shopping around

I’ve been quite a shop-a-holic recently. Not only that, I’ve managed to become quite a penny-pincher as well. Now you may not think that these two things go together, but read on…

Something I got into soon after I started work at ESI was conversating with a BellSouth Account Executive about our Voice and Data services at our Corporate office as well as across our 24 branches. After several weeks of back-and-forth questioning and answering, I signed three contracts at the tail end of last week with BellSouth on behalf of ESI. I guess this was my first major deal as an executive and it felt good to be able to execute what I did. Currently, our corporate office data connectivity comes in the form of a fractional T1 line (Dedicated Frame Relay 512Kbit line for all those who speak geek) and we’ve been paying just shy of a grand for it for about tow years or so I guess. Come to find out, now we can get a full T1 (Dedicated Frame Relay 1.54Mbit line for all those who speak geek) for $800/month. For those not math inclined, that’s three times the bandwidth for approximately 20% less cash each month. Nice move Justin, you just saved the company $2400/year. And it gets better. We’ve talked local voice lines and DSL service for branches that are in a BellSouth servicable area and long distance service for all branches and the grand savings comes to somewhere in the neighborhood of $2100/month on everything plus an initial credit of ~$2500 for switching voice lines back. Over the next 12 months that’s over $27,500 that ESI/ECI gets to keep in the bank. Whew.

On other shopping fronts, I’m in the market for a new digital camera for my family. The piece of junk Vivitar that I picked up on clearance at Kmart two years ago has seen it’s better days. I’m looking at 4MP Canon’s for the price/quality ratio and love both of the models.The A85 is leading the race at this point thanks to it’s non-anemic body size and ability to shoot AVI movies a little larger size. The other camera which I’m considering is the uber-sexy S410. It’s a good deal smaller and in the neighborhood of $100 more expensive than the A85, but in includes a rechargable battery pack that I know would more than pay for the difference in batteries in the course of six months or a year. Brandon got one of these about a year and a half or so ago and absolutely swears by it, so I’m gonna borrow his for a few days (maybe when I take my wife to Rascal Flatts?) and give it a test drive.

Finally, I’m starting to shop around for a better deal on a reseller’s hosting package. I ran some numbers and my personal site plus the reseller account I have are really just costing more than they should. I’ve sworn to Jim that I wouldn’t move my personal site away from his company, but I may have to renig on that. If I can find a reseller package that offers comparable features and a fair price to what I have now (on both accounts) PLUS shell access, it’s a done deal. The more I get into Linux at home and work, I want need crave SSH access to my web server. If nothing else – maybe Brandon and myself can co-lo a box somewhere. I’m wide open for suggestions people. Share your experiences on all hosting related matters please.