11.28.2011

HP/Compaq administrator install error

Had a dead hard drive in an old Windows XP Pavilion that I'm fixing, and of course there are no recovery discs available. So, I used my OEM disc to install and activate, no problems there, but now driver updates give me the following error:

"You must be logged on as an administrator to install this update. Update has been cancelled. (9999)"

So after a bit of searching around, it turns out the problem is that Windows decided that the card reader needed to be the labeled C: instead of the hard drive during install. The only way to fix is to disconnect the card reader and reinstall the OS. Joy.

11.22.2011

so I write things sometimes

Usually when I'm waiting for something else. Been a bit since I've been on here, but it's encouraging to still see traffic on the site, thanks to an ancient StatCounter account to which I no longer have the login credentials.

Feelin a bit sick today; gonna load up on tea for work tomorrow. Gotta show Lazy Coworker that I have a better work ethic!

Okay, so this is something I've been wondering for a while now. Do flag companies have lobbyists in Washington, trying to get Puerto Rico added as a state? Think about how lucrative that would be as a business for them. EVERY FLAG WOULD HAVE TO BE CHANGED. They'd stand to make millions. This gave me an idea to sell pin-on white stars. They'd be cheaper to make than full flags, and people could upgrade their current flags with no problems! The amazing thing? This is like my third get-rich idea I've had this month.
Oh yeah. I'm THAT good.

5.15.2011

Hooray for rooting!

I have Netflix on my phone :)

4.29.2011

No, I am not the City of Stillwater

Weird phone call today...

"Hello, Is this the City of Stillwater?"
"Huh?"
"I'm trying to reach the City of Stillwater."
"I'm not the City of Stillwater."
"My husband is trying to..."
Cutting her off "You have the wrong number."
She hands phone to her husband. "Hi, I'm trying to reach the City of Stillwater."
"This is a private number, man. I'm not the City."
"Well, how do I get in touch with the City of Stillwater?"
"I dunno... get a phonebook?"
Confused Silence.
"Look, I'm not the City and I don't have their number. Get a phonebook. You dialed the wrong number."
"..."
"Have a good day." At this point I hung up.

Right.

3.27.2011

hobbies

I wonder if there's something wrong with me for enjoying looking at my IM client and watching my friends log in and out of Facebook... also, the last panel of this comic describes my thoughts most nights. Other cool things:

Grooveshark -- Much better than Pandora.
Jolicloud (and Joli OS) -- Good dual-boot solution for a netbook or old laptop. It's based on a slimmed-down version of Ubuntu, and the same theory as Chromium OS (you mostly use your computer for the internet, so why bother with the rest of the operating system?). Loads quicker than Windows and does what I need it to. Plus you don't really need to worry about malware, and the desktop syncs with Jolicloud, so you can access it anywhere. Here's a link to my account, if you wanna check it out.

3.06.2011

This thing you can do

Androidify app... yeah.


2.27.2011

netflix has secret codes on ps3

So. The story starts when Netflix decided to update their PS3 interface. It went from decent to WTF in 10 seconds. The menus open right to left (wtf), the instant queue is now one long line (WTF), and any relevant sections such as Recently Watched or More Like: are gone or gimped (W.T.F.). Plus search is useless but who cares. It never worked.

Anyway, here is the relevant part of this post: After talking with a very understanding Netflix rep ("Yeah, we've gotten a LOT of complaints on the new menu") I found that there are actually 3 new
menus they are testing, and the original is still available as well. Every account has been randomly assigned one of the interfaces, and which one you get is luck of the draw. Here are a few other interesting things I've learned:

There is no menu option to deregister your Netflix account from your PS3. Even if you delete the app, it still shows up. If you deregister from netflix.com, it will still be registered on your PS3.

There IS, however, a secret code you can enter in the menu to deregister, as well as see some neat information about your device. It is:

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right Up Up Up Up.
Click to enlarge
No I am not making this up. This was told to me by a different and equally helpful and sympathetic Netflix rep.

"So it's the Konami code?"
"Yep."

Anyway, it's looking like you're out of luck if you have a menu you don't like. Deleting Netflix data from the BluRay data folder, uninstalling the app, and even creating a new account all yielded no change for me. Your best bet is to call Netflix (866-716-0414) and tell them the new menu is terrible.

2.25.2011

google.com/ch is fake

Got a call from my bank today about some odd charges on my card. There were two charges of about $70 to crappy games site gpotato, and a $1 charge from 'google.com/ch ca'. I haven't used my card in months, so I went down to get a new card and fill out some claims dispute forms. Luckily they were able to cancel the transactions before any major damage was done, and I've been spending the afternoon changing all of my passwords for any sites that have my card info stored (big thanks to Lastpass for making this process MUCH easier, bee tee dubs!) just in case.

But the real thing to remember here is what to look for on your statement, in case you have a bank that doesn't really care enough to call you about odd transactions. Any charges made by Google on your statement will show up as "GOOGLE * Store Name" (source). If you see anything else, such as my "GOOGLE.COM/CH CA" you should immediately contact your bank and get a new card issued. Because it was from fraudulent charges, they didn't charge me for the new card. It also looked like the initial fake Google charge was to test whether the card info would work before they started purchasing things. Many identity thieves make small purchases in the hope that they will go unnoticed, so be wary of any odd purchases, even if they are small.

I asked the person I spoke with at the bank about how this had happened, and he gave me a short explanation. Here is how it is supposed to work:
1. You make a purchase with your bank card at a store or online.
2. The merchant stores your card info long enough to send it to your financial institution and request payment.
3. Payment is processed, and the merchant deletes your card info.

But here is what sometimes happens:

1. You make a purchase with your bank card at a store or online.
2. The merchant stores your card info long enough to send it to your financial institution and request payment.
3. Payment is processed.
4. Merchant doesn't really ever get around to deleting you card info.

In this situation, your data becomes open to hackers or dishonest employees. Really you haven't done anything wrong, but you can still be vulnerable. The best defense you have is to be vigilant about your statements, and check up on ANY charge that looks abnormal.

2.11.2011

GPS and data plans

To set the record straight, your smartphone's GPS is free. It is basically like using Bluetooth; there is no additional charge from your carrier. What you do need to watch for, however, are programs that use mobile data in conjunction with GPS, like Google maps ATT's stock Navigation app. These programs use data to load the maps they display, incurring fees from your carrier. There are two ways around this. The first is to use wifi instead of your data plan, bit this is not practical if you need to be mobile. The second is to use an app that stores maps on your phone, eliminating the need to access the internet. Tomtom has a paid app available, but I prefer free app Locus, which allows you to download maps of your choice to your phone to be used later.

If you call your mobile provider to ask about this, be prepared for some confusion. ATT informed me that all apps use data, and offered to sell me a more expensive data plan. Be advised: if you have the mobile data setting turned off on your phone (I have a widget just for this purpose) then you cannot be charged for data usage. Apps requiring it will simply not work. If you use ATT, you can check your data usage by sending a message to *DATA# (*3283#) to check usage.

2.07.2011

where the fuck is my multiplayer sid meier

That's the whole goddamn reason I bought your stupid game. Real time only? W.T.F. I have a social life, I need play by email. A single game takes like 20 hours to finish, I don't have time to play with my friends for 20 hours. We need human things like food and sleep and we have jobs that we need to go to buy your games so if you want anyone to have the money to buy civ 6 then GIVE ME MY FUCKING PLAY BY EMAIL.

God.