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Computer Lessons Past and Present

My involvement with computers goes back to the early 1950s. I was assigned to work on the audit of Trans Canada Airlines (now Air Canada). They had advanced unit record equipment for the time. Eighty column cards with holes punched in them were the data media. Plug boards, sometimes called spaghetti boards because of the complicated wiring, were the equivalent of computer programs. Sorting machines could turn a deck of punched cards into something close to a data base. Mostly the combination of parts printed, added and subtracted numbers in varied sequences. Multiplication and division functions required special control boards.  That approach to data processing was almost the exclusive domain of IBM. They didn’t call it a computer but that may have been because they were working on a fully electronic computer and thought they could divert attention from that effort. In fact they were embarking on a series of developments that lead to the famous 360 series that dominated the computer scene for many years.

But other developments were taking place along side the business systems where IBM was focused. The experience of working with some of them has had a significant impact on my own career. In the early 1950s there was a simple computer called an LGP30. This unit used ticker tape for input of data and loading programs. The computing function consisted of what we now call a central processing unit (CPU) and a rotating drum on which the program was stored as well as any data the program had to read or write to. These were stored in the form of magnetic on or off signals that the CPU could interpret.  In operation, the drum rotated so that the the CPU could execute program instructions sequentially and store results elsewhere on the drum as instructed by the program.

Lesson 1. The LGP30 provided clear  lessons in how computers function. 

A while later when working for a firm of architects, I had the opportunity to talk the partners into investing in an LGP30. A very bright member of the structural division of the firm, Adolf Berg, took an interest in it and quickly learned how to program it. The firm had a project on the books to design a large office building. Adolf decided to program the structural calculations for the building. As the firm worked through various design possibilities, Adolf would recalculate the structural requirements very quickly saving hours of engineers’ time. When the project was put out to tender the structural cost came in substantially below estimates. This was very pleasing to the owner but not so much for the architects. Their fees were based on a percentage of the cost of the building.

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Online Safety Tips

Online Safety Tips

We’ve all heard the best tips for staying safe online . While strong passwords , antivirus software and firewalls are a good start , here are 3 not so common tips that will help protect you and your data online.

Enable Two-Step Authentication where available

Also known as multi- or two-factor authentication or login approval – two-step verification provides an extra layer of security beyond your username and password to protect against account hijacking. When using this security mechanism, you will log in using your password and then be prompted verify your identity again. This second verification is usually done by receiving a security code to your mobile device.

Many websites and companies offer two-step verification, and they make it easy to set up this second layer – usually found in the settings section of your account. Using two-step authentication can help you feel more secure, especially for sites containing your financial information.

Check a Site’s SSL Certificate

Whenever you’re shopping online and entering credit card or bank information, it’s important to make sure that website is secured to protect against hackers trying to steal your info. You can find out if a website is secure by checking its SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certification. While this process sounds complicated, it’s actually one of the simplest and quickest things to do for your online security.

When on a website, check the URL. Does it start with “http://” or “https://”? If you notice an s at the end, that means your connection is encrypted and secure, so any data you enter is safely sent to the website. Not all sites have SSL certification. While they may be fine to browse, avoid sharing any financial or personal information on websites without this added layer of security.

Don’t Save Financial Information on Shopping Sites

Even sites with SSL certification can be hacked. While there may not be a way yet to completely safeguard your data from hackers if you shop online, you can secure your financial information better by removing it altogether from shopping sites.

Many shopping sites let you save your credit card information in your online account. This setup makes it easier to make purchases in the future, as your billing and shipping addresses and credit card information are stored. However, if you can access this information, so can hackers. Rather than store your credit cards and addresses in your accounts, spend the extra minute to enter your information each time you make a purchase.

Jack Slawik, IT Systems Manager

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On Innovation

by W.H. (Bill) Loewen

We are regularly reminded of the importance of innovation. Governments often spend large sums encouraging innovation and on so-called centres of innovation. In some cases, it is necessary to add fuel, but that may not be the source of true innovation. It is more a case of solving a known problem than inventing something that did not previously exist.

Probably the most important innovation ever has turned out to be the telephone. It’s invention by Alexander Graham Bell was the direct result of the fact that both his mother and wife were deaf.  He was interested in discovering how the ear worked.  Once he could see that, he determined that he was able to translate that process into building a replica. And that became the telephone.

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Collect Payments Faster with Telpay

Does your Business have a subscription program or any kind of regular monthly billing? Telpay for Business can help you get paid with our Pre-Authorized Debits (PADs) service.

Your customers authorize you to debit their bank account using the form that we provide. This form assures you that all the bases are covered so that you meet Payment Canada’s requirements.

It’s Payment Canada’s job to establish and enforce the rules and regulations around PADs to make sure they are properly authorized and to protect against improper withdrawals. Want more information on the rules and regulations around PAD’s, please have a look at Payments Canada’s payment guide.
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Making Your International Payments with Telpay

It’s a global village, and Telpay makes international payments easy. The United Nations recognizes many currencies around the world, and so does Telpay. 

International Payments
Telpay is pleased to partner with Payline by ICE, International Currency Exchange, the engine behind our currency exchange. Payline by ICE has over 40 years of experience in custom international brokerage. Together, Telpay and Payline make international business easier, more cost-effective, and accessible to companies of any size. Payline is a Canadian neighbour, headquartered in Victoria, BC with a great track-record for community involvement as well. 

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