Friday, January 22, 2010

How I became a marketing manager...

Well, I am still not exactly sure how this series of events came to unfold while I was fully conscious in the meeting, but somehow I have found myself in charge of a major re-branding and marketing drive for the company I work for...
Now this could easily be described as just another bunch of extra work to fill my empty hours, but as it turns out, I have no formal qualifications in the field... Luckily, however, I know quite a few people who work in marketing and will be making full use of their brainpower, but still, how did that happen, and this brings me to my next point, how often doesn't it happen that you end up doing alot of work outside of the scope of your position within the company that you work for?
I find myself delving into fields that I used to have a passable working knowledge in, and learning that pretty much everything has changed, yesterday, and will do so again, tomorrow... While this remains an exciting field, I am forced to ask, how do you do it? How do you stay abreast of all the latest developements in a field, where everything you know is outdated by the time you know it? At least in IT you have a few weeks leeway, but here, as soon as it is discovered, it is done, killed and you have to move on... Innovation is no longer just a good idea, but a requirement. I find myself looking at Search Engine optimization and Social Media marketing, which are both quite manageable, but at the same time I have to create a whole new image and division in the company while marketing an entire new line of products and services from us, having not worked with those industries in four years...
So basically, time for an intense learning curve, catching up, new ideas and such... So two things then: a) How often and how are you expected to work outside of your field, and b) Are you in marketing and looking to help me with Social Media Marketing?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Week Using MacOS X

Okay, now, having used a MacBook Air running MacOS X for one week now, courtesy of Alad, I will say this for the tiny little fruit... It rocks, as a gadget... As a tool, it is all but useless... It's counter intuitive from a technical perspective, and testing and diagnostics are nearly not even worth the effort.. Software restrictions are far less of an issue than I initially thought, as I managed to get most of my day to day apps (or at least a workable substitute) downloaded and running with very little trouble...

From a strictly technical point of view however, it is a bitch... But at the end of the day, for your average office jock, this is the solution I would advise as it needs no maintenance and the simple click and run approach is almost foolproof...

In summary, An apple is simply a PC without any of the really useful bits... Based on the Apple marketing campaign where they consider their product as ideal for those who think outside of the box I am forced to conclude that; "Apple is just in the box thinking with a smaller box than PC, admittedly with a better interior decorator..."

And yet another epic failure by Apple and iStore...

Well, would you guess it, turns out it was the OS disc that was faulty, so they replaced it. But not after I asked the technician wether he can confirm that it was just the disc and not the drive and received his assurance of said... Well, turns out that the untrained buffoons that work at iStore branches are as uneducated as they are unhelpful...

I have gotten home and attempted to install the upgrade to MacOS X Snow Leopard 10.6.2 from 10.6.0 again, and guess what, still not working... So I am faced with another 40km trip to isolate the issue, or, as will be the case, a telephonic debate with the idiot who assured me that he had tested the drive... Now, why I said it was the drive as well, was because windows installation via BootCamp doesn't work either, it gets to the point where it says; "Getting Ready To Start Windows Setup" and not a step further (after a two hour wait).

If a computer company wants to act all pompous and holier than thou, then their products should at least work, as of right now they are firing 0 for 3 in every Apple product that I have ever purchased.

Now, the question that I ask is simply this, is this incompetence simply due to the fact that all service staff in South Africa are useless, or is it an underlying problem from the Apple Corporation globally?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mac woes continued...

So, having finally giving up on using either the disc or drive that I purchased on Friday in order to reinstall the MacBook Air that belongs to my client, I have been forced to make the 40km trek to Vodaworld in order to let the "specialists" at the iStore tell me their thoughts and find a solution that works... He then assumes that I made a mistake and proceeds to waste an hour of my time in order to recreate the scenario that I explained to him... Then he decides that since they don't have a technician today, they will have to keep my computer and my new stock overnight in order to test them and figure out what is wrong with it... Fun... So once again, I will need to drive 40km to come pick my stuff up when they discover that I was originally correct in telling them what the problem is... Oh the joys of Mac... Watch out for more updates as this terrible service from a brand continues to firmly place PC as my favourite Computer...

When A PC Tech Tackles A MacBook Air...

Well, having a ball of a time with what can only be described as one of the worst upgrade experiences of my life... But here we go:
On Friday, one of my biggest clients asked me to "fix his computer", I walk into his office and am greeted by what can only be described as the single most beautiful piece of tech I have ever seen, a brand spanking new MacBook Air. Now, having some (albeit very little) experience in MacOS X, I decided that I can give it a shot. His issue was that it wouldn't install the update from 10.4.6 to 10.5.8. So I try to install it, and sure as you would believe, it fails. Not being easily dissuaded and being armed with the mighty Google as my ally, I delve into the dark realms that are the Apple Support Forums and quickly discover that this isn't a very rare phenomena. The solution, is backing up and reinstalling from your original factory discs, Not a problem, I ask my client where I would find his discs only to be informed that he does not have them. So I decide to buy new ones (Just to be legal, and also, due to the lack of an optical drive on the MacBook Air, I sell him a brand new Apple SuperDrive). Having accepted my quote, he also asks me to make use of the BootCamp feature so that he can dual-boot Windows 7 on his new toy...
Now having to drive 40km to procure said stock, I return to my office/workshop/home and connect the brand spanking new DVD-Recorder. I insert the disc and continue to install the software, only to run into an error, which I then decide to solve by reinstalling the entire laptop from scratch after formatting it... Big Mistake... Turns out that either the drive or the installtion media is corrupt... Fun times... I am presently attempting to install the OS from my PC over the wireless network at the office, and this is probably going to take the remaining years of my life to achieve... But I have now learnt one very valuable lesson here that I cannot stress the importance of... If ever, a client wants me to reinstall their Mac again, I will take their slick and beautiful piece of technological marvel, and shove it perpendicularly up their lowest orifice...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beer, Cigarettes and Pirated Content...

I am presently seated at a major LAN event, which is held every month in a town close to my parents place. I try and make it out here every month, but on average I am only here once every three months due to my other responsibilities. But what makes me write about tonights event is a fairly new (and highly welcome) developement.

Girls at LAN's:
When I started attending this LAN event in 2005, it was mostly a bunch of dudes playing games and leeching once a month, it has grown to a sold out event with more than 300 attendees pretty much evenly spread between gamers and leechers. What has also changed is the amount of female participation. What inevitably started as a bunch of dudes bringing their girlfriends along and finding that the only way to entertain them was to get them to download all the latest TV series and movies at the LAN, has grown to a not insubstantial group of girls who feature regularly (And in some cases, as relationships run their course, bringing their new attachments along and introducing them to the group). But what is more significant is the fact that even now, most of the leeching is being done by girls. I am sure that when I sober up sometime tomorrow morning, I will find significance in this little fact... For now, I am forced in my drunken, sleep deprived state, to conclude that piracy in South Africa is mostly perpetuated by the females of the species... Typical Eve ;)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

...Oh ja...

I just realized that I wasn't in fact done with a previous rant regarding taxis and our beautiful governments epic failures in the area of road safety... Hmph... Not really in the mood to get all worked up over that again... But I will at least close off the previous rant with the following;

...as of now my father is back home, and we are very lucky that this is the case, but the truth of the matter is that government is currently demonstrating their utter inability to control the road safety in a manner which is fair... Their failure in this regard is, in fact, a blatant infraction on our human rights, as they ure not able to provide for our safety on the roads (our safety at home is probably going to be the topic of an entirely different rant at a later stage). And I am dissapointed that a once remarkable infrastructure has been allowed to crumble to the verge of ruin... How often do you pass an out of order traffic light in your daily commute? Now, how often can you find a metrocop sitting less than 500m further along the road manning a speedtrap? Would not an educated person see the need to assist in the flow of traffic rather than preying on those individuals speeding because the non functioning traffic light has caused them to be late for a meeting, where they are required, as tax paying citizens, to be in order to make their salaries of which SARS claims a not insubstantial portion on the premise that they will use at least a portion thereof to fascilitate the taxpayers ability to perform vital work functions in the form of transport infrastructure and competent traffic officers? Alas, this isn't the case, bacause in the 2008/9 Tax season 5.6million registered tax payers (companies and private individuals) had to pay for the 11.3million people on welfare...

After a long absence, I bring nothing new to the table...

Hey all (and by that I mean all three the people who follow my blog, that is to say if they haven't passed away in the interim, which is entirely possible). So, here we are at the start of a new year, and we are all aware that the Fifa world cup is going to be happening this year, fun times... Our matrics of 2009 are a quite uneducated lot and apparantly google have stepped up their plans for world domination by releasing the Google Nexus One (though it's technically just a worse copy of the HTC Hero). In other news, 2009 saw far fewer US Patents registered by US companies and a dramatic increase from Asia, this has the Obama state quite worried as it is now finally quantafiable how dumb americans are becoming... Also, apparantly stem cells can now be harvested from male testicles, clearing up the murky mess that is embryonic stemm cell research philosophy a little and possibly allowing for new technologies that will save lives and allow us to further overpopulate the planet... Another interresting titbit is the fact that it is now possible to artificially recreate flesh, giving vegans some food for thought (I am entitled to write puns in my blog). Basically, I am excited for the new year and learning what will happen as these new technologies come of age. Having finally given in and going to watch Avatar 3D, I am impressed with the related technology, and thanks to that single movie, Sony have anounced a handheld 3D HD camcorder, so with the advent of 3D display technologies (From Viewsonic) the world might just become more interactive this year... Windows 7 has launched and been beautiful, truly a succesful operating system for the IT crowd and for once an example of what MS can achieve when they actually try.

As for relationships, clearly 2009/10 going to be a lonely year for many, as I see friend Tiger has joined the ranks of the single... We welcome you playa...

In other news, I am moving again at the end of January and I am not happy about it. So much hard work... ouch...

Anyway, just wanted to write something at least, will try to update again soon... But I leave you with a simple thought: "Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months."Oscar Wilde