Thursday, July 26, 2007

VMK no BS Forum - II

The site came back up after 16+ hours of down time.

I was very unimpressed with 1&1 web hosting and their lack of anything approaching customer service. The tech support line rings to India, (I think), they just said they were in the far East, and only has email communication to the people actually working on the servers in Germany. They could never give me an estimate as to when it would be back up. I did however get this nugget of information: "We don't have backup servers."

I will certainly not recommend them in the future, and will gladly post here as I find out whether they actually charge me full price this period. I sent two emails to the specified address to request a credit, but have as yet received no response from either.

Wallop - A New Social Site

Just signed up and love it already, I can upload pictures & music, I am using it as my custom radio right now...

The interface is very web 2.0 online desktop, and can be customized with any wallpaper you like and several themes.

More info to follow... Once I try the social aspects.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

VMK no BS Forum

At we are experiencing a problem with the web hosting company, it seems that the physical server hosting the forum, 5 of my / my client's sites, and the sites of approximately 1000 other customers has gone down. It has been down for nearly 15 hours now, and they still can not even give an estimate as to when it will be up.

For all you VMK no BS Members, fear not, we will be back.

More details of this incident will follow, as will the chronicles of the "service" received from this host. (If I ever get any...)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The PortableApps I Use Most Often

I have still yet to lay my hands on portable organization, so the promised reviews are still 'on the list' and will be here eventually. In the mean time here is a list of PortableApps I use most regularly. It is not a comprehensive list of all that I use or have tried, and it is in no particular order.

Some of the below may require special extraction, or an initial install, to be able to copy the files to your USB drive. (Universal Extractor and Inno Setup Unpacker come in handy for such things.)





Defrag Tools:

More to come another time...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Another Delay

I am giving my business a full court press, and the PortableApp reviews, while still coming have been further delayed.

Here is a link to an article I wrote for Daily Cup of Tech: Five Critical Tips for New Computer Consultants

I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for your patience.

Monday, February 12, 2007

What to Take to a Service Job

PortableApp reviews are coming, in the mean time read this...

Every service job a take shows me at least one more tool to bring to the next job.

Here is the list so far:
  • Small tool kit (Screwdrivers, zip ties, etc...)
  • Software Tools (On CD & USB Flash Drive)
  • Live CD
  • Patience
The small tool kit was the most obvious, I brought that to my first service call and it wasn't even needed, but when it is, it is hard to open some cases with out it. ;-)

Software tools was also obvious yet over time the make-up of this kit has changed. Many of the calls I get are to support older operating systems so it is important to have tools that work on them. I have found that some old computers have no CD-ROM and no USB drivers so I also carry a floppy disk with the drivers needed to get the flash drive working.

Most recently I have added many common installation files to a seperate CD. Things like AIM, YIM & MSN Messenger all of the Google Pack tools and many Windows updates. I added these to avoid having to take a computer with a dial-up connection home. (or having to wait hours on site for it to download updates.) I have found that many problems can be solved with a fresh install of the offending program.

If there is a cd drive and the operating system is toast, then a live CD is a must have. With most live Linux distros you can recover and back up the data on the computer before you reinstall the old operating system. You can additionally test most of the hardware and find failures that a dead system won't show. (Dead Systems Tell No Tales... ;-) )

Patience is probably the most important tool to bring to any job. If you are impatient, your client will be as well and that will never end well for you.