…at the very moment that this post went up.
I was planning a long post on the subject of a year without work and how it has been pretty bad, but as you might know I’m kinda busy this weekend so this will have to do.
…at the very moment that this post went up.
I was planning a long post on the subject of a year without work and how it has been pretty bad, but as you might know I’m kinda busy this weekend so this will have to do.
It’s an interesting contrast between events in the NY-23 and in Rome concerning the Anglicans. The first is happening quickly while the other has been happening over decades and centuries. Yet in the end it is the second that will be more important over the next century.
I was talking to a serving Military Friend of mine. He is really disappointed at the direction LGF has taken over the last few months. I suspect among other serving soldiers who follow this stuff that is not an unique thought.
Tangentially I think it is a huge mistake for both Rush (concerning the NFL) and Robert Stacy (concerning Charleston WV Gazette) to not promptly go with legal action, particularly for Robert Stacy who doesn’t have Rush’s millions. I don’t know what the statutes are concerning libel and defamation in terms of timing but I can’t see letting it go much beyond election day without action.
I got a bill from one of the medical providers I deal with, and called to pay it over the phone. In the sequence (for this for that business) there was the message:
“If you can’t speak English and need an interpreter press 4”
That struck me as very funny
I mentioned Beatles Rock Band that my kid got for his birthday. During that night when they were having their Jam my wife was sitting at the PC in the same room. She didn’t react. The moment I was handed the mike to sing she turned on her mp3 player and plugged in her earphones.
She used to turn on the radio whenever I would sing in the car when were dating too.
What would Doctor Who fans do without Rich’s comic blog? I know I say it a lot but it’s true every time I do.
Speaking of Dr. Who my son is a new series fanatic, on a history test he missed where Versailles was. He couldn’t believe he missed it and forgot about “The Girl in the Fireplace“.
And Yes I hit publish before I meant to.
I started this blog 8 days after Hiwired went under. The blog is now 5 weeks away from it’s 1 year anniversary. If you told me I would still be unemployed at this point I wouldn’t have believed you.
The fact that I’m still not working is a source of great embarrassment and shame to me. It has been one of the most depressing things I’ve ever gone through.
The fact that my pal Dave has been out of work almost as long as me is even more surprising.
You know I never much cared for Glenn Beck but I find myself watching it once in a while, I still think he’s too over the top for me but if it wasn’t for the idiots at the White House I wouldn’t watch it at all. I’ll wager that there are thousands like me.
I’ve been coughing for over 3 weeks now. I finished my Z-pack on Sunday and when the cough didn’t go away the family got on my case to call the doc. I did that Tuesday and they said it still takes the full 10 days for the drugs to work. The only reason they use the Z-Pack is because people who seem to feel better by day 7 tend to stop taking the drugs and then get worse. They’d rather deal with people angry that they are still sick on day 8 because they know they will get better, I hope so.
Considering the lack of sales I’ve managed for support you would think I’d feel like a sucker for my 18 month Log-me-in subscription but every time I help a friend and don’t have to spend hours there it pays for itself.
Burger king finally figured out that the customers didn’t like paying $2 for a double cheeseburger that McDonalds charges $1 for. I was wondering how long that would take.
I made a joke concerning a walking stick to a friend of my son, when he told his friend a silly story concerning said walking stick, a meat clever and an elf hat. I started questioning said friend of my son who else they would associate said story with. Every person she listed is a member of my gaming group. That was kinda sad.
What was sadder is she is absolutely right.
Speaking of Robin Hood, the best adaption is still the 1938 movie. One of the greatest movies ever made.
Olivia de Havilland who played Maid Marion is still alive and still has more class than anyone anyone I can think of in Hollywood.
Speaking of class considering the egg on their faces over Acorn Philly its a wonder that media matters, Bertha Lewis or the MSM can show their faces. Whatever Soros is paying these guys it isn’t enough.
And you can’t control a message when a youtube video is only an e-mail away.
Acorn should thank it’s lucky starts that the Phillies are going to the series.
I’ve been seeing more of the 1-20-2013. I still don’t like them, like the 1-20-09 stickers I think they are whiney.
You know I like Sarah Palin, I am looking forward to supporting her in 2012 or 2016 or 2020, but I do worry about going all obamacult over her. I see it in others and don’t want it for myself.
And her hips are STILL all wrong.
Have you noticed that whenever Liberals decide to fight for something they are encouraged by the media but whenever conservatives fight they are told to moderate?
I remember from Tip O’Neil’s Autobiography his frustration that Jimmy Carter wasn’t big on following up to push his agenda, every time I read that I feel so relieved.
Tip was right though you have to keep pushing things, that’s why I still write about media bias etc, because you would be surprised how quickly people manage to forget things in front of them.
For all the crazy political stuff going on in Massachusetts you still can’t beat the foliage.
And it is home.
It never ceases to amaze me that people still make the same mistakes that infect systems.
And the longer I live the less surprised I am about various outrageous things people do.
The Amazon vine general newsletter is due today, I have two books already on the way from the Vine that I ordered last week therefore I might not be able to order this week when all the stuff goes up. I haven’t decided if that is a good or a bad thing.
I suspect the Palin book won’t be there.
Once I get a job I wonder how much less I will be blogging?
And will anyone care?
Still no idea why I can’t get trackbacks from Hotair or Michelle.
But on the plus side I’ve been much more regular on my Rosary.
Considering my situation I’ve been very lazy on my prayers, I should really know better.
And on that note back to real life.
…so that means light blogging but it also gives me a chance to tell a funny HiWired story.
Just under 75% of the time we would telecommute. That saved a lot of time and money but also had an odd side effect. If you are sick and have an hour drive it is a lot easier to call out than if you are just going down stairs. Even if you are very sick if you are going to be home anyway it just doesn’t feel right to take the day particularly when you know someone else will have to take up the slack.
I was feeling very sick one day (I had a 11-10 shift that day) but I didn’t want to take the day so I took the laptops to my bedroom and literally worked from the bed I’m lying down on now. On chats it wasn’t a problem but on calls people could clearly hear I wasn’t right.
I was working on my last call of the day and my wife had just come upstairs. As quietly as I could I moved the laptops to my side of the bed and continued on the call and the screen share. The customer bless her seemed more interested in my sickness than in her errant printer. As I finished up the call and had her printer humming again we had this exchange:
Customer: Thank you very much for your help, now I want you to head home and get right to bed!
Me: Mamm I promise you that once this call is done I’ll get to bed so fast that you’d think I was already there.
I almost had to mute my mike as the wife nearly broke out laughing at that point.
I’m a big believer in bed rest. I’ve always found that if you actually take to bed when you start to get sick your body gets a head start on taking care of whatever ails you.
So it’s bed rest today and the Latin Mass tomorrow and as I had a couple of calls on the job front this week, hopefully an interview or two next week.
Back in my HiWired days I ran the blog there and did most of the posting. I was doing some cleaning up of my system and found this old post from October of last year that is worth re-posting:
I like computer games, I’ve been playing Civ IV Colonization quite a bit lately but some people who use their games to escape real life take it way to far:
“I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry,” the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.
The woman had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.
She has not yet been formally charged, but if convicted could face a prison term of up to five years or a fine up to $5,000.
Players in “Maple Story” raise and manipulate digital images called “avatars” that represent themselves, while engaging in relationships, social activities and fighting against monsters and other obstacles.
The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married, and killed the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his beloved online avatar was dead.
Well there is only one thing that can be done in justice. I think her virtual character should be taken to a virtual court, tried by a jury of her virtual peers and if convicted jailed in a virtual prison to make sure that the virtual society is protected from this virtual threat!
The words “Get a life” doesn’t to this story justice.
Via Ann Althouse who as a lawyer has a little fun with it.
Considering how things are going these days I suspect that a lot more people are retreating to these virtual worlds. Expect a lot more of htis stuff.
…but if you read only one thing today read Michael Yon’s letter exclusively on Instapundit. Key Excerpt:
The idea of a two-state solution, once popular with many Israelis, is evaporating. More and more Israelis are coming to believe that any appeasement with the Palestinians is merely a reward for terrorism. And so it is. The Palestinians have become prisoners by their own hand. The hand that builds the bombs, wields the guns, and welds the rockets, has caused a fence to be built around them.
They are isolated and imprisoned. But it’s not only Israel who’s done this. The Gaza Strip borders Egypt, and Egypt has done the same. The terrorists are tunneling like rats and the Egyptians and Israelis are trying to locate and destroy the tunnels under their respective fence lines. Who wants the Palestinians? If the Palestinians truly were a peaceful lot, victims only of Israel, one might think that they would have free entry into Egypt. But they do not.
Yon is the best single reporter in the world on the war on terror.
UPDATE: His bottom line is unfortunately correct at least at this time.
It simply does not make sense for us to support a Palestinian state, when at every turn they demonstrate that they will simply become more powerful, richer terrorists, with longer range rockets.
My greatest regret with HiWired is we were unable to pull off the podcast with Yon. We traded e-mails kept missing each other. It was before he was well known and would have been a solid exclusive.
It was the first time I’d been in an OfficeMax since HiWired went under and was later bought out. Considering that Plum Choice picked them up I was a little taken aback to see the old Ctrl-Center packaging and the old boxes sitting there. Same products same offers and the same price points.
Very little promotion other than the small display and nothing on the web site.
Can’t vouch for the quality of the services, as they are US based I suspect they are likely ok.
Kind of sad to see it all and think back to the old place and what could have been. Of course HiWired exists now as a part of Radialpoint with some good people there. If you have to get service and you don’t use DaTechGuy I’d go there first myself.
Park’s Associates blog picked up on our story concerning the fate of HiWired and added some new news for me.
I didn’t know Singu ended up at Radialpoint, he’s a good pickup for them.
It also hit me this morning that if HiWired was picked up then the Remote backup that we offered is still functioning, so if you had databackup through HiWired, (And you should have) it will not only continue to function but will be renewable (and you should renew it).
I don’t know if Plum Choice will be keeping the same backup through Ctrl-Center but I would strongly suggest they do. I’ve seen too many systems that were not backed up to the grief of their owners.
Remember THE DATA IS THE REASON FOR THE SYSTEM! If you don’t back it up, and the current HiWired is offering backup for as low as $8 a month. People feel really foolish when they don’t backup and your system crashes. Don’t make that mistake.
Update: Missed linkback now included.
There is an interesting development in the HiWired situation.
I checked the Radialpoint site and there is no press release confirming this but it is plain as the nose on your face on the HiWired page.
So the bottom line at the moment is this:
HiWired have been acquired by Radialpoint
Ctrl-Center has been acquired by PlumChoice
I’ve been acquired by nobody, but I am available.
Noticed that the page for Ctrl-Center has changed.
When HiWired stopped breathing it remained to be seen what would happen to Ctrl-Center, would Office Max drop the brand or give it to another tech support company?
I presume Office Max decided they didn’t want the dough already sunk into be a loss so somebody is doing it. Since the page say US based support I presume it hasn’t gone to India but as to where it is being done and who is doing it I have no idea.
Still not sure if they will be supporting the old services that we once offered, but that is a post for another day. I’d be very interested in knowing what people think of the new service, of course I’d recommend Datechguy’s tech services instead.
UPDATE: It belongs to PlumChoice.
Tonight begins the 8 days of Hanukkah.
For those who don’t know it is celebrating the purification of the temple after it had been defiled by their foes, you can find the longer story in the 1 Maccabees 4:35-59 the meat and potatoes of it are here:
On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it, on that very day it was reconsecrated with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals. All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven, who had given them success. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered holocausts and sacrifices of deliverance and praise. They ornamented the facade of the temple with gold crowns and shields; they repaired the gates and the priests’ chambers and furnished them with doors. There was great joy among the people now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed. Then Judas and his brothers and the entire congregation of Israel decreed that the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness on the anniversary every year for eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of the month Chislev.
To all those who celebrate it, a Happy and Holy Hanukkah and to those who do not, Have a nice week.
Let me give a shout out to the old HiWired company in closing, every year we would have a greeting for Christmas, and Hanukkah on the blog. It unabashedly acknowledged the religious nature of these days. It spoke very well of the company that they were not afraid to acknowledge religious holidays and I take my hat off to them.
Well the ice slammed into us really good. No power (or heat) in the house, no power in the neighborhood, no power for most of the city (although as of this writing two sections of town have lights) and a good chunk of central mass is totally dark.
Tonight I’m writing from a friend’s house in the former Fort Devens. Our friend insisted we come to a place where the lights burn brightly.
I have my laptop with me and once I get a chance to read about today’s news I’ll have things to say but I’ll just go with a few observations:
People seem to be taking the lack of power in stride.
Trees are down everywhere, very large branches were blocking my driveway we cleared enough to pull in and out but there are huge trees and power lines all over the place.
The bright side is with school out we were able to make a trip to my favorite haunt in the days of HiWired: Mighty Subs in Needham (where you would never know a storm took place). Art and Karen have been together since high school and have run this place for decades. Their motto is “Our small is their large” and they aren’t kidding.
If you are EVER in the Needham Massachusetts area give them a visit, they are only open weekdays till 4 and serve a full breakfast as well, but it is their Mighty Subs that are the star of the show.
There is a fair amount of pleasure just reading a book or staying under the and not worrying about the rest of the world.
It’s days like this when you really have to appreciate the Police, Fire and Utility people. When the chips are down they work like there is no tomorrow.
You know at least one Christmas its a good idea to buy your wife $300 worth of Yankee Candles. Not only will she not need any more for years but some dark day it might pay off.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, nobody has a better group of friends than me that you can count on. I’m really blessed.
And destructive as it was, those trees covered in ice, particularly the view of a tree covered hillside is one of the most beautiful sights you will ever see.
Well no bites yet on the e-bay stuff for tech support, I’ll likely re-list the virus cleaning for 7 days instead of 3. I was hoping to avoid the chance of anything going beyond my two week trial of LogMeIn Rescue without at least one sale, but it looks like I’m going to have to make a decision on that yearly license before I have any takers.
Logic says it will take a long time to actually build anything since the customer base that used us at HiWired and Ctrl-Center has no reason to find me at eBay or here for that matter. Heck the readers of the old blog don’t know where I am either since it disappeared with everything else rather abruptly. I did back it up after all it was 3+ years of blogging but it really doesn’t belong to me so I can’t really just re-post it. It’s going to take time. I shouldn’t expect to replace the old paycheck in a few days.
I really need to add a networking service and a printer install service, my problem is you never know with networking particularly when done remotely so the price point is an issue. I’ll likely try adding it in the next day or so with the ice storm coming.
On the bright side I do have a job interview on Monday at a college near Boston, I don’t know what will come of it but we will see. The stuff I’ve been seeing on monster is in my old pay range or slightly above but not of course working from home as I was doing before so there is the price of driving 5 days a week vs 1.
With unemployment when it starts coming I’ll be getting 64% of my base 40 hour check with the child allowance before deductions. According to my math with some adroit budgeting we can get by without going into a hole but without getting ahead. That will give me time to either find a job that pays something near what I was making or give the eBay thing a go. Most of my friends and former co-workers seem to think I can do it. I think it will work but it is just a question of time. So I guess I’ll likely buy that LogMeIn license for the year and see what becomes of it.
Hey its already coming in handy tonight, a friend of mine is having a printer issue and I’ll be able to have her sign in remotely to resolve it once she gets home. What what I’m hearing it might just be a wrong default device. If not then I can use the practice.
FYI if your printer ever doesn’t print without erroring out go to the printers area in Control Panel and look to see what device has the check mark. If your printer doesn’t have a check next to it then your system has a different default printer. Right click on the printer you want to print to and set it as the default.
Its a simple fix and will save you a headache. Next week it might save you an eBay bid.
I’ve been teased a bit about not being on facebook, most of the guys I worked with are there and the HiWired group is rather large or so I’m told.
I might be one of only two who don’t have of the crowd who doesn’t have a facebook account account. Then again maybe it isn’t a bad thing considering today’s news
Reports circulated today about a virulent piece of malware making its way around Facebook, a major hub of the social Web with 120 million users. Because of its walled-off internal e-mail system, Facebook has long been a tough target for spammers and other fraudsters, but the “Koobface” virus is a sign that the relative viral calm on the site — which just today announced an ambitious program to extend its services outside its own tight perimeter — may have been a luxury.
The virus’ most insidious property is that users receive the offending message from a friend: On Facebook, only people whom users have explicitly approved as friends can send them e-mails.
So I guess I’m immune but I’ve gotta figure that a group of ex tech support people will likely be able to dodge this stuff.
Then again I still haven’t purchased a cell phone yet either…
One of the pleasures of having a new blog is getting the initial comments meaning someone is bothering to read you.
One comment to this post got me actually laughing, I posted it to the chat room where a few of us former HiWired people hang out. I quote the question here:
I am not finding any other information about them going ‘belly up’. What is the source of your infirmation? (sic)
Considering I was one of the initial techs approached about the pilot program and was involved in it. I took the initial call. I was one of the initial techs hired and worked there the entire time the company was open, posted 1000+ posts on the company blog and was actually still on the phone with a customer when we closed and missed the initial message to shut down so you could say I took the last call too. I’d say I have some solid info.
However David’s question is a lot less funny when you check out google news. The first 5 days I checked every day for news of HiWired or Ctrl-Center or whatever closing and didn’t see a thing and frankly didn’t bother checking after that. But as I check today I STILL don’t see anything on the subject and the phone message as of two days ago suggests a service outage. As Limbaugh would say , zip, zero nada.
Maybe we aren’t a big enough company to matter with all the bad economic stuff going on, its pretty sad to go from the PC Mag editor’s choice to non-existence in the space of a year but you would think it would be mentioned SOMEWHERE.
I can say that the local Office Max had our product sold under their brand off the shelves by the 24th and the local Bj’s pulled it off by the 25th both are near the Unemployment office so I checked them out after I filed.
I still have no idea if the board plans on trying to salvage the name and the existing contracts, if they plan on going Indian, if they plan on selling the name to one of the contracts, if the banks owns the name or someone else. My inside info disappeared when the company did. I would think all of that was still possible, in fact I had wondered if they would simply re-organize and hire us back at a pay cut but I’ve heard nothing. Unfortunately for us but fortunately for the country we didn’t have high powered lobbyists to convince taxpayers to keep us afloat.
So I think it is pretty safe to say we are Kaput, but if anyone knows otherwise I’d be very interested.
Today the wife got paid, with the final check that we got from HiWired and the bi-weekly pay that we had, this will be the last week that a regular normal paycheck will arrive in the house. Next week I will be empty, the week that follows She will be paid and I will get my first unemployment check (baring disaster or success) so that might cover it as normal, but the countdown is on to the “how do we pay the bills?” days.
The good news is my oldest has only 5 more payments on his highschool and I have under a year to go on my car loan. The bad news is college looms and between this and the crash in the markets the college fund and reserve is tanked.
We will see how the countdown goes so far I’ve had one semi interview for a position at 75% of what I was making and no chance for an increase but they haven’t called back. I’m a bit worried now but I’m not going to go into full worry mode till sometime after Christmas. So we will see.
Wish me luck.
When HiWired went belly up one of the first things that hit me was the backup. I have the HiWired backup (read Carbonite) on my primary family system so I figured it would be a good idea to restore that backup to an external hard drive I had. Not only would it be an extra copy of all the latest stuff but it would give us an idea if the backup was still functioning.
Well yesterday my restore function completed and all the files downloaded successfully. That could mean one of several things:
#1 We paid Carbonite monthly and the built in grace period hasn’t expired.
#2 We paid Carbonite yearly and the year for mine isn’t up let.
#3 The “Owners” are keeping the backup active since unless there is an issue they figure they can recoup funds through it and either route tech issues to Carbonite or hire temps to cover the few backup issues
#4 Nobody thought to turn it off.
If you have the backup if would be a pretty good idea to do that download as well, why take a chance.
Oh and if you DO restore to an external hard drive do a virus scan on it, found a couple of virus’ on the download that weren’t present in the system.
One of the problems when a company closes down without warning is the fear it produces.
Yesterday in the still active chat room where company members sit it was mentioned that one of our co-workers paychecks bounced.
This produced a bunch of worry since that meant that some bills would have to wait a while as Massachusetts has you wait three weeks before you can start to collect, (my first collection won’t be till 12/19).
Lucky for us there is a thing called e-mail and the person in question replied that the check in question was an old one that is even now resolved for deposit on Monday.
I have yet to hear of anyone getting a new job yet. It has only been 10 days as of this morning but it would be really nice to hear that somebody found something of comparable pay.
Anyway later this morning is the first “call in the claim” day. Sometime after mass I’ll call in to let them know I don’t have anything yet. Last time I was laid off (also when a location totally closed) it was nearly 6 months before I found something permanent, I sure hope it doesn’t take that long this time.
Well There are likely a few people who are wondering what the h*** actually happened to HiWired, Control Center (Ctrl-Center), Windstream Tech Support, Comcast Tech support etc… and all the other supports that we did over at HiWired.
Being a lowly tech I don’t have all the story but I’ll give you what I can.
In terms of what our main problem is I think it was tactical. I think we tried to grow staff first in anticipation of growth rather than increase staff as needs allowed, I think our own success gave us hubris.
In terms of the end A lot of things seemed to happen while I was gone:
Our first round of layoffs took place while my wife and I were in Bermuda it cost us managers mostly.
The second round of layoffs took play on my day off that cut a fair amount of techs and staff including some really solid ones and some dear friends.
A new CEO was put over the founders and presumably he was attempting to manage us into survivability. We had solid contracts. Office Max’s Ctrl-Center being the largest, but if you had tech support through Windstream, Bj’s, and some parts of Comcast and others you were dealing with us in Boston.
It was our impression that we were good until after Christmas, personally I presumed that since our service was good, (a PC Magazine’s Editor’s choice) that they might choose to take us over directly, however last Friday in the middle of the shift we were abruptly told that the company was over and that we were all discharged, top to bottom.
I actually missed it as I was deep into a customer problem, I got an IM from a co-worker saying it was nice to have worked with me, when I asked her if she found a new job she forwarded the into to me.
To the best of my knowledge the bank owns the name now, I don’t know if they will sell it to some other company or what but since the local Bj’s and Office Max pulled the named products off I’m figuring the name’s values isn’t what it would have been a week ago, and in the end we the techs were the product sold.
Whats up for us now? Who knows? We will see.