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The basic problem


geek-accountant
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I am sure there are others in somewhat similar situations as me here on the forums and plenty more in the general population. As my name implies, I am an Accountant. Specifically, I am the Controller of a national restaurant chain responsible for all accounting related functions, but NOT the IT department. Computers have been a fascination of my ever since dad brought home a Tandy computer with a EGA monitor and a huge 10meg hard drive. It was an 8088 computer and cost well over $3,500. I don't know how many times dad made me quit using it telling me I would wear out the keyboard. But I was hooked.

 

I spend a lot of time at work, so these are the people I interact with the most. I am good at accounting, but known for my tech hobby. Even by the IT group. My home network exceeds any of co-workers (some think I am borderline crazy). None of them, including IT run a home built router (pfSense) or A UTM (Untangle). Most of them, including IT, have never heard of Xenserver or Virtualbox much less tried it out. And while most of IT had heard of WHS, I have yet to run into anyone outside of our IT department that has heard of it.

 

I say all this so you know why most people in the office come to me for computer advice for their personal use. I have tried mightily to push WHS over the last couple of years. Taking the opportunity to bring up WHS when someone lost photos because their computer "fried".

 

However, to date, I have never convinced anyone to buy one, so I am a complete failure in that regard. I did convince a co-worker to go to Best Buy and look at them. When Monday came around I looked forward to talking to them about their purchase and all the benefits they will be getting from their new WHS. Guess what he purchased. A USB Western Digital hard drive, saying it was only $100+ while the WHS thing was over $400 (pricing not exact as I don't remember the amounts). And there you go, the closest I ever got to getting someone to buy a WHS. If they can't understand the difference between the WD USB drive and WHS, they will never buy one and the product as it is today will never reach the mass market.

 

My hope is that there are enough people out there who understand the benefit to keep this going. We all kind of get lost in the worlds we live in, so I am hoping my world is not representative of the rest of the population.

 

MS just doesn't seem like the marketing genius they use to be, or maybe just what I thought there where at some point. IMO, WHS and the Xbox360 are wonderful products that could be even more if MS would just put a little more muscle behind them, especially WHS. So many people would benefit from this product, if there was only someone other than me out there marketing it.

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Interesting perspective and not far from my own experiences. I also no longer work in IT (used to be a consultant) and work as a director of operations for a large electronics company. I deal with hundreds of employees who often ask me similar questions and so far only a small percentage have bought WHS. The issue seemed to be more in that did not understand (or believe) they needed to backup more so than the actual cost which is the real sad part. I think as people loose their family's pictures or important data, maybe they can see the light but until then more people I talked to outside of work bought or built WHS's for media streaming and storage growth. Ironically, it was easier to sell a WHS as a place you could store your rips and grow storage than it was as a backup solution.

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I actually persuaded my ex wife to get whs and built the box for her. But then came another problem, the complexity of it's need.

 

She cannot understand that it needs to be switched on. She gets a power cut and then doesn't bother to switch on again for weeks.

 

Recently she contracted one of these "pay to remove" virus things. My instant response was to think "well I'll go up there and restore from whs." Only to find that there was no usable backup. It hadn't been switched on for a month and the backup database was totally corrupted.

 

Because she didn't want me to level the drive it took several hours just to get the computer back to a usable state.

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You guys are both better than me since I have not been able to convince anyone to buy one yet. Its good to hear that others are having some success.

 

britishbob, your comments sound similar to my discussions with people about antivirus programs. Assuming I can convince them to get a program (hey, MS Security Essentials is free why not install it), getting them to update it or keep it running is a whole other challenge. At this point I have taken the position that if we talked about antivirus in the past and you decided to not run or keep it updated, don't come to me for help later.

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Yeh, I got one for my daughter as well. At first she did not use much other than the backups but in the last couple of months, she has copied all her home movies and pictures to it as well as a bunch of movie rips. Now she thinks it is the greatest thing. About a month ago, I replaced her PC as it was problematic. I told the old drive out so I could extract the data as the old pc was running Vista and I wanted to do a new install. Long story short, I "thought" I copied all the data over from the old drive, an gave her the PC. Got a call the next saying that "ALL" her pictures where gone and instead of pictures she was getting music. Turns out that idiotic me had copied music over instead of pictures and of course had already creamed the drive. Now for the happy ending. I logged in to her PC using Logmein, fired up the console and was able to quickly restore all her pictures. WHS saved my bacon. It would have been disastrous for her to have lost her life pictures on one mistake.

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