Friday, July 22, 2011

Phone Issues

The office phones have been giving us a devil of a time over the past month. At first is was an intermittent issue, but it has gotten down right ridiculous.

Our first major issue was easily explained by a cut line when a subcontractor was laying FIOS cables near the office. Then the next go round was just a week or so later and was caused by a cut in the line as well. (The cable installation had moved further down the road.) Then beginning Monday our phones began acting like cell phones, dropping calls and then ringing busy afterwards. Not a great way to run your business - appearing to hang up on customers randomly.

Finally I was able to get a good report into Verizon on the 20th and they were suppose to go ahead and test the line to find out what the issue was overnight and get back with me. Did they? NO!

So here we are today, sitting and waiting for the technician to arrive. I know that there is a Bigger issue than just our office. Oh by the way, the tech was suppose to arrive at the office at 5:00 p.m. I have yet to see him and it is after 7:00 as I write this.

Right now I'm on hold with Verizon, trying to get some information on what's going on. Betting 10 to 1 that the Tech has driven by the office and since it is closed has just moved on to something else. We shall see.

Well after staying on hold for 15 minutes when the rep picked up the phone hung up. I'm beginning to think that I can't win for losing on this one. Now I'm back on hold once again. I just hope that the line connects long enough for me to get some sort of an answer.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Vanishing Hard Drive Space

I nearly had a meltdown last night after discovering that my hard drive space was down to only 8GB. Now the last time I had this issue it turned out to be multiple restore points had been made while installing a very large program - which had to be installed a couple of times to get it right. No worry - just delete them and off you go.

Well that certainly wasn't the case this time. Of course I did all the usual things, emptied the Recycle Bin; deleted any stray files, but that didn't even begin to free up any space.

In desperation I Googled, "suddenly lost hard drive space" and there I found my answer amongst one of the first search results. A post on the Volume Shadow Copy Service by Benjamin Day supplied me with all the information that I needed to get myself back up and running. Seems that my computer had 157GB allocated to shadowstorage.

The real question is why did it suddenly change? For now though, I am very happy to to have been able to go from 7GB to 170GB using only two commands.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Annoying Emails

This past weekend started out pleasant enough, that is until I received a flurry of emails to just about everyone of my email accounts from the same individual. Not only did they send the emails to me but they cc'd my siblings, mother and a nephew too! Way over the top.

Now I am NOT that hard to find. In fact there is a contact email address on this blog site, so I'm not really sure why they thought it was necessary to send so many yet they did.

Turned out that the individual was making a request for some exclusion of information on my genealogy site. Not a problem. Tell me what needs to be excluded - and for heaven's sake where it's located. I haven't a clue where every piece of information is located on ALL those pages. Anyway, the request that I received was vague and I had removed information previously on this family way back in 2003. In responding to this particular individual I sent a link to the removed information page to remind them that it had already been removed.

This started what was to be a very stressful weekend. Another flurry of emails descended upon me with demands that additional information be removed. I removed the information and replaced it with a statement that the information had been removed by request. Yet this was not good enough for the individual in question.

A barrage of messages were sent to me through Facebook - all while I was sleeping. Apparently there are some people who can't let things go during the night. So that when I awoke there were at least six messages all about removing the information that I had already removed. Plus new demands that I change the genealogy pdf that I have been giving away for 15 years! After sending what I thought was one last message that the information had been removed and the pdf wasn't going to be changed, I was done with this individual. Or so I thought.

More emails plus a phone call plagued me Sunday. Complaints that the information that I had was incorrect - but wait - they'd already ask me to remove it from online (which had been done). I had become quite frustrated by the time the phone call came, which had immediately been preceded by yet another email. Now I will admit that I was a bit put out and not as pleasant as I normally am, but come on. When someone has asked you in writing three times to leave them alone and then they still contact you, they are pretty much getting what they deserve.

After letting this individual get to me for most of the day on Sunday, I finally broke down and called our local police department's non-emergency number for information to see what recourse if any that I had in this situation. They advised me to send one last email to the individual and inform them that I did not want "any contact" from them, and provide them with the code section that the police offer had provided me. Done!

Now did that work...No! I received yet another email. I didn't reply and even held off doing anything until Monday evening - but the content of the email disturbed me enough to actually go down and file a police report. I didn't swear out the warrant for the individual's arrest - I still wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were just being hardheaded. Yet I still can do so if I receive any further contact. The police department will keep the report on file for a year so hopefully I can just let it drop, but if need be it is there.

In combating this individual I have found out some pretty useful information.
  1. You can BLOCK an individual on Facebook, whether they are your friend or not.
  2. It is possible to BLOCK phone number on your home phone line (if you know them) so that if the individual calls they will receive the message that you are not accepting calls at this time.
  3. There is a law in Virginia Section 18.2.152.7:1 that deals with annoying or harassing email; other sections also deal with electronic devices and phone calls.
  4. You can file a police report - that will remain on file for a year.
I hope that no one else has to deal with a situation like this, but if so I hope that just some of the things that I learned will be of value to you.