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03/06/11

  06:54:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 278 words  
Categories: General, Software, Quicken/TurboTax

Time to start working on 2010 Taxes

This year the first difference was that I purchased TurboTax Premier 2010 as a download from Amazon.com, back on February 18th. The other difference, is that I had to track down the information I needed from Quicken Premier 2010. And, well...doing it all on my new computer, etc.

And, like in previous years, I knew that once I started, I would go all the way through. The exception would be if something goes wrong in TurboTax. Saddly, something did....the purchase of the next step to complete my return before getting to the e-file failed. There was a certificate error, but told it to continue anyways....but it got stuck after it said it had completed the order, but TurboTax felt that the order had failed and wants me to try again. I checked online, and didn't see the order and couldn't lookup the order number. So, I tried again and it said it did an account recovery and everything was good now. I'll probably do the e-file Monday night.

Pages: 1· 2

02/16/11

  10:07:08 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1271 words  
Categories: Computer, Home, Furnishings

I got a new chair, and a new keyboard tray.

I got Staples Mesh Manager's Chair with Headrest and Fellowes Designer Suites Desk Ready Keyboard Drawer.

The old chair that I used in front of my main computer is like 25 years old. It has been on my list for a long time to replace it, but what I really want and what I can justify shelling out at a given moment were in collision. What I've wanted is an Aeron chair, fully loaded, etc. But, that is significantly more than the 'max' of the threshold in my mind where I can get something on a given month to where it requires budgeting, planning and justification, etc.

But, recently I got the Staples Desley Mesh Task Chair, Gray...which I found to be really nice compared to my old chair. In fact, because I was spending a lot more time on my main computer than usual...migrating and configuring a new computer and later the weather had me working from home a lot. I switched the chairs. The lack of arm rests was kind of odd, but the padding being all worn out in the old chair...it was nice, it also meant that I needed to step up my plans to replace the old chair and finally get a better chair to go in front of my main computer.

Given that I often dress differently at home than I do at work, I started thinking that maybe a mesh seat isn't what I'm really needing for home use anyways. Plus the work chair seems to trap food dust in its mesh so easily and annoyingly so.... So, expanded my search to other mesh back chairs I had settled on what I thought would be the chair to get that was closer in line to what I could justify buying one month. Just had to find a month where I didn't already have plans to acquire some other similar costing item.

Meanwhile, I was continuing to check out staples for other reasons, and for the possibility of getting another Mesh Task Chair. The other computer area has a kneeling chair that isn't really something I want to spend a lot of time on, but is adequate there...but its also falling apart...and using cable ties to fix it is only going to keep it usable for so long. And, since I really liked the Mesh Task Chair...it seems like the thing to get for here too.

Anyways, on one of the visits, I saw they were having a chair sale one week. They had like $100, $50 or $30 off various chairs. And, there were some possible mesh back chairs in the $100 or $50 off mark. I settled on one that was $50 off, because it was more adjustable. Though a $100 off one that I was considering actually did appear to have a mesh seat. But, then I got a preview of next week's flyer...and the chair that was $50 off would be $70 off. So I waited and ordered it then. Delivery worked out, because I ended up being at home 4 days that week (first two work was closed, second to I got to work from home). The delivery of the chair was not delayed due to weather, though I had other deliveries that were.

Now, I probably should've measured things before I went for it. Because the seat all the way down is a touch higher than my old chair, and the arm rests stick forward more. So, it bumps into my old keyboard tray....

Which brings me to....

Pages: 1· 2

02/03/11

  10:59:34 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1008 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC, Storage

Zen got a memory boost

Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231422&cm_re=g.skill_8gb-_-20-231-422-_-Product

When I bought the HPE-450t, I knew I wanted it to come with a lot of memory but not the full amount of memory. Because I had done a quick look and could get memory elsewhere for less than the incremental steps they offered. But, what I did take into account was how the slots were filled to achieve the delivered memory...and promotions that were available.

They had things like 4G (4x1G) or 6G (2x1G+2x2G) or 8G (4x4G)...but they also had 9G (2x4G+1G) and 12G (2x2G+2x4G) and the 16G max (4x4G). I had settled on the 9G configuration, so that I would only have to bump the 1G for a pair of 4G to get to the max. And, I had done a quick online search and 8G was about $100, well less than the difference between 8/9G configurations and 16G.

I knew that it would be a matter of time that I would get it, but I guess I didn't realize it was going to be this soon.

I'm not hurting for memory on Zen. Considering I had somehow survived for as long as I had on the 2GB that was TARDIS (and there were several years between its original configuration of 1G [which was a configured upgrade from the original 512M base] to the upgrade to 2G)...though I had considered upping it to 3G somehow (could go to 4G, but XP would only see 3G...which I know because I had put the 4G max into Gumby, and it only sees 3G). But, I'm sure BOINC projects would like to have more memory....

So, the other day I saw the Shellshocker preview email from NewEgg and saw that they had an 8GB kit for $65. I had a vague recollection of what kind of memory Zen needed (DDR3-1333 or PC-10600), though wasn't sure if there was something special about the specific memory that certain configuration wizards listed for my computer or if any equivalent speed memory would work. TARDIS was very picky about the memory, it took several iterations of mailing memory back and forth with the online seller before I got memory that actually worked, probably would've been cheaper to buy directly from Dell after with all the extra postage charges.

I kept searching online for information on whether the memory was right or not...seemed too good to be right. The product specs listed what chipsets it was compatible with....but from what I've found, the HPE-450t is Intel H57...which wasn't one of the compatible chipsets. But, it listed Intel H55....which from what I could tell were the same as far as memory support goes, about the main distinction for Zen is that H57 has the Intel Rapid Storage Technology, which is doing the RAID 1 of the system drive. Which is interesting, because my computer at work seems to have that too...but I'm doing RAID 1 in software on there. Though it could've come pre-configured with RAID1, but was cheaper to have it delivered with a single 250GB drive and then migrate to a pair of 500GB drives (pulled from an old disk array...though did find the old disk array drives were only SATA I....)

Pages: 1· 2

01/22/11

01/17/11

  09:38:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 5 words  
Categories: DVDs / NetFlix

DVD: Inception

01/16/11

  04:28:58 pm, by The Dreamer   , 637 words  
Categories: Home, Healthcare

I got an Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000

which unintentionally means I have another clock in my home that I'll need to update at least twice a year.

Shortly after I blogged about replacing the batteries in my Panasonic ES7037 shaver and that my Oral-B Triumph 9400 Professional seemed to be due, it stopped working while I was brushing my teeth. Not enough charge for a single brushing. Replacing the battery wasn't an option, the instructions for opening it is a destructive process. And, didn't see a non-destructive way to open it. Plus not having read the manual recently, I found out it was a destructive process the hard way.

That left me in a panic, since the weather had turned so I was pretty much staying home now and I already way over budget for this time of year, along with a few other extras. But, I knew that I was going to buy one sooner than later. Specifically I was going to wait until the start of the new year, because January was going to be when I would next have some drugstore.com dollars to use.

Then I got email that if I ordered on January 1st or 2nd, I would get an additional 10% off of everything.

I was looking at either the SmartSeries 5000 or the SmartSeries 4000. The 4000 being comparable my old 9400, though not a huge difference in pricing between the two and both offering $15 mail in rebates according to drugstore.com.

What it didn't explain was that you need details from your dentist to do the mail-in rebate. But, I don't factor in mail-in rebates when I'm buying things...because there's no guarantee that I'll get it, or in any timely manner, or that it won't be worth the hassle, etc. But, the one I got, showed up with an additional rebate on the package (the $15 one was inside the package). The rebates were mutually exclusive, because they both require the original UPC code. But, the outer one was less complicated to fill out, and its supposed to rebate me 50%. We'll see.

That first night without a powered toothbrush was hard, I didn't know what to do....it was strange using the old powered toothbrush as a manual, plus I forget how you're supposed to brush manually. But, then I remembered that I have a battery powered one that I picked up during a trip (where I had forgotten to pack the 9400...it was before I had other things that had to wait until after I woke up the day of travel to get packed.)

So I went and got that out. I had run out of regular AA alkaline batteries sometime ago.... :crazy: So, I had to use other AA batteries...my Oxyride ones.

The biggest change with this new toothbrush, is seeing the red flashing light. I thought I brushed pretty lightly already, but apparently I still brush a little to hard at times....in certain places.

Pages: 1· 2

01/15/11

01/09/11

01/07/11

  07:06:39 pm, by The Dreamer   , 906 words  
Categories: iPod, Hardware, Computer, Wireless/iPhone, AppleTV, Storage

24 Port USB Monster Hub

Link: http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/usb-gadgets/e5be/

Zen has a typical number of rear USB ports.... 6 Guess that's normal. It's the number of USB ports on the back of TARDIS (circa 2003 Dell Dimension XPS Gen 2), and it's the number of USB ports on the back of the Dell Precision T1500 I got at work.

Though they differ on front USB ports....Zen has 2 with the media bay and one behind the front connector door. TARDIS had 2 behind a little door (somewhere along the way, one of the connectors had gotten busted). The computer at work has 4 open ports on the front.

But, TARDIS has PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse (and surprisingly so does the Dell Precision T1500 at work, though it shipped with USB keyboard and mouse). The off-lease Lenovo that is gumby was my first desktop to be without PS/2 ports, someday I'll get a PS2/USB KVM and see if that works better.

Anyhoo....in the separation and cleanup....I ended up with one 7 port USB 2.0 hub that I was going to use on Zen. It is the kind with two ports on top for USB sticks and 5 on the edge (4 on a long edge and 1 on the short edge....upstream port and power on the other short edge). And, then I started carefully figuring out what I would use the rear USB ports for.

Two were immediately taken by the keyboard and mouse. One would be for the UPS and one for that 7 port USB 2.0 hub. Webcam would probably go on rear too.... And, the last went to the Sans Digital TR2UT that I use for local backups (but since Windows Backup was kind of a disappointment, I might buy a different external that comes bundled with something better....the Retrospect software that came with my now-dead Iomega was better.... Wonder if I'll go USB 3.0 or Firewire, either will free up one of the precious USB2.0 ports on the back. Though have been thinking of getting a USB 2.0 card to get more USB 2.0 ports on the back.

Now on the USB 2.0 hub, I've plugged in 5 things already...so it was also getting crowded....so I decided I should plan on getting one more hub for Zen.

I was shopping on Thinkgeek on New Year's day....to see what kind of sales they had, plus I had gotten email that the USB Doomsday Device Hub was back in stock (and a while back had gotten email that the KeyTool Keyring Multi-tool was back in stock)...so I thought I should order these things. I also got the USB 7 Port Hub with Power Switches, which I had been planning to get for gumby. Though not sure its for connecting actual USB devices, or for stuff that charges from USB ports....the two front ports on gumby and the two front ports on box are full of things for the only purpose of charging things. I'm also using a rear port on box for charging....

Early on I had plugged the 7 port USB 2.0 hub into my UPS...(other things on the UPS are Zen, the TR2UT, 5 port switch, and 802.11g AP). Decided to leave the 7 port hub on the UPS, though may need to review what I have connected to which hub now. But the 7 port hub is downstream from the 24 port hub. Guess if I move the TR2UT, both hubs can be directly attached... So far I've only moved the LabelWriter 400 and DT3500 SmartCard reader to the 24 port hub. I put the 24 port hub on the far left corner of desk....keeping 7 port next to Zen on the right side. Had to find a longer mini-USB cable than the one supplied with the 24 port hub to make this work. Fortunately, I have lots now that I've transitioned from phones that used mini USB plugs for power to phones that use micro USB plugs. I think I need a few more of the micro USB cables....

Word is that they are going to finally standardize cell phone chargers this year....though I'm sure they are going to come up with a standard that is completely different and incompatible to what everybody is currently using, just so that everybody will have to buy a bunch of new something.... |-|

Meanwhile...I have 2 of the 3 front USB ports spoken for....though if I get that USB card to get more rear ports, I may revise things. But, the plan is one will get a permanently inserted USB drive for ReadyBoost and the other is for a bluetooth adapter. Keeping the covered one for non-permanent activity.

This scheme only works as long as I don't move my iPod Nano and iPhone 3G from TARDIS. Though I should, since I've moved iTunes over...along with my AppleTV. And, my podcast subscriptions are done here now. Doesn't affect the iPhone 3G that much, because I had stopped using it for podcasts...and since I upgraded to 4.x its been kind of slow. Plus service-less iPhone 3G is kind of klunky in other parts.... may get an iPod Touch someday...

But, I should get back to using the iPod Nano, so I should move it to sync'ng from Zen.

Now, I had originally set them up connected to a USB hub, despite Apple saying I shouldn't....but eventually iTunes seemed to have evolved to enforce this. So, I had to switch to connecting my iPhone directly to TARDIS to sync....and I had stopped using the Nano. Currently both are connected to rear ports on TARDIS, because they are available now. But, where will they go on Zen? :hmm:

01/04/11

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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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