Apr 21 2009

Saturday Morning Zen

On Friday we got a nice amount of snow and during the night to Saturday we got even more. It was way too warm for it to stick long, but Saturday Morning was just gorgeous. Soon after I got up, I put the camera on the wall in front of the house and captured 35 mins of New Mexico Morning Beauty. I speed it up to just a bit over 4 mins. There’s not going to happen a lot in the video below; you’ll just see the sun gently running her fingers across the landscape … (make sure you select HD below otherwise it’ll look like utter rubbish):

Soundtrack is “november” by “raja_ffm” via ccMixter.org.

PS: wish you could see the big version on a big screen …

Apr 11 2009

Chase just lost a customer …

When I recently noted that my United Visa had an annual membership fee of $140, I decided to switch to a no-fee, cash-back card. I applied online for a card with Chase and waited until the new card arrives before canceling the old one. Here’s the letter that arrived in the mail today:

Chase rejection

Within minutes after retrieving the letter from the mailbox I cancel my old Visa card and Chase is not going to see me again.

And in case you are interested: I had my account for eight years. I never had a balance on the card; always paid it off at the end of the month. My limit was upwards of $30K. My credit score (based on information obtained during the last refinance) is in the upper 700s, low 800s.

Something in the credit card business is seriously broken …

Mar 4 2009

Free stuff on craigslist

free on craigslistAfter reading on dangerousmeta that there was another free E-waste event in Santa Fe, I thought it was finally time to get rid of some of my old hardware here.

I had a few desktop systems that were collecting dust in the garage for months already. I had stripped those systems earlier on and had removed all disks, memory and other usable items. On Saturday at noon I packed the whole lot into the car and went over to the drop-off on Siler Road. That place was packed. Tons of old computer hardware was piled up in a huge parking lot and there was quite the line of drivers waiting to drop-off more hardware. When it was my turn, a bunch of volunteer teenagers grabbed the stuff from my trunk faster than I could say “Thank you!”. Hardware was flying through the air and landed with a nice, loud crashing sound on the pile.

I also had a couple of CRT monitors, which were still in working condition and instead of throwing them out, I put them up on Craigslist in the “for sale / free” section. The ad had a note that those items were free, in working condition and for pickup only. Not an hour later I had the first responses to the ad. And that’s were things got weird. Of the first few people who claimed they would come and pick up the stuff, nobody showed up when they said they would. I tried to be fair and respond to people in the order that I received responses, meaning I put the later ones on hold until I heard from the first ones. That was a mistake – I should have just said whoever comes here first is going to get the stuff.

And then there’s also this one guy, who I exchanged 12 (!) emails with. “Are they free?” – “yes!” – “Can you drop them off here?” – “no!” – “Do they work?” – “yes!” – “Are they going to work with my graphics card?” – “no idea – give it a try!” – “Can I return them if they don’t work?” – “ARRRGGGGHH – no!” – and so on and so on … I ignored his last two emails where he asks for even more information.

We have this saying in Germany, which translates to “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. Some people don’t seem to get that …

PS: And there’s really some interesting stuff you find on craigslist these days, like this one

Jan 29 2006

Dream Kitchen Flash Animation

Totally freaking cool Flash animation for IKEA’s Dream Kitchens. You don’t have to understand Swedish to get what’s going on. May take a while to load. Via http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2006/01/dromkok_pt2.html

Sep 29 2005


Where was this thing 2 years ago when Pia was born?

Sep 15 2005

No, please don’t tell me this is for real!

bush writing note to Condi

That was a good laugh this morning. See full photo here and zoom out here. (via http://waxy.org/links/)

Jun 29 2005

Vonage inline installation

After having one heart attack after another when receiving my monthly Qwest phone bills (70 dollars for NOTHING), I decided to give my heart a break and switch over to a Voice-over-IP connection. Vonage to be precise.

The Vonage package arrived soon after I had ordered the service. It contained a manual, some cabling and a Linksys RT31P2 broadband router with two phone ports.
Now with the setup in my home office it was difficult to place the router close to the phone. I had only one Ethernet cable go from the Netgear FVS318 router to my PC. And the phone was right next to the PC. So it would make sense to place the router next to PC and next to phone. Unfortunately the manual does not cover the case where you want to place the Linksys RT31P2 inline *and* still have access to the PC in the same way you had before adding the router.
Here are the before and after scenarios:

I use static DHCP entries on the Netgear router, which means that the PC is still using DHCP to get an IP address, but the Netgear has a MAC->IP address table that always assigns the same IP address to the same MAC address. A poor man’s name server, sort of.

So I connected the Ethernet cable that used to go to the PC to the WAN port of the Linksys and plugged the PC into the first port of the router. I instructed the Linksys to use DHCP to get the WAN IP address:

I used the Linksys’s MAC address in place of the PC’s MAC address on the Netgear router. And finally I enabled the DMZ feature of the Linksys router:

This way all traffic arriving at the Linksys is being forwarded to the DMZ host (my PC).

So far everything is working as expected and all systems on the network can still access the PC as they did before.

Jun 20 2003

ebay “Account Verification” scam / yernadop

This morning my inbox contained an email that claimed it was from ebay (http://www.ebay.com/) and had the subject “EBay Verification”. When I opened the message, it really looked like an ebay email, but when I clicked on the link in the message, I knew that somebody out there was hunting for credit card information.

I decided to collect the information and make sure that everybody who comes here will detect the same scam in the future …
Continue reading

Jun 10 2003

A new star is born

Totally unrelated, but this is an incredible artist with huge potential. Listen to the samples that “Wing” posted on here web site at http://www.wingmusic.co.nz/listen.html. #7 is my absolute favorite. Going to buy her CD right now …