Best Practice Ezine #87 Follow-up Tips
About two years ago Paul DeBrino introduced me to Lookout, so when he told me that Copernic was even better, I thought it was worth passing on the tip to you. What I particularly like about Paul is that he always gives a balanced view, this is what he says about Copernic:
Without a doubt, Copernic is superior to Lookout, however, their latest release 1.7, added a few items to their install process that (without asking permissions) hijacked my default homepage and address-bar-search preferences.
I wrote to the company to apprise them of my dismay. Fortunately, their "Integration" tab (under Options / Options) allowed me to "undo" those actions.
One of Guy’s pet hates is why some company services get worse over time, for example corporate phone switchboards. I feel sure that companies could make a name for themselves by having proper well trained telephonists instead of having a labyrinth of indecipherable option menus. Even though it lost them money in the short term, any company that had a switchboard, which was answered in 5 rings by an intelligent human, would gain so much in publicity that everyone would love that company, even if it’s products were only average.
Twenty five years ago telephone services really were much more user friendly. I remember a saga from when I was holidaying in Ireland. One lunchtime I went into a bar and ordered a pint of Guinness, unfortunately a customer along the bar was taken ill. Paddy Flynn, the publican, dialled the doctor’s number, after about ten rings, Flora the telephonist at the local switchboard, came on the line and said, ‘Sorry Paddy, Doc O’Brien is engaged’, Paddy said, ‘But Flora, this is an emergency, the man is looking a nasty shade of green’. ‘In that case’, said Flora, ‘I will phone Murphy who works next to the surgery and he will go around and tell the doctor to get off the phone and call you back straight away’. The doctor arrived before the barman finished pouring my pint of Guinness. I don’t know of anywhere in the world that you could get that level of service today.
Now I can see that the technological solution to my (our) phone problems is intelligent voice recognition software. Therefore, the reason I mention Speech Server 2007 is in the hope that anyone in customer services reading this ezine will try the software. The other reason I mention this product is to give hope to the rest of us that telephone services will improve. The official blurb says: ‘Speech Server 2007 will make it easier for companies to develop and manage well-designed voice response and touch-tone applications to respond to their callers’ requests’. Let us hope with Speech Server we can a similar level of service that Ireland had twenty five years ago.
My friend ‘Barking Eddie’ recently had a job creating SysPrep images for Windows Server 2003. Unfortunately, the resulting installations kept failing with error c000006a. For once, Gung-ho Guy could say, ‘It worked perfectly for me’, the reason being I am happy to use blank passwords on test machines, even though they are member servers.
After losing half a day fiddling with the answer file, Eddie discovered that if the original XP or Windows Server 2003 machine has anything other than a blank administrator’s password, then you cannot (re)set this password with an answer file. Thus, there is a logical solution to error c000006a, just create your SysPrep image from a machine whose administrator’s password is blank.
I mentioned about a month ago that my nephew went from England to Riga and back for $20. To succeed he had to ‘bummit’, this brought back happy memories of how I regularly thumbed lifts when I was poor and before hitching rides was no longer considered safe either for the hitcher or the driver.
Unfortunately, for those of us who tried to monitor Llewelyn’s journey, Bummit’s tracking software failed. My nephew was just a user not a creator of the creator of the Java software, but as 99% of students knock Microsoft I cannot resist taking a shot back and say they should have used Microsoft’s PinPoint to track the participants. PinPoint or a similar product, is likely to be a big hit for parents wishing to track their children. Apparently, PinPoint supports Bluetooth GPS, Wi-Fi triangulation and other methods to track mobile phones.
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From the user’s point of view RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is straightforward, the hardest part is choosing your client from the ever growing list of free readers. However from the server side, or as a webmaster, trying to provide that XML content creates challenges. I confess, I have not mastered all the automation, but the manual systems are functional; therefore, bear with me, the Ezine section has an operational RSS feed and I will shortly extend this service to my PowerShell section.
Lots of useful computer tools