AS YE OLDE 2007 comes to a close, I’ll give you two pieces of advice that should ring true in 2008.
First, always get a second (and third, and fourth) opinion when it comes to getting tech advice from someone who is “behind the counter” at a retail outlet. Less than a month ago, one of the visiting in-laws managed to accidently delete all the pictures from her CompactFlash card. Don’t know how, didn’t ask, not my problem.
She immediately went to two different camera stores here in the D.C. area, asking them whether or not her nearly 200 pictures could be retrieved from the dead. The fresh faced lad at the first chain definitely told her everything was gone and she was out of luck. At the second chain outlet, she was told that the pictures could, yes indeed be retrieved, but she would have to leave her CompactFlash card to be sent out. Come back in three weeks with $40, if you could.
Of course, woe onto me, as the final (and as most of you know, limited) tech savant in the family. I am asked to save something and since I read about it somewhere once upon a time, a Google search and five minutes coughs up www.recovermyphotos.com, a downloadable file for $39.95. GetData is nice enough to allow you to download a trial version to look at, but not save, recoverable pictures, so I download it, pay the $40 via credit card, get offered $60 by the in-law, return her $20, and away we go. Twenty minutes later, she has pictures both on her laptop and on a CD. I am a hero and receive a large number of deviled eggs for my efforts.
Moral of the first story: Anyone wearing a company shirt likely knows more about the latest bargain deal on the widgets than how the stuff they sell might actually works or doesn’t work as the case may be. Goes double when you start talking about wireless and triple when it comes to security.
Secondly, when it comes to finding a hotel room through the Interweb, always try more than one web site, and then if you still don’t get a deal you like, pick up the bloody phone and talk to a human being. Twice in the last four months I’ve tried to get hotel rooms through a tech event’s website and been told “Sold Out” or worse. In the first case, in a hotel out in LA, a quick phone call got me a room at the conference rate because, yes, there were rooms available outside of the reserved block.
In the second case, I was able to get a room at a slightly higher rate than I wanted, but they still had rooms available on the hotel’s website. µ
Much a (dil)do about nothing
Neither the time nor the face
The tiny tweaks are coming thick and fast now
Gitting more secure