Until 2010, Taipei 101 was the tallest skyscraper in the world. How do you build a structure like that to be safe in a land of earthquakes and typhoons? You hang a big ball inside the top of it.
Taipei 101 uses a device called a “tuned mass damper” to minimize the motion of the building during adverse conditions. This device is a ball. It weighs 660 tons, is made of steel plates, and hangs by steel cables inside the top of the building.
If, for example, a typhoon came roaring over Taiwan, the gales would push against the skyscraper. The big heavy ball would resist the push and, in effect, push back. It would reduce instability.
I visited Taipei 101 last summer, and bought a ticket to ride the (world’s fastest!) elevator to the observation deck. And by simply walking down a couple flights of stairs from the top, you can behold the big ball. It was painted sparkly gold and almost looked decorative unless you knew of its engineering function.
There was a second aspect of the tuned mass damper that impressed me. It was how they used the big ball to brand their skyscraper.
Truly! They had designed a ball-bellied character to represent the tuned mass damper. They call it “Damper Baby” and it’s all over Taipei 101. It’s kind of the building’s mascot. In the skyscraper’s gift shop, they sell Damper Baby calendars, fridge magnets, wind-up toys.
To the left is a picture of “Damper Baby”, and behind it you can see just part (it’s big) of the real damper. The pistons you see are part of the “push back” system.
Why am I telling you all this on a QuickBooks-oriented blog? Because we want to be, in effect, like a Damper Baby for your QuickBooks. That’s right.
There are lots of things that push against the stability of your QuickBooks data file: the data traffic on your network, your electrical system in your office, your computer hard drives, Windows, your security and firewall settings…lots of things can influence how QuickBooks performs.
There are two ways we can help “push back” if one of those elements goes awry. One is to reduce your file’s size to a level that will make it more stable. The other is to repair or reconstruct your file if it somehow gets corrupted. We’d be glad to help in either case; just give us a ring.
So…anyone else been up to the top of Taipei 101? What did you think?