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Topic:
Dear IT guy, don't touch my stuff!
This thread has 72 replies. Displaying posts 46 through 60.
Post 46 made on Friday July 24, 2015 at 15:54
Mario
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Since I'm trying to move into IT space, you know, 'cause I got me some patch cables from MonoPrice, can someone send me a documentation template or point me to a website that has it?

Seriously though, I have something I use, but I don't know if there are standards I'm suppose to use.

Few weeks ago I asked for network mapping software, but no one here had anything that would work well, without costing thousands of dollars. I could use Visio, but I figured there had to be something better.
Post 47 made on Friday July 24, 2015 at 16:36
bcf1963
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On July 24, 2015 at 15:54, Mario said...
Since I'm trying to move into IT space, you know, 'cause I got me some patch cables from MonoPrice, can someone send me a documentation template or point me to a website that has it?

Seriously though, I have something I use, but I don't know if there are standards I'm suppose to use.

Few weeks ago I asked for network mapping software, but no one here had anything that would work well, without costing thousands of dollars. I could use Visio, but I figured there had to be something better.

Actually most of the Network Mapping tools consist of a discovery utility, like [Link: solarwinds.com] , and then use Visio diagrams that automatically update based on the info from the mapping utility. Yes, most of these tools are in the $1500 and up price range. If you want, you can use one of the free mapping utilities, and define your own shapes and use the features in Visio to do your own, but in the end, you'll probably put more than $1500 worth of your time into getting it all functioning.
Post 48 made on Friday July 24, 2015 at 17:21
Archibald "Harry" Tuttle
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On July 23, 2015 at 17:24, BizarroTerl said...
So any CI will walk into a totally undocumented install and know exactly what is going on with all the equipment?

We do this quite often since it is part of the job if you ever do a service call. If one knows about system design and what all the boxes and other gadgets are it should be a no brainer.

A couple times we've had to deal with a client's "IT guy from the office" that somehow end up at the boss's personal residence because there's a network there. So far I've been unimpressed.
I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light, get in, get out, wherever there's AV trouble, a man alone.
Post 49 made on Friday July 24, 2015 at 17:31
BizarroTerl
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The purpose of my responses in this thread were to point out something that happens (IMHO) too often in this forum. Someone will come down on engineers, DIY, IT, etc as a group. Not all IT or DIY people are ignorant about home automation the same as not all CI people understand network architecture principles and best practices.

It may be truthful for a CI to say that most of the engineers they have met as a potential customer think they know everything about home automation. That in no way means they all or even a significant portion of them do. Categorizing them all as that way only takes away from your credibility.

How many times has someone come onto this forum looking for help and gotten soundly trashed for it?  This may be their first experience with this trade.  With the response they got here it wouldn't be surprising if it was their last.

Every profession has their hacks as well as true professionals. Too often I see posts here that put the poster squarely into the former when if the poster put a little thought into it before they posted they would be in the latter.

There are many definitions of what a true professional is and isn't.  I think for most people a person bashing others isn't what they would describe as a true pro.  I know I don't.   Remember, this is a public forum.  What you write here is read by many people.  Yeah, you're hidden behind a handle, but the CI trade isn't.  What you post reflects on ALL installers.  True pros know this.
Post 50 made on Friday July 24, 2015 at 17:37
Mac Burks (39)
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Bottom line is that just because you call yourself "IT GUY" or "HOME THEATER GUY" for that matter... it doesn't mean you are one.

When an "IT guy" replaces a router in one of your projects he needs to configure the router so that connected devices are working as they were with the old router. If he cant do that then the client has to pay the AV guy to come out and configure it. If the client isn't happy about paying for reconfiguration he can take it up with himself and his IT guy.

If the client doesn't want to pay twice he should have called the AV company in the first place. Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes cost people money.
Avid Stamp Collector - I really love 39 Cent Stamps
OP | Post 51 made on Friday July 24, 2015 at 19:47
Fins
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Have you ever thought about why we so often come down on engineers and IT guys? We didn't hold a secret meeting and vote to pick on you for our amusement. It's because of a pattern that has been established.

I've never claimed to be a networking expert. But I do have a working understanding. That's the difference in a CI and all other trades. We have to understand all of the subsystems. Audio, hvac, electrical, networking, and in some cases plumbing. And ultimately, I understand to keep my hands off of the other contractors systems.
Civil War reenactment is LARPing for people with no imagination.

Post 52 made on Friday July 24, 2015 at 21:28
Wozman
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On July 24, 2015 at 17:21, Archibald "Harry" Tuttle said...
We do this quite often since it is part of the job if you ever do a service call. If one knows about system design and what all the boxes and other gadgets are it should be a no brainer.

A couple times we've had to deal with a client's "IT guy from the office" that somehow end up at the boss's personal residence because there's a network there. So far I've been unimpressed.

I've worked it from both sides, and you are right. Whenever a client says "... So you'll have to speak to my IT guy at the office" an instinctive reaction occurs that forces my face to to look like I just tasted something awful. Sometimes you get lucky though and their IT guy knows his shit and we work together very nicely, unfortunately that is all too rare these days.

And +1 for Solarwinds, but of you just need a quick look at a map of the network check out zenmap its free and can give a pretty good look at open ports.

Last edited by Wozman on July 24, 2015 22:19.
Post 53 made on Friday July 24, 2015 at 23:38
buzz
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One of the toughest situations that I face is the unseen "expert friend" who claims to know more than I do about whatever. The friend says that I should have used a model XYZ router or just stick a WiFi repeater somewhere.
Post 54 made on Saturday July 25, 2015 at 01:43
Mac Burks (39)
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On July 24, 2015 at 23:38, buzz said...
One of the toughest situations that I face is the unseen "expert friend" who claims to know more than I do about whatever. The friend says that I should have used a model XYZ router or just stick a WiFi repeater somewhere.

When the client mentions the expert friend/family members opinion just laugh and say "that guy is a fool". Then change the subject.
Avid Stamp Collector - I really love 39 Cent Stamps
Post 55 made on Saturday July 25, 2015 at 08:56
goldenzrule
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On July 25, 2015 at 01:43, Mac Burks (39) said...
When the client mentions the expert friend/family members opinion just laugh and say "that guy is a fool". Then change the subject.

I have a clients whose neighbor comes over EVERY TIME he sees my truck there. He sits there and asks tons of questions, questions why we are using this or that. Asks if he can just buy what we are using online and set up himself. He's a total tool. He even runs an extension cord to my clients generator when power is out. They never gave him permission to, he just does it. I've told my clients to move or find a new integrator. Most our conversation start off with, did you move yet?
Post 56 made on Saturday July 25, 2015 at 09:13
Ernie Gilman
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On July 25, 2015 at 01:43, Mac Burks (39) said...
When the client mentions the expert friend/family members opinion just laugh and say "that guy is a fool". Then change the subject.

That sounds like an instant way to qualify a client. Either he'll handle it because he knows in his heart that you're right, or you're out the door.

On July 24, 2015 at 23:38, buzz said...
One of the toughest situations that I face is the unseen "expert friend" who claims to know more than I do about whatever. The friend says that I should have used a model XYZ router or just stick a WiFi repeater somewhere.

One of my mottoes is "when you hear the word 'just,' the person is about to omit seventeen details absolutely crucial to the success of the process."  Anybody trying to be technical who says "just" is either a fool or is assuming the other person already knows those seventeen things. We here fall into both groups.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 57 made on Saturday July 25, 2015 at 11:36
BizarroTerl
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The IT industry isn't immune to people that are clueless about IT systems, as Fins pointed out in his first post. Just like CI can get a bad rap from those people in craigslist that'll install your HT for $200, IT has its share of people that are in it just for the money and suffer from a total lack of the appropriate knowledge.

Many think "hey, this can't be too hard". They're right. It's easy as long as you have the knowledge and experience.

Reminds me of a joke I heard a while back (I'll try to tell it right).
A guy that rebuilds motorcycle engines is talking to a heart surgeon and tells him that he doesn't think heart surgery would be hard at all. He rebuilds motorcycle engines all the time and they're the heart of the motorcycle. The heart surgeon thinks for a second and tells him - "Try rebuilding a motorcycle engine while it's running".
Post 58 made on Saturday July 25, 2015 at 13:12
Richie Rich
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On July 22, 2015 at 15:26, Mac Burks (39) said...
That ranks up there with...

Client: Hi, the crestron system isn't working.
Us: What part of the crestron system isn't working? Can you control lights and thermostats and arm/disarm security?
Client: I cant control the DirecTV boxes but everything else seems to be working fine.
Us: Your system has 8 cable boxes.
Client: We switched to DirecTV.
Us: Did your crestron system stop working after the DirecTV installers left?
Client: Yes.


Add in something about how "the Cable/Directv guy told me how that Questron system you put in is a bunch of junk and how he and his brother in law can come by after hours and install a Harmony remote that is much better. Why did we pay you $200,000 again?"

No crap, I have heard that. We had a client threaten to sic his lawyer on us over a conversation he had with his cable guy.
I am a trained professional..... Do not attempt this stunt at home.
Post 59 made on Saturday July 25, 2015 at 13:15
Mac Burks (39)
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On July 25, 2015 at 13:12, Richie Rich said...
Add in something about how "the Cable/Directv guy told me how that Questron system you put in is a bunch of junk and how he and his brother in law can come by after hours and install a Harmony remote that is much better. Why did we pay you $200,000 again?"

No crap, I have heard that. We had a client threaten to sic his lawyer on us over a conversation he had with his cable guy.

Sad part about that story is that these cable guys are on the clock while selling their trunk slamming services. If someone tried that with me i would call in and report them. I sure as hell wouldn't trust anything those slime balls had to say about anything.

Maybe tell that client to call his cable guys for any future service since they have it all figured out.
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Post 60 made on Saturday July 25, 2015 at 13:42
Richie Rich
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On July 25, 2015 at 13:15, Mac Burks (39) said...
Sad part about that story is that these cable guys are on the clock while selling their trunk slamming services. If someone tried that with me i would call in and report them. I sure as hell wouldn't trust anything those slime balls had to say about anything.

Maybe tell that client to call his cable guys for any future service since they have it all figured out.

Oh believe me, had somebody done that to me with one of my clients, I would have made it my mission to ruin that cable guy.
That whole thing was a project about 7-8 years ago when I was an installer.

Funny thing is all the cable guy had to do was replace a defective DVR. I had pulled the old one out of the rack and left the wiring velcroed together along with a "put cable box here" note on the rack.
Should have taken him less then 30 minutes to plug everything in and activate the box.

He took it upon himself to try to pull the rack out, when he couldn't figure out how, he dragged the entire cabinet away from the wall (scratching the floor).
He then jumpered the coax, stapled a line up and over the doorway from the rack to the display, connected the cable box (half hanging) from the component cables up to a 60in Runco plasma. Frustrated by the lack of audio he told the client the display was defective (no speakers on it).
That is when the sales pitch started with the client.

Client was already a bit problematic since our sales monkey had glossed over some of the details of the job. It all got smoothed over in the end but still.
I am a trained professional..... Do not attempt this stunt at home.
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