Author: Alan Luber

PC Migration Tools: A Bad Idea

In chapter 4 of my book, PC Fear Factor, I provide a step-by-step process for transitioning from your old computer to a new computer. The process includes all of the steps required to migrate your data from your old machine to your new, and how to install all of your applications on your new machine. It also goes into a number of very important facets of the transition process, including preparing your old computer for disposal. Because users have more data on their computers and more applications installed than ever before, a new class of applications called PC migration...

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Business Model Bloopers and Blunders

You can talk about all of the things impacting our economy – government regulation, terrorism, the Fed’s determination in 2000 to convert a virtuous cycle into a vicious cycle – but I think that there is another problem facing our economy: flawed business models. There are so many fundamentally flawed business models out there that I couldn’t possibly cover them all in one column, so I will choose a few of my “favorites” for purposes of discussion. The “No Time Left for You” or Customer No-Service Business Model I’ve written in detail about this business model many times over...

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Marketing 101 for Broadband Service Providers

Every day I’m bombarded with television commercials from broadband service providers in my area. Companies like BellSouth, Charter, AT & T, and Earthlink are competing relentlessly for my broadband dollars. And there isn’t a single thing in any of their television commercials that would cause me to pick one company over another. The fact is, none of these companies have a clue about how to market broadband. Let’s pick on BellSouth for a minute. Based on their television commercials, the primary reason for going with BellSouth is that you will have teenagers dancing all over the house and jumping...

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A New “Standard” For Customer “No-Service”

From time to time, I like to write a column about a subject that is near and dear to my heart: customer service. Sometimes I use these columns as a forum to recognize companies who do an outstanding job of providing customer service. Sadly, I so rarely have positive customer service experiences that I feel the need to shout it from the mountain tops when I do. I cling to the hope that by doing so I will inspire other companies to improve in this area. We have taken a giant step backwards with regard to the use of...

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Back Up Blues Revisited

I can’t seem to get away from this subject. And it’s so darn important, I’m not sure I want to. My earlier column, Back Up Blues, triggered some interesting responses. One reader inquired as to whether I had considered or tried another drive imaging product, PowerQuest’s Drive Image. The answer is, “Yes”, I did consider it, and “No” I didn’t try it. PowerQuest’s product was not compatible with as many makes and models as CD RW’s as Norton Ghost, and more to the point, it was not compatible with my CD RW. So while it may be a good...

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Back Up Blues

In a previous article, I discussed the importance of backing up your entire hard drive (not just your data) periodically as protection against computer viruses. Of course, there are other equally important reasons to back up your entire hard drive. You can have a hard disc crash, as I did last month. You can install an application that, for some reason, screws up your hard disc so badly that it is rendered useless. Or you might be upgrading to a larger hard disc, and you need to transfer the contents of one disc to another. Earlier, I sort of...

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A Broadband Customer Service Update

My readers know that customer service (or customer no-service) is a running theme throughout my articles. I am constantly aghast at the number of companies who don’t understand that their real business is to provide customer service. You may gain a few customers with your products, but you keep them, and grow your business through superior customer service. The landscape is littered with companies who no longer exist because they didn’t understand and execute on this fundamental concept. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how three broadband service providers are doing from a customer service perspective....

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Stupid Accounting Tricks: Pro Forma Accounting, Part 3

Well, I just can’t seem to get away from this subject. You all keep writing, and in doing so, engender material for follow up columns. Hopefully, this will be the last for a while, but a couple of letters bought up important points that I wanted to address today. The Goodwill Games One reader inquired as to why I described goodwill as “funny money” in my last column on the subject. Here’s my explanation: When company A acquires company B, a premium is usually paid. This premium, often referred to as goodwill, is mathematically calculated as the difference between...

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Stupid Accounting Tricks: Managing Earnings, Part 2

I received so much feedback on my column (Stupid Accounting Tricks) that I thought I would respond en masse today and elaborate a bit on the subjects of pro forma accounting and managing earnings. First, the title of my column “Stupid Accounting Tricks” offended some. I don’t know why. But honestly, it was just a play on Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks”, nothing more. I originally considered using “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” as the title. I actually liked it a lot more, but I thought both the meaning and the source of the title would be a bit too obscure. And...

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Stupid Accounting Tricks: Extreme and Foundry By the Real Numbers

Remember back in high school algebra when you were first introduced to the concept of imaginary numbers? That’s a good way to describe quarterly earnings reports these days — as imaginary numbers. In the old days, when a company reported quarterly earnings, you had a pretty good idea of how they really did. These days, because of something called “pro forma” reporting, you have to play detective to find the real numbers. And if you don’t know how to play detective, you can be easily misled. The term Pro Forma means “preview” or “provisional”. It was originally used to...

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FINANCIAL CRISIS

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