Category Archives: Technology and Software

Resuscitating my iPod

I never knew the iPod also has a sad face until a week ago. After a frustrating day of skipped songs, no response to any buttons I pushed, when I tried to restart my ipod….all I got was the sad Mac face. i hadn’t seen one of those in ages. It’s the mac equivalent of the bluescreen of death on a PC. Worse than that I also made this sadder clicking sound which is referred to in the blogs as ‘the click of death’

I ignored it for a week…thinking that if i don’t acknowledge it, perhaps it just might fix itself. After a week of listening to the radio, I decided it was high time to tackle the problem head on.

I could go to the url that my iPod displayed….but I doubted I would find anything useful. I searched the blogs 🙂

I found a great link that basically told me to take the iPod apart and ‘shake’ the hard drive, the reason being that i would have to buy a new one anyway, why not just give it one last do or die attempt. Josh Highland’s blog has a really detailed page that talks you through taking apart an ipod.

I had my screwdriver in hand…but I just couldn’t open it! I went back online….and came across another solution. Purposely dropping your ipod on the floor (it’s screwed anyways…right?) or alternately hitting it really hard on a table.

Oh the low-tech- ness of it all. Like kicking your computer when it fails to boot up. Am I supposed to believe that hitting my beautiful slim elegant piece of high technology against my desk will bring it back to life? Well what did I have to lose. I hit it against a notepad hard (so it wouldn’t dent my desk) a few times for good measure. I powered it on….and voila. its so stupid…but it actually worked.

I guess i don’t need a new iPod just yet.


Help…my email is down

So for the past 4 or 5 days, my email has been on the blitz and achingly slow. That is until yesterday when it finally gave up on me and I was stranded in incommunicado land. When all your business depends on email, this is no joke. Especially when I am notorious for telling people not to call me, that is the best way. URGGHHH.

I recently switched to dreamhost based on several recommendations. After trying to control my symptoms of email withdrawal, I sent an email to support. i got back an automated response that suggested that I should check out the status page for immediate updates on the “severity: medium” situation. 9 pages (all within the timespan of 2 hours) of ANGRY people with nothing to do except vent and hit refresh on the page for the next update. I have to say…its quite fascinating. Ahhh I like NA for email. (angry,vindictive, full of swear words and the occasion tears)

Here are some choice excerpts:

message from DreamHost:

Problem with central services (panel,webmail, etc..) and spunky cluster

We are currently experiencing problems with one of our internal firewall machines that is causing problems with our central services connecting to our customer database. This problem is expected to be fixed within 20 minutes, we apologize for the trouble and will update this post as soon as it is resolved or more information becomes available as to the cause.

“This entry was posted 1 hour, 5 minutes ago on Tuesday, March 25th, 2008 at 1:12 pm…

20 minutes eh?

oh, and I love how the title makes the problem seem somewhat insignificant… until you realize the the etc part actually means AND EVERYTHING ELSE.”

“All of my web sites… 30 of them, and nn subdomains are down…great job boys and girls :sarcasm:”

“Hey, if you Dreamhost guys are reading this I’d really like to be able to use my website today. Please get it together. Thanks.”

“we’re all mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed 5hit”

“OMG MY SITE IS DOWN!!!! oh wait, it’s just a blog….eh”

“Lol, they say that the panel is working well who gives a fuck about the panel, that’s not what my website is you douche bags, my website is the website, not things on your end. Don’t bother updating with ‘Our business is safe, now on to yours, idiots.’ we really don’t care about how you guys are doing we want OUR sites to work.”

“Get what you pay for. This is what happens when you shop at the dollar store.”

 Well..let’s just say I’m glad its just my site on there and not my client sites. I may shop at the dollar store…but i don’t have my client’s shop there 🙂

Online security … do we have to worry?

I woke up this morning and read two articles. One was from Fast Company regarding Mint a ‘Quicken’ killer that strives to make balancing your checkbook ‘fun’ well if not fun then at least less painful. Its all online, you put in all your banking and credit card data, it mines it all and then voila puts it all in one place and automatically categorizes them. The second article I read was Wired’s “Why ‘Anonymous’ Data Sometimes Isn’t” by Bruce Schneider. In his article he talked about how little information is actually needed to de-anonymize data.

Using public anonymous data from the 1990 census, Latanya Sweeney found that 87 percent of the population in the United States, 216 million of 248 million, could likely be uniquely identified by their five-digit ZIP code, combined with their gender and date of birth. About half of the U.S. population is likely identifiable by gender, date of birth and the city, town or municipality in which the person resides.

It’s scary. On one hand you have the benefits of utility and efficiency, on the other hand you have security. It’s the reason why my mom refuses to use a credit card or ATM card. It exposes her to more risk. Incredulous, I exclaim “… but its so convenient. Why do you want to rely on CASH?” (It’s so old school) Maybe I am part of the old generation now and it’s the ‘kids’ that will look at me with their mouths hanging open and ask me ‘What do you mean you don’t do your finances online?”

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DrupalCamp LA

drupalcampla_small.jpgI signed up for drupalCamp LA despite that little nagging voice in my head that tormented me with questions regarding my level of geekiness. At least in Flash conferences there were also designers and non-developers who did not speak in conditionals and booleans. Am i ‘man’ enough for drupalCamp? Upon entering, I discovered that ‘man enough’ is actually quite literal. As one presenter nudged me later in the day, and stage whispered, us-girls have got to stick together!

20070908-21- DrupalCamp LA Part3
Originally uploaded by roland.

DrupalCamp LA was held in AOL’s Beverly Hills digs. Beautiful common areas with funny sci-fi looking white and orange seats that surely must be used to brainwash all visitors. The cubes and chairs in the cubes were top class. I mean, if you have to work in a cube, it might as well look nice…right?

In the spirit of open source and un-conferences…there was a lot of chipping in and camaraderie. So if it means that there is a lot of standing around, general confusion and spontaneous changing of tracks, rooms and presenters, it was all done in good spirit and cheer.

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Social Network Whore

A couple of weeks ago, after receiving yet another linkedin invitation that was about to expire, I started wondering if it was too late for me to begin and really what I had to gain from it. Was I in danger of becoming obsolete? My husband says to me, “Hey its the perfect time for you. You just moved, you might find it useful in getting a job.” Really? Hmmm… (he has 151 connections) A colleague of mine has been going on about FaceBook for the past few months. “FaceBook is the future. Everyone is leaving MySpace…etc. etc.” I had my brief foray into social networking with Friendster a couple of years back (has it really been 4 years?) when Friendster was really hip (and the new thing) That seemed like such a dating site. Frankly I didn’t understand the point of it. Would anything be different 4 years later with FaceBook and LinkedIn? Is it too late for me to join in? What about all the other invitations I have gotten…Twitter? Doppler? Some wierd Asian site? Most importantly…is it worth my time?


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133k H-1B visa applications submitted in 2 days

That’s the front page headline of Information week (April 9,2007) Yes, I admit I am not the most current blogger around 🙂 I just received a notice that my greencard application has been received. Staying in this country has been a 10 year struggle. If you are American, you have no idea of the trauma and stress this involves (unless you are involved intimately with an alien..and not the flying green kind)

Its one of my pet peeves. Its a constant topic of discussion between foreigners living in the US. Every time we meet, ultimately the issue comes up. What’s your status? What kind of visa do you have? How much time do you have? What are your plans? When that 6 year H1-B limitations came up, I saw many of my friends leave the country. It was just too hard to stay. We are all tax paying people (most likely contributing more than 70% of the general population) We contribute to social security and unemployment knowing that most likely we will never see the benefits. We live in a state of impermanence unable to make long term plans.
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YouTube banned in Thailand

youtubelogo.jpgSo Thailand has been hitting the headlines a lot recently. What ever happened to those quiet days when you never heard about Thailand and was quite happy to be from the country with good food, good weather and good boxing? (oh alright…good prostitutes)

So YouTube has been banned in Thailand? Why? A video of the showing the defacing of a King’s picture and later that same person stomping on it has been posted. After reading the post on DailyTech (which was not so surprising) I read the comments by the readers. At this point my thoughts are racing. Yes, I am upset here’s why.
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