Friday, April 27, 2012
Remembering April 27, 2011 Tornado Outbreak
This morning at 7 am I got five calls from the office. The server was down, the telephone was down, and several computers had no power. There was a hint of frustration and anxiousness behind these calls from people who wanted to get their work done in a timely manner.
I must admit, there was a small part of me that was irked by 5 calls about a problem I could not solve from my home. (I was walking the dog near my home, many miles away from the office). The best I could do was to phone in instructions on where the backup power supply was, how to turn on the server, etc.
When I arrived, we were partially revived with phones and server. Many of the specialty programs I have written for the operation of our business were not functioning, and there was the natural annoyance that is caused by a disturbance in our routine. Things weren't running smoothly, and we didn't like it.
But we all, each one of us, are aware that these are merely tiny, tiny obstacles compared to the disruption, pain and confusion that was to follow this day, one year ago, when the tornado outbreak caused so much damage across the state of Alabama (and of course, in other states).
There are people still trying to recover even today, and we have to remember that. Yes, there were members of the team at Service Care and their families that were touched by the devastating effects of the tornadoes, but on the whole we were spared the worst, and we are thankful.
But we are also mindful of those that were not spared, and remember them this day.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Child safety: Be careful where you put a television.
It's been brought to our attention that each year, a number of children are injured or even die from improperly installed television sets. Of particular concern are situations where the older and heavier tube-style television is placed in the child's room when the family gets a larger television, and often installed on top of a dresser or something else not really designed to hold a TV.
Let's face it, kids get excited, and they could easily pull or push that TV in their efforts to get to the controls or to what they are perceiving on the screen.
It's not just the older TVs that can be dangerous. Larger flat-screen TVs that are improperly installed can be a danger as well.
It's just something to think about. We are in the business of fixing televisions, but we're also people with families who worry about the little ones. Just be careful out there.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Flat screen TVs are *not* disposable!
I just ran the numbers on our historical records for out-of-warranty TV repairs, and got some surprising results.
It turns out that we are fixing half a percent *more* of flat screens than we are older tube-type televisions (including DLP projection units). (These numbers are a percentage of repaired units out of the total of units upon which a repair is attempted, versus those that were not repaired).
By that I mean, we're able to repair an almost identical percentage of the newer flat screens as all other TVs and even compared to all other electronics (not including microwaves).
What does that mean? It means do not throw away your flat screen because someone tells you it's not worth fixing, unless they are with a certified television repair service. You may be throwing away money, and adding even more volume to our overflowing landfills.
Hey, it's worth asking a servicer right?
(Of course, if your plasma, lcd, or led screen is physically damaged, the rate of successful repair drops dramatically due to the high cost of the parts).
Friday, April 13, 2012
Apropos of nothing, we love animals (on our blog).
I was just thinking, how much we love it the few times that an employee or customer has brought a dog to our shop for a visit, and I wanted to invite anyone to bring their dog, cat, bird, monkey (or whatever) to our shop to see the gang.
If it's alright with you, we'd love to post a picture of them on our website or blog, too.
Frankly, we work hard and have a lot of fun, but it can be stressful trying to provide high-quality service... a visit from one of our furry or feathered friends would be like a ray of sunshine for all of us.
As I finish this post, it seems more and more weird to be making this request, but who cares, right?
I'll start. This is my dog Snap (on left) and my sister's puppy Libby (on the right):
Sony SmartWatch delivers "Android Power" to your wrist... sortof.
Tired of pulling your Android phone out of your pocket and checking emails, twitters and such? Wish you could just look at your watch and see all that stuff on a 1.3" screen?
Then the Sony SmartWatch might be right up your alley.
Check it here (includes an eight picture gallery): Sony SmartWatch
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Control4 and Sub-Zero/Wolf work together for appliance home automation
Smart appliances haven't really taken off yet, largely due to the extra costs, but they're getting there finally.
Control4 allows you to upgrade your existing Sub-Zero or Wolf products to work with their home automation software (as long as you bought the appliance in the past couple of years). Apparently it's a rather quick update from your certified Sub-Zero/Wolf technician and BAM! Home automation.
Why would you need this? Well, if you're into home automation, you already know why. You can control more stuff in your home, and your appliances will (in theory) tell you when they have a problem. This might come in real handy, don't you think?
Very cool stuff, Jetsons here we come......... eventually. I'm sure the Control4 product line will also be integrated into other appliances in the future (or might be now).
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
New study: 38% of U.S. household TVs connected to the internet
Whether it's through a game system, Blu-ray disc player, or other device, a lot of more of U.S. households are operating TVs that access the internet in some way or another.
Largely, that's due to Netflix subscriptions, but the new "Smart" TVs also allow access to web-based services and apps.
It's the future: read more here
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Panasonic has "Raise The Bar" tour of 2012 product line.
Panasonic has announced a seven-week tour of "major" cities in the United States and Canada to promote their 2012 line of new home appliances, home entertainment products, personal care products and digital imaging.
The U.S. tour will begin in Los Angeles and Boston, go through San Francisco and New York Grand Central Terminal, and will wrap up in Buford, Georgia.
Buford. Georgia. I don't know much about Buford, but I think it's awesome that the tour winds down to a quaint little southern town. Coast-to-Coast-to-Buford. Love it.
New Thermador dishwasher set for warp speed
I'm not sure if the American public will feel as strong of a need for a quick dishwasher as they do for quick meal preparation, but you never know. With a dishwasher that cleans this fast, you could have the dishes washed after dinner and loaded back on the shelves in a really short time.
Read more here: Thermador fast dishwasher
Friday, April 06, 2012
LG's new refrigerators say they will "Blast Chill" a can of soda in minutesUsing
Using a process used in steel mills and other industrial settings, LG says they can cool down your can of soda (or perhaps... beer?) in mere minutes.
I'm sure there is a demographic for this product, especially here in the South.
Read about it here at TechnologyTell: LG Fast Cooling Fridge.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi form JV Japan Display
Combined with a Japanese government-funded group (INCJ), these three major manufacturers have joined forces to produce small and medium-sized LCD touchscreens for automobile and mobile markets.
Apparently this venture is 70 percent owned by INCJ, and has reduced their workforce by about 1,400.
Read more here: Full cNet article
Samsung gains serious lead in LCD TV sales competition
The top 5 sales leaders for fourth quarter 2011 were (in order from highest to lowest):
Samsung - 23.6%
Vizio - 15.4%
LG - 12.4%
Sony - 8%
Toshiba - 7.8%
Of course, it should be kept in mind that in a previous post we listed how LCD sales are flattening in the U.S., so this is sales shares of a shrinking market.
Read more about the LCD sales leaders here: click to read article on DealerScope