Saturday February 23, 2008

Weekly Wrap-up 2008_08

The weather was nice... followed by drippy. It started raining on Tuesday.


We had too many hardware and software travails this week.


On Sunday, Rich put together a Mac OS X system for a friend of his. He tried one box that simply didn't work. He went through a couple of disk drives. He tested this and experimented with that.

The good news is that the friend had a PowerMac G4 he'd been given, so the box stopped being an issue. Rich eventually did find a drive that worked. It just took far too long.

Then we had to troubleshoot the machine that stopped working after Rich had used it it to test the various drives... that turned out to be a cabling error. All more trouble than we needed.

But that was just for starters.


On Tuesday morning, my portable hard drive wouldn't mount. This is the drive that I store my "work" data is on — email archives, IM logs, notes. Lots of notes. All attempts to access the data with disk utility applications failed. I do back it up... but the backup turned out to be flawed. (We won't go into that.)

I took the drive to Lazarus Data Recovery in San Francisco. By Friday, Lazarus said they'd been able to recover most (all?) of the data. In the meantime, I've been limping along without a lot of the supporting information I'm used to having right at my fingertips.

It's going to cost me more than I had anticipated to get the data back. I'm hoping I can convince the Company to reimburse me for part of the cost; after all, it's "their" data.


Lest you think the problems were all in hardware, I also had software problems this week. Two of my weblogs weren't publishing properly. I finally found the problem — a misconfiguration — but the annoyance factor was high, especially added to everything else.

And...


We had hardware problems in the house as well!

At the beginning of the week, Harry Homeowner fixed a leak around the base of the toilet in the master bath by tightening a few screws. (What a relief. No major household surgery or replacements required).

At the end of the week, a rack of "clothing hooks" in the bedroom fell off the wall when I hung up a shirt. As you may guess, the cats were not happy. Did you know that, given sufficient provocation, cats can fly?

Apparently the screws we used to attach the rack to the wall were never very deep into the studs. They are now...


I did some outreach web support this week. Around 10 am, this note appeared on the internal developers' mailing list:

Does anyone know how I can create a twiki page or who I can contact to get one?

There were several responses, all URLs, pointing to our internal TWiki site or the "getting started" page for same. I, on the other hand, interpreted the question as a cry for help. I opened up an IM window and asked "What do you need?"

In less than an hour, the petitioner had a working page and a short, in-person explanation of how it works and how to add to it. He also had a success he can show his team. And I had a happy customer.


A friend asks: So, Schroedinger and Heisenberg get ahold of a cat... Or DO they?


Our local grocery store has started a new policy; it's written on a notice taped to the credit card reader.

"For your security, please show the cashier your drivers' license when using a credit card."
OK, I can do that. I don't actually think it improves any kind of security, but I can do that.

Unfortunately, the cashier on Thursday evening also wanted to see my credit card (which I had already put away). Then he took hold of it and then he turned away and ... I pretty much yanked it back out of his hand.

Let's not cross the line between "For your security" and "Don't annoy the customer, because I can shop somewhere else".


On the back of a Coit Carpet Cleaning truck:

24 Hour
Water Damage
I don't like the sound of that...


This week I read Kris Longknife: Resolute, latest in the series by Mike Shepherd. Good Thud and Blunder Space Opera.

I also read The Covenant Rising, first in a fantasy series by Stan Nicholls. Mr. Nicholls is an excellent writer. This is the sort of writing that spoils me for reading so many other books. Most authors simply can't come close


In between and around the rest, I've had nearly enough naps and oodles of snuggles with the cats. There have been good meals and interesting conversations with Spouse and friends. I've chatted with my sister.... but this was not a good week for twitter.


I'm looking forward to getting my data back next week, even if the cost is disturbingly high. Then I have to file a warranty claim. That disk died after less than 60 days of use!


Onward and Upward.

Weekly Wrap-up 2008_08 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Sat, 23 Feb, 11:00 Pacific | «e»


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