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Thread: Some days I love this business

  1. #1

    Some days I love this business

    --and some days not so much.

    Sometimes it happens in the same day!

    Yesterday was one of those days--

    First thing I did when I hit the basement was find out my old Trusty E-server XP was dying. This machine does nothing but steer jobs to FIVE of my machines. So it DOES need to work. But I was getting a "hal.dll file missing or corrupted" error. After 3-4 hours of trying to figure out how to copy a new file to the system32 folder via the original XP disk (yeah, I still have it) and Recovery Console, it became clear the error was just a symptom of total drive failure. When your BIOS lists it as a 'Generic Hard Drive', it's bad. No problem, I have about a dozen good drives, I find a 60gig drive with 'good' written on it, and proceed to install XP on it. Because it was the original disk, I had no driver issues-- except with all the extra ports I stuck in it. And the '30 days to activate Windows!' issue, which took about an hour to 'fix'. Then another hour or two of finding the right disks and figuring out the correct procedure to load the drivers. Then another hour figuring out which ports were which, as I had to do that thru the network... By 8:45 last night I finally had things nearly back to normal.
    --that was the 'not so much' part..

    So at 9pm I finally start actually WORKING. I was exactly half way thru a $2700 job I'd promised out by this morning, and I needed to make up a few ski lift operator panels to keep my best customer happy. The big job was fiber laser work, I had the Triumph doing part of it, and my 'ebay2' machine doing part. My IS7000 that I cut panels with is right between them. Nice little cul-de-sac of machinery

    By 1:30 am I had 4 op panels complete, $100 each less $18 each material cost, and the balance of my big job done, which was their parts. I cleared $1678 in 4-1/2 hours, turning a crap day into a smilie face day... Doesn't happen often, but those days when you can make lawyer money sure are nice!


    -- and the main reason for sharing this story, is I'm hoping to spark a little conversation on the forum! Been so slow lately it's scary....
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    NW Arkansas
    Blog Entries
    I really should do a new drive on my one machine just as a backup....
    Yeah it does feel good. I did a $975 job in 3 hours the other day using about 25-30 grams of Cermark 6000.
    Should have a few more coming later, ,maybe a couple hundred more $, wish they were all like that.
    Woodworking, Old Tools and Shooting
    Ray Fine RF-1390 Laser
    Ray Fine 20watt Fiber Laser
    PM2000, Delta BS, Delta sander, Powermatic 50 jointer,
    Powermatic100-12 planer, Rockwell 15-126 radial drill press
    Rockwell 46-450 lathe, and 2 Walker Turner RA1100 radial saws

    RIA 22TCM 1911s

  3. #3
    Now that you built a fresh clean, running copy of your XP machine, clone it and label it! You'll be up and running in no time if the current one fails!
    I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, thatís not going to happen."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Suwanee, GA
    Kev - would it have been worth $50 to have the computer back up and running in less than an hour? I have Casper 10 on my main computers and way back when it was ver 4 or 5 I actually had to use it to recover a drive. It took just under an hour and that was just validating Windows and entering serial numbers for some of the software, other than that it was just about as simple as swapping the bad drive for the backup drive and I was working again.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Chance in Iowa View Post
    Now that you built a fresh clean, running copy of your XP machine, clone it and label it! You'll be up and running in no time if the current one fails!
    Now that's a good idea

    --and FWIW, OS is XP-home 32, Pentium4 2-cores @ 3.06 gig, and a whopping 1.35 gigs of available ram's off the net with absolutely no service packs or upgrades. I'm going to load Corel X4 and a Gravostyle 5.3 just to do time testing with it. While I'm sure the program load times will suck a bit, I'm still betting (guessing? ) that by pure mouse-click-to-make-something-happen standards, this computer will probably out-run every computer I have, 'cept for maybe my '98 I know for a fact it'll outrun the pig10 laptop, probably by all standards. That thing took nearly 8 seconds just to bring up the 'mm-inch' page, and it's already cached! The only thing that works great on that computer is the stupid spinning wheel...

    Gary, never heard of Casper before... But, funny thing, the Emachine was the worst computer I have to lose a drive since it's basically a slug that just sits there On all my other computers, I have all work files separate from my program files; programs reside on the C drive, everything else goes to secondary drives, ALL of which are backed up every night verbatim by my 6gig--make that terabyte- backup. The e-machine had nothing to back up, or so I thought! Cloning the new drive will take about 5 minutes with my Acronis...
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    NASA Clear Lake City (Houston), Texas
    Kev- New to the Site, glad to be here. Also consider setting your operation up on a VMware platform. Very flexible. Every night schedule a backup to another machine, move a few cables to another working machine, open virtual machine on different hardware. I've used VMware for many years. Every time I get a machine just where I want it, I make a copy.
    Just glad you got it going!

    100w CO2
    50w Fibre
    Lots of Metalworking stuff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Murphy NC
    we use macrium reflect to clone drives. free for "residential" cough cough.

    we too have a few "laywer money" jobs. I won't state for whom or what, but they involve marking AA on our takes just a few seconds to mark but we have to unbag, fixture and rebag. Factoring in the admin aspect of the job drops the effective rate quite a bit but still very good money. I had a side by side shotgun engraving last week, the wood stock on the CO2 and the barrel engravings on our fiber. We used to do a *lot* of solar farm signage but that may have come to pass with current economic climate...not much on that front in 1.5 years. But, that's why they call it the 'solar coaster'. I have landed a few local jobs engraving tumblers on our CO2 for a local REMAX agent - he hands them away for guerilla marketing. WIN-WIN. The fiber makes short work of the leatherette coasters and bar tools offered by JDS. What else...I have seen a drop in aesthetic firearm engraving over the last 2 years but we still have that niche. Ran a black-ink type (product no. UNK) cermark job today on some AA pieces....good gig. Most of what we mark these days are manufactured parts that need an ID or logo or both. And I try to port these existing jobs to the 'newish' fiber to increase $/hr. I'm spent...."that's all I got to say about that".
    Epilog Legend 36EXT ~35W
    30W Fiber Laser
    Ender 3 PRO
    Corel X6
    AutoCAD 2019
    FFL 01

  8. #8
    The most money per hour per one machine (that I kept track of anyway) happened about last February; the wife and my daughter were feeding anodized parts into the Triumph- nice thing about the parts, they're small, and they came in egg crates, the girls just handed off, in, fire, out, in, fire, out, very fast... engraving was a small logo, 75c each. There were only a couple hundred of them, but they were generating $796 an hour...!
    Now, if only there were truckloads of the things --------------------------
    Last edited by Kev Williams; 08-08-2019 at 1:07 AM.
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    How do I get this bug off my screen LOL Kev I almost broke my 43 inch screen darn you
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
    Rabbit RL_XX_6040-60 watt Laser engraving/cutting machine Oh wait its a 3D Printer my bad LOL
    Lasercut 5.3
    CorelDraw X5

    10" Miter Saw with slide
    10" Table Saw
    8" bench mount 5 speed Drill Press
    Dremel, 3x21 Belt Sander

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