Thursday, October 23, 2008

Politics . . .

Here it is. Virginia is being called a battleground state this go around, so there are more nonsense ads, and news stories than usual. Virginia predominately has voted republican for as long as I can remember, but several polls show Obama with a chance of grabbing the state.

Using my technologically advanced scientific polling method (tracking the yard litter trend), I have deduced that there are far more Obama signs out this year compared to John Kerry in the last presidential election. Lynchburg is a "church town", and there is no surprise that you can tell the housing developments that have the moral conservative value voters. Usually they have four to six McCain signs in their yard. But seriously I do see more Obama signs here.

Anyhow, one of the houses that we passed had a different sign up. It said, Vote For Chuck Baldwin. I check it out and he is running for the Constitution party.

Here is a small snippet of an article on his site that is of interest to me. I must state for the record, that I in no way supporting or endorsing him, but I think that more voters should pay attention to the point of the article.

From, "A Wasted Vote":

"When asked why they will not vote for a third party candidate, many people will respond by saying something like, "He cannot win." Or, "I don't want to waste my vote." It is true: America has not elected a third party candidate since 1860. Does that automatically mean, however, that every vote cast for one of the two major party candidates is not a wasted vote? I don't think so.

In the first place, a wasted vote is a vote for someone you know does not represent your own beliefs and principles. A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know will not lead the country in the way it should go. A wasted vote is a vote for the "lesser of two evils." Or, in the case of John McCain and Barack Obama, what we have is a choice between the "evil of two lessers."

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.
For years now, Republicans and Democrats have been leading the country in the same basic direction: toward bigger and bigger government; more and more socialism, globalism, corporatism, and foreign interventionism; and the dismantling of constitutional liberties. Yet, voters continue to think that they are voting for "change" when they vote for a Republican or Democrat. This is truly insane! . . ."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Brain Toniq . . .

I just pulled the trigger on an order for Brain Toniq. I heard about it on Macbreak Weekly and Geekbrief TV.

I am not one to spend countless dollars on energy drinks or "vitamin" water. (I'm a coffee guy) However, I found a coupon code, and decided to get some purely for novelty value.

For the record:
1. I think that it is an extravagant wasteful purchase for my household income.
2. I am skeptical of its "smartening" effect

Check out the "brain toniq" song!

And if you are looking for something educational in this post: 10 things the food industry doesn't want you to know

We will see how it works when it gets here . . .

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More ISS Images

Here are a few more images:

First Image:
Oct 17 2008 - 2031UTC - ISS was over Southern Indiania/ Northern Kentucky

Second Image:
Oct 18 2008 - 12:58UTC - ISS near Lerona, West Virginia, Elev. 64 degrees

Third Image:
Oct 18 2008 - 13:02 UTC - ISS over New Brunswick Canada, Elev. 5 degrees, it was getting a little scratchy.

Fourth Image:
Oct 18 2008 - 14:32 UTC - ISS over Iowa, Elev. 7.2 degrees, nothing but static.  need to mount antenna higher.

Fifth Image:
Oct 18 2008 - 14:36 UTC - ISS over Quebec, Canada, Elev. 7.5 degrees. Who turned the camera off??

More to come  . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Received Image From ISS

Last night I got a few odds and ends together and set everything up to receive slow scan television (SSTV) from the International Space Station (ISS).

SSTV is a fancy way of saying sending images via radio. Richard Garriott,  A visitor to the space station brought and setup the sstv equipment. every five minutes it sends an image down.

I wasn't sure if the low tech antenna setup that I made would actually perform well enough to receive an adiquate signal to decode a decent image.

On this mornings pass I received these two images:

The first, was while the ISS was nearly directly over virginia, and was only approx 250 miles away. 

The second image was when the ISS was nearly setting to our north, so it was somewhere over the New England states.  Things were getting pretty scratchy, I am rather surprised that the image was even recognizable.

This was super cool! 

de KI4AOA 73's

Friday, October 3, 2008

Regular and high quality youtube video compared

I just notinced that the link to the high quality video didn't publish on the last blog post, so what follows are the same video on in high quality, and one in regular quality.


High Quality

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Youtube view in high quality option

I have put most of the video that I have recently recorded up on youtube for the world to see. If you read back in the past posts you will see some of my ranting about the poor quality of youtube video.

There has been some changes since then. Youtube has increased the upload file size to one gigabyte, but kept the video length at 10 min. I sure would like to see longer videos! However, the one Gb limit has allowed uploading dv files straight from my computer. No rendering and rerendering. Full (highest quality that I have) into the youtube video distortion device. One side affect that I noticed that none of my videos that I uploaded in this manner have the view in high quality option. Not even after a month. Oh well, I guess I'll go back the render and rerender method!
Heres one of the "rerendered" videos. You will have to follow the link to see the high quality option.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My take on: Google Chrome

After several friends asking me about the new Google Chrome browser, I decided to give it a test spin.

My Thoughts:

1. Was dissapointed that it was only for xp/vista. Crap, I have to go startup the ole' gateway lappy. Vista, ugh! . . .

2. After 15 - 20 minutes of disk thrashing, I had the new browser installed. (Note: this is not chrome's fault, but an overwhelmed underperforming cheapo laptop running a bloated OS)

3. The Browser: I like it. It is very simple, clean, and smooth. Excellent screen utilization. It didn't take very long for me to "acclimate" to it. Strangely, some of my friends & family have had trouble with tabs in firefox, and chrome's implementation should make tabbed browsing more intuitive for them. It feels like tabs weren't a oops we need to add this to our browser thing.

4. I will undoubtedly be back in firefox, my preferred browser. I am addicted to the add-ons and extensions that it has. Not to mention that there is no MAC version of Chrome!

Google listen up! I need add-ons. Come to think of it, the add-ons are the reason I don't use Safari or Internet Explorer. The biggies for me are: AdBlock Plus & Foxmarks

Monday, August 11, 2008

My take on the Apple App Store and its Apps

Ok, Let my rant begin:

Apple & Developers:

We do not need more tip calculators.
We do not need more sudoku games.
We could use a few more unit conversion apps.

I don't know any other way to say it:

The app store is great, but I hope that apple has a plan to start removing some of the underperforming apps. It is beginning to be a pain to deal with the overwhelming quantity of apps to find the one that you want.

I use the rss feed from pinch media to keep track of what new apps have been released. If I find one that perks my interest, I then fire up the iPhone app store and tap search and enter the title of the app.

Also, when you have a lot of apps installed on the device it can be a tad overwhelming flicking through many pages of apps to find the one that you want to launch. I find the desire to have more than 4 apps in the dock.

I hope that the future holds some improvement in these areas . . .

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Quiet evening at home ...

My darling wife, Beth is having dinner out with a girlfriend of hers
tonight. This leaves me unattended at home. Alone.

I decide to grill a steak for dinner. I get the grill going and find
myself in the middle of a wasp swarm.

I finish dinner, and the Internet goes down.

I call comcast and they say there is an outage. No DUH.

I decide to blog about my happy evening. Down to the only device that
can connect to the outside world, my iPhone, I fire up safari and get
nearly done typing my post, and it decides to kick me back to the home
screen loosing all my text.

It has to be me!

Posting this via email as it is what I am down to.

I think I'll head to bed, but I am worried the ceiling fan might fall
on me ...

Sent from my iPhone 3G

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mobile Phone Signal And Battery Meters Explained . . .

Why does the first bar of the battery life take 36 hours to go away,
and the other 3 seem to vanish in 10 minutes? How do my calls get
dropped when I CLEARLY have full bars? Read on m'friend.

Click here to read more . . .


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

iPhone 3G now protected!

I'm the guy who shows up with his fancy gadgets all piled in an old plastic Wal-Mart grocery bag. No fancy cases. No organization. I try! I really do!! The longest that I can say that I have kept order and organization is about 24 hours. If you don't believe me, look at the interior of my car.

Recently both I and my wife have purchased the iPhone 3G. Most things that I have, I consider tools. I use them, I don't baby them. If I can't use it for fear of messing it up, then why did I even get it? I don't purchase things not to use them.

But, the iPhone is sooo purdy . . .

I immediately started searching for ways to protect my new phone with out dorking the it's sleek lines and delightful styling. I finally found what I was looking for:

Best Skins Ever

I think I will put one of these on everything!

Let me tell you! I am all thumbs when it comes to installing decals and stickers. I did have a time getting it applied. As usual I learned a few things after . . .

Manditory reading:

I didn't use windex as suggested by the following links, but there is lots of good info

Part one - How To
Part two - How To

Most folks won't notice the skin. It doesn't feel quite as nice as it did before. I now have peace that I won't scuff it to badly when I drop it in a parking lot, or our driveway.

Beth, my darling wife, is confused as to how the clear film will provide any real drop protection. She currently carries her phone "naked". Heh, heh, heh! Sorry!! was distracted for a second, she just walked in the room. . .

Everybody Pay Attention. You need to do the following:

This should not be a surprise. However I have yet to see anyone be prepared. In day-to-day life I see family after family who have lost most of what they had in a house fire. Not once have I seen a well documented list of things that they owned.

Take a few minutes and follow through with the following:

Know Your Stuff Inventories Your Home [Featured Download]: "

Windows and Mac OS X: Offered as a free download from the Insurance Information Institute, the Know Your Stuff Home Inventory software is a full-featured tool for cataloging your possessions in case disaster should strike. Wizards guide you through the basic setup of your inventory, then using Know Your Stuff's simple interface you can add rooms and items to the inventory. For each item you enter you can assign photos, receipts or appraisals, make/model/serial number, quantity, and replacement cost.

There are guides to help you get started on the Know Your Stuff web site, very helpful if you've never done a home inventory before and aren't sure where to start or what to include in it. Obviously if you invest the time and energy to create a home inventory you'll want to make sure the it's is secure. From the Know Your Stuff application you can export the file you've created and save it to external media or to a remote location, upload the file to Vault 24 (a remote backup solution integrated into the software, which unfortunately costs $15 a year) , or you can go the old fashioned route and print the inventory off and store it in a safe location. The Know Your Stuff Home Inventory software is a free download for Windows or Mac.


(Via Lifehacker.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Well, it is official!

I have an iPhone 3G in hand!

Here is how it went down:

9:00 PM: Arrived home from work. Was exhausted from long day. Fixed myself dinner.

10:30 PM: Headed off to bed. Tossed and turned.

11:00 PM: Beth (my wife) made it home from her jewelry party.

2:30 AM: alarm wakes me.

3:00 AM: Enroute to ATT Store

3:15 AM: Arrival at ATT Store. There was a group of approx 8 people there (some were just haging with friends). We added our names to the official unofficial list. We were number 7 & 8. I didn’t exactly know what to expect, as I had never done anything like this before.

4:00 AM: We decided to watch “Meet the Robinsons” on a mac book pro. I provided AC power with my inverter and Wifi intenet to others in line through my WinMo phone.
6:00 AM: One by one, other people started showing up. Total line count was approx 22.

6:30 AM: Store manager arrives.

7:00 AM: Store manager asks us to form an “official” single file line. There are approx 35 people in line. He also starts taking info on his clipboard, I.E. your name, which phone model, what plan, etc. It is at this point the realization hits that there might not be enough phones to supply demand. There was at least one person from the back of the line who was offering cash to switch places so he could get one of the 16 gb models. Rumors had circulated all morning that they only had 20 iPhones, but ATT would not give out any info.

7:50 AM: They start letting groups of 4 into the store.

8:10 AM: It is our turn!! We have a few moments to handle the display models while waiting on the next available rep.

8:40 AM: We both walk out of the ATT store, Beth with a 16G White, and I with a 16G Black iPhone!! The line had grown tremendously! It was huge!!. We had got 2 of the 4 remaining 16G models. Onve inside the store we learned that they received ten 16G models, and ten 8G models.

All in all, it was a good experience. Our phones activated fine, I guess it was before the activation system failures of the day. I am sure the Apple store experience was better. I think it was a bad move on Att’s part to withhold the number of the units at the store from the poor people waiting in line, just so they could get orders for direct shipment of the phone later to the customers. I think some people figured it out on their own and left the line at drive to the nearest apple store 2.5 hours away.

Oh, and BTW! I LOVE my iPhone 3g.

Please don’t hate me. Remember, it is only a phone.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Comcast Doubles Upload Speed !

At least here in Central Virginia . . .

Just checked and now I am getting right at the 2 mbit upload rate! The upload rate was the biggest reason that I originally upgraded to the higher speed service. I was on the 6 mbit / 384 k and upgraded to the 8 mbit / 768 k service. This makes it cost effective to drop back to the new 6 mit / 1 mbit service.

However the test I just did reports lower download rates!?!

As much money as I am sendng comcast, I should have 16 mbit / 2 mbit service!

This got me thinking about what my usage levels are, here is a table showing my bandwith totals for the past several months:

Note: July and March are partial months.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

BE CONTENT?? Are you kidding?

I have really wrecked my future. When I was a kid, while I was spoiled, I didn’t get EVERYTHING I wanted. I would drool over Estes rockets in their catalog. I would spend hours looking at the Sears catalog. We didn’t have a computer, and this was before the phenomenon called the world wide web hit. Like a typical nerd kid, my mind was stuck on rockets, airplanes, telescopes, radios, helicopters, etc. I would dream of robots that would do everyday tasks. Problem was I didn’t have any money.
In my teenage years, I worked for my uncle at his slaughter house. I had a source of MONEY! My parents didn’t instill the necessity to save money, and I bought stuff. Now, I must say, that I am not placing any blame on my parents. It was my choice. They didn’t encourage the habit. Looking back, they didn’t approve, and I didn’t listen to their guidance.
Quite quickly I had collected quite the collection of Legos, and various toys. The age of the internet did not help matters. It opened my mind too many possibilities. I progressed to higher paying jobs, and with the increase of pay came the increase of stuff.
The years from age 18 to 25 brought nearly every childhood dream / desire to reality.
Radio Controlled Airplanes, Helicopters, Cars / Trucks. Ham radios. Metal detectors. High Powered Rockets. Computers. Laptops. High speed internet. Cell phones. PDA cell phones. Telescopes. Digital cameras. Video cameras. The list could go on and on.
I must admit a few things. I didn’t get hooked on credit. If I didn’t have the money, I didn’t buy the item. Thank goodness for that! Also I am happy of the fact that the money that I spend at least went into tangible things, and not wholly into services. At least I have something to show for my horrible habits – even today!! Many items have since found their way through Ebay, on to others.
While the past 10 years have yielded lots of stuff, I have emerged without debt! This I am very thankful for! Unfortunately I also didn’t have and real savings either.

Thanks to the recent Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course that my wife signed “us” (i.e. ME) up for, it has helped break the bad habits and help remove the hand from my face so I can see further into my future.

It has helped me understand where our money is going, and now for the first time in my life I have a sense of financial control. To some, Dave Ramsey may be an extremist out of touch with the “real” world. But the things that I have learned in his course have broken the chains in my life holding me back from a decent future.
The lifestyle that I was living was not indefinitely sustainable.
Now that the blinders are off, I can see the horrible disease called discontentment. I see it in others lives everyday. It is disgusting. I understand that true needs do exist. However, once a person grasps that “things” will NEVER bring contentment, your view of life will change – For the better!

If there is one thing that I would want you to take from this rant it is this:
“If I could only get that software, or that computer, or that iPhone . . . Everything will be fixed. . . I will have arrived”
It is a lie!! Don’t let it run your life!!

Come on over! It’s nice over here!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Deep into the iPhone decision 2008:

When the first iPhone was released a year ago, it was before my conversion (My mac conversion). I was content with my windows pc's. I overlooked their quirks and issues. As a loyal Windows Mobile pda/phone carrying nerd, I have owned an Audiovox PPC-6700 , and currently a HTC Titan.

A little background:

My computer skills started on an Tandy 1000HD. It had an 8086 processor, a 10 MB hard drive, and was running dos 2.11. This was in the mid 80s. My grandmother had purchased this machine brand new costing over $3000, for the family business. It sat neglected and unused for many years.

Packard Bell 386sx-33. 486dx4-100. Pentium 90. These are the computers that I had access to in the 1990's.

Then came 1999. The first computer that I personally owned, was a dual processor pentium 466 mhz that I built using the Abit bp6 motherboard. Later, I purchased Windows 2000 so I could utilize both processors.

I had not seen an apple computer at any point during this time. When my grandmother bought that Tandy 1000, she had looked at the apple and the Tandy, and if I was told correctly, she chose the Tandy instead of the Apple based on the fact that the Tandy had a hard disk and the Apple didn't. She didn't know ANYTHING about computers. Maybe the psycho Radioshack salesmen were better than the Computerland salesmen. I do know that computerland closed it doors before I was old enough to remember drooling over computers. With that, as far as I know, the only apple outlet near my hometown dissapeared.

Fast forward to 2007.

The first iPhone release. Whoopty-Doo. Look at all the crazy people. They were paying hundreds of dollars for a phone that was VERY limited. Sure, you could resize a photo by pinching. But could you download and install a super cool satellite tracking program, so you could determine when an amateur radio satellite was coming overhead? Could you edit a Word, Excel, or Powerpoint file?
Yet people flocked to the iPhone, even with these deficiencies. Why?
After my vista fiasco, and then the introduction of my Mac Mini, the curtain was lifted.

Sure, you might loose a tiny bit of the functionality you were used to, but you gain so much more.

1. I don't have to "reboot" all the time to "fix" things.
2. Strange cryptic error messages do not popup. (i.e. A Fatal Exception, or Illegal Operation . . .)
3. I don't have and Antivirus/Malware/Spyware program hogging my processor / emptyng my wallet.
4. I don't have to jump through hoops when I "attempt" and new hardware install.

Basically it comes down to this:

Everything a Mac does, it does well. Things are intuitive, not cluttered.

I have been responsible for 4 macs being purchased in the last 6 months by loyal pc users. (maybe I had a little help from Microsoft's Vista, who knows? ;) )
So now we get down to the subject at hand:
I am getting an iPhone based on my experiences with my mac. I don't expect the iPhone to have every feature, capability, or freedom that my current Windows Mobile pda phone has. BUT!! I look forward to having a phone that is more stable, and just plain works.

Would you give up a little to gain stability? What is more important, features or Getting Things Done?

And after you dive in, the water is great. It is nice over here!! Come on over!! I promise you won't miss a thing!! REALLY!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Father-in-law on TV!

Here is link to the blog post on my Brother-in-law's blog.

Check it out!

coming soon . . . iPhone 3G

I've been busy and haven't posted the news:

I am going to get an iPhone 3G!

AT&T doesn't have the greatest network in the Lynchburg Virginia area, but I think that the iPhone features will tip the scales. I have been looking to combine cellular service with my wife to save a buck or two, and also since the whole "Mac" conversion, I have been wanting an iPod.

We looked at the cost of the pda/phone devices on sprint, and we were going to have to put out nearly $800 one time and ~$175 a month for 2 pda phones. (one for me and one for my darling wife)

Looks like for less money we will be getting more with the iPhone.

Now only if AT&T had 3G service here . . .

New Tractor Pulling videos on Youtube

Just dropping a note to say that the latest tractor pulling video from June, 13th at Franklin County Recreation Park have been uploaded to Youtube. I have several videos on youtube. One way of finding them is by going to youtube and searching for CVATPA


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Indiana Jones Spoon!

Nothing special, I think every box of mini wheats have one in it.

I felt like a little kid! Silly and sad, I know.

Monday, May 5, 2008

My dad and the tractor pull sled slam!

I was out of town for the weekend and missed the tractor pull in South Boston, VA.

Today I was informed of some of the events that occurred there!!!

WOW! These guys ARE crazy. Here's a still frame of the video I was sent.

Video courtesy Memory Lane Videos

Thursday, March 13, 2008

WRT54G router os

I am a huge fan of the third-party linux firmware available for the variety of broadcom based routers.

I started originally with the offerings of sveasoft, many years ago, and for the past 2.5 years have fully deployed dd-wrt on the wireless routers that I administer.

Tonight, I have turned a new page, by installing Tomato, on my personal router. I was initially drawn to it for its simple clean light feel. But now I am consumed with its bandwidth monitoring capabilities.

Granted, with the recent crackdowns in my local area by Comcast on "Network Abuse", I think that I might keep an eye out for my usage.

If you have a Tomato supported router, I would suggest looking it over.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I am starting to get it . . .

I used to think that the "mac enthusiast" was a mac gadget purchasing zombie. No matter what Apple would produce, it was a "required" item.

After using the mac, I am starting to see things from a different perspective.

As a pc user, I have struggled with my Creative Zen micro and windows media player. Or maybe it was just struggles with the windows media player, I don't know.

Now, with just 12 hours of having the mac, I can see clearly now.

Things really do work!, things easily integrate in a way that the windows world could only wish.

I now, NEED and ipod. . .

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It was inevitable . . .

Today I eagerly checked my gmail inbox, and found something that has been along time coming.

My first spam message delivered to the inbox.

I have been and still am very pleased with the spam filters that gmail offers.

Here is the email:

to undisclosed-recipients,
date Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 5:19 PM


My name is Mr.Micheal Terry,I work in the Euro Lottery, I am soliciting your
assistance for a swift transfer of 4,528,000 GBP,should you be willing to
assist me in this project you will be giving me just 10% of your winnings.
Just as a brief,due to my position in the company I can make it happen
that you
would be a winner of the above stated amount,naturally every body
would like to
play a lottery if they are assured of winning, I am assuring you today to be a
winner,please do not take for granted this once in a life time opportunity as
we both stand to collectively gain from this at the success of the
Should you be willing to assist me in this transaction please do respond to my
secure e-mail:

I would be providing you with my private phone number.

Mr.Micheal Terry

Friday, February 22, 2008

Vista upgrade nightmare Part 2

So I bought a retail vista home premium upgrade last night. I decided that It would be my final microsoft computer product purchase. From now on, I am putting my foot down! Resist the urge! Avoid the plague! It really is a cancer.

I have always laughted at the apple tv ads about the mac guy and the pc guy. Especially the one about the "upgrade operation". LOL!

I finally get the true understanding of it!

I would agree that a XP to vista upgrade is quite major, and I have done it, and it can be a real pain.

However last night and this morning I have been fighting a unexpected challenge. You would think that going from vista home basic to vista home premium would be a walk in the park. NOT SO MUCH!

It required over 8 gigabytes of disk space to perform this upgrade. and after the upgrade things were left VERY broken. Well, At least it does boot!

I had no sound! Even though there was an audio device listed as working in the device manager, under audio setup it listed "No Audio Devices Installed" WTF?

Not to mention the antivirus snafu. It also left the mcAfee security suite in such disarray that it was constantly hogging 106% of the system resources.

I have spent over 7 hours of my life simply trying to get this "minor" upgrade working.

I am starting to get excited about receiving my newest acquisition, A Mac mini!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Newsflash: First experience with microsoft support

The final piece has fell into place! I just had my first and last experience with microsoft, one on one.

Tonight I decided to utilize a little dvd that was included with my laptop. It is called:

Windows Upgrade Anytime

I opened the case, and followed the instructions:

1. click on "Windows Upgrade Anytime" on the start menu
2. Follow the online order process
3. Use the disk that I have to upgrade my computer to unlock its true inner power!

Here is a screen shot:

I went through the order process, and was told that the product was backordered!

I then called microsoft tech support.

I was pleasantly told that "Windows Marketplace" was who I needed to talk to and that they could sort out my trouble. Their number is 866-441-1525.

According to Window Marketplace, I bought the upgrade from someone else. Not them! They told me that I needed to call the "Windows Anytime Upgrade Store" at 877-666-2296.

Guess what the WAU Store told me! They told me that I didn't purchase the order from them either. I was getting alittle ticked. The kind lady gave me the phone number to "Microsoft" since I apparently ordered the upgrade from them. Their phone number was: 888-285-6272.

Finally I was getting somewhere, after an hour on the phone! Upon giving my order number, They informed me that it will not show up in their system for 24 hours. I informed the poor fellow that I would like to cancel the order and just go down to the local Bestbuy and purchase a windows vista home premium upgrade. He informed me that he couldn't do anything until it showed up in their system, and that even then they can't cancel orders. I then asked him if I needed to contact my credit card company, and he then told me that he would check further to see what he could do. He finally came back and told me that he could cancel the order tommorrow after the order shows up.

I have now decided: I will never purchase another Microsoft product again. And this is why:

The company is a jerk. They have absolutley no idea of competent practices. I believe they have good support personel that are handicapped by poor business practices and systems. I get the feeling they are using beta versions of their operating systems on their own pcs. Microsoft is disconnected from the real world.

Only after a psychological evaluation from my wife, will I possibly go out in a few minutes to purchase the upgrade at Bestbuy. Then that will be the last Microsoft purchase.

Hello Apple! Here I come!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Think Vista Killed My Computer . . .


Tonight I arrive home to a lovely dead pc.

Further checking indicates failed power supply.

Hp has what looks to be a measley 108 watt powersupply jammed up in the tiny slimpc case.

Over a year of running XP and all was well. Three weeks of vista and the powersupply bit the dust. I have noticed much higher cpu usage and nearly constant hard drive access.

During the "good old days" (on xp) I had virtual memory disabled and the 2gb of ram was sufficient to carry the load. Vista proved otherwise.

XP + Wimpy powersupply = Good To Go
Wimpy powersupply + Vista = 3 Weeks Life

Makes you wonder if the bloat is worth the enviromental impact. With carbon impact studies all the rage has anybody done one on XP vs. Vista?

Oh yeah! Any good deals out there for a mac?

Sent from my Windows Mobile® phone.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tivo Billing Headaches . . .

Since adding the second tivo to my account, I have been enjoying the multitivo discount for the past 2 years. Imagine my "delight" in discovering the fact that I have been billed the full 12.95 instead of the 6.95 it should have been.

I called tech support and was transfered to the accounting department. Kim, politely listened to my complaint, and after doing some checking, responded:

I do not know why it is being billed at 12.95 it should be billed at 6.95. I donot understand why it happened. All that I can do is reauthorize the tivo on your account for 9.95 a month.

Imagine my dismay! I asked if there was someone that she could transfer me to that could "fix" it. And she responded, no. I further explained that I wasn't aware that the multitivo discount had a time limit, and also the fact that I was not notified of the change of the amount billed. I then asked to be transfered to retentions.

She promptly asked me to please hold to see what she could do.

She came back and told me that she escalated it and that I would see it corrected on the next billing cycle.

Tivo . . . Come on! Whats going on?