Daily Archives: November 7, 2010

Early start in Dubai

Up and at ’em at 3:00am today, , , highly unusual for me to be up so early when teaching the IT Manager Institute, , , but you do what you need to do.

One of my students is flying in from Nigeria and his flight gets here at 2:30am. There is a possibility there may be confusion with his hotel reservation so I’m going to be available if needed to insure we start off well.

Dubai is an amazing city and one of my favorite class locations. It’s my 4th time here and I’m always impressed with how well they take care of their visitors. It’s very safe and for the most part pretty economical. I pay just as much or more for basic things like hotel, snacks, taxi, etc. in other countries (including the US) as I do in Dubai. I actually find the prices to be pretty reasonable here, , , but, you can also find very expensive items as well.

To put it mildly, Dubai has it all, , , or at least a lot to do and see:

  • tallest building (seen it)
  • largest indoor acquarium (been there)
  • largest shopping mall (actually two largest)
  • three island complexes made to look like palm trees
  • island group made to look like the countries of the world
  • indoor snow skiing with 3 runs (pretty amazing when it’s 85 degrees outside)

Another special thing about Dubai is that they accept all currencies. Give them European Euros, American Dollars, or Nigerian Naira, , , all currencies are accepted by everyone in Dubai just as easily as is the United Arab Emirates Dirham, , , and that includes shop keepers, taxi drivers, , , anyone who does business in UAE. Makes it very easy.

Today begins my 42nd IT Manager Institute since our first class was delivered in 2003. It has been an amazing ride and one full of rich experiences and being able to meet some of the best people in the world.

The hotel here, Flora Grand Hotel, does a super job. I particularly like the breakfast. Plus, they have a full time Concierge who takes care of most anything you want to do, , , will have to reserve my class dinner this afternoon.

The class dinner is always special. Let’s see, the first Dubai dinner was held in a nice Italian restaurant, , , the 2nd was on top of the Hotel by the pool. What a great scene we had of the streets of Dubai from this one. Last year, we took one of the Dubai Creek dinner cruises (they must have 50 or more of these boats that hold about 150 guests each). Good meal, entertainment, and a lot of fun.

This year, , , not sure what we will do yet, , , the Dubai Creek dinner cruise was lots of fun and easy to do so we may stay with it.

Look for more posts this week while I visit Dubai. Next stop is Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (east Africa) in December. This will be my first visit to Dar and looking forward to a totally new experience.

Nothing like a good Desktop Technician

I’m sure you have experienced a time when you called in your IT resource to help you troubleshoot an issue. Maybe you have called a Help Desk resource supporting one of your software applications.

The story often goes like this. The technicuian starts “working on things” before you even have a chance to fully describe the problem you have. Before you know it, he is either making settings changes to your PC or telling you over the phone to do things.

I call these guys “hip shooters”. They start doing things before they understand the issue. These types can be very dangerous, break a lot of things, and create much frustration.

After a lengthy time and getting no further than when you started, the support resource tells you that you need to reload the software or to rebuild your PC. I’ve only had this happen once or twice and glad I decided to seek a second opinion before going down this perilou path.

Today, I’m in a Dubai hotel and my Internet connection is lost. Everything was working fine last night and early this morning, but seems like I haven’t been getting to the Internet for a couple of hours. The three email messages I though I had sent are still sitting in my Outbox, , , OUCH!!

I hate it when this happens.

Well, when you travel you are going to have Internet connection challenges from time to time. I’m pretty comfortable doing the basic checks that end up getting me the connectivity I so desperately seek, so it wasn’t a big deal.

But today, , , all the troubleshooting ideas I could come up with simply didn’t work!!

Finally, after about an hour of doing my own troubleshooting, I call the Front Desk and ask if they have an IT Support Technician, , , knowing that this could be either a very good experience , , , or a very bad experience.

My support arrives within 10 minutes, , , a good sign.

The result, , , a couple of quick checks, , , a router reboot in his system room, , , and we are all squared away. In all, it took maybe another 10 minutes.

I plan to give the hotel manager a note of appreciation and a job well done. This guy was sharp, no nonsense, great communication skills, , , asked my permission to do certain things on my laptop versus just making changes on the fly, , , just a super professional. I was impressed!

Guys like this need to be appreciated, and I certainly appreciate his help, , , hence, you are getting this Blog post now and not many hours or days later. 

A good IT technician is worth his weight in gold. When you have a really good one, treat him or her well.