Well, now that the old Daylight Saving Time has gone by....it is time to start looking at how things'll cope with the new Daylight Saving Time.
I still run a Windows 2000 box, for WiRNS/DVArchive/Poopli Updater, and I'm not sure if I'll be getting around to replacing it before the start of DST next year.
So, I made this tweak so that it'll hopefully make the switch on time.
Did a quick check of my other computers. While my old RedHat 7.3 Linux box is ready to handle the DST change, my SuSE 9.3 Linux box isn't. Don't really want to upgrade this box, but I might have to. The other two computers are XP SP2, so they should be covered.
That's because next year it'll start sooner and end later....
Well, I think I got all the things at home that need updating.....the only thing left is to change the batteries in all the smoke detectors....
But, first I took my semi-annual peek at my DLP's service menu...and lamp life is at 4753 hours.
That's about 100 hours less than the same period last year. I guess I really am watching a lot less TV than I used to
Though since they rate the bulb at 5000-8000 hours, I could be getting close to the end. Worse because according to a FAQ I found on Samsung's site...using Dynamic Picture mode shaves 2000 hours off the estimate, since it runs the 100W bulb at 120W.... Though I'm sure the screen not looking as bright as it used to is more a reflection on living room orientation and layout....and that stores try to make their TVs look their best. But, probably time I looked for the box with the extra bulb.....
Well, I called T-Mobile and cancelled my service.
They asked me why....a little matter about asking for a local number and being charged to get a non-local one. The cancellation person noted that I made the request on August 22nd...more than two months ago. He asked if he could get me a local number at no additional charge, would I stay.
Ummm, I've already been going back and forth with CSRs on the subject and now that I've given up on waiting for them to make good on this...he's gonna try? Too late...I already found a new provider and have a local number.
At least he understood that having a number in the same area code doesn't equal a local call.
Well, I solved it....turns out it was one character that was preventing my BlackBerry from sending plaintext emails.
The vain people at BlackBerry/RIM had changed their tagline on the signatures to default to having an ® in it. Which is not a plain text character, which makes the entire message MIME'd. Removing it, makes it send plain text again.
Now if the inspiration hits...I can email to this blog from my BlackBerry....which is one of the big reasons, I wasn't ready to give up my addiction when I was shopping around for a new device. In fact, I wanted to upgrade to where it was even easier to serve....
Well, I picked it up.....and hooked it up. Seems pretty straightforward, the only strange thing was the power cord on the Receiver. It was a standard computer like 3 prong cord, even though it only needed two....in fact the socket on the receiver only has 2 prongs.
Of course, this is only annoying in that 3 prong outlets are kind of hard to come by in place.
Actually, for the connection of the transmitter....also had trouble finding any bare outlet (had to move some stuff around ) It was further complicated in that I used really short leads with the 5.8GHz Amphony Transmitter...so that limited where I could put the HomePlug transmitter.
Too soon to tell how things sound.....but the interference issues of wireless aren't there, so at least there's that. Mabye I'll get around to playing a DVD this weekend.
The other day, I noticed the message waiting light was flashing on my phones. That's another good thing that has happened since I gave up on using the D-Link DPH-540's with my BroadVoice service.
However, there's a problem....*86 wouldn't work, eventually found that calling myself would. But, then I couldn't get past the passcode entry.
Corresponding with support has yet to yield a result. Though during the exchange, they mentioned something about having to set *86 as the code for voicemail in my ATA. After much browsing the configuration screens and searching on Google. I found that the real issue is that the ATA uses *86 for something else...and changing it to not intercept that code was the answer.
However, along the way I came across a configuration wizard on Voxilla, that claimed to set all the parameters on my ATA to work with a number of different providers (including BroadVoice). So I tried it. Big mistake.
Anyways...this is just an annoyance that I can't easily retrieve voicemail, but not enough for me to want to throw money at it...(or at another VoIP provider ) I suppose if things got desperate enough, I could stick my phone/answerer that used to be on my Lingo adapter on here....since the Lingo adapter is a paper weight now (which i should disconnect from the UPS so it doesn't unnecessarily suck power from it during an outage).
The ATA wouldn't register afterwards, and I didn't see any significant changes on the preview screen from the wizard. And, I didn't save a backup of what I had. Eventually, I looked at the 'default' Line 2 settings and found the site that I had based my original configuration from...and figured out what things were different, likely due to the Voxilla wizard, and changed them back.
Once I did that, registration worked...and I could make calls again.
So, now I was able to test that *86 would work. And, then went around to each of my handsets to reprogram the voicemail button, yet again.
But, I still can't get into my voicemail account. Doesn't matter what DTMF sequence I enter or if I don't enter any sequence at all, it reports that my passcode is invalid....3 times and then disconnects me.
Though I'm positive that I've called other IVR phone systems from Broadvoice before, and DTMF worked for those. So, I call my Vonage line, wait for voicemail to answer and hit *. I'm in. I can enter my passcode and navigate around that system via Broadvoice.
So it isn't an 'issue' with how I have my ATA or my phone setup....OTOH, if I call my Broadvoice number from a diffent place....such as the landline from work or from my Vonage line. I can get into the BroadVoice Voice Portal successfully. Though it is kind of tedious waiting for 5 rings to go by to retrieve my voicemail.
I suppose if I get really fustrated, I could have BroadVoice forward the caller to my Vonage account to leave voicemail or something....though that uses up minutes, and I only get 100 minutes a month....which is only about 2-3 phone calls home to my mother....where I do one a week. So, I'm always over the 100 minute mark. Though not enough to reach the price point of the unlimited plan.
Of course, if everything was working....I'd be confident to ditch my Vonage subscription...and then I could see myself getting the unlimited plan. Though with Vonage, I only have the 500 minute per month plan....which is sufficent. Since my typical usage is probably only around the 150 minute per month mark.
Slower than dialup!
It was so fustrating...I thought the culprit was student loading the campus WiFi network. Though it occurred to me that it started being really slow after the application of the 10.4.8 update.
So, I searched and searched for why.....there was a vague reference to something called CoconutWiFi as a culprit. But, I didn't know what it was...so figured it didn't apply, so I kept looking for the culprit in my case.
Finally, I looked up what CoconutWiFi was...while I didn't have it or anything like it running on my MBP....I did have Yahoo! Widget "Sys Monitor" running.
Turning this widget off, made a dramatic improvement to my speed.....I ran several speed tests to confirm.....speed differences were like 10kbps versus 2200 kbps.
I can't believe I suffered this long....
OTOH, I was positive that I had taken the MBP home a time or two, and didn't observe this level of degradation.... Could be the fact that campus is a large area served by many different APs on different channels around campus, all with the same SSID. While home, my APs are all on one frequency (and the neighbors' have different SSIDs...and different channels). Or some other technical factor....
Some time ago, my old Cyberpower2000/1500VA (CP1500VA?) UPS died for the second time. For reasons, I'm not totally sure about....I removed the batteries from it and packed it away for future repair. And, bought a new UPS to replace it.
Well, I decided that there would be value in having a separate UPS to run the box known as LHAVEN. And, I was ordering replacement UPS batteries (well, battery)...I decided that it would be time to order the two needed for this old UPS.
They were back ordered, so initially I only received the one battery that I truely needed.
The batteries had arrived yesterday, but I didn't get both of them home until today. And, that UPS is now back in service and I have LHAVEN moved over to it.
.....to becoming landline free today.
I had gotten my phone bill, and I was ready to blindly pay it...when I happened to read the details and noticed that I was being charged $38+tax for a service call.
If you go back in my blog, I referenced my phone service outage of October 6th.
Actually my phones stopped working on October 4th. People calling me were being immediately connected to static. And, I had no dial tone...just static as well. I didn't notice until the morning of October 6th, however.
And, that's when I called in the trouble.
After much hold time...75 minutes of my life disappearing....they explained that the tech reset my line and found nothing wrong, so that makes it an inside wiring problem...and since I'm not paying them extra for that, they charged me for it. Even though I had explained numerous times that I had fully checked all my inside wiring before calling them....everything except using a ButtSet (since the one I had isn't DSL safe)....plus it seems to have gone missing in the move (or I just haven't found the last box to look in yet).
But since the problem went away after they reset my line...it somehow means they can charge me, unless I'm paying another extraoridnate charge to avoid being charged? Its bad enough that I'm paying over $30 a month for basic local only service, just so that should disaster strike...that I'll be able to call 911.
Well, while on hold, I got to thinking how bad could it be if I then switched to canceling the useless, troublesome service that is sucking money I could more than cover the cost of a VoIP provider I had been looking at... So, I said I wanted to cancel my service...and they transferred me over to 'disconnections'.
They explained that if I did, I would be subject to a $100 early termination fee. I kind of knew there would be...and it probably would've been a justifiable expense....except that it is that time of year when other bills are bigger than usual....
So, the plan is once I complete my 12-month minimum term....I'll be strongly considering dumping the landline (unless AT&T can offer me 3-6MBps/608kbps for DSL, or better)....and then I'll be looking to port my landline to VoIP (ideally to Vonage, which I've been happy with....and what I was using when I lost those 75 minutes of my life )
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