Month: August 2012

Fighting inner demons and the quest to stay sane

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Evangelion is a show about demons come to life. While I am not much of an expert on the show I’ve learned a few things about fighting demons. The first thing to realize is that whether real or imagined, demonic oppression comes about due to internal deficiencies or judgments for external actions. Regardless on how they occur, these two processes require a willing participant in you. Any negative or sin can be a back door to a demon. Think of it as a castle, if even one spot isn’t watched well, the enemy can get in, and their daggers can be at your throat soon after. To deal with this, you must get your house in order, of nothing more than to know the lay of your own self better. Once you know yourself well enough to gauge your actions versus those of an evil spirit then you are much better prepared to understand why the demon is there in the first place, how it got in, and how to chase it out. While a priest or a pastor is very helpful in dealing with spirits, dealing with demons of your own making is much the same, and both of these can be present, and dealing with each of these requires patience and a willingness to challenge yourself and ideas you have about yourself. You will likely find aspects of your personality and mind frightening and depressing, which leads to the last part of my little note here. To remove a demon one must become stronger than the demon. In whichever way it is affecting you, work towards building positive strength in that area. If you love little, learn to love more. If patience is a virtue to you, become virtuous. Greed, hate, sloth, envy are all problems that can be handled if you are sincere about living a better life. Don’t be afraid to ask God for help. Don’t assume that a demon will just move on, and expect them to roll over and play dead. It can take a significant amount of time to remove something older and wiser than you, but if you arm yourself with knowledge, wisdom, and gain a basic understanding of spiritual warfare then you have the tools to gain your freedom and a right mind again. If you are losing control of your actions then seek out a hospital. Many drugs given for psychological problems can help you in your quest to rid yourself of your occupiers, and it is better that you are in a setting where you cannot harm others. Above all, however you know God you should take the time to get to know Him better. My personal quest to be free of demons has often required God to make ends meet where I fail, just make sure you put the work in as well or you leave yourself open to demons once you are cleansed. Take care and I hope this little text has you at least wondering why it is you react in certain ways irrationally when your own reaction would have been much different, and what to do about it. You don’t have to live with a perverse mind, and there is help if you ask. Happy trails.

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Some thoughts on the ‘free’ software

I want to be the first person to say that programmers have to eat too. And live somewhere, and obviously have electricity. Driving a car is a plus for most people as well. Then you have to consider all the devices and software they need to do their job. You are talking around 2000 dollars a month minimum to do all these things with enough breathing room so the person doesn’t have to live on food stamps. Pile in all the forum fees, coffee, beer, social life and what not as well and you begin to realize that free software has a price.

Some people code for the fun of it and release of their software open source. I get that and if they wish to do it, it is their perogative, but the development isn’t free. It took money to develop it. Which is why I get so irate at people who is think that they should be able to get software for free, almost as though they are entitled. Nothing is further from the truth, and if someone comes out with free software then you should be very grateful if you get your hands on it.

Unfortunately most people are so used to warez and free clients that they see nothing wrong with becoming thieves or being rude on support forums, or both. I shudder at the thought process of someone who simply expects the world to stop moving and deliver whatever they want at the drop of a hat, as though existence was planned out for them. And pay nothing, plus gripe about bugs on top of that.

There are many software models that display ads, but if you remove the ads with blockers then you are effectively stealing. There is no sense in removing ads from a service you don’t pay for, but so many people have browser plugins that remove banner ads and flash animation that you begin to wonder if the majority of surfers on your content even see your revenue generation stream.

I won’t go into people who warez much except to say that people like you are the reason my bike gets stolen. That’s what you are, a common criminal who should be taken off the streets and put behind bars. For every program made, developers have to assume their work will be pirated to some extent, and every copy pirated is money out of the pocket of the creators of your new favorite app. You don’t care, you don’t want to care, so to the dogs with you.

On the other side of things, developers should be aware that there is a karmic process in life, if you are using stolen software to create your masterpiece, you can safely assume your masterpiece will be pirated. You can’t escape divine law. When you code with stolen software, even if you don’t charge for your work you have incurred negative karma on yourself and yourself, having stolen from someone, their children, family, company, and can expect to be held accountable for this theft at some point.

Please, everyone, take the time to realize that while money doesn’t make the world turn, it does feed, clothe, and shelter us in very real ways. Make the effort to pay for your software, it is the right thing to do.

Customer Support and Profit Margins

While I am not by any stretch a customer support expert, I think that this is the obvious but telling sore point in the upgrade woes of current handsets. Samsung has so many sets on offer that I doubt they could offer many upgrades to future versions of Android without seriously taking away from the bottom line. Their competitors however are a different story…

 

Samsung would be very hard pressed to come up with ICS or Jellybean upgrades for the plethora of devices they have pushed out the door. I own a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 inch Wifi (GT-P1010) and the US version never even received a 2.3 Gingerbread update. I can’t imagine it would be more than a couple weeks of side work for a tiny part of Samsung to come up with updates so I assume that they are simply busy working on new products and probably don’t enjoy putting out updates since it pulls them away from their current projects. This means that Samsung can’t really put out updates the way Google wants to see.

 

This to me means that another company such as HTC which has fewer models out there could easily differentiate itself by providing a 2 year OS upgrade path, 3 if they truly wanted to make themselves stand out. Samsung is a clear winner in the smartphone market and other companies are struggling to keep up, if they are at all. Now is the time to lock in their customers.

 

Not only OS updates, but phone software could also do with upgrades. Instead of offering the Dropbox upgrade for new phones, they could spend some money on the older devices in their lineup. For a few dollars, a customer would be pleasantly and unexpectedly surprised to learn ther phone manufacturer is still caring for them even after they took their hard earned money.

 

THIS is the height of Customer Support, supporting a customer of a product AFTER they buy it, by ADDING value to your product after sales so that you have repeat business.