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Archive for September, 2011

Steeples At Sunset

Taps

Original Version

Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.
Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing near
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise for our days
Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky
As we go, this we know
God is nigh.

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It had been a slow week. Up, until, yesterday.

Got a call from a client about mid morning concerning a Scan To Email problem they were having. It seemed that they had to shut down their MFD and move it out of the room that it had been in, in order to put down new carpeting. In the meantime, the machine was off-line for three days. That was enough time.

Enough time so that when they put it back into place and turn it on, for some strange reason their Scan To Email would not work. When they called me I had them give me the error code in the Scan Logs and it showed that the MFD was unable to connect to their mail server.

I had them contact their IT Department and find out if there had been any network or mail server changes while their MFD had been off-line. There had not been any. I walked the client through a couple of steps over the phone in trying to get things working and it just would not connect to the mail server. I gave her one last thing to try, and then to call me back if there were anymore problems. She didn’t call back.

About 9:00 AM this morning she gave me a call. Nothing was working. So I told her that I would be right over. They were only about five minutes away and besides, this would allow me to go out and get some coffee when I was finished. This was a win/win situation.

I went to the client’s office and upon running a few connectivity tests I discovered that in running a trace on the signal to the mail server we were loosing a connection at a router right before the mail server. At that point there was nothing else I could do and I put up on her screen what the test was and what were the results. This way when she was able to get a hold of her IT Department she could show them what I found and to let them know that the problem was at their end.

I left, went and got my coffee, and headed back to the shop. About a half hour later I got a call from her and the first thing she said was “you’re right!”. That was good to hear. It seemed that, after taking the MFD off-line for a few days, the router dropped the IP address for letting it have access to the network and when it came back up on-line the router didn’t recognize the IP address and would block every attempt it made to send an email through their mail server.

Once the IT Tech went in a re-configured the router’s tables the emails were once again allowed to go through their mail server and the client was back up and running and very happy. What she could not understand, however, was how I was able to find the problem and her IT Department couldn’t.

I told her that she would have to ask them but, most likely since it was an easy fix, in most cases, they are the hardest to find. Which is true for most network problems. Once the problem is diagnosed and the fix was discovered we, in IT, usually go “DOH”, laugh and then fix the problem and then proceed to tell others about our problem of the day.

Anyway, the client is happy, I got my coffee and the week ended on a high note. Stuff like this I will miss. Well, maybe just a little… 🙂

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Here are two of my favorite Fall photos…

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Today is the first day of Fall. It is also the beginning of the last four months of full-time employment.

By this time in January of 2012 I will have been placed on the retirement list of Social Security and looking forward to the next chapter of my life. So, I am now in the Fall of my life. Hopefully it will be quite a while before the Winter part arrives…

I only had to go out on one call this week and it was a strange one. The client was complaining that the MFD all of a sudden started printing out a page, every 10 to 15 seconds, with the wording of “Device Status?” written on it and that was all. I had never seen this before and had no idea of what might be causing it.

I did some research on the Internet and discovered that a similar message, although not printed out, is sent to a particular scanning machine as a way of keeping the device connected to a PC and always in the ready state. Now our MFD’s have, as part of their operation, scanning capabilities.

I went on site to the client’s office and discovered that the laptop they were using was one they also used at home. It had recently had a problem and a re-install of the system had to be done. Since then this problem with the MFD printing out the pages every 10 seconds or so started right after that. So, I had them shut down the laptop and made sure that the MFD was on-line and the printing stopped. Then I had them bring the laptop back up and as soon as it came to ready the printing started again.

Ah, hah! In looking at the devices on the laptop I discovered where there was a Kodak All-In-One device installed on it. After disabling the program that controlled it – guess what? – the printing stopped again. The problem was with the Kodak software package and not with our MFD. Problem solved.

There was nothing further that I could do. The only solution, short of un-installing the software package, was to disable it every time they would bring the Laptop in to work. There would be no automatic printing and they would still be able to use our MFD for the copying, printing and scanning for which they had purchased the MFD in the first place.

That was my biggest job of the week. The rest of the time I spent in the shop getting caught up on other work that had been set aside and I’ll be able to start next week off in a fresh state. Till then, have a good weekend and look for the photo challenge image that will be published at a later time.

And thanks for stopping by… 🙂

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This has been another great week. Why do I say that?

Well, I enjoy going out and meeting with my clients and visiting with them for a while. It may be for an install, a problem they are having or just a followup to a previous call. What ever the reason I always want to be able to leave on a “high” note with them saying goodby with a genuine smile on their face. When that happens I know they are happy with my work and that they are comfortable having me around and working on their equipment.

This past week one of my visits was a new install with a new client, and from the start I had them all smiling while working on their equipment. When you have someone smiling they feel more comfortable, more at ease with you, and that makes my work that much easier as there seems to be less pressure. When there is less pressure people seem to do better work. I know that this is true for me.

Ask yourself this. If you were going to have an operation and the last thing you saw was a grumpy, scowling or nervous Doctor standing over you, how would you feel? Now, what if that same person was smiling and talking with a calm but soothing voice with words of assurance, how would you feel? Big difference isn’t it.

Well, that is what I try to do from the get go. That is, to re-assure the client that all is well, the job will be quick and to their liking, and that they will be happy with the finished work. This is the direction that I take. When they feel good and trust you with what you are doing, you can just relax and do it. It works every time. Try it in your own work and see what happens.

When I was finished, they were quite happy with the new MFP. I showed them some perks they didn’t anticipate and, along with seeing how easy the change over went, they were tickled pink, so to speak. That is what it is all about. Take care of the client, keep them happy and your work becomes that much easier.

And that brings me to the second part of this post and that is the Weekly Photo Challenge. This week the topic is “faces”. This image is one that I call “The Shy Smile With A Cool Hat”. I love the look, the smile and the hat. I hope you do as well… 🙂

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Textured Pastel

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Yeah, it’s been a short but busy week.

It started off on Tuesday with an all day install at a Doctor’s office. It was quite an interesting experience. There is a young lady who works there who is an Angelina Jolie impersonator. She is quite good at it and travels around the country doing shows.

The first time I met her was when I went to this Doctor’s office, as a patient, for a checkup. She, for some reason, had on her makeup that she uses and when I saw here through the glass window my first thought was that it was Angelina Jolie. Then I realized that Angelina wold not be working in a Doctor’s office.

I didn’t say anything at that time but, Tuesday, when I was there, I got to talking with her about the impersonation she does and it was quite interesting to hear about the shows she has done with all of the traveling that has taken place.

This young lady, who is also a Mother, by the way, has paid for a lot of what her family has and the vacations they have taken with the money she makes from the impersonation shows she has done. I think what she does is altogether fascinating, as well as herself.

Anyway, she gave me her business card with her photo on it and I asked her if she would autograph it for me – you never know – and she did. This young lady is a very nice person and one whom you would feel most comfortable to be around. I know I was and I wish her a successful career with the work she is doing.

As for my work. After the all day event, I’ve spent the rest of the week in the shop, except for an hour this morning when I had to go out and set up a scan-to-file situation in a Nursing Home. In the shop I’ve wrestled with a Network Server problem and with two laptops that had differing complications.  As of this moment I’ve been able to correct the problem with the network server and fix the difficulties with the two laptops.

It’s now almost 5:00 PM, as I write this, and in a few minutes the work week will be over, and then it’s the weekend with the photography waiting. Tomorrow I start off with a youth soccer game and then after that… well, I can’t tell you everything. That’s my personal life and this blog is about my countdown to retirement at work.

Maybe when I retire I will start a retirement blog of some kind to go along with my photography blog and my Christian laymen blog. UMMM, who knows…

 

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