De-cluttering and Upshifting

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Hi folks.

Marc here. Sorry it’s been a while.

Many people make new year’s resolutions to lose weight or stop eating chocolate or whatever. If I make one, it’s more toward changing the way I think about things. This year I’ve re-committed to eliminating the clutter in my to-do list. Doing so helps me think more clearly, just as putting one thing in the garbage disposal is much better than shoving all your scraps in at once.

So, this is my unofficial, official last article.

But, why?

Well, this blog started in 2008 as a much-needed way for me to vent, organize my thoughts, and expose Microsoft’s tomfoolery to the world. To those ends it was spectacular. Since I’m such a perfectionist, a solid, well-written article requires a lot of quiet time to create. This requires me plugging up the flow of clutter and nagging from my inboxes and phones, as well as the thoughts in my head. (Basically, my head is a constant game of Whac-a-Mole.)

At the moment, I’m using a lot of CPU cycles and RAM in my brain to prepare episodes of my radio talk show, and I need to hire some technicians to help me with the service business that actually sprung from this blog. So, perhaps not forever, but for the time being I’m putting the blog on Stop. Blogging SHOULD be fun, and it will be fun again when I don’t have other massive obligations looming over my head.

However…

What if we miss you?

I’m not going anywhere. Here’s what I’ll be working on:

Facebook: Any time some small event happens in the IT industry that merits ridicule, I’ll post it on my corporate Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Teknosophy-LLC/153486151400288

Talk Show: Of course, I still have my talk show. The Computer Exorcist Show is on WYSL 1040AM/92.1FM and if you don’t live within earshot of the station, you can always listen online:

Click here for the latest episode

Click here for the archives

or go to iTunes and search the Podcast Directory for The Computer Exorcist Show.

Book: This blog’s first article, Stop Calling the Computer Guy, was originally meant to be a draft for a book. The book would be the be-all and end-all of computer cleanup, helping people prevent constant hassle of constant, ineffective virus scans. So, maybe someday, and armed with many more tips and tools than I had in 2008, I’ll muster up the time to write my book. It would expose some massive misconceptions that computer guys spew onto the world, such as “your computer is slow because you have too many photos on it!”

Training: The demand for my services has been so extreme lately. Why? Well, I actually show up when I say I am, make your computer twice as fast as the day you bought it (when you were about to buy a new one), I actually have people answering my phones (some local shops make you request an appointment to fix your broken computer ONLINE… yeah…), I actually understand your problem, and I realize that viruses no longer matter and that toolbars, update attackers and unstoppable viruses are the new threat. Most importantly, I realize people JUST WANT TO USE THEIR MACHINES AND BE LEFT ALONE, and so I implement minimalist, rock-solid post-Microsoft solutions for them. The contrast between my services and the competition is honestly mind-blowing.

So, people have caught on, and I am going to hire technicians who are just as personable and knowledgeable as me, in order to keep that experience consistent. (If I don’t, you’ll get one cranky overworked Marc yellin’ at ya!) In order to hire these technicians, I need to start dumping my technical knowledge into detailed training manuals.

Teknosophy Approved: I had always intended on making a website with product reviews – giving them a thumbs up or thumbs down and quick explanation why. This process will come to fruition more quickly than I thought thanks to the Amazon Affiliates program! Soon, you’ll be able to go to my Teknosophy.com homepage and there you’ll see a link where you can buy the products I recommend on Amazon. This saves us both time because you’ll no longer have to hear me hem and haw about what exactly to buy, and I’ll even make a percentage on the sale!

But surely you had many ideas in your Drafts folder?

Yep… I did. Here’s a 10-second rundown of the concepts that were rotting on deck:

Windows 8 = Dogfooding: My talk show has taken my blog’s initial Windows 8 criticism and blown it into outer space. For those who haven’t heard the show, basically, Windows 8 has turned out to be an abomination and a scourge on humanity. Microsoft took the personal computer, terrifying as it already was, and made it 50,000 times harder. Windows 8 is actually two separate products that were glued together and flip-flop back and forth at random, making the user feel even more helpless than ever before!

I’ve developed an exclusive, magical, proprietary recipe to “tame” Windows 8, as I did with Vista, but I think it’s much too late for Microsoft. Windows is no longer the only way to get onto the Internet, and the forces of mobile computing (a market in which they’re competing in name only) are slowly eating away at it. For those who still enjoy a large screen and a keyboard, I offer the MINT operating system. I come over and install it so you can enjoy a normal PC with a Microsoft-free, hassle free experience.

Net Neutrality: In short, large Internet providers such as Time Warner, Verizon, and Comcast want to CHARGE YOU BASED ON WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION. They want to charge you more if you stream videos, claiming it costs them more to deliver it to you. (In reality, they’re just scared because they’re losing their monopoly on television content.) The WHOLE POINT OF THE INTERNET was, each node pays for what he uses, so for example, Netflix has ALREADY PAID their provider for the huge amount of bandwidth they use, so why should you? The idealist nerd in me agrees with all other idealist nerds that the Internet should be content-agnostic, in other words, it shouldn’t matter what type of data you’re sending and to whom.

Of course, in late 2014, the Obama administration smelled an opportunity to stick it to businesses, so they stepped in and complicated the whole mess. The future is Amazon, Google, and SMALL, LOCAL companies such as Greenlight Networks stepping in and delivering faster, more reliable, more neutral connections.

Nevermind, just PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO.

In praise of the non-engineer: Oftentimes the designers of computers and cars never stop to consider how their designs would actually be used. Hence, the most expensive and luxurious cars offer integrated stereos that cannot be upgraded. HP laptops, while claiming to be “Simple and Safe” are the exact opposite of those. They assume the user is either going to replace the product every year or perform advanced maintenance on it themselves. Thus, sometimes it takes the input of a non-engineer to point out where the designers have failed.

“The side of the soldering iron” and “The Chinese Finger Trap”: I have a few personal insights which I can’t really connect to technology. I hope to write a book someday about some of these little lessons I’ve learned as a businessman.

In the old days, they used to say, “you can’t watch a pot boil”, or “things happen when you least expect them to.” I’ve come up with a new one: “Sometimes you have to use the side of the soldering iron.” On occasion, I’ll use a soldering iron to melt metals on a circuit board. Sometimes, as opposed to focusing the tip of the iron, using the side of it is more effective

In other words, when I stop caring so much about some sort of event and focus on something else, or approach it in a more relaxed manner, that original goal finally comes to fruition. In other other words, sometimes you have to treat life like a Chinese Finger Trap.

The Future’s Future – The Post-Cloud Future: Basically, everything is the IT industry is a fad, and is also lauded as the be-all and end-all… and we get a new be-all and end-all every few years. In the book Dune Messiah, people were so eager to oust the old Emperor and fight for the new hero, Paul Atreides. They eventually realized that he was human and corruptible, too, and once again the empire experienced bloodshed.

In this moment, the latest be-all and end-all is Cloud Computing. The idea is, our computers are completely empty (see Chromebook) “dummy terminals” that depend entirely on some sort of overcentralized service, such as Google Apps.

Weirder yet, Microsoft and Adobe have made the decision to stop selling their software and just rent it to people. This lowers the overall cost to a user (assuming you buy the new version every year anyway) and makes software more accessible and cheaper, thus increasing their total user base, thus more profits at the end of the day. We’ll see how this plays out. (Hopefully both of these companies will be killed by free, open-source, products such as Mint and HTML5.)

While that’s great for beginners who just want to get on and do 1 or 2 tasks, an overcentralized model is simply not sustainable. (If one of these Cloud companies goes out of business, it’s the Library of Alexandria all over again!) The next few years of Teknosophy will involve helping people free themselves from such services and set up their OWN “personal clouds” in their homes using products such as NAS devices. That way, if the world blows up, they’ll still have their stuff.

Ha! So much for a quick post!

Anyway, I’d like to take a moment to say thanks. Readers of my blog, listeners of my talk show, and customers of my business, have supported me and carried me to a place beyond my wildest dreams. I don’t make more than the average worker, but I live an incredibly rich life, meeting wonderful people every day and doing meaningful work. Your support is my validation, confirmation that my suspicions were correct. Your support shows me you agree with me, that Comcast, Time Warner, Adobe and Norton really do thwart their own customers, that it’s not just sensationalism on my part. Rest assured I’ll be growing my team so we can fight corruption in the IT industry on a larger scale, and maybe even make a few bucks in the process.

So take care, and feel free to scroll down and re-enjoy the past 7 years of blog postings…

-Marc

 

 

 

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