MyQ EasyBox and the Miniaturization of Technology
MyQ Shows Us That the Document Imaging Industry Doesn’t Have to Be Full of Chunky Boxes
If you ask me, and I’m sure you would given the chance, the miniaturization of technology is a great thing. In the space of a decade, public perception of a computer has shifted from a chunky box to a slim, pocket-sized device. The freedom to walk around with this powerful technology in our pockets has fundamentally changed the way we watch films, listen to music, read books, play games and even communicate with each other.
We may think that the digital imaging world is immune from such shrinkage, mainly because we’re used to dealing with large, industrial devices and solutions stored on rack-mounted servers that are locked away in a cupboard somewhere, but that isn’t always the case.
This was brought home to me when I came across the MyQ EasyBox, a petite plastic box packed with, among other things:
• A 2.4-GHz Intel Celeron processor
• 4 GB of RAM
• A 128-GB SSD
• Six USB ports (two of which are USB3)
• An 8-GB SDHC card for database backup
The EasyBox is intended for customers with fleet sizes of 10 or fewer devices, as befits its diminutive size. Dealers and organizations can have many EasyBoxes installed at multiple installations. It runs Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro and boots straight into the MyQ web interface in Internet Explorer upon login. Data is written to an 8-GB SDHC card so that should the worst happen and the hardware fails, the customer’s data isn’t lost. It can be reinstalled on a fresh device.
For those not familiar with it, MyQ is a universal print solution typically installed on traditional servers. It lets dealers and customers implement a print strategy across their entire fleet, whether it’s composed of just desktop printers, large MFPs or a mixture of both. Dealers can manage devices, enforce print policies (so certain users can only print in black and white, for instance), run reports and charge users for print jobs, among other things. Even better, they can extend all this control to compatible MFPs by installing embedded terminals on them. Users can create specific print queues (hence the MyQ name), including a follow-me queue that allows authorised users to print jobs at the terminal for utmost security. Users can even print historic jobs, and mark jobs as favourites so that they can print them on demand again and again.
Yes, the EasyBox is designed for companies with small fleet sizes, but it’s a compact and convenient solution for customers and dealers alike. As the miniaturization of technology continues and computer hardware becomes more powerful, devices even more compact than the EasyBox will replace them and serve large fleets and larger organizations.
Two obvious concerns with using small computers as servers are data security and hardware theft, but these are all problems that can be solved with a bit of thought. Some computers, such as the MyQ EasyBox, are already compatible with Kensington locks that let users tether them to a secure post, and Kensington provides other products, such as the M series, which is a set of products that protects tablet computers. Another company that offers security products for small computers is Compucage, which provides devices for securing tablets to walls and office furniture via brackets, as well as to an object of the users’ choice via a cable. Compucage also makes security devices for laptops and desktop computers. Another option is to use a lockable cabinet, an item available from an array of suppliers, including A&R Engineering. As computers get smaller, security companies will continue to innovate.
We may be encouraged to think big in our daily lives, but our means of expressing and realising ideas is getting ever smaller. Here’s to the future!