Archive Page 2

Yet another BlackBerry outage

A little history to my problem.  I just updated my phone plan to Sprint/Nextel’s Simply every thing plan that literally gives me unlimited everything on my phone for $5 more a month than what I’m paying now.  I did this yesterday and was told everything should be up and running by 6pm local time.  Well, 6 came and went and I still didn’t have data service.  I contacted Customer Service today and spent over an hour and 45 minutes on the phone with them.  They were great and wanted to get to the bottom of the problem.  We tried re-setting the radio, re-booting the phone, re-setting the phone, and re-configuring the ip settings.  Nothing worked.  They said everything looked set up correctly on their side as well.  Finaly an answer.  Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind Black Berry, had a nation wide server outage.  It was masked behind everything else.  The only funny thing is that NO ONE has reported this any where on the internet.  I hear about outages all the time, and none of them ever seem to affect me, but I have heard nothing about this one.  Oh well, I’ll probably end up spending more time on the phone with Sprint on Monday.

1,2,3,4…6 AND 7???

Check out this from the National Weather Service.

Statewide Tornado Drills Tuesday March 4 and Wednesday March 6

Tuesday March 4 at 1000 AM CST a test tornado warning will be issued for all Illinois counties. Wednesday March 7 at 937 AM CST (1037 AM EST) a test tornado warning will be issued for all Indiana Counties. A second Indiana test will occur at 607 PM CST (707 PM EST). Many location in Illinois will also test sirens on Tuesday morning.

Notice in the heading, it’s “Tuesday March 4 and Wednesday March 6,” skipping the 5th are we? Then in the text, Wednesday becomes the 7th, so now we are skipping two days?? I guess we are making up for Leap year this year.

Fox On Demand

I only have a few shows that I get to watch when they actually air. For that reason, I have found many other places to watch (check out LifeHacker for a great list). One way that I keep up with my shows is with Fox On Demand online. The quality of the content is excellent. There are adds within the programs, but I know Fox needs to make money on their shows. There are a few things that could be much better. For example, all of the commercials within a show are the same. I have no problem with embedded commercials, but don’t make me watch the same one 5 times in 45 minutes. Also, let me fill my whole screen with your show. If YouTube can do it, why can’t Fox. Finaly, why do I have to wait 8 days for the show to come up online? If I am a regular watcher of a show and miss one episode, it would be nice to be able to get caught up durring the week, so the next time the show is on, I can watch it on TV like normal. Is it really too much to ask for??

Tribal Wars

Over the last four months or so, I have become addicted to an online game called Tribal Wars. It is very basic in it’s game play. You start off with a village and you try to build it up. But as you build, other players around you are also getting bigger. Once you village gets to a decent size, that’s when the fun starts. As yo are building the buildings in your village, you are also (or should be) building your army. You can then use your army to plunder other villages and take their resources. As your village and army grow, you will eventually get a nobleman. Your noblemen are important, as they are the key to taking control of other villages. So, the basic play out of the game is to build an army and attack other players to take their villages away.

“But it’s called tribal wars, not village wars!” Yes, I know, I haven’t got there yet.

Once your village starts to grow to decent size, someone will eventually ask you to join a tribe, or maybe you feel ambitious and what to create your own tribe. Your tribe will end up becoming your good friends with in the game. You will share resources with them, help defend villages, and avenge there attackers, and they will do the same for you. Tribes will ally, others will become enemies, and a select few may become so close an ally that your tribe merges with theirs or your tribes decide to “Family.”

Although the game sounds a little slow, it becomes addicting because it continues to play out, even when you are not actively on and playing. I know there are other games out there that are similar, and I was wondering if anyone plays them. I am currently the Head Diplomat for my tribe, and enjoy it. If you are interested in playing with me, I’m on world 9 and in RFF. When you are asked where you would like to start, click on the north west and if you end up close enough to my tribe, I may be able to get you an invite.

http://www.tribalwars.net/1174593.html

NIU, CBS2, and the Gun Control Debate

I want to start off by giving my condolences to the victims, family and friends of the victims of the NIU massacre. My heart goes out to you.

Chicago’s CBS 2 covered the story and interviewed a student who thought the incident would have been a lot less bloody if students and teachers could have armed themselves. They then cut over to Chicago’s Mayor, Richard M. Daily, who said this incident just shows that we need more gun control in this country. Richard M. Daily, YOU. ARE. A. IDIOT. You can not admit when something you push for so much isn’t working.

CBS2 was taking comments from viewers on this issue.  I was very happy to see that so many people in Illinois, one of only two states with no conceal carry laws, want to have the right to arm themselves in public to protect themselves, their families, and others.  Many people who were against it didn’t do their research.  One of the most common comments for gun control was that the people who were carrying in other stats were untrained.  Most states that have conceal carry weapons (CCW) permits require permit holders to go through training including both class room and range time.  This class room time includes firearms safety, legal considerations, and use of force training.

When you take away the right of law abiding citizens to carry fire arms, you take away their right to protect themselves and their families.  What are your thoughts about this.  Please leave them in the comments below.

New Computer

So, after doing a little research and money moving, I ended up getting a new laptop after the milk incident last week.  The wife and I picked up an acer for 499.  Not too bad for a AMD dual core processor and 2 gigs of ram.  I’ve been busy getting the crap off and putting on the programs that I need.  My only problem, the speed of Microsoft.  I’m currently downloading a Service Pack for Visual Studio 2005 at a ice burg pace of 88KB.  Time till down load is still over an hour…  Why can’t the biggest software company in the world with the richest CEO in the US get a little more bandwidth???

Still have a few more updates to get before VS will be 100% compatible with Vista (how I loath Vista’s compatiblility).   I was wondering who has used Vista and what their thoughts or problems were.  After having used if for a week, I will post my thoughts.

Milk vs. Laptop

The milk won.  I will need to send out my laptop for repair as my 2 year old daughter spilled milk on it.  I’m hopping it’s just the power supply, but I don’t know my way around laptops that well.  The big downside, my homework that is due tonight was on there, so I will have to redo it this after noon before class.

Funny Google search term

Factoid:  “cops cross dressing truck driver” as a Google search term returns my blog.  Where in the list, I’m not quite sure (searched the first 15 pages and didn’t find it).

Ditching Windows: Why I think Linux May Become More Popular

So, here is the scenario:

You are in charge of an businesses IT decisions and budget. It is time to start upgrading computers. Here are your options: Stay on XP forever, move everything to Vista, switch to Mac, or go with Linux.

1. Stay on XP forever: Every thing in the world of Windows XP is stable. Your employees know how to run it, all of your hardware works, and all of your software works. But XP won’t be supported forever, so eventually, you won’t have drivers for new hardware and the software you buy won’t support XP. This isn’t a next year thing, but within the next 5-7.

2. Move to Vista: I say move, because in my experience, it is not an upgrade. If you move to Vista, you will now have to train all of your employees on how to do many basic functions, as most of them are different then they are in XP. You will also probably have to hire developers, as any software that was created for your company will more than likely not run well, if at all, in Vista with out changes. All employees will also have to be trained on any changes here, as well. Much of your computer equipment will also have to be upgraded/updated. Printers that work fine in XP may not work at all in Vista, and even if it’s “Vista Certified,” that doesn’t mean that it will work flawlessly. Many computers that are not ready to be replaced may not be VISTA ready, so they will need upgrades or need to be replaced even though they work fine with XP.

3. Switch to Mac: Lets face it, Macs are expensive and most companies can not justify spending that much money on computers. You will also have to, again, redevelop most of your programs and train all of your employees.

4. Go with Linux: Training will be a big cost here. Lets face it, it’s not Windows and many users are scared when they get out of their Windows comfort zone. Your IT department should be able to put together a group of apps and a desktop style that is fairly close to the look and feel of windows. You will also have to redevelop many programs for you company. But much, if not all, of the code could be found else where, thanks to open source software. And a lot of hardware is fully compatible with Linux (yes, not all, but, like I said, a lot). Here is the big point, though. COST. Your company will no longer have to pay licensing all all of those computers running Microsoft Software.

I have not been using Linux for all that long, but I keep hearing that companies are scared to make the switch because of the training required and the need to re-develop their software. Most companies will no have to face this with Vista, as well, but Vista and the Office Suite are a heck of a lot more expensive than Linux and an Open Source word processor like OpenOffice.org.

What are your thoughts. I haven’t researched the numbers, but in my logically based mind, it makes sense. I would really love to hear from some people in the field to see if my ideas are that far fetched.

How to survive driving in the snow

I have had to drive in a snow storm three times since last night.  Had to go to school for a quiz last night, which was canceled by the way, then had to fight home so I could get some sleep before battling the snow on my way into work this morning.  I had to remember many driving techniques I hadn’t had to use  in a while.  Just as a reminder for anyone who has to drive in the snow today.

1. SLOW DOWN.  This seems obvious enough, right?  But too many people don’t.

2.  Follow from a distance.  Again,  obvious.  4 wheel drive doesn’t help you stop, and ABS only can do so much.

3.  Don’t slam your breaks.  In the snow, your wheels stop very well, but if they stop, your car won’t.  Come to a stop slowly.  If you feel your car starting to slide, instead of hitting the breaks harder, let off of them.

4. Don’t make sharp maneuvers.   If you prevent your wheels from locking up, you will have traction, but only so much.  That traction has to be spread out to your turning and acceleration or breaking.  If you request more traction than you have available, you are going to slide.  Just the basic laws of physics here.

5.  Don’t drive unless you have to.  The middle of a snow storm is not the time to go to the movies or go grocery shopping.  That can wait until the plows have cleared the road.

6.  Avoid stopping in deep snow.  Last winter I saw a car in the ditch.  I pulled onto the shoulder, which hadn’t been plowed.  She was OK, but when I went to pull out, my car didn’t want to go anywhere.   Learn from my mistake, don’t pull over to help unless you are sure you won’t get stuck too.

Have any tips of your own?  Please share them in the comments.