Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Real Person Real Problem

Hello IT Folks,
I need my "task manager" restored please.
Whenever something gets hung up I can't end the task.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Real Email Real People Part 2

8/1/2007 7:28:23 AM XXXXXX

I have over 35 years experience with zippers. I'm not sure what went wrong, but the carrying case for my laptop is broken (xxx) (Dell Precision Mxxx). If there is no spare case available, I can improvise. Apologies for the trouble.

John Smith

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fake MLM Proof of Concept

What I set out to do is find the common denominators of most if not all Multi Level Marketing Companies and concepts. Figure out what makes them the same, and what makes the concept work and not work. And finally with all of the information gathered create a proof of concept that looks, sounds and would act just like a normal Multi Level Marketing company, the only difference is I am not trying to take your money.

What do all MLM companies have in common, the first things that come to mind are Product(s), Sponsorship Tree, Profits, Costs, Training, Legal Stuff. Most commonly the approach does not start with any of that, the first thing is almost always to "Build a dream". Basically, getting the Prospect to want more money, for whatever reason. Fast cars, long vacations, big homes well you get the Idea. To make you the prospect want something you think you can't have doing what you do now.

Now that you are drooling over this late model, Italian Sports car and 6 month vacation in the tropics that some guy just won last month because he is making so much money with this thing, its time to move on to step 2. How much money can you make? You can make more money every month than the average person earns in a lifetime, all you have to do is Sell this product and buy some for yourself so people trust you. Don't know how to sell? That's OK too, because the company also provides a state of the art self paced, home study course that teaches you how to sell their products and services to everyone. All that for a nominal fee. That sounds easy enough, Right?

You might be wondering, how does selling this stuff all the time make it where I can go on indefinite vacations whenever I want. Easy, you don't have to do it alone. Just present this same opportunity to everyone you know, and are related to, and everyone you meet from now until you die. And the best part is, everyone will like you because you are offering the this really great way to make money. In fact to really feel like a champ, you can go out and meet people on purpose, whenever you want. More simply, you tell a few people, and they tell a few more people, and so on. That is until everyone on the planet is buying stuff from you, indirectly, and you are making more money than Donald Trump.

Whoa, whoa, whoa how does that work? Isn't that Illegal? It used to be, but not any more, because you sell products. If there were no products that you were required to buy and sell then yes, that would be illegal, those are called pyramid schemes. Made popular by Charles Ponzi around 1920. So to buy and sell your own stuff at least once a month just to keep everything legal. Just for the record, this is not an attempt to skirt the law but a legitimate way to help people like you make money that you didn't even know you needed.

What makes the training so state of the are is, there are meetings where you are encouraged to buy books and audio materials, and the books and audio materials encourage you to go to meetings. It is as self paced as a run away tread mill and you are strongly encouraged to keep buying stuff even if you are not using it, because someone in you expansive organization might need it one day, so it's always good to have on hand.

To maximize profits, balance your sponsorship tree and do your best to keep the number of active people in each leg about the same. Make sure to work hardest in the smallest areas to get them up to size. after all you don't want anyone working with you that's not making any money right? The best part about the training is, if you are in a good MLM one day if you work long and hard you too can get a training bonus and earn a percentage of all the money spent on training materials sold to your group. Another gold mine for you to promote, even before you get that bonus.

To be fair, some of these companies focus more on the products they offer and less on group building, and that's great. Normally products wind up way down here at the bottom of the whole business, where they don't draw to much attention. If you ask around the products are great, possibly the best ever made. Be sure you will pay a premium price for these super high quality wares and you better believe they are worth every penny.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


The purpose of this document is to clearly define if World of Warcraft(WoW) is the same or similar to Dungeons and Dragons. (DnD). To be fair I am going to include a 3rd Game/Series aid in a fair comparison. Where this came from statement in a news article "Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing "Dungeons & Dragons" series, to give their children proper care."(Whole Article I made the reference that this story does not bode well for WoW because it was very similar to Dnd, and I got Hammered by half of my co-workers(who all play WoW) saying that the 2 were not similar, and making that comparison was like saying Pong was the same as WoW. So here we go, just how similar are they?

First lets define what is Dungeons and Dragons, and what is not
to begin a game of DnD You must Create a Character, With attributes such as Strength Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Then choose a Race, Class, alignment, and Skills. Characters Vitality is measured with Hit Points(HP).

Simple actions have a 100% success rate, complex actions are require a Throw of the dice to determine success

Game Progression
As the game progresses the Character gains experience(EXP) through actions and quests. With enough EXP characters gain levels, with Levels come improvements class features, abilities and skills.

When a characters HP is depleted he is considered knocked out or Dead, It is usually possible to revive the character.

Items like Armor, Weapons are gathered and equipped. Some items require certain levels to be acquired before they can be used. Gear can be Found or purchased


A typical game of DnD consists of a single adventure or story line. Typically these games have a background story of some kind, including Maps, Illustrations, location descriptions and goals to achieve. A linked series of adventures is referred to a campaign or world. Characters go out to battle Monsters and to interact with Non Player Characters(NPCs)

There is no Clear End to the game and it can go on indefinitely based on what the players and the GM want to do.

So that, in short is Dungeons and Dragons, Now to compare World of Warcraft and Halo to DnD. To be fair I will be citing Multi-Player Halo 2

Halo 2

9 Classes*
9 Classes
1 Warrior
5 Races*
10 Races (5 Per Faction)
2 Races, (1 Per Faction)
Actions Success based on Character
Gear - Acquire

Purchase, Enemy Drop, Find, Make
Purchase, Enemy Drop, Find, MakeFind, Enemy Drop
Purchase, Enemy Drop, Find, MakePurchase, Enemy Drop, Find, MakeFind, Enemy Drop
Gear - Equip

Limit By Character
Limit By Character N/A
Limit By Character Limit By Character All Characters can use All Weapons
Types of Gear
17 Weapons
Character Death

Single Character
Revive By Others
Revive By Others
Auto Re-spawn
Entire Party
Restart Instance
Restart Instance
Restart Level
Character EXP
70 Levels
Set Story
Game Ending
Not Defined
Not Defined
25 Levels or Maps



* Online Version
** Limited By game engine

Out of 14 points DnD and Wow are the same on 13 and almost the same on 1 point, while halo is the same on 1 point and partly the same on 1 point.

In conclusion Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft are not the same, but it is very clear that they come from a the same back ground and share lots of aspects, While Halo 2 shares almost none of these characteristics.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Real Email Real People

Sometimes things come across my desk that are just unbelievable. Only the company specific information has been removed from these Emails.

Example 1

From: IS, Customer Services
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2007
To: All Users
Subject: Email Server Down

To all customers:

The e-mail server is currently down due to a hardware failure. IS is working to restore the e-mail services as quickly as possible.

Please note that all e-mail sent to co-workers will be delayed until the server is online.

Best regards,

Customer Services

Example 2

2/28/2007 Customer
NetMeeting Question about remote employees VPN in to use NetMeeting.

3/1/2007 Rep 1
User did leave specific question in ticket. Left message for user to call helpdesk.

3/8/2007 Rep 2
E-mailed user for follow up

3/8/2007 Customer
From: Customer
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 3:01 PM
To: Help Desk
Subject: Work order follow up
I have not heard from anyone about this. I want someone to answer a few questions I have on connectivity.


3/8/2007 Rep 3

Dear Customer,

In the original ticket you submitted on 2/28 there was no question asked. A helpdesk representative attempted to call you on 3/1 and left a voicemail asking you to call us back so we can get more information. Unfortunately, we still don't know what problem you may be having or what your questions are. Please contact the Helpdesk.


Rep 3

I am sure there will be more later but this is all I have right now in printed form

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

12 Suggestions for Surviving Tech Support

1. Speak slowly and clearly especially with names

You know who you are and that's great, we on the other hand do not. It is very impressive that you can say your first, middle and last name in one syllable. However, we are probably going to miss part of it. If your name is more complex than John Smith, break it down, slowly and clearly. If your name has alternate spellings or silent letters, just spell it. The name Schmidt comes to mind just now. Anyone with the name Schmidt, please, please have pity on us.

2. "I Don't Know" is very rarely an acceptable answer

Do you really need more explanation than that? If you don't know be proactive in finding out. We don't expect you to know everything, nor do we expect you to act like you do. Most questions have a reason, and the answers pertain directly to your problem. Responding with I Don't Know,and standing behind your answer, really slows things down and sometimes keeps us from solving your problem.

3. Enter EXACTLY what we say

Adding and or removing characters to user names and passwords is counter productive. If you don't understand what we say, don't be afraid to ask. Asking for clarification works much better than randomly making stuff up because it will not work, and we will have no idea why. You may even want to blame us while we sit and think about it. But when we do finally figure out why it is not working and you deliberately didn't do as asked, you might be put on the "list"

4. You are the eyes, describe what you see

The funny thing about the way sight works is you kinda have to be there to see it. If I am sitting in my dark windowless room on the phone with you, it is very unlikely that I can see what is on your computer screen. Give details lots of detail, even include the boring ones like, the name of the program you are running. This is one instance where more is actually better. Normally we are looking for something on the screen, some small bit of information. So pause between sentences, so you will know when you found it.

5. Error messages, Read Them

You might not understand what they say, but we might, be specific. I see an error, somehow, is not very descriptive, or helpful. Sometimes the errors are vague, some are more clear. Read the whole error message to us. If it is painfully long, ask if we want to hear the whole thing. We need to know what the error says so we can help you.

6. Good things to know: YOUR username, password*, What you are doing, what you need to do, your name

This can't be stressed enough. You need to know your username and password. *If you are calling because you don't know your password, then you are excused from that requirement. If by some chance you don't know your username or password, chances are we can look it up, provided you know your real name. (If you don't know your own name, please contact your parent or legal guardian.) A brief description of what you are trying to log into or use is also much appreciated. You have to do your part if you want our help. We don't keep books with your usernames and passwords just in case you forget them, and if you think about if for just a moment, I'm sure you would not want us to.

7. Thank you for calling, Please Check your Ego at the tone *BEEP*
We don't know it all either, thanks for pointing that out. You have to think we know something or else you would not have called. Myself or someone in my vicinity has probably seen your problem before and if you are really nice we might help you out. Unless you called just to prove to your friends that we don't have a clue, just relax and play along, what is the worst thing that could happen? Your computer is already broken.

8. Reboots help, Yes, they do
Have you rebooted? Really? Don't just say yes so you can keep your winning streak going in spider solitaire. Computer get tired and need a break, what better way to start fresh than turning if off for a few second. If you are having some really strange things going on and you can't remember the last time you rebooted, its time.

9. Location, Location, Location
When you are calling for computer support be near the computer. We may not need you to do anything with it, but chances are if the computer is in a bag in the bottom of a box in the belly of a plane in route to Africa, there is probably not much we can do to fix anything that might be going on with it. Really

10. Courtesy Agreement
This works very simply. It works like a Mirror. however you are to us, we are to you. If you are kind and patient, we will help you as much as humanly possible. If you have a rough case of attitude, then your chances of getting jerked around are pretty high.

11. Placing blame.
Once we answer the phone any and all problems with your computer become our fault and totally our responsibility to fix, Right? Not hardly. When you called your computer already had at least one problem, and we will do our best to resolve that problem and any others that we can along the way. If we are not able to, or we break something else you were running and did not mention. The problem becomes yours again. While I would love to say we always have a 100% resolution for all problems that we get, I can't say that. There are far to many problems and not enough of us. If you really want your problem fixed you might have to call a few times. and Honestly if we can fix your problem we will, I can assure you hearing about how many times you have called in does not make our day.

12. Stop Talking
Lastly, if you don't know what you are talking about, like really don't know, Please stop talking. If you can add some educated speculation to what the problem might be, please go head. If you have no Idea what you are talking about and you are continuing to speak just to make yourself feel important. STOP! Its not helping you, and its just making us impatient. As an example, if the error message on your screen clearly states "Invalid password" the chances are very low that the server is down, so don't even suggest that.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Why Infomation Technology Needs Coffee

I work in a help desk nestled on the second floor of the IT department of a large company. They are rebuilding our break room and some building contractor, in his infinite wisdom, turned off the water supply to the break room upstairs and downstairs. Not a big deal except for one thing. No Coffee! I have never seen such a panic as I saw in the organizer of the rebuild. She sent out multiple Emails attempting to quiet the brood as they were plotting a mutiny. Sadly I was one of the group about to jump ship and ransack a nearby building looking for some coffee when the water came back on.

Why does the IT department require an abundant supply of this dark and foul tasting liquid? Because it is the giver of life for our kind. Just like the sun heats the earth and provides energy for it. Let’s face facts, people like a warm spot in a cold place. Bums sleep on steaming sewer covers in the winter time. Adults gather around hot tubs and Jacuzzis in the cold but never during the summer. And everyone likes warm socks fresh out of the drier.

What does all that nonsense have to do with Coffee? Everything! If you have never been in an IT labyrinth let me give you a few details. Usually there are countless hallways and doors, tiny offices, and a few cube farms, all housed in short, perfectly square windowless buildings, which contain more than enough climate control units to turn the entire building into a meat locker. Without coffee we would all freeze to death!