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Uncle Ed's Storytime Corner. A collection of anecdotes and interesting tales about

We hope that our users won't mind while we retell some of the amusing or interesting tales gone by. This is for everyone's enjoyment and we will keep the names anonymous or use an alias.

The things people think we do

We've received calls and questions from people about all kinds of things.

  • Many people have called asking if we offer DSL Internet access. We don't.
  • Many people have called asking if we are Smithville Telephone. We happen to be next to them in the Internet section of the phone book.
  • Someone called us once asking if we sell Sushi. I guess Suso almost sounds like Sushi, but what gave it away, the "Technology Services" part or .org?

Try to say this a few times:

 Suso Sells Sushi by the Seashore.
  • Someone called us asking if we back up and if we use DAT audio tapes to do so. They wanted to buy some DAT audio tapes for recording music. The problem is that the kind we use is different than a recording artist would use.

Oh, that kind of Shell account

Early in 2005, we got notification that a woman from Florida signed up for a premium account. Excitedly, I searched the web logs and found that she had found us through clicking on one of our google ads while searching for "shell access". I quickly created her account and let her know through email that I would be calling in a few minutes. When I called her 10 minutes later, she didn't know who we where and became confused. I thought at this point that maybe someone else had used her card, so I verified her address and asked her if she had just signed up in the last hour for a suso account. She was still confused. I told her that we recieved an account signup that used her name, phone number, address and credit card and that I was calling to give her the password.

At this point she responded "But I haven't even received the card yet" and wondered why I would be calling with the password?

Card? What was she talking about?

"You don't mean a Shell gas station card do you?" I asked.

"Yes" she replied.

I went on to explain "Oh no, we don't have anything to do with Shell, the oil company, we are a website hosting company that also offers something called shell accounts. But that's a service for the Internet."

"Oh, well I already have internet access through BellSouth and I don't want to change" she said.

This lady had searched google for "shell access", clicked on our google ad, gone through our entire signup form, entered even her own credit card information, all without realizing that she wasn't on a site that had anything to do with petroleum products. Amazing! This goes to prove that there really are people out there that are clueless.

In case its not clear, a "shell account" in the sense that internet services companies use it, refers to a way of accessing the server so that you can run commands. You are accessing a shell when you do this. Some people are interested in having shell accounts, which is why we advertise it on Google.

Linux must have an 800 number

As an intro, Linux is an open source operating system that is not controlled by a single company, but rather a community of folks around the globe. Open Source in general a sharp departure from the tried and true way that products come to market.

Marina and I were busy moving into our new office downtown and we are working on getting the DSL setup through SBC. Anyways, when she called to find out what the username and password was, they asked her which OS she uses. Her words:

I am amazed how little people know about Linux. I was talking to the SBC for an hour and they told me that they don't support Linux server, and tried to sound like he new what he was talking about. He said that we would need to contact Linux directly to get the username and the password. I said that Linux is an open source software and there is not a head company who manages it the way windows is. He said that since Linux is an Operation System it must have a company behind it with a 1 800 number. So he advised me to call to tech support at Linux, he said that they just had another customer who called and asked for the Linux 1 800 number. So obviously Linux has a tech support hot line. So here I am writing to the Linux tech sup :):):):)

Ironicly enough, one of the things we do is Linux advocacy, promotion and support. ;-)

Payment plan for $20

In 2000, was starting to grow. I had to start charging newer users a monthly fee for their accounts to help offset my own costs of keeping it running. Once in a while I needed to keep the pressure on people to pay otherwise they let their account balances get out of control. One user, who accrued a $20 balance wrote me saying:

"$20? Can I have some kind of payment plan"

I wrote back saying:

"Sure, the first payment is $20"