Archives for: February 2008

Pages: 1


  07:24:24 pm, by The Dreamer   , 200 words  
Categories: Stuff

My Ambient Device Fail

The other day I was noticing search traffic coming to my site seemed to be people wondering why they weren't getting updates for their Ambient Device. Including one search that included replacing their battery as part of the search.

Hmmm....I replaced my battery on the weekend, and the forecast had seemed strange. On closer inspection, it turned out that I hadn't had an update since sometime on Monday. Last night I tried reseting the device, and now it is stuck doing the segment dance.

Since my 3 month trial of premium service was nearing its end, I emailed support asking what's up. They could seem to restore my service, so they removed my premium service. At least I won't have to pay for something I can't get. Though I would preferred to have it work.

They referred me to their coverage map....I'm still well centered in the purple area. I was previously getting 3-4 I get nothing.

Oh well, guess I'm back in the market for a new weather type gadget.

Interesting to note that other ambient weather devices have different coverage for my area....though I don't think I'd get another one. (it has more holes).

  08:05:53 am, by The Dreamer   , 642 words  
Categories: Travel

U S Airways Charges For Second Checked Bag

Today, US Airways announced a change to our baggage policy. Beginning
May 5, 2008, we'll charge $25 for a second checked bag. The new fee
applies to travel on or after May 5 for tickets purchased on or after
February 26, 2008.

Dividend Miles Preferred members (and anyone traveling on the same
reservation) are exempt from the fee. We're also waiving the fee for:

Confirmed First Class and Envoy passengers
Passengers with Star Alliance Silver or Gold status
Active military personnel in uniform and with ID
Unaccompanied minors
Passengers checking personal assistive devices
We're making these changes to offset record fuel prices and rising
airline related expenses. We simply must make changes to the way we
do business to provide the high level of service that our passengers
have come to expect from US Airways. Also, we're doing all we can to
keep fares low. With this policy change, we're able to give travelers
the choice to avoid the fee and pack fewer items. With fewer bags to
process, we save both money and fuel and can pass that savings on to
our customers.

:?::?::?: High level of service....this would be the airline that bumped me to a later flight, making sit at an airport for 12 hours...and then canceled the flight. Announced that all the flights for the next two days were full and claimed that they were canceling due to weather so they wouldn't put us up. Said they would request a refund for me...but I never got my refund. >:(

But a few people got rental cars and we carpooled to our destination and the weather was fine all the way. Of course, they had mechanical trouble on the corresponding outbound flight making me miss my connection, to which they gave away my reservation on the return (non-stop) star alliance partner flight (even though they had told me on the phone they wouldn't)...and added a couple of extra stops to my itinerary to get there and back. Fortunately I was trying to get in two days before a wedding, instead of what ended up being the night before.

Later when I was talking to Air Canada (a star alliance partner), they told me that I shouldn't have booked my flight with US Airways....then I would've been treated better. Guess I didn't think of it, given that my city is only served by US Airways.... though they couldn't recover the non-stop return flight that I was original scheduled to be on, though they couldn't think of any reason why US Airways had taken me off of it in the process of trying to find me a new outbound flight. And I had paid extra to get that non-stop flight.... Also the non-stop return flight was an afternoon flight, they had rebooked me into a multi-stop (very) early am flight.

Oh well, I haven't flown US Airways since, and I'm thinking that I will work with an agent (rather than booking online) so that I can come up with a workable plan to get me to and from the cruise terminal that won't involve US Airways. (something that meshes with KCIRoadRunner's schedule from here to MCI)

:idea: But, I'm planning to spend my stimulus check on a cruise now.

Though I think the only times I've flown with two bags (other than an overseas trip ~30 years ago) has been 1-way's where I was relocating. Though there have been a few times that I've been dinged for an overweight bag. It was particular bad when I did my Alaskan cruise (Sun Princess) started from Vancouver, so I was well under the 75lb weight limit....but coming back from Anchorage I was over the the 50lb limit. I guess if I could get a do over....I should've gone the other way. Though don't know if I would've had the same good time that I had....


  01:21:36 pm, by The Dreamer   , 364 words  
Categories: General, Wireless/iPhone, VoIP

Closed my VISA card

Had been putting off closing the card for a couple of years now.... I only used it once in the last year, and pretty lightly in the preceding years, ever since I got responsible with the my use of credit.

Especially since it used to be a FirstUSA card, with an affinity to an organization that it no longer has with (and I am no longer a member of). And, even more so now that it is a Chase Visa...and I'm happy with my Chase Mastercard (and it handles almost all of my needs and has a nice reward program).

So, I called the 1-800 number for 24-hour customer service on the back today....and found that I couldn't call it from my home number (out of the calling area?) So, I had to call it from my cell phone. Then after being on hold for a while, I got an agent and canceled. They didn't give me the hassle that I had gotten when I had canceled other cards in the past. I didn't mention that the reason I don't need it anymore is that I have a Chase Mastercard....didn't have to.

Though I did use it earlier this year, when my Mastercard information had been stolen and used for fraudulent charges, and I had to redirect an online purchase I had made to go to a different card....since I hadn't gotten the info for the new Mastercard yet.

It might be disturbing that this is the second time this has happened with my Chase Mastercard (and I can't recall the last time it has happened with any other card, though I seem to recall that it has happened once before...but the only other incident that is sharp in my mind involved a Visa check card...and I never got any of that money back. And, I didn't know then that I might have been able to use it as a deduction from my taxes....).

But, for now I'm going to stay with Chase for my Mastercard....though co-workers have been suggesting that I go with Citi (and none are the one that left to go work for Citi).


  11:03:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 245 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

Rebuilding RAID 1 on orac

The new ST3500641AS-RK that I ordered from arrived by UPS (Free 2nd Day -- Amazon Prime) this was cold, so I left the drive to acclimate and went off to work.

I got home late :|

Due to a bad BOINC project, I found the machine (orac) cool....fixing that, it started to warm up again...but I shut it down to remove the failed drive and install this new one.

Found out that the drive inside is the same as the previous OEM drives....ST3500630AS. Some minor differences though. This time I removed the limit 1.5Gbps jumpers from the drives while I was putting it together.

Then I booted up the system and set out to recover. Only it occurred to me that it isn't going to rebuild it as slickly as Veritas does (and did, when I resurrected a dead server early this morning for work). First question was how to do I (easily) get the partitioning the same. Quick search....found the command to be:

sudo sfsdisk -d /dev/sda | sudo sfsdisk /dev/sdb -O

Checked that things looked right with fdisk, and added the new partitions in to make RAID1 again.

sudo mdadm --add /dev/md0 /dev/sdb1
sudo mdadm --add /dev/md1 /dev/sdb2

Then I checked logs and watched /proc/mdstat of things come back.....ETA 131 minutes for the /dev/md1....guess I'll go to bed and check it in the morning.


  07:03:14 am, by The Dreamer   , 101 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer

Hard Drive Failure Update

Last night I pulled the trigger and bought a Seagate 500GB SATA Drive, Retail Kit (7200.10) from to take advantage of the free two day delivery of Amazon Prime. The order was for $118.99 + Tax. Within hours of placing the order, the price dropped to $112.25.

It seems lately that does this every time I order something....

So far, every time that I've asked for an adjustment, they have refunded the difference. Though I haven't asked every time that it has happened.

I haven't decided if I'll go through the hassle of seeking warranty replacement on the failed drive....


  08:08:37 am, by The Dreamer   , 155 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer

Hard Drive Failure

This morning I woke up to hear a strange whine....

After trying to figure out where it was coming from, I found that it was coming from the Gateway first I was worried it was a fan. But, it turned out to be much worse.

It was coming from a Seagate ST3500630AS....closer inspection revealed it to be the older of the two. Guess it was a good thing that I had configured RAID1.

Now to see about getting a new drive and fix it.

Not sure what I'm going to do about the failed'll be under warranty, but its not like I've had any luck with the refurbished drives they send as replacements.

Wonder how the newer Seagate ST3500620AS compare....or if it is possible to migrate to a pair of Seagate ST3750630AS?

Or even what the procedure to replace a failed drive under Linux RAID....


  02:33:53 pm, by The Dreamer   , 131 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Time Warner/Cox Cable, Cable HD DVR, Networking

WiRNS resurrection


I've had it with lack of line up updates from DNNA, and the need to call a non-tollfree number and wait on indefinite hold to fix something they should be keeping up on.

So, I looked at remapping some data to get the one channel that I'm missing out Fox.

I had stopped using WiRNS, because my ReplayTVs had stopped being able to get data from it....I figured it was probably related to having lost one of my Linux servers due to the icepocalypse. And, evidently this is so. :>>

Now at least I'll have the option of recording Fox from digital cable....though American Idol filling up the schedule, means there's just "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"....which isn't in conflict, so is getting recorded on the DVR.


  07:22:08 pm, by The Dreamer   , 315 words  
Categories: Computer, Wireless/iPhone, Travel

USB A to mini-B Cable quest

With a business trip coming up, I've been looking for my pair of USB A to Mini-B cables. IE: Blackberry Data cables. Its also the cable for my Motorola KRZR K1M.

I use the cables, so I can use my work MacBook Pro as a really expensive charger for these mobile devices. But, it is starting to look like I left them in the hotel room on my last business trip....because they are no where to be found. :##

The thing is that some time ago, that my first Blackberry had come with two...and I'm pretty sure that my second one did too. But, I had managed to lose I had acquired a couple more via eBay....because strangely these cables are hard to find (in a B&M).

I remember early on (in 2006) having looked in the computer store on campus, they didn't have this particular cable.

Now the KRZR didn't come with a cable, and on my last business trip...I resorted to swiping the one for my portable harddrive (time machine drive 'LKC SIDRAT')....

Anyways...I didn't conclude that finding my cables would be a lost cause until this morning.

I immediately checked to see if they could get me a pair tomorrow. Unfortunately, they wouldn't offer Saturday delivery as an option...just two day (Tuesday) or one day (Monday). Too late.

I was starting to worry about what I might do for cables. I could swipe the one on my computer in a pinch I suppose, and there's the blackberry wall well. Though I'm already missing the cable for my other blackberry wall charger because of this.

But, I decided to check the campus computer store again....and fortunately they did have some this time. :>>

Now I wonder what else I'm gonna be in a panic to locate for the trip....


  08:56:16 am, by The Dreamer   , 174 words  
Categories: VoIP

Broadvoice Outage

Last night a new credit card arrived in the mail, I dialed the verification number from my phone and got an intercept message to dial 1 first. I didn't think anything of it. The verification didn't happen instantly.....I then realized that maybe the SPA-3000 had routed my call out over landline.

After some reseting and checking things, I went onto the account portal where it reported they were having trouble in Chicago.

Not sure how long I've been without VoIP....because now that I think of it, it did seem odd taht I only got one call from my University on Jan 29th....they usually call daily for weeks when they start their campaign to get money from me. :??:

I think there were other locations for Broadvoice, though I'd have to dig around to find out what those other servers are and find the one with the next lowest ping time. I think it was something like an east coast server and a west coast server....

Think I can remember how to change it....


Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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