Geektool 3

I successfully set up some Geektool “geeklets” on my MBP this weekend. This is cool because I figured it out AND did it successfully. I did need some help to figure out where scripts should go so that Geektool sees them based on the command/etc. So now I can add more!

I need to learn more about scripts and commands and stuff. My ignorance annoys me. Need to pimp out my windows desktop now too.

I might collect Geektool 3 links that are actually useful here. Cause some of the “tutorials” on youtube are total crap…and you have to make sure you are seeing Geektool 3 and not an earlier version.

Learning my MacBook Pro

I bought this book from Amazon. Biggest problem being that I’ve been a Windows user for years and need to know how different types of software translate between platforms. For example, I’ll be looking into more blogging software specific to the Mac platform, or I’ll continue to use Windows Live Writer and just use it in a VM of Windows. (I do recommend Windows Live Writer.) I’ve installed Blogo I think it’s called on the laptop, small amount of time to set up and the only problem is I’m unable to actually publish from the software, it will do drafts, not published posts to wordpress. You have to purchase Blogo but it does have a 21 day demo/trail period.

I’m also in the process of learning Notebook 3.0 which might be nicer than Microsoft Office OneNote for note taking. I don’t know yet. The learning curve on Notebook 3.0 seems a little steeper than one note. I’ve also looked into EverNote which is “free” in that you have to pay for a higher limit to your monthly usage. I’m using EverNote for info I want access to from either desktop, laptop, or iPhone. (Yes, EverNote has a free iPhone app.) I don’t think EverNote will work for school though. Especially when you start adding in the size of pictures/etc.

So far, the touchpad is awesome. I like how easily the laptop can be sleep’ed. It’s somewhat annoying to not have a hibernate option but that’s not a big deal. The build/form of the laptop is quite nice. It’s thinner, it’s balanced. Even holding the laptop with hand I’m not worried I might drop it. The screen is quite lovely.

Things I need to do:

1. find IM software I like or just get used to Adium

2. settle on blogging software and see if I like it more than LiveWriter

3. run through the tutorial/user guide on Notebook 3.0

4. Set up Spaces more/better for usage at school. The native multi-desktop support is lovely. Especially for a laptop.

5. Make sure I know how to properly uninstall apps on the laptop.

6. See what my options are with my Canon Rebel digital camera and the laptop.

7. Probably other things I can’t think of right now.

17 in MacBook Pro

…is in my possession. I’m in the process of setting it up for use…the turned it on for the first time stuff.

Suh-weet! I think this is the most excited I’ve been about a new laptop and this is my … fourth. (The first got returned and only sorta counts.)

*grin*

Switching from Windows to Mac

My new MacBook Pro is on the way via UPS. In preparation of not using Mac since I was in junior high, or some equally far away time, I’ve done a little googling. Collecting these links so I can easily reference them later via my new laptop. It replaces a Dell Inspiron that’s over a year old and definitely starting to show it’s age.

Switching to Mac on apple.com

Keyboard shortcuts – wikipedia entry

Lifehacker guide for switching to Mac

Useful looking reference stuff for Mac/iPhone AND PC – including link to open source program for launching programs in Mac

Top 30 mistakes made by new Mac users – from someone’s blog from 2006

10 Things Every New Mac Owner should know – from someone’s blog from 2005

So I bought (followup)

I did get an iPhone. I have my new phone and my new mp3 player. I still need to find a way to play oog files though. I also bought a Franklin-Webster Collegiate electronic dictionary. Electronic dictionary also for school. I can take out an electronic dictionary in school easier than an iPhone.

Speaking as a person who last used a Samsung Blackjack which is a windows mobile phone.

Good things about the iPhone:

1. no annoying unlock mechanism (3 buttons I think it was on the Blackjack)

2. can see the screen and read it in direct sunlight

3. phone is not too heavy, still fits in my pocket, smoother, thinner touch

4. iPhone apps – not available for other phones

5. more options, websites with iPhone specific sites

6. wallpapers are nicer/better since I can now have Digital Blasphemy wallpapers (it is worth it to buy access to his site/work)

7. camera seems to be nice, you can even make a screenshot of your phone… even when it’s locked

8. came partly charged. appears to charge quickly

Bad things about the iPhone:

1. sound customization is stupid

2. don’t like iTunes. It’s not intuitive. Do not like iTunes.

3. Going to need to buy more cables – Blackjack came with USB connector and power charger. not USB connector and power adapter for USB connector. I’m going to need a second cord.

4. There seems to be some interesting politics between AT&T and Apple. If you call AT&T about wanting something regarding the iPhone when you can’t get your iPhone in the Apple store that day then AT&T people are likely to badmouth Apple as a company in general.

Other things:

1. Spend more money on accessories, but more accessories available.

2. So far music organization is craptastic, I probably need to do more with it.

3. no personal experience with battery life yet.

4. bought my first app… books… classic literature.

5. now have a Pandora account.

6. earbuds are uncomfortable but I’ll deal to be able to have hands free phone calls.

HP doesn’t trust their customers

So I bought a brand new (from amazon.com) HP P1006 LaserJet printer back in February because my first HP LaserJet printer suddenly stopped printing. It turned on, but that’s about it. The printer I bought back in February stopped turning on this week. Digging around on HPs website I found I had a 1 year warranty since I had registered my printer.

I played email tag for a few days, making the Indian* on the other end realize that I had troubleshooted everything and it wasn’t the outlet, it was the printer. So next I get a new cord shipped to me because maybe it’s the cord. Cord comes pretty quick. But, it was shipped by Fed Ex so that means it was left at my front door and I’m lucky I got it.

Cord didn’t fix anything. No I wasn’t surprised. More emails. Then I have to wait for a call before I can get my printer. Yay! Talking on the phone with an easily confused Indian*! So much fun! I find out HP will send me a new printer and by new I mean refurbished. And, I have to send the old one back. Ok, that’s standard-ish. Then I find out I need to provide my credit card info in case I don’t send the old printer back they will charge me for the new one.

179.00 for a refurbished printer. Right. Oh and the 1 year warranty? It turns into a 90 day warranty (or the rest of the 1 year warranty, whatever ends first).

Lovely.

So assuming Fed Ex doesn’t fuck up anything I get a “new” HP printer. (I had an APC battery backup replaced once, the Fed Ex delivery person didn’t bother knocking on my door, he tossed it over the banister of my patio. I know this because I was home at the time.) At the end of the call I was asked if there was anything else HP could do. I said “don’t outsource their customer service.” The person I was talking to was very confused.

I should add I maybe had the chance to get a new printer instead of a refurbished one but it would have taken at least one more phone call with at least one more confused outsourced Indian. I didn’t want to deal with that. (Ever called DELL?) And I don’t have to pay to ship the old one back; supposedly I’ll be getting the appropriate labels.

I’ll probably never buy another HP printer. Even though HP printers are pretty damn nice.

*When I say Indian I mean poorly trained person with poor English stuck working for a foreign company in a customer service call center shit hole who happens to also have an Indian accent and based on when he/she replies to my emails also lives on the other side of the planet.  (Can you tell I worked in a call center?)

gah. forgot a few things. There is one other option, don’t get anything low end from HP anymore. Like DELL’s business customer service is better than their personal/residential/regular people. Also, I can dispute charges with my credit card if necessary. I made sure to provide a credit card and NOT the debit/visa card/bank card. Also, I maybe should have bought the printer through newegg. Or look at RMA options with newegg before deciding where to buy my next printer.

Computer pictures

Recently upgraded my old tired RMA’d so probably refurb’d Logitech G15 to a Logitech Illuminated Keyboard. The G15 is great. However I wanted a new keyboard that was preferably a little smaller. I’ve also discovered I like keyboards that resemble laptops more lately… The Illuminated Keyboard is slimmer like a laptop.

Also found pictures of the open case when my gigabyte board was brand new. I figured a G15 was a decent comparison point for the Illuminated.

vertical profile of logitech keyboards

logitech keyboards second view

Gigabyte GA-E{45-UD3R with 4 gig ddr2 ram and an EVGA NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT inside an ANTEC nine hundred. The nine hundred is ugly, but it’s lovely for cooling. I forget what the CPU cooler is right now. Can obviously see it’s not stock. Power supply.

gigabyte board in asus case_mine

close up gigabyte board in asus case

**I labeled the case as an ASUS initially (and in the pictures) for some unknown idiot reason. The case is an Antec Nine Hundred. Antec.

Google Reader

I recently started switching the majority of my RSS feeds on my Google* Home Page over to Google Reader. I have 3 tabs in Google Home Page and wasn’t really checking at least half of what was there. Now I have Google News and BBC News on my Google Reader. Maybe now I’ll have some idea of what’s going on in the world instead of being oblivious about most everything.

I’m still in the process of transferring stuff in bookmarks or on the Google Home Page over to Google Reader. Google Reader does seem to handle a large amount of information/links/etc better than a Home Page that you check 1x-2x a day. Also, maybe Google Reader will solve my “open 20 billion tabs in Firefox” problem. We can only hope.

At this point I’m wondering how long before I hit information overload.

*I’m not endorsing any specific type of Google product.

Everquest 1 has been around

…the block? *chuckle* Cue the cyber jokes? Yea, let’s start this slightly off the topic… and then get back on topic. I do wonder whether or not cyber occurs more often in MMOs or chat rooms or IMs. That’s another blog post at the very least though. It’s neat Everquest 1 is still around. It’s going on 10 years old…. and I’m having fun playing it again. Though, it’ll be interesting to see if I still have fun when the free time runs out.

This was pretty neat to look at.

And there was an article on Boston Globe featured on GUComics today that sort of seems appropriate to include in here. It seems that even though MMOs have been around for awhile; we, as a society, don’t know what to do with them when they affect social (face to face) interaction.

It’s also interesting to learn that there’s been no studies of video games/computer games involving adults.. or at least not enough for the psychiatrist in the article to mention.

Also, he said the average age of gamers is 30. I wonder if that means it’s mostly one generation right now? Not saying limited to just one generation; but, it sounds like when the computer became widely available compared to when games came out might have some effect on who is most interested. I’d be curious to know how many of the gamer population having trouble with their gaming time is actually ashamed of what they are doing. I wonder if shame is just the best way to explain the problem right now. “You wouldn’t understand” or “I don’t know how to explain” doesn’t automatically translate to “I’m too ashamed to talk about it, let’s talk about my porn habits instead.” (If you haven’t read the article yet, maybe you want to now?)

This is more research I’ll be looking forward to seeing done, or maybe doing in a few years or so!

While I wasn’t surprised that WoW was mentioned in the article I was surprised that EVE Online was. Also wasn’t surprised that Everquest 1 or 2 weren’t mentioned. Based on that, I’d also be interested to know how other countries view computer/MMO games. Are they more or less acceptable? Are a smaller proportion of the population playing them? If so, are they more likely to suffer problems than in this country? Last I knew, Lineage 1 and 2 had more players than WoW… but no one hears about that because it’s not in the U.S.

AT&T again

I’ve spent the morning. Yes. Morning. No understatement, on the phone with with different people from AT&T. It took like 3 hours to get anywhere. Anywhere.
I’m not rehashing the details right now. Though, I am tempted to post the number I got for a supervisor on the internet.

And I still need to deal with AT&T maintenance.

When we move when our lease is over I will do everything in my power to make sure we can have access to FIOS.

Irony?

While I was talking to AT&T on the phone today about upgrading my text message plan because, between school and friends, I’ve been sending more text messages; OP sent me this link on techdirt. Needless to say, I was amused to get a link about too much text messaging when I was calling about upgrading my text message plan… Oh I shared the link with the AT&T rep. She found it amusing.

From the original article: Jerald Block said that “internet addiction” is a “common disorder” that deserved inclusion in a manual of mental disorders used by health professionals. He also argued that excessive – as he put it – sending of SMS’s or computer gaming should be put into the same category as an internet disorder.

I must say, that’s probably a good idea. Computer gaming addiction and internet addiction is a real thing in our current society. However, who measures the excessive?

Summary of my AT&T (DSL tech. support) complaint

I was even given a case number to reference my filed complaint. (I know you are surprised, aren’t you?)

But, anyways, a little background first. It took at least 3 calls, multiple tech visits and a 400 dollar bill (we were reimbursed by the apartment complex by paying less rent) to fix the wiring in our apartment and the apartment building so we might have working DSL. Fast forward a year (to a month ago). The DSL suddenly stopped losing internet connection anytime someone called the landline/house phone. Anytime. Every wrong number. Every “you need that identity protection program on your credit card” call. Every wrong number… oh wait, did I already mention wrong numbers? Fast forward to now, earlier this evening. I spent an hour on the phone with AT&T people today.

That’s about 3 to 4 hours total to get a problem fixed.

The complaint I filed about AT&T DSL technical support:

1. agents are rude, impolite and unprofessional sounding.

2. automated system is horrible. It’s built like you aren’t supposed to reach a real person. (Note: I’d like to point out I’m familiar with how automated systems handle a larger amount of calls than call center agents actually do and without the automated system I’d probably have no chance of reaching a real person within 1 hour, let alone 2 or more. This is a matter of how long it takes you to get THROUGH the system and how it makes you – the customer – feel.)

3. Spent 3-4 hours on the phone to solve a problem.

4. It took 4 agents before I got someone who actually thought about the problem instead of just following a script.  The second person (after asking for the call to be escalated – not calling back) I talked to actually thought to tell me to call my phone company. (The first person tried to tell my there was nothing wrong with my DSL connection and that my router was my problem.)

5. Inconsistent tech. support practices. The first 2 people I talked to (a month ago) didn’t care if I had a router attached to the modem or not. The people today wanted to know OS, computers, how connected, router, how computer was connected, etc.

6. I specifically said that if Verizon FIOS was available in my area I would switch in a heart beat. (After pointing out I’m stuck with AT&T service for cell phone and Internet. I should also note our cable internet option is Time Warner but we don’t have TV cable so that would be stupid expensive.)

Going to Vista Ultimate 64

Asus PB5 Deluxe/Wifi-ap edition
4 gb of OCZ DDR2 ram/800 That’s 4 sticks
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Sound Card
Logitech keyboard – old style G-15 and Logitech mouse – MX Revolution
With an APC battery back up
basic DVD rom, basic floppy drive,
2 seagate hard drives, 300 gb each

In preparation of “upgrading” my desktop computer from Windows XP Pro to Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit I did this:

1. Added 2 more gig of ram to my system. Upgraded the 7950 GTS to a 8800 GT ( Both evga)

2. Backed up everything on an external hard drive. (had to buy it first. :p)

3. Checked Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor (which says Vista won’t run my 8800 GT).

4. Downloaded all drivers for my hardware in Vista 64 bit form that I could think to get. That includes both raid drivers available for my motherboard.

5. Googled vista and my motherboard to see if any problems arise with Vista installation and my hardware. Mostly concerned with raid drivers.

6. Updated the BIOS. Went into panic mode when the computer wouldn’t boot. Did some googling and discovered that the update changed the voltage on the memory so the computer *couldn’t* boot. Booted with 1 stick of ram (1 gig), reset system time in BIOS, everything ok. Added 1 stick back at a time to ensure no issue. There was no issue.

At the point of no turning back:

1. Deleted old RAID array. Then to BIOS, chanced SATA mode to AHCI from RAID(did I get those letters in the right order? :P). (Removed 2 gb of ram and disconnected a hard drive.) As computer started up I put in Vista disk. After windows was done “loading files” I popped in the floppy disk of the raid driver I wanted to use.

2. Vista install officially started. I didn’t enter product key since that can be entered later (uncheck the activate as soon as I’m online box). On the “where do you want to install Windows?” page I formated my OS partition at 60 gb (that’s also room for pictures and photoshop). Then formated the rest of that drive into its own partition. So that’s 2 partitions not including the hard drive that’s still disconnected.

3. Vista install (from there to actually “logging on” to my computer) took 1.5-2 hours? I wasn’t there for all of it, I was afk doing stuff around the apartment too. It may have taken less time.

4. At this point I ran Windows updates first. Started with security and other required updates, skipped most drivers at first. Skipped the update that was something like “ATK ACPI utility, dated Sept. of 06. This update might have f’ed up OP’s computer.) About 41 updates under Ultimate. Rebooted. No problems. I think at this point I shut it down and put back the 2 gb of ram and reconnected the second hard drive. 4 gb recognized on boot up. Formated the second hard drive via computer/disk manager in windows. (All 1 partition… and this may have taken longer than the initial Vista install.) Then installed video driver and rebooted. Then installed sound card stuff and rebooted. No problems.

5. At this point I finished up with drivers and other “necessary” things and actually worked on getting the installation done. About the only problem I ran into is that AI Suite doesn’t appear to be supported or compatible with Vista. I did have some issue when Windows installed the driver for the wifi.. but I’ve finally read the wifi is kinda crappy on my board and just disabled it. Problem solved.

6. Today is day 2 of all of this. Today I installed CS3 and finished patching games (and reinstalled Direct x 9). Only other weird things: my temperatures have been way off, every now and then. Examples: My motherboard/system temperature was showing at negative 98 degrees C. But it showed that way in BIOS so it could be a problem with the new BIOS, not Vista. The computer did not leave sleep mode very well…. and went into sleep mode when downloading as far as I can tell so it’s now set to never enter sleep mode. The temperature setting for my CPU randomly showed 80 degrees C today. Didn’t believe that either, was only messing with photoshop, wasn’t even in a game. Few minutes ago I got a “page fault in nonpaged area” blue screen when running Vanguard. Don’t know what that’s about, guess I’ll find out.

My system has a 5.3 rating based on Vista’s performance rating system. I think that’s it. All in all, I learned from my fiance’s mistakes (referring to preparation) and the installation seemed to go fairly painlessly.