Legal Disclaimer

The opinions stated here in this ‘blog or elsewhere on my web site are my own. Any or all facts (real or imagined) are typically presented from my personal point of view. Furthermore these facts and opinions do not necessarily represent or even agree with those of my family, my employer, the US Government, any other organization, or entity (real or imagined). Any similarity (real or imagined) to other individuals, animals, places, items or concepts is purely coincidental.


Quote: "Imagine a world ..." 

"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge."
— Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
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I do and you should too.


Hard Disk Rails from Pyramid Distributing 

I recently bought a pair of high speed [7200 RPM] 1TB hard drives form TigerDirect. But when I went to install them, I found that I was short a pair of HD mounting rails, that allow 3.5" drives to fit the 5.25" bays in my big steel server case. So after asking the guy at the local PC Recycle center, I went googeling around looking for HD rails at a good price. They're not easy to find and only a few places seem to have them in stock. I did find an outfit, here in the Seattle area, that did have them.

While their site (and e-mail address) is hosted at Comcast, I decided to take a chance on them since I could pay using PayPal, and could fall back on their despute resolution process if needed. When I went to place the order however, i needed to use my "verified" address (a PO Box) for shipping but their site was only setup for UPS shipping. After a couple of quick e-mails I confirmed that they could ship USPS Priority, and placed my order. Their price was good enough that I ordered 5 pairs, enough to fill up all the bays in my server case.

The package arrived in a couple of days. The parts in the package were just as I had ordered, and even included the mounting screws!

So if you need HD rails I highly recommend Pyramid Distributing, and particularly Bill and the staff at their Seattle wherehouse.



Disappointment in Change of Address @ DOL - DL 

Liz Luce
WA Department of Licensing

Director Luce --

    I'm writing to let you know that I am very disappointed in you're department's inconsistency in address change policies and procedures.  While our state's Vehicle License services makes good use of 24 hour online interaction and decent use of outsourcing, our state's Drivers License service is way behind modern expectations for an efficient and responsive public agency. 

    Licensing services are by their very nature are a retail operation in the way that your agency interacts with our state's citizens. I have repeatedly found it appalling that your agency managers and administrators have stubbornly refused to admit that the business practices of 1950s era banks are suitable in the 21st century.  The banking industry a decade ago acknowledged the realities of the modern world by expanding business hours into the evenings, providing comprehensive online services and for decades has offered kiosk based services [ATMs] that are available 24/7.  Even the US Postal services has opened up it's PO Box lobbies 24/7 and installed kiosk based services [Automated Postal Centers®] in most post offices and offers comprehensive services online.  The FCC even allows 24/7 updates to it's licensing databases. 

    Because your agency's Drivers License service doesn't offer convenient evening hours or online address changes, I am forced to take time off from work to sit in a Drivers Licensing Office to change my address as required by our state's laws. 

    Your agency's administrators and managers, particularly in the Drivers License services, need to take into account the costs of lost time of our state's citizens and lost productivity of the businesses we work for, in their decision making processes. This is particularly important in these hard economic times when many people are moving, changing jobs and even working two jobs.  I'd also like to see your agency track its impacts on citizens lost time not only in its own offices but also in those of your contracted agents.  Ideally your agency needs to staff it's retail offices more like grocery store checkout lines then like school classrooms. 

    I would strongly like to suggest that you demand that your agency's administrators and managers meet, across divisions and at all levels, to discuss and drive to implementation how they can work together to share data, expertise and public resources, to improve customer service, convenience and privacy while preventing fraud and abuse.  I truly believe that an integrated approach to all licensing services that is aligned with modern customer service best practices would allow your agency to do far more to meet it's goals with the same or fewer tax and fee dollars.  It's time to change for the better.

    Finally one additional thought, as your agency prepares for the requirements of the REAL ID Act, please remind your staff and colleges at DHS that facial photos, like those found on drivers licenses and passports, are a very well studied and understood form of biometric identification with False Acceptance Rates similar to or better then fingerprints and retinal scans. Furthermore facial photos would integrate well into automated services supported by escalations to a consolidated call center form of customer service. 

    Tom Sayles
    Fall City, Wa.

BTW -- This e-mail is also being posted to my blog.