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« Motivation: Cool Down After Break Downs | Main | Art Marketing: Market Your Art in Person and in All Media »
Monday
Sep172007

Internet Presence: Secure Your e-Life Support

© 2007, Artist Career Training

You can now listen to the Tip-of- the-Week!



The day started off innocently enough. There were no signs of trouble anywhere in the office. I sat down to write this tip. Then one thing led to another, and I had to call in the big guns to handle the problem.

I am not talking about a break-in here.

I am talking about a cascading break-down. Maybe this has happened to one or two of you?

For a few days, I had intermittent problems with my fax, printers, e-mail, and access to the A.C.T. website. Maybe the cable connection was down? Had I inadvertently reset something? Despite all the security, a virus?

I turned everything off, unplugged the internet connections. To add injury to insult, I hit my head on the desk on the way up. I restarted each piece of equipment and waited. Changed the sequence and waited. Repeated the sequence and waited. Muttered at the equipment.

Next, I did the only sensible thing left-called in the experts to fix the problems: Robin Sagara, A.C.T.'s behind-the-scenes wizard; A.C.T.'s "Computer guy"; and the web host. And you should see the wire wrap job.

In case you mistake me for someone who decided years ago that I would be managing a web based business, I would have winked at you and said, "Yeah, right." But here I am. I know my limits.

Technology should serve you, not unnerve you.

You need a tech team to support you if:
·    You do not have any burning desire to master computers
·    You have no idea how to process credit cards, or sales taxes
·    You don't trust buying and selling on eBay, or other internet sites
·    You lack knowledge about marketing your work on the internet
All artists have to be computer and web literate these days to thrive in the art marketplace. And there are times when we all could use a little help.

Who you gonna call?



With the knowledge and support you get from Artist Career Training
you'll save time, effort and money.  We gather all the information you
need to market your art and build your art career so that you can make
money and get back to doing what you love - making more art.


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Reader Comments (7)

All true - unless you have a Mac. Macs are so intuitive you need little training to most things, run all your favorite programs, do not have viruses or similar illnesses, come complete with most software you need, and ready to plug in. Go try.
September 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Worsley
So, I am not the lone ranger when it comes to computer glitches. Of course, I knew that but reading how you handled it was heartwarming.
Computers can be inexplicable. It is especially hard when you are facing a deadline and your computer is not "co-operating". (You may not timely finish your current project.) Do you have some cool down thought processes to share?
September 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Barnett
Peter,

About the qualities of the Mac – I completely agree with you.

Before Mac was available for consumers, there was the Xerox Star system. It was a visual interface and I fell in love at first sight. I was lucky enough to be testing it for use in the department I worked in. My colleagues were all on PCs and had to explain many things to me. Of course, I got a Mac and never looked back. Then came various employment requirements that overrode my preferences at work. Since I was then consulting to the biggest Apple dealership in Canada, I stuck with Mac for everything possible.

About the Mac being the solution to what happened last week. Not true.

The first time that the fax shut itself down, I thought that it was finally time to replace the workhorse. I unplugged it and set it at the door to take it to the repair shop one last time.

When my computer did the same thing the next day, and then my laser printer followed suit, I began to detect a pattern. I tried both pieces of equipment in another electrical outlet. It worked. That helped me diagnose the problem – it was the back-up battery that had quit – it was not the fax, printer or computer brand.

We run Artist Career Training on both Mac and Pc platforms in order to make sure that what we create works for both kinds of systems and users. Read Robin Sagara’s post to learn more. She is A.C.T.’s behind-the-scenes wizard and she waxes eloquent on the topic of web site maintenance and support.
September 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAletta de Wal
Peter,
Robin here. It's about the evening our web site went down. Aletta had intermittent access; mine was fine. Then artists started calling to say that they could not access the member area of the web site. That’s when the problem goes from intermittent to “must be solved.”

It was 11:00 p.m. and I was on the phone with the web site programmer. I described the situation. The programmer tried to log into one of A.C.T.'s internet accounts to access the hosting info. His user name and passwords didn't work. We went over and over the spelling, but still they didn't work.

Finally, he tried a different computer, and it worked. Seems the one he was using got its knickers in a twist and wasn't going to let the poor guy do anything. Cobbler – no shoes?!?

And just in case you think he's a dummy, he's not. He's a talented programmer, a data integration specialist with clients world-wide.

The point is, it happens, to everyone. So I think it's a good philosophy for everyone to stop and think before they point a finger at the other guy for bounced emails or web site problems. There are lots of places things can go wrong between point A and point B. It's often hard to know what the problem is, even for those of us that deal with the technology every day.

One thing Aletta and I learned a long time ago, is that it too will pass. We also learned to have plenty of back-up and alternative ways to get work done.

~Robin
September 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Sagara
Patricia:

Warming up prepares you for strenuous activity. Cooling down promotes recovery and is part of the repair process.

Many people “warm up” before exercising and forget about cooling down.

The same is true for computer glitches.
The cool down is essential if you want your attitude to stay injury free.

Elements of effective and complete cool downs depend on your ability to manage stress. This is equally true for your body and your thoughts. So try the same sequence when you are facing a deadline and the electrons are not firing in your hardware:

1. Gently exercise your powers of perspective. Put your wetware (brain) to work. Relax your left brain neurons. Engage right brain and find a creative way to regroup.

2. Stretch your mind. Work on tasks best done without technology. Write thank you notes, walk a museum or visualize your next big event.

3. Re-fuel your sense of purpose. Remind yourself why you need the #@%! technology that is slowing you down in the first place. Go back to making art until you can face the keyboard again, instead of the music of the crash.

All three ways of recovering are equally important and work together to repair and replenish your attitude.

P.S. Just to keep it interesting, the switch on my back-up computer just stopped working. I’ll call for help and start the cool down process....
September 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAletta de Wal
Peter,

About the qualities of the Mac – I completely agree with you.

Before Mac was available for consumers, there was the Xerox Star system. It was a visual interface and I fell in love at first sight. I was lucky enough to be testing it for use in the department I worked in. My colleagues were all on PCs and had to explain many things to me. Of course, I got a Mac and never looked back. Then came various employment requirements that overrode my preferences at work. Since I was then consulting to the biggest Apple dealership in Canada, I stuck with Mac for everything possible.

About the Mac being the solution to what happened last week. Not true.

The first time that the fax shut itself down, I thought that it was finally time to replace the workhorse. I unplugged it and set it at the door to take it to the repair shop one last time.

When my computer did the same thing the next day, and then my laser printer followed suit, I began to detect a pattern. I tried both pieces of equipment in another electrical outlet. It worked. That helped me diagnose the problem – it was the back-up battery that had quit – it was not the fax, printer or computer brand.

We run Artist Career Training on both Mac and Pc platforms in order to make sure that what we create works for both kinds of systems and users. Read Robin Sagara’s post to learn more. She is A.C.T.’s behind-the-scenes wizard and she waxes eloquent on the topic of web site maintenance and support.
September 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAletta de Wal
Peter,
Robin here. It's about the evening our web site went down. Aletta had intermittent access; mine was fine. Then artists started calling to say that they could not access the member area of the web site. That’s when the problem goes from intermittent to “must be solved.”

It was 11:00 p.m. and I was on the phone with the web site programmer. I described the situation. The programmer tried to log into one of A.C.T.'s internet accounts to access the hosting info. His user name and passwords didn't work. We went over and over the spelling, but still they didn't work.

Finally, he tried a different computer, and it worked. Seems the one he was using got its knickers in a twist and wasn't going to let the poor guy do anything. Cobbler – no shoes?!?

And just in case you think he's a dummy, he's not. He's a talented programmer, a data integration specialist with clients world-wide.

The point is, it happens, to everyone. So I think it's a good philosophy for everyone to stop and think before they point a finger at the other guy for bounced emails or web site problems. There are lots of places things can go wrong between point A and point B. It's often hard to know what the problem is, even for those of us that deal with the technology every day.

One thing Aletta and I learned a long time ago, is that it too will pass. We also learned to have plenty of back-up and alternative ways to get work done.

~Robin
September 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Sagara

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