"The time has come," the walrus said

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"The time has come," the walrus said

Postby lwf58 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:08 pm

"to talk of many things: Of shoes and ships - and sealing wax - of cabbages and kings."

Or not.

The site is back after two long weeks of being offline. That was due to a string of problems. In times past, we've been taken offline by the hosting company for using up too many server resources. That seems to be what happened this time too.

But the first problem was that several months ago, I requested that the site account be upgraded to a Virtual Private Server, a scheme that gives the site its own dedicated resources instead of sharing them with other basic accounts. Apparently, there was a communications glitch and they never performed the upgrade. So we crossed that invisible line yet again and got shut down.

Second problem. This time, somehow or other they messed up the permissions for the site's cache folder. That caused the site to not show the error messages telling us the database had been disconnected that we got before. Stacy found that out by hunting laboriously for problems in the code.

Third, this time around it took until the 25th for someone to notice my "priority" message and reply to it, and longer for me to notice they had because for some reason the tech support messages are not being forwarded to my email as they should be and were in the past.

Their tech support finally sent my upgrade request to the VPS department, and now we can hope that this kind of nonsense is over and done.

This was also a period where I was distracted from paying as much attention to the site as I would have liked because my Real Life has hit a snag. My job evaporated out from under me, and threw my life into confusion and uncertainty. One day my boss is talking about replacing carpet and installing new surge protectors, and the next we get an email that he's downsizing the business and laying everyone off.

Turned out he'd been overworking himself into a physical breakdown of his health keeping the place afloat, and that night it caught up to him and caused a serious failure of his digestive system. His doctor laid down the law: he has to drastically cut back on his work load, or else.

So he shut down our shop and opened a new, much smaller office. He's only going to work on his business contracts and not have anything to do with walk-in customers or residential services.

With the rest of us now unemployed, we had to make some decisions. Our secretary / receptionist is going to take some time off and then get another job elsewhere. I and the guy who was doing most of the residential service calls will open up a new shop to cover the stuff our former employer will no longer be handling.

It's a scary time. I have no idea if we'll be able to generate the kind of income that will make our shop a success. We aren't cutting ties, though. We'll be supplied with parts and sales stock by our former employer, and he'll be referring customers to us. We'll be selling his stock for him, and comparing notes from time to time. I call it a change from an employer / employee relationship to a confederation of companies.

Still, there's one upside to this. Now I can wear sandals to work if I want to, since I'm my own boss again. :lol:
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby Lioconvoy » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:39 am

Good luck in your new bussiness venture and thanks to both you and Stacy for bringing the forum back.
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby Rei-chan » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:42 am

Sorry to hear about the troubles there Larry and hope it works out for you.
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby Spokavriel » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:21 am

Wow I'm kicking myself for going to bed early last night. I was asleep before the first post after the site restoration.

Good Luck on the split in companies Larry. Its not easy but if you have enough people with experience handling the management aspects (Say from easing the burden of the former boss) then it shouldn't be too painful a transition. I'd think the harder part would be getting the business licenses and everything straightened out.
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby lwf58 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:38 am

We are using the "confederation" to keep the tax situation as simple as possible to begin with. Getting business licenses is pretty easy. Only two are required for the average business: a local license, which I have, and a State tax ID for retail sales, which I do not.

I don't have the tax ID because I'm not going to sell anything on my own behalf. Instead, I'll be selling my former boss's parts and equipment by proxy. That means all of the sales will be on his tax ID. Functionally, the way it works is that he gets all the money collected for the sale, and pays the taxes to the State. I and my partner will only collect money from labor charges, which is non-taxable. All we have to worry about is paying income taxes.

He's going to pay us a percentage of the profits he makes, but we won't be seeing any of that for awhile. Instead, it'll be applied toward paying off the equipment I'm taking from the old shop to set up my new one.
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby Neko- » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:18 am

Good luck with the business endeavor. That's about all I can say from this end...

What exactly is the business anyway? Wat field?
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby lwf58 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:32 am

Oh! I thought just about everyone here knew that I'm a pro computer tech. I fix 'em and install the OS and software. I also work on laser printers and do a bit of web design.
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby Spokavriel » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:38 am

Ever have to end up repeatedly servicing a scanner for dead bugs in the optics?
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby lwf58 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:08 am

Nope. Scanners are like ink jet printers: so cheap that servicing them is usually more expensive than buying a new one. Even on multifunction laser printers, those times scanner problems popped up, the manufacturers just had me replace the whole scanning unit instead of trying to repair it.
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby Spokavriel » Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:11 am

Guess my scanner is an exception then. I just open it up releasing the catches then with a bit of air or a q tip debug the breach between the actual optic and the reflector...

How bugs get into the scanner though is becoming more of the mystery seeing how I repeatedly fill any gaps I find with open cell foam rubber padding. To allow ventilation but block the bugs.
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby PCHeintz72 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:00 pm

Vents maybe, if yours has them...

Only scanner maintenance I've ever done was to replace the bulb. Otherwise, like lwf58 stated, generally they are not worth paying to get maintenance done on them.
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby Spokavriel » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:10 pm

I didn't claim to pay for maintenance. And as far as the vents go what isn't currently full of open cell foam rubber is covered with fabric from nylons.
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby lwf58 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:57 pm

insects can get through cracks that seem impossibly small to us. The fact that your scanner has latches tells me that it's a clamshell design of some sort. That means you have possible points of entry for insects all around the joint where the two parts separate to open it. Depending on the design, the area around the hinges might also be a weakness. The glass may also have areas where they might slip around it unless it's glued or taped to the plastic frame tightly.

Most flatbed scanners are not meant to be user serviceable, so they are sealed shut and opening them damages the connection points.
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Re: "The time has come," the walrus said

Postby Spokavriel » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:01 pm

I was lucky to get one of the Acers that has tabs that can be disengaged using a large straight slot screwdriver. Or the pry of a Tire Iron. I bought it a few months before Acer sent their Peripherals off to become Benq or whatever the new name is now. Still just 300dpi native though.
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