Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hunter Sprinkler Controllers and What the hell is up with them?

I love my Hunter sprinkler controller. It works exactly how I want it to work. From configuration to turning on a single zone it ease of use is perfect for me. But I have found one thing that I don't understand and its come to my attention that Hunter controllers may not be all that great after all.

2 years ago I bought a new house. The controller there was a Rain Bird. It worked but was 10 years old and somehow the buttons and knobs were worn out. So I replaced it with something I knew like a Hunter controller like I had in my old house. 3 weeks after getting the controller the external rain, light and temperature sensor went out. It likely went out after a bad storm the previous night. That is fine the controller still worked. 2 years later we had another bad lighting storm and now the display on the unit is faded to almost dead yet the controller still works. So these units are made to go outside yet seem to be greatly effected by the weather. I for one would have not expected issues like this. In all my years I have only seen one electrical device die due to lighting and yet this device had two in the past two years. Like I said Hunter has a great product but I wonder if they need to spend some time making sure their products can stand the test of time outside and at least handle a storm that a lot of these devices will to placed in.

Bvckup 2 is likely the most efficient backup software available.

I have been using Kaspersky to backup my data on external drives but if you haven't used it you will find it a little clunky. The software does what it should but after a certain amount of files the software starts to get slow. In my case the software took 15 minutes to scan for changes.15 hard drive grinding minutes that brought my up to date laptop to its knees. It just couldn't handle the number of files or the size of the backup. Because of that I started to look at alternatives. I found a lot of software that had tons of features but lacked ease of use. Kaspersky was very easy to operate but speed was getting to be important to me. Bvckup 2 was the backup software I decided to go with in the end. It lacks a lot of the features you would expect like file visioning, compression or encryption but it makes up for that with ease and speed. The software is clean and simple. No cluttered icons or useless extras just bare bones backups. The best thing going for it is the delta backups. It can update small parts of files that changed vs coping the entire file over again. This will cut down on the time to backup by leaps and bounds.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

True Value DIY VIP membership is a joke.

So let me just say that I know that I'm complaining about nothing. I will also tell you that its over an item that is likely only at most $5. That being said I still think as little of a difference having or not having this item is there is something about this that feels wrong and misguided. Its when a store like True Value tells you everything you want to hear and then they don't deliver. Hurry now you have a "free gift" and that only VIP members get it. Its "limited edition" and that because your are a "Loyal" and "Committed" customer that you deserve it. Its not only a gift but a "Thank You gift" because you are that awesome. To get this extremely personal and almost Hallmark style item. That was hand crafted just for you by monks. You only need to go to the store and pick it up. OK, so some of that I made up but they want you to feel like your special so you will stay at VIP level.

You might say "Well sir you most definitely have first world problems" because who would complain about getting a free gift. Right I agree in most cases. When I went to pick up this glorious rare item the store didn't have any. If fact while they could order more they said they would not. So this item that was 75% of what a VIP member gets is basically BS. There is no item, no discount, no bogo, no free puppy or in this case no free set of glass ware. The VIP membership got me in total..... drum roll.... a sticker to place on my membership card so employees know I'm a VIP. :-/ My business is important enough to send this card for a free gift but not important enough to order more of them when it comes time. Its not like this card is printed with my member ID and the store to pick it up. Oh wait it was. So it would be easy to know how many people would be coming in.

So why is that wrong to me? It feels disingenuous and made up. I know what "limited quantities" means but in this case I'm really someone that spent a lot over the last year at the store. Telling someone that you have a "Thank You gift" and then not actually having one is messed up. Its also not like the coupon for a free bag of chips you see in the paper but in limited quantities. I would expect that to not be there. In this case you are catering for you customers that spend the most money in your store. The guy getting the bag of chips may never shop there again but the VIP will. So what do you do you tell the people who spend above average about a gift that they will never get. I don't know how you could run a business that setup a promotion that knowingly is only for VIP's and some how be okay with possibly pissing them off when they don't deliver. Even more depressing is when its over a item that costs True Value next to nothing. You are willing to lose a truly valued customer over a cheap gift item because you decided to try to save $3 vs the hundreds I spent.

Sorry Billy, I know you really wanted that car and that I said it was awesome but it was in "limited quantities" meaning that there was none to start with. Better luck next time Mr VIP.

Even though I love the store, the people that work there, the lower prices and how close it is to my house. I will now drive further and spend more at Ace. Knowing that I could save enough to buy the gift item 5 times over is hard but money is not the issue here. Feeling scammed is.