20th of December 2002
As now is the evening of the 20th of December, then that means that my business is now CLOSED for a 13 day Christmas Holiday until the 3rd of January 2003.
What this means to my service over this time is as follows...
All e-mail currently received my myself (Cardman) will be answered very soon, but no more e-mail will be answered before January the 3rd. On the other hand No3's e-mail has now all been answered, even if was done not by herself today, when she unexpectedly phoned in sick.
This I find clearly unacceptable for the last working business day of the year, where after several other times off this and last month, then I see that a serious talk is now required. After all such a day like today is a very important one to wrap up all business matters for another year, where only being "half dead" do I find a suitable reason for not working an important day such as today.
Well that is a problem to sort out next year, where equally January the 3rd is another extremely important day. I have made it back every year without exception, where No3 on the other hand is not off to a good start.
Back to the e-mail situation, then you can still send e-mail during this time, but doing so is not recommended due to possible if not unlikely storage loss. However, do not repeat e-mail or send unimportant e-mail during this time, when that should only be done after this site reopens.
As to customer orders, then all those currently received, including those received just today have now all been dispatched. However, any orders received between now and the 3rd of January will not be dispatched until we return.
All other customer communication including personal visits will not be allowed until the 3rd of January without exception. As either I use this small holiday to recover from the events over this past year (and this past year has been very stressful), or I will become an insane axe murderer (I will have to remember to keep an axe by my front door). ;-]
Any customer with a problem using my hardware is recommended to read the instructions again, or even my site information, but if still no luck then just put it to one side until the 3rd of January. However, you also have to option of asking in alt.satellite.tv.europe on the Usenet for public help, where just maybe I may drop in there myself during this holiday.
There will be no further news updates on this page until the 3rd of January, but you may notice some other site updates during this time.
Anyway, now that you have read this message, then my final comment this year must be my best wishes and season greetings to all my friends and customers for this Christmas and New Year holiday. Where I can only hope that next year will be a better year than what this year was.
19th of December 2002
Do not forget that tomorrow is the very final days before all aspects of my business closes for this Christmas and New Year holiday, where if you want to receive your order before Christmas, then urgent action needs to be taken immediately.
So if you desire to send me an order through the post, then UK customers are strongly recommended to use the Royal Mail's Special Delivery service (both ways!), where this should see your order arrive with me tomorrow and then with you either Saturday, Monday or Tuesday at the latest.
Naturally customers also have an option of ordering on-line these days, where as long as your NoChex or PayHound account currently exists (it takes days to set one up) and has suitable funds available, then ordering this way instead will be possible. So just make sure that you send me your on-line order and following payment before 16:30 GMT tomorrow to have your order dispatched tomorrow, but of course the earlier you do this the less chance of a problem occurring.
Currently it is too late for any non-UK customer to have their order dispatched by tomorrow, unless your order is already on the way to me, when of course the postal system is not that fast.
Do not overlook that tomorrow is No3's last day for working for me, before she goes on on her Christmas Holiday, which means that if you wish to send her any e-mail, then make sure you do so long before 16:30 tomorrow. I will be answering the last of my e-mail this weekend, where that will be the final thing done until my business reopens on the 3rd of January 2003.
Tomorrow I will explain things fully, but if you wish to receive your order before Christmas, then it is still possible to do so.
Also my CAM supplier has now supplied those 10 missing CAMs, when he found out where they got to.
Since my new SPLOCK3 cables have just arrived, then these have now been added to my Cables (Audio/Video) page and my Order Forms. These are naturally longer versions of my existing SPLOCK cables, where the SPLOCK is 1.5 meters and the new SPLOCK3 is 3 meters in length. And to remind you then both of these types are High Quality Scart Cables supporting the Positive Locking feature.
Unfortunately, the third cable in this range, which is the 5 meter version was marked as "to follow" by my own supplier. This means that those ones will arrive later on, which will no doubt be in January due to this holiday period. Still, I added those ones at the same time in case customers desire the 5 meter version and do not mind a short delay.
That also will save a longer site update should these 5 meter cables arrive before January the 3rd, which is naturally the day that this site reopens after being closed for this Christmas and New Year holiday. Well since these next couple of weeks is the only holiday that I have had this year, then I certainly intend to enjoy it and to make a return to sanity.
Also that reminds me, when previously I mentioned that my business always reopens one day later than mostly all other businesses on January the 3rd, when this gives me extra time to prepare for working for another straight year and to recover from the New Year hangover. Well, I have since noticed a couple of other satellite equipment suppliers following my exact holiday plan as well, where I expect that they read this wise advice on this very News page. :-]
Well, since I am sure that you can also see the logic in not working on January the 2nd as well, then why not help to turn this day into a public holiday by simply not working this day? Go on you know that you want to do it, where I am sure that your boss would forgive you. :-]
16th of December 2002
As expected the last of the delayed Magic Module CI CAM orders left on Friday, or more correctly all those that could, when this excludes two orders that could not.
The first of these two orders is the order that I have already mentioned on this News page some time ago, when it is unhelpful in the dispatch of orders if the order form sent to me does not include mention of the delivery address or any other contact information. So all I have is the name of the person that the enclosed cheque was from and of course the details of what was ordered.
Still, as the restoration of my accounts now lists an identical customer name, who has now been contacted over this matter, then maybe this problem can now be fixed, even if the same name does not always mean the same customer,
The other order has just been delayed slightly, due to this customer wishing to expand their order with further items, which means that this order should be leaving very soon, when I am just awaiting this transfer payment.
Well I have these Magic Module CI CAMs in stock, where if you desire one, then now is a good time to order one.
12th of December 2002
I am pleased to say that these Magic Module CI CAMs and Programming Interfaces have now arrived, where I have updated my CAMs page to reflect this fact.
Unfortunately, this delivery of CAMs also brought along two non-fatal problems with them, which I can say were not pleasing to see.
The first of these two problems I noticed when I opened the CAM box, when my first look at one of these CAMs highlighted that my own supplier had the extremely bad idea of sticking his own warranty label on top of them. Now, since there is no way that I am going to supply CAMs with his company name on them, then my first idea was to removed these "warranty void if removed labels".
After all a label matters not in warranty land, when since I purchased them, then so do they have a warranty, label or no label.
Since within seconds of this label removing procedure I saw that this was not working out, then I decided that it was time to call my supplier and bitch at them about defacing my CAMs with their butt ugly label. Hopefully, this is also not the same label as mentioned as the cause of the delay, but since there appears to be no other suspect label, then maybe I should ask my supplier what label caused this delay.
At this point I began having visions of returning the whole batch of CAMs to them, but soon after bitchin' at their employee that having their company name on my CAMs was unacceptable, then so did they mention how this text can be removed.
So it was not long following that I got out the White Spirit and fortunately proved that rubbing off their company name was easy to do, even if i had to be careful not to rub off more than was needed. However, as I could envision that flammable liquids and electronic equipment does not go well together, then I made damned sure that all traces were removed after this company name was.
Well you can imagine the extremely bad situation where customer reports that CAM caught on fire an hour after inserted, which then led to their whole house burning down, Since that is just not good, then that is why I am very sure that there is no trace of white spirit left on them.
Now, the second problem came up before this new and improved name removal procedure, when after looking to see if they sent you acceptable goods, then the second thing to do is to make sure that they sent you the right quantity.
After counting them twice it was clear to me that 10 CAMs were missing, but at least they sent the correct number of the MMPI interfaces.
Now, since having like a thousand pounds worth of goods missing is just not good, then only like five minutes after having to phone them about the label problem did I have to phone them once again concerning this missing stock.
That issue I have yet to resolve, when they seem be to with the idea that the correct quantity was sent. Obviously they are wrong, when if 10 CAMs are found to be missing on receipt, where the box is certainly not damaged in any way, then so the only possible explanation is that 10 CAMs that were supposed to have been sent were not included with the rest.
Well at least they sorted of my replacements, even if I told them that the three returned and broken interfaces did not need new boxes returned with them, when I have kept the last boxes here in order to save on the postal cost. Since they seem to have sent me new boxes anyway, then so will I have to find out if they wish the old boxes back (unlikely).
Anyway, I am sure that this "missing CAMs" problem will soon be solved, where I believe that he is currently running his "don't phone back as stated and wait for him to phone you again" test. Well I don't think that would help, when I would not have had to phoned them the first time had the correct number been sent in the first place.
Seems that they were rushing around a bit too much yesterday, when I am sure that is the reason for my missing CAMs. So at the end of this I am very pleased to announce that I have Magic CAMs in stock, even if I now wonder when I will receive the missing 10 CAMs.
Since No3 has been flashing these CAMs as I write this (I have to remove the name from the other half later), then so should the majority of my own delayed orders leave today. No1 is also packing them up at this time as well, where we have just played the game of "now lets remember to include the instructions as well, shall we", where I guess in this long restocking delay she forgot.
That problem is now almost fixed, when some packages will come with two layers of tape instead of one, which means that I just have to pass my supplier's "phone-back test" to find out when my missing 10 CAMs will be here.
Well after I phoned my supplier back later in the day concerning the 10 missing CAMs, which allowed him time to look into this problem, then so did he comfirm that they had 6 more CAMs with them than what they should have had.
Although this is not enough to cover my missing 10 CAMs this was enough to show him that there have indeed been dispatch mistakes. And so it has now been agreed that I will contact him again tomorrow, when he has yet to investigate how many of these new CAMs were used for replacements.
Also he mentioned that one other customer has mentioned a similar problem, but of course those customers who ended up with too many CAMs have no reason to complain. Well tomorrow I will see what he says then, but the point still stands that if I am very sure that 10 CAMs are missing, then so the only explanation is that 10 few CAMs were sent.
Tomorrow he will have his final total of how many CAMs he should have there compared with what he really has, where although I hope that he has 10 CAMs available (or more including this other customer's missing CAMs), then the point still stands that I have 10 CAMs missing from my recently delivered order.
The other thing to mention is the fact that on such days like today, when after a long delay popular stock turns up, then I simply cannot see personal callers who wish to buy anything including this new stock. The reason for that is because we have many orders to dispatch, where dealing with such requests causes orders for customers who have been waiting months to leave tomorrow instead of today.
Since I find that unacceptable, then that is why one personal caller has already been turned away. Even in this case one order will now be leaving tomorrow instead of today, but had I handled this sale, then that number would have gone up to about three.
Also I do recall the time when he and his friend dropped around last time wanting to buy these CAMs, where I clearly mentioned that they could drop round to buy these CAMs the DAY AFTER this important stock arrival, So, since they obviously decided to ignore that advice, then that is why the friend of the person who told him that I now have stock available has been turned away.
Naturally, customers should arrange collection first and not just drop around, which is kind of what we arranged last time they just dropped around.
Unfortunately it is the case that No3 is off tomorrow, when she decided to use up one of her paid for holiday days in order to go Christmas Shopping. This means that the first day it is possible to arrange collection for is Tuesday, when of course No3 who arranges such things will now be back on Monday.
Covering this area a bit further, then No3 has been using up her paid days quite a lot in this past month, which means that I can already foresee the day coming round where she will have no more holiday days left. Since she has to work a fixed number of hours for me each week, then there is no option of just taking unpaid time off.
After all I have a contract with her so that she works for me no less than one year, where it includes that I pay her a fixed salary. So, I can only pay her a fixed salary if she does the required work, which means that she has to work and I have to pay her the set salary.
Well when that day comes around when she has used up all her holiday days, then I will have to see how to deal with the problem if she wishes more time off, where the current and obvious answer seems to be "sorry, but no". That would be a real problem if something important comes up, which makes me hope that she knows what she is doing.
Anyway, I have recently been thinking why she cannot do Christmas Shopping like other people. At the weekend for example or on one of these late night shopping trips, but if she wishes to use up one of her paid for holiday days for non-vital reasons, then that I guess is fine with me.
Then up soon is my own Christmas holiday, where No3 has no choice, but to use up some of her own paid holiday days. After all she cannot work if I am not working, where this Christmas break is the only time I get off each year.
Well I will soon calculate how many days she has used up now, when this started when she got that puncture and decided not to come in that day. Although, previously she had taken half a day off due to being ill, but of course sick motor cars cannot claim sick pay.
Anyway, since my postal collection has now been and gone, then so will the other half of these orders depart tomorrow. That will be good news, when then my outstanding order quantity will then be down to the usual problem five orders. Those are orders where the customer has been informed of the problem, but then they have not taken the required action to allow their order to be completed one way or another.
I believe that No3 has recently sent the owners of those 5 problem orders a reminder, but I am not in hope that some solution will now be offered. Maybe it would be an idea to just cancel their orders and refund any payment, but I can foresee problems with doing that as well.
Time to go do some work, when I am sure that the other half of these customers will be wanting to receive their orders on Saturday.
Having these Magic Module CI CAMs in stock sure is pleasing, even if I think that I am still in shock that they are actually here (excluding the 10 missing CAMs of course) after all this time. I guess that the pleasure factor will only sink in when I give one of these CAMs a spin in order to show off their full multi-system features, but I have to sort out some things before I have time to do that.
Well I have CAMs here with me in stock, where if you desire one, then so this statement gives you the green light to now order. After all the day after (or longer for non-UK customers) I receive your order and payment, then so will you be in good odds to receive your order.
11th of December 2002
Well I have just phoned the supplier of my Magic CAMs and Interfaces today, where it has been confirmed that my order is leaving their place today meaning that it will be here with me tomorrow.
So unless there is an "act of God" (or delivery company) then it seems in good odds that I will be reporting one highly important stock delivery tomorrow. Considering one very long restocking delay, where my News page details that history, then this event will be extremely pleasing.
Considering that I have the lowest price around, then I would not expect this stock to last very long. After all what with the CAMs and Interfaces sold before I stopped sales in September (?) combined with the CAMs sold since I started offering a price again, then so has half of this expected delivery already been sold.
I guess we will have to see how long this stock lasts, but I would not expect this to be more than two weeks. In fact on this approaching Tuesday I stand a slim chance of breaking my company record for amount of gross income received in one day, which is a record that was previously set on the 10th of January 2001.
The reason why I say Tuesday is that this weekend I implement the penultimate stage in lettering people know that I have these excellent CAMs available and in stock at the best price around, where I will also be giving away two free cards (SILVER and PURPLE) with it. Now the exact reason for Tuesday is that anything that is dispatched to me over the weekend will often always arrive on Tuesday.
Naturally, we will have to see on Tuesday what exactly happens, but there is a chance of breaking this old record even if it is a slim one. After all this is quite an expensive item, where I can already work out how many sales I need on that day in order to set a new record.
Well even if not, then I am sure of breaking that record in early January, when that is the month when a very many people will start to think that this CAM will be good for them. It is for me after all, when my Nokia 9602S receiver (my Echostar AD3000IP VA receiver is due for repair) much prefers the Magic CAM to my older Irdeto FreeCAM2, which has result in not watching much during these past few months.
Also I will have to soon repair my mount, where I blew one of the two reed switches when swapping over my receivers. So if I wish to move my big dish east or west, then I currently have to use my manual positioner. Since that is a pain, where I believe that I have recently spotted a suitable replacement reed switch, then so does it sound a good time to have both my Echostar receiver and mount repaired.
Echostar can handle the first one, where I will go out into the cold and rain to fix the second one. I suppose that I can always remove the reed switch from my second actuator (to move the dish up and down), when that one is not needed anyway. Still I may as well get some spares, when even a small amount of accidental electricity through these things will break them.
Getting back to my CAM forecast, then this plan of course depends on available stock, where one very important batch is due tomorrow. After that I am already three quarters of the way there in placing an order for another batch the same size as this one, where we will have to see when that is exactly ordered and when it arrives.
Well since tomorrow is a big day, then lets all keep a look out for these CAMs and Interfaces to arrive, when I will of course be making this delivery news very clear on this very News page as and when it happens.
Also since No3 has been working for me for exactly one month, then so was today pay day. Unfortunately, since I am still awaiting P.A.Y.E information from the Inland Revenue, which is after two requests for this information over the previous month I should point out, then so will her taxes for this payment today be paid at a later date.
I have also just paid my overdue Income Tax, when the I.R were getting bitchy over it, even if it would be nice once they provide an estimate to follow through with what they say they will. Well that is another aspect that I will have to include in FACT's damages bill, when they of course borrowed my accounts for most of this year, which prevented me from paying my taxes.
The other group of tax people is of course Her Majesties Customs and Excise service, when they of course handle the VAT (for some bizarre reason no doubt). Since they have also been getting bitchy over their invalid demand, then soon I will show them my 99.5% correct tax totals.
That is because No3 has now processed all order forms up to the end of November, where I just have to check all these through to increase the data accuracy to 99.9%. So at this point I can provide these tax people with values that are highly close to the true end amounts, where before I send in my tax returns, then I just have to sort out the problem order and things that should not be.
And so in early January, depending on HM C&Es cooperation, then so all my delayed returns will be with them.
Since I sent in my first of these four returns a couple of weeks ago, then so am I currently awaiting a £2014.55 VAT refund, when they over-estimated the first of these estimates. Then in the soon to be returned second tax return, then I will have to pay them very close to £1605.14 more VAT, when that quarter they undervalued what I had to pay.
As you can see if you join these two quarters together, then so would they still be owing me a £409.41 refund. Since I now have values available for the next two quarters as well, then so in the third return will I be claiming around a sizable £2285.56 VAT refund. So at the end of three quarters we are now up to a total of £2694.97 that they will be needing to pay me, when as I told them buying those Magic CAMs the first time did that, when I nearly emptied all my bank accounts in the process.
This very accurate figure will go to prove once and for all that them wanting me to pay exactly £5242 in VAT for this unpaid quarter was invalid, when after all my own refund figure shows that their estimate was £7527.56 inaccurate. And like me I am sure that you would not desire to pay a £5242 estimate bill that you knew was extremely inaccurate.
I have told them that fact twice now, but we will see if they get the message when I provide some accurate values as proof.
Well in the final outstanding quarter my accounts tell me that I will be needing to pay them around £1849.60 in VAT, where you can see again that their also unpaid £6327 estimate was more than a little out. When of course would you pay them a total of £11569 in tax, when we now know that the correct half-year total compared to their estimate is -£435.96 (they have to pay me £435.96 compared to their I pay them £11,596 estimate)?
I thought about that and came up with the answer as "no", which is why they have been pestering me with their £11,569 demands for immediate payment since.
Well since I paid their first two estimates and not the last two, then we can now see how much is currently due to make this whole year VAT total correct. When if we take the £1849.60 total that I will owe them from the previous £2694.97 that they will owe me, then so at the end of the year they will owe me a £845.37.
Naturally, since I paid them a few thousand earlier this year in VAT payment, then for the whole year I will really be down, even if they will owe me this £845.37 refund to make the figures correct.
So had they desired to press their debt idea further, then they would not get far, when I have the figures that prove that instead of I owing them money, then they really owe me money.
Well I should be getting in the second of these returns quite soon, but before I do then they owe me the mentioned £2014.55 refund for this first quarter. After all if they do not wish to pay, then so cannot I mark off this refund for this quarter, which goes to screw up the total due on the second quarter.
Also it is the case that I will be needing to pay them one £1605.14 payment in the second quarter, where they currently have the funds to do this. After all it won't be long now before I spend another small fortune on these Magic CAMs, where paying this £1605.14 value from these funds would prevent me from ordering for days.
So in my next letter to these people I will be pointing out the requirement of a refund before they receive my second tax return, but you can rest assured that I will be claiming that third quarters large refund quickly. Then I could well drag the fourth quarter payment somewhat, when I have previously told them that they will receive that one in the second half of January. As we are currently ahead of that estimate, then so can this extra time be used to better make sure that these values are correct.
Well I will be writing them that letter soon enough, but first up is this Magic CAM and Interface delivery tomorrow.
10th of December 2002
Since as even today I have not yet received a reply to either of my last two e-mail to my supplier, or better yet a courier van traveling around here to deliver my CAMs and Interface order, then today as I mentioned yesterday I phoned my supplier.
Seems that he was not there, as I will soon explain, but at least I had a chat to one of his workers.
Well it seems that this delay following my expected order dispatch last Thursday is due to a "label problem", where apparently the place that they came from forgot to put a certain label on them. This sounds to me like this new fancy Dream Multimedia hologram, but then again maybe they forget the whole "Magic Module" cover. I will have to have a very close look at one when I get them to see what is going on, but what is important now is what is being done about it.
As it seems that my supplier has recently taken a flight across the Channel in order to sort out this label problem personally, where I was told by one apologetic worker that he was currently on the way back (through the Channel Tunnel) laden with CAMs. Seems he will be back at about 6pm (referring to this country I presume), which means that my order will finally leave tomorrow.
I guess that he would be passing my place on his way back up North, but I guess that he won't be nipping in Cardman's order on his travels. :-]
We will have to see if this one turns out to be true, when now I expect this CAM and Interface delivery on Thursday. And just to make sure of that fact, then I think that I will phone them again tomorrow, where I will make sure my order leaves that day, even if it is the only order that does.
This worker did offer to refund my large payment taken from my account last Monday or Tuesday, where I decided against that for three reasons.
First of all having this payment taken means that my order is due, which stops him having the odd idea and giving my CAMs to other people. Then the second reason is that as they can never remember my special payment instructions at the due time (in that my business account has a limit on how much can be taken per transaction), where I would not wish to face another "we have problems debiting your card" issue at an important moment.
The final reason is that when you have some person's "nuts in the vice" so to speak, then keeping some pressure on the vitals sure gets things moving. That I guess means that if for some nightmare reason delivery slips into next week, then so would my supplier soon be talking like a little girl. :-]
Also I guess that this e-mail problem is due to the fact that my supplier has just spent a few days in some damp and dark corner of Europe (I suspect Germany). Also since their own site was attacked by a hacker over the weekend, then so has that put out their system for a couple of days, even if my two e-mail came before and after this problem.
Well as it appears that this dispatch problem has now been solved, even if it causes doubt on Wednesday's statement of "all packed up and ready to go", then so will CAMs and Interfaces be here on Thursday.
My supplier told me that after all, where he cannot be wrong..... Can he?
As one does not get far by trusting ones own suppliers, then that is why later on tomorrow I will phone them again, where this time I will make sure that my order is boxed-up and ready for dispatch.
So just remember Thursday, when that I am told is when my Magic Module CI CAMs and Interfaces will be here.
My supplier has just also confirmed by e-mail that these CAMs have just arrived at his place of business, which makes it look all set for delivery on Thursday.
9th of December 2002
Well Monday has now gone with no delivery of my all important Magic CAM and Interface order, or even a reply to the e-mail that I sent to my supplier on Friday. Now although one cannot expect too much from commercial suppliers, then even this situation would count as very much bad for one of them.
And there it was that just yesterday I had recovered from the urge to hunt down this supplier and run them over in my car as well. Not that I would really run them over, travel that far, or even own a car to do so mind you, but after all it is the thought that counts.
Vrooom, vrooom, splat.
Such silence can be either put down to guilt or just being too busy, where in either case if this problem correction resulted in my order being dispatched today, then delivery tomorrow is in good odds.
Then again if I have no CAMs and Interfaces or even explanation tomorrow afternoon, then so will I have to do the unusual step and phone him. To say what I am not exactly sure, but I am certainly no happy puppy. The longer this goes on the more I worry, where this supplier is currently doing the worst thing possible to put my mind at rest.
Well recently I just sent him an e-mail reminder, when I was expecting an e-mail reply some time today and never got one. And this e-mail was mostly about the very bad situation that he has got himself in.
Naturally I reminded him that the debit on my account for this order is now over one week old, when it was last Monday that he debited this vast sum from my account causing me to expect delivery on Tuesday. It is certainly an unbelievable situation to be here a week later with still no CAMs in stock, when had you told this to me a week ago, then I simply would not have believed you.
So as commercial suppliers go, then this one is now in the dog house.
Maybe that could explain why I did not get an e-mail reply today, when I am sure that supplier knows that this situation is just not good. Well since the key aspect here is one certain CAM and Interface delivery, then only after that occurs can we decide on how many lashes he deserves. The obvious answer to that is one for every working and undelivered day following the debit on my account, when after all that Tuesday was when I should have got it.
Well I am still surprised if not partly in shock with this situation, when this supplier well knows that my need for these two items is not a small one. So considering all the available factors, then my dispatch should have been near the front of this queue. This supplier well knows that and yet here I am with a large sum out of my bank account and no delivery a week later.
I think that this supplier has messed up, when preparing packages and invoices in bulk sounds like the kind of thing to do when waiting for delivery. Where after all things normally work by getting as many orders dispatched as possible each day, which then requires invoices and packing to be done as needed. And debiting payment cards while awaiting delivery yourself is the one thing not to do, where here could well be the very situation as to why that is.
So the worst possible scenerio has some evidence behind it, where my supplier did also previous mention the high cost of his order, which indicates that maybe it was higher than what he could afford without taking my payment to help out.
Then again, until I hear from my supplier, then I have only assumption. And the one thing about assumptions are that they can be dangerous if misplaced, where for example that would make some of the things he said as untrue, which means that we should wait without judgment until tomorrow, where if I don't have CAMs, then I should at least have an explanation.
Well Tuesday should be an interesting day, even if I have to in the late afternoon buy a Battle Tank off EBay and blow the hell out of one certain supplier. :-]
8th of December 2002
Today I just happened to go to the Lakeside Shopping Center. Not that I really wanted to go there, mostly due to the fact that I already have far too much work to do, but then what can you do when a family member gets insistent?
Oddly I never did get to see the assumed "lake", but I did at least get to see the River Thames passing across the toll bridge both on the way there and back.
According to family reports the Lakeside Shopping Center is better than the even larger (and nearer) Bluewater Shopping Center, which I certainly agree with seeing that when I went to Bluewater it was packed with about 70 women's clothing shops (out of about 200 (or possibly 300?) shops in total).
Now, since the women's clothing shops at Bluewater out-numbered Men's clothing shops at about 8 to 1, then I immediately began to see a problem. And for us males the place is a nightmare if the women you are with seem to want to visit almost ever one of those women's clothing shops.
Considering that the Bluewater Shopping Center is the largest one in Europe, then that makes for one very long walk around all those women's clothing shops. So with Bluewater it is a case of been there and never wish to go again.
Well it was pleasing to see that the Lakeside Shopping Center was more balanced, when the required women looking at women's clothing was a very much shorter exercise. The place has lots of escalators, fountain pools, then their glass lifts, which seem to cover about four floors.
Anyway, since I was just following along the rest of my family, then I really had no idea as to direction in the place.
The most interesting thing I saw was when I dropped into their local Sony Center store, when I spotted my very own S-Video cables and Digital Coaxial cables in the same retail packaging.
Now I recall that my SVIDP2 cable (or was their one 3 meters?) they were selling for £20, where my one including VAT is of course £3.52. Then my SVIDP5 cable they were selling for £25, where my exact same one including VAT is £5.87. Finally, I spotted my DCC5 cable, where they charge £20 and I charge (including VAT) £11.75.
Well if you buy all three cables from me instead of that Sony Center, then so do you save all of £43.85. Or to put it in a better picture, then you can buy my three cables all of three times (9 cables in total) for each group of their three. Naturally, this excludes my cost in sending these cables to you, but that is hardly expensive.
Moving on to items that I do not sell, then I did spot a nice widescreen Plasma TV in I believe Debenhams. A very nice display I can tell you and only was slightly over £4200 in price, but wait for it including a £700 discount.
Now although it is true to say that I could have bought it there and then, the problem with Plasma TVs at the moment is that they are too expensive. So since value for money is an important consideration, then so will I wait for prices to fall by a large amount.
Another point is that unless you watch only DVDs, then so is TV viewing very much more suitable to 4:3 TV use.
Also had I desired to buy that Plasma TV, then so would I have done so on the Net. Sure with any large purchase you should see the model in your local store first before buying on-line, but I am sure that I could save around £1000 on their price.
After all I have already done that with my Toshiba 61PJ98B rear projection TV, which I purchased on-line and saved about £1600 on the RRP.
Next up I spotted a 4:3 TV next to that one, when I immediately noticed the flicker. My first thought was "100Hz", when I then looked up at the price and description label, where soon enough I spotted that 100Hz mention. Now, not having looked into the matter I cannot say why 100Hz TVs do that, but for now I will assume that it is to do with the persistence of vision aspect of the human eye.
Following this I had a quick look in Game the store that sells computer games, where I was left thinking that if I bought at my preferred web site on-line, then so could I see better descriptions of each one as well as an on-line independent review. Game often marks their prices as the lowest around, guaranteed, but then as I recently learned where to buy DVDs for £10 each (with a buy 5 and get 2 extra free offer), then so I am sure that Game excludes Net purchases in this or at least does not expect you to go searching for cheaper.
Finally, I had a quick look in a couple of shops in the consideration of buying some new shoes, but as they did not stock my preferred type, then so did I come home with my old and well worn shoes. I think that I will browse on-line for those instead.
Anyway, it was interesting to note that during all this I was left thinking that anything I wanted to buy in Lakeside I could do on-line instead and save a little or maybe even a lot of money. Considering the fact that Lakeside was quite packed at a weekend not long before Christmas, then I was wondering about the long term future of these "malls".
After all the point is that given enough time more and more people will come to understand about the lower prices on the Net, where of course what is the future of these places if everyone does what I do and come home empty handed. That was certainly not planned, when I took cash and cards with me, but it is true to say that I only come home with a belly full of chicken by KFC.
I guess the point is that for now more people buy their video cables through the Sony Center in Lakeside than from myself, but as over time people will see that I offer much lower prices, then so would you assume that more and more people will buy from me.
Still you have to wonder as to just what is the long term future of this situation? Sure I have heard it said that they have expensive stores to pay for, but then competition is competition and I kick bum on the prices scale.
Certainly something to think about, where maybe in the future some big changes will occur. Certainly would make an interesting day when the bulldozers knock down such places, but if people find them more convenient then maybe it won't happen. After all the problem of the Net is that it is hard to find what you want, when there currently is no function that does "this is what I want to buy and now find me the lowest price (including postage) from a supplier who has stock" or even "I like this one, but find me a larger size and in red".
So if the Net is going to work at optimum level for shoppers, then so has there got to be a change in how data is structured and made available. When after all if I go beyond my "find the first one suitable and buy that" quick method, then so can you spend most of the day going through many dozens of sites in order to find the best one possible.
And I won't even tell you how long it took to buy my big TV, when that was one serious project and I spent simply ages making sure that I got the best value. Well in all it took me three months to finally decide on the TV I wanted (4:3 vs 16:9 was a big issue), where it took very many days tracking down as many suppliers as I could and then finding the lowest price, with extended warranty and a suitable delivery option.
Until the day comes about when items on all web sites are noted and compared evenly, then so will you have to maintain your links and search engines. And I guess that means that if you wish cheap cables and other items, then unless you bookmark this site, then so will you have to go to places like the Sony Center and Maplin and pay their extra high prices.
Now I am sure that things will change, where it just seems a question of when. Still something interesting to think about, which certainly beats thinking about my CAM delivery problem.
7th of December 2002
Well I regret to have to say that in a situation that is starting to get to be unacceptable that I still do not have stock of these damned Magic Module CI CAMs and Interfaces.
To explain this past week, then on Monday my supplier mentioned that he was debiting my account for this order. And so since he has always used a 24 hour delivery service so far, then so was I expecting a delivery on Tuesday.
Since there was no delivery on Tuesday, then so was I now expecting delivery on Wednesday. This is an idea also supported by my on-line bank account, when this showed a Tuesday debit (this can also mean a debit of after 4:30pm on Monday).
However, since there was no delivery on Wednesday either, then so did I contact my supplier. His explanation, as much better explained in previous news, was that my order was all packed up and ready to leave, where it would being or doing so on the following day of Thursday.
And so it is not unreasonable to say that I was very much expecting delivery on Friday, where even though there was three people keeping a close watch out for this very important delivery, then this delivery never occurred.
Now on the scale of "possible reasons" as to why I do not have these CAMs and Interfaces with me right now is that my supplier has simply not sent them to me. Where in this same scale the delivery company not being able to find the right address on the right day is much less of a possible explanation.
So it was that yesterday at 17:30, with no delivery now possible, that I sent off a much stronger worded e-mail to my supplier. Where in this e-mail I mentioned that this situation was now unacceptable, where as I paid for this order on either Monday or Tuesday, then so was it his responsibility to ensure that I receive this order as fast as possible.
Now, I was hoping to mention his reply here, but as I do not yet have a reply, then I cannot yet say what is going on.
This is also unfortunate, when if I knew that my order was somewhere in this country today (Saturday), then so would I have arranged a most expensive collection with same day delivery. As I said this situation is now unacceptable, where it now the responsibility of both myself and my supplier for it to be resolved as fast as humanly possible.
In that respect my own supplier is not being helpful, when clearly if he says that he is dispatching them to me on Thursday, then why the hell do I not have them on Friday? This supplier after all knows full well that I will not tolerate any delays beyond this week, when I have already seen far too many of those.
I can only hope that I do not later find out that my own account was debited so early in order for my local supplier to use this payment to buy these very CAMs and Interfaces from the manufacturer in Taiwan. That situation after all would make some of the things my supplier has said this week untrue, where also this situation could create no end of problems.
Still, apart from not having my CAMs with me right now, then there is no other indication that this "worst case scenario" is the real explanation.
What the current facts do say is that my own local supplier now has taken delivery of his own Magic Module CAMs and Interfaces batch, where as I quote "today everything is ready and goods will leave tomorrow". Therefore, accounting for possible last minute delays, then my own order should be with me Monday or Tuesday.
Naturally, given this supplier, additional delays caused by his own company is possible or even likely, which is why I will now seek to remove this order dispatch from his own control if at all possible.
I am of course aware of my own customers frustration and disappoint in this, when I know well that many of them were looking forwards to making use of this CAM and Interface this weekend. Still I think that you should be able to see my own attempts in trying to make this happen, but due to one very slow supplier I am currently wondering who I have to "kill" to get some CAMs.
Another factor in this, is that as December is a busy month, then right now should I be selling crap loads of these CAMs. Where as each day goes by, then this is another day that selling crap loads of CAMs does not happen, due to one supplier doing well in keeping me Out of Stock.
As I am already aware of "lost profit" due to not having these CAMs in stock for the past three months, then I am sure as hell not going to tolerate having no stock of the one most popular item during the most two busy months of the year.
Well as I have not heard from my supplier, where the "weekend" could well has something to do with this, then you can make up your own mind as to when I will get these CAMs and Interfaces. I would say either Monday or Tuesday, but due to one impossibly slow supplier, then right at this time I cannot say if that will actually happen.
Anyway, he knows that I will not tolerate any delays beyond this week, which is why yesterday I give him a right earful, and why from now on I will do whatever is needed to ensure that this order is with me in the shortest possible time. That is even if I have to travel a couple of hundred miles in order to deal with this matter personally, which is another aspect that I warned him of yesterday.
On Monday I am sure that I will have some answers, if not CAMs and Interfaces, where we will then see what "O' Great Supplier" says about why the order he said would be sent to me Thursday was not with me on Friday.
Then lets not forget that in the same first two days next week it will be one week since I paid for this order, which is a situation that I am sure that his own debit / credit card payment gateway provider finds unacceptable, when there is a certain law against that.
This also reminds to me "Beware of Commercial Suppliers" when in good times they are fast and low cost, but during problem times they are little more than a pain in the behind. Slow, unreliable and where the e-mail replies (quick one line replies and not answering questions) had it been done my my own No3, then I would have give her a right telling off.
It was that in early 2001 that I swore never to use the Techtronics company again for this very same reason, where you can see these days that their satellite section on their web site has been destroyed. Being a pain in the arse commercial supplier does that, when I guess that I was not the only person they peed off.
Well, to minimise these problems in the future, then that is why I now seeking to deal with manufacturers directly. Removing the wholesalers goes to remove half the problem, even if I do not yet know what Taiwanese manufacturer is making these CAMs. Anyway, since I managed to locate the previous German manufacturer of these CAMs, then I should be able to locate this new one.
I guess one important rule to remember about commercial suppliers is to only deal with them when they actually have stock, when you soon see the real nature of a supplier when supply problems occur. After all when I stopped my sale of these items back in September, then these commercial suppliers continued to sell these items marked "Out of Stock" and in within the next two weeks.
Why I guess my own supplier has 400 customers to deal with, when my own September termination of these sales just about stopped my own numbers of these customers growing any larger. So my own supplier takes many days to dispatch all orders, when my own outstanding orders could no doubt be done in one or two days at most.
The difference here is that I have a rule in that if any restocking is to take more than two weeks, then so do I automatically stop sales. That happens to be a very uncommercial thing to do, when I also lose all that profit from these past three months. Since I am not a commercial supplier, then so do customers come before thought of profit, where it mentions on my welcome page why that exactly is.
And so that is why my own supplier has 400 outstanding customers, where his e-mail system is overloaded as as result, and where his company provides crap short replies to deal with this. That clearly is not something that my company would ever do, when service quality also falls before profit.
Still as you can see that even if I try hard, then there are always problems like this do deal with. That unfortunately has no known solution, where I guess my termination of sales at the end of the day results in less unhappy customers.
Lets now see what next week holds I guess, where if I don't have these CAMs in the first two days, then the only reason would be due to that it was impossible to get them. As after all I will be doing whatever is needed to put this nightmare supply problem at an end once and for all, even if it half-kills me doing so.
5th of December 2002
If you have not yet noticed that I have now made this site Christmas themed by the addition of many related animated GIFs, then I would recommend seeking medical help immediately. ;-]
Well with these public holidays you have to get into the mood, which makes me wonder if I should do more for the other public holidays besides this one. No doubt I will forget about that idea at the due time, but I sure hope that I remember that in March my business will be exactly five years old.
Concerning these GIFs, then the two most "funky" ones you can see above. Watch Santa dance like never before, but then the boy on the sleigh seems to currently be going down the longest hill ever. I did mean to get those two to align either side of the above message, but due to a slight accident I decided that I liked it better how it currently is.
I have also added more animated GIFs to my other more popular site pages, which you can certainly see for yourself.
Seeing that I put four of them on my Special Offers page, then you can guess that this page will be one of the most visited between now and the New Year. Now the first one on that page I quite like, where the boy is quite eager to open his present. Maybe the addition of a message urging my site visitors to "Buy, Buy, Buy!" would not be fully out of place. ;-]
Well the rest of them are interesting, but maybe you can tell me what that creature is supposed to be in the top animated GIF on the E-Mail page. As in my view having the name of the Xmas Rat would not be far wrong, which caused me to think twice about putting that one in No3's section.
Anyway, read the above message, then understand and obey by order of Cardman. :-]
Those people of other religions can instead have a happy "whatever", like with the Pagans and Wiccans with the Yule festival and the Equinox, which will include one of my Internet friends who I talk to often.
As you will soon see that section will remain at the top of this News page until January the 3rd, where all the latest news, like this one, will appear below it,
Since I have mentioned January the 3rd, then I should also mention that this is the day when this site reopens after this holiday period. Normally, every other business around these parts returns on the 2nd, but I prefer the 3rd in order to recover from the New Year's hangover and to give time to prepare for the busiest month of the year.
Given enough time I am sure that every other business will see the logic in this system and will follow my lead. :-]
Anyway, the big question is when my holiday starts, when our last working day before this site closes and all work stops will be Friday the 20th of December. This results in a total of 13 days holiday between the 21st and 3rd, even if I am sure that I will be answering all outstanding e-mail on the 21st and 22nd.
Also like with all previous years, then if there are any outstanding orders when this site closes on the afternoon of the 20th, then so will these still be completed and dispatched as soon as possible during this holiday (if possible). However, we can only hope that during the final postal collection on the 20th that every outstanding order departs.
Any order received during this holiday will only be processed on the 3rd of January, where that will also count as their received date.
That I guess is why back in the early 2001 my new ELVIS batch received just before the holiday back then, was sold out completely after just two working days on the 4th of January. Should you browse my Old News section, then you will know that demand for ELVIS that month got very extreme, which is why I had to order a total of four batches that month.
Now this year it will be the Magic Module CAM and Interface that will be the popular one, where although I am expecting lots of sales, we can only hope that things do not get quite as extreme as in January of 2001. After all dealing with a 400 to 500% demand increase over the previous month (when demand in the previous month tripled as well) was as history proved no easy thing to handle.
Well over the next two months I expect to sell a lot of ELVIS as well, but then I always sell a lot of the most popular card programmer around. Still, this year is the year of the Magic Module CI CAM, which is why I expect that my batch arriving tomorrow will all be sold within about two weeks.
So just like in January 2001 my stock could well expire in the first two working days of January, which is why I plan to secure further stock before that date. I guess other suppliers returning on the 2nd could be a good thing should my next batch gets dispatched to me on the 2nd and my own stock expires on the 3rd.
Still since I have been out of stock of these CAMs for a long time, then it is hard to say how high demand currently is. Still as I have already sold quite a few CAMs before they have even arrived, due to switching my sale back on, then I am sure that my market estimate is close enough.
That also means that if you desire one of these CAMs (with FREE SILVER and PURPLE cards!), then I would not recommend hanging around, when the longer you delay the less chance you have of receiving one of this new batch.
I am actually thinking about placing a limit on the number of these CAMs sold to each customer (two or three), when I know that some customers for their own reasons like to buy like five, ten or even more of these popular items. That factor posed a problem back in January 2001, when these customers buying lots of units caused stock to run out faster.
Still I believe that I will see if this poses a problem first, when I would not wish to deny sales should there be no problem.
Anyway, tomorrow will be the first day in a very long couple of months, where I am sure that you customers will keep us very busy during all this time. Also once these CAMs arrive, then I will have just two more tasks to complete in order to make sure that everyone knows that I have CAMs and a great deal on them as well.
Since it will now be tomorrow that these Magic Module CAMs and Interfaces finally stand a very good chance of turning up, then today I have been doing the usual things, but I have just added one new item to this site.
More correctly I moved the PAL to NTSC Converter (PAL2NTSC) from the New Items page to the Video/Audio page, where I then used this vacant space on the New Items page in order to add the new Secam to PAL Converter (SCM2PAL). Actually I received both these devices at the same time, where only now have I got around to adding this second one.
Following this I have yet to add the third and final device in this group, which just happens to be the PAL to Secam Converter (PAL2SCM). If I add that description today or weeks from now remains to be seen, but since people have a habit of not buying my items until they have seen my descriptions of them (including the vital photo), then so will I see about doing that sooner than later.
Since those are all old-new items, when they have been on my Order Forms for ages, then soon I will have to see about adding two new-new items.
The first of these is a 25 meter long three wire Phono Plug to Phono Plug cable, which is for transfer of Composite Video and Stereo Audio over a considerable distance. Now, those customers who have a hang of how I decide my ordering codes may already be able to guess what I am going to call this one, which just happens to be the PAV25 (Phono + Audio + Video + 25 meters).
I may need to have my scanner fixed before adding that one to this site, when no other cable looks exactly like this one. Still since it is a breed the same as my PA2 and PA10 cables, then just close you eyes and imagine a cable like those ones, but this cable is of course 25 meters in length and has a third yellow coloured phono plug headed lead.
It seems that I will also have to figure out the price of that one, when it seems that I have not done that yet. Still at this time I am left wondering if the postage cost on such a long and heavy cable will me more than the actual item price.
No doubt what I will do to avoid customers going "I want to buy that long cable mentioned on your news page" is to add this item to my Order Forms along with a quick description on my Cables (Audio/Video) page. As to the missing photo, then I guess that I will have to use one of my "Photo Here Soon" messages.
Now the second new item I have had here for some time now, which I stocked by accident when I order that one by mistake instead of my usual PV1 cable, where this wrongly ordered item is a 1 meter long Mono audio Phono Plugged cable.
Since it is not worth returning these to my supplier and suffering a 20% restocking charge in the process, then I may as well sell these to you real cheap and then discontinue this item when they are all sold. After all what with all the other cables I stock, then there is really no need to stock mono audio cables.
That one I guess I will see about adding the same way and at the same time as my PAV25 cables. Also I am soon going to have a look through my raw scans directory, when I may have scanned those Secam converters before my scanner broke. Then again since I lost my whole C partition due to corruption a few months back, then I have a feeling that I no longer have a raw scans directory.
Also I recently did a complete virus scan of my other computer (using my laptop at this second), which included my newer hard disk used for over a year now and my older hard disk used for the previous two years,
The results of this virus scan was as expected, when my computer has caught no virus in all this time. And so all it did find were those e-mail attachment viruses that my customers unknowingly send to me, where of course I am never silly enough to execute them.
Well I am quite pleased with that, when with three years of Internet use and not a single virus caught.
The most annoying (virus-like) thing about my computers are all Microsoft created, such as in MIE the text size keeps changing to "Smaller", even if I keep resetting it to "Medium". Now that annoying feature is worse than any virus that I have known.
Also since my Server runs this virus checking constantly, then since No3's e-mail program is stored in an encrypted area on the server, then all her e-mail are virus scanned and cleaned before she sees them, Still even if she has cleaned and checked e-mail, then there could always be a virus that the anti-virus program does not yet know about, which is why no attachment is ever executed.
Well I believe that the best defence against virus infection is not a virus scanner, but the simple act of knowing how viruses work and then taking steps to ensure that you do not catch any.
I already know that many of my customers could do with a virus scanner if not my wise advice, when after all that is why every day without question the anti-virus program on the server is active making safe No3's virus infected e-mail upon download.
Anyway, since I believe that is enough news and advice for today, then I will greatly look forwards to reporting the arrival of these Magic Module CAMs and Interfaces tomorrow.
4th of December 2002
Well my supplier of the Magic Module CI CAM has just confirmed (following my order status request) that he has not dispatched my order yet!
This as mentioned below is not very good when this payment was debited from my bank account either Monday evening (when I heard that it was being done) or sometime on Tuesday. Where such things are not supposed to happen in this county, when that is what the pre-authorization system is for (reserves the payment to be debited at the time of dispatch).
The reason given is that he has 400 customers to currently deal with, where processing all these orders at once is a technical nightmare. Since I can understand that point, then I guess that he is forgiven, even if it is not what I would have expected.
Anyway, the rest of this message mentioned that my order is now all ready to go and will certainly depart tomorrow. That will mean that I will receive my order on Friday, where if it arrives early enough in the day, then I am sure that many of my own customer's orders will be with them on Saturday.
I guess the moral of this story is what is a couple of extra days if you have already waited for far too many weeks?
Still I think that I know well enough by now that extra days are only acceptable provided that if at the end of these extra days there is no additional extra days to face. This means that I will be in a very foul mood should my supplier offer any more "surprises".
Well that is the story for today, when Magic CAMs will now be with me on Friday the 6th. Should there be any further delay, then that News you will be able to read in your local Sunday Newspaper under the title "Cardman runs Amok". ;-]
Oh well time to adjust the text on my CAMs page I guess, now that the 6th is "the" day.
It seems that these Magic CAMs and Interfaces are wishing to be a pain in the behind for one last time, when yesterday passed with no delivery attempt in sight. This will remind me that as these things sometimes happen, then not to use quite the largest size font there is next time, but then I was happy and things certainly appeared that way.
Well since my supplier certainly has payment, which my bank has confirmed, then they will certainly be on their way.
I guess that I should explain to customers from outside the UK that in this country it is a legal requirement for suppliers to only charge credit and debit cards at the point of order dispatch. And so this debit on my bank account clearly points out that this order must be dispatched, or else my supplier would have just broken trading law.
Obviously since my supplier has been around a long time, then so are they certainly on their way.
What I guess happened is that as my supplier is providing "free" postage (well with my order total the postage is a tiny amount), then so did he oddly decide to send it like 48 hour postage instead, where after all the supply estimate is already ahead of the expected 5th date. Then again maybe the delivery service is being a bit slow, when that would not be a first either,
Anyway, today I will see about pestering him for a dispatch number, but I do have a strong feeling that they will finally arrive today. Well the worst that should happen in this case is that they will be here tomorrow, when after all my supplier does not trust his packages to Parcel Force. ;-]
This slight delay is a little annoying sure, when I am looking to get my outstanding order count down to zero, but I am very certain that either today or tomorrow I will be reporting the safe delivery of this very important stock.
Well, as I said, these things tend to happen. This is why I often like with yesterday also point out the alternative case, when I have also been around long enough to know that things like this carry an error margin.
Just remember that if you are avidly checking this news page waiting for me to confirm when they do arrive, then you should hit the reload button, when I will certainly confirm arrival within like 10 minutes of them getting here. Doing this action will stop your browser from reading the old copy of this news page stored in your browser cache, which in this case would be an unhelpful feature.
Also since yesterday was a bit uneventful, then so did I update two of my web pages concerning these latest changes at NoChex and PayHound. And in case I have not mentioned it yet, then so are now both of my NoChex accounts "seller" ones, which is without the standard accounts £90 limit. Unfortunately, PayHound is still offering the service that requires me to check for new order payments several times a day, when such an account balance would cause other payments to be denied, which is why I have to quickly transfer payments from my PayHound account to my bank account.
Anyway, I will now go do some "stuff", where I will also await one most important delivery.
3rd of December 2002
Well I am sure that you will not have to look far to see that today is the big day, which I have been waiting for since back in September. Hard to believe that this little CAM has created so much fuss over these last few months, but then that is the way these things sometimes go.
So I am currently waiting around, updating my now outdated instructions for this CAM and Interface, and then doing a few other important things, when courier deliveries around these parts normally turn up at around lunch time or early afternoon. Then of course once in a while the unexpected happens and these packages turn up like the next day, which I hope does not happen in this case.
Anyway, when these do turn up, then it is time to get out my whip and bring my workers out of their usual coma-like state. ;-]
Sure to be a very busy day if things go as expected, which makes me hope that there are no interruptions. After all anything that gets in the way of dispatching orders, means that more orders leave tomorrow instead.
Once in a while I have customers asking for the FunCard4, which happens to be a card like my PURPLE card, but with a 24LC256 EEPROM fitted instead of the usual 24LC64 EEPROM.
My view of this card with the high storage EEPROM can be summed up from my discussion with another supplier, who mentioned that the FunCard4 is soon to get very popular. Now my reply to this statement was asking if there was actually firmware around that made use of that extra EEPROM space, when I have looked at this firmware and have seen vast amounts of unused space.
His answer was "no", when then truth is that everything we have seen can fit in the 24LC64 no problem, but then he mentioned that a certain card manufacturer had an agreement with a certain firmware author in order to ensure that this manufacturer sold his new card type.
And so that is the truth about the FunCard4, which is reflective of other high capacity card types, when I am sure that people who program this firmware into their cards are fully unaware of how much of this card space is used. So all I ever use myself is my own cards, when this card does all that is currently possible, but then people still ask.
I kind of see this ever larger card market as some kind of bubble, where one day that bubble will burst and people will comes to their senses.
Anyway, the news is that as suppliers have to go with the flow, then so will I soon be supporting three new card types. This will be the FunCard4 (AT90S8515A + 24LC256), FunCard5 (AT90S8515A + 24LC512) and then the ATMega card (ATMega163 + 24LC256).
So "nah nah" I will soon have the card with the biggest EEPROM capacity around, where those people who desire to fill their cards with lots of empty space, will soon have the chance to use like 1/8th of that 24LC512 EEPROM capacity.
Seems that I am just about the only supplier around who will tell you these things, but of course there will always be people out there who will really need lots of EEPROM space. Those people usually create their own firmware, instead of simply having firmware authors modify their smaller card code to use the addressing needed by bigger cards.
Well my fellow supplier friend said that the FunCard4 will soon become very popular, where some interesting market developments means that he will soon be right about that. Wait and see, when Cardman knows things before they happen,
The wait for this delivery goes on, where I will now go check to see if my bank has yet replied to my message concerning how I can pay this manufacturer for those three mentioned card types.
2nd of December 2002
I am pleased to say that I now have the news that you have all been waiting for, when only a few minutes ago was my account debited for this order total. And so to make this highly important news perfectly clear...
Now I don't think that people will miss that one, when after waiting all this time for these damned CAMs, then I feel that this news is deserving of the largest sized font possible. And all these colours took a little while to sort out, but I believe it worth it.
Well since I wish to upload this news A.S.A.P, then so will I end now.
Should you desire to check my cardman.co.uk site, if you not there already that is, then you will see that my temporary site upload problem has now been fixed. Also the Sterling version of my Order Form is now showing this month's Special Offers instead of last month's one, where it seems that I forgot to delete the old file and to rename the new upload to the correct name.
Actually, that problem was spotted by No3, who was trying to figure out how my Special Offers worked on my Order Forms, where fortunately (or unfortunately) she picked the one out of the six possible choices that was faulty.
See, she is not useless after all! ;-]
Oh I am a deceased Cardman if she sees that one, but as she seems to avoid reading this News page, then I should be ok. This is why I hope that no one points this out. Shhh, you can keep a secret can't you? ;-]
Well, in order to cover my rear end, then the truth is that since her job is a tricky one, then she has been doing well in the past three weeks that she has been working for me. She is learning fast, but one problem is that she is often going her own way without my supervision, where naturally if I do not show her how things should be done, then she won't do things the right way.
In fact this news section is an important lesson, when since it is my business policy to try and treat customers like friends, then this means that it is fine to joke with them and sometimes even wind them up. The key aspect here is knowing what is acceptable, when the last thing to do is to say something that would cause offence, which is why since I know No3, then I know that I will be alive tomorrow.
One example of what I usually do was with one of my female customers, who was trying to arrange an order for collection using the on-line transmission of my Order Forms. As I had to explain to her that it is no use adding a collection comment on to an Order Form, when only the computer would see those, when I only see them when the payment for that order has been received.
So it was an important comment that was lost amongst hundreds of other useless order forms, which makes it fortunate that I noticed her second message to this incorrect e-mail address, when simply it did not look like an Order Form.
Anyway, my point here is that at the end of this discussion I started to type "Typical woman, take my perfectly working on-line ordering system and then use it for a purpose that it was never intended!". However, after thinking about it for a couple of seconds, then I decided that it was unsuitable for the situation and wrote something else instead.
The lesson of today is therefore that if you wish to joke with someone, or even to poke fun at them, then first you have to spend some time getting to know their personality in order to establish the correct level of conversation. That reminds me when not long ago I had a short but interesting discussion with someone who had clearly been reading too much of my Global Domination Conquests page.
As look my willing slave at how your lord and master honours you by mentioning our encounter on his News page. :-]
Well the point is that people have different personalities that need to be understood, where it takes a different amount of discussion in order to find this out, Also you cannot do this work for almost five years now (without a real holiday!) without having some fun at the same time, where I know that my customers do feel more welcome due to this.
Since No3 is answering e-mail, then so does she need to learn this and to put her natural fun personality into text form, Any customer who wishes to help here by joking with No3 will be welcome to do so.
I guess I should finish on a joke, which just happens to be the World's most popular joke...
Two hunters are walking through a forest with their hunting rifles over their shoulders. Suddenly one of them drops to the ground and stops breathing, which causes his paniced friend to phone the emergency services on his mobile.
"Help, I think that my friend is dead! What do I do?" says the paniced hunter.
"First thing to do" says the female operator "is to make sure that you friend is really dead". After a few seconds of silence she hears a shot followed by "Ok, what do I do now?".
Well I guess that joke it is not that humorous, but since it was voted on by people all around the World, then that on average is the World's favourite joke. Since this site is a global one, then so does that joke seem ideally suited.
Anyway, my recent site problems are now fixed, where now you are free to order. However, people just browsing need to pay a 20p "parking fee", where those who have not paid yet can pay at the gate on the way out. ;-]
That is right, when life is all fun and games around these parts. Fluffy things, pretty colours, little cute animals and mind bending drugs. Welcome to the frontal lobe of Cardman. ;-]
1st of December 2002
If you read this news page the start of most months, then currently you will be left thinking "Another month, another Special Offer".
Nothing could be further from the truth, this month, when as from today there is not a single item on this site that is not subject to one or the other of my two Special Offers.
Could this be my most extreme Special Offer yet? Does this yet prove that Cardman is clinically insane?
Well you can certainly browse my Special Offers page and to see for yourself, where you will have until the end of January to take up these Special Offers and to make your own mind up over those two questions. Still if everyone leaves ordering until the last few days, then that would create a huge surge and dispatch delays, which is why I would recommend ordering earlier.
I should also say "welcome to December", which for most people is the month that you buy things for other people. Then in January next month, then that is the month to buy something for yourself, when those "other people" did not buy you what you most wanted. :-]
These next two months are busy times for those two reasons, which is why I am already sorting out required stock to last these two months.
As you can see I am now starting to sell the Magic Module CI CAM again, even if I am awaiting for stock to arrive, when after all that is now only a question of what day this week this stock arrives. Since I stopped selling these back in September I believe, then this queue of orders will all be dispatched within 24 hours of arrival, which as I hope means that most orders will be with their owners by the weekend.
So this new month is a good a time as any to switch this sale back on. This I guess is to generate interest rather than sell some CAMs, when after all most people would prefer to see this stock arrive first.
Since I spent the last few days checking CAM prices on a couple of dozen other UK supplier's site, then so do I know that mostly everyone has merged around this new price, where my new price is really matching the lowest rival price in the UK. And so unlike beforehand now us suppliers can make some profit, when previously profit margins were getting very thin.
In fact when suppliers wish to offer the lowest price around by exceeding all other supplier's prices, then this can be a bad thing for suppliers at least. When after all as August and September proved two (or more) can play at that game, which is why prices sharply fell.
So to now find prices stable is a pleasing thing to see, when now all suppliers can sell CAMs and make profit.
Still we know what I think of profit, which is why every item on this site bar none is currently on Special Offer. That concerning the above item I can foresee as a problem, but then why should I have Special Offers for the other 100+ items and not that one.
Well we shall soon see what happens here, when for the next two months every order with an item total of £100 or more (like with the MAGICKIT) will come with two free wafer cards. Still if you don't want the MAGICKIT, then any item total of £100 or more would qualify equally as well, but of course I also have my £50 single card level.
Since it is a new month, then so have I just updated my two main currency rates again. This means that first thing Monday morning my rates will still be valid, but then during the week the market rate is all over the place.
Due to my unusual Special Offer, then I had to write some new code in my four Order Forms, where it currently appears to work perfectly fine, but then there could also be an unlikely exception. The only thing to watch out for is that you have to select the destination zone before my first Special Offer will appear, when after all it works on the Sub-Total and back-tracks to remove Postage and any AP8T2 sales.
Well since I am sure that my customers will be pleased by my Special Offers over these next two months, then there is two whole months left in order to take advantage of them.
It seems that my cardman.co.uk hosting is suffering a hosting problem, which is preventing me from uploading these December changes. Even worse is that I discovered this problem following the deletion on an important site file, when the new replacement file could not then be uploaded.
And so if you visit my cardman.co.uk site now, then apart from lack of this December update, then some important functions are missing. As do you see Euro and US Dollar prices? When I don't think so.
Also if you look even closer, then the ability to translate my site into 27 other languages is now gone as well, when both these functions share the same currently missing file. Lucky that my Euro and US Dollar Order Forms handle their own currency calculations is it not?
It is interesting that any site file I currently try to update would be deleted, when then the replacement file could not then be uploaded. Makes a very good reason not to try it until that missing file is restored fist, which also makes it fortunate that I did not queue all the new pages to be uploaded at once. Naturally, I have already sent an e-mail off to my hosting provider, where this problem should be fixed soon enough.
Anyway, in the time between then and now, then you can see what my site used to look like a year ago, when those two functions I added during my last Christmas and New Year holiday. Makes me wonder what I will do this year, when a software page, a trade page, a who is Cardman? page are all possibilities, but then maybe I could do some equally important change as I did last year.
This also reminds me, that since it is December, then I will have to break out last years Christmas based animated GIFs (pictures). And maybe I will have a browse around and see if there is any other "cool stuff" that I can make use of.
Well one issue at a time, even if I have so much important work to do at this time that I keep changing from one job to another in some kind of circle. This all related to the current update of my accounts, when restoring back together a year's worth of data is no small task. For example it has taken me three days so far to reorganize my Stock page into a system that can handle many more items, where the input of all stock received in this time is now mostly complete, except that I keep finding a few things what are not how they should be.
Oh well one final stock count in January should find out what it should read, when it is then a question of making my Stock page read those same values.
Naturally, I have tons of other work to do, when I have seen that No3 still has some things to learn about processing orders. And so checking half of what she has done this past week took me all of Saturday, where I will soon have to spend another solid day to do the other half. Well I will see about giving her some other work to do within the next few days, which will allow me to catch up with her.
Well there is tons more to mention, like that this December update took me most of Sunday to make perfect, but I expect that you have the idea now.