Upgrading My IT Infrastructure

Over the past few weeks I’ve undergone a serious upgrade in my IT infrastructure, thanks in large part to the wizardry of Ross Carlson. Always good to do some spring cleaning.

Domains: All my domain names and DNS hosting now reside at GoDaddy.

Mobile Device: It was time to put the trusty BlackBerry 7750 aside. I’m now using a T-Mobile Dash as my SmartPhone. So far I’d give the Dash a 6 out of 10. Windows Mobile 5 is pretty slick and integrates fine with Mac OS X via The Missing Sync. If you get a Dash, be sure to spend $25 and buy a “shield” for it to prevent scratches.

Porting my phone number from Earthlink/Verizon to T-Mobile took a lot of work — after several days of fighting clueless Indian call center reps from Earthlink, I started filing a lawsuit against Earthlink in California Small Claims Court. Amazingly, they woke up, ported my number, and refunded nearly $1,000.

Handsfree Headset: Since I’ll be driving so much next month, I got a Bluetooth wireless headset. With voice commands I can dial into my address book without touching the phone.

Email Server: This is the most substantial. I’m now off my POP3 accounts and on a Microsoft Exchange server. Pushing my data to the sky makes sync much easier. My Dash, webmail, and desktop email are all synced with Exchange. If you use POP3 now, I highly recommend asking around to see if you can get on Exchange — especially if you tote a mobile.

Spam: Spam is no longer part of my reality. Up until this point, I received a few hundred spam messages a day. I used a local spam client to manage this, but this still meant my mobile device and webmail would be inundated. Enter Postini. With Postini laying on-top of the Exchange server, spam is gone. Toast. See ya later.

Email Processing: This is a process issue. I keep my emails. Most people don’t. I like having an archive. I finally got around to archiving my messages since toting 25k+ emails and 30k+ sent items in Entourage was slowing me down. On a going forward basis I will be much more judicious about keeping emails. Most quick messages I will delete. I hope I don’t regret this.

Next up? Consolidating my web hosting onto one Linux box.

5 Responses to Upgrading My IT Infrastructure

  1. Douglas says:

    Ben,

    Interesting post. I have a dedicated server that I use for most of my web-based tech things.

    I got the Samsung SCH i730 smartphone (Carrier: Verizon) a few months ago and like it a lot. Porting the number wasn’t fast, but it wasn’t bad. I’ve had a lot better reception with Verizon than T-Mobile and I really like the actual phone.

    I’ve never used Exchange, but I’ve heard a lot about it and can see the benefits. What Exchange host are you using?

    If you need any help finding a good web host, let me know. More than happy to help point you in the right direction. :)

  2. krish says:

    While nothing short of a threat of lawsuit by a grieving customer is what it actually takes to goad American telcos to fix the problem, it’s the ill-trained, billed per call, hapless customer resources executive (sought after by the company to protect its bottomline or even to serve as a convenient ruse to cover up its own inadequacies by shifting blame to the *cluelessness* of a foreigner) who takes the rap.

    Isn’t the efficiency, capability and more importantly the customer indifferent *culture* of the telco evident here more, than a foreign safety net which prevents it from going belly up if managed locally at unaffordable ( for equally incompetent service) local rates ?

    Crazy are the ways of the world !

  3. Ben Casnocha says:

    Agreed that the priorities of the telco are why the customer service sucks…not the innate incompetence of the offshore call center rep.

  4. krish says:

    Ha ! now we invent another face saver – *innate incompetence* why do you think the job got exported in the first place – surfeit of local competence ?

  5. Vince Williams says:

    “Innate incompetence” perfectly expresses the myopic vision of the new old business model of the telcos.

    Until they understand that their interface with the public is user unfriendly, they’re zeroes in my book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>