Category: Uncategorized

July 25th, 2014 by NerdBlurt

Today I learned that my Brother in-law’s` nephew John and  a fellow community member (different people) passed away, in  very unfortunate accidents. Now I have only met James “Darth” Ruddy a couple of times through the years. However some of my close friends were coworkers and very close to him. My good friend Fred Nix said it best as another community member was also involved in that same accident but survived.

 

This song is for you all, I have loved this song since I was a small boy.

The Dance – Garth Brooks from BlueHighways TV (BHTV) on Vimeo.

Nerd’s Blurt

Whenever we lose someone we know or love it is sad. But don’t focus on the loss of that person but all the life and great times you had with them. I will be sending my family and friends affected by these unfortunate Deaths some #nerdblurtmojo and may they find some peace and comfort in the time they shared with these young men taken way to early. I think Ruddy displayed a love of life even down to one of his last tweets  

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February 24th, 2014 by NerdBlurt
Below you will find an email I sent over to Comcast about an issue I am currently dealing with them on. Nobody should have to experience what I went through and I am pretty through on researching things that are going to cost me money. My wife has trained me very well in this area and if I can save I try and do so. But at what cost is savings worth it when having to experience this, I am also a man of principal and will pay more to be treated better.
Email
I am writing this email in real aggravation and frustration. Nobody in your sales or customer service departments actually try and help with issues. I have spent around 4-5 hours trying to deal with my issue and have spoken to at least 11 different people. I keep getting the pass along game where nobody can really help me. And this was all for ORDERING service!!
My issue
I went onto comcast.com and started looking at the different bundles offered – I saw that the Triple play HD Premier package was a good selection as it offered the channels i was looking for. The date was Jan 29th i was speaking with a person in the chat window that comes up. He confirmed that the Triple play package i was looking for was a good one and the price was $149.99 with no additional charges for the x1 HD boxes. I specifically asked that as no other boxes were a zero charge. He confirmed it was intact zero dollars, he stated i would be charged an installation fee per box though. I said ok. Now the package price was for a $250 visa card, hob, cinemax, showtime, streampix for 24mths at 149.99 with 50mbs of internet.  (internet upgrade option would be nice for those wanting higher speeds)
I placed the order and received a confirmation email shortly after. My initial install was scheduled for Monday Feb 3rd. I received a call on Friday Jan 31st from a 3rd party vendor utilized by Comcast. The lady on the other end stated to me that I could not complete my order because the package price should have been $169.99 month not $149.99 a month. I replied back I am not agreeing to pay over $149.99 as that is what was agreed upon. She then proceeded to tell me “I’m sorry it’s not $169.99 it is actually $159.99” So now I’m leary of this and state to her I am not agreeing to anything over $149.99 as that is what i ordered. She then stated to me that she would need to transfer me to customer service as they are the only ones who can handle this. I was then transferred to someone in comcast. I explain what just happened and go and pull up confirmation number for them,  and I find an email canceling my initial order! I never canceled anything. I then find out the person I am talking to is a sales person and they can’t help me!!!  They advised me to call and speak to customer service. I was driving at the time and said I will call back. I was extremely frustrated with the situation now and waited until the next week to call back.
I spoke with a gentleman in customer service and he was very apologetic and stated for me to place the order again either on the phone or via comcast.com once it was all set they could easily modify the package price to reflect what I was giving and that I would be compensated for my troubles. I said ok I will do it online and once complete call back.
I now am back online and going to place my order and the packages have now changed! Now it was a $300 gift card, hob, showtime, cinemax, streampix, and price $149.99mth for 12mths. I was agitated slightly but said I will contact someone. I  proceed and now it was showing $9.95 a box for X1 HD box for each additional box. I stopped there and called into comcast yet again. I then explain my whole story again, the gentleman apologized and said don’t worry I have a form to submit to marketing to adjust the price of the package to ensure it is $149.99 but I would need to be escalated to different department to get authorized on having the price of the equipment at what was originally agreed upon in my original order. He said that this does happen from time to time with multiple promotions going on and it was possible at the time of my initial order that promotion was valid but now it doesn’t show up being a new day and month.
I am now transferred to another person in sales yet again. After telling my story I get transferred to a supervisor. I am really agitated at this point. I then get told I need to speak to someone in Comcast online sales so I get transferred again. At this point I can’t even take it any more having to tell my story yet again. I speak to a nice lady and she explained that she wasn’t the right person to speak with and gave me yet another number to call. I said that I would do it later as I had enough for the day.
I called back and spoke to two more people, this time I got a supervisor and he stated that there must have been a glitch and the best he could do was give me the boxes at $5 a month and he isn’t sure why I was told or that showed up at $0 zero dollars. I explained to him that I was lied to then by the chat representative, he said as a consumer you have options and research pricing available. I did my research and the deal I signed and agreed upon back on January 29th was a great deal and worth me switching my services to Comcast. I then simply asked multiple times for contact information for someone higher such as a VP. He stated ” Brian Roberts himself couldn’t do any better for you” I am so glad to hear that Supervisors are able to speak on behalf of the CEO.
I then proceed to talk with my wife and she says even if the boxes are $5 five dollars it would still be a good deal.
I order my service – This time all online and there is no email confirmation sent to me like the last time. I called and confirmed that someone was showing up to my house on Feb 20th. Please note this is almost a month from when I previously placed my order.
The install –
I had a total of 6 boxes installed in my house. The Technician was there in the two hour window provided. I helped him figure out which line was to which TV from the Direct TV install and all seemed to be going smooth. I was even nice to clear the snow away from the area he would be working in. Problem started with him when he said I would be charged an additional $50 fifty dollars to set-up my wireless network. I was like say what? I told him to proceed as I would be taken that up with Customer Service as there was never a mention of this charge when placing my order.
My problems with the installation-
Tech unplugged my verizon internet while I was still utilizing it. He had no reason to touch my verizon internet connection at all. I spent 20 minutes diagnosing why I didn’t have internet and ended up asking him if he touched the Ethernet cable going into my verizon box. He also pulled the phone wire out. (please note I still have those services installed currently and in no way should they have been messed with) Please understand I work from home and for me to lose out on that time is problematic if I am not able to work then I can’t make money for my family.
I ended up installing in all of the rooms my actual boxes and programming all but 1 remote while the technician was doing something.
He didn’t place the modem where I asked him to.
Left no information with account number and phone number – I had to contact online support via chat to get account information to set-up my comcast.com account
Setup my wireless network?? All he did was plug my modem in.
My phone line was not installed where I had said I wanted it. He suggested getting a multi base wireless set so I wouldn’t need any lines run anywhere. Great but when working and dealing with people on phone I don’t like static and wireless calls can be picked up with scanners.
Post installation 
I called customer service to ensure the pricing on the package and talk about my experience with the installation. The initial lady was not helpful and was trying to say I was already receiving a credit on my account for Feb 20th but didn’t really know why. I was still being charged $9.95 a box and sounded annoyed when I stopped her as she wasn’t answering my question or really able to help me. I spent over an hour on the phone now waiting for a supervisor.
Now I was speaking to a female supervisor who I believe was Lori or something. Explained my whole story again! She tried telling me I was already getting a great deal as the boxes are normally $18 eighteen dollars a month and I was getting them at half that. I then simply said I am not getting what I was originally agreed upon or told. Then I wasn’t even getting the boxes at the $5 five dollars mth charge. The reason it seems I am getting a great deal is because of the bundle and therefore I am not getting any deal.
She asked if I was looking to get the boxes for $5 five dollars and I said yes and at a minimum I shouldn’t be charged any installation fees either.
I have spent over 5 hours dealing with this and have spoken to almost 14 fourteen people! The initial customer service person said I would be compensated for my experience. But exactly how? I would say at good faith I would get installation charges waived. That should be a start.
The issues in short
  • Wrongly qouted pricing
  • Passed around to to many people
  • Time to get things resolved is unspeakable
  • Install Tech failing to install equipment to customer satisfaction
  • Fact nobody in your system can use a confirmation number provided to customers
  • Nobody on the other end really listening and just passing you along
  • Never received a PIN so i can’t access my account online fully – and the online request a new one doesn’t work
What am I going to do
  •  I am filing a consumer complaint with MA Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Posting this email to my Blog NerdBlurt.com showcasing how not to treat customers
  • I will be printing this email out and sending a physical copy to each Senior level executive
Status as of Feb 24th at 1pm
I am awaiting a call from a person higher then the last supervisor I spoke with. Which I wrote this email while on hold
Some suggestions
Unified packages for both phone and online sales would be a great start. Think most of your staff gets confused with all the different options and how they are always changing.
Automatically send chat transcripts to people
 Enable employees to check order confirmation numbers.
Nerd’s Blurt
This is me venting on my experience thus far with Comcast. But there is a bigger picture in this story and a lesson many can learn when doing customer service training. Stop and listen to the person’s complaint, if you can’t help speak up and say you can’t and then get the person to the right person the first time, nobody should have to repeat his story multiple times and to over eleven people.
I am awaiting a call back from somebody but sent this email just before posting this here. I am about being fair and don’t ask much and anyone that knows me knows I am reasonable. I chose to switch to Comcast because I can save money and saving money is my end game. If I can’t get the problem resolved I still have my current services and will cancel Comcast all together. But I’m hoping to resolve this issue with them and be a happy customer from here on out.

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November 30th, 2013 by DStringF

There is a lot of hype about “software defined storage/servers/datacenters” these days from a variety of vendors.   There have been a recent plethora of established and upstart storage vendors selling their own vision of solutions and it has really given me a headache looking at all the different options.

So what exactly is software defined storage?

Well, I think it depends on who you ask.  What it means to me though is a solution that grows horizontally via independent storage devices that act as one.   There are lots of interesting players out there right now that provide access to the storage via FC, NFS, iSCSI, and via special clients.   One such solution which is implemented as both an open source and commercial software only option is GlusterFS, also know as Red Hat Storage Server in the commercial space.

GlusterFS is of particular interest to me for a variety of reasons.  This isn’t to say that GlusterFS is inherently better than other options out there, and I hope to share some of my experience reviewing other storage products of the some category.  First of all, GlusterFS is a software only solution.  Red Hat, who bought Gluster Inc. several years ago, continues to offer an open source version as well as its own implementation Red Hat Storage Server.  Whats the difference?  Using the open source version, you miss out on Red Hat’s implementation of the XFS filesystem for >16TB volume support (on a per storage node basis), an easy to use management GUI, and paid support.

GlusterFS is a file based NAS solution.  Servers running GlusterFS server provide “bricks” to build the storage capacity.  Data is written from a server running GlusterFS client and distributed among the bricks based on how the volume was configured.  GlusterFS servers don’t talk directly with each other to store data.  Instead, the client handles all the logic.  So as long as your client is up, you don’t have to worry about controller failure in the same way you would in a traditional FC or NAS array.   All nodes in a Gluster cluster are completely independent controllers.    Typically you’d use 1 or more replicas to provide redundancy across controllers, and provide more read copies for faster access speed.  You can also stripe data across nodes, but as of right now it doesn’t appear you can using both striping and replicas at the same time.   When I get the opportunity to build a larger test cluster in the near future, I hope to play with that combination to see what actually works or not.

GlusterFS (and Red Hat Storage Server) are marketed as a cost effective alternative to the traditional storage market.   My own calculations show that you can scale up for about $1/GB using commodity servers.  In my calculations I used a popular 3rd party server vendor’s 2U server with 24 1TB 7200RPM 2.5″ SAS drives and dual 10GbE NIC’s, and accounted for 1 replica (effectively mirroring each file between two nodes).  On paper at least, this storage node could handle 1800-2400 IOPS, not counting local RAID overhead.  A very real scenario of a 1PB useable filesystem would cost you around $1.2M and would consist of 94 nodes with a back end capability of upwards of 150k-200k IOPS after RAID.

There are several downsides to consider when using GlusterFS or Red Hat Storage.

  1. That $1.2M doesn’t include connectivity to the servers.   10GbE port costs are less expensive than 8Gb FC though, so this may be a wash if you are building from scratch.
  2. Your storage is only as fast as your client and its network interface.  Since you’re shifting your controller functionality onto the client, you’ll use more bandwidth to get to the Gluster nodes when using 1 or more replicas.
  3. Generally speaking erformance is only going to be seen in scale, not on an individual client.   You can improve this effect using faster drives such as 10k RPM SAS or SSD but the cost will go up with it, or by switching to distributed stripes which you lose data availability in the event of a node failure.

Overall though, for certain applications I think GlusterFS is still a very valid solution that should considered.

  1. Distributed storage in a cloud computing environment.
  2. HPC clusters where you can stripe working data across nodes without long term retention requirements.
  3. Streaming media repository.
  4. Storage of nearline data for backups.

http://www.gluster.org/

http://www.redhat.com/products/storage-server/

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November 19th, 2013 by NerdBlurt

Question on LinkedIn

This simple question sparks some really deep thought process with-in me, I was having a conversation in regards to my LinkedIn profile and a suggestion to not have something on there was raised. So the following is my take on answering my own question, but I’m not a recruiter or hiring manager and someone in that role may view it differently.

LinkedIn Logo What experiences should you have on your LinkedIn Profile?

I am 33 years old and in that time I have been a cashier, Public Safety Officer, Soldier, Computer Technician, Assistant Manager for Auto Industry, Security Guard, Mail Room Clerk ( I actually had always wanted to do this), Gas attendant, Mechanic, Armored Car Driver/Carrier, Consultant, Business Owner, Landscaper. Every role has helped shape who I am today and has made me into this great person. Without those experiences I could still be some punk on the street. Instead I have learned valuable life lessons along the way and have matured in the process. Now I will be first to admit I have made some careless mistakes in life but those mistakes help shape my own growth.

Resume vs LinkedIn

I know for different positions you are applying for you should have a tailored resume to reflect that position. But should you tailor your online profile to fit that same concept?

If people are to look at LinkedIn as your online resume for a certain position should something not relating to that position be a determining factor?

The Way I see it

Now, my thought process is that if I chose to list X or Y experience is because I found value in such a posting. Let’s examine my profile if you were considering me for a manager or supervisor role you may say Luigi has no experience in such a capacity if I’m tailoring my profile to Z Industry.

But in reality after I got out of basic training I started working for Pepboys as a Service Writer ( person who checks in your car and tells you how much it is going to cost you) and I worked my way up to Assistant Service Manager. With having key responsibilities for all shop personnel and the day to day running of the service department to include mechanics and service writers. So anywhere from 10-15 employees. I held the role for a number of years until I went into a different field.

Now on my resume in Z industry I may not include Pepboys in my resume as I am no longer in that field, and would gear my resume for Z industry. But would I be remiss to not have it on LinkedIn?

Again I was working in C industry for a few years and started as a laborer and worked my way to being the number two person in this small company. I had supervisory duties on my own three person work crew, would I not want that on my LinkedIn to show I can work in a type of leadership role.

I always keep my Military experience on everything, that is one of the best things to ever happen to me and it taught me so much diversity and working in tough conditions.

But in some of my other roles, their were experiences that shaped my thought process either from doing something good or messing up and learning from that experience.

Nerd’s Blurt 

I think what I’m trying to say is that LinkedIn should be about the entire you, it would show you things not on my resume. Experiences should be embraced and not looked upon in a bad way. The real question is how you have grown from those experiences and what value does working for X company bring to D company. Please tell me what your thoughts about this is, I would love to discuss this more.

I really want to understand this more as I know it could lead to some interesting points of views from the different roles with-in an organization.

Are we almost at the point where you submit a Profile link versus a Resume?

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September 19th, 2013 by NerdBlurt

Many people have upgraded to iOS7 and have been asking how they can close running applications.  The process is really simple.

ios7 running applications

How to Close running applications

Check out this quick video demonstrating how to close an app or you can read below the video for the instructions.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/TG-jWmGNDUI[/youtube]

Written steps here

  1. double press or tap the home button
  2. scroll through the applications from side to side.
  3. slide up on the screen on a selected application.

you will notice it floats away tot he top and disappears. Now you do not have that application running any more.

Nerd’s Blurt

This was just a quick video, I actually will do some more in the future on iOS and Android devices.

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