Aug 27 2011

Qik Video

I just discovered a cool service called Qik. It allows you to live stream video from your phone to their website, plus it saves it for later. I’m only using the free service to see how I like it for now. To view my live stream you can either click on the Videos link above, or go to:

Not much at this point other than my lame first video test.

This entry will make lemons out of lemonade.

May 19 2011

Late night updating

Here’s a late night … or rather early morning update session. Got started on updating a server for a client a couple of hours later than I had hoped. So here I sit, waiting for a server to finish installing a bunch of updates because the prior IT guy never applied them. Joy.

This entry doesn’t want to talk about yawning.

Sep 30 2010

Lost in translation

I love my Google Voice service. The tools it provides in managing phone calls and message alerts is incredible, considering it’s a free service. One nice thing that it does is translates voice mail into text, then sends it to me as an email to my Gmail account and as an SMS Text message to my phone (breaking it into multiple texts, if longer than 160 characters).

Every so often I’ll get a message that proves to be a challenge for Google Voice to translate properly. Incidentally, it seems to have this problem with the same people leaving a message. I thought I’d share the latest voice mail-to-text message, as I found it quite perplexing …

“Hey Dave It’s wrong that I hey Canada capacity as money and not And I need everything over into a folder called old email, and I want to gmail. Like mail the on Dot Com and i are tied on my own messages and I just needed all of You know my older contacts in Bernie my old emails women archives front about how it works or whatever, so I’m not sure I would think that maybe I would just check in with you again and it doesn’t look like it’s doing and I sent some test from my work email to my personal email so if you can. 8 call me just definitely yeah. So anyway, I’ll look forward to hearing from you get when you get a chance talk to you soon bye bye.”

I’m not exactly sure, but there seems to be some sort of problem with Canada’s capacity that I need to resolve. I’ll see what I can do to fix that.

This entry wants Dave to know that he can’t do that.

Mar 3 2009

I think I found it *click*

I was helping a client today troubleshoot their Internet connection. Their office is over 600 miles away, so on-site support was out of the question. I had to work with one of the 2 people that works in their office and walk them through checking cables, indicator lights, resetting things, etc. This is part of our conversation:

Client: OK, so what am I looking for again?

Me: A network cable.

Client: Oh, OK. They’re the fat phone cord looking ones, right?

Me: Yes. The ends look like large phone cord connectors.

Client: All right … (sounds of her moving things around for about 30 seconds) .. Oh! Here’s one.

Me: Great, now let’s follow it to one end and see where it’s connected.

Client: This is a long sucker, must be almost a hundred feet.

Me: Are you sure it’s a network cable? It should be just like the ones we were connecting to the router, but longer.

Client: Yeah, this looks just like those.

Me: Good. Are you able to trace it back to where it’s connected?

Client: Yeah, I think so … it’s pretty tangled up, though.

Me: All right. When you find where it plugs in, unplug it and plug it back in until you hear or feel it click to make sure it’s connected properly.

Client: Ah! I think I found it *click*

Me: Hello?

Just another day in tech support.

This entry still can’t stop shaking its head.

Dec 6 2008

Technically speaking

I was helping my friend Rana with her computer; she’s a graphic artist and enjoys photography as well. While sitting around waiting for a malware scan to finish, I spotted one of the old components we took out her computer and thought it would make for a good subject for a photo. We discussed how it might best photograph and experimented with a few angles and focal points. This was the result.

December 6, 2008

This is an AGP video card. The big part you see here is the heatsink for the GPU. Either this video card or the memory stick in her computer was bad and causing some errors and/or random restarts. I swapped them both out with some spare parts I had laying about and her computer was back to behaving as it should.

This entry loves macro shots.

May 1 2008

Why I blog & play video games

I just read a very interesting article about time, technology, media, participation, and gin. While I don’t especially care for gin, the article was fascinating. Check it out if you have some time.

This entry has surplus time.

Mar 31 2008

Confused yet?

This is an actual email from one of my personal clients:

“I only use outlook for my calendar on my home computer and blackberry contact info and on my current work computer (desktop that I am not going to use anymore) I used MSN email and no outlook for anything but I think I will be using that with the new laptop for email and blackberry since that is where the technology has gone. I will still have my MSN email address but using it through outlook right? All the contact info is on my home computer to load and with my MSN email addresses. I have most of them but I know this is confusing but I can sort it out with you in person.
Basically I use the following:
Home computer-I log into MSN hotmail and do emails from home-It also has my blackberry contacts through outlook that you put there from my sony clie and I can add new ones and use the calendar but I have yet to sync it to my blackberry. I just use the calendar on the blackberry itself to use the reminder and not sync it to my home computer.
Work destop (will not use anymore) has my sony clie contacts and I use the sony clie for my calendar-(will not use that anymore either I will use the outlook on the new computer) I will need to take my email addresses from MSN and put them in outlook on the new computer laptop as I will no longer be using MSN (I don’t think) and will be using outlook with the calendar and contacts.
We will get this organized and you wil see where I want to go and hopefully I am doing the right thing. To many places that I go instead of using outlook for everything and it is compatable with the blackberry. I am used to that now and it is nice but still some kinks.
See you Thurs..R”

This entry is still trying to recover!

Mar 22 2008

Just messing around

I found a cool interactive photo gallery that I could plug in to my site. It’s just a test for now, but you can check it out at:

It would take quite a lot of effort to keep it maintained, unless I was adept at scripting (which I am most definitely not), so I figure it’d be a place where I’d post only my favorite photos.

Anyhow, let me know what you think!

This entry has apparently come down with a tweaking bug.

Mar 22 2008

Lightbox Test

FlowerSturtevant FallsLizard Lovin'

This will be the way I post pictures from now on. Very handy and slick interface!

The new gallery to the right will automatically choose random recent photos from my Flickr account.

Mar 12 2008

Growing tired of users

By “users” I’m talking about computer users. Not all the people I encounter are a problem, but it does seem that business owners are the worst people to help with a computer issue.

For example, I’m working on a laptop for a client who reported getting a BSOD on startup, but he could still get into Safe Mode – at which point he was bombarded with popup messages saying his computer was infected with spyware. I arrived to his office and he was positive that it was our fault, saying that we removed his antivirus program when we installed his printer. I assured him that wasn’t the case and told him about how many current spyware/adware/viruses find ways around older antivirus programs and then prevent them from working. His computer was obviously infected while he was surfing porn sites, based on the types of malware I found. His 2006 version antivirus program was powerless to prevent infection.

Another business owner had grown tired of repeatedly having to call us to resolve user-caused problems. We told him about setting up a proper client-server network environment and how it would make his systems more stable. Granted, my boss under estimated the amount of work it would take to get their systems up to snuff, but the project was all in order. After about a month of working around their staff to get the network and their workstations ready for the change, the owner started to complain about how long it was taking. It didn’t occur to him that it was taking much, much longer because I was unable to just get in there and do what I needed to do and converting one workstation at a time — with the staff member breathing down my neck and/or asking me what type of computer they should buy for their mother — wasn’t conducive of efficient work. Now that the work is done, we hardly hear a peep from them. But when there is something they need help with, the owner complains about how he spent all this money to get the system the way it is and how he can’t believe he still has to call us for help.

Then there are the loony clients. The ones that check their email using their webmail interface, flag spam items and delete them, then open Outlook to download the email – but still leaving the email on the server – and then freak out when their mailbox cap is reached, assuring us that every-single-email is of the utmost importance. These are the types that will log onto the server using the Administrator account, muck something up, then blame us for whatever went wrong. They’ll listen to us when it comes to restructuring their network to a client-server environment and when it’s all done and configured, get upset that users can’t install Incredimail, Yahoo! Instant Messenger, or Limewire on their own — and when we open access for the users to do so, they’re livid that they have all sorts of computer problems again (and after they spent all this money!). Or the bookkeeper that says, “I’m more of an IT guy than a finance guy,” then asks, “what does FTP mean?” in the same conversation — then asks us if we can give him the domain Administrator login info.

Some days the job can be frustrating, but for the most part it’s a lot of fun. It’s those 15% of users who can turn an otherwise mentally stimulating and enjoyable day into a hair-pulling day of mental anguish.

This entry still loves working on computers in spite of it all.