Monthly ArchiveMay 2007

the net 31 May 2007 09:48 pm

Mahalo is all the rage

Jason launched the Mahalo search engine today – it looks really great. The front page looks like it’s a zeitgeist of sorts and it’s kindof funny to note what’s on peoples minds (seems like it’s showing more US minds though, the results would be starkly different if more International users were visiting and poking around) – take a look – for example under food, people seem to be searching for (in order of importance it seems)

Coffee, Cake, Pizza, Beer, Cheesesteaks, Organic Food
(you guys need to eat better)
and under HEALTH (at least one STD listed)
Yoga, Asthma, Colorectal Cancer, HPV, Depression
(no comment)

The front page really makes interesting reading. Love the interface, the whole thing is a neat new concept on search and is bound to catch on quickly (if the quality of results they promise materializes) or at least be a fad for a while.
Good luck Jason, it’s great work.

Full of Myself &life 25 May 2007 06:39 pm

A Quick Sketch Biography of Stavros Messinis

Chris Brogan had a great idea about letting readers of our blogs know more about who they’re reading. Here’s my attempt at a personal Quick Sketch Biography

  • The thing most people know me for is…My passion for technology and innovation, I’m always looking for a quicker, easier, cheaper way to do something. Sometimes I do it successfully, sometimes not
  • The people I associate the most with are…My family and those who inspire me
  • People who have influenced my life are…My parents, my brother, Mr Claasens in std 9, Michael Dertouzos, PaulW
  • One challenge I took on and overcame was…Swimming an open water long distance race without training, fueled by 12 dishes of spaghetti, 32 sachets of corn syrup and a bit of courage.
  • My early years, before you probably got to know me were…well protected from all foreign influences – I escaped to Europe at age 24 where my eyes were opened suddenly.
  • You might not know this, but …I was once a budding artist, photographer and electronics hobbyist.
  • I’m passionate about…Maria, Panos and George Jr II, Technology and my workplace
  • In the next year or two, I hope to…Run the Athens Classic Marathon and Buy a house

life &Technology &work 20 May 2007 07:47 am

Mouse to the Left

wrist painRSI (repetitive strain injury) is playing up really bad this week. I’m changing hands for mousing and switching mouse buttons to give my right hand a little rest. Rest is the only way to recover. Some really good software for helping a recovery of RSI by reminding you to take frequent rests and do stretching exercises is WorkRave but you need to be disciplined enough to use it.

I wish I was.

General &life 17 May 2007 02:23 pm

Measure Everything

speedMeasure everything Important – you’ll never know how fast or slow you are going without a speedometer. If you need to speedup to overtake or slow down to keep from crashing you need to know about it so remember metrics are everything. You need to be able to prove the value of something you are doing compared to something else someone might impose on you. Metrics are everything. Whether it’s time or cost or even a ratio of both. Measure it, date it and measure it again. Put these values in a matrix and use these matrices as your tools to sell your ideas.

shameful &the net 17 May 2007 01:32 pm

Shameful – Vivodi is a Joke – Don’t go there

selfishI applied for CableTV on the 15th of March – given current rumors I can expect to be connected around 4 months from now. Any complaints are futile. The irony is that I’m posting from a shared wireless connection I’m on through Vivodi. Am I being selfish? Perhaps.

Let me counter with this. Vivodi charge me over Eu1/min when I call their customer support line. This is provided by a third party company. It may be Teleperformance but I stand corrected. They have absolutely no idea or intention to help me with any query. I foolishly wait over 15min on hold each time I call them only to be told the same thing time and time again: that they have no idea what the hold up is and when they expect to deliver the product I bought.
Rumor has it they are making a huge profit from their Customer Support lines at over Eu1/minute.

Now who is selfish.

[update 24 May 2007] Received a call from CS this evening informing me of a “slight delay” in my application and that Vivodi are doing everything in their power to resolve the problem. I replied with “Are you kidding me, it’s 60days or so since I applied – what do I need to do to cancel, Enough with you.”

life &work 15 May 2007 12:42 pm

Faster Meetings

boring meetingsWhat if, at our next meeting, everyone around the table actually was ready and had anticipated everything that might come up? Wouldn’t it go faster? Or better? What if we tried something completely new and had the meeting standing up. That might make it go faster.

Meeting participants should only have 3 things to say.

1) What progress do I have to report since the last meeting

2) What do I plan to do before the next meeting

3) What potential problems do I foresee arising before the next meeting that I may need help with

Projects &Technology &Technology I use 15 May 2007 07:33 am

So I’m a Geek Reminiscing about MaBot

I had forgotten I had done this, A bot, My Bot –

she did some important work at the time when I needed to remote into a customers PC and asking them to do an IPConfig to get the IP was rocket science for them. MSN messenger to the rescue, a little VB app that reports back various things such as IP, UPtime and who is king and master of the universe. AppName was SSNMSNIP


Projects &Technology &the net 11 May 2007 03:51 pm

Everyone in Customer Support should do a stint in a ladies shoe shop at one time or another

Today I read Lior Arussy’s little book called The Experience!: How to Wow Your Customers and Create a Passionate Workplace It’s a fun short read that everyone in customer support should read. I found it quite entertaining. A colleague, seeing me with the book asked what it was about so I answered “Customer Relationships.” Her immediate reaction was “Hmm, Everyone in Customer Support should do a stint in a ladies shoe shop at one time or another” A great quote Anne, thanks for letting me use it here although it’s not only about difficult customers on the whole, nor is it about customers who expect the unrealistic. When a paying customer calls Customer Support the chances are that there is a genuine grievance that needs to be addressed and someone needs to own that problem in order to solve it effectively. My rant here really is about the atrocious customer support the Greek ISP’s have been giving their customers of late, passing a caller from one agent to another, not providing a satisfactory solution in a timely manner and generally passing the buck.

you suck

You guys suck and until you start taking ownership of the problems you will continue to suck.

What is ironic here is that you’re all the same so we the consumers can’t leave you and go to your competition, they suck just as bad.

[Update] Just this afternoon I had a call from a CS rep from HOL about an aDSL line I’m assisting someone put in. Apparently the customer can’t have aDSL “because his telephone line is on an optic fiber” !!!

Stavros : “What !?! did you just say”

HOL CSR: “Did you not hear me? His phone line is on an optic cable”

At this point Stavros engages in educating the HOL CSR about the final mile.
Her response : “Phone lines are not my problem – OTE obviously can’t provide you with aDSL”

I reply :”Two months ago you told me that aDSL was available on this line and that your company could provide”

HOL: “It’s not my problem I have done all I can”

Stav: “Here is the problem, you sell to me on top of OTE’s lines, you and OTE have a communication problem and you both need to take ownership of that problem and stop transferring it to the consumer, or, you can just say from the outset that you have small tiny text in the contract that you can hide behind and that you might not be able to provide after all”

The conversation continues without a solution. I will revert tomorrow.

Bottom line – YOU SUCK