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Long Day, But Some Good News

Well, today has been an extremely long day. I actually spent the day in the office because we had a staff meeting and then I was supposed to configure a couple of desktop machines that were going to be sent out to clients. From the beginning though I knew today was going to be interesting.

Traffic was really bad this morning, so my ride was 20 to 30 minutes late. This wasn't a problem though since it was my boss's wife picking me up. So we got to the office and started the staff meeting immediately. I guess there was a big stack of pending client files, so between all of us we had to go through each one and discuss the status of each person. Having a large stack is good because it means we're getting good business, but bad because those purchase orders haven't been billed yet and we can't bill until the work is completed because we don't charge for unused hours. So if I say it'll take me six hours to train someone, but only use 5 of those hours, we don't dcharge for that last hour.

We finished that about 3 hours later and then I started getting stuff pulled out for the computer set-up. I have no clue if this monitor is sideways though because they didn't hook one up for me. So, let's hope it's all working right. SMILE! It's not a Dell this time though, so hopefully that'll help. GRIN! Okay, now I do have to say though that all though I've been knocking dell lately, we have three Dell computers here; my desktop and laptop, and Jim's desktop. I just get so frustrated during the very rare occasions that I have to call for support, and replacing my very dead 3-month-old 150 gig hard drive last year was like pulling teeth! I love the machines themselves, just not their customer service. So now that that's out in the open, I'll continue.

Lunch was really super good. They found a pizza place recently that served pizza by the slice. Now, I have to explain something here. My boss is Italian, and he has a very strong Italian background. So when it comes to pizza and other foods, he's very picky. He and I go back and forth all the time about what does and does not make a good pizza. He feels that pizza should have a thin crust. I myself prefer a thick crust, and the thicker the better. The thing is though, he normally won't eat any kind of frozen pizza, and he won't eat pizza from most restaurants because they have the wrong kind of cheese, the wrong kind of sauce, ... You get the picture. This place though actually served pizza that he liked, so we ordered from them. I chose to get a calzone, (or however that's spelled). I got it with sausage and mushrooms. I like calzones because they don't have any sauce, and with my reflux sauce and I don't always get along. You can dip these things in sauce, but you don't have to. If any of you don't have a clue what a calzone is, picture a flat round of pizza dough. Now, add the toppings, whatever you want. Fold the dough in half and seal it around the edges. Now bake it. This is a calzone. They're great, and huge! I love my food, and I had a calzone and one and a half garlic rolls. I couldn't eat the whole calzone there was so much there. I put my customer support file onto CD yesterday and today my boss's wife played it for the entire staff during lunch. Since everyone there had dealt with Dell at one time or another they all got a kick out of it.

After eating I went back to the computer. This person was getting Magic so I installed that and got it activated. I then discovered that although we had requested NOD32 Antivirus we actually got Norton instead. So then I had to fix that and make sure that the programs were all functioning correctly.

Once that was done I had to talk about my thoughts for marketing strategies for the blind/low vision area. I am most definitely not a marketing person, so I really had no ideas. We're doing another Pac Mate day next Wednesday, so we talked for a while about people we wanted to target for this particular location. This means that I now get to do one of my least favorite parts of the job; phone calls. I'm sure I've said in the past how much I hate calling people to try to get them to buy something or come to an event or whatever. I just don't like doing that kind of thing. Oh well, there aren't too many people I have to call. If I've talked to you about coming, and you know who you are, don't forget to call the office to let them know you're coming. SMILE!And, if you're local and want to come, give me a call at my office number and let me know you're interested so we can add you to the list. Okay, I've done my advertising for the day. GRIN! Sorry, we can't sell outside the state.

Anyway, so once all that was done it was close to 5:00. I didn't make it home though until a little after 7:00 because we had to make a couple of stops on the way back. So, it's been a really long day. But, now for my good news. well, I think it is anyway.

I think I've mentioned before that I am a certified trainer for Freedom Box, so I have an account. (I actually use it a lot for posting to LJ these days since it allows me to run spell-checker in any edit box, no matter what.) Anyway, I am only authorized to run the program on one computer, and I don't really want to pay for the ability to unlock my laptop, but I obviously need it on my laptop for demos and stuff. I can burn a CD that I can run on my laptop, but the CD is kind of a pain because if there's a new version the CD doesn't have it. Now though, there's a new solution, and I just bought the beginning of it today. They've got thumb drives out now that are called U3 drives. I don't understand all the technical stuff, but apparently they have technology that allows people to run complete programs directly from these drives. For instance, Winamp, which just happens to be my favorite audio player, has a version written for these U3 drives so that I can go to any computer, plug in my drive to a USB port, and I've got Winamp with all my settings the way I want them. I guess many of the antivirus programs also have U3 versions as well. I can see where this would come in handy if you've got a computer that has viruses and no way to remove them.

Anyway though, Freedom Box now has U3 capabilities. So all I have to do is buy a U3 drive and install it using the software on my computer. I haven't gotten one up to this point because I guess in some ways, (okay, let's be honest, a lot of ways), I'm pretty cheap, and I didn't want to shell out the money. Today though, my boss was looking at the Freedom Box web site because we were talking about U3, and then he did a search. He found a 2 gig U3 Kingston Traveler drive for $38.00. The whole idea of me being cheap went out the window at this point. I gave him my credit card number and bought that baby. It was about $7.50 more with FedEx 3-day shipping, but it'll be worth it once it comes. It'll be neat to see how it works once I've got it.

The cool thing though is that I'll also be able to install JAWS on it, and although it won't run in the same way that a U3 program would run, installing the thumb drive version of JAWS, plus my dongle authorization will give me portable JAWS for the most part as well. So, we'll see how it goes once it comes probably next Monday or Tuesday.

Well, I'm tired, so I think I'm going to post this entry, read my friend's page and a couple of other pages, and then call it a night. Tomorrow I'm doing a reinstall of some software on a client's PAC Mate and then doing some training, and then Friday I'm out all day again. Later everyone.

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