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Cardman
3 Elmstone Close
Maidstone
Kent
ME16 8DQ
United Kingdom


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30th of October 2001

After being out of stock of GOLD2 cards for almost 2 weeks now; I finally have good news when I received no manufacturer feedback on this unusual delay until yesterday.

This lack of feedback included; not cashing my cheque for these two weeks, and my e-mail requesting an order status update went unanswered for days. Only after both phoning and faxing this manufacturer did they then answer my e-mail.

However it was annoying when phoning just after 2pm they said everyone was out to lunch (must be long lunches) and that they would phone back, but in the end no one ever did. Still it was fortunate that they did instead answer my e-mail or else today I would have stopped selling them, which would make the first ever item in a long time when the delivery date could not be estimated to be within my allowed two weeks.

Anyway, the restocking delay problem is exactly that they will have to make more cards to complete my order, when these cards are made in vast amounts to complete even the largest trade orders for months. The good news from this is that, near the end of this week they will send me 56% of my order from the last of their previous batch. This means that I can dispatch all orders for GOLD2 cards the end of this week or the start of next week.

The remaining 44% will then be dispatched to me when available, but if this will takes days, weeks, or even months, is then currently unknown.

Apart from this new orders from the past week have been put on hold, when after spending time doing No1's work I then moved into the few days when my VAT return form had to be dispatched.

Unfortunately from Sunday this has taken two and a half days of hard work to complete, when my accounts needed checking and updating to ensure that I paid the correct amount. As this was completed just in time this afternoon, then orders received from the 25th onwards will be processed tonight, and all except orders for GOLD2 cards will be dispatched tomorrow.

My next VAT return form event in January will be a killer one, when both VAT and Income Tax returns will be due on the same day. As this last year took me a whole week, then I could well have to close my business for the last week of January.

However, as VAT returns each three months now keep my accounts in better shape, then hopefully this year will not be as bad. Still as the Income Tax forms are a total maze of confusion, then it will certainly not be a quick event.

Anyway, as tomorrow Customs and Excise will get my VAT return and large payment, then these busy few days each third month is now over. The only thing I have seen from this is that some completed order forms filled up a boxfile in just 19 days in September, which means that it won't be many months before I will need yet more shelving to store my boxfiles on.

The only other thing is that as GOLD2 cards until recently could have taken a while more to arrive,. then recently I have dispatched some older orders with higher value GOLD cards instead. However all orders under two weeks old when I mentioned these were out of stock will have to wait until more arrive the end of this week.

Well to sum up this news then GOLD2 cards will be here in just a few days time, and all delayed orders from the 25th onwards will be processed tonight and dispatched tomorrow, except orders for GOLD2 cards of course.

Anyway, after unusual restocking delays on my most popular two items, then a fast dispatch for all orders should resume when more GOLD2 cards soon arrive.

25th of October 2001

I can confirm that ELVIS has now...

ARRIVED

Well I did not want you to miss this important fact, when I certainly have loads of them right here. :-]

Most pleasing of all is that while many other suppliers will be out of stock I now have enough to last until early December, but as demand should be high in November then we shall soon see.

The bad news today it that No1 who gets orders ready for dispatch is most ill today, which could not have been on a worse day if you had picked the worse day possible, when there are many delayed orders to dispatch today.

As that is now the priority, then both myself and No2 will be mostly stopping all the things that we mostly do in order to dispatch orders today and tomorrow. So this means that other important things like new order processing and dispatch will be put on hold until Monday.

Not at all pleasing, but I had better go start dispatching orders.

Finally, today remind me why I much dislike unauthorised callers, when any customer interruption today will cause a dozen orders to be delayed another day. So as there is no arranged orders for collection today, then any callers will only be interrupting very important work.

24th of October 2001

Well it seems that my new ELVIS batch will be here tomorrow and not today as I very much expected.

This is due to the fact that when my supplier tried to charge my Debit Card yesterday the transaction was rejected. And when I asked him to confirm dispatch last night I received a reply this morning that this rejected transaction must be due to lack of available funds or a limit on my payment card.

As I already know that more then double the required funds was available at the time, and that there is no limit as long as you have the funds available to pay for it, then I soon phoned my bank to see what was going on.

Soon enough they was able to confirm the transaction attempt. And while I certainly did have the required funds in my account (even my bank is not too clever), this transaction was indeed rejected. And after a while I soon began to find out why.

For it seems that my business account (and all business accounts) have a £6000 limit for unauthorised transactions. As any transaction above this value then needs the supplier to phone their authorization service in order to authorize the transaction, and to naturally confirm that the required funds are available of course.

So from what I found out this payment was rejected because no authorization check was recorded by the transaction system. And the most likely cause of this was that no authorization check was done by this supplier before he had tried to debit this fee.

Therefore the exact reason why it was rejected was because no authorization confirmation preceded the transaction attempt.

This has not been a problem with this supplier before, which is due to the simple fact that his debit machine until now did not allow enough digits in order to charge the full fee in one go. So only since he has upgraded his transaction system in order to debit such a large fee in one go did this problem arise.

In all this was very silly of him, as I pointed out to him today. For all he needs to do is either to phone the visa authorization service to authorize the transaction, or to debit the fee in several smaller transactions.

So provided that my supplier figures out how to correctly use his own payment system, then my largest ever ELVIS batch will depart today and arrive tomorrow. And as this batch is all ready sitting in another country ready to go, then I am going to make damned well sure that he does dispatch it today.

Well anyway I thought you should know that due to no fault by myself my largest ever ELVIS batch will now be here tomorrow.

And finally, as I have just checked my on-line bank account, then I can now confirm that my available funds have just decreased by the exact amount for this order. Proof enough that ELVIS will "enter the building" sometime tomorrow, when my supplier has just charged my Debit Card.

Now I just have to find out why my GOLD2 card manufacturer still has not cashed my cheque, when it seems that these days I have to beg suppliers to take my money.

Latest News...

My ELVIS supplier has now confirmed safe receipt of the payment, and that my order has now been dispatched. This means that provided that the courier service TNT can find out where I live (I see no reason why not), then they will be here tomorrow for certain.

I will naturally update this news page as soon as they arrive, but as this will be a very busy day for myself, then I very much expect this news to be quite short.

This longer than expected restocking delay is now very close to ending, but best of all almost every delayed ELVIS order should be with their owns by this weekend. Well that naturally depends on where they live and the postal service, but you should know what I mean.

As this supplier has now given me feedback on what I also mentioned above, then it seems that this authorization problem was not his fault, when he uses an on-line system providing an automatic authorization request for every order.

So for some reason either this authorization request never occurred, or it got lost on the way to my bank, when as mentioned above my bank certainly never received it. And so in the end it could well be the fault of the visa people, when this is not something that should occur in any realistic payment service.

Or I guess that my supplier could be telling me porkies to hide his own mistake, but if he entered the correct card details, then the facts seem to support that he done all that he should have.

22nd of October 2001

At last I have some good news today.

My supplier and manufacturer has just confirmed that my largest ELVIS batch ever will be dispatched to me for sure tomorrow, which means that they will be here a day later on Wednesday. This means that depending when on Wednesday they arrive all delayed orders will be dispatched between Wednesday and Thursday.

So all the people awaiting stock to arrive can now order, but naturally new orders will go to the back of this short queue. Anyway time to pity the postman for these couple of days, when due to this two to three week delay a whole load of orders will be going out.

And so my delayed order queue should hopefully be empty by this coming Friday.

My GOLD2 card stock ran out on Friday last week, but these have already been on order a few days longer then that. However one slight aspect of concern is that this factory has not cashed my cheque yet, which is usually a good sign to when my next batch will arrive.

Anyway, as the manufacturer of these wafer cards has always been fast so far, then more cards should soon arrive if they bother to cash my cheque first or not.

Well due to both these expensive orders getting debited from my bank account at the same time, then I hope that my bank manager does not die of shock. Although since my bank started charging me to see my bank manager, then I have no idea who that is these days.

Well if I did know who they were, then I would remind them that you have to spend money to make money. That is why Cardman will be the number one place to come to for ELVIS programmers until December, when a lot of other suppliers will be out of stock. And no doubt soon I will have to order more for December, when you have to plan four weeks ahead these days.

The only other stock issue is that I ran out of sockets for my PCB cards, which meant that I had to order more, and that order arrived today. So these few orders delayed only one or two days should depart tomorrow.

Recently I upgraded this computer (workstation2) to a new version of Windows, when my 98 system was getting a bit old. And despite a few problems it has been pleasing so far, when this new o/s has not totally crashed on me yet.

As I upgraded my MS Office programs at the same time, then just today the new version of Word wasted three hours of my valuable time. When trying to print out these address labels proved a lot more difficult then importing an older version file type. As after spending about 30 minutes finding where the mail merge option had got to, these addresses only printed on the label sheet in the wrong locations.

And even after rebuilding a new label sheet from the start, with very exact dimensions, only then made things worse.

After lots of testing and a second total rebuilding, I did then manage to print the addresses in the correct locations, which in all was so strange that I have not yet figured out what was exactly going wrong in the first place.

Hopefully there will be no more surprises with this software upgrade, when this is now the second upgrade of many in order to make my network more reliable.

Anyway, when these two largest ever batches of ELVIS and GOLD2 soon arrive, then I will be with enough stock of my most popular items until I will be needing more in December.

19th of October 2001

As my awaiting ELVIS batch did not arrive on the previous four possible days this week, then they will certainly have to arrive today in order to prove my suppliers claim that they would be with me this week.

Given the odds, then that would be more in the region of possible, when it is not uncommon for suppliers dates can slip a little. Anyway if they don't arrive today, then Monday or especially Tuesday seems most likely. I say Tuesday when if my supplies works hard this weekend and dispatches this large order on Monday, then they would certainly be here Tuesday.

And when they do arrive, then at least I will have enough to last until the start of December, which I guess is fortunate when over three weeks ago, when I ordered this ELVIS batch, the delivery time was stated as "some delay". As some time after that it changed to "3 week delay" and as of today it now stands at "4 week delay".

This means that before November starts I will oddly have to order more ELVIS programmers in order for them to arrive before I run out in early December, which is due to this now month long ordering delay. And as December and especially January is not unknown to suffer a 500% demand increase, then ordered batches to arrive near the end of this year will have to be titanic.

Sure this delay is annoying, but when the only manufacturer around moves from some delay to a three / four week delay, then there is squat all that I can do about it. And if you check back to the news the day before I ran out of stock, then I clearly said that those who cannot wait the restocking time should not order.

Ok so this is taking longer then I expected, mostly due to this lengthening delay time, but you cannot go against universal laws or sole manufacturers.

And so due to that warning, and my Out of Stock mention on my programmers page, then there should be no valid reason for customers to moan except that it is annoying having to wait this long. That I cannot agree more with, when due to some people with my full support not placing an ELVIS order, then currently I am losing about £2500 a week in gross income.

That personally does not bother me at all beyond facts and figures, when my main concern is getting these ELVIS programmers here for the people who have ordered.

And while my largest ever ELVIS batch could be here today; I will very soon cover the other option by seeing if this manufacturer can dispatch me whatever he can, at whatever cost, as soon as possible. Hopefully he has already dispatched this order, but time to take action if he has not.

Well whatever way I am sure that they will be here soon enough, when as it has now passed three weeks ordering delay (just over 2 weeks for out of stock), then much longer and I would be exceeding this manufacturers latest delay time for brand new orders.

And at least I will soon be much better off then some suppliers, when them coming to reorder these programmers will now, partly due to my massive batch, be facing getting their next batch a month later. This I guess is why I have already had some traders wishing to buy some of my largest ever batch at trade prices before they arrive, but after doing that and running out early with my last batch then I would need a very good reason to do so.

So I will soon expect to see other traders putting up Out of Stock signs one by one, but be warned that not all traders show that they are out of stock when they are.

Moving on to other things, then some of you may notice that I have done some site changes.

To begin with then my currency converter has now been updated with the latest currency rates again, but while I do not often mention this event I am sure that the Turkish Lira has short up by 15% in the last month. One good reason why if I am sent this currency that I convert it to sterling as soon as possible.

Next I have improved the information on the Ordering Details page, including the new section on UK customers who wish to do a direct transfer to my bank account.

The Order Form information page also had an update, including two new yet rare problems that a few customers have encountered using my automatic Order Form.

I expect the most noticeable change is that the GOLDMATE card copier I have now renamed to GOLDCOPY, which was done for varies reasons that will soon become obvious if all goes to plan. And that could even soon include an available upgrade for this model to include support for the new Silver cards (PIC16F876/7 + 24x64).

And before I forget my UPS has now arrived, which was sooner then I had expected. As when your supplier's free delivery option quotes 3 days, then you don't expect to see it arriving the day after dispatch. So anyway my server and fax machine is now covered against power cuts by a large battery with microcontroller and attached LEDs, but I will soon add my cable modem to this list.

Also as this equipment power drain in total is below the minimum 20% recordable value, then maybe I will get a long power lead and connect this computer to it. As while there is no major need to do that, when important events are recorded during the process, the current UPS quoted 220 minutes battery backup time sounds a bit too much.

Still I did get a 1500 VA model to actually last a while in a power cut. And this is just the first of my server upgrades to make it the most reliable computer here.

Well anyway, as the day is still young, then I will keep my fingers crossed for an ELVIS delivery today.

16th of October 2001

Fortunately my server was restored to life on Sunday, but this time it is running a modern Windows version instead of Linux. This means that while the server offers printing and cable modem Internet access it no longer provides strict network control.

And so since Monday most orders delayed due to this problem have now been caught up with, with half the orders received each day now leaving on the same day. Hopefully by tomorrow all orders excluding delayed ELVIS orders will depart the same day, but I will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon before I can confirm that.

One thing I overlooked with this server problem was that on-line orders using NoChex payments were delayed from Thursday afternoon and not Friday as I first said. As that was the time when No2 was starting to sort out these server faults, but as mentioned all delayed NoChex orders from Thursday and Friday departed on Monday.

As to my ELVIS restocking; then as I predicted due to my current run of bad luck this largest batch ever has not arrived yet, but at least each day that goes by is then one day closer to when they will arrive. For as I have already mentioned my supplier said that they would be here this week and I have no reason to doubt that.

So my largest ELVIS batch ever should be here between tomorrow and Friday if my supplier is to be proved correct.

The other stock issue is that my GOLD2 card stock is starting to run low again. Well that is if you count having several hundred cards in stock as "low". Anyway what that means is that I have just reordered more (another largest batch ever), but if my current stock will last until more arrive depends on trade customers who buy in large amounts.

Maybe one day I will stock enough GOLD2 cards to last more then two or three weeks, but at least with each new record sized batch the time before I have to reorder more is slowly increasing. And so unless I have a flood of trade customers wishing to buy these cards, then I do not foresee any real supply problems.

My STEALTH 2.4 Ghz video sender system is proving unusually popular at this time, which makes it fortunate that I recently got more in to increase my stock. And so if this keeps up then maybe in the near future I could offer a better price, but at least the current good news is that more people are now buying my personal second more most favourite item here. I am using one right this minute, when as it says on my start page that I only supply what I would be happy to use myself.

Nothing else to say that I can currently think of at this moment, except maybe to quote some interesting sales statistics. Anyway while I could tell you that card sales exceeded five times the total sales of my old business between December and some time last week, this I doubt would mean much to you.

Maybe I should produce nice graphs to show my ever increasing demand from customers, but for now just think that 5 times 3 years worth in 11 months is one hell of a lot of cards. What is even more impressive is that if you take this month's projected sales and spread that over an entire year, then sales would be 22.7 times that amount.

This is a good example of my not too uncommon business size expansion, when even that 22.7 times figure excludes any further demand increase. As GOLD2 cards are still fairly new (3 months old) then any projected growth would be inaccurate, but at a crude conservative guess I would expect 12 month sales increase to push this to at least 181 times that 3 year start figure.

Anyway I guess that I will find that out in 12 months from now, but it is interesting to think about those highly popular special new cards that I was selling last April and May is included in that initial 3 year total. As those alone took me three months of very hard work to sort out due to the May nightmare "problem". And now each month I am selling blank cards at 1.89 times that and much more.

Well that makes my mind boggle, when that is certainly a vast load of cards. And while I could go on about vast ELVIS sales as well, including recent recorded sized batches, I believe that you can get the idea.

13th of October 2001

Well the last two days have not gone too well for order dispatches, when only half of the orders (excluding ELVIS orders) departed on the day of receipt, while the other half left on the following day.

The reason for this is my Linux Network Server, when the technical term for what is wrong is that it is "shagged".

On Thursday No2 went and installed a third network adapter card on the server, when for some unknown reason he had the odd idea to connect No1's computer to the network. As that computer is only used to create the EU disks, then I have no idea why, but as there was no apparent problems doing this then that was fine with me.

However one annoying aspect was that he has not installed the new network cables correctly, when he has them trailing loose over the floor and walls. So that is one thing that I will make sure that he fixes, when people could easily trip over this cable. As at least when I put in the original network cable it was firmly secured and hard to notice.

I become aware of a problem later on Thursday when I had to reset my own computer due to a windows fault. As when it came time to log into the server again it become clear that the server was not there.

One strange thing was that I could still access the Internet, which was strange because the always-on cable modem is connected to the second network adapter in the server. So while the server was processing network data it then refuse to allow any direct server access, which was certainly a problem when I could then not do any printing.

After an hour I convinced No2 that there really was a server problem, when he was busy trying to configure the new computer on the network. And after lots of playing with the server he eventually fixed it, which then allowed me to print the address labels much later then is usual.

Then even later on Thursday I lost Internet access, which is not too unusual when sometimes the ISP's DNS server can break. Then even more unlikely the cable modem configuration may need updating, or the cable modem can crash.

However after checking the data graph then things were a bit unusual when data was going out with no reply at all. And from my local testing program a "1st local router" fault sounded very much a problem with my local server.

This suspicion turned out to be true. As after a couple of hours of playing with the server No2 then told me that it was the firewall software removing valid services, which meant that No2 had to put them back in.

In all this was more annoying when also during this time I was downloading almost 1Gb of Video CD quality MPeg data, which just happened to be an episode of my favourite TV series. As this was kind of the most important episode in the last 3 years and I was not about to wait until after next year for this recent US broadcast to come to Europe.

What I mean is that movie files do not like to have their downloading interrupted, when this can often corrupt a very small part of the file. And that it certainly did, when although it plays fine, it not uncommon in such a case that the play time bar ends long before the video file does.

So at this moment I have about quarter of this 82 minute double length episode, which I was downloading at about 120kbps. Sure my cable modem can do up to 512kbps (256kbps minimum bandwidth), but who can complain when this was well above my old 44kbps dial-up v90 link.

Unfortunately the firewall software for some unknown reason kept blocking Internet access each few hours, which was disconnecting my background downloading along with every other Net access. And as each time it took like an hour or two to fix, then this was most annoying when I had things to do.

No2 seemed to fix this problem Thursday night when it worked fine from before midnight to about 04:30 before it broke again.

Now it was No2 who this time spotted the problem early on Friday, when first I saw of it was when No2 was trying to boot the server from a floppy disk. And as he oddly could not find a DOS boot disk, then before I could do anything else I made him one.

Although I had little idea what he was doing I was more then a little concerned when he started to reformat the hard disk. And after getting an explanation he said that the drive had lost integrity.

Not being a Linux expert myself I first thought that the hard disk was faulty. This would be no surprise to me when it was a conner make (a fireball type), when in the past I used to buy this make due to the low price. However as that is the last surviving conner hard disk from the four, which I had bought over a couple of years, then these days I no longer buy conner hard disks.

And in case you are interested then these days I buy Fujitsu and IBM hard disks with no problems so far.

According to No2 this Linux problem was due to the fact that Linux does not save data to hard disk straight away, when it buffers it to memory and writes it to disk when it feels like it. This then causes a problem if say there is a power cut, when then you can lose drive data. So according to No2 the fault was that the hard disk data got in a mess, which is something that Linux usually fixes on booting.

Apparently this time Linux died in a major way, which is why he was reformatting the hard disk. Personally I believe it was really to do with the third network adapter, when put it in and one day later the computer dies.

Now as in my life bad times can only get worse, then No2 did not get very far with putting Linux back on it. When first he wished to install Win98 in order to copy the Linux install files from his computer over the Network. For some reason this Win98 install did not get very far, where the most likely cause was that this install CD has kind of been around and by now is a bit scratched.

Still it was a bit unusual, but during his transferring the Linux files the other way he decided to upgrade the processor, then naturally things only got worse. No real problems with swapping the processor to a faster one, but then the computer would not even start the power on self test (POST) even with putting the original processor back in.

Well it did complete this test once with what was expected, but then it so far has never done it again.

And so at this moment I have no network server when it is currently in component sections, which is in no way helpful when I am now with no print services and confined to using my slow v90 modem. So looking back on these two days then my server has slowly died, when there is no signs of life in it at the moment.

Anyway, as losing my network server is unacceptable, when this already has delayed order dispatches, then it is time to do something about it. As even today all customer addresses had to be wrote by hand, when I could not print any address labels.

Not to mention that NoChex online orders are currently suffering the most, when due to not being able to print them out, then No2 did not hand me any of the ones received since late on Thursday for Friday dispatch. And as No2 writes like a dying spider, then it would worry me if he ever tried to hand write them.

To start to fix this, then already I have just ordered an APC SUA1500I UPS costing £378, which will certainly deal with power cuts. Even though I am sure that data loss problems will occur for other reasons, such as an unexpected reset.

Also as the server is the result of the best of the leftover hardware when the other computers get upgraded, then maybe it is time to do something about that as well. As what I mean is that this older hardware is not as stable as modern components (I can now afford higher quality), and I have never thought much of the current server case.

For example my 1Ghz Athlon system is the most stable computer that I have even owned. Well that is overlooking the months it took me to get it working in the first place, when you need the right power supply and memory, which in my early 550Mhz Athlon system I did not have. Then after I did get it working then I just upgraded the processor to 1 Ghz for what I have now.

Anyway, I was thinking that it was time to give the server a boost with the aim of reliability. As since the server is the key to my computer network, then any long point of not working is just not acceptable.

The problem here is that buying any new computer hardware, when also thinking about price / preformance, would then start any new computer system at an Athlon 1.3 Ghz. This alone would make the server the fastest computer here, when my server just does not need to be that fast when it is used for little else.

What I mean is that my server just receives data (Net or Print) and then sends it to where it has to go. When unlike what I used to do when I controlled a Win NT server No2 does not really use it as a file server (cannot even access the CD drive), which is not the best idea.

Then No2 removed the insides of my NT server (and give them away!), which was when I was using my (now broken) LapTop and my early Athlon system was not working (I gave up on it for months). Since then he had to assemble me a replacement server, which he has been looking after ever since.

Considering all that I have wrote here, and more not yet mentioned (eg only one of my three printers on my server desk is actually connected to the server), then maybe it is time that I sacked No2 from network control. Only problem is that I don't know Linux as well as No2 does, and I am not sure that it is a good idea to install the NT Server o/s again.

My other upgrade idea is that as the computer that I am using here is very stable (overlooking Win98 that is), then maybe I will put this hardware into my server, and then upgrade this computer to something better. When at least this computer would make better use of this extra power, even if it spends most of the time doing almost nothing.

So my second thought is to get one of those new dual Socket-A motherboards, which I could then fill with two Athlon XP 1500 CPUs. As with applications using both processors (including entire o/s), then such a system would really work like a 3Ghz CPU. And for an end price around £468, then this system would still be as fast as the fastest CPUs around in many months from now.

Or if I really want maximum power, then for an extra £220 on the end price, then 2 x Athlon XP 1800 CPUs would offer 3.6 Ghz like speed. However, almost doubling the CPU price for a 20% speed increase has never been good value in my view.

No doubt I will change my mind lots when I look into modern hardware, but something needs to be done about the server. And this will start with getting what I already have working again, even though No2 is doing god knows what to it.

In all kind of a shame that I did not decide that my new lazer printer should come with a network adapter. As well with a server attached, then I did not then think that I would need one.

Anyway, due to this server problem, then order dispatches could be slowed down a bit during this fix and possible upgrade. As if my computer here gets upgraded, then no order processing could occur for between a couple of hours to a couple of days, depending on how willing the hardware upgrade is.

As to out of stock ELVIS, then my largest batch ever should be here next week according to this manufacturer. Exactly what day I have no idea, when your guess is currently as good as mine.

Well considering my bad luck season, then to be here early next week would be against universal laws. As while it is technically possible I am currently not that lucky, when my good luck season ended last month.

I guess it is now time to use my slow v90 modem to update my site with this news.

9th of October 2001

As you can read this latest news, then on the left you will see my new Banners link. Clicking on this new link will soon show you eight of the nine banners that will soon be on this new page. And as this includes one banner that you have never seen before from my banner competition results, then it is certainly worth a look.

Should anyone wish to make use of my banners now, then I would be interested to know where they are put. However I am sure that it won't be long before they are soon to be found all over the place. As well if you go to any satellite group at all and search for "Cardman" or "ELVIS", then I can almost promise results.

The reason why these banners were put on-line today was that as of this morning all payments for winners was done up to the maximum point that I could currently do so. When at this moment only one of the extra banners will wait a few days for my next batch of ELVIS to arrive, as we agreed. And the majority of banners have now been paid for up to the point of spendable cash.

One interesting point of this is that I really need to change my Welcome page, when my no advertising will soon be gone for good.

As sure no advertising of my business produces a constant growth, due to my usually good prices and service, but as I know you lose customers if they are not even aware of you. While that has never been of real concern; I have seen that over the last two months I have doubled my monthly turnover due to Usenet adverts.

This when my business is already large is quite a jump, but unlike the five times increase back in January, such an increase rate is easily enough to handle. So in all you could say that I have reached a point where my popular service can handle advertising without demand increasing to extreme levels.

Well after this January I am certainly going to stock up for the start of next year, when I know that too many people browsing the Net over Christmas leads to a high January demand. So when the next January passes fine then extreme demand should hopefully be over for good, unless I do something silly like offering a great new item at an unbeatable price.

Anyway, my new advertising banners will soon be found all over the place.

Some of my regular site visitors will notice that I have not had a special offer on items over the last few months, where two of these months including this month was unplanned. This is because the special offer that I had planned for these two months could then not go ahead due to stock issues. As it is no use selling lots more if the items in question were not then available in large numbers.

To solve this problem I am now taking action to ensure massive stock for an offer next month, which to make up for recent months I will ensure is extra special. So that is why I plan on massive stock, when I am sure to sell very many more.

And as usual you will have to wait until next month to see what I am talking about.

6th of October 2001

At this moment two of the three extra banners have now been fixed, then today I have been building a Banners page, which you will be able to see yourself early next week. As naturally these creators would desire to be paid first before I start using them.

Until then I will now give you a taste of one of the banners that has been fixed, when as you can see under my careful guidance this banner is now a lot better then that still shown on my Special Offers page.

<(C) 2001, Cardman>

It is fortunate I guess that these next three did contain some faults, when it would have taken a lot longer for myself and No2 to agree had they all been this good.

Anyway, until my Banners page is up and running in a few days time, then you can see one of my new banners in action. As that is exactly how it will appear in the future (reading from the www.cardman.com site), when you can even click on it if and go to this www.cardman.com welcome page if you wish.

So my nine strong banner list will be complete once this third banner has been fixed, then a week or two later I should then have these two other banners that no one including myself has seen yet.

5th of October 2001

Today I got in the first ever order for Lithuania, which means that another £15 credit voucher was given away under my Global Domination master plan.

While I was updating my Special Offers page with this news I also added Belarus, when this country also fell to my control near the end of last month. And like usual it took me a while to find the time to add this earlier claim.

Anyway, today I have been busy with an unusually high number of orders, and then sorting out these banners with the winners.

From first looks those second three could soon well have my recommended changes done, but best of all the creator of my best banner has agreed to do two more. Actually I only asked him to do one more for extra payment, but it seems that he was so happy at winning twice that he said that he would do two new banners instead.

Well when some of those extra banners are fixed, then I will move them to a new banners page. After which all those site owners who keep bugging me for my banners can now have them, which means that I just have to display some simple HTML code for them to copy 'n' paste.

Anyway if you have not seen my banners yet then click on my Special Offers page, when well I like them. And naturally that is also where you can find further details on today's top news.

4th of October 2001

Some good news today, which is not just for myself, as you will soon see.

As expected more MPACK2 arrived today allowing these few two-day old orders to be dispatched. And while I had two boxes of the MPACK left it was a good time to increase my MPACK stock as well.

Also as I mentioned two days ago the last of my ELVIS departed yesterday, or technically today, when a couple of ELVIS orders also awaiting the MPACK2 was only dispatched when more arrived.

This means that since half way though the ELVIS orders yesterday, that any order wanting ELVIS will now go in the delay queue. For this reason if you wish the rest of your order quickly, then it is a very good idea to order ELVIS on a separate order form.

Anyway I will very soon check on the ETA of this largest batch ever. And if required, to speed it up, then I do not need enough to last two months in one go.

The other good news today is that as I pressured No2 to go though the good and bad points of each banner, then we have now agreed the top three results. And that very much does mean that on my Special Offers page you can now see the results, and in total my top six favourite banners.

Well tomorrow I will sort out payment, the usual orders, and as my usual busy start of the month is almost over, then I could well find time to get those DOUBLERs done. Well if things don't go as planned, then that single order should be gone by Monday at the latest.

Anyway, check out my new banners, when soon I will have a banners page to put them on. Sure I got a million other site upgrades to do, like my terms and conditions, translation links, etc, but one step at a time.

Maybe one day I can pay some mug to do all my work, and leave me to chat and upgrade, but who would really start working at 09:00 and even at 20:20 I still have lots more to do like "eat". Anyway I promised two days ago that today you would have the banner results, and well here they are.

Actually thinking about it then I must be a real mug, when my last real holiday was back in 1994. Sure I have had a couple of short breaks (to keep me sane), but maybe one day I can get over the idea that I can't take a holiday when I always have work to do.

My main problem is that if I do not work, then neither can my employees, which would shut my business down during this time.

Well I certainly plan to take a holiday sometime, even if that sometime never comes around. Anyway, as I have a secret weapon this time, then maybe soon I will, even if everything will stop in the process.

Anyway, next I update both sites, eat, and then get the ELVIS ETA.

2nd of October 2001

Anyone trying to contact my web site www.cardman.co.uk since early morning today should find out that this site could not be contacted. And after checking myself I see that "Destination Address Unreachable" is returned.

From a trace route it seems that C&W's InsNet's network section could well be at fault again. And if this is so then this would now be the third time that an in-between network connection by them has took down my site. This I guess is not such a good sign when these data packets are not routed to my host server by a second route.

My main problem is that while this site is unreachable, then this takes out my whole e-mail system and the online ordering. This I guess makes it a good time to see if I can break this inter site dependency.

Anyway I hope that my frequent www.cardman.co.uk visitors remember my mirror site www.cardman.com, which at least is currently working, even if this site in Texas, USA can provide a slower connection for customers in Europe. This site at least has a much more reliable network system, when I doubt this same problem could happen with that site.

That is the main reason why I have two sites, when at least now one of them is still working. However it is currently not worth bothering with on-line ordering or any e-mail contact when cardman.com routes everything though cardman.co.uk.

As I see now that was not the best idea, then it is a good time to do something about it. However as I do not wish to double the number of email addresses, then I will see if it is somehow possible to still combine them. As if I then offer 12 different e-mail addresses, then I will only have some people break my most basic e-mail rule and spam all 12 of them.

Well as I sent a fault report to InsNet then hopefully www.cardman.co.uk will soon be back. but as it is not working now then only www.cardman.com can be updated with this news.

As my banner competition is now closed then myself and No2 is currently deciding who has won this prize money, that is when we get the spare time that is. After I made my choices then No2 with no details on what I chose has also now picked his top three. And while it was pleasing to see that he picked the same three I did, he then only went put them all in a different order.

After only a short amount of discussion we have now decided on what banner has won the top prize (I hope), but at this very moment we have not yet agreed on which of these two banners has won the second and third place. So once we have fully examined the worth of each, then hopefully we can soon agree.

Out of the remaining banners there are about 3 that I may pay £50 each for. And I will soon point out the reason why the top three were clear enough winners, when this next 3 all have some small problems. So if these small faults are easily corrected as I desire, then I will certainly pay £50 each for these additional banners.

There are several other banners, but like one I can think of I do not wish to make my visitors sick. As the skill of these artists is certainly wide ranging, when some were excellent while others were not too good.

Anyway, as this competition was certainly a success, as you will soon see, then I will certainly say thanks to everyone who took part. So in only one or two days time from now I should show you these top banners, and send out cheques for between £500 and £700.

As to stock then the MPACK2 has just sold out and ELVIS stock is getting quite low. New MPACK2 should arrive within the next 2 days, but more ELVIS when ordered early last week due to a production delay could take a while longer.

Also as demand for this model has suffered a large increase, then stock is selling out a few weeks sooner then first expected. And that is also why this ELVIS batch ordered last week will be the largest ever seen.

No one buys more of this model from this sole manufacturer then I do, which is why my ELVIS batches are often larger then refrigerators. Anyway hopefully this new batch will last longer then the last one did, but then who can fault a steady demand increase.

Well that is if the manufacturer can keep up that is, when even ELVIS could be marked "Out of Stock" if restocking is ever expected to exceed 2 weeks, but at the moment there is no sign that it will take that long. Anyway for those rare people that cannot wait what is bound to be a few days delay, then now is my warning to stop buying.

ELVIS is still in stock at this second, but after tomorrow I cannot yet say.

Anyway, as stock demand increases has mostly been met, then very soon I could well support some new items. In fact I already do when my items with the code PA10 will soon be added to this site.

The only remaining problem is the one order wishing a DOUBLER, when my last batch of these have all been sold. So that means that I will have to soon find the time to build some more. The problem here is that as this will take a few hours, then what with these problems and that the start of the month is always a busy time, then that is one order that could be delayed a few days.

Well anyway as I am the sole manufacturer of this device with lots of the required components, then I just have to find the time to put them all together.

Anyway after a day of problems; I can only hope that this does not become a month of them.

More News...

My site www.cardman.co.uk is now working again, which means that so now is my e-mail system and on-line ordering.