Category: Uncategorized

Past Car Troubles

On my way into work today I saw a car that had broken down on the shoulder of the road, and behind it, stopped to help was a full tractor trailer. It reminded me of my issues I had a few weeks ago, and that I hadn’t taken the time to post about it.

It was the week that I started my new hire training with Sprint and was commuting into the twin cities, which is between an hour to an hour and a half commute. I had known that my tires were in need replacements because one just kept losing air. 

I had given myself an hour and 45 minutes to get there that morning, just to make sure I could find the place and get myself settled in for the week. I was driving along, like normal, going 5 to 8 miles per hour over the speed limit, which would make my speed 75 to 78, and I felt a vibration in the steering wheel. My initial reaction was to take my foot off the gas and slow down. A second later I felt the tire blow, and the car started to shake really bad. I hit the brakes hard, looked over my shoulded and made an instant lane change from the center lane to the shoulder.

So there I sit, on the shoulder, with no idea of what happened.  I peeked out and saw that it was the tire that was giving me issues before. The front drivers tire had blown out.  In order to change it I was going to have to get further off the road, so I inched over so that I was way off the road, then proceeded to change the tire.

As I was fighting with getting the lug nuts I glanced up and saw that an SUV had stopped in front of me.  Between the 2 of us we got the lug nuts loosened and started jacking.  We soon realized that the jack was too short.  The guy who had stopped went and got his jack and we got the spare tire on. I couldn’t thank him enough.  He said that he thought that 2 cars were safer by the side of the road than 1, especially in  rush hour traffic. I don’t remember his name (Brandon?) but I remember that he was the General Manager of Papa John’s Pizza in Maple Grove.  Without him stopping I wouldn’t have been able to get back on the road.

So I started off again.  I called my manager to update him that I was back on the road and the GPS said I still may make it in time.  I fought through the traffic and arrived at the office with a few minutes to spare.  Made it up to the classroom 4 minutes before class started.  It all worked out in the end, aside from the $500 price tag on the new set of tires, but the car drives great now…

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OpenSourcePalm.com

OpenSourcePalm.com is now fully up and running.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  I designed the logo all by myself (with a little bit of help from google images).

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Rereleased opensourcepalm.com (With some issues)

I recently discovered that I still owned OpenSourcePalm.com because I received an email to renew it.

I went to their login page and couldn’t log in.  I ended up putting in a trouble ticket to get it resolved, so hopefully I will be up and running by this weekend.

As far as I know the regular view is working, but the mobile site isn’t working. Probably my fault. I might switch addons to another one or double check my settings. 

The moral of the post is that if you are reading this you should go check out opensourcepalm.com and let me know what you think!

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Excellent Customer Service

Back in the day when I had a handful of websites that I was running I always used ipower.com to purchase the .com domain name.  Any time I have had a question I have had amazing luck with their service. If I submit a ticket I get a quick
response, or if I do the live chat they take care of it on the spot.

For example: I had forgotten that I owned the domain name opensourcepalm.com up until I received the alert that it was going to expire. The only issue was that I didn’t know my username or password. Within 5 minutes of going to ipower.com my password was reset and the rep was checking everything out to make sure their were no issues.

I am just impressed that the rep would go above and beyond to make sure everything was right. That’s what is missing in most companies customer service model. it’s making sure the customer doesn’t have to come back again and again when it could have been fixed on the first visit.

In short, if you are looking for a domain name check out ipower.com.

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Training Week 3 Day 2

Training went well for day one, now onto day 2. Just a bunch of independent work and a 60 minute check in. On a side note: It looks like today is going to be a nice day out. Maybe it’s good I’ll be in a windowless room…

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Training

I begin an exciting 3rd week of training this week, but it is different from a conventional training in the fact that it is taken virtually with people across the country.  There is a virtual classroom application and I have a VOIP headset so I can hear and interact.

It will be an interesting week.

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Mmmmm Gingerbread

So I decided that it was time to wipe my phone and start from scratch (again).  It was running horribly slow and to even make a call I had to wait for the home screen to load.  While I was making this decision I started looking through the Rom Manager app (available in Android Market) and came across ChevyNo1’s new Gingerbread build.

I did a double backup of my current setup (all possible since I have a rooted phone) so I had nothing to lose.  If it messed up I just have to boot the phone into recovery mode and reload my backup.  It downloaded and installed flawlessly.  I did the initial Google login setup and let it load for a half hour or so when it was done.  I noticed it was getting pretty warm, then I saw there was an icon in the notification bar.   I checked it out and it had said that it had reloaded my 60 apps.  That was pretty sweet.

With the fresh OS installed the phone works amazingly fast and looks even better.  It has a Black theme, which means they got rid of the ugly grey bar that I hate so much, plus the menus and icons are all redesigned too.  Visually it has a few cool scrolling and opening/closing effects, and my favorite effect is when you turn off the screen, or let it time out it looks like an old TV powering off.

I am not going to go into great detail, I just wanted to share that it has been a good experience so far.  I think I’ll keep it until something better comes out.  I had actually held onto the last one for a few months, probably the longest running version for my phone since I got it a year and a half ago…

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Second Life – My thoughts

So I decided to (finally) try out this whole Second Life thing. I was watching some reruns of The Office and there is an episode where Dwight has a Second Life and it is exactly like his normal life, except he can fly… So I signed up (free) and created a character that looks nothing like me (out of the 10 or so preset characters you can pick from) and installed the game.

The download was quick, and the 2nd download during install was pretty quick too.  A very easy process. I did get an error that my video card wasn’t recognized, so we’ll have to see how that goes.  It logged me in, made me accept the terms and conditions.  Went through download part 3 and BAM there I was.

I was immediately invited to the Zombie Attack group because I was referred from their website.  Lots of Zombie attacks and my first in-game impression isn’t good.  This is like a horrible zombie game.  I then went into the Destination Guide and and teleported myself to a random place.  This time the Grand Canyon. Even after changing the graphic settings every which way, it doesn’t look all that good.  Plus that graphics card error seems to be an issue in that the screen flickers or goes blank.

I guess I’ll uninstall and maybe try something else… Any suggestions?

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Craigslist Scammers

Out of nowhere today I got a handful of emails in regards to my items for sale on Craigslist.  I was excited about it, so I started to reply.  Then I noticed a pattern with the emails. One was simply “We like it”, then next was “Interested” and the third was also “Interested”.  Plus, they had typed something very similar to “still have your stuff?” in the subject line. I knew it didn’t look right so I decided to investigate. 

Fortunately, since I am a Gmail user there is a little downward pointing arrow to the top right of the message. (as seen in the below picture.)  Actually every email provider should have the same type of option, I just like Gmail the best.

Clicking this link gives you a list of options for the email. One of these options is called “Show Original”.  What this does is opens up a new window and gives you the text details of the message. What their servers see the email like.  All of the data that you don’t normally need to see.  The email program (or website) take this raw information and turn it into a presentable email message.

Once this page is loaded it looks like the below image.  What you are seeing here is actually the very bottom of the message, Starting (at the bottom and working up) with the message itself and the senders information. I pointed out the main piece of information that I was looking for, which is an IP Address.

So at this point we have an IP address.  What good is that?  It actually isn’t the IP Address of the person who sent the email.  It is the IP Address of the internet provider from where the email was sent.  What makes this a little (or sometimes a lot) inaccurate is that it is possible with some email addresses using the web client it could show the IP address as the address of the email provider.  What I ended up finding with these few emails was a little bit more. I went to the website: http://www.ipaddressreport.com/ and clicked on “Find hostname of this IP Address”.  It is a website that gives you some public information about an IP Address.
And there you have it.  Saudi Arabia.  I ran the other IP Adresses and got Thailand and United Arab Emirates.  Blatantly not local. I decided not to reply to the emails and just let it be.  I just don’t want them to get my actual email address, when all they have now is the anonymous Craigslist email.
So hopefully this will help at least one person from being scammed when selling stuff online. 
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$15 iMac?

So I picked up another DIRT CHEAP Mac computer.  This time it was a $15 iMac. I found it on Ebay and contacted the seller about a local pickup to avoid having to pay a shipping charge, which would have been a lot more than the item itself.  I know the PowerMac weighs a ton.  It didn’t have a keyboard or mouse, but I have a box full of old parts, so I am not worried…

Looking to put some educational stuff on it for the kids. We’ll see what happens.

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