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Long Live the Penguin and Beastie
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Was watching TV last night and saw another commercial for quibids.com. I'm amazed at the simplicity of the scam. 60 cents per bid. It's awesome.

They mention in the commercial somebody buying a car (Toyota Corolla) for $1,800.00. Wow. What a deal. Then you do the math.

180,000 x .60 = $108,000!! Nice profit for the company there. Now I know that they offer deals if you buy lots of bids up front but even if you get it down to 40 cents/bid they're still making a crap load of cash.

Maybe I should start up one of these sites?

Shaw is finally offering their Gateway product in Penticton. Yippee!

I've filled out their form at least twice before but never heard anything back. After my previous horrible experience with their shitty lack of caring about their long term customers, I decided once more to fill out the application AGAIN!

Here's some of my history with Shaw.

I've been a loyal customer for about 15 years. Always pay my bill. Never really changed anything or demanded anything special from them in all that time.

Several months ago, near the end of the Canada Post strike, I switched to their Plan Personalizer thingy. After the technician came out, my only TV that seemed to be working right was the one connected to our PVR (that I've paid over $800 for!!). I called and was told that I needed a digital box for the other TVs. Why wasn't I told this before? The Shaw representative said they'd ship me out two digital boxes as soon as the postal strike ended. Wow. Guess what? I GOT NOTHING!

Back to the last few days:

I actually got a return call from Shaw!! The representative asked if I was still interested in the Gateway product. I said of course. I also explained (for the 10th time to various Shaw representatives) how I've been paying $20/month for about 4 years for my previous PVR. And yet they can't offer me any deals for being a long time loyal customer who got totally screwed on his PVR price. The girl went on to say that if I switched to Shaw phone, that I could get 3 whole months free of telephone service. I told her I really wasn't interested and wasn't really impressed with the supposed deal.

So now we get down to the Gateway product piss off. You have to pay $17/month for the Gateway (PVR) unit plus one "Total Home Portal" (for a second TV). Now comes the kicker. It can't be put on your current Shaw bill! It has to be direct billed to a flippin' credit card. WHY THE F*** would I want to do that?

For crying out loud Shaw, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER AND STOP TREATING YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS LIKE SHIT! I shouldn't have to leave you every six months to get treated like you give a rats ass about me.

I don't really want to do it but I think I'll be calling Telus in the next few days.

For the record, I like Shaw. Their Tech support guys are pretty good and helpful. It's their corporate guys that are pissing me off.

Playing with some software that needs to get out through a proxy.

$ git config --global http.proxy http://myproxy.domain.com:1234
$ git config --get http.proxy

http://myproxy.domain.com:1234

I posted this on the Archlinux forum. Hoping somebody else will have an idea of what the hell is going on with my wireless:

I've recently purchased a new Lenovo Thinkpad T420s.

I have a Buffalo WHR-HP-G300N running the latest version of DD-WRT.

The wireless router has been working fine for over a year. I've had other laptops attach. The kids ipods, iphones, etc all work great with it.

I can successfully connect to the router without any problems. If I do minimal activities (like ping google.ca) then the router works fine. As soon as I try to visit any web pages the router completely hangs. I actually have to unplug and plug it back in.

continue reading...

This past Friday was my 9th time (if my calculations are correct) attending the annual Okanagan Fest of Ale. I think it might be my last.

I, and a lot of other people, have some major complaints about this years event.

First of all they doubled the price of tokens to $2. The size of the glasses didn't increase to compensate even slightly for the price increase. Very maddening.

Then there was the entrance fee - $24.50. It seems like every single year that price goes up too.

So what did we get for our money?

Way less breweries. The Fest-of-Ale site doesn't seem to have a history record for 2009 or 2010 but in 2008 there were 27 breweries represented. This year? 19!! 8 less breweries. But we did get more food. Looks like there was about 3 or 4 more restaurants. Maybe they should rename the event to the Fest-of-Restaurants instead.

Because there was less breweries and the same number of people, the lineups were flippin' insane by about 6:45 on Friday. Ridiculously long line-ups. We left at 7:45. It was just too much of a pain in the ass to try to get any more beer.

Now I'm not sure why there were way less breweries. Maybe it was the US economy. I don't know. But I was not impressed.

Between my wife and I we spent over $100 for this event. We could've gone to a nice restaurant in town and had a hell of a lot better time for less money.

Here's to hoping the organizers make some major changes to fix these issues or a lot of people won't be bothering to attend in 2012.

Finally received my Notion Ink Adam on March 30th. I used the stock Eden ROM for about 30 minutes and just didn't like it. Decided to install Beast ROM. It's 1000% better than EdenX, although some people might disagree with me - to each his own.

continue reading...

OCZ Sucks

Jan 27

DO NOT BUY OCZ PRODUCTS. THEY ARE CRAP!

My last power supply (also an OCZ) died after approximately 3 1/2 years in mid December 2010. Decided to buy another OCZ because there was a good deal on one at NCIX.

Six weeks later and the f***** thing is dead! NCIX offers no support for OCZ products. I have to deal directly with the manufacturer.

Go to their site, fill out an RMA request. Over two days later I finally get a response with some tests they want me to run to verify the PS is actually dead. Yep, it sure as hell is. Now I need to wait for them to reply to this with the shipping address, etc for me to send it back in again. Then they'll ship me some hacked up fixed unit back.

WTF? It's six weeks old. They should damn well send me a new unit NOW and not some refurbished piece of crap. I better not be expected to pay for shipping.

I am not happy about this. OCZ SUCKS!

I see that Oracle has released Virtualbox 4.0. Let's give a try on Arch...

Prerequisites
Kernel headers

$ sudo pacman -S kernel26-headers
resolving dependencies...
looking for inter-conflicts...

Targets (1): kernel26-headers-2.6.36.2-1

Total Download Size: 4.01 MB
Total Installed Size: 38.27 MB

Proceed with installation? [Y/n] Y

$ sudo sh ./VirtualBox-4.0.0-69151-Linux_amd64.run
Password:
Verifying archive integrity... All good.
Uncompressing VirtualBox for Linux installation..........
VirtualBox Version 4.0.0 r69151 (2010-12-22T14:35:05Z) installer
Installing VirtualBox to /opt/VirtualBox
WARNING: /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf line 4: ignoring bad line starting with 'snd_hda_intel'

VirtualBox has been installed successfully.

You will find useful information about using VirtualBox in the user manual
/opt/VirtualBox/UserManual.pdf
and in the user FAQ

http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/User_FAQ

We hope that you enjoy using VirtualBox.

Wow. That seemed WAY too easy.

$ /opt/VirtualBox/VirtualBox

Just upgraded to VMWare Workstation 7.1.2 this morning and ran into nothing but problems. Here's the fixes.

This isn't anything I came up with on my own but found here:
linuxinsight.com article

Arch Linux VMWare Wiki page

# cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/
# cp -a vmmon.tar vmmon-orig.tar
# tar xf vmmon.tar
# cd vmmon-only/linux/
# nano /root/vmmon.patch

Found the patch here

Paste the following into /root/vmmon.patch

diff --git a/vmmon-only/linux/iommu.c b/vmmon-only/linux/iommu.c
index a279a26..9de467b 100644
--- /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmmon-only/linux/iommu.c
+++ /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmmon-only/linux/iommu.c
@@ -153,7 +153,7 @@ IOMMU_SetupMMU(VMLinux *vmLinux, // IN: virtual machine descriptor
map_to = PPN_2_PA(mpn);
map_prot = IOMMU_READ | IOMMU_WRITE;
}
- if ((status = iommu_map_range(vmLinux->iommuDomain,
+ if ((status = iommu_map(vmLinux->iommuDomain,
PPN_2_PA(ppn),
map_to, PAGE_SIZE, map_prot))) {
printk(KERN_ERR "%s: IOMMU Mapping of PPN 0x%x -> MPN 0x%x "
@@ -400,7 +400,7 @@ IOMMU_VMCleanup(VMLinux *vmLinux) // IN: virtual machine descriptor

/* Relinquish the IOMMU domain used by this VM. */
for (ppn = 0; ppn < vmLinux->numPages; ppn++) {
- iommu_unmap_range(vmLinux->iommuDomain, PPN_2_PA(ppn), PAGE_SIZE);
+ iommu_unmap(vmLinux->iommuDomain, PPN_2_PA(ppn), PAGE_SIZE);
}
if (vmLinux->iommuDomain) {
iommu_domain_free(vmLinux->iommuDomain);

# patch -p0 < /root/vmmon.patch
# cd ../../
# tar cf vmmon.tar vmmon-only
# rm -rf vmmon-only

Now we need to do the same for vsock

Download the vsock patch from the linuxinsight posting to /root/vsock.patch

# cd /root
# wget http://www.linuxinsight.com/files/vsock.patch
# nano vsock.patch
# cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/
# cp -a vsock.tar vsoc-orig.tar
# tar xf vsock.tar
# cd vsock-only/linux
# patch -p0 < /root/vsock.patch

patching file af_vsock.c
Hunk #1 succeeded at 3230 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #2 succeeded at 3253 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #3 succeeded at 3265 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #4 succeeded at 3325 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #5 succeeded at 3341 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #6 succeeded at 3375 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #7 succeeded at 3473 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #8 succeeded at 4113 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #9 succeeded at 4150 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #10 succeeded at 4203 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #11 succeeded at 4437 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #12 succeeded at 4477 (offset 9 lines).
Hunk #13 succeeded at 4543 (offset 9 lines).

# cd ../..
# tar cf vsock.tar vsock-only
# rm -rf vsock-only
# vmware-modconfig --console --install-all

Decided to try our old '97 Dodge Caravan to haul the boat from Kelowna. Got a trailer hitch and transmission cooler installed yesterday.

This morning, Victoria and I headed up to Kelowna to pick up the boat. After finishing all the paperwork, getting plates for the trailer and buying some accessories, "Captain John" took us out for a brief spin in Okanagan Lake. It was a lot of fine and it really made me feel much more comfortable with the boat. Great service from Dockside Marine.

My only complaint would be that we weren't all that impressed with how clean the boat was when we picked it up. We were assured that it would be fully detailed. It was reasonably clean but there was a lot of dirt/dust/grit all over her and she really needed a good waxing.

We got the boat out of the water, locked everything down and headed for Penticton with our fingers crossed. Well, we made it just fine. The van worked perfectly.

Then I spent the afternoon washing, waxing and doing some general cleanup on her. She looks much shinier.

Here's some pics.... see if you can spot the bratty girl....

img00010-20100807-1955

img00012-20100807-1955

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