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IFX Group 1995 Web Log

1995 Blog Entries
  1. RTFM. (January)
  2. Great Land Of Ours. (February)
  3. Upgrades. (March)
  4. Happy Birthday. (April)
  5. Internet File Section Now Open. (May)
  6. The New Internet. (June)
  7. Thinking about real life. (July)
  8. It is official! (August)
  9. Locally. (September)
  10. Expanded Support Department. (October)
  11. Call For Help. (November)
  12. Translating Geek To Human. (December)

January, 1995 - RTFM.

One woman called Dell's toll-free line to ask how to install the batteries in her laptop.

When told that the directions were on the first page of the manual the woman replied angrily, I just paid $2,000 for this damn thing, and I'm not going to read the book.


February, 1995 - Great Land Of Ours.

What would this country be without this great land of ours? - Former President Ronald Reagan


March, 1995 - Upgrades.

Customer: I received the software update you sent, but I am still getting the same error message.

Tech Support: Did you install the update?

Customer: No. Oh, am I supposed to install it to get it to work?


April, 1995 - Happy Birthday.

The IFX Group is 7 years old this month. In our tradition of giving presents on our birthday, we are giving away the network module for anyone that runs the Virtual Sysop game. This module allows you to link with other VSysop systems around the world so your users can compete against other users either individually or as teams where your BBS competes against other BBS groups. This brings a whole new level of game play and has players excited to show support for your BBS. More information and a key to download this new module can be found in the online order area.  

May, 1995 - Internet File Section Now Open.

The Internet is an interesting hot topic and the IFX Group is investing some of our resources into developing tools to help explain the more fundamental concepts in easy to understand ways. The NetCalc program we first released in 1994 starts the collection of Internet related tools and utilities. Keep watching for more as we all boldly push to join together into this amazing world wide network.


June, 1995 - The New Internet.

One of the more interesting traits about people is how easy it is to flock around a new or novel topic. The Internet has been around in some form since the late 1960s connecting places all over this country and in later years even places around the world. But for some reason this new large scale networking technology is consuming more and more of the thoughts of otherwise normal people. Why now? Why this network? Why so much of a sense of urgency to connect all of the BBS systems of the world together? Be patient. There is some amazing new technology coming to make the job of connecting a BBS to the Internet almost trivial.

More speed, less haste. Don't let Urgent get in the way of Important.


July, 1995 - Thinking about real life.

What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?


August, 1995 - It is official!

The world is now Internet crazy. The ONE BBSCON show this year had very little to do with bulletin boards and everything to do with people scrambling to get connected to the Internet no matter how painful or expensive it is. The talk among the sysops sounds very much like a bunch of 6th grade boys talking in the school yard about sex. None of them have a clue and yet they claim to be an expert on a topic many experts don't fully understand. It would be humorous if it were not so painful.

The good news is that eSoft has the first public version of the IPAD available for sale to the general public starting this month. This is the device the IFX Group has been using for almost a year now to allow our users unlimited access to our BBS. Just like TBBS, the IPAD is completely bullet proof and one of the easiest to setup and maintain of anything in its class. To find out more about the IPAD, call eSoft today at 303-699-6565.


September, 1995 - Locally.

After almost 30 years the Internet has taken the world by storm as the new networking technology of choice. The dream of every BBS sysop in the world is that long distance phone costs would evaporate and anyone in the world could connect to their BBS. This is puzzling. One of the primary things any BBS could offer was a strong sense of place and community. The most successful BBS systems have something nobody else offers and more often than not, that is strongly linked to the local users. Take away the local part of the users and there is no sense of community and no sense of place. It is important to note that Microsoft has been running a TBBS system for many years offering downloads of drivers and patches for their users. People call this BBS from all over the world to access these files. This BBS has no sense of community and no sense of place. It is yet another corporate download service like all of the other corporations running TBBS to offer files to their customers.

Why are BBS operators pushing so hard to trade away the one thing users crave so much that they pay every month? Is free long distance worth so much? It sure feels like this is a very bad trade, but only time will tell if the BBS will survive this move.


October, 1995 - Expanded Support Department.

The technical support phone lines are often staffed by people stuck in the middle. These people are between customers that have problems and the developers that can either solve the problem or explain why things must be the way they are. The IFX Group is working very hard to always populate our support staff with people that are more experienced with programming. This allows our support staff to directly write programs and utilities to help customers with specific needs. Many of our BBS-related tools are a direct result of customer needs as they were expressed to our technical support department. If you have a problem, please let us know. It is very likely we can help in ways other technical support lines are just not able to do.


November, 1995 - Call For Help.

Why is it so hard for a customer that knows a little to call for help when it is so easy for a customer that knows nothing to call and talk for hours? Those people that know enough to solve their own problems, or better yet, people able to read the manual and figure things out, are exactly the people that the technical support providers want to talk to. These are the people that, through their questions, point out areas where we can improve our documentation and improve the usefulness and user interface of our products.

If you ever think that you should know the answer or are having a hard time finding it in the documentation, please contact our technical support. You are exactly the people we need to hear from. You have the questions we have not answered before, otherwise we would have already written the answer in our documentation. Please help us improve by asking questions.


December, 1995 - Translating Geek To Human.

Tech Support: I need you to right-click on the open Desktop.
Customer: Ok.
Tech Support: Did you get a pop-up menu?
Customer: No.
Tech Support: Ok. Right-click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?
Customer: No.
Tech Support: Ok, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?
Customer: Sure, you told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'.

(At this point I had to put the caller on hold to tell the rest of the tech support staff what had happened. I couldn't, however, stop from giggling when I got back to the call.)

Tech Support: Ok, did you type 'click' with the keyboard?
Customer: I have done something dumb, right?