Older blog entries for hacker (starting at number 155)

Thinkpad Lemon Law
    My IBM Thinkpad T23 is being shipped back to IBM for service for the third time this month. I'm not happy about this.

    They've already replaced the system board, fan, and apparently the keyboard and outer shell to resolve issues found the last two times I've sent it to them in the past two weeks.

    Now it just hard-locks randomly. Sometimes while counting memory at boot, sometimes while in Linux, sometimes while in Windows2000 (native IBM build drive). Completely random.

    This has become very frustrating and unproductive.

Well, well, well...
    "One issue we have now, a unique competitor, is Linux. We haven't figured out how to be lower priced than Linux. For us as a company, we're going through a whole new world of thinking."

    - Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft

I turn 31 today.

Status: still unemployed, 8 months.

Laptop arrived today from IBM repair in Memphis.

Put in my production Linux drive, powered it up, logged in, and it powered off on me again without warning about 8 minutes later.

Closer inspection of the included notes with the returned unit show a mention of:

"Unit was sent back as 'No problem found'.."

The random power-off happens while exclusivly using AC (No battery) as well as exclusive DC (not plugged in). Problem doesn't appear to be adapter or battery-related.

It's going back to IBM tomorrow.

This is putting a serious dent in my productivity.

The Ineptitude of the Masses

    = One =
    The United States Postal Service lost a package I sent on 6/8/2002 which contained legal US Copyright documents awaiting 8 signatures from our team dispersed around the globe.

    I specifically sent it Certified and Registered with all the bells and whistles. When I sent it, I specifically asked them what I needed to do so that it was trackable and to make sure it didn't get lost in the ocean somewhere.

    Now they can't track it, and can't tell me where it is.

    = Two =
    My laptop was sent to IBM service, under warantee for a repeated random power-off problem. The technician I spoke with when I reported it said it's a rare, but reported problem. He also recommended I "upgrade my Win98 APM drivers first". I calmly mentioned I didn't run Windows and that it happens even when I hit F1 and leave it in the BIOS screen. He told me to install Windows and upgrade the APM drivers anyway. Uhm..

    The laptop arrived safely, and they now tell me that they can't reproduce the problem and are going to send it back to me.

Why do I always get the idiots?

Something Fishy

    "What color does a fish get when you take away their oxygen?"

    B L U E

Laptop Repair

    Several days ago my shiny new IBM T23 laptop died with a very rare, but "seen" problem. It would randomly just power off in the middle of whatever. Host OS didn't seem to matter (native Linux and native Windows had the same exact symptoms), and it would do it if I left the laptop in the F1 BIOS screen.

    I called IBM, they overnighted a shipping box for the laptop, all pre-paid. As promised I received the box yesterday afternoon from Airborne Express. I promptly packed the laptop as instructed, filled out the proper manifest and inventory control forms, and taped the box shut.

    I called Airborne Express to schedule a pickup, which was scheduled for today between 9am and 4pm EST. It is now 3:40pm EST. I just called Airborne Express to inquire as to the status of my pickup...

    Apparently the driver said he called 5 TIMES, and the phone was busy every time he called. He also said he showed up at the house, saw two doorbells, didn't know which one to ring, so he got in his truck and drove away.. without ringing any of them!

    My shipping order clearly stated "Second Floor". I've received telephone calls today without any problems. I can believe that he called once, and got a busy signal, maybe twice.. but 5 times? No. I've been here all day, the phone has ringed a total of three times, two were wrong numbers.

    Why do I always get the inept, downtrodden, idiots, and why are they almost always responsible for my stress and delays in my productivity?

17 Jun 2002 (updated 24 Jun 2002 at 14:51 UTC) »

Latest news and famous quotes:

The GPL case continues

    "If we end up in court, I will bankrupt these guys."

    That's the latest we've heard from $COMPANY. It was the first of two official threats from them. Apparently because they have "investor money", they think they can just ignore US Copyright Law and the GPL. I can't say more right now.

Laptop Death

    After all that mess with eBay and my shiny new laptop, now it's dead and needs to be serviced. Luckily for me (so far), in the absence of a receipt, the warantee is still valid for 3 more years.

Plucker News

    The new Plucker site is coming along very well, now that I realized I needed to manually load Apache::Table. Without it, Apache::Request and mod_perl would randomly "forget" %vars, and cache data between requests. Now it's all working well. Version 1.2 is being beta'd now, the new site launch should be soon before the official announcement of the 1.2 Plucker release.

    We will be selling some shwag from the site soon to show our support of the community, and in the hopes that they can show their support of us. We may also need the funds to help fund attorneys in our defense of the GPL violations we've been dealing with.


    Status: None.

Triathlon Training

    Training goes well, but deadlines have slowed this down a bit. I need to get back on the road, with a road bike soon. I'm addicted to the mileage now. I feel the years of mileage coming back, legs and lungs feel more powerful than ever.

    I'm very impressed with how much E has taken onto the sport, having never bicycled competitively before. It's going to be my turn soon.. competitive running. Ug.

7 Jun 2002 (updated 17 Jun 2002 at 01:22 UTC) »
use strict;
use CGI qw/:standard start_diary end_diary/;
use Env;
print start_diary();
    thomasvs: Thanks for the automake help the other day. It's all voodoo to me, but I'm picking it up slowly.

    movement: Thanks for giving me a hand with oprofile on Monday. I still haven't tracked down those bugs we discussed. I'm also tinkering with valgrind. Very useful tool. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to squeeze out the last of the bugs in their code.

    I've also found lots of the fellow monks at PerlMonks.org to be incredibly useful lately. I'm running into very weird perl issues the deeper I get into some code I'm working on. Lots of helpful folk there.

    Also, I must give credit to Dorward and tomg on Efnet's #html channel. They are very strict HTML/CSS purists like myself. Birds of a feather, I guess. They're also keeping me in line with some of my code.

    The new Plucker website layout is coming along very well. It validates as XHTML 1.0 Transitional, the CSS is 100% validated in two separate parsers, and it works in 11 browsers. No tables, nothing fancy in the formatting, all CSS. The only browser that seems to have problems at all is Konqueror. To date, it is the least compliant as far as CSS goes. Horrible results.

print end_diary();

I see lilo is up to his "banging-the-tin-cup" again in his latest antics on OPN. Let's review some history of when I caught him doing this well over a year ago:

    **** BEGIN LOGGING AT Sun Apr 15 16:02:17 2001
    16:04:30 <lilo> listen, I am not paid to talk to
             perennially angry people
    16:04:39 <lilo> such I judge you to be at present
    16:04:55 <setuid> Are you saying you draw a salary
             based on donations from the community?

dopey...and let's not forget that OPN is a private network, not a public one.

    **** BEGIN LOGGING AT Sun Apr 15 16:02:17 2001
    16:07:10 <lilo> please see paragraph 2 of the motd
    16:07:19 <setuid> I've seen it, which you are legally
    16:07:23 <setuid> Which has also been noted. 
    16:07:28 <setuid> Next? 
    16:07:28 <lilo> this is a private network
    16:07:37 <lilo> your access may be revoked at any time
    16:07:40 <lilo> that part
    16:07:44 <setuid> That's fine with me.
    16:08:33 -lilo- lilo is ignoring you

What's funny about this particular interchange (one of dozens lilo and I have had) is that I was g-lined from OPN for putting lilo on /ignore awhile ago, but he sees fit to put me on ignore.

Sorry, OPN is not "open", nor friendly, nor does it in any way contribute to the furthering oof any community spirit. When it ceased to be Linpeople, it become another entity entirely. Looking at all the suspiscious things going on behind the scenes at OPN, I'm definately directing people away from it. There are dozens of other freely available irc networks that cater to specific tastes, including my own server, that don't force this level of "management" down on it's userbase.

lilo, really. I've personally been out of work for over six months, and I'm not begging for money from anyone. I could always break down and work at McDonalds or as a school janitor, or mowing lawns. Drop the ego, and do what you must to support your family. This is getting ridiculous.

You don't "deserve" a salary for setting up OPN, just as I don't "deserve" one for all the unselfish giving I do for the community, in mailing lists, cvs hosting, gratis web development, irc servers, and so on. I do it because it needs to get done, and it benefits the community as a whole. You also don't have to personally micro-manage the network. An irc network, properly configured, runs itself. Delegate out the responsibilities, if you must. Let it be what it needs to be.

Enough already.

Long time no diary... lots going on.

GPL violators have tripled
Bluefish, MercuryGuide, TechXNY

    The second letter went out to Bluefish last week, and they have been given 5 days to respond, which ends today.

    It also appears that MercuryGuide is now also using our application (Plucker) in "their" version (MovieMobile) without providing source, and they neglected to change our CreatorID, so installing their application clobbers ours. Deleting it deletes ours. It also validates the previous assertion that MercuryGuide was delivered the parser components by Bluefish, and that they have the source code.

    TechXNY is the third one. They are also redistributing a "modified" Plucker application, stamped with Bluefish's name, without providing source, without retaining the original copyright that we provided in the package.

    This is going to get ugly. Is there a Slashdot editor in the house? Please contact me directly. I may need a favor from you.

    For those following the saga: [1] [2] [3] [4]

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