Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Everything Works! Hoo-Rah!

Well, after a little more hair-pulling, and finally relenting and calling GoDaddy's support, both the website and e-mail are fully working on GoDaddy's servers! Woo-hoo! I have to say that GoDaddy's tech support is outstanding so far.

I don't know if there is a propagation period or something, but I've not had any e-mail SPAM show up tonight (not that I'm complaining, understand..). I've tested it with both Yahoo and Hotmail, and my SBC address, and it sends and receives just fine. Maybe there is some kind of SPAM filtering I'm unaware of. I'll see what arrives tomorrow. I have a few daily e-mails such as the ICON Digest from Insulators.com that should arrive OK.

In addition to this, I pulled the old DVD/CD burners from my Win2000 system and replaced them with a HP burner - I have my CD/DVD burning capabilities back again!

I think I'll get another Powerball ticket!

I'd write more, but I just found out that we have to go play "tech support" for my mother-in-law's TV problems.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Website Update - Uploaded to Go Daddy - Finally!

After more than a little stress, and a few false starts, Rod's Lair is finally settling in at our new home on GoDaddy's servers!

I had a post here earlier tonight that I wrote when I was extremely frustrated with what I perceived as GoDaddy's support's inability to understand my problem. I have removed it, as it was not overly complimentary. Not obscene, just me venting my frustration.

I had a little trouble at first, and had several exchanges with GoDaddy's support that I was not entirely satisfied with. I was unable to FTP my site until I pointed the domain to the name server at GoDaddy.com. This was a bit confusing as the "Transferring Your Hosting" guide on GoDaddy's site completely contradicts this by instructing you to upload everything FIRST, make sure it's working THEN point the domain to the new name server. Confusion aside, it seems to be working now, so onward and upwards!

I will have to go through the entire site, of course, to fine-tune everything and find all the broken links, but I'm planning a rather extensive update anyway now that the transfer is complete. I still have some issues with GoDaddy that I'm not entirely happy about, but they are relatively minor. For one thing, this particular plan does not allow JAVA apps. That was definitely NOT made apparent in the description of their hosting plans. I don't use a lot of JAVA, but every now and then I find one that is kind of neat. I did have the "lake" applet on my site map page, and now it doesn't run. Not a huge problem, since I'll either change or delete the site map page.

GoDaddy does have a FormMail feature, but I don't know yet whether it will support my on-line order blank in the Playboy Back Issues area. We shall see. I haven't had a lot of action there of late, anyway.

The next step (and probably the loss of what little hair I have left) will be configuring the e-mail so I can keep my same e-mail addresses, but have it go through GoDaddy's mail servers.

I knew this process was going to be a nightmare, but it's almost complete. I'll be looking at some of the other features GoDaddy offers, but for the next few weeks, I'm going to relax and concentrate on updating the website content.

As far as the non-website stress is concerned, the last week has been hell week at my job. I've run into some of the most bizarre problems on copiers I've ever seen. I think there was only one day last week where I didn't have a major problem that required brain-crunching one machine all day. My brain hurts! And as if all this wasn't enough, my newest Win-2000 computer decided Friday that it didn't want to burn CDs or DVDs anymore. Wonder what I've done to piss off the technology gods.

Now it's time to put my poor, tired brain to bed. More coming later....

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Website Update

Well, I've got everything set up, and I'm all ready to start uploading my website to my new server space at GoDaddy. Problem is, I haven't been able to access via FTP so far. I've already sent an e-mail to GoDaddy's support, and followed the instructions in the reply, but it's still no-go. I thought this was a good idea, but now I'm beginning to wonder.

They sent me an e-mail telling me to basically reset my password. I did that, and it made no difference at all. There was a message telling me it might take up to 30 minutes for the change (password reset) to take effect, so I'll try again in a while. But I'm not going to hold my breath.

I had expected a few glitches, but I didn't expect a major issue right from the start. We'll see what happens....


Reset password AGAIN. Still cannot access via FTP. Sent another message to GoDaddy support - no response as yet. I'm not very happy at this point.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Say What???

I'm researching a new printer to take the load off the aging HP printers I'm currently going broke buying ink cartridges for.

While perusing the specifications for the printer I'm considering, I noticed an interesting feature. I've pasted part of the specs below:

General Specifications
OS Compatibility
Windows® XP/2000/Me/98 and Mac OS® X version 10.2.8 to 10.4.x
Standard Interface
USB 2.0 Hi-peed4 (cable not included)

Cable not included, but how about a bucket?


Website Update

Tonight, I purchased a 3-year hosting plan with GoDaddy.com. For 100 bucks, I will get the same 5 gigs of storage, plus 250 gigs of bandwidth (an increase of 50 gigs) that would cost me around $360 with Gate.com. From today, I will have no website related costs for 3 years!

I will begin the transition process this weekend. During this process, there may be some downtime. This is called the "propagation period," and may take up to 48 hours. Once everything is uploaded to GoDaddy's server, and working properly, I will cancel my account at Gate.com.

There may also be some temporary downtime for my primary e-mail, but this shouldn't be very long. I have a temporary alternate e-mail set up at Hotmail. This address is:

rattantatkin AT hotmail DOT com

If you wish to contact me, please use this address until further notice. I will check this e-mail daily.

I am extremely excited about the changes, and am planning a lot of new content for Rod's Lair. I will continue to post updates as the process continues!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Question For Our "Leaders"

I (and possibly millions of other American citizens) have a question for Mr. Bush and the rest of our esteemed representatives in government. You know, the men and women who are paid handsomely by the American people to represent us in Washington, and make sure that the best interests of this great land and it's people are always of foremost priority.

That question is:

Exactly what benefits to America and her people are derived from the current rampant and uncontrolled immigration you are allowing, and seemingly encouraging? I mean besides watching them destroy our neighborhoods, and murdering our people by the thousands? They seem to do very little to benefit this country when they are not dealing drugs, stealing cars, robbing and killing our citizens, shooting up college campuses, or stealing airliners and flying them into buildings.

I would pose a second question as well:

Why should the American people be expected to tolerate this stupidity any longer, let alone give these unruly, violent, and arrogant misfits a free ride at the expense of the American taxpayer?
How about it? Do any of you have the courage to answer these questions?

We the People await an answer.....

Monday, April 16, 2007

Website Change Progress

The first step in the process is now complete! My domain registry is now transferred to GoDaddy. com. Over 3 years, this will save me around 100 bucks. The next step in the changeover will be to open a hosting account with GoDaddy, and close out my old account with Gate.com.

During this process, there may be some downtime with the website, and my e-mail, as everything is migrated to GoDaddy. I don't think the process will take very long. Once all is said and done, I will not see any website related costs for at least two years - much better than paying 30 bucks every 3 months!

As part of the service provided by GoDaddy, a blog function is included. I don't know if I'll use that one, or continue to use this Blogger. I think the GoDaddy blog is advertiser-supported, but I'm not sure. I'll be looking at it in the future, but for right now, Google's Blogger is serving very well. I'll continue to post updates as things move along.

That's one hell of a mess in Virginia this morning. People are just so whacked-out anymore. Whatever happened to self-control and discipline? This society is going to hell in a handbasket.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Process Has Begun....

I have begun the process to transfer my domain to GoDaddy.com this evening. This process will probably take a few days to complete, and there should be no interruption to the site or e-mail. Once this process has completed, I will begin the process to transfer my website hosting. There may be some downtime during this process.

I have decided to take this action primarily to save a pretty good chunk of change. By transferring my domain, for instance, it will cost me a little over 45 bucks for three years - and that includes private registration! GoDaddy gives you a year free when you transfer your domain to them. Network Solutions charges $35/year for domain registration plus 9.99/year for private registration - or about that same 45 bucks a year.

I can also get two years of web hosting for about 75 bucks, where Gate.com charges around $120 per year. I'll get the same 5 gigs of storage with 250 gigs (50 more than I have now) for a third the price!

Once all is said and done, I won't have to be concerned about website related costs for at least a couple years. Now, I need to get to work on some new content! Stay tuned!

A Beautiful Day...

Yes, it's a lovely day - for sleeping in till about ten o' clock, that is. As you can see, it's cold, rainy, and gloomy; perfect for a day to just goof off.

The only calls I have at present are ones that are waiting on parts or supplies. I'll probably see if any of the other guys need any help, and see where I end up. It's kind of nice to not have to try to be in 35 places at once!

Stan just said he was going to give me St. Joseph back, which is fine. One of the other guys had to go for some kind of training for the National Guard, I think. Maybe I'll get a call in St. Joe - it's a good day for a little drive!


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

OK - Enough, Already...

Onward and upward. I've beat this donkey enough...

I just finished the call from hell in Claycomo. I was here most of the day yesterday, and wrapped it up this morning. Hopefully I won't see this one again for a good, long time. We'll see.

I e-mailed the gentleman that "asked" me to look at his buddy's copier on Saturday with some information that should help resolve his buddy's issue. I also have an issue that he will be able to assist me on, and mentioned that in my message. We'll see what kind of response I get. Judging by past experience with this sort of thing, I'll not hold my breath.

Well, it's time for me to roll down the road, pick up some parts for another customer, and earn my salary!


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Worst Drivers and Free Technical Services

Note that Kansas City (click the title) is in the top 5 of the worst drivers in the country. Hell, I could have told them that, since I spend a significant part of my workday out there dodging all those highly skilled and courteous drivers.

Sorry about the tone of my last post - sort of... I'm just tired of people expecting me to take what little time I have left over from my extremely busy schedule to provide free technical / repair service. You wouldn't do it, why should I be expected to? I just had to spend 500 bucks to get the heat exchanger replaced in my furnace. It would be nice if I could call an acquaintance and say "Hey, do you know someone that works in HVAC who would come over and replace my heat exchanger for free?" But it ain't gonna happen.

BTW, I ended up looking at that guy's copier anyway. Despite my wishes, I was pressured to "just go take a look at it...." The person that "asked" me just wouldn't take no as an answer. "I'll call him and tell him you're on the way..." And when I got there, and said who I was, do you think there was a word of thanks? Hell, no. I was just directed to the copier with the same expectant attitude I'd get on a normal service call. "Here's the copier, and it does this, this, and that." I took a quick look and left. I'll just be damned if I'm going to take a sizable chunk of my Saturday, while I have a load of errands to do, to try and fix a copier for free for someone who can't even manage a quick "thanks."

This is the absolutely the LAST time. I guess I just need to learn to say NO, and stick to it, even if it means being rude. Nobody seems to give a damn about my feelings where this subject is concerned. At any rate, I'm done discussing this subject (as I thought I was three years ago). No! I won't go look at your buddy's copier, computer, or other equipment for free on my time off. Period. Please don't ask.

Hopefully, my next post(s) will deal with more pleasant subjects.


P.S. This doesn't apply to my Dad, or my true friends Pat or Troy. You guys know who you are!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

An Old Rant Revisited

I got a phone call today, while in the middle of a service call on a customer's copier. Not that I mind getting calls, mind you. But my cell phone number has been given to a very limited number of people. The folks it has been given to are for the most part, family, business contacts, and very close friends. There is a specific reason for this limit.

A few years ago, when I worked for a certain bovine-loving computer company, I was a lot less restrictive with my phone number. That, combined with the fact that everyone that knew me even remotely went out and bought a computer from this company, resulted in far too many nights playing "Rod's Free Tech Support" for everyone in the 5-county area. I finally had to put a stop to it; in the process finding out how many true friends I really had.

I have also been extremely reluctant to mention anywhere on my website the name of the company I presently work for. There is a reason for this as well. A few years back, and another company ago, someone I hadn't heard from for about 7 years, looked my name up on Google, and of course, immediately found my website. Somewhere on my website, I made mention of who I worked for at that time. So this person promptly called my employer in order to get in touch with me. Did he do this just to say "Hi, Rod, how ya doin'?" Hell, no. He wanted me to create a logo for him - for free, of course - for a business he wanted to start. The artwork would have been used on t-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, and the like. Nice profit for him, and a "Thanks, Rod" for me. I politely declined. Haven't heard from him since.

Now, back to today's phone call. Here is a partial transcript of the call: "Hey, Rod, I have a buddy with a small car dealership who owns a XXXXX model XXXX copier. He says the paper is jamming at the exit. Is there any way you could go have a look at it for him? I don't necessarily mean today, but maybe Saturday?"

Let’s stop and consider this for a moment, shall we? After spending all week driving an average of 150 miles a day, crawling around on the floor with people constantly climbing over me while making idiotic remarks, getting covered with toner, and chasing errant e-clips all over the place, naturally the first friggin' thing I want to do on a Saturday is go look at someone's copier - for free, I assume.

One wouldn’t think it would be necessary to spell it out, but apparently it is. So, once again, for the hundredth time, here it is:

After busting my butt all day / week long, I consider my free time to be just that – MY time. I don’t want to spend my evenings or weekends troubleshooting someone’s copier, computer, toaster, or whatever – especially for free. Considering the fact that much of my off-duty time is spent helping with family health issues, running errands for family that cannot, and so on, I have damn little time to just relax and enjoy my hobbies and just spending time with my wife. I have no intention of spending it driving all over town servicing equipment for free or bargain-basement prices.


Do Not call me (especially on MY cell phone minutes) just to ask me to look at your / your buddy’s computer, copier, printer, scanner, TV, stereo, particle-beam accelerator, or whatever. The same applies to e-mail. Your address can easily be added to my SPAM blocker.

If you absolutely, positively HAVE to have me look at any of the above equipment (this list is by no means all-inclusive) for you / your buddy, the following rates will apply:

Evening Rate: (I work during the day, remember?) $175.00 per hour with a 1-hour minimum, plus a $25.00 trip charge.

Weekend Rate: $200.00 per hour with a 1-hour minimum, plus a $45.00 trip charge.

Sound expensive? It is. If I’m going to spend what little free time I have driving all over town (with gas at $2.60 a gallon) to service someone’s ailing box, I’m going to make it worthwhile. If you feel you could get a better price by calling Geek Squad, or your local copier dealer, perhaps you are beginning to get the picture.

I really didn’t think I’d ever have to resurrect this rant again.