birra's Journal

birra's Journal


Honor: 13    [ Give / Take ]


10 entries this month

Today's agenda...

13:46 Jul 30 2010
Times Read: 774

....I'm going to spend a little time in the office catching up on paperwork. Over the last 3 days I think I've only been at my desk about 3 or 4 hours. So many services to take care of and this new contract is turning out to be a royal pain in the ass. Typical in dealing with big companies with so many layers - and no one has proven they know what is going on.

I wouldn't be as annoyed if it paid more, of course, but at this point it really is starting to feel not worth my time to run around for all the work they want done, considering the conditions I have to do the work in.

So, although I hate being at my desk for extended periods, today it will be a relief.




Enjoying the Hicks...

05:04 Jul 26 2010
Times Read: 798

....I miss Bill Hicks.

Not that it has anything to do with my day... I spent the afternoon building nesting boxes on multiple levels in the chicken coop.

It is now a chicken condo. As soon as they adjust to the change, I'm sure they will love it.




Just a note from the hardware guys...

05:25 Jul 23 2010
Times Read: 851

...one of my suppliers brought to my attention today they would be getting in a supply of over 500 refurbished HP Pavilion laptops... on a model that has only been on the market for 2 months.

They possibly have another 1500 units following in a few weeks.

This is a problem, folks. These are typically the models you will find on the shelves in big box stores, selling cheap with huge rebates and etc..etc..etc... they're built like crap, have over a 10% failure rate out of the box and another 10% fail within a month.

I look at buying products like this as a kind of gambling. The odds are with the house that you'll be buying a new laptop which costs about the same in less than 2 years. They're designed that way on purpose - buy low quality, spend the money twice. And please don't ask me if you can trade in your failed Pavilion laptop.. I have a cabinet full of them.

One thing you can say for them - the refurbs are almost as good as new, since most of them are practically brand new to begin with.



05:30 Jul 23 2010

Hmmm... Maybe I'll stick with eMachines after all, they may be cheap crap but my poor p.o.s. has managed to survive 4 years with serious abuse.

05:38 Jul 23 2010

You're just one of the lucky ones. Gateway bought eMachines - both Gateway and eMachines have an even higher failure rate on average.

You won the gamble!

05:42 Jul 23 2010

Heh...my parentals bought us this compuer, brand new, around two years ago.

It's pretty much on the last of its death rattles....

And yes, it's an emachines.

I'll be moving all of my photos to my flash drives and online photo hosting websites in case it dies completely.

I'm planning on purchasing a laptop one of these days (my top priority is a new camera though)...what would you recommend?

06:02 Jul 23 2010

This is why I buy my own parts, and put them together my self.

Never have bought pre-built systems. Never will.

They make my nerd genes cry.

08:51 Jul 23 2010

My mom bought an eMachines before Gateway bought them and it was a great computer. It lasted 7 years. I bought her a new Dell all in one. It has been great so far. It is only 5 months old though. I have a Dell laptop and have had great luck with them. This is my second one in 5 years. Not to bad, for the abuse they have been through.

16:44 Jul 23 2010

Ack! I have an HP Pavvy; it's about a year old and works pretty well. No problems yet. I hardly ever travel with it so it's almost never rattled or bumped.

Are these refurbed HPs the heavy, big-screen types, or the smaller 14 & 15 inch versions?

16:58 Jul 23 2010

See, I have this amazing refurbished IMB named Mickey, it is amazing! I got it at a good price too...

Oh wait ;) I bought it from you. :P

No problems with it either....

Although I have to tell you, I have had a Toshiba (it was a piece of shit, it was forever having problems from day one) and also a Dell, a Fujitsu (hated it even more then the Toshiba, the built in wireless card wouldn't even work) and now this wonderfully amazing IBM. :)

16:58 Jul 23 2010

See, I have this amazing refurbished IBM ThinkPad named Mickey, it is amazing! I got it at a good price too...

Oh wait ;) I bought it from you. :P

No problems with it either....

Although I have to tell you, I have had a Toshiba (it was a piece of shit, it was forever having problems from day one) and also a Dell, a Fujitsu (hated it even more then the Toshiba, the built in wireless card wouldn't even work) and now this wonderfully amazing IBM. :)

17:41 Jul 24 2010

Thoth - they are 14in Core i3 models.

KB - yep, the IBM ThinkPad is now the Lenovo ThinkPad - our most popular and most recommended line of laptops. Like Morri has said, we beat the hell out of our ThinkPads and they just keep going.

Thanks for still loving Mickey and giving him a good home. :)


Tonawanda, Solo?

01:56 Jul 21 2010
Times Read: 868

Today was my first day solo on the new contract. Which was made difficult by:

1. it wasn't supposed to be

2. no one was available that could answer any questions

3. they handed me an unintelligible work order and said "have at it."

4. I don't have access accounts to the network or the trouble ticket system yet

5. The person I'm replacing hasn't turned in his keys to access the network cabinets

6. My security badge didn't give me clearence to access the LAN room, where my desk and work console are

7. The work order I was given had a pre-requisite of the electrical work to the room having been done, and it's not

The mere fact that I accomplished SOMETHING there today makes me happy - and I did. I got the first half of what I needed to get done, done.

Now if everything else falls into place I should be able to finish the work order on Thursday.





16:20 Jul 15 2010
Times Read: 897

Just taking a brain-break from creating our Summer/Back to School flyer. Some of the deals I've put together are actually pretty damn awesome if I do say so myself.

A VR member took advantage of a $154 discount on a new laptop just the other day and I have plenty more of them. We have a Dell 20IN LCD for only $135 (that's a 35% discount off of Dell's price on it). And a Sony iPod/iPhone dock & speaker system that lists for $150 for only $96. Sony man - not some knock-off, the good stuff when it comes to audio.

Now I have to put together the back-to-school promos - any suggestions?



16:22 Jul 15 2010

Oh yeah, and this is all NEW product. No open-box, no refurbs or recertified. Full warranty on everything.


Just what I was saying...

04:17 Jul 15 2010
Times Read: 909

...an 8 line order.

They packaged 3 small parts for overnight in 3 separate boxes, effectively trippling my shipping costs...

...and then failed to ship 2 parts on the order, altogether. This is after having a direct conversation with them about everything that was needed on the order AND sending them a hard copy PO on top of it.

Tomorrow is going to be a GREAT day.





Downhill slide...

21:07 Jul 14 2010
Times Read: 926

...this is what is now wrong with my industry.

All technology, mainly, works with a distribution channel. It does work better that way because wholesale distributors are designed to move boxes. It is all they do, really. And companies like mine are on the front line to the customer, so when the customer needs support, they can get it, instead of waiting on hold for 30 minutes to be transfered to 4 different people and end up in India...

But over the last few years our distributors have started outsourcing everything. It is difficult to get a US based sales team and getting help when things go wrong is getting to be a near imposibility. Dealing with distributors used to be streamlined - now organizing a purchase order is an all-day event.

What this means in the end is poorer service to the customer and higher prices... it is their way of saving money.

Pretty much everything is being run like the government these days...



22:10 Jul 14 2010

We're always going to be on the front lines, fighting for the people who matter the most, our customers.

The thing is, they DON'T make big demands. Their needs are reasonable and it's sad that distributors don't seem to care so much any more, but we do.

You're like a techno Robin Hood, whooping ass to help those in need.

23:07 Jul 14 2010

I understand... so well.



03:07 Jul 08 2010
Times Read: 963

...speaking of hot women, check this out: ...

We had a great networking meeting tonight with the managing editor of a local health interest magazine in attendence. She is going to consider us as a contributing columnist for Green Technology, health concerns in technology and other topics.

She also was thrilled by Morri's portfolio of work and wants her to start contributing photography work, including cover work.


It is a free circular, so it is mainly volunteer work - but it does have good circulation so it is a way for both of our interests to get a little more publicity. I'm pretty excited by the prospects!



22:57 Jul 08 2010

Great news! :)

15:20 Jul 11 2010




21:52 Jul 02 2010
Times Read: 999

...one of the benefits of having a home office setting to work in: returning from a job covered in drywall and insulation dust and getting right into the shower.



03:22 Jul 03 2010

man, I'd walk around in a robe and slippers if I had the chance.

*bow chikka wow wow*


We're professionals for a reason.

02:56 Jul 01 2010
Times Read: 827

We make recommendations to customers on how to maintain their technology, set policies, etc. Too often they go against our recommendations, assuming they know better or it will cost them less in the short term.

I worked on a client's PC today - one of nine in their office - the one the sales staff uses the most, especially when store traffic is slow.

I cleaned off over a dozen rogue programs, tool bars and games. I cleaned up over 70 malware infected items, repaired over 500 registry issues and reclaimed over 1GB of disk space on the system.

It is now set to not allow the employees to go anywhere online but the essential websites they need to - a recommendation we made over a year ago when we installed their network. We will also be working on writing a formal acceptable usage policy for their employees to sign and agree to. Something we also recommended over a year ago.

Since then they've spent twice as much on damage cleanup from not taking those recommendations the first time.

We make recommendations to help our customers SAVE money in the long run. It's what we do.

It baffles me as to how difficult it is to get people follow the advice they pay to receive...



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