East of the Sun, West of the Moon

2007/6/23

Google Search

Filed under: Software — Erwin @ 10:17 pm

I’m pondering using Google Search for the search function in the sidebar, but when I tell it to only return results for is-here.com it also returns results for sub-domains, like dgd.is-here.com, it.is-here.com, nl.is-here.com, etc, which makes it largely useless.

It’s possible to exclude various sub-domains for a regular search, but for the site-search form where you indicate the domains to search in a hidden input field, I know of no such possibility. To clarify, I basically need the equivalent of:

    site:is-here.com -site:it.is-here.com -site:nl.is-here.com -site:dgd.is-here.com

Help?

Credit where credit is due

Filed under: Family,Humo(u)r — Erwin @ 9:31 pm

Last week I requested a copy of my credit report from Trans Union, via the Annual Credit Report website.

Nothing unusual in there, except for two items:

  • They figured my birthday must be in June. I suspect this is because I got my driver’s license in June (5 years ago, time flies) and they seem to assume that those things are handed out or renewed on your birthday.
  • My name is on several bank accounts and a few credit cards. Of all of those, Bank of America is the only one that looks at my credit report every month. I don’t think it’s related to the Identity Advisor account I recently canceled, because they used Equifax. So… WTF?

If anyone has a better answer for these two things, I’m definitely interested.

2007/6/21

What a week! (and then some) (final)

Filed under: OS X,Software,Technology — Erwin @ 10:12 pm

Impressive, I must say.

Here’s the time-line, of sorts:

  • Saturday:
    • 1-2pm: Put MBP to sleep with a Firefox that refuses to start back up, figuring I’ll deal with it later. At the time I assumed I would simply need to restore the relevant profile directories from the most recent backup.
    • In the evening I try to resume it, without any luck. Various tests are performed, leading to the conclusion that something is definitely broken, the hard drive being the main suspect. Not being able to open it up without voiding the warranty, I can’t verify that theory.
  • Sunday:
    • After initially restoring my personal account onto M‘s MacBook, I decide to instead put it on the Mac Mini, and put my work account on the MacBook, to ease the load while I temporarily crash there. It also allows me to remain mobile because I have no idea how long this situation will last.
  • Monday:
    • 10-11am: Talk to Apple Support for just over an hour.
  • Tuesday:
    • 11:30am: Box for MBP is dropped off at our door.
    • 2:00pm: Request a pick-up via DHL’s website.
    • 2:25pm: DHL is in our driveway to pick up the box with MBP.
  • Wednesday:
    • 11am: Receive confirmation from DHL and Apple that the box has arrived.
    • 5pm: Receive an update from Apple that the MBP has been repaired and is on its way back to me!
  • Thursday:
    • 12pm: Receive box with MBP from DHL.
    • 4pm: Both work and personal account have been copied back onto the MBP!

This means that what I feared might be a multi-week affair has been sorted in under a week. Wow!

The repairs are described as follows:

  • PCBA,2.0GHZ,128VRAM(M1-RP) MBP 15″
  • DA PSEC UJ-857 9.5MM 4X SUPERDRIVE HAE4
  • ODD, FLEX ASSY, MACBOOKPRO

The apparent translation:

  • They replaced the mainboard (a.k.a Printed Circuit Board Assembly) with new 2.0 GHz Core Duo chip and 128MB video RAM.
  • A replacement superdrive (CD/DVD burner/drive).
  • Including the cable to hook up the superdrive (ODD is Optical Disc Drive, flex ass(embl)y is the cable).

So apparently the hard drive wasn’t the problem. I have the same model in there still but as I didn’t write down the serial number of the original I will never know if it is also the exact same drive. Oh well.

The new mainboard/CPU combo is unknown to CoreDuoTemp, a little menubar gadget I used to track the CPU temperature and usage, so I guess I may have gotten the most recent edition of that, at least. I hope that that also means improved dealing with the CPU/HD heat.

Now, where was I… 😉

2007/6/19

What a week! (and then some) (part 2)

Filed under: OS X,Technology — Erwin @ 2:56 am

I spent an hour on the phone with Apple Support this morning. Repeating some of the steps I’d already taken (running the Apple Hardware Test, running Disk Utility from the install DVD to Verify and Repair the hard disk data) and adding some others (attempting a safe boot, clearing the Parameter RAM a.k.a NVRAM contents), none of which resulted in anything useful other than confirming that the hard disk was no longer responding.

Because I’m not particularly eager to make a 2.5 hour drive back both ways to visit either the nearest Apple Store or the nearest certified service center (in Kansas City and Springfield respectively) they’ll send me a box in which to ship the laptop to them. Then the waiting and daily checking of the online repair status page begins!

In order for me to continue doing what I get paid for, I’ve restored my work account on M‘s MacBook, and my personal account on the family Mac Mini (first generation version) in the dining room. That way M can still use her laptop in the evenings and I still have a mobile work environment.

To Apple’s credit the transition of the two accounts to their respective new homes went reasonably smoothly, all the essential applications survived so I can browse, read/write email, read news, chat, listen to music, track finances, etc, as I did before. Two things that I noticed not working were a Core Duo specific application that probably would’ve worked with M‘s Core 2 Duo with an upgrade (but I couldn’t be bothered), and an application that, on the PowerPC side of things was detected as a Classic application, but was actually a compiled AppleScript program. Weird, but not important enough. 🙂

Time to veg in front of the (Myth)TV now, we’ve got a bit of backlog!

2007/6/17

What a week! (and then some)

Filed under: OS X,Technology — Erwin @ 3:50 am

What the hell, is there somebody out there with a voodoo doll with my likeness that is sticking pins in it or something? This afternoon the HD in my MacBook Pro died. Yes, I have backups. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ll now have to deal with warranties and probably be without it for a while. Aaaaaargh!!

2007/6/15

What a week!

Filed under: General — Erwin @ 5:31 pm

  1. A week ago one of the computers at work went down and refused to come back up nicely, it then took far too long to get it restored. This delay was at least partially due to the fact that we changed the layout of the HDs, and partially due to the unfamiliarity of the co-lo tech with Debian, but still, a restore shouldn’t have been that troublesome?
  2. On Monday our backyard was filled a third of the way with rainwater. Then the water come up through the sump hole and flooded part of our basement. On Tuesday our backyard was filled halfway with rainwater, at least partially because the water from the previous day hadn’t had a chance to get the heck out of there yet! We’ve since then applied a shop vac to the soaked carpet repeatedly and a shiny new sump pump was initially pumping about 5 gallons of water every two minutes into the bathtub (for lack of a better spot, we’ll deal with getting it permanently installed later).
  3. This morning I drop M off and as I leave I have this nagging feeling that I had my regular glasses with me but I can’t find them anywhere in the car so I convince myself that I must be mistaken and I’ll find them at home. I start to drive home wearing my sunglasses which I was wearing already, and as I get up to 30-40 mph, I spot the container with my regular glasses be blown off the hood… GAH! I’m still surprised that I was able to recover both the frame (badly bent out of shape) and lenses (scratched up). The nice woman at the Wal-Mart Optical department (the nearest optician I could think of) straightened out the rather flattened frame and reminded me multiple times to be very careful with it from here on. I quite agreed with her disclaimer that she couldn’t be held responsible if the frame broke after her miracle repair of sorts.

Here’s hoping these things come in threes and this was the last mini-disaster of sorts to happen for a while. It’s leaving quite an impression on my poor visiting parents, even if they’re never going to admit that. 😉

2007/6/8

Jericho go bye-bye? (part 2)

Filed under: News — Erwin @ 6:02 pm

Apparently the fans made an impression:

To the Fans of Jericho:

Wow!

Over the past few weeks you have put forth an impressive and probably unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime time television series. You got our attention; your emails and collective voice have been heard.

As a result, CBS has ordered seven episodes of “Jericho” for mid-season next year. In success, there is the potential for more. But, for there to be more “Jericho,” we will need more viewers.

<…>

On behalf of everyone at CBS, thank you for expressing your support of “Jericho” in such an extraordinary manner. Your protest was creative, sustained and very thoughtful and respectful in tone. You made a difference.

Sincerely,

Nina Tassler

President, CBS Entertainment

<…>

P.S. Please stop sending us nuts 🙂

Excellent! Now, please CBS, be sure to include in your count the people that watch it online, on TiVo, or that buy episodes on iTunes?

2007/6/2

Jericho go bye-bye?

Filed under: News — Erwin @ 9:44 pm

In the it’s a small world category of events, I had ordered a few more bags of oriental mix and when they arrived, I found a free sample of gigundamundo yogurt raisins (that are a hit with everyone here, oh dear), which prompted me to go back to the website to at the details and price, and such.

That’s when I noticed the NUTS for Jericho section on their front page, with the subtitle NUTS! Save Jericho! Jericho fans unite!. Eh. What? Since when does Jericho need saving, I thought they were doing alright?!

Apparently Jericho was canceled about two weeks ago, and because I have other things to do than watch a CBS show about its fall line-up or so, I hadn’t heard or read about it yet. CBS’s excuse appears to be that the ratings dropped. Big shocking surprise:

The ratings were down 25% following the nearly three-month hiatus and subsequent return opposite American Idol.[7] During its one season run, it ranked 48th, with an average of 9.5 million viewers in the United States.

Yeah, I guess nearly 10 million viewers just isn’t enough, these days. Idiots.

Now the fans have taken to sending bags and bags of nuts to CBS executives in NY and LA, a reference to the last aired episode, where Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich) calls an offer of surrender “nuts”. Is it going to work? Who knows. But the NutsOnline folks initially just happened to be surprised by the unusual amount and target of bags and bags of nuts being ordered, then stepped in to help the fans pool their resources, saving a bunch on shipping that way.

In the history of television these actions don’t often work, but I’ll cross my fingers that somehow, somewhere, the fans of the series (myself included) can get something better than the collection of cliffhangers that the producers gave us, because they weren’t expecting this cancellation either!

Nuts!

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