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Cardman
3 Elmstone Close
Maidstone
Kent
ME16 8DQ
United Kingdom


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23rd March 2001

My huge amount of GOLD cards arrive today, which was nice and fast for the delivery company at least.

And I can confirm that these new cards are Gold in colour, which I was not expecting when this manufacturer said that they would be white. However I guess that they changed their mind when I said that Gold coloured ones were worth more to me, but only hinting at this colour change just before dispatch was a little odd.

Also once I have finished implementing lower cost GOLD cards, which should prove very popular, then I have a choice to have other card types made.

The most simple change is to have these GOLD card types also made in any design that I wish, but I have yet to decide just what it is that I do wish. What I mean that that the old Galaxy type looks nice, but this design could be better. However having cards made to a seasonal theme would be going too far, when these are expensive cards.

So having thousands of cards made to look different, will certainly improve on boring old Gold look, but exactly what new design has to be decided very carefully. And for newbies I should point out that whatever any new card looks like, this would still be a fully compatible GOLD type card (just like these white coloured GOLD cards I provided around Christmas).

Following that desired addition, when I could support both Golden GOLD and nice design GOLD, then I could move to having a totally new wafer card type made.

And top of my list in that respect is to make use of the new PIC16F628 microcontroller, when this chip is also a "flash" reprogrammable type, which when in my hands would certainly be one large step towards making even the GOLD card obsolete.

Well before I go ahead with that new wafer type first I need to figure out what the ideal configuration would be. And to start some interest in such a card type it would be an idea to provide some PCB versions first.

Anyway as I already hear some people drooling over the PIC16F628, then that would certainly make a fine addition to my cards page.

Moving back to the present then currently I am testing a large quantity from this massive amount of GOLD cards, which is to see if they match the quality level I specified. And although I still have a long way to go, no faulty cards yet found is a good sign when I would expect no more than one faulty card from my entire test group.

For note my GOLD card failure level since September currently stands at a very low 0.2%, which I certainly intend to see gets no higher. When in the past the general low quality production of GOLD cards stood at an average of 7% (14 times my current failure level), which is why I was pleased when low quality production died in May and was later replaced with higher quality production.

And so even when my price soon drops when the last of my existing GOLD stock is sold, those of you looking for the lowest GOLD price around should not overlook card quality.

I suppose before I end, then I should mention that since September my P8416 card quality can be no better, when out of all these thousands of hand made cards sold there has never been a single faulty one reported. And as they look nice as well then I for one am extra pleased with them.

21st March 2001

Well it is getting kind of boring around here currently when everything is working as it should. As no sudden 5 tims demand increase, no missing parcels, and no suppliers failing to provide items (well except for PA2), then lack of these headache causing events makes my time uneventful.

And with very few customers outstanding then there is little need to update my site nearly as often. However I have to do this sometime, when I know that longer than a week gives some odd people the idea that I have died or something.

As with most days recently the only orders I have here at this very moment are those from today and 3 orders from yesterday. And those orders would have left today had not today been a Wednesday. As unfortunately on all Wednesdays my local Post Office closes at 12:30, which means that the day is not long enough when some of today's orders were delivered at lunch time.

The only news I can think of is that my second large GOLD card batch finally was dispatched to me today, which even missed the second quoted dispatch date. However as they are now on their way then this is very good news, when my stock level is soon to become high, and I will soon be able to lower my price.

One new piece of information is that these cards may be gold in colour when I was expecting them to be white. And although this would be extra good news I am still awaiting confirmation of this.

Still as this new manufacturer is now known to be slower than expected, with quoted dates easy to slip, then I will remember to allocate extra time when I next come to restock.

Also one unusual piece of good news is that I could soon own a second site as a backup to this one, but no extra details will be provided until that process has been completed.

Recently some people have said that my restocking message for GOLD cards still can be seen on my cards page, but as this is certainly not the case then I recommend hitting refresh followed by clearing your cache. As I confirmed that it was removed back on the 11th, and I recently confirmed that it was still gone.

And finally my new franking machine is to be with me in two to three weeks, when it has now been ordered. As after spending valuable time trying to find out information on a dozen models I was still limited to two. And so after all that I picked the very first model I saw, and who were nice enough to be the only ones to send me further details.

Anyway that is the hardly eventful news for today, which means I should be back next when this large GOLD card batch arrives hopefully on Friday.

14th March 2001

New ALIEN programmers arrived yesterday as expected, which means that the few delayed orders have already left.

Today the other half of my GOLD cards turned up, which means that once again every item you see here is in stock in suitable numbers.

Also to complete the set then there is also good news on my GOLD cards from Taiwan, when these are due to be dispatched to me tomorrow. This means that these new cards could be here before the weekend, that is if customs do not slow them down.

These new cards if they meet my required quality test will prove extra popular when I could offer much lower prices then I do now. And these would be on sale once my current stock is sold.

I will see if I can have these cards coloured gold later on, when for now they would come in the default white.

Also now I am more in the card production area then I was thinking about having some higher quality Galaxy II cards (PIC16F84 + 24LC16B) made. As when I last sold those they used to out sell GOLD cards, which was due to being the better card even if they cost slightly more.

Unfortunately as other suppliers did not exploit their advantages, then my most popular card type was discontinued without my approval (in fact I strongly protested against this). However now that Cardman is in charge then seeing my Galaxy II card type again would be possible, and with much lower prices as well now.

So I will have to give that some serious thought, when I last sold them they proved twice as popular as GOLD cards. And that is certainly saying something, being at least with me a card more popular than the hugely popular GOLD card.

Now in the tradition of Galaxy cards they have always exceeded GOLD card quality. And although that was mostly due to the old GOLD card type just being low quality, I can say that my old Galaxy cards have never had these thermal problems.

Anyway if I do decide to have these made then that would only be after my new GOLD card support was complete, when my new prices will even have trade customers very interested.

Finally, as I have now tracked down these leftover orders, then as they did not go far I soon found them. And as they were mostly post-correction orders, then later tomorrow I could well have no orders at all left to dispatch.

Well that is except for problem orders, which although now down to three their owners will have to be reminded that their order is not quite correct.

And so things are still running well enough, even if No1 has not been felling very well recently. Everything in stock (including ELVIS) and mostly all orders are still leaving same day or next day (even if payment is by cheque).

12th March 2001

Today, as Monday is never a good day to receive orders, then I spent most of the day marking off completed orders on my database.

This process takes many hours due to my large number of customers. And all these order forms seem to use up storage box files at an ever faster rate, which also means that I am overdue getting the new shelving to put them on.

Anyway excluding today's new orders then my yet uncompleted order count stands at the very low total of 11.

Four of that eleven are "problem" orders, which are usually awaiting correction by their customer owners before they can be completed.

One of the remaining seven is one order already fully completed except for one special item, which I will get in when I have the time.

And finally the last six are awaiting dispatch, where two of that six are awaiting ALIEN, because they were unlucky to not get one of my last batch now all gone.

However as some of my next ALIEN batch was dispatched to me today, then these two day delayed orders could well leave tomorrow.

Now the last four orders I currently have no idea where they are, when that I will be looking into tomorrow.

The two from this month are sure to soon turn up, when they should be around here somewhere. However the one order from January and another from February are a bit more worrying, when once you mark off everything now that is possible, then these unknown two make the unexpected leftovers.

Maybe they can be explained by simple database errors, such as completed orders not correctly marked off. However until I locate their order forms then they could also be lost and not completed.

Still that problem can often occur after having hundreds or thousand of orders outstanding. As then when completed there is always the low error factor.

Anyway tomorrow I will spend a very long time trying to find out where they are, which is where a nice sheet of A4 can greatly help, while orders on tiny pieces scrap paper or on backs of envelopes makes this job close to impossible.

Still in all these 11 orders show that I really have nothing really delayed here, when today's orders and the delayed two could and should leave tomorrow. And so new orders are still leaving very fast, which is a good way to avoid this error problem in the first place.

11th March 2001

As my first of two GOLD card batches arrived on Friday then almost all of these delayed orders received during this restocking time have now already left.

This was a day later than expected on the second attempt, as my supplier of these did not have my ordered quantity in stock. This means that even now only 60% of my order has been received, with the other 40% to soon follow.

There is not good news on my second GOLD batch either, when the purchase agreement included that these would be delivered within 7 days from receipt of my payment. And as those 7 days have now passed with no cards to be seen, then this is now a problem.

Apparently now this manufacturer claims that I am wanting a new card type, when the specified and agreed "PIC16F84 + 24LC16" card was talked about all along for the past two months. And this manufacturer previously claimed that this card type was already made and very popular.

So it is not at all pleasing that now this manufacturer seems to want to send me PIC16F84A based cards, which is a word never before mentioned by them. And as this microcontroller can suffer some problems when used instead of the PIC16F84, then I feel it is best to stick with the original instead of the imperfect replacement.

Anyway a new problem to sort out, but is it not funny how the best measure of a company is when they have your money.

Also today ALIEN went "out of stock", which is just a short restocking point. Next time I will remember to better plan stock levels before a special offer, but well I did only conceive that one 30 minutes before this month began.

Finally, as GOLD is now back in stock then the restocking message has now been removed from my cards page. However as things go when placing GOLD card supply in fantasy land, then little red riding hood has a long way to go to before the apparent safety of grandma's cottage.

5th March 2001

There has not been much to say recently, when orders are still going out fast, and the only problem item (GOLD) has not arrived yet.

The first of my two expected GOLD card batches should have been here tomorrow, but these have now been put back to hopefully arrive on Thursday instead.

My second expected GOLD batch should be dispatched to me any day now, but as these have to travel a much greater distance then when they will actually arrive falls in unknown.

However as the second batch should use a courier service then these could even be here before the first. That is unless HM Customs & Excise tries to hold them up and charge me Excise duty (and VAT) on this shipment from Thailand.

Anyway as mentioned orders are currently leaving long before the cheques clear to pay for them. That is unless people ordered GOLD cards, with either a desire to wait or just ignoring the warning on my cards page.

I see that my ALIEN offer this month will prove to be popular, when it is certainly true that I am currently selling these for less than what they cost me to buy. Just in case I will soon place an order with my supplier to buy more, but too popular and I could soon begin to regret having three offers on just one item.

Actually when I was doing changes on the 28th I noticed that during this busy month that I had not conceived of a March offer yet. This made me then think that a free P8416 card with ALIEN made a good offer.

However after thinking that I could lose money with this offer then I thought "what the hell", as if you go a little way then why not go the full way. And so I decided to add in a free SERIAL cable as well, which would be all you need (excluding the PC) to soon be up and running.

And finally, as I did not like having to charge people more then what this new programmer replaced anyway, which explains why I knocked off an extra £2 as well.

Anyway there no stock problems on that item, when new orders have already left. And although it will be interesting to see how much money I lose, I am already giving even more money back in credit notes due to other recent price changes.

Apart from stock issues I am now once again looking into obtaining an Internet Merchant Account to plug-in to my existing Payment Gateway, but even if it is third time lucky it would still take a while to sort out.

And to avoid any crazy (and unjustified) excuses like last time I will soon adjust some on-site information to avoid giving them the wrong idea, when all my items are fully legal, morally valid, and if not misused would not be against anyone's copyright.

Well hopefully that will do it, when it has already been shown once before that these people can reject your application just because they feel like it. And once again all these problems prove why I have always disliked this very commercial payment system.

Also this change will mean that it is time to get my terms and conditions on-line, which is of course required by this service.

The only other thing is that one day in the future I will have to move to a new larger house, when my current location is just too small for my current and future business expansion.

Normally I dislike removing money from my business for personal use, but as this really counts as a required business expense (try telling that to the tax man) then it seems fair enough.

This required drain of business funds will be done slowly, which means that there should be no adverse business effects. That is apart from new items taking slightly longer to appear, which should not be a problem.

Anyway when I do move I will make sure that two extra rooms are provided, with one for "work" and the other for "stock".

Also at that time I would reconsider allowing phone contact, when my current location cannot support three phone lines. Also having thousands of customers all around the World would create a nightmare phoning day and night and annoying my family.

However a new house with an allocated work area would changes things, which could make controlled phone contact possible. And that is one of many reasons why some spare business funds are now being saved.

And finally I will soon change around my email system slightly, which is to off-load more of my own work and to help speed up email replies.

This changed would place the HelpMe address in the hands of No2 while a new email address would be created to handle the technical issues that No2 currently cannot.

That would then work much better when No2 already handles many of these common questions, while I can then spend more time on the management aspect. That is of course what really keeps my business moving, and can cause problems when I do not have time to do everything.

Anyway more news when it exists.

1st March 2001

Well as March is now here then check out my new Special Offer. Also I have done a couple of price changes, and finally added one of my three new cards.

Anyway time to play spot the changes, but don't forget to read yesterday's news if you have not done so yet.