Archive for October, 2009

Russians NOT welcome!!

October 29, 2009

spam This is what a lot of people’s computer looks like when they open up their email client(for you non-techies, that means program). SPAM has been around for a damned long time. In fact we’re talking 1937! And here most of you thought the Internet was where it originated 馃檪

Most people generally think it’s a minor nuisance and for the most part, they are right. Those people who actually have to pay for the running of servers on the Internet know the real cost and it ain’t pretty. It seems that the Russians have discovered SPAM and keep at it. It’s almost as bad as those Nigerian Scams. It really does make one wonder why they keep at it? Is there seriously a good return on investment? I recall reading that if a spammer got a 0.001 percent click/purchase that was considered a good income. seems like a dying breed of ‘marketing experts’. My blog seems to be popular in Russia as I have noted many times before at how Russians post up replies to comments with their crap. I have set the site that you have to registered in order to comment and oddly enough, some of those Russians take the time to register.

Let’s take our recent example:

Username: SweetAnnyy
Email: bazaned@mail.ru

The .ru kinda gives away as being a spammer but heck, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and do a Google Search on that email addrress. Well, what do ya know, 89 hits on that email address and msot of them on spam-stopping/reporting sites. So yeah, this guy got deleted.

Do let’s send a message to Russia shall we?

袪校小小袣袠袝 小袩袗袦袦袝袪蝎, 笑袝袥校挟孝 袦袨袝袚袨 孝袝啸袧袠效袝小袣袨袚袨 袠楔袗袣袗!

and in case you didn’t get that, feel free to use Babelfish to translate 馃檪

Modern Shakespeare: To Delete or not to Delete

October 28, 2009

Despite all of our technical advances in the last couple of decades, there is still a lot to be said for the simple filing cabinet in your home or office. I mean, when was the last time you needed to defrag your filing cabinet? Or when was the last time it ‘crashed’ and you ‘lost all your files’? Did the latest update break the cabinet too? Seriously, this just never happens. So for someone with simple needs (i.e. single person/home budget), a complex program like QuickBooks is way overkill.

Let’s talk about the durability of media.

Harddrives are lasting about 3-5 years tops. How many of you thought about replacing your HD recently? A better question now to ask is ‘Can you afford to loose every, single piece of data on your hard drive?’. Now, this is only for the end user/home user of computers and mainly the PC people. See, you people cause your own problems. You want it cheaper and cheaper every year but then complain wildly when it crashes in 3 years and you have to replace it.

So people also burn their data to Disks. Well the shelf life of a disk is far from definitive. There are estimate of between 2 years and 50 years. The biggest problem is the environment in which disks are stored. so now even backing up to a CD isn’t all that helpful and apparent there is no data for DVDs as of yet.

So to sum up, you can’t trust HDs for extended periods of time, you can’t trust CDs/DVDs for extended times….what can you trust?

Options:

1/ Buy more expensive HDs and set them in a RAID format. This works great and is exactly what the big companies do. The problem is cost. People simply don’t have enough of an idea to believe they need such expenses even though the durability is significant.

2/ Outsource your storage. By that I mean use other people’s $100,000+ setup. This is the route I chose for my daily uses. I use GMail for all my email communications. Hell, Google makes enough money to afford outrageous machines. Let them worry about backups and data security. The downside, you have no control over where your data is. Hardly a downside for the average person really.

3/ Deal with replacement every 3-5 years of your media. For most people, this isn’t an option but a does to slap in the face reality. They wait till it breaks then call in a tech to fix it. I ended up charging one company $1500 for data recovery because 3 years of financial data was on the failed HD and they HAD to have it. Gues what they got now? An external drive to back up on. Harsh lesson to learn.

Speaking of deleting data. Why can’t people just take the time to think about what they are doing? While working for a company, one guy emails in saying to delete this one particular account. Being the obedient company representative, I diligently follow the client’s instructs and inform him when it was done. To whit he responded “Don’t delete this account.”. Sorry about your luck fella but maybe a few moments of thought before you asked me to delete the account would have been useful.

You think upgrading is better?

October 27, 2009

Upgrades and new software is common place and a given in the IT world. Every year there are tons of upgrades/updates/security patches for just about every operating system. Windows is notorious for their ‘security updates’ and usually slow to release them only to find out that those updates have bugs with them as well. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to uninstall IE8 in the past two weeks because of spyware getting past all the ‘security updates’. Hell, Microsoft even has a 10 page PDF document tell you how “Internet Explorer 8 helps keeps you safer online“. Opening it up you’ll find on the 2nd page the wonderfully ‘responsibility disclaimer’ clause of “MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT.”. Even though they make a claim, they rescind it within the first two pages of their document.

One of the most other common tools used are FTP programs. One of them I used to consider the best out there was FileZilla. That was until an update caused it to stop working. Like the good geek that I am, I researched why this happened and how to fix it. I found out that the author changed something in it to make it more standards compliant. The problem is that because some servers have not implemented this, the FTP program fails to connect.

Now, it is entirely possible to have this ‘update’ as an option and disable it but the author has basically said “tell your stupid server admins to fix the problem. It’s not my fault.”. See, right there is someone with absolutely zero business/customer relations sense. He feels his product works just fine (and for the most part it does) but refuses to listen to people telling him there are problems. He then goes on to tell these people to go back to their ‘server admins’ and have them fix it. Riiiiight.

First, most people can’t possibly explain the technical details of why there is a problem in the first place.

Second, most people with the problems are dealing with incredibly stupid tech support with an web hosting provider. The sheer amount of effort to get the problem across to a second level person is staggering and will result in ‘other people are using other programs with no problems. Just switch to another FTP program”

Soo, effectively the author said ‘screw you guys, I’m right and you can go pound salt for all I care.”. It was at this point I dumped FileZilla and started using something else. I don’t support people who simply cannot help their clients/customers and tell them to ‘get bent’. What an idiot.

You are NOT being clear or simple!

October 26, 2009

Some things in life are pretty obvious. Like when there are no clouds in the sky, it is not raining out. Or a locked door means you need a key to get in. Not to mention that someone driving a Chev couldn’t afford a Mercedes. These things are obvious in life. They need no explanation, they need no directions or 4 year University degrees to understand.

So when you get a call on the phone and the client says the following, how would you respond?

Client: “My account is not clear. I want to know if I can add another product.”

Client only has 4 licenses and all show activated/in use.

鈥淎re you using all 4 CPU license? If yes, then no. If no, then yes. Can I make it any more clear?鈥

Seriously? If you have 4 quarters of your tank showing full, would you call a gas station and ask if you can put more gas in your car? If you had a 4-course meal, would you ask the waiter for the 5th course? Damn people…..where the hell are your brains?

And yet another clueless client emails in with a paragraph-length problem. I advised client to contact another department and provided an email address. Client replies 鈥榠t鈥檚 not that simple鈥. What? We tell you where you can get help and you say no? See, this is a prime example why I started this blog. Even when you give them the direction or help they need, they still just don鈥檛 get it. Much like neutered dogs. Ugh.

Have you ever bought something 'online'?

October 25, 2009

Buying online is nothing new. It’s been around for quite sometime and it’s allllllmost common place. There are still a great many who are freaked out by it yet these same people have no problems with handing their credit card to the teenager behind the counter who has a camera on his cell phone and is sooo damned slick that he is able to take a picture of the credit card and you’ll be none-the-wiser. True story.

I’ve purchased many things through ebay, found many online classified and met someone to buy something from them. This past weekend I did something that I’ve never done before…..haggle a price through texting. I’ve been on this HTC Dream Quest and found one for a decent price that is unlocked. It was posted on a classified message forum and I sent him an email with my cell number and told him to text me. He mentioned he had two of them (one BNIB…) and the other slightly used and unlocked. Being unlocked is more important to guarantee compatibility with my wireless carrier. So I worked out to meet up with him tonight.

He texted me that he got an offer that was $10 more than my offer but wasn’t going to bother unless he got an offer that was $20 more. So, this is my first clue that he’s trying to get the most for his item and that it’s his primary goal. Selling it to a guaranteed offer was second I was driving around (he’s in a different city than me) and was close to him and asked if he was around and I’ll drop off a deposit. He didn’t seem interested in that idea.

A few hours later he texted me again saying that he got an offer that was $30 more than mine and asked if I would match it. I tell him to sell it to the other guy as I’ve seen BNIB Dreams for $400. I was ok with $50 less for a used one unlocked but not $20 less. He said I’d still have to get the BNIB one unlocked (typically around $30 charge). I sent him ” BNIB trumps unlocked”.

By this point I was thinking he had no other buyer and was just trying to get more money from me. He didn’t seem to want to sell it to the other guy, even though I told him to do so. I wasn’t willing to pay more than the original amount. I suspected that if this was true then he’d text me later with some sort of ‘the other buyer backed out’ excuse. I told him (again) to sell it to the other guy. This is what I got:

“Nah, I wanna end this….schools startin n i gotta be in uni on Tuesday…ur only. One pickin oon Monday. K I’m removin my posts n just come on Monday…”

Besides texting completely bastardizing the English language (can you really bastardize an already bastardized language?), my hunch was right and I was the only offer he got.

So now I have my HTC Dream and loving every minute of it! The crap I can do is amazing. I set up a friend router for her from my phone all through wifi! Damn cool stuff!

Damn vague clients鈥.

October 24, 2009

It seems that vagueness abounds in the IT world. People are so narrow-minded and narcissistic that when they email their incredibly general requests (鈥淚t鈥檚 not working鈥.鈥 Or 鈥淚 get an error message鈥hy?鈥), they actually think that their words have the stupendous ability to convey everything that they did, including a mental screen shot of the error message, to a technician through email! And us 鈥榣owly techs鈥 are nothing but their serfs who can simply fix it with one single click of our roller-ball mouse (that is if the dirt accumulated by the ball let鈥檚 us move the freaking cursor up that 1/8th of an inch to click鈥..dammit鈥ove!!!). So I鈥檓 thinking of following suit and conforming to society鈥檚 stupidity and being just as vague. I鈥檓 going to open up a 鈥楪eneral Store鈥 where if anyone comes in and asks for bread, I鈥檒l look confused. The moment they ask for 鈥榙ough, long, baked, sliced鈥 I鈥檒l know immediately what they want! None of this 鈥榮pecific information that actually helps鈥! Give it to me as vague as possible so we can converse on the same level of low-intelligence.

See, as users they think that when they contact a company, that the person they are speaking to has all the client鈥檚 information at his finger tips. Their products, their serial numbers, their address, their contract information, their registration date, their contract end date, and the reason why something is missing. Pfft. Everything listed there is on a different system where each tech has to bounce around 15 different screens to pull up that info. This is the most maddening part of the job, finding all the information needed. Oh if only things were so simple that we had the entire client鈥檚 info in one window鈥..life would be grand.

Next request that comes in and asks 鈥淲hy don鈥檛 I see my products on my screen?鈥 I鈥檓 going to reply 鈥淏ecause you need to be looking at the screen!鈥 That鈥檒l be just as helpful as their request.

I need HELP!

October 23, 2009

There are many people in this world that really cannot function on their own. People in wheel chairs, people in comas, and people who work for McDonalds. I get it. Why is it that the local bum at the donut shop seems to have more articulation and personality than many ‘techs’ that I’ve met?

Somehow things have gotten screwed up in our world. You have people who can get into a car, turn the key and press a gas pedal. They have no clue about oil and barely understand why the car uses gas in the first place. These people scare me. I have to spend too much energy trying not to get killed by them on the road rather than simply enjoying a nice drive to get a coffee. Seriously, the old ‘license from a crackerjack box’ originated from Hamilton. I have developed a shout to wake people up when they slow down for no apparent reason “NO SIGHT SEEING IN HAMILTON!”. It usually gets them moving along and out of my way.

If only it were so easy in the IT world.

When I was working for someone else, there was this client that called in and was too cheap to pay for training. So he creates a support request under the guise of 鈥榯echnical issue鈥. Being the ever-so-wise techie, I recognize this cheap-ass ploy and fulfill my duty. I point him to a couple of articles on the company website that give him 鈥榮tep-by-step鈥 directions how to do exactly what he wants. He then replies 鈥榗an you give me a short description of the process?鈥 Noooo! That鈥檚 what the articles are for dummy! My short description would only reiterate what is in the articles! And it wouldn鈥檛 be short! Until I see MY name on YOUR paycheck, I ain鈥檛 doing YOUR work. RTFM!

Google: Good for the economy

October 22, 2009

There are many things in this world that do nothing but take up space(like sprawling suburbias) and money(like the Government). Few things, and I mean very few things, actually push us forward.

Google is the Saviour of our times. Apple gave us the coolest machines, Microsoft stole the idea and learned how to market and now we have Google to usher in the next generation of technological advances and mindsets. Let us not forget The Pirate Bay and their heroic efforts!

See, Google learned fast from it’s predecessors and has ‘boldly gone in a way others never have before’. For the longest time I thought Apple would be the ones to give us the proper choice for digital freedom. They have the coolest looking ‘stuff’ and are on the cutting edge (barely). The problem is their system is completely closed. There are pros and cons to this. Pro: more control (ain’t is always about control?). Con: Less compatibility with others (Microsoft tries to play nice while trying to subtly maintain it’s control).

Now we have Google. The technological juggernaut that it is becoming is staggering. They do things and do it right. Have a look at their path thus far:

1/ Create the best search engine in the world. Check.
2/ Create the best advertising campaign that blends traditional advertising with Internet Technologies. Check.
3/ Create the best free email service. Check.
4/ Create the best free office suite online. Check.
5/ Create the best web browser…..in the works but publicly available and looks very promising. Half-Check.
6/ Create the best open source operating system for a ‘smart phone’ target=”_blank. Check.
7/ Create the best operating system for a netbook. On it’s way.
8/ Create the best free music system. Check!

The obvious next step will be to simply scale up their network OS(Chromium) to desktops but not much of a leap there. Finally consumers will have a viable 3rd choice when buying a computer! Competition is good! Google is good for the economy.

You are NOT worth it!

October 21, 2009

One of the biggest problems that society, at least in the western hemisphere, is that people don’t even know their own worth. They are simply not even educated or given a clue that they are individuals in their own right and are more powerful than they realize.

Our education system has zero latitude for allowing people to think on their own. They simply don’t want you to think. Don’t believe me? How many times have you heard of a child being disciplined for contradicting a teacher but was labeled as ‘insolent’ or ‘rude’. We are forced to believe everything we are told and demanded that we never, ever question ‘the system’. See, I have a problem with that. I have always questioned the system because it is flawed. The educate system simply does not allow you to think for yourself. You are told to memorize facts and given the illusion of free-thinking when they give you a question to solve on ‘your own’ but in reality, you are simply coming up with solutions that have been implanted in your subconsciousness by their indoctrination of the system. It is so insidious that it is near impossible to believe. The movie The Matrix really isn’t that far off from the truth. To use a cliche, “Truth is stranger than fiction”.

So back to self worth, or lack thereof.

A friend of mine goes to school in another city that is about 45 mins away by car. A bus route was planned out and while it would take at least 90mins to get there, it was at least doable. First day of class she meets someone who lives 8 blocks from her place! Stroke of luck or what?! So they agree on a fair price to pay for gas and the other person drove(although, apparently it was more like “Gotta get there for let’s do 30% above the speed limit shall we?” from what I heard).

Let me digress for a moment, but it is related I promise. This person speeds like there has never been enough time in her life. This chick changes lanes ever 30seconds to get into a ‘better lane’. She speeds well above the speed limit and complains bitterly when she can’t as well as curses loudly when she gets cut off (Oh, the irony there!). This is such a sign of lack in her life, not to mention the sheer arrogance of her putting her petty little insecurities ahead of every other driver on the road. I take great pride in knowing full well the capabilities of my car (both in how fast it CAN and CAN NOT go!) but this chick is one of those people who actually scares me. The fear-based, ego-sized mentality is staggering. I’m waiting to read about her death in the local paper from a horrible crash that also killed 15 others.

Back to the story.

Since my friend drives with her, and she seems like a nice person, she mentioned that she was having printer problems. My friend tells her that I am really good with computers (such an understatement…) and that she was ask me if I could take a look. So I do. Your gonna love this.

I go on over to help her set up her printer. I get there and the printer is missing the power cord! Umm….kinda hard to set it up like that. Well, I set up the driver any ways and we talk about replacing the printer. We go over the options and pros for ink jet versus laser printers. We browse online and I find her a good deal on a laser printer from a local computer store. We call them, make sure they have it in stock and have them set it aside with her name on it. I spent about 30mins with her and we agreed for me to come back after she picks up the printer.

My friend worked out a deal that she would pay me the money instead of paying her gas money for my work. My friend also didn’t know I only spent 30mins. When her ride asked for gas money my friend was confused. The driver bitched that I was ‘only there for 20 mins!’ implying that my time wasn’t worth the $40 is gas money she received every week from my friend. My friend said, no problems she’ll give her the money. This arrogant bitch had the nerve to say “You will need to find another ride to school from now on.” She took offense and thinking that she wasn’t getting her gas money and that my ’20 mins’ wasn’t worth $40!

Are you freaking kidding me? Knowing the tech field like I do, I know for a fact that if I was working under one of the companies I sometimes contract with, that call would have cost her $50 + taxes. Another company would have charged her $100. This clueless wench had the audacity to think I wasn’t worth ANY money for my time. She had better pray that we never meet up in public as I’ll tear her the biggest strip!

In retrospect, I might have expected that given the description of her driving and the complete disregard for anyone else on the road. Still….the whole idea of completely taking advantage of my good nature is absolutely stunning. In essence I was told “You’re not worth the time you spent with me.” Ya know, that just doesn’t sit right in my world. I well know what I am worth and how much I give but shit like this irks me to no end.

The upside to this story, my friend found another ride who is significantly nicer and much more conscientious when driving.

You GOTTA read this!!!

October 6, 2009

If any of you clicked on this post simply because of the heading, then congrats….you are a nice and prime candidate for spam and/or a virus or two like the iloveyou virus simply because I love stupid people….they fuel my blog. Maybe I’ll look into that….. 馃檪

So here is is yet another reply to some dum-ass spam email I got recently:

Why is it that people seem to feel the need to forward such crap? Even worse, why do they not even bother to check to see if it is real? What is it that makes their lives so boring that they feel the need to fill others up with ‘this is true because I saw it on the internet’ emails.

Do I really have to start banning people from sending me emails? I am fortunate enough to have two levels of spam protection (one through my web hoster and another through GMail(speaking of, use it, love it, worship it, make it your God!). Every day I get a report of SPAM messages from my web hoster. Normally I get emails from Vince on a regular basis but this one got in the report. Why? because the contents of this email is well known to be spam. Anyone here knows how to use Google….then freaking use it.

Simply put the subject line of any email into Google and you’ll get your answers.

I put in :

Fwd: Fw: PLEEEEEEASE REEEEEAD! IT WAS ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA

and got 165 hits all babbling about this piece of shit spam that’s been floating around for freaking years.

Learn about snopes.com! Search there, find your answers, use proper ‘nettiquette when sending out emails please.

Speaking of….learn BCC. That way I don’t have to deal with more spam reports because my email address got forwarded to some dumb-ass who couldn’t be bothered to clean up his fucking infected windows systems. If you don’t know what BCC is, get your ass over to Google and search!

If any one of you forwards this email on, then you are just as dumb.

You are all lucky I’m in a good mood today. To see my bad moods, check out http://www.jadedtech.com. I’ve been around, time to let it all out.