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27th October 2000

Well for once I have some good news, for at last I have EEPROMs for my P8416 cards.

True, this was longer then I had hoped. As alas after trying to get EEPROMs from many different suppliers the results were that no one had any, or at least at suitable prices.

This delay was made worse because I put my faith in one particular commercial supplier, but only after six of my requests were totally ignored (not even responded to in their replies) did I give up with them and seek out a better supplier.

Also as I today uploaded my new start page then that reminder of how bad commercial suppliers can be seems appropriate. As at times they may seem "nice", but when you push them then they soon show their commercial roots.

On the other hand since I placed an order through a non-commercial supplier the service has been exceptional.

As explaining that I needed EEPROMs faster than light speed achieved supplier understanding. As despite that he did not have all the EEPROMs I ordered in stock, what he did have was dispatched to me immediately, which like I sometimes do was before my cheque was even cashed.

And so I quickly got some EEPROMs, which as my own delays are usually equally as small has now all gone.

Also as one of my own customer noticed my news on PIC chip price increases and included the extra, then I thought that I would be equally as nice and supply his cards with my new sockets attached. As such understanding can be rare to find these days, and well I would wish to support the idea that kindness is rewarded.

Anyway today I received the rest of my EEPROM order (still no cashed cheque) which again shows the non-commercial supplier at work, but as his estimate for these were for "end of November" then I just have to know where he found a source when I had asked most places myself.

Anyway as I now have PCBs, PIC chips, and at last EEPROMs, then that means delays with my P8416 cards are no more. And I should have all delayed orders dispatched by Wednesday. This would have been sooner, but alas I cannot make P8416 cards with one hand and fill in VAT return forms with the other.

And as my loyalties have now been adjusted then I know that my faith in non-commercial suppliers will mean that any delays that they do have will be fully understandable. I just wish some of my own customers had such understanding in order to wait out these extra restocking delays, or least wished to discuss the problem before cancelling their order, but at least I know that for each lesser customer is a better one.

Too bad that I do not have time for the same customer interaction that I used to do. As not much over a year ago anyone wishing to cancel their order would have been with my full support, if not my recommendation. As during those times lots of good customers were produced, where they could see beyond the normal customer / supplier relationship, which if you think about it is only a system for use by commercial suppliers.

Anyway before I get started again then last week I got in many more MPACK power adapters, as I have seen that they are going to be one of my more popular items. Got loads of them in other words should you need just one or almost a truck load.

The latest status of the BABY programmer I will have to check on, as hopefully my supplier has now found himself a new PCB manufacturer.

That only leaves the ELVIS programmer causing any delays, but as that is on order then all I have to do is to wait for the latest delivery.

As the ELVIS is still a new item and a more expensive one at that, then what this means is that only after three or maybe four batches of these will I be stocking enough to then maintain large enough stocks to mostly avoid all restocking delays.

 Anyway as P8416 cards are now in stock then delayed orders will soon fall to less than a dozen.

10th October 2000

If anyone has been reading my email page then they will know that all my computer usage has been on hold over the last couple of weeks due to my old laptop system suffering a total of now two major failures.

What that means here is that I have not been able to update this page before now. This also means that I now have a lot of news to catch up on.

First important item is the BABY programmer, which as you can see has now been marked "out of stock". This is because my supplier has not yet provided a date when I should receive these. And in line with my new policy the cheapest programmer money can buy is no longer being sold.

Hopefully my supplier can soon get themselves a new PCB manufacturer, as only when I next have these in stock will they be sold again. And until that day not another BABY will be sold to anyone for any reason. As I have learned the hard way that people just won't accept delays even when they have been previously informed before they ordered of "out of stock" with no fixed arrival date.

Anyway, as soon as is now possible all outstanding orders for the BABY programmer will be completed, with the BABY to follow.

As some months I believe that I am "cursed" then my usual resupply of the chips for my PCB cards has not been going well. As this time instead of the usual ordering and getting the chips a few days later, this time I got an email.

And to sum up that email is to say that you can have your chips at the end of November; and as well as we will be charging you £1 per unit more for them.

Now if I said the same to my customers then I certainly would not like the results. Thankfully unlike some items there is more than one supplier for these chips.

Therefore just today I got in some more PIC16F84 chips from a second supplier, but unfortunately at £0.80 more than what I normally pay. Now unlike my own suppliers I have taken this extra cost on to myself. However I am yet undecided if I will increase the price for new PCB card sales.

By Thursday at the latest I will have the 24xx16 chips in stock by one supplier or another. As unfortunately my request for my normal supplier to send these chips without delay has so far been ignored.

The other two items that I previously reported that I had to restock on were the serial cables and floppy disk. And this was completed the end of last month with only the serial cables having to come from an alternate supplier.

One serious matter I have to point out is people doing transfers direct to my bank account without paying my £5 automatic correction charge.

As I do not charge this fee to people without a very valid reason, then I will now tell you one example of someone who did not pay this fee. To begin with then this person transferred £55 for there order to my account without including my £5 charge.

Now as along with half of all transfers this transfer had banking costs deducted before I received it (which also occurred outside this country before the transfer here), then I can say that only £47 from this £55 was received in my account.

And that means that this customer now owes me £8 before their order can be dispatched (the bank deduction can be as much as £12), which as things go is likely to delay the dispatch of their order by at least two weeks.

Now had this person paid my fee then their order would already have been dispatched, with myself with a £3 loss, which would be made back by fees of transfers which suffer no unwelcome banking deduction.

Instead, apart with a long delay, the cost of another bank transfer this time hopefully including my £5 fee (a real mess occurs when they don't pay my fee a second time) should total at about £29 loss to them.

Therefore I can say that it is very much in the customer interest to pay this fee. As if a banking deduction occurs (you cannot stop this) then you only end up owing me that which was deducted and delaying the dispatch of your order.

The final subject is those pre-history orders from May, which after completing all the SEASON orders is now down to just 9 orders. Now 5 of those 9 have been located and are "problem orders" which are long and hard to complete, which is mostly why they were delayed until last.

As for the remaining 4 orders then I have totally no idea as to their status. As my database says that they are still outstanding, but until I locate their order forms then that could just be an accounting error.

What I will have to do is to go through all order forms from their received dates and see if I can find them, as I have already checked everywhere else that they could have been.

However as this is a massive task then hopefully anyone with an outstanding order from before June can contact me on my Cardman email address, as that would certainly help locating the status of these last 4 orders.

Now before you start to worry then just 4 out of the thousands of orders that I had to deal with I still believe is a good error margin. And you can rest assured that I will make sure that these last 4 will be eventually marked as completed.

Anyway it now won't be long before that old database is closed down and just used for reference purposes in the future.

And finally those bits and pieces received between June and August have now mostly all been completed, with the last few being dealt with when I find the time.