Month: October 2005

Skype bonus

Skype are doing a decent bonus in that if you sign up for $10 or 10euros worth of skype out minutes (or voicemail) then you get 3 months of voicemail free and 2 hours of skypeout credit if you pay by credit card. I now only have .06euro’s left in my account after our first $10 purchase so I am about to renew. The annoying thing is that most of the people in the uk don’t have skype although I had a great 100 minute conversation about the church website this morning over skype for free 🙂

Compusa vs GeekSquad skit

George does a good skit of what would happen when the techies from Compusa get in the ring with the techies from BestBuy to battle over a consumer’s tech support. With weapons such as rebates, price match flyers and even a blueshirted sales rep (i think) the action gets pretty intense. Well worth catching up on the In the Trenches podcast from a couple of weeks ago. The file is pretty large but contains a lot of other good techie stuff too.

The things I learnt today

1. If a computer freezes every 20 minutes, is it safe to upgrade the bios (which might solve the problem)? A tricky question and in my case, the answer is no. The computer crashed during the bios update and consequently was Columbus’ biggest doorstop. Fortunately I had made sure the machine was under warranty before I began but still had to endure a 45 minute phone call with Dell as they troubleshooted the call. The last 2 minutes went something like this
Dell: Sounds like you need a new motherboard.
Me: Yep
Dell: Sounds like you knew I was going to say that.
Me: Yep!
The engineer will be on site tomorrow to swap out the part although they asked if I wanted to do it. Very cheeky on their part seeing as though the company is paying for the warranty and the coverage – why do their job for them? That and the engineer can sit and wait whilst the lengthy diagnostics runs and I won’t.

2. If you use Lotus Notes as your mail client and synchronise your databases to the server, it doesn’t synchronise your address book (which doesn’t need a replica on the server either to confuse matters). Instead you go to Actions/Synchronise Address Book. Why you have to do this I don’t know *cough* you don’t have to do that in outlook you know – its all included in the synchronisation/offline capabilities *cough*. I’ve also not worked out how to get that command onto a toolbar so I have one click access rather than going to the menu to do it (or even better to automatically do it). I’ve also yet to work out what they synchronise journal does as I dont see an option for a journal in my notes client – this notes client lark is a steep learning curve.

3. If users complain they can’t see unread email in outlook, make sure that the messages view does NOT have the “Use Group” menu item selected otherwise it is possible to hide last weeks mail, including unread emails, in this one line within the view (and its too complicated for the users to go to the unread emails view)

Windows Activation

I finally finished the install of Small Business server 2003 on the virtual server on the laptop this morning. It’s taken forever to do and this morning I had to go through the activation of the software. As the server doesn’t have internet connectivity (yet) I had to do it over the phone. The whole process was simple and straightforward with voice recognition guiding me through the process. After I had read out the 42 (i think) digit number it was time for it to read out the 42 digits. They were split into 7 groups of 6 digits and the funny thing was that it would ask you to say “Go On” at the end of each group if you were ready. I was starting to sound like Mrs Doyle – that annoying woman from the self assessment adverts on tv a couple of years ago – go on, go on, go on!

Fifth Third have been looking at their competitors ad’s too much.

You have probably seen the ads on tv for Capital One – where they are training the telephone guys to say NO all the time – well I think 53rd Bank have also been watching this too many times.
After not giving me a credit card and then sending a letter saying they want to do everything in their power, I arranged to get a secured credit card – apparently all I needed was a savings account with $300 in it….but they neglected to tell me that I’d only get a $300 limit on the card – not much use if I’m putting work expenses on it!
I come home, feeling annoyed that I wasted my trip to the bank (and they farted around before finally paying attention) and went to pay a bill online – you know, the service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – unless its Friday night and you have a bill to pay and the service is temporarily unavailable….or if you need to speak to customer service about online banking, then they are only open during business hours…grrrrr. I really need to change banks, one that provides a credit card, free checking, no atm charges and a decent online service – know any?
In the meantime I think I’ll be fighting for a refund of my cheque charges and a closure of my account.