Ray's Weblog
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Sep
27

Saturday, September 27, 2014 12:32:55 PM

Why Some People Are Constantly Late

It’s nothing more than a priority they place on where they need to be. Don’t believe me, look at those who do shift work in any sector such as manufacturing, retail or service industries such as restaurants.

The simple answer to this are the penalties are steep such as loss of job or financial loss. 

Doctors and Dentists are some who charge a fee for missing an appointment.

Try missing an airline flight.

Those who are constantly late to just about everything somehow miraculously show up on time for these types of events.

Constantly late… save your excuses for the choir.

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Sep
27

Saturday, September 27, 2014 12:24:20 PM

Have to share space with others, post this.

Rules For Sharing This Space/Office

  1. Cell phones must be put in silent mode, vibrate mode or turned off.
    In vibrate mode, place a thick (1 in, 2.54 cm) pad of paper or similar sound deading material
    under the phone to reduce the vibration noise if placed on the desk.
    Your ringtones are not cute, they’re annoying.
  2. Personal calls are to be taken outside of the office.
    These calls always fall under the following conditions:
    a) It’s none of anyone’s business.
    b) Nobody wants to hear it.
    c) Your conversation is boring.
    d) The only personal call acceptable is a death in the family and it has to be you.
  3. No calls on speaker phone unless everyone is involved.
  4. Lower your voice on all calls.
  5. Do not call someone down the hall, walk over there.
  6. Earphones when listening to any type of media and
    the sound must be low enough so it does not bleed out.
  7. Computer sounds and/or alerts must be at their lowest setting.
    If anyone under 10 years old can hear it then it is too loud.
  8. Leave your bad habits at home. e.g., no yawning out loud, no singing,
    no humming, no whistling, no finger drumming, no foot tapping, etc…
  9. Honour the spirit of these rules for common courtesy, not just what it says.
    In other words, what you can do is listed, otherwise it is prohibited.

#9 is for the lawyer types. Those who say they can do it because the rule is not listed.

Don’t be an Annoying Cell Phone User

Sep
21

speedotriclops

Sunday, September 21, 2014 10:36:12 AM

http://explore.speedousa.com/innovation/triclops.html

Bought this for traveling mainly. Getting tired of airline’s addiction for fees on everything, what’s next… pay to use the bathroom. This bag does not have an internal frame so it’s a little compressible (more like bendable). It will fit in the overhead bin straight in, no need to turn it sideways. Used it on planes where seating was 3 x 3, ie., three seats on either side of the aisle. Might be a little long to go under the seat, I did not try but it would seem at least 2/3 or better would fit under.

Will not fit on smaller planes such as those used for small hops, eg. propeller driven. I just drop it off on the baggage cart before boarding. Used this on Air Canada and United Airlines.

I used this for a Saturday-to-Saturday travel and it was enough to get me through the week. I also had a laptop in the bag, just put it in a sleeve and you’re good. Plenty of pockets everywhere for other smaller gadgets and accessories. Smaller pocket at the bottom is a great place for your toiletries with room to put additional smaller items, such as a couple of knit shirts and shorts.

Probably better to travel with an iPad or MacBook Air. There is a smaller pocket that would fit an iPad Mini nicely. I have a thick and heavy 15” HP Probook for work. With this in the bag, it’s pretty heavy. You’re better off to use an Air and run windows in a virtual machine.

Thankfully there is a waist belt so you can cinch it up to get most of the weight on your hips. Like the fact there are 2 hip pockets, one on each side of the belt for keys and change. Great for dumping out your pockets just before going through security.

There is a fleece pocket and it is the top pocket where Speedo says you can put swim goggles and sunglasses. If you have expensive eyewear you may want to have it in a small sturdy case because it is not padded, save for the fleece.

Drop something heavy on top or step on the top pocket in the heat of a triathlon and you could be looking at new eyewear. Speedo should add some foam padding, drill some holes in it to reduce a few grams and sew it into the lining.

The reason for getting this is most backpacks are just a sack so you have to dig to get to things at the bottom. With Speedo’s 3-way zipper design, you can access your contents at the bottom very easily, no digging required.

The waist belt was also the selling point, backpacks with no waist belt is a no sale, you want the weight on your hips.

Mar
06

Western Digital (sucks) SmartWare

Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1TB Portable USB Drive WDBABM0010BBK-NESN

After purchasing this drive, you will find a nice little surprise…
it’s advertised as a feature but if you want to delete it… think again…

wpid-s320x240-j7fbvdtujl35.jpg

Who’s brilliant idea was it to suck up 663.3MB with this software. You
can’t even delete it. They said they listen to their users and
responded. Providing software to hide the volume is simply listening
with partially deaf ears (must have gone deaf about the part where
users are asking how to DELETE their software). They only heard what
they wanted to hear. You are still missing over half a gigabyte (512MB
= .5GB). Unusable, and do they think their solution is the best one
and/or it is something ALL users want.

This “SmartWare” is Western Digital’s attempt to introduce their backup
and security solution onto unsuspecting consumers. You know about it
because it is prominently advertised as a great new feature but you are
in for a rude awakening if you have no need for it and want to delete
it and claim back precious disk space. The software appears on your
desktop as a separate volume. Don’t want to use it or see it, let’s
just eject it… whoops, it’s back, you cannot eject it even after the
main volume is ejected, what the fuck is that about.

You have to run two separate apps that you can download from their
site. One is to update the drive’s firmware first and the second app
allows you to hide and unhide the volume. Backup and security software
is supposed to run silently in the background. It needs to stay out of
your way not jump in your face, are you listening Western Digital. This
is what happens when proprietary gear heads get locked together in a
dark room. A monkey with a Ouija board could have seen the backlash
with a bonehead decision like this. If there wasn’t a backlash why
would they provide software to hide the volume.

Funny how the marketing group decided to exclude this little tidbit of
information from consumers. I’m sure sales figure would be much lower
if they prominently marketed this feature. “By the way, we have
included WD SmartWare, an ingenious method to force our way on you
because 1) You cannot remove this software, 2) You can only hide it so
the usable space itself is still 663.3MB less than advertised, 3) The
SmartWare mounts on your desktop as a Virtual Drive and you cannot
eject, if you try it will simply remount itself and annoy, irritate and
bug the shit out of you”.

The SmartWare volume itself says it is 237.5MB but Get Info reports
663.3MB is used, the rest is used for the SmartWare version for Windows
and other overhead. That’s right, you get two copies, what a bonus!!
what a waste of disk space!!.

Another irritating thing is the plug that connects to the drive,
it’s proprietary, you cannot use a standard micro or mini USB plug, it
also does not stay securely connected
[edit: I think I was wrong
about the connector type but it did not stay securely connected]. Turning the
device over disconnects the drive and then you have to fiddle with it
to reconnect. Why would you do this, you are asked to verify the serial
number of your device before you try to hide the SmartWare volume. This
is dangerous, if you have a backup running and you move the device
because it is in the way on your desk, it may disconnect.

Remember, this is a portable device, designed to be moved around
(i.e.., taken with you if needed) so it will not always be returned to
the same place on your desk. Another FAIL for Western Digital. Quality
Control and Quality Assurance took a back seat here.

All of management needs to go, with thinking like this running through
the top, you know you are in trouble. I’m going to vote with my wallet,
Western Digital just lost a customer.

Less than 24 hours of ownership and already a boat load of problems.

edit:
Link for software to hide their crap, what did you expect, it’s their solution.
http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/wdsmartwareupdate/index.asp

Possible other solutions
http://community.wdc.com/t5/WD-Smartware/So-you-really-want-rid-of-SmartWare-Come-this-way/td-p/2135

This site appears to offer the most promising solution as it says it
will actually remove the volume. I did not try it as I returned the
drive. The downside is it windows only. If you have access to a windows
machine or run windows in a virtual environment you should be good to
go.

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/passport-vcd.html
http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=197

The best solution is just don’t buy this drive, period.
Western Digital offers this drive WD Elements SE 1 TB. This does not come with the extra crap. It is empty out of the box.

Dec
16

A Sparse Bundle Image will increase in size automatically but will not shrink automatically. Before shrinking the sparse bundle, mount it and empty the trash to get rid of any deleted items from the image.

Unmount the image and follow the commands below.

To compact (image size stays the same):
hdiutil compact ~/Documents/filename.sparsebundle
hdiutil compact -help (for a list of options)

To increase the image size (eg., 20G to 30G)
hdiutil resize -size 30g ~/Documents/filename.sparsebundle
hdiutil resize -help (for a list of options)

Mount the image then do a Get Info on the Volume to see the new size.

Dec
14

iPhone 3G FM Transmitter with Remote

I got mine off eBay. It’s a cheap model that I was able to pick up for 14.00 which included free shipping. It comes with a USB charger as well so you can charge the phone and listen to podcasts or music while it is charging.

Skeptical at first because you always get what you pay for. Mine was no different. The first one did not work at all and I ended up returning it and was shipped another one. Downside, I had to pay to ship it back to the seller but at least I did not have to pay for shipping again to get it returned. It took 10 days to get another one after they received the defective one (delivery was tracked), not very prompt but at least the seller replaced it.

After reading reviews of other FM transmitters it seemed they all had issues of interference and poor quality sound with hissing/static/buzzing noises. This would apply to the expensive ones as well so if I lost 14.00 it was no big deal. These things will run past 60.00 depending on what you get and where you buy.

Two things were a must
1) It needed to be a USB charger that detached from the cigarette lighter adapter. If you forget to charge the phone and happened to be at a friend’s house or work you can charge it there using the USB plug.
2) The charger needs to put out enough juice to allow the phone to play your music or podcasts, answer calls while in the car and charge the phone at the same time. This charger was advertised as such. I did not do an extensive test but initial use shows this to be true.

This unit has a blue backlit LED when adjusting the frequencies and turns off after a few seconds, a nice touch and makes it easily readable during the day or night. Frequencies are adjustable by .1 increments to allow you to find an unused one.

When adjusting the car radio I found you cannot find an empty frequency without a bit of noise, just find one with the weakest signal. The transmitter is powerful enough to overcome this and I was surprised that the signal is very clear with no background noise at all.

Music or Podcasts came in very nicely. If you have ever tried to listen through the iPhone directly you will find the sound is extremely weak because the sounds from the car, road or other noises will drown it out. I found the transmitter is prone to interference from power lines when there is a lot of them grouped together, just a few is not a problem. When driving past them you will get static or crackling noises.

The charger is really flaky and substandard at best. The cigarette adapter plugs in loosely as well as the USB plug itself where it plugs into the cigarette adapter. Poor quality but hey, you get what you pay for right. The jury is out about the connection between the transmitter and power cord as well.

I have to fiddle with to get it to charge and still do sometimes. Testing and Quality Assurance is definitely not the hallmark of this manufacturer. If you move the phone around it will sometimes break the charge connection so you have to mess with it to the get the charge going again. Not exactly a good idea when driving.

The charge adapter included from Apple is heads and above in quality. Why the manufacturer couldn’t put one together like Apple is beyond me. I have another car charger from an earlier purchase and it has the same charge connection issues as well, probably the same manufacturer, sure seems like it.

The USB plug can be removed from the adapter so if you forget to charge while on the road you can always charge it later on a computer, at work or at a friend’s place.

A Remote Control is also included but not all the buttons are activated. The ones that don’t work are simply flat. You can change frequencies, volume, mute and get playback to loop. It doesn’t work by sound but infrared. You need to point it at the device. A cheap extra and I don’t find much use for it. Don’t sit on it because it would snap like a toothpick.

I use the radio or phone itself to make the adjustments and it’s a lot easier. The buttons on the remote don’t light up so it’s useless at night unless you want to take the time to remember the button layout on the remote. The buttons that do work are raised so you can try to go by feel if you are so inclined.

A final note, the transmitter will work without having to plug it into the charger. It will draw power from your phone, it’s supposed to be minimal but I haven’t tested how much of drain it is. Overall the transmitter is half-decent. Sound is clear and crisp with the occasional noise from other power sources, charger is flaky and the remote is useless.