Peachtree Phone Support is Spendy

First, the crazy screen shot – check out the service category 😉

Coming Soon - Selection Not Available

LOLZ. Wonder how long the hold time is for "*Coming Soon*" category of support? Silly web-programmers 😉

Now for the sticker-shock price per minute:

$5 per minute - operators are standing by...

Fees:
For those of you playing the home game, that’s $5 per minute, or $300/hour. Not exactly chicken feed.

Initial Impressions:

1) A few mis-transferred calls, finally got in the right queue. Robot voicemail auto attendant asks for customer ID and then prompts for credit card number, but doesn’t give you enough time to type all the digits in. Prompts a second time – again, too short. Human attendant was actually nice.

2) Reached tech support – hold time was minimal (under 90 seconds). I was initially concerned with the thick accent on the other end of the phone, fearing that I was talking to a script zombie.  But I was pleasantly surprised that the Peachtree tech actually did have a brain. He was articulate, thorough, and found a resolution for us when the (lousy) Peachtree KB site, Google & E-E came up blanks (and no error codes in the event logs).

3) Satisfaction – The tech did all this support by phone, and at one point requested that about 5 screen shots be emailed to him, which quickly led to the ‘ah-hah’ moment. Several minutes later, back in business.

Verdict:
Expensive. But valuable. The tech resolved the issue without stumbling, faking it or sending us down dead ends that had nothing to do with the real issue. And considering that ‘payroll waits for no man’, every minute counts on a payday.

Client = happy. Day = saved. Employees = paid.

Props:
1.5 thumbs-up. I would have gone w/ 2 thumbs up, but the $5/minute stings. Still, "nice job Sage Software / Peachtree tech", spend that hard-earned money well!

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Lazy Hackers

Dear ‘hackers’ of the world;

If you’re going to try and pretend to be Microsoft and fool people into downloading your malware / IE 7, at least come up with a better domain name!

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"tierarzt-andersen.de"? Seriously? Punks! 🙂

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Windows Me – Still Alive

Filed under: Crazy Screen Shots

Spotted in the wild today – Windows Me

  • Expired Norton 2000
  • Missing 41 updates
  • No firewall
  • Connected to the internet via broadband

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Wow! Can you say "pwned"?  Sure, I knew you could!

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OWA Is Horked – Missing Graphics

From the Help Desk file…

Reported Issue: Users report Outlook Web Access (OWA) ‘looks funny’ or ‘messed up’ and is missing the graphics.  The main body says “Loading…”.

There is also no screen color, just a bunch of hyperlinked boxes with red X’s.

System: Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003 with Service Pack 2

Details: Here is a screen shot of the error condition

OWA is horked

Dead Ends:

  • Outlook Mobile Access is working fine
  • Event logs aren’t throwing any errors
  • ASP version is good
  • Restarting application pool didn’t help
  • Restarting IIS didn’t fix it either

Diagnosis: This was a permission issue. SSL wasn’t enabled on OWA

Resolution:

  1. Open IIS Manager
  2. Navigate to Server Name / Web Sites / Default Web Site / right-click Exchange / choose Properties.
     
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  3. Click on Directory Security, and in the Secure communications box, click Edit.
     
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  4. In the Secure Communications window, make sure Require secure channel (SSL) and Require 128-bit encryption are checked.
     
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  5. Hit OK, OK and Restart IIS

If those boxes are already checked, take a look at the NTFS permissions on the hard drive for the IIS folder.  And if you do have to eventually reinstall Outlook Web Access, be sure to check out Henrik Walther’s article, “Fixing a Damaged or Incorrectly Configured OWA 2003 Installation

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Crazy Screenshots – 29 Network Icons in System Tray

Ping me if you’ve seen this one before.

29 network icons in the system tray. Machine is Windows XP, SP2, fully patched, AV & AS up to date, and is only 2 weeks old:

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All icons point to the same NIC, and they all work (not screen artifacts).

Only client applications running are:

  • QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition 2008 Trial Version
  • Outlook 2003 SP3 with BCM 2003 (patches up to date)
  • Lacerte updater & the other icons in the system tray.

Event logs are clean. Wow. That’s all I can say. 🙂

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The Energizer SBS 4.5 Server

Spotted in the wild today – an SBS 4.5 server that hasn’t been rebooted in 1.6 YEARS!  Craziness I tell ya!

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System Idle Process = 14,310 hours / 24 hours per day = 596.25 days = 1.6 years.

And before you ask, yes this is a single processor box without hyper-threading.  It’s hard to believe some of these boxes are still in the wild and running.
This one was at a non-profit.  Time for a TechSoup chat :-) 

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Backup Exec Gone Wild

I just had to share this little gem 🙂

File under: Crazy Screen Shots
Program: Symantec Backup Exec  10d
Source: Job Log on backup

Original error (not the funny part):

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And here’s the funny part, in the backup log:

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No worries though… I’m gonna call Michael J. Fox and ask him to remove the overwrite protection on that B2D volume for me. 😉

How to troubleshoot BE overwrite protection issues...

(That one’s for you Chris.)

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