GoDaddy Support Times Are Terrible

go-daddy-tech-support-slowI’ve been a loyal godaddy user for a very long time. I have often recommended them to friends, specifically because of their support. Up until a year or two ago – it was excellent. There has been a steady decline in both quality / availability of service… It used to be I never had to wait more than 10-15 minutes TOPs for support call. Most of the time it was in the 5 minute range.

These days? 30 minutes on hold! Combined with ongoing mail server problems ( GoDaddy’s servers get blacklisted every now and again, and while godaddy DENIES this happens, it most certainly does. Those back and forth email with their tech support team are fucking painful, and they ask for ridiculous shit. ( all email in .eml format, asked me to repeatedly contact my clients and ask to see their server logs ( yeah fucking right.. I’m going to call one of my clients and ask them if I can talk to their IT dept, so I can see why GoDaddy isn’t sending my email correctly ) …

Best part? You can’t even submit a ticket. You have to wait on fucking hold. And if it is after hours? You can’t do shit.

I think it might be time to move on…

EDIT: Day 1:  Found out there is a separate support for servers… I Was able to get on that chat VERY fast, which was nice.  ( launch server -> support ). Of course the problem ( likely a result of a banned server ) was resolved, and they would not tell me what was causing the email bounce backs. Just that “it is fixed now”.

 EDIT: Day 2: Problem is back, 1 day later.

SMTP error from remote mail server after initial connection:
host xxxxx.prod.sea05.secureserver.net [xxx.xxx.xx.xxx]:
554 xxxxx.prod.sea05.secureserver.net :
DED : 8wEy1o0563K58k12901 : DED : ESMTP No Relay Access Allowed From [My IP Address]

25 minutes on hold with “Chat”… so maybe I’m back to “support times suck”…

Tech support was friendly – appears to have confirmed and repeated the problem, and has escalated it. We will see what tomorrow brings!

 EDIT Day 3: New Day, New mail problems!

Received an email today from godaddy support, saying the above issue is fixed. We will see. But don’t worry – more tech support love in our immediate future!

Today my business email account – which uses godaddy webhosting ( separate from the VPS ) started experiencing lag. As much as 4+ hours for some email to come through. This is a problem for me as I was working on a time sensitive project today, and prompt email was critical.

Well, lets look at our options for support!

Chat_Window_-_2014-06-02_22.07.29yeah fuck that.

For some reason the Call line says 2 minutes wait. That is because I call in and disconnected after 2 minutes hahah. That is one way to turn over the support calls!

I eventually do reach a CSR, but we don’t really get very far. 20 minutes on the phone, and his only advice is “Turn off SSL”.

me: why? I’m paying for SSL. I like my encryption.

crs: I’m just telling you what other people have suggested. Let me put you on hold.

me: <waits>

CRS comes back to tell me :

1) My version of outlook is too old, I should update to latest version

2) SSL isn’t that important, it’s “not like someone is going to hack your mail.”

This is a pretty typical GoDaddy CSR move – basically “blame the victim”. The problem isn’t godaddy – it is that I want to use SSL. It isn’t their mail server, it is my outdated mail client.

So yeah, fuck you guys.

 Edit: Day 4: Server mail problems again. Despite being told for the 2nd time this issue was fixed, we are getting errors again today.

10th in line on the chat queue, which takes about 40 minutes to speak to someone. I’ll admit the chat queue is better than sitting on hold, but it is still annoying to be tethered. would much prefer an email that I can fire/forget.

Hey here is a VERY NICE THING TO SAY about GoDaddy. They have Hold without music. Sweet Jesus sitting on hold for an hour listening to ads and fucking music is enough to make me lose my shit. So kudos to you on that GD.

OK – an hour total, and I am told “System Admins are aware of the issue – the fix was implemented, and you still might be getting error messages for another few hours”.

That was an hour of my life that was fucking wasted. Well not a full hour, but yeah.

 

Extensis Support Frustration and Font Suitcase Manual Uninstall

extensis-logoI have a problem on a Friday night – Extensis Suitcase has frozen, and basically I need to delete the font database. Frustrating, but not a giant deal.

Problem 1: An uninstall doesn’t remove all the necessary files. This is an ongoing gripe I have about software. Uninstall should fucking UNINSTALL the goddamn thing

Problem 2: Your support isn’t available. I guess that is ok – it is late at night, no big deal. BUT I can’t even find a fucking email address or other way to contact your support outside of on the phone. Well, I work odd hours, so I’m going to be asleep the next time you are awake… so I’d really like to just send you an email. You keep pushing me to the goddamn support forums instead.

OK – fine, I’ll use the “community” – I’m sure this is a common problem, right? Hey guess what, I CANT POST ON YOUR FUCKING FORUMS. Oh, I can register alright, but you assholes are MANUALLY APPROVING  forum regs. what.the.fuck. I can’t even find out where the font database is located.

I end up resolving this shit myself – which is probably what Extensis was hoping for in the first place, but well fuck you.

If you are in the same sitch I was, here is some helpful info:

Fontvault location:

The Suitcase Fusion.fontvault folder is located:

C:Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Extensis\Suitcase Fusion\Suitcase Fusion.fontvault\

Manual Uninstall

I have already done a regular uninstall, but that clearly hasn’t removed everything, so lets go hunt and peck for extensis to remove. First we go for the extensis folder shown above.

Well – deleting that file isn’t gonna be easy ( it is locked by another process ) . I’ve already uninstalled the program, so who knows what is holding shit up.

Checked in the windows Event checker, which shows some errors from the Uninstaller. The uninstaller was not able to remove some reg keys, so I ran CCleaner to remove garbage from my registry.

No Joy – I still cannot delete the folder. Lets find the specific folder holding this up:

<PC NAME>\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Extensis\Suitcase Fusion\Suitcase Fusion.fontvault\SA\l

I traced the process to some core window processes using windows process explorer. Attempting to close these processes blue screened me… so I restarted in SAFE MODE, and deleted the Extensis Suitcase Font Vault folder.

Ran a registry search via regedit for EXTENSIS .. found a bunch of stuff, so I ran CCleaner again… it pulled out several hundred outdated items.

Reinstall

and… it works!

 

BATTLE SPEEDLITE 420 EX : PART DEUX

Right. So in Last weeks BATTLE SPEEDLITE 420EX I lucked into a victory. Basically after taking apart, and half reassembling a broken flash.. I put the flash on my camera, and it still wouldn’t fire. I rotated the head of the flash around a bit, heard a noise, and suddenly the wonderful whine of the capacitor charging up. Because the flash was partially taken apart, I went back to my workshop, and finished up with the assembly.

I was disappointed when, on returning with my “new” reassembled flash… it would not work.

BATTLE PART DEUX BEGINS!

Part 1: “Well, what next.”

I’m not sure why the flash doesn’t work. I don’t clearly remember if I did hear a “crunch” before the flash fired. I am cast adrift in an ocean of “what the fuck do i do now”.

Ok – lets take stock.

  • Power is getting to parts of the flash. For example, when I power the flash up, this happens:VIDEO
  • I no longer hear the whine of the Capacitor inside charging up.

I guess I could trace the power inside the device, and see if it is making it to the capacitor!

Part 2: Strip it down

Because I don’t really know where to start “tracing the power inside the device” ( I just sort of made that shit up ), but I DO know how to take screws out of things… So why not do that!

I pull out the screws I know and end up with something that looks like this:

Speedlight420EXdisassembled

Now, as you might have read from last time, messing around with a photography capacitor is a great way to get shocked. something like 300+V could be sitting in that thing. The instructions want me to pull off the rubber caps on the side of the Speedlite Flash Head, and this will let me access enough of the cap to safely discharge it. They are a pain to get off, and are actually glued on. I used a screwdriver to dig under the edge, scratching the shit out of everything, but finally getting a good enough grip to peel it off.

IMG_8526 IMG_8527

Part 3: Defrazzle the Frozzle

There are a number of ways to drain a capacitor. Apparently some people like to bridge the poles with a screwdriver. This makes sparks and I guess sometimes gouges pits out of metal. While, this sounds fun and all, it isn’t really an option. I can barely get to the poles. I have to put together this fuckery, which I attach to a resistor. It isn’t the right resistor to be using – this is 50w 8Ohm, and is used as a dummy load for audio amplifiers. But whatever, I’m in a hurry. And I’m pretty confident I’m not going to see much voltage going to the cap ( since It isn’t even charging up to begin with ) .

speedlite-drain-capacitor

Draining the Capacitor

I wasn’t sure that I was actually connecting to the cap, because of how this works – you have to shove a thin wire down into the body of the flash to touch the positive pole of the cap. To confirm this was connecting – I set my Multimeter to “continuity”.. basically this sends a small charge across, and if the connection is good enough, it “beeps”.

What happened instead was I saw the resistance increasing, and then flip to a “1”. No connection. I seem to recall that this is what happens when you try to check resistance on a capacitor. Basically your multimeter is sending out a small charge to check continuity.. but the cap just eats it up. as the cap starts to charge up, resistance increases, until to goes to infinity ( 1 ) .

Sure enough when I now check the voltage on the cap – I see a small charge. This tells me I am successfully draining, and charging the cap. So I drain it again with the 8 ohm 50w resistor, and get back to work.

 

Part 4: Shit’s still broken

I’m going to sum up the next two hours pretty quickly here.

  • Small screws
  • Spring shoots out when you take off top of the flash
  • Attempt to measure if the Cap is good, but my tester is the wrong range AND you can’t really measure a cap while it is in the circuit. ( 1 hour wasted right fucking there )
  • I try to read an electrical schematic, all i get out of it is that the Cap is 1150uF/330V
  • Frustrated, I am going to end the day by just putting it back together.
  • Another goddamn spring shoots out.
  • I find  a wire that has pulled out. Momentary joy as I think this might be “the problem”.
  • Solder that wire back on. accidentally de-solder the wire next to it. May or May not have soldered the shit out of the plastic LED that the wire attached to ( AF ASSIST BEAM EMITTER )
  • Put flash back together – only 3 screws left over! I know where 1 should have gone, but I made 2 extra screws appear.. clearly we have some Loaves and Fishes shit going on.

 

get some nice sharp/small testers

get some nice sharp/small testers

 

soldering

soldering These 3rd Hands really kick ass

 

Final for the day:

  • Still powers up, but no charge to cap that I can see
  • Try to test the lights on the front. I can get the left of the 2 front red lights to turn on ( I think one is a wireless indicator ) .So basically nothing gained today. Part DEUX definitely goes to the broken flash. All I accomplished was to hit on yet another series of personal limitations, and possibly wrecked the AF Assist in the process.

Dark Days Ahead.

 

 

BATTLE SPEEDLITE! PART UNO ( Speedlite 420EX Camera Flash )

IMG_8226-800

Because I don’t have enough hobbies, and because apparently shopping for things is more fun than actually using them, I have taken up PHOTOGRAPHY! And because I am cheap, and hesitant about spending money, I limit my impulse spending to “great deals” and stuff I can “surely fix even if it IS broken”…

I purchased a first generation DSLR with some accessories at an auction. Enter the 420EX flash – surely a GREAT deal, until I got it home and it won’t power up.

STEP 1: Test the obvious shit

Step 2: Tool time!

Using my multimeter, I tested the batteries ( you know, just in case ). Placed the 4 batteries into the Speedlite Flash, and then checked to see if power was flowing between the two pairs of batteries. It was not. This suggested to me that there might be a broken connection inside the camera – I was pretty happy about this, because I can solder shit. A physically broken ( or corroded ) connection is probably in the realm of things I can fix.

Please ignore the voltage readings you see here. This is what I did, but the first time I did not get these readings.

IMG_8227-800

Step 3: Breaking it Down

Started taking out screws, took me a while to find them all. 4 are hidden on the top of the flash, and you have to rotate it 90 degrees to see them. I very quickly stripped that top screw, but the others came out nicely.

IMG_8237-800My goal was to get inside, check the continuity of the battery connections, and hopefully narrow down the problem. When I opened it up nothing major fell out… but this time when I checked the voltage on the batteries… I got nice readings ( see top picture for reals this time ).

HEY I FIXED IT, I naively thought. Perhaps some wires were twisted, and I magically untwisted them, and lets go play with my new flash. I tried to put it back together again, and ran into these two little issues:

STUPID PLASTIC THING THAT WONT GO BACK IN ITS HOME

IMG_8230-800

That thin plastic is supposed to slide between the board and the rotating part of the flash. For the life of me couldn’t get it back in. So I took it out. I’m guessing it might be important, but for now I don’t care.

IT WONT CLOSE EVEN WITHOUT THE PLASTIC THING

To get the two halves back together I had to push down the rotate button on the back of the flash.. this raises a pin, and allows the pieces to snap back in place. It is conveniently labelled “PUSH”.

IMG_8232-800 IMG_8233-800

I didn’t put all the screws back in – just once screw in the bottom so the whole thing wouldn’t fall apart while I was holding it.

Step 4: HEY I FIXED IT!

While the Speedlite 420EX flash would not power up on it’s own, I thought perhaps that this flash might only work on the camera. why? who knows, but I was feeling hopeful.

I went and plugged it on my camera, and of course nothing happened. Frustrated, about this time is when I actually READ the user manual I downloaded… looking for some secret answer to my problem. Perhaps there was just a switch I was missing.

It is worth noting that I took the entire thing apart, risked breaking it, and wasted a bunch of time BEFORE I even read the fucking manual. This is why I am pretty terrible at fixing things, and why every single victory in this blog is not just a victory against some horrible broken piece of trash, but against my own innate inability to Measure Twice and Cut Once.

So I RTFM’d and set all the switches, and nothing changed. Since I’m now in RTFM mode, I decide to download the SERVICE MANUAL and give it a read. Something important to note here… I could have really shocked the shit out myself. There is a capacitor that needs to be drained before working on this flash. And I guess there are like up to 100 volts that can sit around in it and shock the shit out of you.

So I learned a bit, and was preparing to go tear this thing apart again… but while playing with the rotation of the flash, suddenly it powered up. There may or mayn’t have been a crunching noise as it turned and then energized with an awesome whine.

Now the flash is not fully put together yet, so some wires are loosely held in place, and my initial thought is that some wire must have been pinched, or there was a short, or something that my monkey like banging has fixed. Not the most noble victory, but I’ll take it.

Tomorrow.. the exciting conclusion to BATTLE SPEEDLITE 420EX!

Microsoft Update Tuesday Broke Outlook

Thanks Asshats. Microsoft updates broke Office 2007, Skype, Mozilla, Chrome. I’ve uninstalled 2 updates ( of the 23 ) which lets me use Excel again, but Outlook still crashes. Reinstalling Mozilla fixed that. Skype is still fucked.

I’ve tried jumping back to my latest restore point… but for some reason the restore point is AFTER the updates. Thanks guys! I mean the date / time suggests it is right before the update, but once I restore, all the updates are installed. For a moment there I thought I would actually use a restore point for something… guess not.

Looks like I have a full reinstall on the horizon.

 

BATTLE: AERON CHAIR GAS CYLINDER REPLACEMENT Part 2

VICTORY! A rare and wonderful sight. We did not emerge unscathed – the chair bruised, our noble companion Ser Pipe of the Wrench – spine snapped like a twig… but victory was ours. Tell the noble tale!

I Shall!

If you haven’t read about the first part of the battle... do so now!

Based on suggestions from YT, I laid down some DubD Forty. This video captures some of the Thrill. Be sure to put down a towel … that DubD is gonna drip through the plastic ring and onto the chair.

Then it was left to sit overnight. And today Ser Pipe of the Wrench Jr rode into the field.

IMG_5974-500

I then proceeded to slam The HammaR down upon Ser, over and over. Slivers of metal stripped off the Gas Cylinder, and Ser took a savage beating:

IMG_5976-500Every few hits, Ser Wrench would need to be reset, but after about 15 strikes, the Cylinder turned – it then just lifted right out. I wish I had filmed it – you really need to watch someone beat on that thing to appreciate how hard you are going to be hitting it. WARNING! lots of metal slivers around afterwards – I grabbed the base of the cylinder and got myself a handful of metal needles.

SCORE:

Project Completed: +20
Money Spent: +10
Fallen Allies: -5
Damaged Chair: -10
Time Taken: Too fucking long for what should have been a simple switch

Protip: I got a cheap gas cylinder on eBay – it isn’t an exact match but it only cost me $30.00 shipped and works perfectly.

IMG_5978-500

Now there is a chair that say “Look at me! I’m a 90’s web developer!” and says it with authority.

From the comments….:

Conclusion : Called Hermann Miller Customer Service. They were kind enough to send me the Lift-Off tool (if I promised to send it back. It’s actually quite expensive.) It arrived two days later.

Here is a link to a guy explaining how to use the Lift Off tool. He makes this look easy, but if it’s really stuck in there you’re going to have to hit it again and again and again.

It took about 500 hits with the hammer on the Lift Off tool, (while holding the chair in the air with my other hand and the rubber strap wrench.) I was ready to give up… when the cylinder just popped out. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Triumph!

Thanks Larz – here is the video you linked!

BATTLE: AERON CHAIR GAS CYLINDER REPLACEMENT Part 1!

Thought this one would be a no-brainer, but well, here I am bitching about it. Have an aeron chair and need to replace the gas cylinder. I’m going in armed with a tutorial video, a Pipe Wrench, a 2 lb hammer, some towels, and the official Aeron_Chairs_Disassembly_Instructions_p3.

I’ve read that it “isn’t as easy at it looks” and “you really need to hammer on it”, but I wasn’t prepared for what was needed.

Lets take a moment to look at these instructions for changing out a part on this $1200 chair. The fact that a hammer is required made me nervous from the start. But just go into step 1 with the understanding that you are gonna fuck up that old gas cyclinder. You are gonna fuck it up good.

aeronchairgascylinder.fuckitup

Yep. Just bang on that fucker. The center section of the gas cylinder peeled out of its black metal case and shot inward, freeing the base. Outer sheath with dented metal edges:

IMG_5961-1200
IMG_5962-1200

Inner gas cylinder still attached to chair. Its cool though – I’m pretty emboldened by my hammer skillz – maybe these instructions know what the fuck they are talking about.

aeron chair hammer it

Ok, Now Im uncomfortable again. How the hell is striking the base of the chair with a hammer going to free the cylinder? Plus, I dont really want to be hammering away on that plastic. So lets review just the first few seconds of our tutorial video again.

looks easy enough right? He just flips the chair, and twists it  CW with a pipe wrench. I can do that.

IMG_5963-1200

Nope. I twist on this damn thing so hard my pipe wrench breaks.

IMG_5964-1200

For the life of me I cannot get this off. I’m not done yet, but Round 1 is a draw. I got the base off, but seriously vexed by the gas cylinder. -10 points for scuffing the hell out of the side of the chair when I put it on the concrete with out putting down cardboard first.

 CONTINUED IN PART 2

IOS6 App Store Categories Gone

applecategoriesgone

So yeah, I guess I’m behind the times. I haven’t browsed categories on the appstore since whenever IOS6 kicked in. To be fair, I also didn’t update to IOS until recently. I don’t like trusting my daily communication to software updates. Late adopter in the hizzy!

While trying to find out where the fuck my cats went to, I came across this techcrunch article talking about how wonderful this is.

“This is a remarkable change, when you stop and think about it, as Apple is now directing users to trust in Apple’s search and recommendations over category browsing. It’s a move that’s almost reminiscent of the time when we stopped locating websites via directories, and turned to search engines instead. With some 700,000+ applications in the App Store, now seems to be a good time to begin directing users to new discovery mechanisms as well.”

First of all, you are totally fucking wrong. It isn’t “reminiscent of the time when we stopped locating websites via directories“. It would be better to compare it to that time when Amazon and eBay removed their categories, and replaced them with suggestions of for what you should buy, based on your previous buying habits. Oh wait. They haven’t fucking done that. Do you know why? Because its a shitty fucking idea.

I can’t imagine anyone over at Apple user tested this, much less that it tested positively.

What I found perhaps MOST frustrating is not just that the button for it is gone, but that when I find apps, I STILL SEE THE FUCKING CATEGORIES, but I CANNOT CLICK ON THEM. Apple is actively preventing me from getting to where I want. Being forced to use Genius might make sense for their marketing team, but the useability is shite.