The new year is almost upon us. The Mayan Apocalypse, just like so many “end of the world” threats before it, was nothing more than media hype as always. I think at one point or another, I just stopped caring if the world would’ve ended on the 21st. Well… That was a few months ago I felt that way. I don’t feel that way now.
The past two years have been a hellacious torment in one form or another. Between my marriage falling apart, being unhappy where I live, nearly dying and struggling constantly to keep my head above water has taken it’s toll on my soul. Having nearly no friends in the area, it has felt like I’ve been isolated from everything and everyone. It’s been very cold for having to live in this personal hell of mine.
If it weren’t for my oldest daughter’s kindness and my mother, I don’t honestly know where I would be right now. If I would be at all. Granted, my current situation isn’t by any means pleasant. It is bearable at least.
It’s time to put that all behind me now and look to the future. While the number 13 isn’t usually anyone’s lucky number. I’m going to make it my lucky number. I’ve worked damned hard to get myself back together over the past 10 months. I’m exercising regularly and even though I constantly live in a small amount of pain and discomfort, I will continue to get better. I sadly did not make my goal by Christmas of being under 300 pounds, but I’m damned close. I will be under it soon. I wish to get to 220 as a final goal and even then, I won’t stop walking and keeping active. I plan to live for at least 10 more years if I can swing it. More if possible.
2013 is also the year I’m going home to Michigan. Perhaps not my home town, but at least close by. My sons live in East Jordan, so somewhere near there with a job. Perhaps Charlevoix or Petoskey, maybe even Boyne City or Boyne Falls area. All are very close and I know them well. My friends who live there as well as my family are waiting for me. I’m way past due for this. I won’t forget the family I have here, even though I’m no longer a part of the marriage that made them my family. In my heart they will always be family no matter what. Nor will I forget my one and only friend who lives here and has also been my Chiropractor for many years.
I also have a love interest that I’ve been working on for the past few months. I’m hoping it will turn into something official soon. More on that to come later
Sadly, since I still have a lot of time on my hands, I haven’t given up my gaming addiction completely, and I may never actually do so as I enjoy it. However, I have cut way down on the amount of time I spend killing dragons. I tried to give up World of Warcraft, I just can’t. I enjoy it too much. Even if there’s freaking panda bears everywhere…. I can sum it up in two words. FLYING MOUNTS!!!
I officially restarted my account on Christmas Day. I was just so freaking bored sitting at home. Minecraft is cool and all, but I’ve gotta have my flying mounts and I love my Azeroth. I just limit myself to an hour or two a day. It’s enough to get a few things accomplished. Then it’s back to the real world
One final note, as per usual, I have created a new look to my website for the new year. It’s a bit dark. It sort of represents my travels through the darkness these past two years. While it’s now time to step back into the light, I just have a thing for Black and Gold. If you can’t see the new site, because you are on your mobile, set your browser to ask for the Desktop version. (just don’t forget to set it back when you’re done admiring )
You always hear me rant about customers, and how they have grown more and more lazy over the years. How they have become less and less appreciative for the work we do for them. However, it’s not just them that make me want to take a hot soldering iron to the eyeballs of the people that drive me insane in this industry. There are loads of so-called techs as well.
What a wonderful country we live in. People from near and abroad can randomly wake up one day, and decide they want to be a computer tech. They don’t even need to educate themselves to actually do the job. They will simply rely on real techs to do the work for them. They will make money from it. Even after years of doing this though, they still don’t know fuck all about computers…
For nearly 18 years, I’ve had to deal with this nonsense. I’m self taught and generally I can run circles around these people that want to be techs, but they don’t do any of the thinking process for themselves. My education came from books, other knowledgeable people in the field as well as hands on try, fail and research techniques. Yet, I’ve had to deal with all these other techs with certifications and experience they claim to have. They still don’t know loads of things that should be considered basic knowledge in the tech industry.
I’ve had and still have a desk tech job. Most of my work is done over the phone, using my memory, reference tools and various computers at my disposal. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had these fake techs call me up, and ask me all sorts of questions, some to the point of me walking them through what they should already know to help their customer. Of course, the company feels it is something we should do in case they bring us business in the future. I’m not seeing the scales in any kind of balance here.
I still learn new things all the time and I’ll never claim to be a super expert by any means. (Evil Genius yes, expert no – sorry couldn’t resist) I’ll be the first to admit if I don’t know something. However, I don’t make a business out of relying on everyone else to do the work for me. It is clear I have some colleagues that don’t share this outlook and manage to slide by.
Some of the things that come to mind that stick out in my head over the years (the shortened version, I got a little carried away at first):
The list of ridiculous things I’ve had to put up with over these “techs” is mind bending to say the least. Yet short of a miracle, they will continue to exist. Mostly because they always present themselves in a situation that any kind of negative verbiage in reprisal to their lack of knowledge, could potentially come back to bite you. Well… at least they do in my line of work. Because they can either be at one of my customers locations or are in a position to hurt my business if I refuse to help their brainless asses.
The best I can do, is either get out of the tech biz, or bite my tongue and grin. While ranting about it here. Also, don’t get me started on the billions of useless consultants in this world who couldn’t tell anyone the difference between a Mac and a PC, let alone give anyone a real educated opinion…
I’ve spent the past few weeks debating whether or not to attempt this whole “root” thing with my Android phone. You see, I have an LG Optimus V from Virgin Mobile. Love the battery life, love the performance and I love all the crazy and wonderful things I can do with it. What I’m not crazy about is the lack of space and I sincerely hate the idiotic bloatware Virgin throws on it. There are so many things I’d like to do with the phone, but couldn’t because I kept running out of room.
Now you could say all I needed to do was ignore the apps, make sure they don’t automatically update and I’d be fine. I tried that for a couple of weeks, but being I like having the latest and greatest on my PC’s, I also get annoyed when I see this list of apps that are begging for updates on my phone. Most of which I don’t use, don’t like and don’t want. I’m also a big fan of freedom to do what I like with the things I build, buy or what-have-you. Dammit, it’s my money, I bought that freedom.
So, last night I finally searched around and found this video on YouTube talking about rooting the Optimus V and then turning it into a hotspot. Since I can already do the hotspot thing using PdaNet and Foxfi without having to root my phone, I only paid attention to the rooting portion.
Only took a few minutes and my phone was rooted and ready to go! Using Titanium Backup, I backed up the phone and then proceeded to rip out the useless Virgin bloatware. Managed to squeeze an extra 25MB of space when all was said and done and I feel much better not having to stare at useless crap on my apps list and when I check for updates.
Also, note that the Avast! mobile security flipped out on the Gingerbreak used to root the phone. I let it eradicate the offending app since I was done rooting and all seems to be happy.
Granted, I only did this last night. So far, the phone is proving to have no issues. I shall keep an eye on it to see if what I did bites me in the ass later If it does, it gives me an excuse to get a better phone.
Well, I finally went and did it. It’s actually a very big step for me. I’m actually out in public right now, writing up the draft of what will be my overview of owning a Mac for 30 days. (7/4 & 7/5) I’m at the local Starbucks by Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. The social recluse is starting to go out into public. Let’s see if I can start making this a regular thing.
Go ahead Tyler. Snicker all you like.
Anyway, so it’s been 30 days since I first opened the white box and saw the machine I’m using right this moment. So what do I think? I can say my opinion of Mac’s has changed drastically. However, I’m not going to be the misled sheep that you so often find connected to one of these things. I’m also not the goof who will run around boasting I’m safer and better than everyone else. There are some limitations I have yet to overcome with this Mac. And yet, there is a world of good things to say as well. So I’m right now I think I am a level headed medium of computer ownership. It sincerely depends on what you want, versus what you need and can afford. Though mostly what you will do with the computer that makes the absolute difference. Though I can tell you that next time I sit to write a blog from a coffee shop, I’ll choose a more comfortable chair. This wooden one has already made my bum fall asleep from the lack of comfort.
The MacBook Pro is certainly designed to be elegant and yet super functional. Having worked in a Machine Shop for a couple of years and working with CNC machines, I can sincerely appreciate the dedication and time they put into making the Unibody. Though it’s far from being one piece in my opinion since the “body” should be all parts encompassing the inside parts. Though it surely cuts down on amount of parts and does give the laptop a huge amount of panache. It’s sleek and sexy and certainly says “Look at me”. And since I’m not very pretty, at least my Mac will turn some heads.
Again, the included software left a whole lot to be desired. When you spend $1800 for a computer, you’d like to see more productivity software included and not so much social networking. That should be left to the iPad and iPod Touch or the sub $1000 computers and laptops. Thankfully being a resourceful person and über-geek-extraordinaire, I was able to quickly overcome most of the obstacles. So I can have an office suite, coding and programming tools as well as some games to successfully waste time when I have it. Which lately, is a lot (and I’m on vacation ). I did have to purchase a decent Zip Program (File Compression) which I managed to catch at 50% off in the “App Store” for $9.99 and still need to pay for the Pixelmator (Photo Editing Program). I’m currently using in demo mode. While it’s not as nicely laid out or free like Paint.net (which is all I need on a PC), it is only $29.95 which is infinitely cheaper than Photoshop by Adobe. Which is currently going for a stomach wrenching $699. How do folks get duped into paying that much for software? If I were to pay for it, I had better get a life servant/lover out of that deal. I tried to use a Paint.net clone for Macs, Pinta, but it has miles to go before it can be considered a decent clone. Thankfully both of the programs I need to buy are worlds cheaper than their Windows PC counterparts. Odd huh? You’d think having to pay a lot of money for an American designed, assembled and supported machine, the software would also be astronomical. Thankfully it’s not. At least not the majority of it.
Well as I stated before, that has been a myth for years as documented by this fine website. Recent events have proven just how “not so” it is. Honestly, people should think about it. If such a thing were true, all the worlds governments simply need to switch to Macs and we can live in safe peace forever.
Seriously though. They claim to have safe guards in place, but why was my firewall turned off by default? Any known exploit would easily be used the moment an unsuspecting user connected directly to the net with their cable modem. You’d be surprised how many folks do not use routers. They have firewalls (turned on) by default. Cable Modem + No Firewall = Bad
These “safe guards” are only good if the customer ensures to check for patches for their OS daily. If an exploit comes along and they aren’t patched. The end user is going to be unhappy to say the least. Besides, “safe guards” still don’t account for lack of common sense to protect one self from Phishing, Identity Theft and Viruses. You still need security software. Just to prove it, I tested my Mac using the Beta of Avast! for Macs. Just to see if the little bugger worked. Avast as always, has never let me down and I’m still safe to say my Mac is still safe and sound even though I went looking for trouble.
As for using it, I’m more than comfortable using the Mac. I feel very confident I can start giving technical support and helping people make good choices for their Macs. And that was the goal for me. I’m 80% ready to go in that field. I’ll be 100% in no time. Maybe even get myself qualified as a “Genius“. I do frequently tout myself to be one for PC’s, why not officially for Macs too! We’ll have to see if my self training pays off first I guess.
I still struggle with the whole “command” “control” key thing and I sincerely miss my HOME, INSERT and END keys. I’m sure my fingers will adjust in time.
It’s certainly a beautiful machine. It is very impressive in design, video and play some mean 3D video games. I’m very glad I made the decision to buy it.
I do need to pay it off yet and still need to come up with another $350 to get the extended AppleCare Protection Plan. For a machine like this, it would be well worth the purchase as it’s built to last, both internally and externally.
So ah… Any website design or WordPress theme work would be welcome to help me pay for all this
Yes sir. I’ve decided to actually break down and buy a Mac. You may ask “Why?”. Especially since everyone I know, knows that I’m about as Anti-”i” as they come. I can’t stand the idea of Macs and have always complained about the cost.
However there are some very hard truths about Macs. Yes they are expensive, and yet I always say I can’t justify why. Actually, I’ve always been able to justify the reason for their expense. Just in the name of competition between economical choices, Macs are not economical. The reason Macs are so expensive goes way back to the early 2000′s when outsourcing of tech support from many major computer companies took place. Including my job at Gateway. Short and sweet of the story is, outsourcing took place simply because American consumers wanted cheaper computers. Average households could not afford $1000, $1500 or $2000 computers. So to cut costs, computer manufacturers did away with American Techs who made $15 – $20 per hour. I know, as that’s the kind of money I used to make working at Gateway. Apple as far as I know, never outsourced their support. Hence the costs have never really gone down. Also, Apple does not skimp on the hardware. They use only top quality parts. Something I think they don’t convey very well on their website or through their sales people. I guess they assume that the info serves no purpose. Perhaps they should just say “top quality components”, or something similar. Good parts add to the cost of anything.
Also, since people have become lazier and are now more easily manipulated by marketing scams er… techniques. Macs are becoming increasingly more popular. Even if for all the wrong reasons. Hence, it’s becoming more frequent I end up talking to a customer who has a Mac and I can only give so much help to them. Therefore, it’s only common sense that I finally give in and learn Macs so I can be a better and more helpful tech.
And as you know the people who are brainwashed into believing that Macs are invulnerable to viruses, here’s a news clip I found today on CNET just adding to the proof that such thinking will get you into trouble:
CNET: A new version of rogue antivirus malware that targets the Macintosh operating system does not need victims to type in their administrator passwords to install and infect the machine, a security company said today. Read more…
Regardless, I’m smart enough to protect my near $2000 investment. With a Mac Antivirus program, like the ones that have been available for years now.
Also, it should be noted that it doesn’t matter if you use Windows, Mac or Linux. You can still become a victim of identity theft and phishing scams. No operating system will protect you from your own ignorance. Knowing what to look for to avoid such things is far more key than any protective security software.
Granted, I can’t say I’m totally thrilled with the idea. I’m still not a Mac fan and I’m sure that’s unlikely to change even owning one. Especially with having to invest that kind of money, just so I can help people who normally annoy the hell out of me because they fled to Macs, just because they thought it was a safe thing to do and they still refuse to learn anything about them. True Mac fans never call us because they have the intelligence and desire to at least try to learn how to use the things they pay money for. And for them I say, “More power to ya!”.
However, this is my chance to better my technical skills and learn something completely new. Also, I can finally help correct some of the common myths amongst our clueless Mac using customers and friends. It will be a couple of months before I make the purchase, I’ll keep everyone who visits here posted of my progress.
Before any of you go and say it; I know my rotting apple animation looks like shit. Just shows I don’t like Apple enough to care to make a decent looking one. Feel free to polish it up for me, but honestly, if you polish a rotten apple, it’s still a rotten apple.
As if I didn’t already have a million and one reasons to be Anti “i” anything…. iPhone, iPad, iPod, iDon’tGiveAFuck….. From the outrageously expensive iPhone to the ass puckering costs of their laptops and desktop computers and their over priced digital music players that are simply netbooks with a über tiny screen…. From the “We made it for idiots.”, to the “We sold it to idiots.”, and yet the “Idiots still can’t figure out how to use it.”…
Now news has it that the wonderfully constructed iPhone also has a neat little GPS feature that cannot be turned off and records every place an iPhone owner goes too and when. Wow.. How mighty big brother-ish… Excuse me, but what they are saying is that if anyone owns an iPhone they are no longer given rights to privacy. They most likely keep records of calls, texts and surfing activities as well.
People used to think that Bill Gates was trying to assimilate the human race with Windows and other products. Honestly though they give us freedom of choice and so far, no Windows phones or Droids have been noted in spying on anyone. Sure, Microsoft’s anti-piracy measures are a little over the top and should be rethought, but still, nothing so drastic as the sphincter tightening experience that Steve Jobs and his Apple minions are putting their consumers through.
Worst part is there was no press release, no warning, no notice of any kind. Just the recent discovery that “oh yeah, we’ve been doing this since June 2010 during one of our update releases”. Does Lucy gots some splainin’ to do?
I can just see it now… You’re going out on the town and every time you pass a major restaurant or store and you iPhone 4 starts going ape shit either calling or sending you text messages about the current specials and ads for the places you just “happen” to be nearby… Yeah… Steve Jobs is the Devil.
I’m so sick of email. Not sick of me personally using it, but troubleshooting it for customers. For me, email is simple to use and if you follow some simple instructions, you can pretty much avoid spam all together.
I would be very afraid to find out what the average Joe User does to his/her computer to have so many different problems with email.
I sincerely miss being a regular computer tech, working on format reloads, hardware replacement, troubleshooting Windows issues and drivers. It’s all I really had to know. If a customer had a problem with a software, I just had to know how to uninstall and reinstall it. If that didn’t fix the problem, they had to contact their software manufacturer or their ISP.
Now I’m the ISP tech. I can troubleshoot connection issues all day long. No problem. I can deal with hosting without too much trouble. Email, is a true pain to deal with any way you look at it.
People have all sorts of odd issues. Can’t send, can’t receive or both. They can’t read the error messages when I ask for them. Or just say it isn’t working and the dramatic pause waiting for a miracle answer.
Some of the common issues:
This list can go on forever. It’s almost as if every customer has a unique issue with email. And it’s scary to know how many don’t have any antivirus on their systems.
The worst part is customer is dead set on it being our fault they have things incorrect and get very very nasty if I don’t have an instant magical answer. More over, when I find out it’s not our problem (99.9% of the time it isn’t), but it’s with their receiving party’s ISP or they have been blacklisted, they go on a long rant of how it can’t be, as their friend knows all about computers (but works as a refuge technician for a local disposal company). It’s as if they just refuse to listen to reason. It’s frustrating. I wish all these blackberry, iPhone, email popping people would just use Gmail. This way it’s not my problem and they can do their email from anywhere at all. (don’t get me started on people who love to check email on 10 different devices)
~ “We the unwilling are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.” (and trust me, this current issue, this woman is not only ungrateful, she’s malicious)
I realize I’m getting older and the “old man” jokes are already becoming tiresome, but what the hell is with people telling me that I know more about technology because I’m not as old as they are. This leads me to asking them how old they think I am. They guess in the early 30′s and I always reply with “I wish”. Then proceed to tell them that most of my kids are grown up and 2 of them are already married (NO GRAND KIDS YET PLEASE!!!!).
Then I got to thinking, none of my kids got into technology. Well 1 got into playing MMORPG games, but that doesn’t make her knowledgeable about technology. She still can’t operate her digital video camera properly. So, there’s an example of a young generation not getting with it.
Also, 90% of the people who helped me become as knowledgeable as I am, are considerably older than me. Not too mention, that computers started long before I ever got into it. So, there’s an example of older generations who know more than I do.
So what does age have to do with technology? You can learn at any age! I’m not young and I’m not old. I just have a sincere interest in technology. Therefore I learn it. You can too, if you’re interested.
Got to thinking on how time changes everything. Many years ago, trains, planes and automobiles changed how we travel. Time and war got us to change how we feel about slavery. Being homosexual was once considered taboo and unacceptable.
Though I’m thinking about myself and how things used to be for me. As a child of the 80′s, I have many fond memories of that time period. Save for the fact that I was a geek. I got into computers, software and the like. At the time, others considered folks like me to be a loser or use the term geek as a way to ridicule me. Isn’t it funny that those same people call me for tech support because they too have computers? Or how society in general get upset when their once considered geeky devices aren’t functioning? These same people now have MySpace pages, email and such. Using their cellphones, computers and other portable devices.
Back then, playing Dungeons & Dragons was OMG geeky. You were part of a very small crowd if you played fantasy games in basements with your trench coat wearing buddies. Now millions of people log on every night to their World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Runes of Magic, Warhammer and on and on and on… Wow, you are all geeks! Guess fantasy games are cool after all huh?
Look around. The things that once got me picked on in school are now the things everyone is into. And if you aren’t a geek on some level, then you aren’t cool. Twenty-some years ago, you’d hardly see a shirt that says “I Love Geeks”, now it’s not only a shirt, but a bumper sticker, pins and more. Back then it wasn’t cool. Now it’s all the rage. Huh… Go figure….
In my trips around the internet, I find a lot of things. However, I am very surprised when I started working on the Ten Rules for Calling Tech Support script, that I didn’t run across this site/movie sooner. It’s freakin’ hilarious! For those of you who have ‘talked’ about the outsourced tech support issues over the past 5 or so years, this will make your day.
The movie is simply called Call Center. It’s a great short produced by Amyn Kaderali, Manish Goyal and Sunil Malhotra and done very well. It even received the following awards:
It’s even listed in the Internet Movie Database! (hope I can do as good or perhaps even better – time will tell)
Also, keep an eye out for their next flick Kissing Cousins!