NosillaCast 10/30/2005 – Show #14

Show demographics continue to expand, added 5 new countries of listeners; big rant about how incredibly poor the customer service is at Samsung; bought a dual core 2GHz G5; yet another rant – this one about how many attempts I’ve made at putting wireless incryption on my network; quick start on the topic of Social Networking.

Listen to the Podcast – Time: 24 min 09 seconds

Winged it a bit this episode since I had a CRAZY weekend – went out two whole nights in a row!!! Yes, at 47 with two kids and a stodgy job, I went out. Stayed out till nearly 9pm on Saturday! Didn’t have time to write up a lot of shownotes, so let me know if this made me sound more spontaneous and fun or did I ramble?

On Friday night my friend Diane had a cocktail party and I was boring her friend David about my podcast, and he asked me if he could listen to past shows. I said, “sure! there’s archives so you can go back in time!” He said, without missing a beat, “wow – you can go back in time? I want to go to Custer’s Last Stand!”

Listening audience is growing at 3-5% per day! One day it went up 25% after NosillaCast was mentioned on Geek News Central. If you’re new to the show this week – welcome! The amazing thing is how many different countries people are coming from – just this week we were joined by people from 5 new countries – China, Spain, Taiwan, Sweden and South Korea! My friends say I’ll have really made it when I get listeners from NORTH Korea, but I think they need to be allowed to have electricity first…

listing of countries listening

A few shows back I was giving the Aussies a hard time for not listening very much (measured in how much bandwidth they were using) and as you can see above, they’re in the MB’s so they’re listening!

One thing I’ve noticed is that we have a lot of listeners from Europe and Asia, and the ENTIRE continent of Australia, but nobody is listening from Central or South America, or the Middle East, or Africa. Why would this be? If anyone knows, drop me a note at allison@podfeet.com or post a comment in the shownotes blog at https://podfeet.com

Serious rant coming here – warning!!! After reading you will be unlikely to ever buy from Samsung. It’s not a story of one bad product making me sour, it’s a story of an endemic problem in their customer service from the first person who takes the call up to the president of US operations. Here’s the story:

My friend Diane bought my daughter a 19″ LCD from Samsung for her graduation present on June 11 of this year through Newegg. The model is irrelevant, you’ll see why. The monitor arrived in time for graduation, and it looked great at first. Unfortunately after a few days it started to color shift to pink, then purple, then settled on a pale blue. I called Samsung and they were happy to send a new monitor, and explained that in the box I would find a return label to send the first one back.

In a couple of weeks the 2nd monitor showed up (but no shipping label was included). Sadly this one died in less than two hours. I was about to leave on vacation (by now it’s the middle of July) so I sent an email to customer service asking that I be contacted by email while I was gone, and explaining the issue and including the ticket number. I didn’t receive an email, but I did receive a customer survey phone call! That poor woman got an earful of how unhappy I was! She ASSURED me that she would make sure someone called me/emailed me. Of course they didn’t.

I’m going to fast forward through 2 months of misery, but let me summarize by saying that I made a total of 11 phone calls, spent 5-10 hours of my time on hold and talking to these people. Oh, and after all that time, I still had two broken monitors and was unable to return either of them because they couldn’t send me a darn shipping label!!! I finally got the return labels, but I then asked for my money back. They said they couldn’t do that! EXCUSE ME? I had escalated up through 5 levels of management and still couldn’t get help. I finally talked them into giving my money back – and then they said they wouldn’t give me the $50 in shipping and tax! Can you believe this? They’re telling me that after 3 months, 11 phone calls, 7 hours of time, they would CHARGE me $50 to not have a monitor??? Unbelievable.

I went out and bought an HP monitor so my daughter would be happy and wrote a letter to the president and CEO of Samsung Electronics America, Dong-Jin Oh describing in one concise letter what had happened. That was September 4th and I haven’t heard back from him during the ensuing 2 months. I’ve posted my letter to Mr. Oh, just in case you’d like to read it: letter to Samsung

I did talk to one woman named Grace who appears to care, and she assures me that my check will be “in the mail” this week.

So, if you still want to buy from Samsung, go ahead, but I sure hope nothing goes wrong with your hardware! If you know someone who knows someone at Samsung who could help me, I’d appreciate it – send me an email at allison@podfeet.com.

Rant Complete

My husband Steve is a maniac at making iDVD movies – he took all of our VHS movies and converted them to DVDs – complete with scene selections with little pictures and videos on the scenes, adding music, the whole nine yards. He really loves it, enjoys the creative part of it as well as the end product. He volunteered to do Diane’s videos as well, and he’s been working his way through those, but the one thing that makes it not so much fun is that it takes a full 8 hours to encode a DVD on his 1GHz Powermac G4. I was going to get him a G5 for Christmas, but I was afraid he’d be done with the massive number of DVDs by then and the fun would be diminished. He had a really bad week this week, so Diane and I decided Christmas was coming early to Steve.

I debated at length whether to get him the new dual-core 2GHz G5, or the just discontinued 2.3 GHz dual processor G5 for the same price. Dual core means you get two processors on one chip which is supposed to be faster, but 2.3 is faster than 2. Hmmm… so I compared other features – the new one has PCI-Express, but I haven’t put in a PCI card since USB first came out, which is about 10 years ago! Ok, how about graphics? The new one has better graphics, but since encoding of DVDs doesn’t use the graphics at all, and we don’t play anything more complicated than pong (remember how old we are?) so that doesn’t matter. The old one has a much bigger disk – 250GB vs. 160GB. So what am I to do? I decided that Apple wouldn’t have come out with a new model at the same price that was actually slower, so I went with the 2GHz. My buddy Brian went the opposite way to the 2.3, but I refuse to do any tests that would prove I made the wrong decision!!!

When I went to buy the G5 I realized I may have a problem with the monitor. We’re the lucky owners of a 17″ Cinema Display during Jobs’ ADC era. This seemed like a good idea at the time – it has one fat cable that carries the video signal as well as power and USB. Nice and clean, right? When i bought it, we had a 450MHz G4, which only had DVI (digital video), not ADC, so I had to buy this ridiculous device called a Dr. Bott that separates all those signals into three cables (AND adds a gigantic power supply). I sold it to my buddy Ron when I got the 1GHz G4 that had ADC, since he needed it. Well, now that we bought the new G5, it’s only got DVI again! Luckily Ron upgraded to a G5 just a few months ago and HIS machine has DVI and ADC, so he doesn’t need the adapter any more. I just wish Jobs would stick to one video format for more than a few minutes!

The next thing I wanted to do was pull the 300GB drive out of the G4 that I bought for Steve’s video projects so he’d have lots of headroom and put it in the G5. I went to put it in and realized that the new machine only takes Serial ATA drives, not IDE drives! Argh. Off to the store again and picked up a 300GB SATA drive from Maxtor for $180. Didn’t do a lot of research on that one, but it seemed like a reasonable if not cheap price, and we got instant gratification out of it.

No movie review this week (remember I went OUT this weekend? Crazy, I tell you!) but I have a good Halloween site. Check out pumpkingutter.com – it’s really cool. This guy carves pumpkins from the outside in like a sculptor – not going through to the inside, but staying in the outer skin. It’s kind of hard to describe, you’ve got to just go check it out. He’s been doing it for years, so there’s archives of past pumpkins as well. I don’t think there’s one of Custer though, sorry David.

WARNING – ANOTHER RANT COMING

So years ago I tried to set up WEP for wireless encryption, but the implementation was lame on the Mac (or I was lame) and I got rid of it. Then I bought a new router that supports WPA, which is like WEP but it’s a rotating encryption key, so it takes an 18 year old to crack it instead of a 16 year old. Got it going on the 3 wireless Macs, and Kyle’s PC running XP, but then I ran into a snag. Steve’s work laptop was running Windows 2000, which didn’t have support for WPA! Ok, got Steve’s computer upgraded to XP, and they put on Service Pack 1, which didn’t have support for WPA. Got them to put WPA services on it, and it worked! Yay! the Macs, the PC’s all in harmony. So a few days later I’m watching TV on the Tivo, and I notice a message waiting. It says it hasn’t been able to download in 4 days! What the heck? Sure enough, I check online and Tivo doesn’t support WPA! Sigh.

Ok, enough ranting! I want to talk about Social Networking now. The concept has been around for ages, but it has now moved to the internet. The idea of Social Networking is how you find people with similar interests, and then you share new fun things with them. If you find someone who likes a movie you like, you’re more likely to tell them about other movies you like, right? There is a new site (or at least new to me) called del.icio.us which is a place you store your bookmarks, but it’s more interesting than that. After you post your bookmarks to them, you can see how many other people have the same bookmark, and you can click on their names and see what else they’ve bookmarked. I don’t think I get the bigger implications of this, but I had a fun surprise the first time I tried it.

Being the narcissist that I am, I posted podfeet.com as a bookmark, and imagine the fun when I found someone else who had posted to del.icio.us their podfeet.com bookmark too! The guy’s name is Haagar the Horrible (I actually carry a laminated Haagar cartooon with me that my father gave me 20 years ago) and I’d love to hear from you if you’re listening! Haagar listens to many of the same podcasts, like Leo Laporte in TWIT, Security Now! with Steve Gibson and Leo, and of course the MacCast. But he also listens to the One Minute Tip, so I’ve got to go check that out now!

The one thing that’s funny with nearly four hundred listeners – hardly anyone ever writes to me!!! I’d love to get some feedback at allison@podfeet.com – even a quick note to say “keep it up!” or “leave me alone!” would be nice!

Thanks for listening and stay subscribed!

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