’ first (and best) iPod – a 4GB green iPod mini, 2nd generation – was one the greatest bits of kit he’s ever owned, he says. It transformed his 40 minute school commute on public transport with its 1,000 songs and 18hr battery life. “No one needs more than 1,000 songs…” he says, “whoever says they do are lying!

Now James has an iPhone with access to 2TB of cloud storage, which is used for a lot more than just songs but would be capable of storing c.2,000,000 songs (definitely too many songs!).

Apple iPod website 2005

Katie Robinson

Our Production Manager Katie’s love for her first iPod – a purple Nano given to her by her (now) husband over a decade ago – kickstarted her desire for more Apple products, and it wasn’t long afterwards that she got her first iPhone.

Michael Letley

Whilst Michael, our developer enjoyed listening to podcasts, thanks to the hard drive capacity. “This completely changed my life, the most memorable podcasts were “The Skeptics Guide to the Universe” and “The Bugle” (both are still going and I still listen to them).

John Harman

“That iPod touch was my reliable friend for emergency notifications overnight for many years, as well as pumping out a steady stream of 1980’s rock ‘n roll music for many long days during a house renovation where there was no internet connection. It is still sat close to me now!”
John Harman, Infrastructure Manager

Remember the days when hours were spent burning CDs to listen to in the car? For John (aka Moz), this ended in 2006 with the purchase of an iPod Nano 2nd generation (2GB), for use listening to podcasts in his car via a tuner add-on that created “iPod FM”. Moz’s podcast passion outgrew his storage capacity, so his birthday present in 2009 was an upgrade to an 8GB 4th generation Nano, which still works today. As a developer, but not an Apple user, Moz needed a simple way to do browser testing on iOS, so later he upgraded from the Nano to an iPod touch.

Although nowadays Moz’s music and podcasts are primarily handled by his (Android) phone, he is still close to his iPod touch and iPads. Like Katie, the iPod was Moz’s first dip into the Apple ecosystem.

Kris Parker

Not everyone jumped on the iPod bandwagon. Account Manager Kris Parker opted for the DAH-220 – a clever cassette tape shaped MP3 player, so you can load it into a tape deck and play your music – ideal for cars in the early 2000s! With only 256mb of storage, you had to be very selective over what tracks you put on it.

mp3-cassette


Whether the discontinuation of Apple iPods marks an inevitable end of simple music players or not, we will always feel nostalgic about the time these small devices transformed music and podcast listening forever!

Healthcare systems in practice – understanding the need and how Infotex can help.

We launched Infotex UK Systems just before the COVID-19 hit. We were excited about its potential to support the NHS at the time but throughout the last 2 years we have really been able to explore how critical well designed, value for money systems will be for trusts and CCGs\ICSs.

The NHS is ramping up its focus on digitising itself, its staff and providing better channels through which patients can engage with practitioners and also help determine how best to manage their care.

The expectation is that as a result of the epidemic, all technology will see a jump forward but that any used within the Healthcare Industry will see a more poignant increase in pressure to deliver.

Infotex healthcare brochure

With this in mind, we are excited to be attending a number of key shows across the year so we can purposefully engage with operations and administration leaders to understand their actual and specific needs and challenges. Though we have gained enormous information through careful research, the best way for us to deliver value is to speak directly with those looking to improve their systems as each team and trust have such a vast range of requirements and challenges (even if they can broadly be categorised together).

We next plan to attend THE HEALTH PLUS CARE SHOW, in London on the 18th-19th May.

It is FREE to attend for healthcare professionals, you can find the show guide and other details at healthpluscare.co.uk/digital.

The show will cover 4 key areas;

Topics we hope to explore include:

We are looking to speak to anyone that is working in the healthcare sector that would like to share their thoughts and experiences of patients facing AND internal administration systems so we can better meet the needs of patients and the CCGs\ICSs we hope to work with.

Get in touch if you would like to chat either online or in person!

“The Healthcare Show in 2022 provides that long-awaited opportunity for the NHS to come together to reflect, respond and re-organise in the face of the monumental challenge it has endured over the past two years.”
www.healthpluscare.co.uk

Want to arrange a meeting at the show or find out more about our systems? You can reach the team at:
debbie.keating@infotex.uk or via LinkedIn
alex.rawlings@infotex.uk or via LinkedIn

We hope to see you there!

To find out more about our healthcare solutions please visit www.infotex.uk/healthcare-systems or contact us for a brochure.

We’ll also be at:

A wise advisor, someone I admire and respect, once said to me “Strategy is What Happens, not what’s Supposed to Happen”.   What Has Happened to our offices is, perhaps, just such an example.

In 2020 we made the decision to close our small London office, amidst the drama of the pandemic and lockdowns. This week we have said a final goodbye to our head office in Melton, Suffolk. 

Riverside House has been our home for just 5 years, 2 of which have been lost to the pandemic. But we have always had our head office in Melton since 2004, so this is a big change.  

We have opted to make working from our own homes our default mode, with flexible hours to boot, but we are aware that this will have consequences, so we see this as an evolving story.  

The abruptness of the pandemic jarred so many businesses into adopting, at scale, remote working practices that have been in place for years.  In Infotex, as in many businesses, we had already been working for a long time remotely with clients and staff across the world, on Hangout, Teams, Zoom and Skype, with all of the benefits.

Scaling this up to become the default taught us about new positives.  For our staff who have always worked remotely from “the office”, having everyone on the same level has resulted in a new closeness within the business.  Our daily chats mean that all of us see and hear more of each other than we used to, and our teamwork has improved through the flexibility of being able to make up teams so flexibly (although we tend not to use Teams, preferring Google Meet for its immediacy).  

Having overall responsibility for the business, I feel more connected to all of our team of 25 than I ever have.  Maybe that’s a damning indictment of how I was doing things before!  Or maybe I am deluding myself.  Certainly, this sense of connection has made me eager to find the ways and means to spend more time actually together.   So far, we have had three 2-day “gatherings”, where the whole company works in one location.  These have all been enjoyable, and constructive and important for our business.  Now that we no longer have our building, we are free to roam. Our next gathering, in June, will be in Portsmouth.  This is a welcome relief to our minority “Staff in the South”, who are relieved not to have to journey to Suffolk this time. It will no doubt invoke a nautical theme, and plans are afoot to visit the historic dockyard.

In the meantime, like so many other businesses, we are free to meet with one another and our clients in a variety of locations, many of them regulars. Serviced offices and workspaces offer the ideal answer for providing us with stimulating and enjoyable working environments when needed.  For some of us, having somewhere to go is beneficial and needed, so this option always remains available to us all.  But not being constrained by a rigid structure is an important step forward and feels like a step forward.

Propelled by events, we are following a new strategic direction, which is modern, flexible and resilient, and fills us with confidence.  But it wasn’t supposed to happen.

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