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  06:43:58 am, by The Dreamer   , 141 words  
Categories: Home Theatre, Computer, WiFi, AppleTV, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Storage

Woot : TiVo HD DVR


A new category has appeared on my blog.

That's because I pulled the trigger on buying a TiVo HD DVR yesterday....via Woot!

Not entire sure where I'm going to put it or how it is going to be connected into my setup. But, I've done it.

Not sure what this means to my HTMac project. I think I still want a computer as part of my HT, but it might take on a different form....perhaps it'll be something with its own screen (either as its primary display or only display)...also not sure how it ties into the plan to switch my main desktop from Windows to Mac. Or my other Mac purchase wishes.

Like the Time Capsule. Or at what point do I stop buying stuff for the only mac that I do work laptop. :lalala:


  08:38:36 pm, by The Dreamer   , 162 words  
Categories: Stuff

My Ambient Device Fail 2

The latest news is:

I've just received word from our tower providers that the signal coverage in your area has shifted slightly. This change was made by our wireless provider in order to improve signal coverage for the majority of our customers, but unfortunately, this has left you further away from the nearest point of transmission. This means that the device will most likely not receive a stronger signal than it is currently. I'm so sorry for the disappointing news; it is never our intention to inconvenience our customers.

How about no signal at all (down from ~3 bars):?::?::?:

Wonder where the majority of their customers in Manhattan, KS are? Since Manhattan, KS is not one of the 5 cities that they provide free weather to in Kansas. So, we'd all have to be premium customers.... I guess my location close to the University and the football/basketball stadiums isn't....

Back to my search for some other gadget to keep up with the weather....


  09:38:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 109 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Quicken/TurboTax

The Wrap: Almost couldn't start my taxes.... The Sequel TurboTax 2007 Premier to install by rebooting my computer into Safe Mode. Almost gave up on having it start installing. It didn't start installing until I brought up the shutdown dialog. Guess it needed that kick to finally get going.

Or perhaps it needed give up on its attempt to phone home since that's not possible in Safe Mode.

But, after restarting (twice, due to iTunes craziness) I updated it (14 updates), transferred the data from last years return and downloaded state. Answered the first set of questions, and then ran into more questions that I wasn't ready to answer at this time. Perhaps I'll get to those next weekend.

  05:51:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 111 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Quicken/TurboTax

Almost couldn't start my taxes.... The Sequel


Looks like it might be a repeat of last year!

I purchased the Premier version, but the installer bombed out. Seemed vaguely familiar.... a search of my blog showed it was almost the same time last year that I started....

The reason I wait this late is because I own stock that issue dividends, so my broker doesn't guarantee delivery of my 1099's until the end of February. I got that one on I'm pretty sure I have all the stuff I need to get cracking.

Guess I'll wait until I'm done fighting with MS Money 2006, and then try booting into safe mode and see if that makes it install.

  05:25:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 216 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Quicken/TurboTax

Must be getting close to Tax Time.

Should be about the right time of year to dump hard copies of last year's financial activities and see how bad I was....

Twice Three times already MS Money 2006 has crashed on me. I do have a copy of Money Plus Deluxe (2008) to upgrade to, but I want to put this off until after I've done my taxes. Because I'm sure they've changed the interface completely yet again, and I want to be able to find all the info while doing my taxes and get that right...rather than waste my time trying to figure out a new interface, etc.

Meanwhile, I usually order my copy of TurboTax in December...but before I went to order, they sent me a copy of it. At least I thought they did. It said "Here's Your TurboTax Software", "Your 2007 TurboTax Software is Enclosed!", etc. I've been using TurboTax since 1998.

But, I just now looked at it closer...and it is only TurboTax Deluxe. I've been buying TurboTax Premier, and this year would be no exception. Guess they don't know me. Because it isn't *my* TurboTax. Now I have to figure out how to get TurboTax Premier.

Oh wait...looks like they sent a "Deluxe or Premier" version to the occupant of my Personal Mail Box at the UPS Store. Guess I'll use that.


  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.


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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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