Archive for the ‘Technological Fail’ Category

Anyone with a modded G1 Android out there?

December 10, 2009

As posted on the Google Group Android Discussion:

*****

Update:

Followed every step as outlined at http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php/Full_Update_Guide_-_G1/Dream_Firmware_to_CyanogenMod

FYI, running Ubuntu 9.04 on an AMD Athlon 850MHz/768MB Ram <G>

When I got to step 12 of “Flash Android1.6 & CyanogenMod latest ”  I rebooted the system (as per step 10) and then the phone reboots into Recovery mode.  I reboot again and it just sits at the G1 TMobile logo for over an hour.

I got the AndroidSDK installed and while sitting in recovery mode I can force it to reboot (sudo adb shell reboot) but nothing else seems to work.  no logcat(sit’s at ‘waiting for device’ no matter where I am in the system (i.e. full boot or recovery menu), no get-state (shows ‘unknown’), and adb usb gives me ‘device not found’ (but it obviously is somehow with the reboot command and ti is connected through a USB cable), nothing.

While in the recovery menu, at the bottom it does show “Build: CyanogenMod v1.4 +JF”  so I’m guessing the mod is installed but I don’t “see the blue CyanogenMod Android logo”, only the T-Mobile G1 logo.  I have to back into recovery, do a restore latest backup(as done at step 3 of  Flash Android1.6 & CyanogenMod latest).
*****

If that is complete Greek to you…..then I’m surprised you are reading this blog <G>

So, you wannt buy an HP computer do ya? Think on this!

December 10, 2009

I get this call last night that a lady had knocked over her laptop and now the screen ‘doesn’t work’.  This can’t be good.  I stop by and see that the LCD is cracked and showing some nice psychedelic shades that would be the most envious screen saver for any hippie.  I tell her that if everything else is fine, then I just need to call HP, get the part and install the new screen.

I take the system home with me and plug in an external monitor.  Lo-and-Behold everything is working fine!  So she no longer has to worry about loosing her baby pictures (lesson to you all, backup, backup, BACKUP!).

In the morning I go online and see what I can find.  Ok, there’s the part number for the replacement LCD (432952-001) but no price listed.  How annoying.  I use the ‘add to cart’ trick and check my cart….still no price!  What the…..sigh, time for a chat.

Normally these chats go pretty well and are mostly helpful.  What I discovered about HP blew my mind.  I mean, such business practice actually works for them???  I have put the entire conversation up here and only changed the poor sap’s name who I chatted with and the serial number info (Oh, and myname of course….because JadedTech just looks much cooler<G>).  All else is as I saved it.

The first line is critical to pay attention to, which the HP ‘tech’ did not.  In it are the  3 critical and relevant information I need.  Anything else is extraneous.

*******

JadedTech : Broken LCD screen, would like to verify replacement cost, part number and availability/shipping times
[An agent will be with you shortly.]
[You are now chatting with HP Agent .]
HP Agent : Welcome to HP Total Care for notebook support. My name is HP Agent. Please give me few moments while I review your issue description.
Note: For security reasons, PLEASE DO NOT send credit card information via chat.

HP Agent : Thank you for being online. I appreciate your patience.
HP Agent : Hello JadedTech, how are you?
HP Agent : Are you with me?
JadedTech : well, lucky not to be the owner of the laptop 🙂
HP Agent : Alright!
HP Agent : First we need to chech the warranty status of the notebook.
HP Agent : May I know the Serial number and Product number of your notebook?
HP Agent : You can check this numbers on a non-Microsoft sticker when you flip the notebook over. Please provide the numbers beside s/n and p/n on the sticker.
HP Agent : * check
HP Agent : Sorry for the typing mistake.
JadedTech : p/n gXXXXXXXXl, s/n cXXXXXXX2
HP Agent : Thank you.
HP Agent : Please give me 2 minutes while I check for the warranty details.
JadedTech : no probs
HP Agent : According to our record your notebook is out of warranty.
HP Agent : And for setting up a service it will be charged $ 398 + tax for LCD screen.
JadedTech : and physical damage isn’t covered by warranty. Just looking for a price, part number and availability
HP Agent : Yes you are correct.
HP Agent : JadedTech, please be online as the system is slow.
JadedTech : “setting up a service’? What is that? Just looking for a price to ship the part to me.
HP Agent : Service means HP need to pick up the notebook for repair.
JadedTech : please pay attention to what I am asking. How much for the part and how much to ship it to my address, [somewhere in Canada….]
HP Agent : Yes I am searching for the part number and price.
HP Agent : Please follow the link.
HP Agent : http://h20141.www2.hp.com/hpparts/Cart.aspx?mscssid=2E3B461078C848039A097074BCAF44F6&setDest=Cart&SearchInc=Multipart
HP Agent : Part number is : 432952-001.
HP Agent : Are you able to access the above link?
JadedTech : Yes, I have been to that link and found the part number but there is no price listed.
HP Agent : The price of the part is $ 750.98.
HP Agent : JadedTech, what best I suggest you to take the notebook to your nearest authorized service provider.
HP Agent : As LCD is not the customer replaceable part.
JadedTech : HOld, a little fconfused here. $750 for the part and $400 for service? $1200 if I dicided to get it picked up??
JadedTech : (woo, lots of typos there….)
HP Agent : No if we setup a service it will charged $ 398 + tax.
HP Agent : LCD screen will be covered under $ 398 + tax.
JadedTech : How can that even be justifiable? Twice the cost for just the part but 1/2 if you do the work? Something doesn’t seem right there. Are you certain on just the cost of the part alone??
HP Agent : Shipping charges is free.
JadedTech : For $750 I should think so!
HP Agent : JadedTech, if we shiped the part then it will be chaged $ 750.
HP Agent : Please enter the part on the provided link to get the part amount.
JadedTech : wow, damn good think I don’t personally own an HP with that kind of pricing. Ok, do you have a link for finding local service providers.
HP Agent : Yes.
HP Agent : Please follow the link.
HP Agent : http://h20465.www2.hp.com/GPL/search.aspx?language_code=en&country_code=us&SearchType=SSP
HP Agent : Are you able to access the above link?
JadedTech : yes but you gave me the us one, luckily I saw and altered it to point to Canadian info. Found a service provider. Will take it from here. Thanks.
HP Agent : JadedTech, on the left select Other Countries.
HP Agent : Is there anything else I can assist you with now?
JadedTech : nope, it’s been an interesting entertainment session.
HP Agent : Thank you for contacting HP Total Care Real-Time chat support. If you need further assistance, please contact us again at: http://www.hp.com/support/chat

Chat support is available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.
Please take the time to register your HP product and the products Care Pack at:
Registration: http://www.register.hp.com

Care Pack registration: http://www.hp.com/go/hpcarepack/register
For information on keeping your HP and Compaq products up and running, please visit our Web site at:
http://www.hp.com/go/totalcare

HP Agent : Have a great day ahead! You have been a great customer to assist.

It gets better!  I call the closest Staples (Authorized HP reselling/fixer) and their ‘system is down’ and he can’t get me a price on the part!

Call the other store “Our associates are too busy to help you, please call back” automated message.  This is just beyond ridiculous.

So now I call a Future Shop.  He lists 200+ items with the part number I have!!  Holy crap!  can you imagine going into a car dealership and saying “Hi, I need a Windshield for my Chrysler 300C with the 5.7L Hemi engine”  and then hearing “Oh sir, we have over 200 different Chrysler 300C with the 5.7L Hemi engine…..”.  This is pathetic.

I call the client back and tell her the deal.  I suggest that to keep things simple, just go buy an external monitor/keyboard/mouse and leave well enough alone.  She agrees.

Yup, never buying an HP…..ever.

Shutdown the Internet!!!

December 9, 2009

http://www.turnofftheinternet.com/

Managing Email

December 1, 2009

So who here is anal about their email management?  Seriously, do we even need to be now-a-days?  With the “Jesus of Email” that Gmail is, how much do we need to manage?  Since my switch to Gmail, I have come to value this service more than ever.  Before I had to make sure that I had backs up my Outlook express folder incase the HD dies (and considering they only last 3-5 years now, this is rather important…).  Not only that, when I see client with over a GB in an outlook folder, it makes me shudder.  There is a technical limit to Outlook Express and how big you can bloat up it’s file to (2GB if you want the short answer) and given the number of picture and video attachments floating around, that adds up quickly if your email isn’t managed properly!
gmailBut wait, Google’s ‘limit’ is 8GB currently!  And hell, do you think that it’s going to get smaller as time goes on?  Sure HDs are getting cheap and the common place 1TB drive is just around the corner, but that still doesn’t change the fact that in 3-5 years it’ll have to be replaced.  This is, of course,  Windows doesn’t crash and you reinstall but forget to backup your email and it’s lost any ways….

So even though I switched to Gmail, there were still some emails left floating around in my old web-hoster’s mail system (1300 to be exact).  So I decided to go through them.  When all was said and done, I deleted 1200 of them!  Wow, so much crap that gets ‘hung on to’.  Maybe that ain’t a big number for you but another client of mine has over 20,000 emails and he won’t delete a single one.  Hell, he’s building his own search engine and soon will obsolete Google 😛

Well, I’m pretty sold on Gmail and how easy it is to use and the SPAM filter is great.  So between my web hoster spam filter and Gmail’s, I don’t see any of the 5-20 that ‘supposedly’ comes my way every day 😀

ChromiumIf you haven’t switched yet to Gmail, then get to it!  The sooner the better because when they start with their Network, soon to be followed by Desktops, it will all be so damned seamless and work just beautifully!  I can see it with my Android-powered HTC Dream, am just itching for the Chromium OS!

BitTorrent and Magnet Links

November 18, 2009

Trying to get updated torrent to work

Since TPB has shut down their tracker and going with a more decentralized torrent tracker system, I decided to follow suit. Now still being relatively new to Ubuntu, this has become a bit of a challenge. I have been using KTorrent and been pretty happy with it. Nice interface and reasonably uncomplicated configuration overall. So I test out the ‘magnet link’ and firefox gives me an error with “Firefox doesn’t know how to open this address, because the protocol (magnet) isn’t associated with any program.” type message. Do some digging and find out how to setup the new protocol. Do so, restart FF and still same error message. More digging and many people are experiencing the same thing.

Then I find out that KTorrent does not support the ‘magnet’ protocol that is needed for the new decentralized tracker. Ugh. Ok, so lets go back to the BT client I used when I ran XP, uTorrent. Oh wait….there is no Linux version of uTorrent but here are some nice examples of how to get it working under WINE. 15mins later and still it just wants to keep installing/install does not complete. Ok, screw that, back ever further to Azureus.

I left Azureus when it had become just too slow and painful to run, seems that a lot of people don’t the Java-style program and that it chewed up a lot of memory. Also, when they went to that ‘vuze’ interface, that really annoyed the shit out of me. Luckily there are bright people out there and quickly a ‘no-vuze hack popped up and all was reasonably good again.

Ok, so let’s try Azureus now. Ok, it’s installed and working….had to tweak the port forwarding on my router (damn Azureus wouldn’t go as high as I wanted…..ugh). Ok, so I got it to work ‘normally’, without using the magnet link. Damn FF won’t recognize the protocol. I suspect it has to do with the version of FF I’m running (3.5.5). More digging….

20mins later and still no answer. Everything says to do ‘this’. And do it and triple check and still the error message happens. FF is one of those love/hate relationships. I’m gonna take a break from this for awhile.

"Are you serious?"

November 15, 2009

There are times in my life when the skills I have developed in technology really do have a big impact on me. I realize that not everyone puts so much effort in understanding technology as much as I do. Heck, how many people will follow a Google search 40 pages deep just to see what’s there? Or who do you know that has ever made a university’s print out 20 colour copies of the candy bra and laugh their ass off while having a hard time seeing the screen through teary eyes, all from their home system?

The point is that with all this technology that has been in all of our lives there are still people who seemed to live in caves and stare in wonder at awe at a wooden wheel. The following is a true conversation that happened this past saturday night.

LLPH “Do dvds have to be rewound?”

I was about to laugh but something made me pause. The way it was said that had an odd flavour of innocence to it.

Me: “Are you serious?”

LLP: “Oh, I uh, guess you don’t eh?”

Me: “No, you don’t.”

True story, as painful as it was.

Really says it all….

November 11, 2009

In case you missed this classic vid, I suggest you watch and learn!

See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

A few of my favourite things

November 11, 2009

Ever wonder what makes me tick? With all the crap out there you might be asking ‘what the hell does he like any ways?’. Or maybe not, but I’ll be telling you any ways 🙂

Having been annoyed with my last post getting blown away before it properly saved (so much for autosave eh?) I decided to write about something I like to help get over that annoyance.

Let’s go with my newest acquisition: Logitech TrackMan Wheel. (Sigh, browser is stupidly slow…gonna reboot…..)
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(Ok, back, let’s see if this is any quicker)

As I was saying….the

2009-11-08 11.06.37

Logitech TrackMan Wheel:

I had a ‘trackball’ a few years back, lost it, probably during a move, and have been pining for one for a while. Finally bought one the other day. Ahh…..the control….the ‘no need to move the cat so I can click on a link because the cat is taking up the whole damn desk’ feeling!  Maximum amount of control for minimum amount of effort.  What more reasons do you need for getting one?

Ubunubuntu-logo1tu: This free operating system is a pure joy for the geek in you! Heck, it even works just fine for the non-geeks. I love it because I finally NOW have the freedom to do things I simply could never do with

Windows, or even Macs. For example, I work with a lot of digital media at times. Let’s say I have about 100 pictures that I want to put online. I don’t need 100 times 6MB high-quality images(web browsers only display 72dpi anyways so the rest is just wasted server space and upload time). it was simply stupid to have to go into each file, edit them down to the right size/resolution when I ran XP. Not now! I found a Script by ImageMagick and bam, all edited at once! It was awesome and HUGELY time saving!

Let’s not forget mass editing of MP3s!  While not ground breaking here, what you may not realize that having the ability to also convert MP4 (iTunes songs) into MP3s with a simple script, screw anyone trying to ‘protect’ anything!  Seriously, you have someone who wants to share his creation with the world but only conditionally?  No true artist has ever really done that.  But that is a whole other debate 🙂

PCV jar. A cool little device that removes the oil from the air intake of a car.  Car??  Yes, I said car.  Surprised that my techie love goes beyond computers?  Don’t be, modern technology really isn’t that modern when you really understand what is going on.  Regardless, the PCV jar is a stupidly simple device and one that works for every vehicle.  The basic premise is this:  ever car has a ‘pcv valve’.  What this does is to allow excess pressure from inside the engine (no, not the combustion chamber, the part where things are moving and oil is stored….) and vent it back into the intake where the excess oil vapour gets burned.  Problem is that cars are really designed to burn gas and not ‘hot oil vapour’.  The PCV jar simply removes the oil vapour thus allowing clean air to flow into the intake and the energy wasted in trying to burn oil goes back to burning the gas vapour.  In theory, this gives you more improved combustion which translates into better power and/or gas mileage.  Ye old ‘your mileage may vary’ warning applies here.  Here is a shot of what my jar collected from my 1978 Volare (Slant 6) after 2 months of daily driving.

PCV jar results

I had the same device on my 1991 New Yorker Fifth Avenue and after 2 month all I got was 2 drips.  Obviously a significant amount of difference in how much oil is being consumed by the cars 🙂  Still, these things make a difference and it’s yet another piece of ‘tech’ that I enjoy 🙂  I’m actually working on making a new version that may be for sale.  We’ll see how that goes.  Wait till I build a MegaSquirt device for a car!  Then I’ll be controlling all the tech directly!

That’s really what it comes down to.  Controlling tech and ‘making things happen at your will’.  That’s where I get my giggle.  Having an idea, implementing it and seeing it work.

Dammit….

November 6, 2009

Had a new post ready to go….was winding up for the last little bit with a few links and the damn browser hangs……so fine, I’ll let it be and see if it recovers….come back 10mins later and nothing.  Fine, drafts of my posts are saved automatically.  So I force close the browser and reopen.  Guess what……no more post!  Dammit….I give up today….maybe get into it tomorrow…..gonna take my shower now.

You simply don't know what you are doing….

November 4, 2009

And that is by design. It’s a scary world out there when you open your eyes and see what has been happening all along.

Look up the term “behavioral modification”. Simply put, it means changing the way someone does something. Happens all the time. Parents do it, teachers do it, even your boss does it to you. The majority of people never question it. Oh they will complain (kids cry, students whine and employees rant) but they never really question what is going on. This is by design and the majority of people never see it. “The Matrix has you Neo”

Think about it. You are told what to know as a child, then you are told what to know as a student then you are told what to do as an employee. Where, in this equation, do you ever stop and think about what you are doing? Let’s take a school subject that we are all forced to take at least once in our list of ‘choices’. History. It is a given fact that History is written by the winners. You never hear the ‘other side’ of the story do you? Heck, even when it IS the other side, it is either glossed over or shown to be an act of heroism but don’t you DARE try to pull that stunt here! (i.e. George Washington was a traitor. Simple fact. He defied the ruling body and created something new and what most Americans know today. Not judging, merely pointing out history.) Yet this single fact is ignored and you only hear his side from then on. I don’t recall see any movies that spoke from the British side (the government of the time) and hwo they felt about it. I’m also willing bet that it was never spoken of in school either.

So, there is a prime example of something you were told in school but never questioned nor given a moment to think about the big picture. You have be told what to believe. Behavior modified.

Things are not any different now except it’s more insidious. Not only are the same old stories told about history, now we have the Internet. A truly new frontier to learn and hear from the other side…..except when it’s censored.  Still, for the most part there seems to be a lot more openness online and freedom….or is there.

Kids today are subjected to more than you can possibly imagine, assuming you even bother taking the time to pay attention to your kid.  Let’s take games shall we?

Grand Theft .

“The name “Grand Theft Auto” is a reference to the legal term for vehicle theft.
The games allow players to take on the role of a criminal in a big city, typically an individual who rises through the ranks of organized crime through the course of the game. The player is given various missions by kingpins in the city underworld which must be completed to progress through the storyline. Assassinations, and other crimes feature regularly, but occasionally taxi driving, firefighting, pimping, street racing, bus driving or learning to fly fixed-wing aircraft are also involved.”

Wow…..what are our kids learning with this eh?   There has been close to 100 million copies of this games (since it’s introduction in 1997) sold.  There was the rumour about a hidden rape scene in the game.  Upon further research, it seems to be nothing more than that, a rumour.  The rumour is based on the “Hot Coffee” mod will gives characters a ‘nude skin’ and some sex scenes.  Still, not all that educational or helpful in enlightening the populace.

Ok, so GTA caters to the young/pre-teen crowd and into the teens easily and with a warped sense of reward/accomplishments.  What about younger kids?  A friend of mine told me that his daughter has this ‘virtual pet’ and that if she doesn’t go online everyday the pet horse will die!  Whoa!  If that ain’t blatant behavior modification, I don’t know what is.  Seriously, you are teaching a 6 year old that she simply HAS to go online for there to be life!  Wow, talk about taking our freedom and wrapping it in the most vile form of control that has ever exists…..corrupting an innocent mind.

Technology is here to help us.  The problem is who you have allowed to control your view of technology.  Get out there and get educated.  See things for what they are and learn to use technology to your advantage!