Living in the Stone Ages

We’ve got about five computers here in the Alabu Headquarters (that’s our walk-out basement for those of you who don’t know). It seems like every week at least one of them is acting up, well, except for my MacBook Pro. That never seems to act up. Oh, Maryclaire just got an iMac for Christmas, and that never seems to have problems either. So I guess it’s just the PCs that need so much attention. Luckily Dean and I are both comfortable working with computers.

So, we have a computer in the shipping room that we use to print shipping labels from. It’s a great setup. Dean usually imports the orders from the website in the morning and prints them all out. Then Maryclaire packs them up and writes the order number on the outside of each package. We can print US Postage right from the label printer in the shipping room. The postage labels have the order numbers on them, so all you have to do is label each package by matching up the order numbers. This works great and saves us a ton of time—unless the computer breaks.

The other day Maryclaire called me in to see what was going on with the shipping computer. It would not open the order management program. This computer somehow forgot that it was on the Alabu Network. Well, I spent about an hour troubleshooting, but it was getting late and we did not want to miss the mail pickup. We printed labels from a different computer, but we didn’t have time to move the label printer into the other room and install it on the other computer. So we just printed the postage on plain paper. If you got a package from us and your address label was taped on with packing tape—now you know why!

We had been planning on replacing the shipping computer for a long time. We’ve had a faster computer sitting in the corner that I just hadn’t set up yet. So instead of fixing the current shipping computer I just replaced it with the newer one.

While having to tape labels on our packages isn’t exactly like living in the stone ages, it does show how dependent we are on all of this technology.

H.M.

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