Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lessons Nobody Wants To Learn: Enterprise Upgrade Path

Quite often, I hear this argument that is supposed to be very convincing: "But our enterprise has millions of dollars invested in infrastructure X, it is our duty to protect it".

Give me a break.

Let me give you an example: In 1997, I've invested $2000 into a highly modern computer. It had the brand new Pentium MMX 233MHz CPU, whopping 32MB RAM, and incredibly large 2GB hard drive. It even had the SoundBlaster. Forget the fact that 12 years and countless generations of computers passed by since, I still must protect my investment and support and nurture the obsolete monstrosity with less computing power than a phone in my pocket?

What part of the message you still don't understand?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quote Of The Day: Expert

My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what's really going on to be scared.

-- P. J. Plauger

Sunday, August 9, 2009

And Tell Me Stereotyping Doesn't Work

Couple of weeks ago, third generation Mustang driving dude, tattooed, pierced, no shirt, rear-ends my car, gives me a smug smile, offers "Don't worry, this is what insurance is for, ha-ha-ha", and drives away.

So tell me, why am I not surprised to find out that the bastard is hiding from both my and his own insurance company, which, though puts him into a position of "guilty by default", makes me responsible for paying for the damages that he caused?

And don't you ever tell me stereotypes are wrong.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quote Of The Day: Bore

A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.

-- Gian Vincenzo Gravina

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Google Talk via SMS: Still Dead

Remember I've been fuming about how easy it to get Google Talk via SMS stuck with no way out?

Well, guess what, it's still stuck, five months later. All the recipients I've tried to communicate with failed to respond via SMS at some point, which rendered Talk to SMS channels dead, and there is nothing you can do about unblocking them. Zip. Nada. No block expiration. No "enable this contact to send SMS to my phone" setting.

A search on "must reply before you can send more messages" confirms that the issue is alive and well, with no resolution in sight.

Two trends are becoming more and more distinct:
  • Good luck getting prompt customer service from Google if they don't feel like it;
  • Applications that "almost work" (other prominent examples: late Latitude, less-than-dependable Android) are becoming the public face of Google.

Monday, August 3, 2009

About That Phantom Replacement...

Yes, the replacement they sent. The NeoPower 650 Blue.

Quality PSU, you say? I beg to differ.

Out of the box, the PSU fan made clicking noises. Day by day, it got louder and louder, until today, less than two months since it was installed, the clicking has become so loud, that it annoys the hell out of me even though there are 14 (yes, fourteen) other fans running next to it. Guess I will have to rip the fan out of the PSU and replace it with something more, ahem, quality.

But you might say - wait a second, you said you installed Corsair instead of that Phantom? That's right, I did.

This PSU, however, had to be installed a few days after it arrived to replace another Antec PSU that died right then - SmartPower 350.

Having read Scott's comments, I thought long and hard about whether I am being unfair. Well, I don't think so. Here's the list of all hardware that failed for me since 1997:
  • One no-name PSU that came with YY-0110 (catastrophic failure);
  • A couple of Maxtor 80G drives (catastrophic failure);
  • One or maybe two Netgear Gigabit Ethernet cards (works no higher than 100M now);
  • One eVGA videocard (GeForce 7800 GT) half-dead - apparently, bad soldering on memory chips, overheats easily but still usable;
  • All Antec PSUs.
No, I don't think I am unfair.

UPDATE (2009/08/08): Now it's also screeching.

UPDATE (2009/08/10): Now it seized completely. Good thing I have an array of other "quality" PSUs to rip the replacement fan out of.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Have You Ever Tried To Cancel X-Box Live?

Well, let me tell you, the process sucks.

When you try to cancel it from the console, you find that you can't. Interesting, they didn't have any problems with accepting you as a member from the console without "verifying the actual card holder information", but no, you can't leave without talking to the "retention specialist".

Then it turns out that you can not remove your credit card information from the console - they hold it hostage.

And God forbid you try to change the credit card holder name to something like "Not Authorized" - they will be "unable to verify the card holder information" if you do. Haven't tried waiting to see if they try to send you a bill for bouncing the payment with "Not Authorized" being the card holder name, don't have time for those games.

And you have to give them your Windows Live account information - yes, the same you've entered when you first bought the console and tried to use the Live service. Good luck remembering the password, or getting to it in time before the customer supports loses their patience and starts giving you the reference number so you could call back.

After all those hoops, you will have to convince the rep that yes, you are sane, and no, they can't have your reason for canceling the service, and no, there will be no living or dead relatives that would like to pick up the tab after you leave.

In other words, next time you see that lucrative "$1 for 1 month" membership offer, think hard if it's really worth about an hour of your time to cancel the service a month later. Oh, and keep in mind that they are not open 24/7, and they work in Eastern time zone.