Got mt new Lexmark S515 printer in on the BBTOH, so I set to work installing it. I think Lexmark's programmers were out of Lower Slobovia, but I can tradux Slobovian, so I set to work.
First thing to go gunnysack was Windoze 7, which said I needed updates, 89 of the critical variety. Three hours later, THAT finished and I restarted W7. I hadda feeling I wasn't done, & sho nuff, there are more of those suckaz waiting.
Did I really want to do anything else for the next two days?
Several years ago, the Canon all-in-one printer I had, a Pixma 1500, started telling me that the "ink waste tank is full", and, of course, it stopped working. After reading up about it, I decided just to toss the printer and get a new one. Ka-ching! My Citeh charges a $5 fee to "recycle" such equipment.
Got the new one, a Lexmark S305 which the reviews said was a good basic printer. About $50 for the printer, but it takes somewhat spendy ink cartridges (the real reason they dump these printers on the market so cheap is to keep you buying ink). Now, after two years, the Lexmark is toast. It keeps throwing me a code which says "printhead error". Following the troubleshooter, I cleaned the printhead, but that did not fix the problem. The problem happened with no warning, which is not the failure mode of a wearing-out part on any machine. I suspect that the machine was programmed to fail after x-number of copies, but I can't afford the hi-tech private forensics to prove that. I could plunk down $95 and get a replacement printhead, but if the machine is programmed in failure mode, that won't work and I would have wasted the money.
So, I went to Fry's.com and got another sexy Lexy for $39.99. Add $20 bucks for shipping (costs about $15 gas to drive to Fry's in Wilsonville, and five bucks more for no freeway aggravation is worth it).
There's no way out of this forced-obsolescence racket.
If I could, I'd go back to my old Panasonic dot-matrix printer, which in High Quality mode, printed black-ink copies just fine. I just got tired of putting on ear protection each time I had to use it and tearing off the tractor-ends from the paper.
Merry Christmas! Scam warning! Your RD is getting blitzed at the moment with phony, scambly emails telling me I have packages waiting at FedEx, must push the button to print a label and etc. Didn't push the button, have deleted all. Strangely, FedEx doesn't care enough about this scam to write it up on their customer security page, even though it's apparently been around since August.
In two months, I will have been blogging here for eight years, and will have written close to 4,000 posts. I try not to count chickens before they hatch, or measure water before it runs under the bridge, but still, that's an accomplishment. Too bad there's no widget for blogging into book format. Maybe I should commission one for Droid, then e-reader peeps could read this screed, too.
...sideways attack. On my email addy, the Comcast one for those who use it. The yahulian addy for this blog seems to still be upright. It was the master addy, I have several other ComCrap addys and they weren't hit.
Could be a massive penetration of ComCrap, because there is a monster backlog at the help desk. I intercepted one of the messages, which came from a PA addy on Comcrap (prolly a zombie puter) and it was addressed via me to some business I never used on the Least Coast. There were four others like it, all to different businesses. The evil wizard figured out how to keep ComCrap's security system from notifying me that my password and secrit question had been changed, but the targeted businesses seemed to be well enough protected by the system which didn't let the monster long messages through. They were composed of thousands of words of rambly disconnected sentences in decent English, appearing to be cut and pasted out of some college Lit course.
At first I reset just the P/W, and restored service, but got hijacked a second time, so reset all the security items. Trend Micro hasn't found anything, is about finished with a deep scan. Pretty sure the penetration was at ComCrap, not in my network.
UPDATE 12062012: 0759 PST: Email hacked again overnight, but got through to ComCrap techies this ayem and had a console-change done on the password & PIN, then went online and changed the sooper-secrit question to a different category and used a long alpha-numeric-punctuation-both case string instead of the usual name in one of the name categories. We'll see. If THIS security update holds, we're just dealing with a smart hacker-bot which got into ComCrap's shorts, but if I gets hacked again, we're dealing with a person with some intent, and that person probably reads this blog.
So, Mister Hacker, can you run faster than 1,000 feet per second? You can? Okay then, how about 3,000 feet per second? You DO leave a trail, ya know, and I have that trail safe in standalone memory now. When my urge to end your annoyance gets strong enough, we'll meet face to face, and you won't like what happens next.
First, there was a Samsung Sucks post in which I wrote about my hapless ownership of a Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone, but I mishandled the Blog Editor after I published it, and the post went away some hours after I had published it.
So next, I wrote a proper explanation of why it went away, and the TypePad blog editor STILL hates me, so THAT just went away as well.
BenC, your appropriate comment on what I should do with my Samsung phone and the wireless service it is contracted to also went away, sorry about that, no offense intended. Ben told me to "root" the phone. If you are an Apple Phreak, that's known as "jailbreaking", and basically, you instruct the Android IOS that YOU are the master of it, not the phone company. It voids your phone warranty, but you gain control over your phone, it's apps and it's memory. I'll think about doing that, but I might also upgrade, or I might buy out of the present contract and have a complete do-over to an ordinary dumb-phone, saving myself $1000/year if both I and the gudwife do that.
First thing to note is that the "trustworthy" Adobe Acrobat file, the .PDF, is now vulnerable again. All hail the dot PeeDeeEff. It would have died an un-noticed death years ago if not for the dot-gov, which adopted it for all their accessibility, such as it is or isn't.
Next, I recently got a phishing email that purported to be an E-Ticket receipt from American Airlines. I was supposed to just download the E-Ticket, print out my ticket, and go to Ohio. Definitely a scam, as a brief Google search revealed, and I noted that the "ticket" was for a flight which occurred over 5 months ago. Probably wasn't even a proper flight number, either, but I didn't go so far as to look it up. There was an attached .rar file, and I believe those are zipped files that are notorious for containing malware.
Then, I got a warning from "my email webmaster" or some similar title I'd never heard of, that a title company in Decatur Georgia, Origin Title, was trying to contact me and had failed. I got three of those phony notifications. No clue here as to what that was about, but I did look up the title company, they exist, and are even well-known in Georgia, and seem to have no connection to scamming. They also have no connection to ME (my property title is held by Chase Bank and is not up for modification, so I don't need a title company at this moment), so into the trash they went, and then I emptied the trash can for good measure.
I've recently made a habit of emptying the trash can for email VERY often, sometimes twice a day. I used to let it go for days to weeks, the puter has such huge storage, but there's a downside: if the messages are still on the server at my ISP, my smartass devices will pick them up when I tell them to look for new mail, or when they check on their own schedule. I then see the same old messages again and again.
You don't suppose that this recent surge in scamming activity has anything to do with the huge email address books prepared by the various political candidates for their use in the past election, do you?
I just beat down a spam-comment attack of several dozen spam comments.
I can't determine if Six Apart, the blogging parent of Typepad, has let down their spam-shields, or whether somehow it's connected to Yahoo!, which seems to have turned up it's toes just now.
My only recourse at this point is to do maximum anti-spam actions, which include the dreaded "Captcha" system again, and comment moderation.
I hope that this will be temporary, so if Typepad gets it's act together and blocks most of the spams again, I can relax these restrictions, but if not, they'll have to stay. Having to sit here for long periods deleting dozens of spam comments is not my idea of the fun that blogging is supposed to be.
If prospective commenters really don't want to mess with Captcha, just email me at perspacatyahoodotcom and I will publish your comment directly from my computer, smartphone or tablet, I always have one of those nearby. Unless I get REALLY distracted, I will publish moderated comments no less than three times per day, and likely more. When emailing, please give the permalink of the post you want the comment to go to. Just click on "permalink", right next to where you clicked on "comment".
UPDATE: 110212 PDT: Okay, no further spam, one of the two measures, either the Captcha or the moderation is keeping it out, and since I haven't had any spam accumulating in my email box, I will remove moderation and see if the Captcha will keep the spammers at bay. BTW, Six Apart admitted that they were overwhelmed, it wasn't just me, so there's a new spam-bot out there that's getting by their initial shields.
OMFG, I went to sleep, it seems, just woke up and the whole effing world has changed. The Marine Navigation world, that is.
I started, electronically, in about 1986 with a simple GPS, a trusty Garmin Model XL12, and it still works fine, despite the fact that it's software is 15 years out of date, at least. I could fix that if I wanted to, but I still wouldn't have a WAAS-enabled receiver, so what's the point? Lipstick on a pig. If navigating to within 13 feet isn't good enough on the water, I have a problem that can't be fixed by GPS.
The previous State of the Art for boat navigation was a GPS-Chart-Plotter, a GPS with a larger display (4" and up to 12" or so) which overlaid the GPS position on top of a Marine Chart. On that display, the NOAA Marine Charts would be displayed (when you bought them, at first by the each, then by groups). This was expensive tech, and I didn't go for it, because a 9" Chartplotter, with West Coast charts added, was about $1200, plus installation, for a total of probably $1500.
Then came the "glass-cockpit" types of instruments, which incorporated the sonar (fish-finder), your radar (If you had one, I don't) the GPS and the Chart Plotter. Most of this equipment was made with 12" displays, and it cost up to $2,000, and was permanent-mount (you couldn't move it once installed). I admired, I drooled, but I didn't get it, too $pendy.
This is about when I fell asleep, I guess, under a spreading chestnut tree (the Village Smithy used to be there, but was banned because it used coal to fire it's forge, so now it's a City Park). I digress.
I just woke up.
I read an article in BoatUS Magazine (very good outfit, I buy their insurance for my boat) talking about smartphone apps for boaters. I let my fingers do the walking, and I found that:
Chart plotters are totally outmoded, have been replaced by smartphones and tablets for display of Marine Navigation data.
Someone broke the back of the "C-Chart" robber barons who used to charge, say, $200 just for charts of the Columbia River. If you had equipment that used their charts-on-chips, you might pay well over $1,000 to have charts from San Francisco to Alaska, and maybe not all of Alaska. A $15 app now has all NOAA Marine charts of the entire USA!
For less than $50, I have put everything I will ever need on my Motorola Xoom Tablet, a very useful 10.1" display, with 32gb of internal and 32gb of SD card storage. It has Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) upgrade, 1gb of Ram, and a dual-core microprocessor. I run Verizon's 4G on it, and have coverage on the entire Lower Columbia. It has an ecellent GPS receiver in it (it's a Motorola, and they build good, if $pendy, stuff), and a bright HD display, with good sound projection (actually has .75" speakers that will fill a quiet room with sound). I paid $200 for the tablet earlier this year, and $40/month for the data package.
Guess what else you can do on a tablet, if you want to lay out more shekels? You can outfit your boat with sensors (the kit runs $500 to $750), and remotely control things from afar, and see what the security cameras see (without paying NobelTec's primo $800 price for their software, which won't work on the Droid, anyway). An example of this tech: you set the perimeter guard (GPS box) at your mooring, turn it on and leave. Someone steals your boat, and by the time they back it out of your slip, they have broken the box perimeter, so the system sends a message to your phone. When the message pops up, you hit "disable engines", and the boat is dead in the water. If you know your moorage area, you can wait enough time before killing the engines that the boat will be disabled in open water (you see that on the cameras, which you are viewing over the 'Net). The coordinates of the boat pop up, and you call the authorities. If the thief hasn't been smart enough to get his skanky ass off your boat and swim for it, the boarding party from the Sheriff's Marine Patrol or the US Coast Guard let him have a look at an AR or two, or maybe an MG-240, and off to the pokey he goes, while your boat gets towed to safety. the sensors can be installed to work any boat's system, such as your heating or reverse-cycle air conditioning, so you can have your boat all comfy by the time you get from your drudge-day to your boat to salvage your sanity.
Yep, real glad I woke up. There's some hi-tech out there, and it's ready for YOUR boat.
OK, here's the problem. I have a business account with a national company which I will not identifiy here, but suffice it to say, they don't have world-class coverage outside of the Big Citehs. They have a few "partners", but the partnerships are few and far between.
My instrument is a Samsung Galaxy IIS, and I have NOT changed it's Android system (yet). Up at the Hitchin' on the Hill this weekend, I was able to get a little coverage through a fly-by-night outfit called "Unicel", but there was AT&T coverage of maximum strength voice and 4-bars data (3G) all over the area. I tried to manually roam, and the phone told me that AT&T was out there, but when I tried to force roaming, the phone told me that my "sim card does not allow un-registered roaming".
Question One: Is there a bootleg SIM card which WILL allow it? One that would be undetectable to my carrrier? Secondly, can I "jailbreak" the phone and make it so I can force it to manually roam?
Question Two: Is this a Don Quixote quest? Am I tilting at windmills here? It will cost me a bunch of moolah to dump my present contract, so would I be money ahead to just get a Clear phone or TracPhone and keep it for those times when my business carrier lets me down? That will entail giving everyone a second phone number.