My experience with Spectrum (Formerly Timer Warner)

I would love to say that my experience has been like the Spectrum commercials saying they aren’t like Time Warner. Filled with happy people sunshine and big smiles. That is not sarcasm, that is actually what I’d like. Sadly, Spectrum has not only been less pleasant to deal with than Timer Warner they don’t seem to have changed in any way except negative.

My experience with Tech support

I could regale you with my accounts, but I can sum all of them up in 1 word. Awful. They wasted 3 of my work days and more hours on the phone and chat support than I EVER care to recall. All to determine that the problem wasn’t mine. That’s right, it was a network issue on their side, I over heard their network engineer explaining it to the tech. All they had to do was look at their network for 30 seconds to determine it, but in stead I spent 6 days arguing with them that I don’t need to format my computer, run antivirus, rest my modem for the 50th time, and yes I’m using a hard wire… that means I don’t need to check my Wifi settings. (as suggested)

The first tech who came to my house while nice, after spending 3 hours looking at it said “Well I can’t fix this I’m going to go now…. You’ll have to call and have them send someone better than me.” The Second tech showed up without notifying me of an appointment and closed the work order, and the Third spent 3 hours (and 3 modems) shaking his head and kept saying there was nothing wrong… and asking “why doesn’t this work?” before he called someone to look at Their side of the network.

Chat support, sigh, awful.  Phone support, grrr (if you make it through the phone tree). Yah. I got promises that were not kept, days of my life wasted, excuses and people continually looking to get rid of me to keep their times down.

Solution for Spectrum:

Stop paying your CEO $98,000,000.00 a year. Yes that is right he makes 98 Million Dollars US. He is one of the HIGHEST paid CEO’s in the country. Higher than the CEO’s of banks, software companies, pharmaceuticals, and defense contractors. (Details here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/26/business/highest-paid-ceos.html) That is enough to pay about 1,225  families about $80,000 a year. Yet they continue to raise our prices and squeeze employees (according to the employee’s that I’ve spoken too who discussed the state of things).

Higher good people and pay them enough to stay.

Provide adequate training to your people.

Stop using antiquated systems. All of the systems seem to be disconnected. They don’t seem to talk to each other. I’m told they are difficult to use. They are slow (listening to phone support say… please hold on i’m waiting for my system to pull up your information).

Stop spending a fortune on advertising about how different you are from Time Warner and start doing something different. So far, I don’t see a difference. Same price, same service (or worse), same unhappy employees… I don’t see the difference yet.

I distrust the tech support, in the last 2 months I’ve been convinced they don’t listen and don’t seem to know what they were talking about (Points in case:)

  • Trying to trouble shoot an issue as if it was a problem with my computer when it is happening on every device in my home. (PC/Mac/Android/iPhone/Linux/Other) (IE reboot your computer, disable your antivirus, clear your browser cache, etc)
  • Trying to convince me to trouble shoot my WIFI settings when I’ve made it abundantly clear I am using an Ethernet cable and can connect to the Modem login screen.
  • Telling me that DNS cannot be used to filter web traffic.
  • Recommending I use a VPN to change my LAN settings (while, yes it would change my LAN settings, not in the way I was hoping too)
  • Insisting that “no one” has the authority to control work flow of technicians even in the case of an emergency. (So as an explicit example, if someone cut a fiber back bone… no one could redirect techs to fix this, they would put it on a schedule and get to it when they could. That is actually what I was told.)
  • Being told “there is no manager to talk to”
  • Talking to an agent, and having to contact Spectrum back for any reason only to find out there is NO record of my communication AT all. (Has happened several times now)

All of the above happened in the last 2 months. All with the “NEW” Spectrum that “isn’t” like Time Warner any more (Allegedly).

Spectrum, I dislike you more than I disliked Time Warner and that is saying something.

This is the end of today’s rant.

 

 

 

Hour 1 with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

I’m beginning to think that Kindle Unlimited is where Amazon throws its bargain books people wouldn’t normally buy…

I have started reading a lot more recently and decided I would give Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited a try. After my first hour, my experience has been dismal at best. EVERY book I have searched for has NOT been available with Kindle Unlimited. Every author I’ve searched for, Every series I’ve searched for, Every title I’ve searched for, they have all not been available with the service… I’m hoping I find some redeeming value in the “free trial” but so far I’m beginning to think that Kindle Unlimited is where Amazon throws its bargain books people wouldn’t normally buy, just to get them to circulate.

SeeMeCNC Rostock Max v3 Day 6 – Assembly and Review

Ok, today was day six. I finished the printer and I think it is excellent!! Well, almost. I broke the glass bed so I can’t calibrate or print on it yet 🙁  But here is a picture of the printer, minus the glass plate:

I really like the printer and the design. I have not yet had a chance to PRINT on it yet.

The Pain Points

But this is a review of the assembly process, as you read this please remember I like this printer, these are things I had difficulty with during production:

I found some of the part tolerances were TOO TIGHT there were several parts that were too tight.

  1. Inserting the heater bed cables in the X axis was the WORST offender. I used every trick I could find to get them through. In the end I put the thermistor cables through with lubricant, and then put the negative power cable through (well lubed…) and even that took an inordinate amount of force. I was deeply afraid I would damage the cables with the amount of force required to make that happen. I spent over an hour trying to get those cables through in various ways. I tried different posts, I tried using s single layer of scotch tape to hold them together, I tried feeding in various orders, I tried pulling, I tried twisting. In the end I used a water based lubricant and a pair of pliers to shove it threw a few mm at a time.
  2. The screws that hold the face plates on. I know this may seem trivial, but if you only have a hand held L shaped hex wrench and have to mechanically thread them through the plastic pieces that are a bit too tight, it is painful.  Attempting to do this is actually what caused me to break the glass over the heating pad. I dropped the piece I was holding and it fell right smack on the glass. Shattering it onto wonderful spider-man web looking shards.
  3. The screws that hold the stop switch in the Upper Motor Mount Assembly. After putting the first one in I realize there was NO WAY I was going to be able to put the rest in without damaging either the screws, the switches, the assembly, my screw driver, or my hand. So I cheated and used a 5/64th in Drill bit in a hand tool and manually expanded the back half of the hole. That kept it very tight, but made it bearable.
  4. The EZR Struder was extremely tight especially around the wires. I know they made a relief for the wires but I almost broke the panel putting the motor in the panel and visibly notched the cables. None of the cables were permanently damaged, but I was very worried about it.
  5. This was an odd one. The spool holder on the top of the machine was WAY too tight to fit into the top assembly holes. It actually damaged the holes on the top of the machine. Nothing serious but cracked it a bit on the inside. And it still wouldn’t go in.  I finally had to take a knife and whittle down the width of the feet with a fair amount to get it to squeak in. Even after that it was still tight, but I didn’t feel like it risked damaging anything any more taking it in and out.

There was one place where the videos, the Rambo installation, where they show one assembly then several steps later it show it assembled differently.  (if you look at the orientation of the cables on the adapter on the video the red stripe is facing the power connector in the video, and the red stripe is facing away from the power in the picture. Apparently the picture was correct. I assembled it to the video. Fortunately no permanent damage was done. Just a lot of head scratching, and mild cursing. Thanks to the comments for helping there.

The Rambo power connector was another pain point. Although it was not a bad one. I was left to wondering if there was a better way to do that? The points that the main power cables came in at kept pulling out (or the second cable did…). I finally got them all in and staying though.

The power fan is pretty loud. I don’t have a db meter… but it’s louder than anything else in my immediate area. I haven’t printed yet so I don’t know about the operation.

The Good Points

When completed this looks like a professionally assembled machine. Cables, belts, pulleys, and fans are all nicely tucked away. The pulley system LOOKS well thought out. I haven’t used it yet so I can’t confirm its functioning but I like the way it is tucked away. I also like the simplicity it can be reached and maintained. It looks like you can get to most places on the machine fairly quickly with little fuss, with plenty of built in access and open places to reach needed parts.  Aside from my few nit pick points above this was actually not that bad to put together. It took some time and patience, but was certainly doable. Don’t let the pain points above scare you, there were a TON of steps that I did not have any problems with. Over all the assembly was well documented or video illustrated.

Once I get the last piece in… my glass bed… I’ll start setting up and see how it goes.

Retrospect

Would you do anything differently? I would have done a better job staging the parts up front. I spent a GREAT deal of time trying to FIND the parts I needed for a job. and then RE-FINDING them when I needed them. I usually keep a fairly neat work space, not desk, but work space. However, with this project I found I was overwhelmed with parts, and they were not always together or easy to find. I would also get a hex bit for my drill and better lighting for my desk. The only other thing I’d do is win the lotto and spend my time working on projects like this :)… But that is something I’ve been working on for years.

Yep. I’m done with League.

League of Legends, LOL, or just plain League. I gave you one last try today. The two games I played were again typical of your horrible community. I am done with you. I have uninstalled you. I have walked away.  Good Bye. I’m sure you won’t miss me… and I’m sure I won’t miss you … so I guess this is mutually beneficial.

League of Legends Community is Awful

League of Legends… Your players officially suck. I like the game, it is quite enjoyable. Your players have got to be some of the worst I’ve encountered…

Yep I said it.  I’ve played on and off for a year or two. Purely casual. I have no delusions of making a pro-league, or even making any notable mark.  I play for fun… well I try to. But the community is full of such salty SOBs it is VERY hard to enjoy.  Many of the players seem to think they are going to be the next Diamond Champ and make it pro… and that my game play will ruin them. And rather than “help a casual” player or explain. They would rather rant, curse at, bitch and complain.  I have a full time job and a family. I do this in between all the other adult things I have to do… so I don’t have time to spend memorizing tons of crap for a game that in 10 years probably won’t be on the market.

League of Legends… Your players officially suck. I like the game, it is quite enjoyable.  Your players have got to be some of the worst I’ve encountered, actually now that I think about it… they are the worst I can think of. That is saying something.

I have now vented. I am going to step back from the game a bit. Take a breath and decide if I ever even WANT to play again. The last game I played was not particularly bad, in fact it was typical for the games I play. The fact that it was typical… and that I wanted to throw my computer in the trash after playing should be an indication that “I shouldn’t play”…  The only reason I came back was to play with some mutual friends, but this is not worth it.

If you are a League of Legends staffer… your current marketing “meta” may be great for pulling in kids and single guys who hope to be pro-video game players. But you seem to have forgotten many of the people who just want to have fun playing. Some one worried about how many clicks they can work into a micro second while focusing on 3 different targets, memorizing a continually changing list of champs, skills, items, and maps Isn’t fun… it’s work.  If I wanted to have to sit down and make spread sheets, perform calculations, and raise my blood pressure… I can get paid for that now. And oddly enough I find my job more fun… again mental note to me… if this IS the case… WHY am I playing? Just to be social?

Well I’m debating if I ever want to go back in. If I should just uninstall the game and walk away and encourage my friends to do so. They have the same problems with the community as well. Fortunately I have not invested more than $5 in the game. Just a lot of time, but I’m thinking I’ll cut my losses and move on.

Point 1: League community USUALLY really sucks. (In my experience, I have found the RARE exception but they are rare.)

Point 2: At the end of about 75% of League of Legends games I want to throw my computer away and claw my face off… even when I win people complain.

Point 3: This game takes a TON of time to learn the Champs, Maps, Items, Meta, combos, synergies, etc.

Point 4: I find other things more fun, like my real job… I’m not a workaholic and I don’t go around recruiting people to do what I do. But I enjoy my job more than this feeling I have right now at the end of a game.

Point 5: The only reason I do play is to be social with a group of people I already know, but when they play they turn into SOBs too. It seems to bring out the worst in people. I hear them slamming down their mice, bashing their keyboards, cursing the other players… screaming at the top of their lungs at their own team mates, because they didn’t do what they WANTED them to do at that exact moment to help THEM.

It sounds to me like League of Legends is the wrong game for me.  I encourage you to consider where you spend your time.  Are you spending it in a video game full of sucky people, that is highly competitive, rapidly changing that in a few years no one will care about? Or are you spending it doing something you actually enjoy?… You can still game. I just want you to consider WHAT you game and WHY.  You only get one life. Don’t waste it on games and/or people that suck.

I know my next game will be something I chose intentionally because I like it and enjoy it.  I may pick up League again with a friend every once and a while. But my time of studying it, playing it on my own, or really “trying” to figure it out are over.  It will keep changing, and I have no intention to spend my brain power to keep up with this game.  If the community had been better this may not have been the case…. but that is the world of IF… I don’t live there.