Do Not Buy Equus/Nobilis Computers

31 May

Last December, I purchased a new laptop. I decided to purchase locally so I bought a laptop from a local computer store. They are resellers for Equus Computers. Equus Computers claims on their web site that they are #1 in the Nation for system builders. Have you ever heard of them? I hadn’t but was assured that they never had any problems with this company.

That’s when my problems first started. I loaded up this laptop. 2 Gigs of RAM, 100 Gig HD, DVD Burner. Wide display. It was top of the line. As soon as I got it home, I couldn’t burn DVD-R’s successfully. They kept failing and some wouldn’t even burn. We replaced the DVD burner but still had the same problem. Then the monitor started pixelating. That’s the only way I can describe it. You can see a video of it here.

After that started happening, it just stared locking up for no reason. The screen would do a “white-out” and I had to turn it off and then on. Eventually, the only way I could use it was to hook an external monitor to it. I had to send it back to be repaired many times. They supposidly replaced the computer twice but I had the same problems with each one. I think it is a design flaw. Maybe it can’t handle all of the RAM. Who knows.

What I do know is that I earn a living with my computer and not having a laptop has cost me money and time. Not to mention the pure frustration.

I have asked for my money back. I want to purchase a 1st Tier business laptop that is reliable. I have to have a usable computer.

So, be forewarned. Do not purchase an Equus/Nobilis Computer.

Telecommute? Don’t let your boss read this!

26 May

I came accross the following post (Before you telecommute, know why telecommuting is hard)  about why this guy doesn’t telecommute anymore.  I can say from first-hand experience that workiing out of the home is difficult but it can be done effectively.  I know that I am more productive in my office than I am in an office with other people.  As a computer guy, people always seem to stop by my office to ask me about a problem they are having – at work or at home – with their computers.  I have to stop what I’m doing to help them.  It then takes at least 15 minutes to get back to what I was doing.  Just think – if only four people stopped to ask a question, I will have lost at least an hour of productivity.  This goes for phone calls also. 

In my office, I work alone.  I can turn off the phone and I don’t check email while I’m working on a project.  I can work “heads-down” for hours on end – without interruption. 

Here’s my secret for working out of the home:

  1. Schedule Time For Work – Make a point of telling everyone that you have set working hours – even if you are working out of your house. Treat that time as if you were going to work at your boss’es house!
  2. Close The Door – If you have little ones running around the house, make sure they know that if the door is closed, you are not to be disturbed.
  3. Turn Off The Phone – When you need to get work done, set aside certain parts of your day to make phone calls.  It is much more efficient if you make the phone calls instead of people calling you.  Let your voice mail work for you!
  4. Turn Off Email – If you leave your email program running while you work, you are more tempted to be distracted by email.  Like the phone, set aside time to respond to email.
  5. Work As If You Were Working For Christ – As Christians, we need to be examples to others. If we slack off, or are unproductive, we aren’t a good example.  The attitudes people form of our work habits will affect how seriously they take you if/when you talk to them about Christ’s love and forgiveness.

For I Know The Plans I Have For You….

15 May

Have you ever asked – Where is God? Why doesn’t he answer? Is He even listening?

How many of you know Jeremiah 29:11?

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Even today, I have that verse hanging on the wall of my office. But recently, with my latest inward look at my own faith, I have come to learn more about this verse. You see, most people only know verse 11 but they don’t pay attention to the preceding verse. Read what verse 10 says:

The truth is that you will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again.

You see, God had just told Jeremiah that the Israelites were going to be staying, in captivity, in Babylon. In essense, God was going to withdraw his glory for 70 years. They would be taken care of, but it was going to be in God’s time and not theirs. You see, God periodiocally withdraws Himself from our life (imagine a veil) so that we will draw closer to Him. God doesn’t want us to love Him because of what He can do for us. He wants us to love Him because He Is God. He is “the Name”. He’s not our buddy, pal or friend. He’s all powerful; a terrifyingly beautiful God who can’t even show us His full glory because we couldn’t stand it.

There are countless others who have experienced this “veiling” of His presence. One was another guy named David. Read Psalm 77:

I cry out to God without holding back. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I pray, with hands lifted toward heaven, pleading. There can be no joy for me until he acts. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and think about the difference now. Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again show me favor? Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be kind? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?

Does this sound like someone who is hearing from God? No! If you continue reading, you see that the Psalm will show you a full range of emotion. From dispair to pleading to remembering the good times when God was there, to acknowledging the faithfulness of God. I really love reading the Psalms. They are packed full of gut-wretching emotion – something I sometimes have a hard time letting out myself.

So what’s the point of all this? It’s something I’m learning the hard way. Lately, I’ve felt that God was distant. There were days when I couldn’t even pray – I didn’t have any words. I’ve cried, yelled, lashed out at anyone and everyone. I’ve had anger and bewilderment. I still don’t know what happened. But there is one thing I do know. I’m not perfect – God is. And there is hope.

Continuing with Jeremiah 29:12-14…

12In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. 14I will be found by you,” says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and bring you home again to your own land.”

In God’s time, He will be there. When you have drawn closer to Him, he will listen when you pray. He says, “I will be found by you.” That’s refreshing. That’s something to look forward to. That’s hope! He continues: I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes.

In God’s time, He will make himself known to you again and will reward you for your faithfulness. Want another example? Read Job.