Tag Archives: story

Notes from the road – Beer’s Xbox world tour edition

Well, maybe not so much a world tour. More like a trip to Texas. To the repair center.

You see, on December 23rd my Xbox 360 delivered an unwelcome gift. It must have wanted to get into the holiday spirit and all, so it swapped out it’s normal green ring for one red one. No, not the infamous red ring of death, but a quick check online revealed that my console was every bit as DOA. Error code E74. General hardware failure fault code. Or, as it appeared on the screen:

E74. System Error. Contact Xbox Customer Support.

So it was off to Xbox.com I went. They actually make things pretty simple. Press a few buttons, enter a little bit of info, print a label and off it went. The only hiccup being the holidays and travel which prevented me from getting to a shipping point until after Christmas.

Which brings us to today. And the amusing email I got from Microsoft.

We are happy to let you know that your console has been serviced and will be shipped shortly.

Serviced, huh? Listen, I really appreciate Microsoft taking care of this. Other than the two Xbox games that arrived as Christmas presents the whole thing has been relatively painless and user friendly. But let’s call it what is is. My Xbox has been replaced, *Not* serviced.

How do I know this? Microsoft told me, that’s how. See, the Xbox coming back to me has a new/different serial number. That means it isn’t the one I sent in. Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t care. I’m getting a working Xbox and that’s the important thing. But let’s be honest, there was no attempt at fixing. Especially since it went from being “Recieved” to “Under Repair” to “All done and on it’s way back to you” in the span of maybe 45 minutes. Yes, I was tracking it on the website.

They hooked it up, verified the fault code, and grabbed a new one off of the pile and sent that one back. I’d like to the Dr. McCoy was the one to make the evaluation. You know…

“It’s Dead, Jim”

So now I’m simply at the mercy of UPS. Still, I wonder if the Xbox will come back with a bunch of stickers like a suitcase from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons? Probably not considering I haven’t even gotten a post card!

Ah well. Later folks!

Lack of Tweets (Or the misadventures of Beermaker in email land)

So it’s been a while since anything popped up on the Twitter feed over on the side of the page. There’s a reason for that.

I um… lost the password and the email. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to get a “dedicated” email for the account so I set one up on Gmail. However, I had no desire to check another email address every day, so I had the bright idea to set it to forward everything to my main email.

As the Guinness guys would say, “Brilliant!”.
Until I went on vacation. And forgot my password.

Hey, no problem, I’ll just have it emailed to me… oh… wait. It wants my email address, but it says this isn’t right. Oh, $hit. That’s right, I made up a new one for this. What the heck was that again? Doesn’t matter, it’ll forward so I’ll just use the “username” option and….. (15 min later) “Why haven’t I gotten an email yet????”

I am happy to report that I have recovered my email address,  (And the password reset instructions that were sent to it (which got flagged as spam and not forwarded) and should be able to start trying to use the Twitter feed again.

Best Headline of the Week

Ok, I read a lot of silly news stories. I love the “offbeat” and “Odd News” categories.

Rarely have I seen a headline this good though. This one had us laughing all afternoon, especially since there’s was an inside joke to go with it (No, I’m not telling the inside joke. Sorry.)

Monkey urinates on Zambian president

Seriously, any article that includes this quote from a President, “You have urinated on my jacket”, is an instant classic!

Curious George, eat your heart out.

Where technology skips a generation or two

No, I’m not talking about my parents and their reluctance to get a microwave or the (in)ability of somone to program the clock on their VCR. I might save that for another day, now that I think about it though.

Right now, I’m talking cell phones.

Now, I have a love/hate relationship with mine. I love the convenience but hated being “reachable” at all times, so I never gave the number to many people. And my phone is… a phone. No camera, no internet, I *think* it could probably receive a text message but I don’t have those on the plan so I never checked.

At least, that’s what my phone was. You see, it was a circa 2001 flip phone. And to use a term that nearly everyone would be familiar with…

“It’s dead, Jim”

Ok Beer, that’s great and all – but who really cares about your damned phone and what does this have to do with technology and generations?

Well, that’s the thing. The new phone should show up in a day or so, and it’s save to say that the new model is several orders of magnitude more advanced. I’ve skipped a few generations of phone, and gone straight to a Blackberry (!?!?!). The new plan will have unlimited data and texting, so I should be good to go as far as being able to use the features of the phone.

Anyone got any tips or cool tricks for these things?

Scheduling Sponteneity

Over the course of some discussions for content, an old memory came up that reminded me of a situation here. We were going over doing a regularly scheduled feature, sort of like Friday’s 5 thoughts and this came to mind…

Once upon a time, I was in a group that was being merged with another function. We had two locations and one of our people transferred out there. In the course of that location learning to do the work we had been doing, it came out that we would often have spontaneous “gather ‘round” meetings. They weren’t formal in any way, we usually just huddled around the table right in our area and went over deadlines and stuff to make sure everyone was up to speed. The manager at the new location loved the idea.

So they scheduled them.

And this boys and girls, is why corporate America can’t do anything right anymore.

Anyhow, we’re working on a few other ideas for features (both regular and random) and I’m tinkering with a new layout for the site. If it never gets put up, it means I never got it to the point where I liked it.