Archive for category Computers

I Wrote An Email Today…

… to Boundless Technologies. You see, I punched one of their terminals off my desk at work and it survived. So I HAD to tell them about it. I’m silly that way… Here’s the Email:

As a Telco employee for 35+ years, I’ve been using so-called ‘dumb’ terminals for quite a while.

Yesterday, after a particularly unnerving day, I had occasion to punch an ADDS 4000/260 off of my desk and onto the floor – roughly and with great prejudice, damaging some knuckles in the process.

I am here to tell you that that machine not only survived, but it works as if NOTHING had happened!

AWE. SOME.

So, even with my advanced years and complete lack of common sense, your equipment is some of the most rugged and dependable I have worked with.

I have promised the terminal that actions such as mine are not tolerated and will never happen again. It will remain safe and sound until it retires itself.

This is my promise.

In all seriousness, THANK YOU for building such robust and rugged equipment.

Regards,

Mike Fisher

So there you have it. I was wrong. Mea Culpa. But I made it funny. I hope. -blush-

For those of you that are interested, here’s the spec sheet on the terminal in question:

TERMINAL

OMG! They ANSWERED! Here’s their response:

Michael
Thank you for the kudos! If you saw what they go through to get to our customers, you would know that that was just a love tap it experienced from you. So I guess a replacement terminal is out of the question? LOL. Thank you for the laugh.

Brenda Fultz
Sales Manager, Z-AXIS, Inc
1916 St Rte 96
Phelps, NY 14532
P: 315-548-6114

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DAMN!

My main computer died, so the WTF Camera and weather system are OFFLINE. I’ll be working on it this afternoon and hope to have it all back up tonight/tomorrow. I can still get email via my iPad so catch me there or on Twitter (@Comkey).

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Is Your Browser Too Old For The MODERN Internet?

Some people are STILL using Internet Explorer 6. It is possibly the worst example of software out there. It has more holes than a beer can near a Redneck campground. It allows more viruses to infect people’s computers than actually installing them yourself. And it’s programmed horribly. If you still use IE6, you should be caned.

Here’s an example of how terrible it is. If you use IE6, click the link. If you don’t, thank you for being modern enough to update every now and then.

BROWSER TEST FILE

Enjoy!

MDF

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KA-BLAMMO!

Remember what I keep telling you all when it comes to computer reliability? I’ll refresh your collective memories: BACK UP YOUR DATA. I’ll say it again: BACK UP YOUR DATA. Remember now?

Well, I’m glad I follow my own advice (for once) and, boy, did I need it!

I’m setting up to build a new computer. Goliath is getting a bit long in tooth and, besides, it’s been a few years since I last built a computer – time to get modern, Baby!

I ordered in a shiny new 1TB disk (That’s 1000 GIG, for you normals) and was prepping to back up four old disks the machine has now to the one new disk. I shut the machine down, opened up the case and scoped out where I was going to put it for the short time it would be in there. I moved a few cables around but I disconnected nothing. Just looked around, right?

Well, seeing as I had no spare ports to plug the drive into, I decided I would have spare up one of the present drives to make room for the new one. In other words, clean my crap off of at least one of the old drives to create a hole for the newer one. So, I turned the machine back on and … nothing. It wouldn’t boot. Just as dead as if it had NO DRIVES AT ALL.

Huh? I didn’t mess with anything! I just poked around in there. I MUST have dislodged a cable, by golly. Well, self-confident me went back in there and found everything hooked up just as solid and neat as ever. All data and power cables snug, right where they should be. Hmmm.

Turned the machine on and went into SETUP and looked at the on-board RAID controller. It said it saw both disks of my RAID1 array and that they, as well as the controller, were (in BIG GREEN LETTERS) ‘Normal’. Hmmm. This is odd. The computer says everything is ‘normal’ yet it won’t boot.

I fought that bastard for two days. Never fixed it. Finally, I gave up and just decided to break the RAID1 array and boot to a single drive. (For an explanation of a RAID array, go read THIS) Go ahead, I’ll wait…

What I ended up doing was just re-installing WinDoze on one of the RAID drives (there were 2) and saving the OTHER as a spare BACKUP. There’s that word, huh? Once WinDoze was reinstalled, I just copied the data from the spare RAID disk and I’m all back where I was three days before. Other than having to reinstall most of my programs, ALL MY DATA WAS SAFE.

Without my backup, I would have been one pissed off Geek. As it was, I was just inconvenienced for a few days. Let that be a lesson to you, one more time:

BACK UP YOUR DATA BACK UP YOUR DATA BACK UP YOUR DATA

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LED Sign

A good buddy just handed me an LED sign.  I’m sure you’ve seen them in stores and such that scroll messages across them.  This one is a BIG one!  Thirty-two letters across the screen and the letters are about 4 inches tall!  It has an RS-232 (9-pin) connector on the back to ‘program’ the sign, but I’ve not been able to get it to respond yet.  There’s a web site out there that has a little (Damn little) info on it.

Mine is a model ADT6502/32M

The original company (of course) is out of business and what few hackers out there that have written something to USE the sign are Linux folks and, since I’m not a programmer, all their hard work means little to me – dammit.

So, if you know of someone who has gotten this beast to work, point me at them!  I’d LOVE to get this running!

,

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VIRUS!!!

I just had a heinous virus hit me this week, and after struggling with all the tools I’ve told you all about, which did no good, I found MalWareBytes Anti-Malware. That little gem took it ALL away in one 20-minutes process. I wish I’d found this program a week ago. GET IT NOW:
http://www.download.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html?part=dl-10804572&subj=dl&tag=button

And I’m going to BUY that damn program as soon as I leave here.  It’s THAT GOOD.

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My Good Deed

Recently there was a local lady here in the small town I live in that I set up with a rebuilt computer as hers was on its last legs.  I was told about her by a coworker.  The coworker was concerned the lady would be cut off from her friends and family with no computer.  I couldn’t let that happen, could I?  My coworker delivered the ‘new’ computer.  I never met the person.  Yesterday, I got a package delivered to me.  It was a box of baked goods and a handwritten note:

“October 23, 2008

Dear Sir,

I don’t know who you are, just that you have blessed me with a computer that works!  Since I live on Social Security, there was no way that I could have afforded a new computer!

The computer works great, so now I can Email my family and friends & go to the web sites that I enjoy.

Thank you so very, very much for caring enough to do this for me.

May God richly bless you!

Sincerely, [name withheld]

P.S.  Hope the goodies are good and that you enjoy them.  Hope you can fix up my old computer.”

She baked me 6 cupcakes and two loaves of zucchini bread!  YUM!

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Email Do’s And Don’ts

HOW TO WRITE/FORWARD E-MAIL APPROPRIATELY

(Thanks to Leslie for for inspiring me to post this)

A friend who is a computer expert received the following directly from a system administrator for a corporate system. It is an excellent message that ABSOLUTELY applies to ALL of us who send e-mails. Please read the short letter below, even if you’re sure you already follow proper procedures..

Do you really know how to forward e-mails? 50% of us do; 50% DO NOT.

Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail? Do you hate it?

Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left over from the people who got the message before you, namely their e-mail addresses & names. As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and bu ilds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus, and his or her computer can send that virus to every e-mail addressthat has come across his computer. Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them or send junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and he will make five cents for each hit. That’s right, all of that inconvenience over a nickel!

How do you stop it? Well, there are several easy steps:

(1) When you forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message (at the top). That’s right, DELETE them. Highlight them and delete them, backspace them, cut them, whatever it is you know how to do. It only takes a second You MUST click the ‘Forward’ button first and then you will have full editing capabilities against the body and headers of the message. If you don’t click on ‘Forward’ first, you won’t be able to edit the message at all.

(2) Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, do NOT use the To: or Cc: fields for adding e-mail addresses. Always use the BCC: (blind carbon copy) field for listing the e-mail addresses. This is the way the people you send to will only see their own e-mail address. If you don’t see your BCC: option click on where it says To: and your address list will appear. Highlight the address and choose BCC: and that’s it, it’s that easy. When you send to BCC: your message will automatically say ‘Undisclosed Recipients’ in the ‘TO:’ field of the people who receive it.

(3) Remove any ‘FW :’ in the subject line. You can re-name the subject if you wish or even fix spelling.

(4) ALWAYS hit your Forward button from the actual e-mail you arereading. Ever get those e-mails that you have to open 10 pages to read the one page with the information on it? By Forwarding from the actual page you wish someone to view (be sure to remove any names, email addresses or signature lines first!!), you stop them from having to open many e-mails just to see what you sent.

(5) Have you ever gotten an email that is a petition? It states a position and asks you to add your name and address and to forward it to 10 or 15 people or your entire address book. The email can be forwarded on and on and can collect thousands of names and email addresses. A FACT: The completed petition is actually worth a couple of bucks to a professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and email addresses contained therein. If you want to support the petition, send it as your own personal letter to the intended recipient. Your position may carry more weight as a personal letter than a laundry list of names and email address on a petition. (Actually, if you think about it, who’s supposed to send the petition in to whatever cause it supports? And don’t believe the ones that say that the email is being traced, it just ain’t so!)

(6) One of the main ones I hate is the ones that say that something like, ‘Send this email to 10 people and you’ll see something great run across your screen.’ Or, sometimes they’ll just tease you by saying something really cute will happen IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!! (Trust me, I’m still seeing some of the same ones that I waited on 10 years ago!) I don’t let the bad luck ones scare me either, they get trashed. (Could be why I haven’t won the lottery??)

(7) Before you forward an Amber Alert, or a Virus Alert, or some of the other ones f loating around nowadays, check them out before you forward them. Most of them are junk mail that’s been circling the net for YEARS! Just about everything you receive in an email that is in question can be checked out at Snopes. Just go to http://www.snopes.com/

Its really easy to find out if it’s real or not. If it’s not, please don’t pass it on.

So please, in the future, let’s do our part to stop the junk mail and the viruses.

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