Category Archives: GeekStuff

Mac Update: The Saga Continues

So much for Apple offering the “Perfect End-User Experience”. I just got off of a 40 minute call with two different CSR’s at AppleCare. The reason for my call was because my PowerBook was now listed as “Case Closed, Returning to Customer” and I was curious to see how it went. For those of you that don’t remember, I had a wobble, a non-flush sitting battery, an excessive amount of heat, and a heat-related crash. When I spoke to the first CSR – his job is to report the status of computer repairs – he told me that “They tested it, but couldnt find a problem. They put the PowerBook to sleep for an hour and let it charge, but it didnt get hot. When I exclaimed, Thats not why I sent it in! and the CSR replied, Yes it was! I then requested a manager, because this needed to be escalated.
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T-Mobile 2.0: Now with Coverage!

To the unfortunate souls that have been following this site from the very beginning, hold onto your asses because this is going to shock your bottom clean off you: I’m currently happy with T-Mobile‘s service! To those of you that are new to site, let me explain why this is such a shock. I’ve been with T-Mobile for over two years now, when it was still known as VoiceStream, here in the northeast of the US – I had been using them up here when they were OmniPoint, but I didn’t own that account, so I can’t take credit for it. Anyway, I started this run with T-Mobile with a Nokia 8290. Coverage in those days was very spotty, particularly if you left the routes that the Interstate follow – most carriers seem to use the Interstates and use them as tower deployment routes, back filling coverage into the countryside as money allows. This is where the adventure begins.
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Kung-Log + MT = Happy Ranting Randy

For a while now I’ve been using a product called Kung-Log to write up my Rants remotely. See, MovableType (MT) – the software that I’ve been using to manage this site for a bit now – has been great for posting Rants, while online. It offers a web page that I can post the Rants to – from PC or Mac which was a new requirement for me – but that only works while I’m connected to the ‘net. For writing while offline, I’ve been using Kung-Log. Kung-Log has been allowing me to write up “Drafts” while offline, complete with inline spell checking and tag management. Ideally, Kung-Log would allow you to sync and upload changes to the server that’s running MT, but I haven’t been able to do that… until now.
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LinkSys 802.11g

So a little while ago, I accidentally fried one of the ports on my LinkSys 4-port router. I’ve had enough static electricity in my house that I could save a but of money on my electric bill by hooking up a pair of jumper cables to my socks and moving around the house – would give new meaning to the word “wireless,” at least in the winter. By summer, the air is usually humid enough to swim through, but in the winter, if you snap your fingers in the air you could charge a 9-volt. As you can guess, I was fully charged when I touched the end of a LAN cable and *zoot* one of the 4 ports on the router decided to leave this world.
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And so it Continues…

And so my little portable heater is still warming up my life, a day at a time. Yes, thats, right I’m still a Mac user a full two weeks into my trial Switch. Don’t get me wrong, though – I’m still very reliant on my PC’s, so there’s no way I could Switch over everything; in fact I’m selling my Power Mac G4 tower right now on eBay. If I decide I need two Apple computers in my life, I’ll get a new one. As nice as it is to see some applications on both platforms, there are differences between the platforms; someone even has a “Get used to your new Mac” type book which shows you how a Mac works from a Windows user’s perspective. One thing that I have done is returned my Sony 505JL notebook back to work because I’m “mostly” done with PC notebooks… at least for the time being. I did keep my really old Celeron Sony N505VE, so I must have one small, minute, lingering doubt! And now, the details, and since this goes through a dark valley to climb to a bright peak, please read the whole thing before flaming my mailbox!
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And Now for Something Completely Different

Well, there’s been yet another change to Since I’m now using a PowerBook as my full time notebook, CityDesk was becoming less and less an option for writing my blogs. I could have typed up the Rants in TextEdit and move it over, but that seemed kind of silly. I looked at a couple of different server and client technologies and I have a new recipe for what I hope is future success (and at least stave off this “upgrade of the week” urge that I’ve had lately).
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Changes abound. First, and probably most noticeable, is that the site is up and running without any gaping downtime. In fact, I’m not sure if there’s been any downtime, since I switched to a new hosting company. See, this web site is mostly a place where I unlock excess mental baggage and speak my mind without trying to vie for someone’s attention constantly. I mean when I listen to someone else tell me a “story” I very, very rarely let my attention waver; when I talk to someone I’m constantly interrupted by “oh look, there’s a leaf on the side of the road,” which after 28 years of talking can really be annoying. Anyway, I started this site just as a lark and it’s grown into something of a Rant, Rave, Tech center, coffee-soaked satire that has held my attention for quite a while now – it will be a year of Rants soon, actually – who knew?
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S105: Unlocked!

One of the longest on going issues that people seem to e-mail me about is my experiences with the Samsung S105. Samsung, like most cellular handset manufacturers, offer most of their individual phone models in a number of different “flavors” – flavours, actually since the European arena is far more advanced in mobile services than we are – so they can offer their products to as many people as possible. Wait, wait, before I get into this, let me give you a crash course in cellular technology, as of this moment, world-wide.
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Windows 0 — Apple -1

I thought I should finally get around to sharing my impressions of the new 12.1″ PowerBook that I bought from Apple. Well, I sorta can’t do that yet – the freakin’ thing hasn’t shipped yet! Let met tell you this: this thing is starting out as a very, very negative beginning to my adventure with Apple. There’s been one problem after another with this notebook, and they haven’t even bothered to ship one to me yet – so much for the Switch being an easy thing to do.
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New PocketPC: HP 1910

New device alert! I’ve opted to sell my Toshiba e740 Pocket PC. No complaints with the device, but I had begun to feel like I’m trying to hit a fly with a building rather than a swatter. It’s got all sorts of stuff with it, like WiFi (802.11b) and CF/SD support, but I don’t use most of it. I used to use it for a MP3 Player, but the iPod has superceded that. I rarely play games on it or use the built in Wireless LAN. Never watched a movie on it. I used the CF slot for backups and the device for the Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks – maybe for solitaire.
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My Balance Gave Out!

Oops. More or less, anyway. I can’t think of any better way to say it, but I seem to have bought a new PowerBook. Yeah, you heard me. Even after yesterday’s revelations about how I wouldn’t be able to Switch fully, I ordered a new Apple notebook. What happened? Steve Jobs’ keynote address at Macworld Expo yesterday is what happened. I know it sounds odd – that a CEO’s speech could force a lone, mostly-pro Microsoft programmer to change his… um, well everything. I’ve been 99.44% pro Microsoft for at least a decade… It wasn’t Jobs’ words that have changed me – it was his products.
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Update: Mac Stuff

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my Apple on this site… that’s mostly because my G4 has been sitting mostly unused for a while. As you may remember, a few months ago I threw about $800 into a G4/450MHz tower, in an effort to see what all the hub-bub about OS X was. I’ve still got it running and I keep it up to date; it’s now running OS X 10.2.3 and even the recent updates to Office.X and the “I” line of Apple software. The problem is that I can’t seem to pull the “Switch” trigger.
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Update on the S105

I’ve had the S105 for a couple of months now and one of things that it has not been able to do is download MIDLets. MIDLets are phone based applications, written in Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME), that are downloaded over-the-air to your phone and stored there. They are typically games or other types of utilities, and are typically more robust applications, when compared to WAP web sites. Most of the phones that I’ve worked with (including Motorola’s T720, i90c, i95cL, Nokia’s 7210, etc.) have all allowed downloading without issues. The inability to download MIDLets to the S105 has been blamed on manufacturer, network, and software version – at the end of the day, it was simply the network and T-Mobile has been attempting to address this.
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