tvordlj: (Paris)
Paint Nite was a lot of fun! Everyone did the same painting, guided by a great woman (I don't recall she actually said what her name was, though she must have) and we worked with acrylic paint which dries fast. It was interesting to see how everyone's painting turned out a little differently. At one point, we had the background done and were waiting for it to dry so she suggested we wave the canvas back and forth. It struck me funny watching all the canvases being waved in the air! Overall I think i would have left out one or two of the elements of the painting because they didn't really turn out how i wanted them. That's my own fault i suppose. I wanted them to look a bit subtler but that's now how i did it! As you can see there is a mini tower which I thought was a bit silly and the bridge looks more like the outline of the Sydney opera house! Never mind. It's Impressionistic! We had fun and a great chance to have one on one time.

Today was a long day, i left the house at 11:30 for a 1 o'clock pedicure, thinking i might go to Eastlink first. But one of the harbour bridges is closed because they're doing major work on it nights and weekends, so the bus had to go to the farther bridge which adds to the time. I didn't bother going to Eastlink, picked up a couple of things in the drugstore and went to the spa. I booked the deluxe pedi with extra moisturizing, and a hot parrafin wrap for my feet. Yummy. I went to Eastlink afterwards to exchange my old internet modem for one with wifi built in.

I picked up some groceries in Pete's Frootique which always costs me more than usual. They carry a lot of British import goods and world cheeses. They also have really good produce with lots of very different things the usual grocery stores don't carry. I did have a 25 dollar gift card to offset it, though. I also bought one of their fresh made baguette sandwiches, turkey, spinache and brie which was excellent once I got home and heated it up.

Also had to go to the post office on the way home and by the time i got here, after 4, i hadn't eaten since breakfast. That sandwich was mighty good!

I had to call up Eastlink to get the new modem sorted out, get the wifi secured. The guy in the Eastlink store told me i would have to call up their tech support to get the wifi named and passworded even though I asked him if i couldn't just log into the ip address myself and set it up. No, he said i'd have to call. I did, got it sorted and then mentioned it. The tech said i could certainly have done it myself. I laughed and joked that the guy in the shop must have thought i was stupid though I thought that by mentioning how it had to be done he'd realize i knew what I was doing. Anyway, I got the IP address and the login/password from the tech so i can do it myself if I want to change the password myself. Can't have your wifi open for anyone! In an apartment building it's not that difficult to pick up your neighbour's signal.

I'm also hoping the new modem will be more stable. It's been cutting out for a few seconds at a time especially when we're on Skype using more bandwidth. I hadn't had wifi set up here for a few months because my old wifi modem fell off the computer desk. They don't like that! that's also the second one i've killed which is why i thought I'd get the combo one from Eastlink. They charge 3 dollars a month but they'll also replace it if something happens. We'll all set now for laptops and devices when Graham gets here. I did try to get him a phone but I think we'll wait until he gets here. We can do that the first couple of days he's on the ground along with the other errands we have to do.
tvordlj: (Geek)
We have a "suite" of new software coming in at work, it's all to do with reporting, data analysis, that sort of thing. Rather than send us away for training or bringing an instructor in, both of which are very expensive, we are taking virtual training. It's pretty neat, we do have to install some things on the computer that we'll be using and can do all this at home so that there's no distractions. You log into a "meeting room" using Adobe Connect, which is where the course is held, and then there's another remote login using something called Citrix to get to the sofware that you use to do the exercises and labs. I haven't had any trouble with it so far (knock on wood) but one or two people seem to have. There are participants in the course from California, various in the easter part of the US, me in Canada and one poor sod from Ireland who started the course at 2:30 p.m. and will have to sit there until 10:30 Pm in his time zone! For me, it started at 10:30 a.m. so I got to sleep in a bit and I can sit here in comfy clothes and slippers. I have another course in mid December and potentially one at the start of December. I think i'll remove the software after all that. If i ever have to take another virtual course through the same company I can reinstall it, it wasn't that difficult. Don't like to have extra stuff bogging down the computer.

Speaking of which, I upgraded my little laptop to Windows 10 on the weekend. It seemed to go very smoothly. I'm not doing my desktop until after all this training is done, though. I also have Graham's laptop here but the windows 10 rollout still hasn't filtered down to his machine. He left it here in May because he's still using his desktop at home and will until he moves here. I turn the laptop on once in awhile so it can do the windows updates. It's a Windows 8 machine so the upgrade to 10 should be pretty smooth. He doesn't have a lot installed on it yet. I'm quite pleased with my laptop's upgrade, it didn't complain about anything I had installed and I have a couple of quite old programs. Mind you, I didn't check to actually see if they work or not. Just assuming. When I nearly updated my desktop, it stopped and said i had to uninstall my virus program as it wasn't compatible. Bastard. I'll have to install something else before i go ahead and do this one. Probably Avast as it was recommended to me over AVG which is on my laptop and which upgraded ok. I think. Anyway i'll get around to testing it all further.

I had a quick look around and tried the email application. Don't like it. Sticking with Thunderbird. I never liked Outlook much anyway  and this is weirder. Perhaps if i played around with it a bit more it might be better but if i can still use Thunderbird, then that's what I'd use.
tvordlj: (Geek)
There now. I got my data back on my new pc from the old one. The main concern was my photos and music because, the music in particular was not up to date on the backup external. He also changed my anti virus program with a scaled down corporate version of one of the "biggies" for free. Apparently I don't have to schedule scans, it's always running and within a very short time it came up with a couple of things that McAphee didn't catch, nor did the malware program catch. One of them concerns a message that randomly pops up and tells you Google Chrome is out of date and you need to download a new version. Once I went to the computer and it looked like it was in the process of downloading without any interference from me but i managed to stop that. I think. But anyway, the new av caught it and quarantined it. Any time i did get the message before, i would just close it down. The first time i noticed it, i checked within Chrome itself and it was up to date so i knew it was a scam, malware or something. Sorted.

Now I just have to copy the music back over to the folder i set up and update iTunes with the new stuff as well. Then back it all up to the external again! I use Synctoy, by MS, to do the backup as it keeps track of file changes, or new things and just copies those. You can also set it up to sync both ways but i don't do that. I clean up the current folders and leave some of the older stuff on the external which I can always find if i want to.

These days with all the cloud services, you can use those but without paying for a service, you have limited space and I don't really want things spread across several places (Google drive, Dropbox, Microsoft One Drive and apparently i can have a cloud area on Acer but i can't be bothered.) Graham and I use Dropbox to send stuff back and forth to each other quickly in a shared folder.

My mom got a new laptop, too and it's basically set up but she still hasn't got anything for word processing. She had a copy of Office on the old one but it isn't on her new one. I haven't been able to get there to help her do stuff on it because of the weather but once I get there I'm going to put Open Office on. Might also sign her up for Drop Box and show her how to save copies of her stuff there. If i send her the invite to DB, I think I get more space myself. She also bought herself a Kobo eReader but aside from basic set up, she hasn't had the chance to buy books for it or put any on that i gave her so I have to show her all that too.

... and I saw a dime on the floor of the food court this morning :)
tvordlj: (Geek)
I mentioned that my keyboard and mouse packed it in. I replaced them with wired ones and they didn't work either!!! Uh oh.  Then on Friday night, I think it was, I booted up the pc and it came up once to a "disk check"... ok, let it check, all ok, continue on. (I thought that was because i had had to turn it off by the power button, not having any mouse or keyboard) It booted to the desktop and was opening up whatever it needed to for startup and suddenly the monitor display went all strange, and everything stopped. AT this point I had the wired input devices hooked up and was trying to see if they would work. Had to power down and tried again. This time it booted up to the desktop without the disk check but the same thing happened again. An aside, I could tell that the wired mouse wanted to work, it did show movement but then stopped and the display went all wonky again. This isn't good, is it? I also put the wireless keyboard and mouse widget in the laptop and it worked just fine.

I doubt the problem is the hard drive because it wouldn't boot up at all. Drivers? Motherboard? I've had power supply issues in the past but it didn't behave like this. I'm going to bet on motherboard. The machine is pretty old and has been rebuilt with a new power supply and MB already once, about 5 or 6 years ago, maybe even longer. I was going to take it to a shop or to Best Buy but a coworker and friend offered her husband's services. He does this for a living and it would be cheaper than Best Buy, at least for him to diagnose it. Then I can decide what to do. I'd like to get the documents and files from it at least. If it needs new guts, it might not be worth bothering. I may use my income tax refund to get a new desktop system. It's about time, really.
tvordlj: (Dime)
I took the plunge.

A few weeks ago i jumped into the Smartphone-iverse and bought a Nexus 4, the new phone that Google is sponsoring though it's made by LG. I'd kind of been looking at the Samsung, though not the newest one out and the guy in the Telus store showed me his Nexus. It's all integrated with google of course, which can be convenient. All your phone stuff gets backed up to the google-universe.

The main selling point of it though, was that they're sold unlocked. That means I can get a local SIM card in the UK and use it there. I don't have to use it for data there, just on wifi if there's a hotspot and Graham has wifi at home as well. I always have a phone for when i'm there for texts and calls but my phone is getting old and the battery is going. I don't know whether i can keep the same number but it doesn't really matter. It doesn't even really matter if i just throwaway the number each time though i may still keep it topped up. TMobile won't let me register my credit card online though as it's not a UK card so I may flip to a different company. Doesn't really matter. What matters is i can use it there or anywhere else i happen to be with a local micro sim. I can't use the same Sim that's in my current UK phone because this phone uses a micro SIM not a normal sized one.

I had the phone for about a week. Figured out a lot of things like how to load up "apps", how to use some of them, found some settings to re-set, made a call, used wifi, even sent a text. Then it rang. And i couldn't figure out how to answer it! hahahahaha!!!! Yeah. Read the effing manual. Got it. So little by little i'm figuring out things i can do with it.

Today i was reading a magazine and noticed those black square barcode style things you can scan with your phone and get information or go to a website. Ohhhh.... Hmm... taking a picture of it didn't work or do anything. Go to Google. Ah....you need an app for it. Right. Downloaded two of them! One does pretty much just scanning but the other, Google Goggle, will let you take a photo of something and it will search Google for you. It doesn't work with everything but will work with things like well known paintings or for something like a photo of the Eiffel Tower or other famous sight. It's not sophisticated enough to search to identify a plant or bird yet. I wonder if it would work if i took a photo of a celeb LOL! It will scan a business card or address and let you phone the number or add it to your contacts. You can also scan something in a foreign language, like menu information for instance, and Google translate it. That might be useful. It also does bar codes.

I learned how to do a screen shot of what's on the camera and it saves it as a photo. I learned how to use the panorama feature on the camera which i wish i'd known about in New York on the cruise we took. The camera is pretty good but not great for zooming as it's just a digital zoom but for straight pics it's not bad at all.

And i can make and answer calls!
tvordlj: (Default)
Sorted out that problem. One of the webby guys mentioned that it looked like the url was trying to access an application on Server a. I was under the impression it was on server B but apparently there's a version on A as well. Ahhhhh..... Light goes on. Send me the webserver configuration file.
Yep, there it is.
Several months ago a database was moved to a new server and we had to change the pointer to the new server. This was done and tested on the servers that we thought were the ones where the applications were. Did not know about this other server so it's been pointing to a non -existent database since early february. The request said they used this application on a daily basis. Well some of your staff might but whoever was using that particular url couldn't possibly be because it hasn't worked since early February.

I was able to get to the server and change the setting but i couldn't restart the web server bit so had to wait for an administrator with access to do that. Badda bing badda boom and we're in business again. On both servers. The server we'd been familiar with is a testing server ("QA" for those of you that know the lingo) and I did wonder why they were running an application on that but that's what I was told so that's what we fixed back then. The server that "broke" yesterday is the Live environment server. That makes more sense. Now apparently we'll have people using it on both but both are pointing to a Live database not a QA one so it's ok for now. These are applications written by a former employee from when the web eservices programming was done from a different department, not our IT Developer team. That programmer left and the rest of us are mystified most of the time as to what the apps do and how to fix them if something goes wrong. We'll end up rewriting them in the new technology we're learning now though.

Bring on vacation! I'm off now and G. arrives on Saturday! Woot!
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Gosh, i didn't realize i hadn't posted yet this month! Over the weekend there wasn't much to say as i didn't do much anyway. This week at work has been busy as we had an implementation over the weekend and have been putting out little fires that inevitably blaze up as a result. We have another implementation this weekend as well for a database upgrade. I am hoping to take Friday off but may not be able to. If i can, i might get my hair done, depending on the weather. We're supposed to get quite a lot of snow between Friday and Saturday but that can change so quickly.

Been taking some training on Mondays. Had two already and it will run until Easter. We're learning html5, css3, php programming and a few other related things. Lots of hands on so far and a bonus, we got to install Photoshop and Fireworks for free!

Speaking of which, i need to get something like that on my laptop. I have a bought copy of Paintshop Pro but i can't even download another copy of that from the website anymore as they've gone up three versions since the one i have. I think i did try awhile back  and it wouldn't take my registration key, i thought i'd have to call them to verify that i just want to reinstall it on a new machine. I think i should buy an external dvd writer and maybe i can install it from my cd using that, providing the code will work. If it won't i will call or contact them. If it's hopeless, i have a cousin that can get things. ;) I don't want to have to buy a brand new copy until i exhaust all the options. It will be Paintshop though, not photoshop as it's much cheaper and i'm used to it and it does just as good a job.

2013 books )
tvordlj: (Default)
Good grief!
I've just read a short news article where a condemned prisoner who is due to be executed by lethal injection in January is trying to get out of it citing health reasons. He weighs about 400 pounds and his first push of the envelope was that he feared the table would not support his weight. It was proven wrong by a test using a large jail guard and extra weights. Hmm. Well, he also claims that his weight, vein access, scar tissue, *depression* and other conditions would make his executioners "encounter severe problems". His lawyer filed something with the court to say that "there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain" .
So?
He's a murderer, judged guilty (for a murder 20 years ago, which is another rant altogether, these endless appeals). He's suffering depression? Is anyone feeling sorry for him yet? If he's worried about his weight or vein access, I'm sure a gas chamber can be arranged. Or a guillotine.
Apparently weight has caused problems in the past with injections according to this article. I suppose they're trying to say it's undue hardship or emotional abuse. The man is a murderer. And besides, I'm in the "obese" category and they never have any trouble finding a vein to take bloodwork or inject an IV in my arm. Every body is different and there's a lot of places in your body you could use to tap a vein.

The new iPad mini is coming out. (or "miniPad" *snork*) It's a 7.5 inch screen and more the size of the ereaders (slightly bigger) and some tablets. Apparently two weeks after it's released, another version will be out that can take advantage of cellular service. Doesn't say that it'll be a phone but probably that's the 4G network so you don't need a wi-fi hotspot. Seems like a lot of fuss for something that's already out there sold by other companies but Apple has to keep up, i suppose and they certainly have their dedicated fans. I do have an iPod touch, several generations old now and newer apps won't run on it. But then i always ran my PC operating system years past the newer ones that were offered. I don't own a smart phone either because i really don't think i'd use it to any advantage most of the time. I may upgrade the iPod at some point i suppose but there's no hurry. The main thing i use it for is tunes and it does that quite well.

I saw the latest Bruce Willis movie, Looper last night. good clean bloody fun. And I do mean that literally. Typical action movie shoot up all over the place with some timey wimey paradox confusion thrown in. It takes place about 30 years from now. And 30 years from that point, time travel has been invented but is illegal. Because disposing of bodies is also more and more difficult, Mobsters use it to send their targets back 30 years, where a hitman is waiting to shoot and then dispose of the body. The victim is sent with bars of silver attached to their back as payment for the hitman in the past. Sending the hitman himself back to be shot by his younger self is called closing the loop. The victims are hooded and the assassins don't know it's their future selves until they slice open the back of the jacket the body has on to find gold bars instead of silver bars. The equivalent of the gold watch kiss-off i guess. They can then retire and live their lives until they're sent back to be killed.

This loop closing is suddenly happening all the time. There's a mob boss in the future called the Rainman who has just taken control and is closing all the loops as his first order of business. Nobody knows who he is or what his real name is. Most of the loopers are youngish men, cocky, stylish, braggarts. One of them discovers his victim is his future self and can't kill him setting off a man hunt for both men. His best friend gives him up and later, one of his hits is, yes, his future self.

Spoilers )
That's as much as i'll spoil, without going into the ending. But suffice it to say that i had to chuckle when in a typical Bruce scene, he's squinting, cocking his head to one side, looking rather complacent and shooting the place down with a series of various guns. Most of the action movie guys are screaming or gritting their teeth, leaping about over-adrenalized, it's a big show of Tough Muthafuckin Badass. Kind of like when Bruce Springsteen is straining like he's passing a horse out of his arse, sweating and grimacing while crooning out a soft ballad. Not Bruce Willis. He's resigned to the fact but equally determined the opposition isn't going to cream his ass, he's going to take them out first. He's also a Tough Muthafuckin Badass but he doesn't have to make a big production out of it.

Anyway, I liked the movie for what it was. And Emily Blunt is in it. I always like her. And the little boy that plays her son was quite good for being so young. I didn't see the ending coming. Probably should have.

more 2012 books )
tvordlj: (Geek)
I"m starting to suspect this hip thing might actually be sciatica after all. I paid closer attention to where the pain originated when it woke me last night and it does seem to be not quite right in the hip but just behind it and looking up symptoms that's one of the areas where sciatica can be felt. also, with the slight weak feeling in the leg, the numbness and that it's worse at night... those are all symptoms too. My trainer, Daniel, also thought from my descriptions it was something pinched rather than a muscle spasm. He showed me a couple stretches as well. There's no reason to just sit around though, and rest it. The website i looked at did say it is ok to move around and exercise and it generally gets better on its own. I'm just glad it's not really bothering me in the daytime other than the leg thing which makes me limp a little but it's not painful. I do find that i can take the pressure off it when i wake up by sleeping on my stomach but i hate sleeping in that position usually. Well, if i can fall back to sleep, even if it's only for an hour at a time, that's better than tossing and turning the rest of the night.

I'll be getting a laptop for work at some point fairly soon. They were hemming and hawing about giving us admin access to it because they wanted everyone to have locked down pcs or laptops but us IT people need to be able to install our non-standard (i.e. not Microsoft) tools and updates so we've finally got permission for that. We've got 5 to choose from including a Lenovo Thinkpad where the screen turns around and makes it a tablet but i don't think i'll get that. I'm leaning to either the little Lenovo or a small HP. Both have 8 gig of memory and a 120 gig solid state hard drive. We'll get a docking station and cable lock as well. I won't be getting rid of my XP machine though because there are a couple of things on it that won't run under Windows 7 that i need for any application maintenance requests. I am probably heading to the smaller machine, 12.5 inch screen because we can connect it to my larger monitor and always plug in a keyboard and mouse to the docking station. Because we have wifi available at work now for these, i can leave the pc network cable plugged into the old one and use the wifi for the new one.
tvordlj: (Default)
Cripes, just spent nearly 100 dollars in The Source!! Most of what i got was on sale, too! Got a wireless mouse for the laptop, half price, got a padded carrying tote for it, half price, and a bamboo laptop lap-desk with a vent also half price. I reckon that will be good for sitting in bed or on the couch with it so it doesn't get heated up. When i was using it in bed on the weekend i put it on a magazine, but it still got pretty warm. Also picked up a big package of batteries, half price, a basic power bar and an 8Gig SD memory card. My other two memory cards are all 2 gig and i wanted something larger for both using higher res photos with the camera or to use for data for the laptop (it's got a card reader). My memory sticks are all 2 gig or smaller, too but rather than getting a larger one of those, the SD can do dual duties.

I used my free drink coupon at Starbucks for a cinnamon dolce latte (decaf but with whipped cream. very nice)

Did i mention i managed to do 3 minutes on the eliptical trainer at the gym yesterday? Doesn't sound like much but it's a big deal. I used to use it many years ago but haven't for a very long time and the last time i did try it, my heart rate went up too far so i've been a bit nervous of it. Yesterday i didn't have much time to warm up before meeting the trainer and i felt pretty good so i had a go. Heart rate was still up there but not as high. For 3 minutes it would be ok.  I just wanted to see if i could do it and i did. I'm hoping i'll continue to have the get up and go to keep using it and work up to 5 or 10 minutes. It's such a great lower body workout with low impact on the joints. Kind of reminds me of running under water, that kind of motion.

I can't believe it's April already! Four weeks from Friday, Graham will be here and we're heading to Quebec City by train shortly after, for about a week by the time we get back. The train journey is overnight and we arrive first thing in the morning and i do mean first thing (before 6 a.m.!) First trip with the new laptop too!
tvordlj: (Cake)
=Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] lola_is_naughty!! mwah!!!

Am going out to Costco today and if things go well and the cyber-planets are all aligned, I may walk out with a new laptop, a small one but not a netbook. I've at least eliminated that option as i really think i would be happier with something with more zip. if the computer gods are really against me and my desktop dies, at least i'll have something suitable as a replacement, too. I won't set it up with everything the desktop has because at the moment i won't need it but i will put a few basic necessities on it. I won't bother with an email client as i can use gmail, which also picks up my home email account. I will be installing Firefox and Chrome because IE sucks. My preference is Firefox but G. likes Chrome and we will be sharing it when we're traveling. I've already got a spare small usb mouse that i will likely use for it when possible. Anyway, the one i saw on Costco online is an HP Pavillion and though i don't like the HP netbooks, the regular laptops are not bad. The specs on this one are good and it's got AMD under the hood which i always like better than Intel. Cross your bits....

A meme that's going around, nicked off [livejournal.com profile] grammardog who gave me these questions.

Comment to this post, and I will list four things I want you to talk about. (Supposed to be seven but i know i couldn't think of that many questions) They might make sense or they might be totally random.

Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.



1. What's a book that you think has changed you?
I read quite a lot, more since i got the ereader but i don't know if i could say a book has changed me. A really good one will take me into the story and into the location. I get absorbed in it and almost feel part of it. I can't imagine not reading. My whole family are readers, as different as we all are from each other, it's one of the things we most definitely have in common. Dad always had a book on the go and it would drive him nuts if he didn't have one. He and his brother were trading books all the time. Mom always took us to the library when we were kids and I can remember browsing the stacks. I don't go to the library much these days but now i have my ereader and an electronic library of my own, i'll always have something to read.

2. Dartmouth: discuss.
Though we lived in Halifax when i was born, i grew up mainly across the harbour in Dartmouth, a smaller "sister" city to Halifax though Halifax isn't exactly an urban jungle either. Dartmouth rents have historically been cheaper and if renting an apartment you could generally get a bigger one than you could in the peninsular Halifax area as well, for the same or less money. There as less traffic, too, even now. I'm talking the main older part of Dartmouth, not the surburban areas that have grown up since i was a kid. There are lots of lakes that we swam in summers and skated on in winters. We had MicMac Mall, which was bigger than the Halifax Shopping Centre. We now have Dartmouth Crossing, a big retail "park" which is less of a traffic bottle neck than the one in Halifax. We may not have a hot and trendy restaurant scene but there are some very nice places and a few good pubs that are generally never overcrowded. There's a nice mix of residential, apartments, older houses, newer neighbourhoods. We have several bus routes that will take you straight to downtown at back at rush hour. It's a little bit of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle. We have parks, a green space Common, libraries, a hospital. I know people think of Dartmouth as "The dark side" or a cultural wasteland but you know, it's nice here. It's peaceful and easy to get around with far fewer one way streets or traffic tie ups.

3. Do you feel lonely with your beau across the pond, or do you like things as they are?
I don't know if i feel lonely because i'm used to living alone but i do miss him like crazy. It's hardest just after we've been together and it takes a few weeks or more to get used to not being together. I don't like the way things are but for now, it has to be this way. The advantages are that we can travel more when we do get together and it's like a little honeymoon each time.

4. What kind of people do you enjoy being around the most?
I like to be around people that make me laugh and that i can make laugh. I don't mean that we have to amuse each other all the time but a sense of humour is so important! Laughter filled our house when we were growing up. There was always a joke, a pun, a story that had a great punchline. We could usually always find a humour in things, or the irony, sarcasm, or a bad pun can always be made to raise a giggle (or a moan). My dad was not a man given to physical affection, at least not until the grandchildren came along, nor did he speak of his emotions easily. But we never doubted that he loved us and his way of showing affection was to make us laugh with a silly pun or a joke. Graham makes me laugh. All of my best friends can make me laugh. My nephews and niece were brought up with laughter in their lives. I can't imagine life without laughter.
tvordlj: (Geek)
I made the rounds of all the tech stores in the Crossing yesterday and only saw one netbook possibility. There were  a few but they were HP ones and i don't really like them. They look and feel cheap and i am not really confident in them. The one i saw at the last place i looked is an Acer notebook, 11 inch screen, 4 G ram. I forget how big the hard drive was but it was reasonable. They didn't have any in in spite of having a display model out. And no, I don't really want to buy the display model. They did have another version, 2 G ram and a smaller hard drive...FOR THE SAME PRICE. Dude. No. It doesn't work like that. What would you expect from Future Shop, though eh? Even if he said Acer is the one that sets the price? Don't think so.

there's another place i may go to look at the netbooks but i'll wait to see when the busses go back. They were talking and negotiating all weekend and there's a contract offer to vote on tomorrow so we might have them back on the road by the weekend. Everyone cross your bits!

So the search continues but you know? If i don't end up getting one it's no big deal. It was always a "nice to have" rather than something i really needed. I did get a new phone, something similar to the one i have now and wouldn't you know it? The random shutting itself off hasn't happened all weekend! Now i don't know if i should activate the new one or not. I might though, as it's a Samsung and they're usually tough little buggers. It wasn't expensive since it isn't a smart phone and it has the slidey out keyboard. Mine has the keyboard but it's a flip out one. I kind of like that better as it's sturdier but if the phone isn't reliable, it's not reliable. The camera on the old one is 3.2 MP which is better than the new one at 2 MP but i could always keep the old phone in my purse as a spare camera! I'd have to see how good the pics are on the 2MP one. They might be fine. One thing i think the new one can do that the old one can't, at least from the user guide i downloaded, is setting the ringtone to an MP3 which my old LG phone won't do.

I also replaced my slow cooker so the shopping trip wasn't completely wasted.
tvordlj: (Geek)
In addition to it being quite cold out today, it is now raining.
Hmmm.
I was supposed to go to the grocery store for a tin of coconut milk.
For a curry.
i'm not really wanting to get off the bus if it's raining.
However
I do have a carton of whipping cream that may suffice, with a bit of diluting with milk.
My arteries will thank me if i dilute. Must look in the cupboard and see if i have any coconut extract then i'd at least get the flavour.
Had lovely mac and cheese for lunch with a side salad. (Treats, Scotia Square in case anyone local is interested)

Geek warning....

Probably a good thing the Data Base Administrator is out of town. He would have been kissed soundly (on the cheek) today because he sorted something that in turn fixed a baffling problem i'd been having for a few days. I hate it when things go wrong for no apparent reason. Sometimes it's a piece of the puzzle that goes corrupt for some unknown reason. Sometimes it's a change i've made but in this case it was neither and the error messages were confusing and misleading considering what was actually going on. See, last week a password was about to expire so he changed it to an indefinite expiry date. This was important because it was a behind the scenes password that an application used and we couldn't have it just stop working one day because the password expired. But, when you log in now, the database throws up a message to say the password will expire in (20 digit number) days. But you can still log in. Only the application, when running on my local machine out of the programming developer software, kept telling me it couldn't connect to the database, saying the character set was invalid. There was no expiry message on the software console, only if i tried to connect using something more direct (sql-plus) No problems with the application that was running independently on a server, either, only when running it on a local machine server. But I hadn't changed anything. The DBA noticed the expiry message and got rid (from his remote location) and lo and behold, we have connection! I think what happened was that the local server/connection piece didn't know what to do with the message and couldn't recognize a 20 digit number in it's native format and horked up a hairball with the closest related message it could find. Gah!

Anyway, sorted now. I can relax and enjoy the weekend.

Wi-iFied

Oct. 1st, 2009 08:07 am
tvordlj: (Geek)
There's more to this WiFi than meets the eye, doncha know.  The iPod would pick up what it thought were networks but nothing would work. However, i have a Starbucks card and found out i could register it and get 2 hours of WiFi at Starbucks' hotspots every day as long as i used the card at Starbucks at least once a month. Fair play. I registered and when i came in this morning, i went to the Starbucks and voila i'm in! So i guess it just depends on where you are and if you have a password to the network. Some networks must be "free" somewhere, and i know people don't always secure their home connections. I wouldn't presume to use one of those if the iPod found it but i'm just sayin. I know hotels that offer it still must give you a password to get in and that's fine, too. At least i was able to get my gmail to work and that's really the only one i need as it will pick up my home email as well. The Yahoo account still doesn't recognize my password but i'm not as bothered. The iTunes software synced my Yahoo contact book to the pod and i got rid of the contacts i won't use or need and added phone numbers and emails to the ones i might use, including LJ so i can update LJ from the road if i get the chance. Facebook lets me text a status change but the email function is spotty at best. I set up my home weather location, and i tested out the Google maps function which shows the satelite and the map and you can "pin" specific addresses which is cool for noting where a hotel is.  I think i'm good to go now.

Speaking of hotels, i changed the one we were going to use in Montreal. I belong to Travelzoo which emails you deals every week and some hotels were featured on a three day special. One in Montreal was about half the price of the one i had booked but when i was reading up on it, there were some things about it that i wasn't as keen on, plus that particularly cheap rate was not for a suite, so the room i did book after researching only ended up being a little cheaper for the sort of room i wanted but still, it's a bit of a savings. We are going to try a suite hotel. Not so we can do proper cooking but it's nice to have a fridge, microwave to heat up stuff and maybe do breakfasts or snacks. It's also nice to have the fridge to keep milk for tea rather than the UFT fake stuff. The original hotel had a more equipped kitchen i think. This one, they will bring up dishes and stuff if you ask which is fine. They also do housekeeping daily which one of the others that i had considered did not. That was a long term stay suite place and they only do the housekeeping once a week though you can request new towels at the front desk if you want them in the mean time. I think i'd like having the daily service if i'm in a hotel so that's one of the reasons i picked this new one.

This one, an Embassy Suites by Hilton has a full cooked breakfast with the room which you can take back to your room if you want, and they give you two free drinks each at a manager's reception in the bar every night. Those things alone are worth close to 30 dollars per person if you take advantage of the drinks as well as brekkie, going by standard hotel prices. The location is really good too, right down by Old Montreal, around the block from Notre Dame basilica and a block from a couple of Metro stations and Boulevard St. Laurent, the main drag through the city. Another bonus is i should get Aeroplan points for the stay as well which i wouldn't have got at the other place. Most chains belong to the Aeroplan program but the other hotel was an independent one.
tvordlj: (Default)
It's a Monday kind of day when the milk comes out in chunks. The up side to this is (yes, there is an up side), the chunks go straight to the bottom of the cup and you can siphon off the top half into another cup because the milk hasn't distributed through the tea.

Seen in a shop window: purses (handbags) that look like 1. A shiny black patent leather laced up corset, an outline of a bat, a black coffin shape with bright red templar cross on it, bags with bright red roses and smiling skulls.

And for programmers and techical geeks everywhere, i offer you the following theories and laws, most of them true:

Osborn's Law: Variables won't; constants aren't.
Bilb's Laws of Unreliability:
1. Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable.
2. Any system that depends upon human reliablity is unreliable.
3. Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable errors, which by definition are limited.
4. Investment in reliability will increase until it exceeds the probably cost of errors, or until someone insists on getting some useful work done.

Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology: there's always one more bug. (koff. True)

Troutman's Postulate (which seems to have been written some time ago)
1. Profanity is the one language understood by all programmers. (*koff*)
2. Not until a program has been in production for six months will the most harmful error be discovered.
3. Job control cards (!) that positively cannot be arranged in improper order, will be. (I haven't used these for years!!!!)
4. Interchangeable tapes won't. (we do use tapes for server backup, I think)
5. If the input editor has been designed to reject all bad input, an ingenious idiot will discover a method to get bad data past it. (Oh god yes)
6. If a test installation functions perfectly, all subsequent systems will malfunction.
tvordlj: (Geek)
Picked up my new Paintshop Pro X2 today. And it wouldn't install. It got near to the end and then hung. I tried twice. Then i went to the website for the support section and there it was. Apparently dual core processors sometimes have this problem and i needed to update my video driver. Eeekk!!! Ok. Follow the instructions and here we go.

Download driver. Check.
Create restore checkpoint. Check. (they didn't say to do that but i wasn't taking any chances)
Uninstall old driver. Check. Restart.
Disable everything.
Install new driver. Restart.
Hold Breath.
Check.
Yay! It booted up and all i had to do was change the resolution to one i liked.
Start install again.
Result!
I've been playing with it a bit and i do like it. It has a "learning centre" but you can disable that and just do things the way you always did if you want.
tvordlj: (Geek)
I'm a bit ambivalent about the upcoming US presidential election but i did read something in today's paper that i hadn't heard before. Apparently John McCain (I keep wanting to call him McLean because i know a John McLean plus isn't that the name Bruce Willis' character had in Die Hard?) is computer illiterate, according to the newspaper article. The piece was about how younger voters see Obama as "cool". I'm surprised in this day and age that someone running for President is computer illiterate. It's go nothing to do with is advancing years. Loads of senior citizens i know have computers and are merrily surfing the net and sending emails and getting webcams. Very possibly he's saying that because he's not very knowledgable about what's "under the hood" (and there's nothing wrong with that) but can in fact send and email and surf the web but the article didn't go into details. I certainly wouldn't knowingly vote for someone that is that technologically ignorant in this day and age. A politician doesn't have to be a whiz kid with a computer but i figure they should at least be comfortable enough to do basic stuff. How can you lead a country into the future if you can't even send an email?

Speaking of into the future, I saw an ad for a usb flash drive that holds 16G. My first and second computers didn't have hard drives that big and as well, you can fit more stuff on a single layer dvd (4.2G) than was on my first hard drive! Pretty soon, you won't have to buy external hard drives with 60 or 160 or 300G of space, you'll just have to plug in a little usb flash drive.
tvordlj: (Geek)
Cable guy came tonight. Turns out the fuzzy picture wasn't a weak signal, it was the digital tuner. He replaced it and it's working perfectly now! Yay! I have my digital tv guide back!

Course is going ok. Still more theory today and at the end of the day we could pull apart the PCs there so that was good. Dusty. But good. Tomorrow we put them back together and say a Hail Mary and see if they start up again! Still haven't decided if i'll write the certs or not. I don't need certification for my job. I waver between thinking i'll give it a try and thinking Oh God i'll never memorize all this crap!
tvordlj: (Geek)
Hmm i seem to have misplaced my micro card for the phone. That's very strange. I have no idea where it could be as it's not in the adaptor. Must check my purse, though. It could have been in the adaptor in the mini-reader which i usually keep in my bag. Only place it could be really. Also have one of my three SD cards that refuses to be written to from the computer which tells me it's write protected but even if i flick the little switch, it continues to argue with me. Ah well. No biggie. The camera still accepts the card and that's the main thing. I never did bother to get a flash drive because the sd cards work just as well but maybe i'll spring for one anyway. A nice large storage one. They're quite cheap nowadays.

Did a bit of shopping yesterday. Some days it goes really well. Some days are just an exercise in frustration. I do get discouraged. I see lots of things I like but A. they don't come in my size or B. they are out of my size. If i'm looking for pants, i either can't get the cut i want, or they're for Petite sizes and therefore too short or, this time of year, they end at the knee. Sorry to capri fans, but i really don't like them much and unless the length comes down to lower calf which is almost to the ankle anyway and therefore not capri length, i wouldn't have them near my legs. Don't even get me started on bra shopping. Most tops are short as well, or at least shorter than i like.
tvordlj: (Doctor Who)
The Ladies Who Lunch )
So, i'm trying out the upload feature from the LJ gallery and it puts the photo in a table. A bit much if you ask me. I guess it's good if you don't know html but i think i'll stick with my img tags. Oddly enough though, if you upload from the gallery itself, it does a table. If you upload from the update web interface and use that little drop down insert feature, it sticks in the image tag and links it to the photo in the gallery as well.

Anyway, we had a nice lunch, the four of us. Carolyn is my best friend from when we were in our late teens/early 20's. I dated her brother but stayed friends with her after the split. We've mostly lived in different cities until the last 6 years and even then we don't see each other as much as we'd like. Mom and Dad always thought of her as a third daughter and she's always felt they were more parents to her than her own (long story).

Carolyn and i went to Chapters to get a coffee in Starbucks and i actually resisted buying anything. That must be a first!

Got home and dug out the cd with the user manual for my printer. It's still been flashing amber at me. Seven times. Looking up in the troubleshooting section it says that 7 flashes means the print head is b0rked. You know what that means, boys and girls? Yep. New printer. Costs almost as much to get a new print head as it does to get a new printer these days, sadly. I could leave it in the recycle shelving until with a note on it and someone might take it and spend the money to fix it. I think i will probably spend a little more and buy and all-in-one scanner and printer. I have a scanner but it isn't going to cost that much more for the all in one and it'll probably work faster. save space. Mom or Sis, do you want the old one? it should work on either of your computers. It's got both usb and serial cable connection and you then have to plug the printer in to the back of the scanner which then connects to the puter. It's a better scanner than the one mom has though it will be somewhat slower on that puter as it has less memory and juice. Anyway, when i get the new one you can let me know.

Am going to try to download tonight's UK Doctor Who so don't anyone spoil it for me yet!!!

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