Work Smarter, NOT harder! Let you computer do it’s job!


Red Rock Canyon, Mojave, Calif. Photo by Clive Alcock

Red Rock Canyon, Mojave, Calif. Photo by Clive Alcock

I’m back, down with recovery from a hernia operation.
Next six weeks or so I’ll be under doctor’s orders not to pick up much weight, max. 10lbs!
Boss said “Work or Quit!” I quit, my health comes before Jerry’s golf games or profits. (I knew it was coming, six months of having the hernia and nothing changed in my job work load AND he told me in Nov. he would not give me 1-2 days time off for recovery.)
So I was working for Minuteman Press Gardena for the past 7 and half years and to my frustration and amusement in all that time, the owner of the business did not want to hear what I knew about graphic computer workstations, needs for running programs or maintaining the system. Jerry watched the computer crash many times, he would just walk away. He would see me and hear me tell him many times that “I was waiting for the computer to think!”, in other words I was “sitting on my butt, doing nothing because the computer was over loaded.”

I have been working, using, maintaining, computer graphic workstations since 1989. While NO expert, I have been taking computers apart, reading about them, and using them for a long time under working conditions. My brother has been doing computer IT since 1985ish (currently at Northrop Gruman). My son has studied computer engineering and builds his computers buying the parts instead of buying pre-made kits.
Now at this point I can hear you all yelling “Talk to the computer IT person!”
I did! Six years ago, he walked in with a NEW computer, I asked, “How much RAM?” His comment, “Enough!” Never a question about what was needed to run the station. Had the same problems.

4 years ago I told him that the C drive was full. He put in a D drive and walked away.
For you non-tech people here is the problem, Almost ALL the various programs you use on a computer, (PC, MAC, UNIX, LINUX, etc) use a Temporary file on the MAIN C drive. Adobe Photoshop let’s you change the scratch file to a different drive. I have yet to see any other programs that will let you do this EASY, and I have seen that most programs DON”T let you do anything at all.
So, with no room on the C drive, your computer crashes, programs run slow or not at all, you can only have a few programs open. If you go to print, the PRINT QUE has no room to Spool the file. Windows will if sensing a shortage of RAM, make Virtual Memory to help out, it uses the C drive for the Virtual memory, opps, nothing there again.
I told him a few months later when he came in, it was still an issue.
Server crashed 2 years ago, (I made a backup drive just before it crashed!) told IT again of the problem. No change. 6 months ago, IT made comment of having ME write him a note of what programs I use so he would know what to save when he upgraded the system. Windows 98 is the operating system… program on the computer other than FireFox was newer than 2 years. WinZip a program I would use every month, Jerry doesn’t want to buy it! So every month I uninstall it, and re-install it so that it gives another 30 days trial. Loss of time 10 to 25 minutes depending on the state of the computer and what was being worked on when I needed to unzip a file. 12 months times 15 minutes is 3 hours lost time/wages! I was only being paid $15 per hour, so that means he only threw away $45 per year for a program that costs $30. Been doing that for 7 and a half years!!!! Sure it was less of a loss, when my wages were less. BUT time lost is the same, problem too that $78 per hour computer rate has been the rate since I came to MMP in 2007. Add it up, 10s of thousands of dollars lost in potential income.

Are you seeing the pattern?? I spoke to the Franchise Area Manager. Again, numerous comments on my past experience and comments of computer problems. He sold  Jerry a bootleg program that we spent 2-3 weeks trying to get running and finally just bought the program. Losses, 10-15 hours labor, customer put off and delayed. A new area manger came into the area a few months back. When I told him of Jerry offering “Work or Quit!” in direct violation of the Family Medical Leave Act and that I was moving on anyway, but wanted to show him how the MMP Franchise was losing money for the independent owners. Instant responsive was to accept, but he never talked to me about it. When I answered the phone on the last day on the job, Caller ID told me who it was, he paused 10 to 15 seconds before asking for Jerry. Paused again when I asked who was calling. A definite willingness to NOT learn! Have not heard from the Executive V.P. in New York. Used my account to email him a few days ago.

So if you are in business for yourself, or want less frustration at the job……Look at what you are spending money on. I spent 30 minutes a day opening and closing programs. Nothing more. That equals 10 hours a month! $15 per $150 per month in the garbage, $1800 per year! My NEW ASUS ROG G751JY-DH71 laptop cost $2500 plus program upgrades, in less than 2 years he throws away that much money, in ONE action. THINK of what he is losing by ALL THE THINGS his under-powered computer system is costing him. Now think of this, MMP Gardena charged $78 per hour for my time on the computer, 10 hours per month is $780 of un-realized profits, $9360 per year lost!

(Look for a blog post coming on what I did right out of the box to this laptop that had ASUS saying it couldn’t be done and my showing screen shots of the computer not only working after I CHANGED IT, but also coming close to the limits I was worried about. yep brand new and near limits)

I know from running businesses that if you are throwing money away You will not be in business very long unless you have a lot of money to lose!

So stay tuned!

I’ve been out shooting Southern California (40,000+ images), talking to experts, reading 100s of books, connecting on other blogs and forums. Joined the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Camera Committee and I am Editor of their monthly newsletter Focal Points. Changed my profession to full time photographer and going to make a Go of it.

If you live in the Los Angeles County area and want to discuss my coming out and showing you my laptop vs your cheap great deal computer, so you can see what it means to your work flow and labor hours, contact me and I will make arrangements to do consulting for you. Otherwise find a computer IT company that Analyzes what you intend to do with the computer equipment. Desktop systems are Less expensive, more versatile, more powerful. I have to use a laptop for now, but am researching my desktop system I will build in the next 6 months to a year.



Happy Shooting!




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