Simon's Blog

Mostly tech related stuff.

Archive for the month “August, 2009”

I got a Sony ereader (PRS-505)

Sitting in front of a screen reading can get tiring, and I never really liked printing stuff out to have to bind it and read. The iTouch screen is too small and my laptops too big. :)

So I got a Sony ereader. The PRS-505. For a lot cheaper then that website. It has been giving me heartache for the last few days but eventually figured out some stuff.

The good. 
The screen is very easy to read and uses almost no battery power when active. PDFs render reasonably ok. It is comfy in the hand. Using a combination of PDF Creator allows me to print out websites and read later.

For the Mac I had to download and install Calibre to easily transfer books over. Also allows you to render news sites onto the device to read. Without this you could manually copy over the files but PDFs would not display even with no protection on them.

Safari books online I need to download as PDF. That costs tokens and rendering can be an issue on some pages.

The Bad.
Setting up for the Mac! :( For starters they just recently released the eLibrary reader which I could not coax in any way to work. Would continually crash. Support auto-responded with Tech note for windows. :-/ After I pointed out it was for Mac they told me to ring support (which I haven’t gotten around to yet). I got the device to accept the DRM ebooks by plugging it into a PC which is authorised and got the device authorised that way. After that Calibre would transfer the books on the mac.

The Ugly.
Actually getting ebooks! Amazon don’t sell any as they are pimping the Kindle, which you can only buy in the USA. Sony Ebook storerequires the elibrary software installed before anything would work. ebooks.com I can’t order on as my Bank doesn’t like Worldpay.Overdrive which looks good I could not figure out how you actually join a library/book store after you find a book. For Ireland I could only find waterstones ebooks store would allow me to purchase books. The site is a pain to navigate and has a very limited selection compared to the other sites.

Conclusion.
I think if I hadn’t of found Calibre the device would of went back to the store the next day. The lack of ebooks is a pain, I think if I didn’t use it for redbooks/pdf creator then it wouldn’t be worth the money to purchase. The screen is easy to read, but it is like reading a book so need to invest in a reading light. :)

It is not always technical.

What separates a call center from a support center is that the former is more focused on just resolving the technical issue. With the support center you need to be more focused on “fixing the customer”. Although I hate that term as it kind of implies the customer is broken when this isn’t true at all.
The best way to explain it is from start to finish of a support call you are offering a service to your customer. You could solve the customers issue to exactly how they want it but they can still walk away dissatisfied. Giving peace of mind, keeping customer updated and understanding the customers history are all factors. This service can have a huge impact on future business (especially in a recession).
With that I do read up on this stuff along with the technical aspects of my role. I’m a big fan of Gitomer but a book I am currently reading* is “What’S The Secret?: To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience” by John R. DiJulius. What Gitomer calls “Wow factor” DiJulius calls “The secret service”.
When reading it, I know a lot of people will take it to be obvious. But it tends to be obvious after the fact. :) Trying to remember to offer the WOW takes continual practice. Not to have this one sided. I would like to know if anyone else can recommend similar material if this is something your interested in.
* Another thing I’ve found recently is the joy of Safari Books online. :) Works out cheaper then what I normally pay for books in a year. Plus it was a WOW moment from their service people that pushed me over the edge to get the account.

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