Skip to main content

Hero Write-up: Now this is Customer Service!

My best friend Scott is president/C-everything of a small northeastern Ohio manufacturing concern, KirkKey Interlock. I hadn't spoken with him for a while and wanted to see how Canton fared with the Blizzard of '08 (that's what they're calling it...not me).

I say, "So what's new?" He replies that on Tuesday his primary server (which essentially runs the business) came up with lame with not one, but [a statistically improbable] *two* physical disk failures on a RAID5 hardware array. My friend attempts the fix but gives up pretty quickly after seeing some Linux nasty-grams on the boot screen.

His service provider is an old college buddy who lives down in Raleigh, Cerient Technologies led by Jason Tower. Scott couldn't email out because Exchange was on the toasted server. Being creative, Scott started Treo-emailing photos of the screen. Unfortunately, Jason couldn't receive email because a storm had knocked out a lot of local hosting. [Sigh]

After understanding the server's disks were hosed, Jason hops in his Mazda and drives the 10 hours to Canton overnight. He arrives Thursday around 6AM and without having slept the night before, works until he falls asleep Friday morning just after midnight.

Miraculously, Jason rebuilds the array. I'm no MCSE but I thought this was impossible if you lost 2/5 disks. Anyway, he fixed the array, replaced the disks, and rebuilt--*no* data loss. Wow.

About the time he finishes, the Blizzard of '08 hits. So Jason is stuck in Canton, Ohio through Saturday and is making a run for home today...but it's unlikely he'll get through the mountains of West Virginia on I-77. Further, he's under the gun because a lot of his clients will implode because of how their systems might react to daylight savings. Oui vey!

Anyway, big props to Jason for going above and beyond to service his client. He's a service provider I think we all could emulate and learn from. Safe travels, Jason.

Comments

Brian Bell said…
I'm one of Jason's "local" clients in the Raleigh, NC area. This story is not surprising - not only the fact that he would make the extra effort to get the job done, but that he miraculously saved the data on a catastrophic failure. Quite a knowledgeable guy and dedicated to his "craft".

Caveat: Just don't ask him how to do something on a Windows box ;)
Jeff Hunsaker said…
@Brian I hear ya! Ironically, the implementation at my buddy's firm leverages VMWare on Linux hosting multiple *Windows* VM instances. Say that five times fast.
Brian Bell said…
Oh I know... my comments were in jest. Jason has actually saved my Windows VM's several times as well. Furthermore, if he runs into a problem that he isn't comfortable with, he will either learn it or find an expert to help.

Popular posts from this blog

TFS Error | The type initializer for 'Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Server.BuildInformationNodeBinder' threw an exception.

Posting this one for the search engines. If you ever receive the exception "The type initializer for 'Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Server.BuildInformationNodeBinder' threw an exception.", more than likely, your drive space is at 0 on your TFS application tier box.

I encountered this at a client recently. The root cause was that IIS logs had filled up the OS drive (C:\). I switched IIS logging to the applications drive (D:\) which cleaned up the OS drive and resolved the issue.

Detailed message:


TF53010: The following error has occurred in a Team Foundation component or extension:


Date (UTC): 6/7/2011 4:18:53 PM

Machine: TFSATBOX

Application Domain: /LM/W3SVC/8080/ROOT/tfs-1-129519118182628600

Assembly: Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Framework.Server, Version=10.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a; v2.0.50727

Service Host: 7ecfbd77-b386-4d75-b038-b05474782696 (DefaultCollection)

Process Details:

Process Name: w3wp

Process Id: 3676

Thread Id: 5752

Ac…

Verified by Visa: Everything We Tell Folks to Avoid

Phishing is defined by F-Secure as: "Fraudulent e-mail or website claiming to be legitimate seeking indentifiable information. Phishing is an attempt to steal your personal data."When I recently attempted an online purchase from WalMart using my VISA card, being a security wanta-be, I immediately thought phishing when redirected to verifiedbyvisa.com and saw this dialog:

Seriously, these folks have to be kidding. You're asking for my personal data during a transaction and claim that's its a service "...at no additional cost." Wow! Thanks...but absolutely not, you jokers. As a malicious thief, I can go a long way with this data.

This is exactly the type of experience which aids malfeasance and the folks trying to steal personal data / identities. How long have we been working to educate folks to avoid providing this type of data under these type of circumstances? Years. And we're just now starting to turn the corner.

VISA, get rid of this! When folks submi…

Windows 10 Creator's Update and Office Conflicts

Recently, Microsoft pushed the "Creators Update" out to Windows 10. It was available in April but it seems to have been force-pushed in the past 2 days. On my mother-in-law's computer, Creator's caused Excel to render a "Bad Image" message when attempting to start declaring "MSVCP140.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error". I attempted the SFC and DISM repairs as advised on Tom's site to no avail. When I attempted an Office repair, Office disappeared completely. At this point, I definitely started to panic.

Fortunately, I noticed a pending reboot due to an install/update. Allowing Windows to install that update and rebooting twice brought Excel and Office back to life. I did have to re-register the software but all is well now. If you encounter this issue, stop what you're doing and install/restart Windows. Anecdotally, I've since hear of many folks encountering similar issues.