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The Water Cooler, Scuttlebutt, Chit Chat Thread

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The Water Cooler, Scuttlebutt, Chit Chat Thread

Old 03-06-18, 12:50 PM
  #2651  
LAJ
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Nothing would surprise me. I did see Jay Leno's Garage where he had a $2.9M Bugatti on and he said the required yearly service cost $25K and was performed by a tech flown in from France.

It can go through a full tank of fuel in 12 minutes at top speed, (261mph).
A buddy of mine was sent through the Veyron class by a guy here that has two of them in the fleet that tech maintains. He figured it was more economical to send him there than to do what Jay Leno does. Much of what needs to be done on those requires the car be split, separating the front from the rear. It's been a few years ago, and his final exam was to drive the car he had just put back together, at 230 miles an hour. The "factory" looks more like Mansion on a bunch of land, than an actual assembly line.
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Old 03-06-18, 01:16 PM
  #2652  
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Tires on that thing cost about $30k a set.
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Old 03-06-18, 01:19 PM
  #2653  
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I was born in 80. Computer probably in '92, 486 dx2 with like 2mb ram, later upgraded to 4. I played MUDs through (telnet shell via Winternet, shout out!) highschool and then Everquest was the downfall of my college education.
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Old 03-06-18, 06:35 PM
  #2654  
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Did yours have a turbo button?

87 here. My foray into computers started some time after the Pentium II, just before the Pentium III. Started getting PC Games magazine for some reason out of the blue. Dad brought home some desktop parts from work, including a motherboard and chassis, then later a CPU. Put it all together after following a 'How to build a PC' article in a magazine, managed to get Windows 98 installed, and then started playing Quake II on 56k. I had it on software rendering, until I realized the integrated 4mb Ati Rage chip could do OpenGL. Mind was blown after I changed the settings. Kept getting my ass kicked though because I was a 'High ping bastard (hpb)', until I heard about Cable internet and begged my parents to get it. Like 20 years later and I'm benefiting from a great career in IT.
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Old 03-06-18, 08:00 PM
  #2655  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Isn't it the McLaren supercar that they need a computer from the early 90's to diagnose/tune/repair because it's the only one with the right operating system/connections?
You'd be surprised how many industries are like this. Defense is terrible for it. Medical is worse (but getting better). And i hear fortran programmers are highly desired in the finance sector.

Originally Posted by wktmeow View Post
Like 20 years later and I'm benefiting from a great career in IT.
I benefit nearly all my ability with computer from learning to type and chatting with randos on the internet in Runescape. How many hours I wasted on that as a kid is probably astounding. And I still sucked at the game!
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Old 03-06-18, 08:26 PM
  #2656  
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There was a day FORTRAN counted as a foreign language for college credit. Just saying...
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Old 03-06-18, 08:34 PM
  #2657  
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Originally Posted by Ttoc6 View Post
You'd be surprised how many industries are like this. Defense is terrible for it. Medical is worse (but getting better). And i hear fortran programmers are highly desired in the finance sector.
Power delivery and utility too. Many places still using electromechanical relays from 80 years ago. Even some of the "modern" stuff is ancient. I still do a lot with serial communications, for example, even on brand new installations (often at only 9600 baud). Sometimes ethernet just isn't necessary.

And yeah, Fortran underpins a ton of the very important stuff, including much of the calculations that keep the electrical grid from collapsing.
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Old 03-06-18, 08:44 PM
  #2658  
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Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
Power delivery and utility too. Many places still using electromechanical relays from 80 years ago. Even some of the "modern" stuff is ancient. I still do a lot with serial communications, for example, even on brand new installations (often at only 9600 baud). Sometimes ethernet just isn't necessary.

And yeah, Fortran underpins a ton of the very important stuff, including much of the calculations that keep the electrical grid from collapsing.
I get the opportunity at work to work around some high-power / voltage stuff with relays and vacuum tubes. Real fun stuff. I kinda understand transistors and such, but the old tech that I never learned in school is just confusing to me. Need to do some more reading I guess.

This discussion belongs in the Geek thread .
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Old 03-06-18, 10:07 PM
  #2659  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Isn't it the McLaren supercar that they need a computer from the early 90's to diagnose/tune/repair because it's the only one with the right operating system/connections? If memory serves, the one shop that could do repairs was frequently scanning eBay to scavenge old parts to keep the computers running.
It's an old Compaq with some particular network card something or another.

https://jalopnik.com/this-ancient-la...abl-1773662267
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Old 03-06-18, 10:27 PM
  #2660  
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Originally Posted by Ttoc6 View Post
I get the opportunity at work to work around some high-power / voltage stuff with relays and vacuum tubes. Real fun stuff. I kinda understand transistors and such, but the old tech that I never learned in school is just confusing to me. Need to do some more reading I guess.

This discussion belongs in the Geek thread .
That was my job. In the 80s I was real good at EM stuff. Reed relays, solenoids, stepper motors. I just loved it. I visualized it better than anyone could calculate it. I got hired at 1.5 -> 2X engineering grad pay, so quit college and did that. A mistake, maybe, looking back. But I can tell you the art then was worth more than the calculators.
I have every reason to believe it is the same now.

I did start my job today. I'm an employee again, first time in 15+ years! Paid to guess.
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Old 03-07-18, 07:53 AM
  #2661  
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I used to work for a university that refused to update its systems. It kept cobbling things together until finally the software company told them they weren't going to support them any more. It ended up costing close to $100 million, and took more than five years, to update all their systems - billing, tuition, class scheduling, HR...

It was the largest, non-capital spending project in state history.
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Old 03-07-18, 09:29 AM
  #2662  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I used to work for a university that refused to update its systems. It kept cobbling things together until finally the software company told them they weren't going to support them any more. It ended up costing close to $100 million, and took more than five years, to update all their systems - billing, tuition, class scheduling, HR...

It was the largest, non-capital spending project in state history.
One of our platforms we manage relies on COM+ components written in VB6 and we can only run the sites in Windows 2003. I've been trying to get them to upgrade, even offering to fix the code myself.

Its really frustrating because we're a patch cycle away from everything breaking. Its like one of those movies where the smart guy tells the bureaucrats that something bad is going to happen if we don't take action.... and we all know how that ends.
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Old 03-07-18, 03:13 PM
  #2663  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
Its like one of those movies where the smart guy tells the bureaucrats that something bad is going to happen if we don't take action.... and we all know how that ends.
Isn't that the one where you are forced to collaborate with your ex-wife, but fall in love again at the end? (in addition to saving the world)
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Old 03-07-18, 03:54 PM
  #2664  
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Isn't that the one where you are forced to collaborate with your ex-wife, but fall in love again at the end? (in addition to saving the world)
...and give their teenage child (played by a 28 year old) a modicum of hope that things will be the way they once were.
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Old 03-07-18, 04:04 PM
  #2665  
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Today instead of going to work I went riding. I saw an old friend who used to ride 20 or 25K miles per year and taught me a lot about riding, suffering, and making other riders hurt.
He's lost weight and riding well again after personal loss and physical issues.
The coolest part of the ride is that I was the youngest there @63. One old dude had gone to the dark side and bought an e-bike (I could still drop him on the flats) but another 80 year old guy did fine on his Tarmac.
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Old 03-08-18, 07:15 AM
  #2666  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
...and give their teenage child (played by a 28 year old) a modicum of hope that things will be the way they once were.
I think I saw that one.
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Old 03-08-18, 02:45 PM
  #2667  
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Shopping online for over the water bungalows in Tahiti is so frustrating. Yeah, its awesome you have an ironing board and hair dryer. I'm sold! No need for pics or actual details about location.
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Old 03-08-18, 06:07 PM
  #2668  
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^first world problems.
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Old 03-08-18, 06:26 PM
  #2669  
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Was posted in sarcasm. I'm am looking really forward to the trip even if its a year off still.
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Old 03-08-18, 06:53 PM
  #2670  
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I've got a summer trip in the works, and it's going to be a whole family affair, with my parents going to show my son around their homeland. I'm hoping to do this granfondo Granfondo Premium but I may just as well settle for another legit mountain near my parents' home
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Old 03-08-18, 07:22 PM
  #2671  
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tl;dr I got in massive trouble but I'm just looking out for the store's best interests.

Wrong Hours

So...

Our store hours are wrong on one of the websites maintained by corporate - it says we're open an hour later, so 8 pm instead of the correct 7 pm. I've literally had crying women on the phone, thinking they'd be okay getting their car here, and then I tell them we close at 7. In some situations I've waited (like for that crying woman), but it's not really fair to the store to publish the incorrect closing times, and it's just wrong. Kicker is that they just have to change 4 characters on the website and it'll be fine, simple enough.

Kicker is that it's been wrong for 15 months now. I called the "contact us" number on the site maybe in May/June 2017, also submitted a "contact us" form (which should generate a help desk ticket). No response, no action. Did the same in maybe Aug/Sept 2017. Same non-result. Then again in Nov/Dec 2017. Same non-result. During one of the calls the person said "I really don't know who supports that site, we're technically here to support the other (same company) site". So my calls and "contact us" submissions are going into some dead letter office.

So to summarize, zero responses, zero acknowledgments, wrong info on website for well over a year. And people calling up at 6:57 PM asking if they can get a flat tire fixed, because, you know, we're open until 8. And then getting mad because we can't do it. Plus it just plain sucks because *we're* telling them we're open until 8, but we're not.

So I got fed up the other day/night (actually, ironically, it was probably after 8 pm). I spammed the "contact us" form, filled one out, submit, filled it out again (slightly different words), submit, filled it out again, submit. I knew each one would generate a ticket that someone had to close, and if I had a bunch of them then they'd get the message that something wasn't quite right. Used my name, store email, store phone, etc, and requested the store hours be corrected each time. Maybe 8-10 submissions. I even made a copy/paste email so I could copy/paste all the fields. I planned on doing a submission every morning, every evening, until the hours were corrected. Heck, I'd be happy to stop if someone just emailed us or called us, since in the past we got zero calls, zero emails, zero acknowledgments.

While I was doing the online forms I also called on 3 phone lines (store was closed so I used 3 of the 4 lines, leaving one open for alarms, police, etc), hit buttons until someone picked up (and hung up the other two lines), and opened a call. Ended up getting the help desk for credit stuff, which is legally a different company because credit cards are issued by banks, not retailers. However, that person was very helpful, asked around, and basically had her manager escalate, contacting some other manager (of the folks I work for, the correct company). I think this was the difference, before I followed the rules, this time the credit card folks escalated the call, and so it went directly to a higher up's attention.

Apparently I found a gap in the system, a massive one - there is zero support for this website (a site which totally sucks btw, it's an absolute embarrassment to the company, I literally cannot navigate it without having to figure things out because it's so non-intuitive, there are so many things loading that your search text gets cleared, etc). There was a flurry of emails, ends up some kind of consumers affairs bigwigs got sucked into this, and basically the hammer came down on... me. Apparently I was one step away from being dismissed for pointing out that the website was wrong.

The next day the store manager pulled me aside and let me know the firestorm I'd brewed up, told me to chill for a bit.

Since I'm allowed to (and expected to) read the store emails, I saw one with my name (in all capitals) as the subject and opened it up. It was addressed to the store manager. After reading the first couple lines I realized I had no idea what they were talking about, so I read from the bottom up because the bottom would be the start of the chain. It basically started with "there's a customer complaint...." which turned into "it's actually one of our employees" "WHAT?!" which degraded into a crap ton of CAPS LOCKS. Lots of caps locks. Lots. I stopped reading because, frankly, I was scared to keep reading.

Fortunately the store manager is very protective of me. Now I'm forbidden to use any help desk number except the one for the credit cards, the one for internal help desk, and HR stuff. I'm okay with that, actually.

A second email chain started up that day, pertaining to the same problem.

Then we got PDF files for our massive sale going on next week. The flyers had the store hours on them, and THEY WERE WRONG (compared to the website it had us closing one more night at 8). btw if you Google our store the hours are right, if you go to the store's website, hours are right, but go to the parent company's site, hours are wrong.

Unbelievable.

Memory Issue

So later that next day I opened a help desk call (4th? 5th? time I've called on this) because our local server is so overwhelmed that it can literally take 30-60 seconds for a click to register to change screens. Root cause is lack of memory on server - every single time I've called they've noted our RAM usage is over 90% and we're in swap. I'm already on everyone's case to close all unnecessary windows (everyone is very good about that because, frankly, we all hate it when the system slows to a crawl), but it's so bad I'll have time to go to 6 other stations, close things down, and return to my work station (and the customer) and the screen is still hourglassing. It's horrible.

I asked that they just put in a request for more memory because, frankly, we need it, and it's affecting our ability to help customers. It sometimes takes 5-10 minutes to check someone in (look up customer, create work order, print work order), something that should take literally 30 seconds for a normal work order, maybe 20 seconds for someone quick.

In other things I've accomplished in the store... there hasn't been a lock on a particular window for forever, a security concern. The store even got cited for it, during the last audit (I read it to see what we could improve, although technically it's not my job). So I went and bought a lock for it, because it's stupid to not have it. Now we lock it every night without fail. I also pushed to get recycling bins in the store because the company touts how much they recycle yet the stores fill 4 garbage bags with paper every 2 days. Now we have maybe one garbage bag every 4-5 days, the rest was all recyclable materials. I also put up some signs to remind ourselves of certain things (selling, procedures, making sure work orders are completed, etc). Guys who come from other stores to cover usually look at the (6-8?) signs, the recycling bins, and say, "Wow, you guys are organized, we don't have that where I work."

Thanks for letting me vent. I can't vent any place else because folks from work will see it.

Also this is why I used to have a blog, I'd have outlets for my thoughts. haha.
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Old 03-08-18, 08:02 PM
  #2672  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
tl;dr I got in massive trouble but I'm just looking out for the store's best interests.

Wrong Hours

So...

Our store hours are wrong on one of the websites maintained by corporate - it says we're open an hour later, so 8 pm instead of the correct 7 pm. I've literally had crying women on the phone, thinking they'd be okay getting their car here, and then I tell them we close at 7. In some situations I've waited (like for that crying woman), but it's not really fair to the store to publish the incorrect closing times, and it's just wrong. Kicker is that they just have to change 4 characters on the website and it'll be fine, simple enough.

Kicker is that it's been wrong for 15 months now. I called the "contact us" number on the site maybe in May/June 2017, also submitted a "contact us" form (which should generate a help desk ticket). No response, no action. Did the same in maybe Aug/Sept 2017. Same non-result. Then again in Nov/Dec 2017. Same non-result. During one of the calls the person said "I really don't know who supports that site, we're technically here to support the other (same company) site". So my calls and "contact us" submissions are going into some dead letter office.

So to summarize, zero responses, zero acknowledgments, wrong info on website for well over a year. And people calling up at 6:57 PM asking if they can get a flat tire fixed, because, you know, we're open until 8. And then getting mad because we can't do it. Plus it just plain sucks because *we're* telling them we're open until 8, but we're not.

So I got fed up the other day/night (actually, ironically, it was probably after 8 pm). I spammed the "contact us" form, filled one out, submit, filled it out again (slightly different words), submit, filled it out again, submit. I knew each one would generate a ticket that someone had to close, and if I had a bunch of them then they'd get the message that something wasn't quite right. Used my name, store email, store phone, etc, and requested the store hours be corrected each time. Maybe 8-10 submissions. I even made a copy/paste email so I could copy/paste all the fields. I planned on doing a submission every morning, every evening, until the hours were corrected. Heck, I'd be happy to stop if someone just emailed us or called us, since in the past we got zero calls, zero emails, zero acknowledgments.

While I was doing the online forms I also called on 3 phone lines (store was closed so I used 3 of the 4 lines, leaving one open for alarms, police, etc), hit buttons until someone picked up (and hung up the other two lines), and opened a call. Ended up getting the help desk for credit stuff, which is legally a different company because credit cards are issued by banks, not retailers. However, that person was very helpful, asked around, and basically had her manager escalate, contacting some other manager (of the folks I work for, the correct company). I think this was the difference, before I followed the rules, this time the credit card folks escalated the call, and so it went directly to a higher up's attention.

Apparently I found a gap in the system, a massive one - there is zero support for this website (a site which totally sucks btw, it's an absolute embarrassment to the company, I literally cannot navigate it without having to figure things out because it's so non-intuitive, there are so many things loading that your search text gets cleared, etc). There was a flurry of emails, ends up some kind of consumers affairs bigwigs got sucked into this, and basically the hammer came down on... me. Apparently I was one step away from being dismissed for pointing out that the website was wrong.

The next day the store manager pulled me aside and let me know the firestorm I'd brewed up, told me to chill for a bit.

Since I'm allowed to (and expected to) read the store emails, I saw one with my name (in all capitals) as the subject and opened it up. It was addressed to the store manager. After reading the first couple lines I realized I had no idea what they were talking about, so I read from the bottom up because the bottom would be the start of the chain. It basically started with "there's a customer complaint...." which turned into "it's actually one of our employees" "WHAT?!" which degraded into a crap ton of CAPS LOCKS. Lots of caps locks. Lots. I stopped reading because, frankly, I was scared to keep reading.

Fortunately the store manager is very protective of me. Now I'm forbidden to use any help desk number except the one for the credit cards, the one for internal help desk, and HR stuff. I'm okay with that, actually.

A second email chain started up that day, pertaining to the same problem.

Then we got PDF files for our massive sale going on next week. The flyers had the store hours on them, and THEY WERE WRONG (compared to the website it had us closing one more night at 8). btw if you Google our store the hours are right, if you go to the store's website, hours are right, but go to the parent company's site, hours are wrong.

Unbelievable.

Memory Issue

So later that next day I opened a help desk call (4th? 5th? time I've called on this) because our local server is so overwhelmed that it can literally take 30-60 seconds for a click to register to change screens. Root cause is lack of memory on server - every single time I've called they've noted our RAM usage is over 90% and we're in swap. I'm already on everyone's case to close all unnecessary windows (everyone is very good about that because, frankly, we all hate it when the system slows to a crawl), but it's so bad I'll have time to go to 6 other stations, close things down, and return to my work station (and the customer) and the screen is still hourglassing. It's horrible.

I asked that they just put in a request for more memory because, frankly, we need it, and it's affecting our ability to help customers. It sometimes takes 5-10 minutes to check someone in (look up customer, create work order, print work order), something that should take literally 30 seconds for a normal work order, maybe 20 seconds for someone quick.

In other things I've accomplished in the store... there hasn't been a lock on a particular window for forever, a security concern. The store even got cited for it, during the last audit (I read it to see what we could improve, although technically it's not my job). So I went and bought a lock for it, because it's stupid to not have it. Now we lock it every night without fail. I also pushed to get recycling bins in the store because the company touts how much they recycle yet the stores fill 4 garbage bags with paper every 2 days. Now we have maybe one garbage bag every 4-5 days, the rest was all recyclable materials. I also put up some signs to remind ourselves of certain things (selling, procedures, making sure work orders are completed, etc). Guys who come from other stores to cover usually look at the (6-8?) signs, the recycling bins, and say, "Wow, you guys are organized, we don't have that where I work."

Thanks for letting me vent. I can't vent any place else because folks from work will see it.

Also this is why I used to have a blog, I'd have outlets for my thoughts. haha.
Sounds like they should probably promote you for caring and fixing things, instead of punishing you for pointing things out.

Also, I figured this ended with you hacking the website and changing the hours.
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Old 03-08-18, 08:20 PM
  #2673  
carpediemracing 
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Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
Sounds like they should probably promote you for caring and fixing things, instead of punishing you for pointing things out.

Also, I figured this ended with you hacking the website and changing the hours.
Heh now that would have gotten me in trouble.
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Old 03-08-18, 08:31 PM
  #2674  
Enthalpic
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I've literally had crying women on the phone, thinking they'd be okay getting their car here, and then I tell them we close at 7. In some situations I've waited (like for that crying woman), but it's not really fair to the store to publish the incorrect closing times, and it's just wrong.
That should have been your primary message -the customers complaints- not the employee complaint.
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Old 03-08-18, 09:58 PM
  #2675  
himespau 
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Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
Sounds like they should probably promote you for caring and fixing things, instead of punishing you for pointing things out.

Also, I figured this ended with you hacking the website and changing the hours.
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Heh now that would have gotten me in trouble.
There are enough computer savvy people on here, you should be able to find someone who has found your blog to be useful over the years. All you need is a little plausible deniability....
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