January, 2005

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Franks in hospital



    It is Moira here (frankies wife) he asked me to post a note to let you all know that he is in hospital at the moment and will be back to his computer as soon as he is able.

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    The saga of the Penabled Cross Executive Pen for my Tablet PC


    I saw this cool Tablet PC pen by Cross and I knew I had to have one.

    Now, you'ld think that in these days of click and buy this would have been an easy process, but come with me my friend and I will tell you a different tale. A tale of woe and disappointment.

    A few weeks ago I went to the Cross website in search of the Penabled Cross Executive Pen

    Cool their website is running on asp.net. This will be easy.

    I find the pen I want - it's the one with the cap

    I see I can buy online - perfect!

    Well, not so perfect. Turns out that only US and Candian citizens can buy online. What The??

    So I search the site for contact information and fire off a blistering note. (Still havent heard back from them)

    I track down their Asia Pacific office which is based in Hong Kong. They have their own website too.

    No online ordering capabilities. What The? It's 2005 for goodness sake.

    Next, I find an email address for a contact in Hong Kong, so I send off a nice email asking how I can buy one of their products..

    After  few days, I get a reply::

    Dear Frank,
    Thank you for your email and your interest in the Cross Penabled Pen.
    The way to do it is to let us know the registered account no. of a courier company -- FedEx, UPS, DHL etc and we will send the pen to you freight collect through this account.  This will ensure the courier company that the receiver will pay.
    The price that we sell in HK is HK$440.  You can either send us a money order payable to AT Cross (Asia Pacific) Ltd.   Please do not TT as the handling charges will be high for such a small amount of money.
    Or is there any chance that some friends of yours will come by HK and will be able to pay and handcarry it back for you to Australia.

    What The? I cant use my credit card? I need to use a courier and a registered account number? Not likely. And it seems a bit pricey don't you thnk??

    I fire back a reply and wait. At this stage I'm feeling grumpy.

    Then I get an email from a local Australian distributor

    Dear Frank,
    Royal Selangor are the distributors of Cross Writing Instruments in Australia and your  recent email sent to Cross HK has been forwarded on to us. 
    The Penabled pen has only recently been available outside of the US and  as we have experienced a number of enquiries for it, we have brought in a few  units which have already  sold.  The RRP in Australia for this pen is $199.00, and we are expecting to have more stock at the end of January.  If you wish to purchase one, please contact our offices on 03 9720 7199, we will be happy to assist you.
    Kind regards

    What The ! It will cost me 200 bucks!! for something that is $50 in the states. Even with the exchange rate it would be no more than $70 here locally. Now I am all for people making money and all that, but even to me that is a 200% markup for a pen!


    I just want one f those pens. Come one Cross - what a missed opportunity you have here. I told these guys I work at Microsoft. Don't they realize who I am?? I am the Nerd God King. What better spokesperson for your product than me. I bet this wouldn't happen to Scoble, but then again he does live in the US, so he could order it online couldn't he. So, this wouldn't happen to him.


    [ Currently Playing : The Fonz - Smash Mouth - Fush Yu Mang (03:39) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Revised opinion on viewing aggregated blogs


    Ok, I got it wrong.

    Over the weekend I compared Bloglines, Blogdigger and Kinja and I wrote about it in a previous post and declared that Blogdigger did the best job for me.

    Well I got a few comments, as well as observed the results over the past few days and I have changed my opinion. Bloglines does the best job, followed by Kinja and finally Blogdigger.

    You can see the results for yourself:

    1. Bloglines aus .net blogger page
    2. Kinja's aus .net blogger page
    3. Blogdigger aus .net blogger page

    Bloglines is almost instantly updated, as is Kinja, but there appears to be a bit of  time lag for Blogdigger (similar to feedster).

    BTW - Thanks to folks who pointed out I didn't know how to drive Bloglines.

    [ Currently Playing : Hang On - Smash Mouth - Get the Picture? (02:53) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    A customer email


    I got a doozy of an email while I was on leave.

    Mail from: frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger
    Sender: Stephen Russell

    Hi Frank.

    Been meaning to reply to your December MSDN newsletter since it came out, but I've been real busy this month.

    Some questions for you:

    - what connection do you have to MS? Your blog site does its best to hide any connection. I assume you're a senior MS developer?

    - Re the Xmas present for VS 2003 upgrades: isn't this the same upgrade that was being sold for $58 when VS2003 came out? If so, how is this massive price increase a Xmas present, or upgrading for "less", as you claim?

    - Glover was not talking about the "software development lift cycle", was he? That sounds like something for Opus or some other lift manufacturers, not .NET 2005 developers.

    And before you dismiss this e-mail as rubbish, google me. No, I don't run a blog site -- I don't have the spare time in my life to waste it wanking my ego.

    What I'm hoping for 2005 is that MS Australia will provide decent support to the people like me who support your clients. But the situation is getting worse and worse every day, not better.

    And now we have bloggers supporting the MSDN channel. Heaven help us all ...


    I have sent a reply already, and I will post the answer soon.

    [ Currently Playing : That's Amore - Dean Martin - Mob Hits: Music from and a Tribute to Great Mob Movies Disc 1 (03:10) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Sydney Welcomes 2005



    [ Currently Playing : Roxanne - The Police - Every Breath You Take: The Classics (03:13) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Gurkan Yeniceri in da House


    I'm working through all my emails that accumulated while I was on vacation.

    I found a note from Gurkan Yeniceri who has a blog on MSN Spaces, asking that I add him to the Aussie .NET Blogger OPML.

    Gurkan is in Canberra - a hotbed of local bloggers such as Mitch DennyDarren Neimke, Geoff Appleby, Eddie De Bear, Peter Mackay and of course Mikal Still. Must be the water....

    Welcome to our humble little list!

    [ Currently Playing : The Good Book Song - New Main Street Singers - Mighty Wind: The Album (02:13) ]

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Amazing Photostory from Phuket


    Will Poole, Senior Vice President for Microsoft's Windows Client Business, was in Phuket with his family when the Tsunami hit.

    He captured a lot of before and after photos and created a first hand Photo Story (this is a 6mb file, I recommend right-clicking on the link and doing a Save Target As). Oh, You will also need Windows Media Player 10 or Photo Story 3 to watch this.

    [Thanks to Larry Osterman for the link]

    [ Currently Playing : ...Dust - Elvis Costello - When I Was Cruel (03:04) ]

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