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Archive: May 10, 2005

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As the laptop turns - episodes 5, 4.5, 6, and 7

Tuesday,  05/10/05  11:45 PM

The saga of my laptop trouble continues...  (Links to 1, 2, 3, 3.5, 4)  Here are episodes 5, 4.5, 6, and 7...

-----Original Message-----
From: Ole Eichhorn []
Thursday, March 10, 200512:45 PM
Subject: episode 5 - as the laptop turns

Okay, here’s a quick update.  I’m so upset I don’t know if I can make this funny.

First, you’ll remember that my laptop is completely dead, a week after this all started.  I’ve made twelve calls to HP service in all that time, and they’ve called me zero times without first being prompted.

Okay, so it is now 12:42and I have not heard from HP service today.  I did call this morning to lob in a “hey what’s happening” call, but I have not received a response.

I have spent the morning configuring a desktop machine here at my house so I can conduct business.  Fortunately I am able to access the data from my laptop’s drive using an external USB housing so I have my Outlook PST file, my P4 work area, etc.  However you guys have all had the experience of setting a machine up from scratch to have Office, Visual Studio, working VPN, etc., and it is time consuming.  Sigh.

Anyway the only way they can make me happy now is to bring me a brand new laptop, and even then I’ll have lost a ton of time.  Not good.  Stay tuned for more…


-----Original Message-----
From: Ole Eichhorn []
Thursday, March 10, 200512:48 PM
Subject: episode 4.5 - as the laptop turns

This is out of order because I forgot.  On Tuesday I was in the Vistaoffice without a working computer, so I decided to setup bach to use it for development.  Bach already has “everything” installed, including Office and all the development tools, so this seemed like a shortcut.  Only thing was, I had to create a new P4 client so I wouldn’t interfere with the nightly builds.

Well, turns out it did interfere with the nightly builds.  I built some new versions of OCX files which conflicted.  Poor Steven didn’t know what I was doing so on Wednesday he spent a couple of hours digging out – cleaning up registry entries etc. which were messed up because I had created a new development work area.  So not only has this whole episode sapped my productivity, it has hurt Steven as well.

Not to mention all the time you guys have wasted reading these emails :)


-----Original Message-----
From: Aperio Admin []
Thursday, March 10, 20051:56 PM
Subject: episode 6 - as the laptop turns

Just talked to the dispatcher at HP, finally.  The only tech they have available to send out is the guy who destroyed my laptop in the first place.  Also, they don’t have one of the parts available (the top cover, which this tech cracked the first time he came out).

I asked that he not send this particular tech to me, and that he wait until he has all the parts before sending anyone out.  So that won’t be today.

My expectations are so low, I don’t even mind not having my laptop anymore.  I just want this all to stop so I don’t have to keep sending you guys email updates :)


-----Original Message-----
From: Ole Eichhorn []
Friday, March 11, 20053:36 PM
Subject: episode 7 - as the laptop turns

Okay, we have a happy ending.  Although the story is not over.

This morning I received a call from a completely new tech that was coming out to my house to repair the laptop, call him Rob.  (That’s what he calls himself, too.)  He wanted to make sure I’d be home and to see if the top cover had arrived.  Well the top cover had not arrived – in fact, as of this writing, it still has not arrived – however I asked him to come out and repair the laptop anyway.  Which he did.

Three hours later and after swapping the motherboard, CPU, heat sink, fan, and keyboard bracket, all is well.  My laptop is running happily with a brand new spiffy display.  I’ve been running nuclear algorithms on a large remote image to test everything out, and after a solid hour all is well.  The new fan is even quieter than my old one.

This represented several departures from previous practice.  First, he called me, I didn’t have to call him.  Second, he showed up when he said he would show up.  And third, he actually fixed the laptop.

Of course I still have a cracked top cover which has to be replaced, so there is plenty of scope for further disaster.  Let’s hope Rob shows up to do it.  Stay tuned :)


P.S. Oh yes, and now I have to copy everything back to my laptop and start using that as my main machine, so the productivity hit isn’t fully registered, either.

Continue to episode 8...


Tuesday,  05/10/05  11:57 PM

Watershed.  A blog about water.  "Whiskey is for drinking.  Water is for fighting over."  Excellent.  [ via Clive Thompson ]

About the drought in Zimbabwe: "One, if you are going to redress the racist distribution of land ownership that resulted from years of colonial rule, you want a guy in charge who is a planner, someone who can forsee the problems that will occur, and has the ability to come up with solutions.  Two, Robert Mugabe is not that guy."

Ottmar Liebert: Blue Gold.  "If you think terrorism based on faith was bad, just wait until people have to fight for such a basic resource as water.  Damn I knew seeing Nestle on every bottle was not a good sign."

Gerald Vanderleun: Media Shocked, Shocked, by Water Price Blowout!  "By failing to account for inflation, the media have some Americans so alarmed that we can't think straight.  'What costs more,' I asked customers at a gas station: 'gasoline or bottled water?'  The answer I got from almost everyone was gasoline.  At that very gas station, water was for sale at $1.29 for a 24 oz. bottle. That's $6.88 per gallon, three times what the gas station was charging for gasoline."

Remember when we drank tap water?  And used drinking fountains?  Nobody died.  Just saying.

The other day I noted that Paul Graham bats like 1.000 in hitting the nail on the head.  Another guy like that is Joe Kraus, ex-founder of Exite and founder of JotSpot.  His blog Bnoppy is must reading for me.  And his latest post is awesome, The Hackathon:

"We call it a 'hackathon' and we got inspiration from the good folks at Atlassian.  The idea is that you make a day-long event (at whatever frequency you want) where everyone works on something that is: valuable to the company, but not what they're 'supposed' to be working on,  and that can be taken from idea to working prototype in one day.  We started our hackathon at 9:00am and ended at 8:00pm.  From 8:00-10:00pm we did presentations where each team member or group showed their work."

Wow is that a great idea.  Aperio needs a hackathon, how fun would that be?

la.foodblogging!Another great new blog: la.foodblogging.  Subscribed!

Are you a web hacker?  Well then your mission is to dive into Greasemonkey.  Great stuff, the web your way.  (As opposed to say Google's way.)  Mark Pilgrim has apparently returned to hobbies which involve electricity and angle brackets.

Do you have a Treo 600?  Well then you know that the camera suffers from the dreaded "blue dot disease", especially indoors.  So immediately download Pickem which is a free app that cures this disease.  Also implements a software zoom.  I'm telling you with Pickem my Treo pictures are way better, the color even looks somewhat real!  Thank you thppfft (the author)!  Highly recommended...

Yesterday I noted iTunes 4.8 and its support for video.  Well here's a Slashdot thread discussing videos for sale on the iTunes music store.  (example: Feel Good Inc.)  Whoa.  It's happened, and [so far] without DRM.  Also see Engadget and Gizmodo who are all over this.

Participatory Culture: Internet TV is Open and Independent.  "Announcing a new platform for internet television and video.  Anyone can broadcast full-screen video to thousands of people at virtually no cost, using BitTorrent technology.  Viewers get intuitive, elegant software to subscribe to channels, watch video, and organize their video library.  The project is non-profit, open source, and built on open standards."  Very cool.  But what about $$$?  People will pay for video.  [ via Scoble ]

I missed it at the time, but Google is in this game, too; they've announced a beta Video Search as well as an upload tool which enables you to store your video on their servers for downloading by other people.  And they did not ignore $$$s, you can charge for downloads (as long as you give them a cut).  Matt Haughey has more...  and also posted a great discussion of the Long Tail of TV and coming IP TV revolution:

"It's an exciting time for people that watch TV and those that are on the cusp of new trends in delivering television to viewers, but it's likely a bad time to be a network TV executive, straining to keep old business models alive.  I can't wait to see where the world of TV is in five years.  I suspect I'll be picking shows I want to see off a website, buying copies for a small charge, and downloading them for to my home theater by then."

I suspect I will, too :)

And just wanted to link this so I can find it later: Tivo to DVD via Mac OS X.  Yeah, I have a Series/1, and yeah, I also have a [video] DVD burner (works great).  But this has the possibility of extracting movies digitally.

Final video note, from Wired: Cinemasports, "the Iron Chef of filmmaking".


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