Sunday, October 26, 2008

No More Twittering through IM

Since I usually post to my twitter account from my phone, it has been a while since I have actually logged-in into the Twitter web site. When I looked at the service's project status page, I was saddened to read that they had completely disabled and shelved twittering via instant messenger.

Twitter says that they plan to have it back but it's not a major priority anymore. It's now something on their "wish list" as opposed to being on the "broken list."

Now, I always liked having the option to post whenever my phone was out of reach like during meetings and training sessions. I guess I'll just have to be more sly and keep my phone close to me at all times.

Blogging on the Patio

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The weather outside was too good to pass up so I decided to do my web surfing and blogging on the patio today. I just need to remind myself to buy some citronella candles to keep the bugs away.

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They're Shopping!!!!

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They're escaping!

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Monster Bash

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Marking the Moment: Resurrecting the Akoya

In 2005, I bought a Medion Akoya EX laptop. Despite its age, it’s still my favorite laptop. It just has enough processing speed and RAM to do the things I do (web & graphic design), and the glossy widescreen was one of the first it kind at the time.

As time went buy, I started noticing more and more dead pixels popping up on the screen. It wasn’t long that there were so many dead pixels that it looked as if a black hole was growing in the center of my screen. So I decided to retire the laptop in May of 2007 and buy another to take it’s place.

I did consider getting it repaired, but Medion had pulled out of the laptop business in the US. I would have had to ship it to Germany to have it fixed. Reluctantly, I tried taking it back to Best Buy and asking how much it would cost for Geek Squad to replace the LCD. At the time, it had been over a year past the warranty that I bought from them. For the most part, I wasn’t surprised that they asked me for both of my arms and a leg. It was financially unrealistic to have it fixed at the time and buying a new laptop seemed like the best option at the time.

Since then, I have missed my Akoya. I felt like that system had been put offline well before its time.

We are now in the tail end of October of 2008 and since the time I shelved the Akoya, I have had time to learn and improve my PC repair skills. After having done a dozen laptop repair projects, I now had the knowledge and skill, not to mention the money, to fix my precious Akoya.

Finally, I decided to fix the Akoya last week. It cost me twice than it really should have since my supply source originally sent me one with a hot pixel in it and this was apparently not enough to warrant a return or exchange. I ended up having to buy another to get a flawless one.

As of 10:05 AM CST, October 25, 2008, I successfully completed the replacement of the LCD screen. Everything is working. Everything looks good, sharp, and fine. It’s been a long drawn out process that has been weighing on me for a long time. Having this burden lifted is such a relief and having the Akoya back is like seeing a long lost friend. All is good at the moment!

Note: I apologize for my sentimentality with my computers. These machines have become more than tools to me. They are my windows to the world beyond my reach, a way to call home, and a means by which I make my living. They’ve become trusted friends much like a steed is valued by a cowboy. So please pardon this monkey for wanting to mark this moment.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

You Always Remember Your First

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I will never forget my first computer. It was loud, clunky, and used both high density and double density floppy disks. Today, I celebrate the 15th anniversary of buying my first computer. It was an IBM PS2 Model 30 286.

So, do you remember the first computer that you owned? Post a reply if you care to share.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beware of Buying Refurbished from Tigers!

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A couple of weeks ago, I decided to buy a refurbished laptop “directly” from a “Tiger” online. Being a monkey and they being a tiger, I should have realized that there would be some communication issues which would lead me to be somewhat disappointed with my purchase.

The laptop I ordered was a Dell Latitude D610. I know going into my purchase that this was an older model and that it wouldn’t win any speed tests. I bought it because I had a chance to use one at my workplace and I really liked the sturdy body frame. It was perfect to use when I have to go out into the field or if I have to lend a computer to someone who is known to have the case of “The Clutz.”

When my order came, I was very excited. I must’ve opened four boxes before I managed to free the machine from its packaging. When I finally opened it, I felt my quickly heart sunk. Sure, it was the right model laptop, but the machine looked more “used” than I expected. The case had way too many scars and the screen looked a little too washed out as if it had been set on full brightness for way too long. But this wasn’t what bothered me the most.

Now, I can live with the case scars. I can convince my monkey self that they’re battle scars and that it gives the machine character. The screen being washed out is something to keep an eye out and may have to be replaced if it eventually burns out. The thing that bothered me the most is the keyboard. Yes, the keyboard looked so used up that some of the keys were shiny, but this wasn’t the worst thing. The keyboard was also filthy. Between the keys were crumbs of what I could only assume as Doritos. The keys felt greasily slick. It was as if the tiger working on the machine was sloppily eating chips on the laptop while they did their supposed refurbishing.

I called the Tiger and explained my issue. They tell me that it happens sometimes and that a system slips through the cracks and miss its cleaning session. They added that I could send it back for an exchange since it’s only been less than two weeks but I would have to pay for shipping to send it back and to get my replacement.

Now, when I buy something that is refurbished I expected it be cleaned and restored to a nice working condition. I didn’t expect it to be greasy with chip crumbs. That’s something I expect from tuna casserole.

I looked into how much it would cost to ship the laptop back to the Tigers in its original box and a burly man at the UPS Store told me that it was going to cost me close to a hundred clams.

Now being in a country where someone let a “shrub from Texas” depress the economy, I have found myself unable to spare any more clams. So, I acquiesced and decided that I would just spend five clams on cleaning supplies and clean the nasty laptop.

I spent three hours today cleaning that bloody thing. I really shouldn’t have had to do it. Apparently in the language of the Tigers, refurbished means “greasy with chips.” I’ll have to remind myself not to buy a refurb from these animals.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pissed off at McDonalds

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On rare occasions, I do break down and go to McDonalds to get a Big Mac meal. I know it’s not good for me, but sometimes you just have live a little. Plus, I’ve been craving for one for about three weeks now. So when I went to get my Big Mac meal, I was pretty excited.

Well, my excitement was killed pretty quickly and replaced with anger and frustration. When I finally sat down to eat my sandwich at the McDonalds on 9th and Creighton Avenue, I was surprised to see that my Big Mac was lacking lettuce.

So, I went back up to the counter and cashier tell me that they are out of lettuce and they are so sorry about. They didn’t offer to give me a refund. They didn’t give me an alternative. They just knowingly served me an incomplete sandwich. Sure they apologized but they made no attempt to remedy the situation. When I asked for my money back, they ignored my request and replied that they had sent someone to get some lettuce.

The thing that pisses me off is the fact that this McDonald’s actually gave me an incomplete sandwich and expected me not to notice. Did they think I was blind?

Also, how the hell does a McDonald’s run out of lettuce? How incompetent can someone be not keep their restaurant stocked with the basic ingredients of the food that they serve? Lettuce is not some unique ingredient. It’s available at any grocery store. What’s even worse is the fact that this McDonald’s is located between a 24-hour Super Wal-Mart and a Winn-Dixie. They should’ve sent someone out there to get some lettuce before they finally ran out.

Selling me a Big Mac without lettuce is like selling me a car without seats. It’s unacceptable.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Local Hospital Turns Pink

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Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida is being lit up in pink at night as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

If you're a local and drive anywhere near Cordova Mall at night, then I'm pretty sure you've seen the massive hospital glowing in pink. If you haven't seen it, then I suggest taking a little drive about town at night and taking a look. I think it's pretty neat.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Posting about Nothing

I just realize that it’s been a while since I posted anything on my blog. It’s not that I’ve been lazy. There’s just nothing really interesting happening around me lately except for the fact that I seem to be way to busy at work these days.

So, I decided to break the dry spell and post something even if it is to comment about not having anything interesting to post.

I did start reading a book that wasn’t a computer/programming manual which is a rarity by itself. I’m currently reading Orson Scott Card’s “Invasive Procedures.” I’m not exactly sure how to describe the story since I’m only a third ways into the book. I suppose I’ll post about that when I finish reading it. We’ll see.

At work, I’m swamped up to my eyeballs with having to “tween” a bunch of pictures for our web site of bariatric surgery patients to show how they progressively loose weight over time. It’s a tedious and boring task that makes me feel a lot of loathing towards myself for being pudgy and guilty for loving bacon a little too much.

The weather is supposed to be pretty good this weekend. I’m trying to decide if I want to spend my time on the beach or have a backyard barbecue or have a barbecue at the beach. Either way, I hope to not spend too much time in front of the computer screen this weekend.

Well, that’s enough babbling for now. I’ll post again if anything worthy of posting happens.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Someone's Having a Bad Day

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Right now, there's a car on fire across from where I work. Someone is definately not having a good day.

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