Journeys of a cranky community organizer..
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  • Spoiler Alert! The Cancer is Back!

    Posted on February 13th, 2015 HandyAndy No comments









    Some History: Back in the 1990’s I fought a five and a half year battle with Cancer and although I beat it eventually, it did wipe me out financially and forced me into bankruptcy.  That was the second time I had to start my life over from zero. When the bankruptcy was finished, Kathy and I celebrated the new beginning by getting married. She must have been nuts I was flat broke :>)

    Recently: The last couple of years I have been forced to downsize my consulting practice due to my dwindling stamina (a result of my long term coronary issues). I have cut it to the bone to a point where we are still getting by, but we also had to downsize our lifestyle to fit our greatly reduced income. Those of you who know me from the SMB Community, this is why I have been absent from the events where you normally see me at the last couple years.

    Currently: In January I went in for an unrelated issue, an ultrasound of the arteries in my neck. What they accidently found was an undetermined mass in the right side of my neck. Well another ultrasound and a biopsy and it was determined that the cancer I beat in the 90’s, was back for another shot at me. The doctors are currently shuffling me back and forth trying to figure out the best course of action. Normally they would start with another surgery but they are afraid my heart is not strong enough to make it through the anesthesia. I have also already had the normal lifetime limit of radiation. Now they are trying to come up with the least life threating approach to fight the cancer.










    The Request, You Knew It Was Coming: This is the hardest part for me. I am never one to ask for help. I am usually the one doing the helping. Knowing the kind of expenses that are coming and my limited means for covering them I am asking for your help to fight this battle. I need help to get through the impending mountain of bills and expenses, while I fight this rematch with cancer and hopefully defeat it once again.   I cannot go into this knowing I will come out the other side in bankruptcy once again. I also cannot risk leaving my wife in a position if I don’t make it where she is going to be forced into bankruptcy. So my request of you is this. Please help out with whatever you can afford to donate to this worthy (well I think it is worthy) cause. Please do not borrow money to donate or get yourself in a bind, but if you can spare a few bucks to help fund my battle Kathy and I would be eternally grateful.  Thank you for whatever help you can offer, and if you can’t help with money, positive vibes are still much appreciated.

    Donation can be made through GoFundMe at or through PayPal at if you prefer.

    Gratefully, HandyAndy

           or        Paypal_button1


  • CAUTION before you buy a Pride Mobility Product

    Posted on December 17th, 2012 HandyAndy 2 comments

    pic of scooter

    Apparently Pride Mobility is not very proud of their products. As a matter of fact they do not even cover labor under their warranty, even for brand new items that do not work correctly. Apparently they are aware of how unreliable they can be and do not want to be responsible for the lack of quality control that appears to have gone into their manufacture. Is this any way to build brand loyalty, I think not!

    I live on the east coast and travel for a number of technical conferences each year. I have always rented mobility scooters previously, but this year in San Jose, CA there was not one scooter available to be rented, so I ended up having to buy one. I noticed it had a quirk were it would drop into this very slow motion mode for a random amount of time and then at some point return to normal operation. Of course I was on a tight timetable and could not return to the dealer, so I figured I had bought a well-known respectable nationwide brand (I thought) I will deal with it on my return home.

    After I was home I looked up the closest dealer to my house and took it in for repair. I was informed since they did not sell it to me they could not fix it. It would not be covered by the insurance. I told them I did not have any insurance so could they fix it. They said they would take a look at it. They called a couple of day later and said it could be fixed, the parts were covered under warranty, but I would have to pay the labor since I did not buy it from them.

    I paid the invoice thinking it would not be a problem to recover the labor from Pride, after all I did take it to their dealer for repair. Well much to my surprise they couldn’t care less. They stood firmly on their policy of not covering labor even on units defective at the time of the sale.

    So do yourself a favor, buy another brand, don’t let their lack of compassion effect you as well.

     If you are still considering purchasing one of their products make sure and do it from a dealer close to home so at least you have the option to return it to them for repairs.

    As the old saying goes, forewarned is forearmed, you have the knowledge, use it wisely!

  • Amazon lives up to customer service promise

    Posted on May 20th, 2012 HandyAndy No comments

    Usually you read blog posts of how people are mistreated by vendors, but rarely do you hear when they do good. This morning in preparing for our trip to Mississippi to watch another granddaughter graduate I decided it was time to get a new GPS, mine is so old the updates will no longer fit on it. Anyways I shopped around on the web and as usual Amazon had the best price. So I set about ordering my new Garmin nüvi 2555LMT and when I clicked on the order it button a little pop up appeared saying order it within the next twenty something hours and you will get free one day shipping, so I did. Well when the site checked me out it charged me the 18.98 shipping charge. When I received the email confirmation, I sent a note to Amazon customer service using their contact us email link and within 30 minutes (and on a Sunday yet) I had a response saying they were very sorry and the charge was being removed. I just wanted to take this moment and say Kudos Amazon way to handle customer service! Keep up the good work.

  • Please Help Fix A Possible Oversight

    Posted on March 25th, 2012 HandyAndy No comments

    I am sure by now you are sick of reading the vote for me pleas coming from all your friends. Please take a moment to finish reading this note; it is not one of those requests.

    There are about 10 days left for this 2012 SMB 150 Awards competition and it seems some folks who are very deserving are being ignored. I am not asking you to vote for anyone in particular, but please if you feel someone is influential in our space, cast a vote for them. You can vote everyday if you wish and you can vote for as many people every day as you like. But please vote!

    It is very easy, go to near the top right you will see a search box, enter the name of the person you would like to vote for and click the little GO button, then click the button right above their name that says Vote. That is all there is to it, please help recognize those folks who are so deserving and yet being ignored.

    Think about the folks you look to for advice and make sure they are being recognised, whether it is their job or they are doing it out of passion or both, if they are influencing your actions, your purchases or your ethics please take a few moments and recognise them for their efforts.

    The good news is voting ends April 6th, if they do this again hopefully they will make the voting window somewhat shorter next time!

  • A Fine Day for Installing Exchange 2007 Rollup 4

    Posted on July 9th, 2011 HandyAndy No comments

    A few days ago Microsoft released Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3 Roll-up 4 and after kicking it’s tires on in my test lab, I decided today was a good day to roll it out. Thought you might like to come along on the journey.

    First because it is a very good practice, reboot the server before you start any updating, it is always a great idea to start from a clean known state.

    Next since there is apparently no way to tell if the Schema Update has actually been run from SP3 (remember all the trouble this caused) I thought it would be prudent to just run it again. It is a pretty simple process and won’t hurt anything if run again . Just grab a copy of Exchange 2007 SP3 and from an Administrative Command Box expand it out and run the command “ /PrepareSchema” this is what it will look like.

    Schema Update
    Schema Update

    Once that finishes you can go ahead and run the roll-up without rebooting again. Grab a copy of 

    Update Rollup 4 for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3 (KB2509911)

      I had some trouble getting it to run correctly from an explorer window, so I went out to an administrative command prompt (I probably could have used an administrative explorer window also but did not try) 

    Start RU4 Update

    Start RU4 Update

     Now the familiar GUI will start up with the proper permissions, so it does not bomb out in the middle of the process and roll back. 

    The first few screens are the regular click next exercise

    This next phase may take quite a while be patient

    Still with me?

    Several minutes that’s for sure

    Now things are looking up, we are stopping the services so we can get busy

    It is making sure we have a solid foundation to build on

    Copying looks like it is quick, don’t be fooled

    Ya I know the bar is all the way across, but it will start up a few more times

    Now it will rebuild the files with the updates

    It starts up the services, if everything went right

    Removing backup files is usually a very good sign

    How I do like a positive outcome, I have done this on a number of systems yesterday and today
    and they took anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, give yourself plenty of time

    Yes you do have to do a final reboot, the server is not in a stable state until you do!

    Hope your day and your roll-up goes smoothly!

  • Clever attempt to infect diligent tax payers

    Posted on June 20th, 2011 HandyAndy 2 comments

    A few days ago (June 15th) was the deadline for estimated tax payments in the US.
    In this mornings e-mail is see this note supposedly from the the IRS

    Fortunately I had had a few cups of coffee already and did not panic but looked at the name of the report and saw it was an executable, and when hovering the mouse over the link for the report saw it did not point to anywhere at but some other strange address at dot info.

    And then just because I was curious about it I looked at the internet header and could clearly see it came from some kid at a school, probably bored in class and looking to cause some mischief.

    So please as always be diligent with your e-mail and think before just clicking, all the anti-spam and anti-virus software in the world cannot over power the control your clicker finger has to allow bad things into your computer.

    Please note this is not how the IRS will contact you if for some reason your payment bounces or is rejected for any reason. You will get a note in the US Postal Mail.

  • HA interviewed by MicrosoftFeed

    Posted on February 8th, 2011 HandyAndy No comments

    A few days ago I was contacted by Ali Raza Shaikh of MicrosoftFeed and he asked if he could interview me for the site. It was actually a pretty painless process :>)

    If you would like to know a bit about my history as an MVP you can read the INTERVIEW HERE

    You may recognise some of the pictures and the people mentioned in the post.

    Have a Great Day,

  • Tame Gmail putting sent items in your Outlook Inbox

    Posted on December 19th, 2010 HandyAndy 2 comments

    If you use multiple devices to pop your Gmail and you find your sent items in your inbox, this is due to the way Gmail handles sent items. According to a post I found on this BB site  

    “Gmail webmail accounts do not have separate sent items and inbox folders. The Gmail account web page contains a Sent Mail link on the left side, but this is not a separate folder from the inbox.

    Email messages in Gmail are grouped into conversations, resulting in all sent email messages and replies from others appearing as a single email message entry in the inbox. Although this grouping allows easy reading and viewing on the Gmail web page, it results in copies of sent email messages arriving on the BlackBerry smartphone as new email messages when integrated with a BlackBerry Internet Service account.”

    So to work around this for your outlook client, create a rule in outlook that says when mail arrives from move to folder “Sent Items” this will keep the clutter out of your inbox. Of course if you really do need to send yourself a message, don’t forget to go get it back out of the Sent Items folder.

    Searching around with bingle I found many solutions, but none of them worked for my client’s setup, ultimately this workaround did the trick. Hopefully it will work for you as well.

  • #8 Just in from Microsoft

    Posted on October 1st, 2010 HandyAndy 1 comment

    Just heard I have been awarded the Microsoft MVP for Small Business Server for the eighth year running. I would like to thank all of you that belong to the SMB Community for helping to make it something I enjoy being part of and supporting so much to enable me to qualify for this award repeatedly!

    Thanx for your support,

    HA Awarded for 8th consecutive year

    Great News in the Inbox this morning

  • Coincidence ?

    Posted on August 1st, 2010 HandyAndy 1 comment

    So Sunday morning I am listening to old tunes from the 70’s and I pick “Let Me Be There” from 1974 and who pops up on the player in the ad space my old pal MAX, coincidence I think not :>)

    MAX pops in