Messiah College @ Solar Splash

I just found out that Messiah College placed 4th in the recently held Solar Splash competition.

Messiah has been racing in various events since 1997. I first joined the Solar Racing team as a first year student at Messiah. Essentially, Genesis was all about a group of students who got together to build and race a car that was powered entirely with solar energy.

Not to brag, but our team did so well, that we not only walked away with the top technical innovation award, but also had the lightest car (~ 800lbs) and the fastest car (~ >70mph) in the event. Although the results, often don’t speak about the hardships that a racing team goes through, each member definitely learns something over the course of the racing season.

If there’s one thing I learnt as being part of the team, it’s definitely that the little dogs in the race can make all the difference.

Congratulations Genesis II.

Update: Gateway goes downhill

I’ve always been a fan of Gateway products and have pushed for their adoption wherever possible. However, that may soon end as a result of terrible customer service regarding a rebate that was supposed to have been mailed to me early in February.

I spoke to both Young-America (The company that handles Gateway’s rebates) and Gateway’s Customer service department and continue to be passed on to another department.

Lessons in Customer Service

1) Don’t pass the buck
2) Don’t ‘transfer’ the user – ‘connect’ the user.
3) Treat the customer as one, even after they’ve actually completed the purchase. This is probably the single most important aspect, as it builds customer loyalty.
4) Keep your promises. If you say you’ll call back, ensure that you stick to your word.

My ordeal with Gateway continues. Updates will follow as and when I receive it.

Update: Initial review of GMail

I finally got down to spending some time with Google’s GMail service and as Mark Williamson describes, Google may have missed a significant window of opportunity to reach the typical consumer.

However, it could still find potential commercial customers by bundling the GMail service as a message server appliance similar to the Google Search Appliance.

Some of the feature sets that I experimented with include:

Contacts: I could not find a way to import my existing contact list

Calendaring Functionality: GMail offers no scheduling or collaborative features.

Archiving: Rethinking the whole idea of folders and storage to facilitate the concept of archiving by flagging messages

Rich Text: Unable to compose messages in rich text.

Virus Scan: Yet to determine if messages are scanned for viruses

Google Power: Full fledged Google search technology powering the service

Converse: The whole idea behind filing messages is built on the idea of conversations. As long as the sender / recepient are emailing the same headers, the message is grouped as a conversation.

The question remains, are we all one massive beta testing group for the new GMail Appliance server?

GMail

The eagerly anticipated and long expected invite to Google’s new Email service, a.k.a GMail finally arrived. Perhaps, using Blogger has other miscellaneous benefits, one of which is getting to test drive Google Lab creations. Out of curiosity how can you express happiness in 1GB of storage space?