Why I’ve Started Upgrading My Phone and Laptop Warranties

I mentioned in my last post that one of the reasons that I chose the Lenovo X1 Carbon over my preferred choice of a MacBook was the 3-year next-day onsite service. Here’s what that warranty provides that’s key for me: If an issue cannot be resolved by phone, Lenovo will dispatch a certified technician to attempt repair of your machine at your location with no shipping involved. This service provides parts and labor repair coverage where labor is provided onsite at your place of business…. Continue reading

11/6/18

Nazi Hunters, Burger Robots, and Xbox Hacking – Link Roundup

Articles ‘Get the Nazi out of New York.’ The secret operation to deport the last living Nazi defendant in the U.S. was a rare success. – these types of deportations are incredibly complex, but extraordinarily admirable and important. Reminds me of the documentary on Netflix The Last Nazis. [The Washington Post] The Young and the Reckless – a group of kids hack Xboxes and Xbox live, sell cheats online, and then get in way too deep. [Wired] The Mission to Build the Ultimate Burger Bot… Continue reading

11/2/18

We Really Have Reached Peak Computer: My Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review

My first laptop was an IBM ThinkPad T20. I purchased it in the Fall of 2000 because it was a requirement for all incoming freshman at RPI to have that specific laptop. Amazingly, that page from 2000 is still online, so I’m able to tell you that I paid $2,700 for a 700 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM, and a 12 GB hard drive. It was absolutely life changing. You could literally work anywhere (there were ethernet plugs all throughout campus, this was pre-wifi)…. Continue reading

10/29/18

Now Running On Our New Server Cluster!

Two Saturday’s ago, after a lot of preparation, we migrated Detailed Image to a much-improved server configuration. Thankfully, this wasn’t prompted by any sort of major issue. Rather, in the process of disaster planning we identified a few spots where our redundancy wasn’t as strong as we’d like, the most glaring of which was our server. Since the total chaos of our move in 2008, we’ve been on a dedicated server. We upgraded once in 2011, and that machine lasted us right through this migration…. Continue reading

9/25/18

The Most Devastating Cyberattack in History, HelloFresh is Ruthless, & Library Rules – Link Roundup

The Untold Story of NotPetya, the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History – how Russian hackers modified Ukrainian accounting software to brick any computer networked to it…and how it spread to cause $10 billion in total damages. [Wired] Is Bezos holding Seattle hostage? The cost of being Amazon’s home – “Amazon is very much, ‘We want to save the world too, let’s do it together.’ And then as you get into the details, not so much” [The Guardian] Library Rules: How to make an open office… Continue reading

8/29/18

In-Depth: Overhauling Our Dropship System

Like most online retailers, we don’t stock everything that we sell. Some items, like pressure washers, extractors, and paint thickness gauges are too bulky and/or too pricey for us to stock and ship. In these cases we “dropship” the item, meaning that when the customer orders it we then place an order with the manufacturer to have it shipped direct to the customer. While these orders are a small minority, they’ve been steadily increasing over the years. Our previous system mentioned to customers during checkout… Continue reading

8/27/18

Bad Blood & Business Books I Can’t Put Down

I recently finished reading Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. It’s the now infamous story of the rise and fall of blood testing company Theranos and CEO Elizabeth Holmes. Carreyrou was the original reporter who broke the whole thing wide open a few years ago. Once I started, I couldn’t stop reading. I typically read just before bed, and I had to give myself time cutoffs so I wouldn’t stay up all night. The story is so compelling… Continue reading

8/17/18

We’re Back on the Inc. 5000 for the Fourth Consecutive Year!

This morning Inc. released their list of the 5000 fastest growing private US companies and for the fourth straight year we’re on the list. This year we’re ranked #3,778 with 96% three-year growth. A few thoughts beyond what I’ve mentioned in past years: It’s an incredible honor to make these lists and be mentioned alongside so many great companies. Nothing lasts forever so I’m just trying to appreciate it while we’re in the middle of it. This year they included rankings by metro area, and… Continue reading

8/15/18

Android Messages for the Web Is a Game Changer

A few weeks ago when I opened Messages, the text messaging app on my Pixel 2 XL, I was prompted to visit messages.android.com to set up text messaging from my browser. I had missed their announcement, so this came as a pleasant surprise to me. I scanned in a QR code on my phone to set it up and within a minute I had sent my first text message from the web. This is a feature I’ve REALLY wanted for years. Most of the day… Continue reading

7/20/18

Sometimes You Won’t Love Your Job

One thing I’ve noticed anecdotally with many people in the generation younger than me – those who are currently in their early to mid-twenties – is an assumption that work should always be great and fun and rewarding. If it isn’t, something is “wrong” and the solution is to quit and look for a new job or even a new career. It’s a wholly unrealistic expectation, and if it’s not adjusted could set one up for a miserable career. Everyone dislikes their job sometimes. Everyone… Continue reading

7/18/18