Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Fixing Computers

Friday, December 27, 2013

The good – Making music again

The bad – Lost time

The ugly – Money spent

 

I use multiple older Macs and a PC on a daily basis. One Mac, a (Gigabit Ethernet) G4 500DP running Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.11), is used for email, web browsing, web design/development, graphics design, and other productivity stuff. Oh, and listening to music with iTunes! This Mac has been running faithfully since I bought it new in 2000. It’s had some hardware upgrades along the way—RAM, CD/DVD burner, hard drives, etc. I also use an iBook 1.33 for web browsing.

My Music/Recording Computers
My main music/recording computer is a MDD (Mirror Drive Doors) Mac G4 1.25DP FW400. I run Pro Tools audio recording software, and its associated hardware, on this Mac. I run two versions of Pro Tools software on it—version 5.1.3 booted from Mac OS 9.2 (classic), and version 6.4.1 booted from Mac OS X Panther (10.3.8). I recently installed Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.8) on this Mac, but haven’t made much use of it so far.

I built a PC in 2005 that I also use for music/recording. It runs NI Komplete and other software instruments (i.e., soft synths or virtual instruments). I’m running Windows XP Pro (SP3) on this PC. I originally built it for playing computer games, and to test my websites under Windows using Internet Explorer. I began using it for music/recording when another Mac, a MDD G4 1.42DP FW800, started giving me trouble, and I transferred the NI Komplete software to the PC.

Recently, both of my music/recording computers have experienced failures, bringing my music writing and recording activities to an abrupt halt. Not good!

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When A Lifetime Warranty Is Worthless

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The good – Good while it lasted

The bad – Good company closes its doors

The ugly – Seems nothing lasts forever

 

When I built my Windows PC back in 2005, I included an NVIDIA 6800GT video card from BFG Technologies—model BFGR68256GTOCX. It seemed like a great video card for my application, receiving great product reviews from the most reputable websites. You can view its specifications here. Best of all, it came with a LIFETIME WARRANTY.

Warranty Honored
After about 2.5 years of use, the video card’s fan became dirty. I wanted to remove the fan assembly from the card to give it a thorough cleaning, but worried that might void the warranty. So I called BFG’s 24/7 customer support and was told to just return the card for a replacement. I did, and received my replacement card promptly. I was really impressed with the service. No-hassle product replacement, even for a fully functioning product that just needed cleaning. The replacement card worked flawlessly until last week.

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PC Meltdown

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The good – Disaster averted

The bad – Relying on cheap fans to cool PC components

The ugly – I feared the worst

 

I had two fans fail, virtually simultaneously (I believe), in my Windows PC. One was the primary (rear) case fan, an Antec TriCool 120mm. The other was the cheap manufacturer-installed 40mm fan designed to cool the Northbridge chip on my MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI motherboard. Both fans had been performing without issue since I built this PC in 2005.

Instant failure without warning
I don’t know exactly when these fans actually quit functioning. My first, and only, warning was noise coming from the PC. I traced it to the primary case fan, and noticed that it was not running at its normal constant speed. I then looked at the temperature readings provided by sensors built into the PC’s components, and two others provided with the PC case, an Antec P160. I saw the temperatures rising and immediately tried to save the data file I was working on, before shutting down the PC, but the system shut itself down before I could do so.

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Hackers and Spammers are Scum

Monday, December 12, 2011

The good – Nothing

The bad – They are a bunch of losers without a real life

The ugly – They are trying to ruin the Internet

 

I get a bunch of spam email every day. I just delete them without reading/opening them.

This web site gets spam comments nearly every week. My spam filter catches them and I delete them. I require ALL comments to be approved by me before they are posted, just in case a spammer’s comment might fool my spam filter, which hasn’t happened yet.

This web site has been the target of hackers many times. Fortunately, my web site has proven to be secure to this point, and all attempts to gain access have failed. My logs show where the hackers have tried to gain access, and the IP address the attack was launched from. The IP addresses track back to locations all over the globe. However, I doubt that any of these IP addresses are the actual source of the attacks, since it is easy to use a proxy server to hide the true IP address.

If a hacker ever does manage to gain access to my site, and alter its contents, I will immediately shut down this site. I can’t take the chance that they’d use it to post pornography, for terrorist purposes, or any other vile or malicious purpose.

Yep, it’s a strange world that we live in, filled with all types of losers, weirdoes, and scumbags—people without a meaningful purpose in life, and no real life at all, actually. Be aware.

…jf…

Apple losing this long-time loyal customer

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The good – I’ve been a loyal Mac user since 1997

The bad – Apple kills my MobileMe account

The ugly – Apple throws me under the bus

 

I switched from the Windows/PC platform to the Mac in 1997. Since then I’ve purchased 7 Apple Macintosh desktop computers, 2 Apple iBook laptop computers, 4 Apple LCD monitors, and many Apple hardware accessories. I’ve purchased many Apple OS upgrades and applications. I’ve sent thousands of dollars Apple’s way, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Apple.

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Bye-bye Norton Products

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The good – FREE at last

The bad – Norton products cause problems

The ugly – Norton’s incompetent tech support

 

I’ve lived with the hassles and horrors of Norton products on my Windows PC since I built it in 2005. First there was Norton Internet Security (NIS) 2005, a suite with anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protection. I had some problems with it, and dealing with Norton’s tech support proved frustrating and VERY time-consuming.

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BP’s Oil Leak/Spill In The Gulf of Mexico

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The good – Maybe citizens will finally wake up

The bad – Our government & corporations really don’t care about the environment

The ugly – Incompetence & corruption is the status quo

 

I was an Environmental Manager for a large worldwide corporation based in the U.S. The opinions expressed in this blog post are based on my 16 years’ experience as an environmental professional, and 50+ years of life experience as an American citizen.

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Now Walking All Three Cats

Thursday, April 29, 2010

cats_2

The good – They enjoy it, & so do I

The bad – Twilight doesn’t like the harness

The ugly – Buddy gets spooked easily

 

You may have seen my previous post about taking my cat Louis for walks on a leash. Louis begs me every day to take him outisde. He is an old pro now. Cold, rain, and even snow do not deter him from going out, although he tries to find clear spots when there’s an inch or more of snow on the ground. He also doesn’t like being pelted with steady rain, and will stay close to the house, under the roof’s overhang, or on the covered deck. Of course, we always stay on our own property, walking up and down the driveway and around the front and back yard.

We rescued Louis from an animal shelter in 2007. Although Nancy wanted Louis to be “her” cat, he has definitely chosen to be loyal to me. We were told his previous owners allowed him to run outside, and it shows. He’s very comfortable outside, and has been since the first time I took him out. The only thing he shies away from is traffic. He doesn’t panic—that just doesn’t fit “The King’s” personality. He simply turns and starts walking back up the driveway, away from the street.

 

 

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A Good Data Backup Plan

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The good – It can save your bacon

The bad – It’s inconvenient, time consuming, and expensive

The ugly – Even the best plans can fail

 

The other day I was retrieving Pro Tools session and audio data files for a music project I’m working on. I loaded the first of four CD-R discs which held the backup data. I successfully transferred all of the data files except one audio file, which contained a recorded instrument track. The error message said that the file could not be retrieved due to data error. In other words, the file was damaged. I made note of the name of the missing file, then loaded backup disc two. This time all files were retrieved except two audio files, both containing recorded instrument tracks. The error message was the same as before. I made note of the file names and moved on. I successfully transferred all files from discs three and four without issue.

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Walking My Cat Louis

Saturday, October 10, 2009

cats

The good – It’s fun and he enjoys it

The bad – He begs for it every day

The ugly – We’ve even gone out in the rain

 

For about 6 weeks now, I’ve been taking our male alpha cat, Louis, out for walks every day. I put a harness on him—one that goes around his neck and chest—and he’s attached with a leash. We stay on our property, walking up and down the driveway several times, and checking out his favorite spots in the front and back yard. The walks usually last around 15 to 20 minutes, although he would happily stay out much longer.

Louis is very well behaved when we’re out for our walks. He’s learned to go where I want him to go, most of the time. When it’s time to go back in, he’s even started to walk right up to the back door, willingly. He’s so cute when he’s outside. He walks up and down the driveway with such purpose, like he’s on a mission. He occasionally stops to roll on the driveway and sidewalk.

It all started when I would carry him outside with me when I’d retrieve the mail. He really enjoyed it, so I’d take him out for a “carry” almost daily. We’d stop and sit on the back deck sometimes, while I held him on my lap. We rescued Louis from a shelter, and we were told that he was accustomed to spending a lot of time outdoors, even though he had his front claws removed. We don’t let our cats (current or previous) outdoors, because bad things could happen to them.

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