Rate my #$@?!


This is just a quick rant.

I am really sick of being asked to rate apps and things or take customer satisfaction surveys. If I am at your website downloading drivers, chances are you do not really want me rating your products. If I am calling support, something is the working right, and I am not like you to be happy.

Rule of thumb: no news is good news. Believe me, if I was unsatisfied with your customer service, you’d hear it. Otherwise just leave me the hell alone!

I Hate Symantec Backup Exec.


I do. I hate it. It is the last fucking backup software I would ever recommend these days, and it’s still the fucking industry standard. 

Backup exec has been a pain in the fucking ass for years and years and years. Thank whatever god you believe in that backup tapes are on their fucking way out. Magnetic media… impacted by magnets. The earth is a giant god damned magnet…. Ok, I’m not getting into how stupid that is, that’s a post for a different day. 

Every fucking time I touch backup exec to upgrade to the next version it fucking blows up in my face. 

I started the upgrade for a client of mine from 2010 to 2012. You would think that a multi-billion dollar company like symantec would understand the importance of making one revision of software easily upgraded to the next. Clearly they do not. 

Backup Exec 2010 had an addon option called “Desktop Laptop Option” hence forth called DLO. That no longer exists in 2012, cause it is it’s own product now. With that installed for 2010, you cannot upgrade to 2012 unless you remove it. Seems simple enough. Open Backup Exec, go to options or something like that and uncheck it. Then of course, it asks for the 2010 installation disk.

Apparently when 2010 was installed, it was installed with a download from their website. Not a problem, we do this all the time. Someone at the client however, deleted the installation files. Fuck. 

To Google I go. The internet is littered with people in the same predicament. The solution is to go to the Backupexec.com downloads area and download the trial version of DLO2012. So I did. It’s not there. You have to fill out a request form to have a sales person contact you regarding it. Two days later, they email you and ask if you’re certain you want this. You have to convince them that yes, you want it, and then they email you the download link. 

Downloaded this 400MB software, and installed it on the server… almost. It wants a serial number. To me, this doesn’t exactly scream “trail version”. 

Instead of waiting another two days to hear back from symantec, I decided that their current backup job isn’t all that complicated, and recreating it wouldn’t be a big deal. So I removed the 2010 software all together. Reboot. 

Installed 2012, the report said it went fine. Reboot. However, the serivces do not start. Did a repair install. Reboot. Still no good.

Scoured the internet, for the error message: The Backup Exec Server Service did not start. An internal error (-1) occurred in object 51. The “Solution” is to remove the software again, reboot, then manually hack out ALL references to Symantec and Backup Exec from the registry. reboot. Then install again. reboot, and everything should be peachy. 

Are you kidding? Who is writing this code that an uninstall can’t fucking uninstall correctly? For the amount of money my client is spending on me to do this upgrade, on an installation that was running find I might add, they could have bought a whole redundant NAS device and backed up across the network with Robocopy, for Christ’s sake. I have submitted a ticket to Symantec, I’m sure I’ll hear back at some point in the next three to twelve years. 

Why can’t you make a software that just fucking installs or upgrades? How is someone who runs a small business supposed to handle things like this, if everyone thinks you buy a disk, put it in, and hit go. 

This is the worst god damned software on earth, bar none. I swear, if the installation doesn’t like the color of the paint on the walls, it fucking throws a bitch fit. 

I need to go listen to some really loud Tool for a while. Fuckers. 

Stop Sharing my Photos on Facebook!


ImageSeems like every other day I’m bitching about Facebook, huh? 

I like Facebook, if truth be told. It’s easy to keep in touch with folks, and see pictures of people you love (or don’t) that you otherwise wouldn’t. If you didn’t want to see those pictures, you can always unfriend them, whatever… You manage what you see. 

I have kids, and family all over the country. I like to be able to throw a picture of my kids up there for free, and have family not hound me to mail them pictures from time to time. 

It’d be nice if that’s all Facebook was ever used for, but no… People play games, and to play some games, you need other friends who play games, so people are “friends” with people they’ve never fucking met, just so that there’s someone around in the wee hours of the morning to harvest their crops and collect their rent, and plant some grapes and shave their sheep. 

Now, I’m not shitting on everyone who plays those games. Some of them are fun for a little while, and everything. Whatever. But for all you know you could have just friended some bat-winged forked-tongue jackass with a penchant for little kids. Now he’s looking at your pictures. And MINE because you fucking can’t just look at these pictures, you have to hit “Share”. I don’t need fucking whack-job sheep shaver knowing what my kid looks like.

This is why I don’t mail you pictures cause for all I fucking know, you’re standing outside the supermarket flashing the picture in the faces of everyone who walks by. But see, even that is not as bad as hitting the “share” button, because when you hit the share button, your wall says “You’ve shared Grumpy’s picture” and Sheep-shave gets to click on my profile. And because I’m fucking paranoid, he gets pretty much nowhere. 

But the average chump thinks nothing of posting his location on his page publically. Now the whack job who eats kids knows this kid is somewhere between the ages of 5 and 9 and knows what town she lives in. Next he’s staking out elementary schools, cause you fucking needed your your little bakery supplied with oats at 2am.

You wouldn’t sit down and play chess in the park with someone you don’t know and can’t see. Why would you do it online? You’re inviting these people into your lives and the lives of your loved ones. Cut the fucking shit.

Ten Things to Do to Get Ready for the Service Tech Visit


In this day and age, probably around 85% of the time, I can fix your problem without leaving my home, much less my chair. Most of the time, the internet is all I need to remote into your machine, and fix whatever has you upset in very little time at all.

Occasionally I do need to drag my ass into the car and head on over though. Some things like hardware install or relocation of things I don’t want you touching require a physical presence.

As much as I hate leaving the house, because outside is where people get hurt (or get poison ivy, as was the case for me this past weekend), I don’t usually mind going to clients. However, there are times when I really wish you guys were a little more considerate of my time and comfort.

I’m not talking comfort like, your chair is lumpy, or the office is too chilly, or the rug isn’t spongy enough. I’m talking about the things that make being there to HELP YOU awkward.

I understand though, that your work environment is yours and tailored to your preferences, so these things might not occur to you ordinarily. So here’s a handy list of things you can do to get ready for the service tech visit, so you don’t end up the object of a rant on a smart ass blog like this one.

1. Be there. 
I don’t understand how someone can schedule an on site call, and then just not be there when I get there. I know you’re thinking “Well duh, who’d do that?” It happens all too often. People think “Oh, I’m just going to run out or a minute” sometimes and get tied up or whatever. If that happens, don’t give me some excuse like “I didn’t have your number”. We have a dispatch person and a customer service number that works handily. You used it to get me here, use it again.

It’s my business to know how to communicate, and I know you know how to, because it’s a critical part of everyone’s lives these days. If you don’t try, you don’t care. If you don’t care, you will when you see the stupidity charge on your invoice.

2. Save your work.
You know your business better than me, so don’t leave it in my hands to take care of your business before I can take care of mine.

Yeah, I know when a spreadsheet is open, and hasn’t been saved, and how to save it. What I don’t know is if you want it saved, where you want it saved, is this an old template you were filling in but haven’t done a save as, and if I save will it over write something you need NOT saved over?

You know what, you leave this in my hands, I’ll save it. If you didn’t want it saved, you’re out of luck, and yes, I’ll be charging you for my time to restore the old version from whatever backup you might have.

3. Close Your Windows.
If you have a thousand things open on your desktop that I have to figure out what to do with, then clearly you didn’t read item 2. I’m just going to close things if I don’t know what to do with them, you’re likely to lose work.

If you can’t handle 2 and 3, then don’t disappear when I’m working on your system. I’ll do what I can to do this shit for you, but without your input, you get what you get.

4. Write down or screen shot your error messages.
I can’t fucking stand being told “Every time I do this, I get an error”, and when I ask what the error says, I get “Uh, I dunno. Something about… something. I think.”

Here’s a secret piece of technological lore: Errors say things. There are words, generally in the language you use on your computer all the time, that tell you things that *I* need to know. If you can’t read it, chances are you’ll know this, and be able to tell me, “it was in another language”. The fact that you didn’t say exactly that, means it was in English, but you either don’t know how to screen shot it (which is ok, just ask how!) AND were too lazy to write it down, but you fucking clicked OK anyway.

When it doubt, leave the god damned error on the screen, and call. It takes under a minute for me to get remoted in usually, and then let ME screen shot it. If I can’t get on remotely, and have to come out, leave it there. Don’t make my job harder, cause you’ll only make your bill greater.

5. Shoes.
Ladies, this one is primarily for you…

There are going to be times when there’s a hardware issue, and I need to get my hands on your system. This almost always involves me climbing around under your desk, since you don’t want “that ugly thing” on the desk where it’s safer and less likely to be kicked and clogged with dust.

Now. I will admit that I am probably the worst case scenario for this problem, but I know there are other people out there who are disgusted and repulsed by feet. I know you’re all thinking “Oh, but not me, I have cute feet!” No. You don’t. Nobody does. ALL feet are disgusting, I don’t care how clean, how scrubbed, how painted, how fish-nibbled they are, they are disgusting. I’m sorry to crush your spirit, but sock those fuckers up, and jam them into some kind of closed-toed grandma shoes, nobody wants to see them.

Get your five or six pairs of shoes / sandals / slippers / pumps / mules / flip-flops / whatever footwear you have stashed under your desk the fuck out of my sight, please and thank you. You know what, unless this is your home, this shit should not be there anyway. Even if I had a total hard-on for feet (just gagged a little) the office place isn’t the place for your wardrobe. Either wear them to work, or leave them at home.

I will repeat, I do not care how clean you think your shoes / feet are, just the thought makes me think I smell them. Put. You. Clothes. Away.

God help you if I actually barf under your desk, cause I’m not going to fix your problem, I am going to bill you for your time, and I am not going to clean up my barf.

6. Move.
I recognize the need for control when it comes to your computer. It is YOUR computer, but sometimes I need you to release the vulcan death grip you have on your mouse and keyboard and pry your ass out of your seat. I’m here, I’m not going to remote into your machine from the workstation next to you. Get the fuck out-of-the-way.

If I elbow you in the jowls, your face didn’t belong where you were sticking it. If I knock over your coffee, I’ll help you clean it up, but you’re paying for my time. If I run over your toes with the chair, it’s because you need to go the fuck away.

7. Trust Me.
I’ve been doing this for a long, long time now. Chances are, I have a decent idea of what’s going on even before I arrive on site. There are things I need to rule out in order to come up with a solution. Answer the questions I have for you, clearly, definitively, and as honestly as possible. You called me here, I do not need your prognosis.

I get that you’re trying to make my job easier, and give insights that you think you have, but more often than not, I end up spending all this time explaining to you why your idea doesn’t hold water, and you get pissy cause I keep telling you you’re wrong.

In my twelve or so years on the field of troubleshooting, not once has a user said “I think it’s because of this thing” and turned out to be right, unless it was something I already suspected.

Please. This is my job. I am very good at my job. If you think you know the answer, keep it to yourself. An extra set of hands will just get in my way. I will come up with the answer, and even if you told me what you think it is, I STILL need to rule everything else out anyway, to make sure you don’t have an underlying problem causing the one you’re aware of.

I don’t tell you how to treat your clients, please don’t tell me how to treat mine.

8. Own Up. 
Funny thing about computers: They do what you tell them. If your computer is infected with spyware, it’s because you went somewhere, opened something, clicked on something, allowed it to install somehow, and usually unbeknownst to you.

There’s no shame in it, it happens to everyone.

You can own up to it, or not. Either way, I’m going to find out what happened. Computers have histories, logs, diagnostics… If your keyboard stopped working because you spilled diet coke in it, I’m going to realize this when I start to type, and the buttons splash. Don’t laugh, this actually happened, and the user said “How’d that happen?” …yeah, I don’t know but I assume it has something to do with the diet coke can in your trash, gravity and the laws of physics, but that’s just a hunch.

Now you’ve wasted my time, cause I probably remoted in and checked the drivers and devices installed, and the software logs, and so on.

If you told me “I dumped my drink” I’d have walked over with a new keyboard, and case closed. You would have looked human. Now you look dumb.

9. Think, or be prepared for ridicule.
I know I.T. isn’t your job, or your interest, sometimes. Frankly, it shouldn’t have to be. It should be my job, so that you can do yours. You should never really have to think about it, it should just work. I truly believe that.

But, here’s the thing: Sometimes I need a little help. Sometimes things break, and I’m not going to know it right away, and I need a little understanding on your part… If your email server dies, or you suspect there’s a problem with it, please do not email me to find out if the email system is having a problem.

I know this may seem like yet another obvious things, but more often than not when I’m working on an email-related issue, when I get it up and running again, I get at least one or two emails asking if there’s a problem. If there is, I’m not going to get your email, so please don’t be angry when I don’t respond to an email I didn’t know you sent.

If the power goes out in your house do you get angry when you turn on the light switch to go look at the electrical panel? When your car runs out of gas, do you try to jump in your car and go to the gas station? Do these things sound as absurd to you as they do to me?

My response to your emails is usually going to be “Did you just email me through an email system you thought might not be working?” and I’m going to CC every supervisor you have that I know about, just to cover my own ass, because I know how you people love to bitch about technology and use our perceived lack of response as your scapegoat for not getting your work done. I’ve watched you remotely playing Farmville, don’t make me get you busted for that, cause I will. I’ll keep your dirty little secrets unless your force my hand, cause honestly I don’t care until you make me care.

10. Listen.
My job is to keep your business running efficiently. As such, I will tell you what you need, AND what you should have. There are things you can do without, though I don’t recommend it. I won’t tell you I won’t help, but I will tell you when you’re not listening to me, what the risks are.

You do not hire an I.T. consultant so that you never have I.T. problems again. You have us so that you don’t have to deal with this stuff WHEN it happens. You hire us so that you are AS protected AS possible. All we can do is advise, it’s up to you to listen.

If you choose to go another route, we will support you in that decision, but we will set the expectations, and we WILL say we do not recommend it, what you are risking, and we WILL bill for it when it happens. Emergency rates are steep, and you will pay them because you’re over the barrel. Don’t act like we put you there, you climbed on them yourself.

Here’s your livelyhood, and here’s your best protection. You don’t want it, fine. I’ve done my job.

In conclusion, these things must sound harsh, but this is the reality. You may be able to get away with ignoring a thing or two on here, especially if your tech doesn’t mind smelly shoes or sticking his elbow in your sandwhich, but it’s a low risk investment on your part to do as much as you can to be ready for the service tech’s visit. Make things easy and comfortable, and convenient, and we’re in and out in the best possible time, and you get billed less.

Thanks for reading.

Duck-Face and Other Facebook Advice for Idiots


Girls: I’m so tired of pictures of young teen girls making duck-face. I don’t know who started it, or why it’s so freaking “in” right now, but it’s stupid.

You know “duck-face”, it’s when someone makes a face like they’re kissing the invisible man, and then someone takes a picture. I don’t know what this particular pose is supposed to say about the person in the picture, but all it says to me is “duck-face”.

It’s not sexy, it’s not pretty, it’s not even cute. Most of the time, the person making the face is probably not even old enough to open a Facebook account without lying about her age. Anyone who likes duck-faced preteens really shouldn’t be on Facebook, and those duck-faced preteens really ought to be told that the only people they’re impressing are people they really shouldn’t be interacting with.

And duck-face aside, stop taking pictures of yourself. One is ok, if you don’t have anyone else to take your picture, and you need a recent profile pic so stalkers know it’s you and not someone else, but over and over and over, I see the same people taking pics of themselves in bathroom mirrors at the bar, car mirrors when they probably ought to be watching the road, and when there isn’t a mirror handy they just turn the iPhone that I have no idea how they could afford in the first place around…

Just stop! I realize you’re in love with yourself, but if you spend more time looking at your own face-book page than you do anything else, you have a problem! Just get a pocket mirror and make duck-face at yourself when you feel the urge.

And guys, stop with the gang sings. Seriously, I don’t give a rats ass if you are or aren’t in a gang, throwing up your signs on facebook does nothing for your street cred, I’m sure. Nobody’s going to check your Facebook page to make sure you were representing before you get jumped in, and chances are your mom is your only follower anyway, and she’s more likely to think you’re making shadow puppets.

For God’s sake (not to mention my own) stop commenting on every god damned play of every god damned sporting event. I can’t fucking stand that my wall is filled with crap like “GAAARRRARAR! HOW CAN HE MISS THAT SHOT?!?!?!1!” especially when you’re obviously watching a basketball game, cause there’s hundreds of shots, missed or otherwise.

Enough posts about bacon too, by the way. Yeah, bacon is great, but the novelty of it has worn the fuck off. Random posts are only random when they’re not about the same god damned thing over and over. I get it, you like bacon. So do I. Move the fuck on.

Everyone: Facebook is a place to keep in touch with family and friends and share pictures that people other than you want to see. Stop using it as a dumping grounds for your drama and other bullshit. And if you’re going to post at all, for the love of god, learn how to spell.

Learn the difference between there, their, and they’re, and employ it. You did not here the guy, and when you agree, it is not “here here”.

“U” is a letter, not a word. Same goes for “R”, I don’t care what that toy-selling giraffe says. You never need more than two exclamation points or question marks, in my opinion, but grammatically, I think you can get away with three. There’s no need for more than that, it just makes you like stupid.

I am not going to play farmville, cityville, townville, castleville, tentville, houseville, schoolville, smallville, largeville, mediumsizeville, villeville or anything else with you. …except maybe words with friends… but if I haven’t accepted your first request STOP. Sending a thousand more is not going to change my fucking mind!

I don’t need to know every fucking song you listened to on spotify since you signed up. Turn that posting shit off.

I swear to god, I think some of you people only go to the gym to “check in”.

And no, I don’t fucking want to be friends with your dog, cat, parakeet, scorpion, salamander, beta fish, orangutan or any other freaking pet you think it’s funny to make stupid posts as. The only reason I see to put your pet on Facebook is if it’s a duck, and it’s not making duck-face. THAT I would like to see.

…In retrospect, I think I would probably accept your pet scorpion’s friend request…

So that’s a good start, I think. Read it a couple times, and then go to your profile and fix shit.

Thanks.

Don’t Give God The Credit!


So here’s the deal. I’ve had a few beers. Heavy ones, around 10%. I’m likely to be one-sided and single minded in the rest of this blog post, but hey, that’s my right. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments, that’s your right. That’s why I created this blog. Fuck you.

I’m feeling a little bit cynical and jaded tonight, and trolling around on twitter, looking at people’s blogs, if they have them in their profiles… I come across this one from a lass in GA… Lilpeachsomethingorother.blogspot.something… I dunno.

Anyway, it’s some piece of whiny bullshit, about how two people at work are at odds with one another, but she’s friends with them both. Every so-often one or the other comes to her and starts complaining about the other, and she’s totally ashamed about how sometimes she participates. She wants to find some way to stop without alienating one or the other.

She goes on to say she gets daily emails from some bible website or some crap, and got inspiration from there. Good for her, I say. She forwarded these words of wisdom to the two idiots at work, both of whom agreed it was great not to judge, etc…  She found her out. Good for her.

My beef is that at the end of the post she thanked god for sending this email.

C’mon. Seriously? God didn’t send you the god damned email. Some fucking website did that has 20,000 other such generic fucking fortune cookie crap quotes queued to send. The owner of the website will be LONG dead and gone before all the fucking emails are done being sent, and a bazillion people will be thanking god for sending them between now and then.

God doesn’t send email. If you even choose to believe there is a god, you have to admit: he’d work differently. It’s not like he did nothing until some jackass invented the internet, and then email, and then all of a sudden he could work his frickin magic.

If you choose to believe in god, and I’m not saying whether or not I do, don’t thank him for sending you email. Thank him for giving you a fucking brain so you can realize you just coincidentally got an email that made you realize you already knew what to do.

Tell the two of them to cut the shit. Alientate them both, I say. Sack the fuck up and tell each that you like the other and they can fucking deal with it, end of fucking story. If they suddenly don’t like you because you’re a stand up person, they weren’t real friends any fucking way.

Man, this shit makes me mad. “Thank the guy who I believe made me, because I don’t have to stand behind my own convictions now!” Bullshit.

You feel like an asshole, because you’re acting like an asshole. Feel like a good person because you acted like a good person, not because you tricked a couple of shitheads into burring the axe!

God, I hate people.