Monday, 26 July 2010

Pass the parcel

Me: "There is a fault call at xxxx they cant get on the O: drive and xxxx cant send emails".
Engineer: "xxx was dealing with that he should be back soon".
Me: "No he won't I have already given him three additional jobs so I doubt he will be back till late so you will have to deal with it"
Engineer: "Their Broad Band is down".
Me: "That'll do it, have we rung them?"
Engineer: "No not yet".
Me: "Well lets ring them then"
Engineer: "Oh Their Broad Band isn't down its the server thats down".
Me: "That's why they cant get on the O: drive then, here's a thought ring them and get them to reboot!"

So initially it was a case of "How the hell can I get out of doing this?" with this in mind a slap dash approach was instigated.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Are you taking a quick Qnap?

I cant believe the conversation I am having internally on and off throughout the morning.

I have a customer who has been running a peer-to-peer network (Yes they do still exist) they have Sage accounts on a PC which they all access as the drive is shared out, obviously this is a very slow and poor method compounded the other day when said machine had a hissy fit and fell over. I sold the customer a Qnap NAS the idea was that it would arrive Wednesday, the 'guys' could play with it Thursday update, RD etc then install on Friday.

None of that was done and to be honest I'm not convinced it was installed properly anyway for a start of it had the wrong time, a latest firmware update had not been applied and the backup routine had not been set up correctly either!

The poor customer rang four times yesterday and so far has rung twice today, now to put things into perspective he is a bit of wuss so is probably making the problem sound ten times worse than it actually is however he does have a problem and we need to sort it.

For me personally I think we should work on/with the Qnap I cannot believe that what in effect is a cup is unable to host a database OK I understand the database is being accessed fairly regular but at the end of the day its not doing a lot else. The slow data transfer rates could probably be resolved by updating the firmware but no!

No lets replace it with a server, Windows Home server to boot!

Me: "I'd far rather apply the firmware upgrade and take another look at the hardware than chuck a server at the problem"
Colleague: "Pete it won't work I've had this before with these NAS drives you cant keep swapping stuff backwards and forwards on them"
Me: "What? So are you saying they are a one time save only? The specs say its designed for multiple access"
Colleague: "It won't work"
Me: "So I worked hard to persuade him that the NAS is the answer to his problems, I got him to cough up money for the solution now you want me to go and tell him the solution I sold him was wrong and by the way we are going to replace that brand new Qnap with a refurbished server "
Colleague: "Its a better solution"
Me: "Possibly, I have no evidence of that we have not done anything with the Qnap"

My point is we will look incompetent enough by in effect saying "We sold you the wrong thing" but then we intend to add insult to injury by supplying a second hand machine.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Any old rubbish

I've blogged before about how appalling suppliers are most of them obviously sit at a screen and treat it a bit like Pick-n-Mix "This'll do, that's close enough" Today I needed a price on an ASUS PC and MS Office SBE. Back comes the quote with HP Microsoft Office 2007 SBE

Wait a minute HP? Whats with the HP? Apparently I can have a non HP one but its £30 more? WTF? So you want me to put an HP designated office package on an ASUS? But wait it gets better "I see you've quoted for the ASUS where's the price?"

They cant get it! Yep he took the two or three minutes to write out the spec yet cannot get the machine, why? Why write it up? Just put "Not available" sheesh!

Crystal Ball

Me: "Hi your ESET Anti Virus is due for renewal"
Customer: "Oh which machine is it on"
Me: "Its on a laptop we loaded it three years ago"
Customer: "Yes but which one?"
Me: "Erm well you have five laptops its the one that will say EAV-thispassword"
Customer: "And which one is that?"
Me: "I have no idea"

So apparently we must keep a record of every customers PC and Laptop noting every item of software loaded including code keys, and will they pay for this asset management service? Of course not especially if they are double checking which machine an anti virus has expired on before paying a whopping £40 odd.