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A challenging week

No, that’s an understatement … it’s been a BITCH of a week!

Our server installation has been a nightmare. 3 Days later and we can finally do some work again but there are so many unresolved issues that we have to contend with that I’ve no idea when we’ll be 100% operational again. Unfortunately, it turns out that the company who sold us the Small Business Server doesn’t *really* know what they’re doing. We’re still sitting with a few machines (the Macs) unable to connect to Exchange, IIS Web Services ain’t happening blah blah fishpaste.

So much money, so much time and I’m seriously hacked about the whole thing. We’re all so behind on work now – it’s going to be a pretty shit weekend trying to catch up.

The alarm system is borked and keeps going off randomly. ADT wants me to evacuate the premises, lock everything up and then stand very, very still to test the alarm. This was after I simply asked them to send a technician. Apparently that’s a fail in their books. No … I have to perform the evaluation and fix myself. Jeez! EVENTUALLY I managed to convey to the chickie on the phone that I don’t have time for that crap and I just want a bloody technician!

We’ve lost a phone line somewhere in the whole office re-vamp AND my home line has died. Yay … we get to rely on Telkom to come fix!

Son#1 is struggling like no-one’s business over in the UK. He got fired from one job, is earning peanuts on the other and basically doesn’t have enough money to survive. i’m getting such sad messages from him, it breaks my heart. Fuck.

My sore back has set me back big time – I had to rest the whole of yesterday AND I had a damn tummy bug on top of that so I’ve been thoroughly miserable. Neither the chiropractor nor my GP knows what’s wrong with my back so I just have to keep on taking meds until it decides not to feel like I’m being impaled in my right lung. Great.


Mmk, I’m finished moaning. Fingers crossed that things start getting better. Fast.

At close quarters

Well, after 10 years I have FINALLY taken the plunge and going ahead with the much-dreaded (and way overdue) renovation of our office.

The Shit Hole is getting a face lift at last 😀

It all starts tomorrow with the new laminated wood floor being laid. Then the place gets painted, new lights get fitted, floating shelves get put up and wooden blinds get hung. And then *drumroll* … the MOST exciting part … a brand new server HURRAH!

Obviously, everyone’s had to clear out of there and move into my house for the week that this is going to take. Yeah, so we’re snuggled up nice ‘n close in here … all 8 of us, heh.



There are now THIRTEEN computers in here!


Thank goodness we have 4 strong boys here, moving all that heavy stuff
looks like it was hard work, neh?


Note the finger pointing happening on the right, lol!


Kak. That doesn’t look good!


And here lies the poor Shit Hole, waiting for some TLC.


I’ve bought a new iMac

Is there anything worse than a borked computer?

I think not!

You know how my machine crashed a few weeks ago and I lost all that data? Well, this morning it started doing some REALLY weird shit and rather than risk having it crash again, I decided to go out and buy a new iMac.

I was going to buy myself a new Mac (possibly a Macbook Pro) one of these days but I wanted to first get my team sorted out with new equipment (all our stuff is getting a bit long in the tooth now). But seriously, I absolutely CANNOT go through the ordeal of having my machine die on me again so I just had to go ahead and do it!

Jeesh … some heavy expenses going on at the moment, what with office renovations coming up soon, a new server being installed, an iMac for Sir G, an iMac for me, new software, plus the upgraded hardware and software for my team. This is why I didn’t go for the Macbook right now.

But I must say, my new baby is rather beautiful 😀


iMac 21.5-inch 3.06GHz
3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
1920 x 1080 resolution
4GB memory
1TB hard drive
8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics with 256MB
Wireless keyboard and new Multi-Touch Magic Mouse
Ready out-of-the box with Mac OS X “Snow Leopard” and iLife ’09

So, yours truly is now well and truly a Mac Girl. Heh.

I’m looking forward to getting 100% setup and productive on my new toy – it’s been YEARS since I worked on a Mac. I loved, loved, loved them and the only reason I went the PC route when I started my business was because of cost.

Wish me luck!

20 Lessons from the last decade

Happy 10th Birthday to The Forge Web Creations!

Actually, I’ve been a free agent for a bit longer than that but my CC was officially registered a decade ago.

So, who woulda thunk, eh? A chickie with no formal training, no qualifications, no mentor and no investors decided to start her own web agency and actually made it work w00t!

I guess I’ve come rather a long way, although I very rarely stop to look back at that progression, I tend to focus on what’s happening right now and how I can improve going forward. But I know that I have certainly learnt a lot over the last 10 years …

In no particular order:

  1. Get everything in writing. Always.
  2. Very little goes according to plan – be prepared to adapt, especially in this fast-paced industry.
  3. Play to your strengths – focusing on your weaknesses is soul-sapping and counter-productive.
  4. Hire experts to fill any gaps in your knowledge base and/or skill set.
  5. Surround yourself with talented, motivated people and treat them like gold.
  6. Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket – diversify at the earliest opportunity.
  7. Undertake to work with clients on your own terms.
  8. Managing client expectations correctly, from the beginning, will save you a lot of unnecessary stress and trauma later on.
  9. Saying “no” is completely liberating.
  10. Don’t work for or with people that you clash with – the relationship will not survive.
  11. Look after your existing clients – it’s easier to up sell than cold sell.
  12. Word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing tool in your artillery.
  13. Admit when you’ve made a booboo and then fix it. It can lead to unexpected doors opening.
  14. Making tough decisions is part of the package. Deal with it.
  15. Never undertake spec work – you’ll set a dangerous precedent that will come back to haunt you.
  16. Most meetings are a total waste of time.
  17. Backup your data regularly.
  18. There will always be someone else cheaper, faster and better than you so position yourself to add unexpected value.
  19. Under promise and over deliver – exceed all expectations.
  20. Honesty and integrity will serve you well.

And guess what? The learning process never ends! In fact, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. That’s incredibly humbling!

So … 10 years! That’s quite a milestone. Here’s to another 10 and many, many more 😀

I’m having a ‘mare

It had to happen sometime, I suppose. For the first time ever since I’ve been working on a computer – about 17 years now – a hard drive has bombed out on me.


My iMac, the one my Dad sold to me a few years ago, has given up the ghost. The HDD hasbeen sent off to datarecovery specialists to see if they can retrieve anything. God, I hope so!

I have 11 years’ worth of PST files on there (all my email and notes), along with my traffic control sheets and the site design that I’ve been working on for 2 days. That’s the important stuff. I don’t mind about the rest, I can survive without it but I’ll be pretty upset if I lose those 3 things. Luckily, I backup most of my stuff to an external drive and all our important files are hosted on a server and backed up nightly, so that’s all good.

Anyhoo … I’m busy working on an old laptop at the moment (thank goodness I have spare machines!) but I can’t design on it so that’s a bit of a problem. And I don’t have email running yet. I’ll have to set that up and configure it to leave all my mails on the server. Urgh, when I eventually get my machine back, I’m going to have to redownload it all.

Jeesh, this is SUCH a pain! And I’m feeling completely disorientated working on a “foreign” computer.

I’m thinking about taking the plunge of leaving my Mac (when it comes back) as a Mac, and not installing Bootcamp. It’s a bit scary though as I haven’t worked on a Mac for many years! I can get most of the software I need for free – it’s just Photoshop that I’ll have to worry about licensing. I’ll also have to find a way to get all the stuff off my external HDD and then reformatting it so the Mac can read it. And then there’s the issue of email … if I get all my PST files back, what the hell do I do with them? If I don’t get them back, well, so be it.

This is absolutely the WORST time for my drive to have crashed and burned. We are so so so busy and now it looks like I’m going to have to sweat blood next week to try and make up for lost time. Buggeration!

Well, that’s my sorry story at the moment.

Oh, before I forget … have you voted for me in the Nerdies yet? If not, PLEASE click here to cast your vote for “Cow_Grrrl” (that’s me) and help me win!

Onwards and upwards,

Apparently not …

Nope. It seems like no-one wants a foot in the proverbial door.

Strangeness. I’m normally inundated with CV’s and at the moment, there’s NOTHING.

Which seriously sucks because with 40 new sites coming in each week, we really DO need new people!

Well, I’m not going to panic. These things always have a way of working themselves out – the right person (or people) will come along when the time is right.

Until then, I’ll keep grinding away 😐

If you know of anyone just starting out the magical world of the WWW, please would you be so kind as to point them towards our job posting?