Cost is perhaps the single greatest factor that can impact engineware purchase. Every organization is sensitive to budget considerations. Obviously, it is essential that certain factors be considered to ensure that an organization’s resources are spent wisely. When contemplating the purchase of computer hardware or software, consider the following:
* Purchase the most powerful technology.
* Make certain that the configuration of hardware matches or exceeds software specifications.
* Purchase the most memory possible.
* Be sure to purchase the fastest processor and largest amount of random access memory (RAM).
* Don’t be limited to a single vendor.
Also, be prepared to deal with (and, if possible, to prevent) the myriad of problems that often arise when working with technology. It is important to be as knowledgeable as possible about selecting a service provider and products. Tables 2 and 3 provide a list of guidelines to consider when selecting such items.
Software (fuelware) is the instrument that enables hardware to perform a given function (image and word processing, data retrieval and interpretation, etc.). Current software applications are fast, easy to use and are better integrated with other applications than previous versions. Software should offer an enhanced level of proficiency, efficiency and professional expertise. A number of software applications are specifically targeted to health-fitness professionals. Following are some benefits these applications offer:
* Club management-related issues: member billing, accounting, point-of-sale, member management, front desk check-in, employee time card tracking, generating reports, etc.
* Health and wellness applications: fitness evaluations, exercise prescriptions, health-risk appraisals, nutritional assessments, etc.
* Facility scheduling
* Exercise data management: logging on, tracking results, etc.
After gaining access to the World Wide Web, HF professionals need a minimum of three things for successful “enter(net)ance”: 1) a basic understanding and knowledge of terminology and the use of acronyms, 2) an Internet service provider (ISP) and 3) a browser (i.e., Netscape Navigator, Windows Explorer) to connect from the ISP to the web. If you would like detailed instructions on how to become an Internet user, refer to the articles “In step with the Internet: A guide for fitness professionals” (ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, July/August 1997) and “Plugging Into FitnessWorld” (Fitness Management, August 1995).
The influx of technological innovations in hardware, software and the Internet offers health-fitness professionals unlimited opportunities. These tools provide the gateway to reach more people, and also a means to enhance their level of service. Without question, the number, diversity and productivity of such tools will expand in the future. As such, the fundamental charge facing HF professionals is relatively straightforward — get on board, utilize fully and enjoy the benefits of the boundless world of technology.
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Tags: hardware, software, technology