R.I.P., my Mio c310x…

sniff, sniff…

Good bye, Mio c310x…

My Mio is dead.  Well, sort of.  This weekend I turned it on and the touch screen wasn’t working.  I did a soft reset, no dice.  I did a hard reset and no luck.  Everything else seems to work, and the buttons make sounds, so I called into Mio Tech Support.

Their call center is outsourced to the Phillipenes and I got a nice girl on the phone.  We tried some things and she said the last thing to try was to make sure it was charged all the way and do a hard reset.  If that didn’t work, she said I can do an RMA for it.  She asked me when I bought it (it is just a little over a year) and she asked if I had the original receipt and I said I did and she said that was good and they would replace it under warranty.  Or that’s what I thought she said.

So I called back because the charging of the unit didn’t make a difference, (c’mon, you and I both know that wasn’t going to help) and I called back.  I got another guy who’s English wasn’t as good as the other person and he said that it couldn’t be replaced since it was out of warranty and I can send it in for a repair fee of $100.  Holy geez, that’s a lot.  I told him I needed to think about it

$100 seems like a lot considering what I paid for the unit and since you can get even  more advanced units now for just a little over $100.  I’m not sure what I am going to do.   I might call back in and see if a different  rep tells me something different.

Related but different, when I called in about our Harmony remote breaking, it was about two months outside of warranty, (I didn’t know but they kept track when I signed up for my account) and they gladly sent me a warranty replacement.  Now that’s customer service and they made me a customer for life.

you gotta have a tool box

So, I’ve been settling in at my new job.  I love it.  The company is great, the people I work with are great, and everyone wants to work hard and I feel appreciated.  It’s cool.

But in my six months off in between jobs, I’ve learned some things.   Sure, I’ve read Getting Things Done and tried to put the methodology in place, but with most things, I want to use a tool; either web based or an application.  Sure, I also have a Moleskine, but I consider that a portable utility.

While I was off, I did some contracting, or perhaps consulting is the better term.  I needed a new set of tools to help me be successful.  Now, what I learned and have used is helping me in my new job.  I wanted to write about some of them.

Here’s a quick list of my current toolbox:

Remember the Milk is a slick web app that allows you to keep track of todo items and assign them a context to them, a due date, tags, and keep up with recurrences.   I like it since since RTM has a Twitter account, so if I got to add a todo item quickly, I can send a direct message to rtm via IM and it ends up in my inbox to be processed.  I can even do it via SMS so I don’t have to be around a computer to put those distracting thoughts in their place.  The site is slick, well done, thought out, and sort of fun to use.  I am considering upgrading to a Pro account.

IWantSandy isn’t a porno site.  Rather is is a PIM that is interactive.  I don’t use it much but I do find it handy every once in a while.  For example, I used it today.  IWantSandy also has a Twitter account, so you can direct message Sandy with commands.  Today, I direct messages Sandy via IM like this:

d s remind me in seven days to email Doug about lunch

To which Sandy replied:

Merhaba, Jpabian!

I scheduled this for you:
Thu, 5/29 2:54pm Email doug

  • email and sms reminders at 2:54pm
[ Archive ]
[ Forget ]
[ Mark to-do ]
[ Download ]

Here when you need me,


FYI: If you need help, just ask: help

So now I don’t need to think about it and I get a remind to do it.  And if you follow the GTD methodology, you know this will take less than two minutes and I can fire off an email to Doug.  Pretty handy.

PBwiki is simply a personal wiki site.  I like being able to get to it from anywhere and I have a place to keep thoughts, notes, contact info, and other random tidbits of information.

Both Thinking Rock and iGTD are pretty cool apps to help manage a ToDo list within contexts and projects.  I was first using Thinking Rock, but found the integration with Mail.app with iGTD to attractive to resist (I found iGTD2 not quite ready for Prime Time).   If an email comes to me, while I am on my Mac, I can simply hit F6 and that email is put into iGTD.  Then I can process it and put in the right context.  It’s really been helpful for me.

I also like Thinking Rock.  There is a little learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really powerful.  You can also keep your .xml file on a thumb drive and use it on any system, (Thinking Rock is a java app and cross platform).

If you got others I missed, please let me know.  I know that in the past, I changed my time management / todo list proceedures around a bit, but this so far seems to be the most successful way I’ve come up with.

life is good

It still hasn’t really sunk in yet.  I am still in a state of disbelief.  Oh sure, maybe it’s because it is something new or maybe the romance hasn”t worn off yet… whatever it is, I am happy.

I got a new job.

I started last week and it’s been a great experience so far.  The environment it very pleasant, the culture fits me fine, and the people I work with are really great.

While my new role doesn’t have anything to do with social marketing, there is a lot of networking that goes on.  I’m not saying there are back room deals afoot, more so it is good to have friends and allies in high places.

Other good things are that I now am rocking a new MBP.  I got Parallels, and I am installing CentOS (this minute) under Parallels to try to run some proof of concept type of things.  I am glad I kept my skills sharp and learned many new things while I was between jobs.

As I said, life is good… and this post is lame.  I hadn’t posted much in a little while.  I was trying to keep it quiet about my new job.  I really didn’t have a good reason, but I wanted to make sure it was real before making it public.  I know that may sound weird.

Other than that, tonight I am fighting a cold so I am going to bed early.  Thank you to all of you that helped and supported me while I was between jobs.  And thank you to those who put in a good word for me.