Jul 292007
 

Since one or more of my friends do it, I figured I’d return the favor and start doing this myself.  From Friday5.org, this week’s Friday 5:

  1. What are your nicest and ugliest articles of clothing?
    Nicest: I have a black blazer and a pair of dark grey pants to go with it.  I wear them rarely.
    Ugliest: I have a pair of shorts I’ve never worn that I bought back in the days when big & tall meant “ugly as hell.”  They’re actually basically cut-off dress slacks.  Ug-ly!
  2. What are your favorite and least-favorite things about the city/town you live in?
    Favorite: My wife is happy here.
    Least favorite: Can’t get good Mexican food in this area.
  3. What were the longest and shortest durations of your romantic relationships?
    Longest: with my wife; we’ve been together for over 12 years (married for over 11 of them).
    Shortest: with my wife; she was my first romantic relationship.
  4. Who are the oldest and youngest people in your family?
    Oldest: My grandmother on my father’s side, I think.
    Youngest: My daughter Sophie; age 2.
  5. Who are your neatest and messiest friends?
    Neatest: I have no neat friends.
    Messiest: Um… too close to call.
 Posted by at 1:48 AM
Jul 272007
 

What kind of person would intentionally sabotage a component headed for the International Space Station?  There’s no logic behind it.  Nobody benefits from it.  It’s simply an act of someone trying to cause problems.

It’s been suggested that this sabotage of a low-priority component could have been a dry run toward the day when a more serious attempt is made.  That’s a spooky thought.  But it makes sense.

Fortunately, the culprit sabotaged both the flight unit and the lab’s test unit, so when the problem was found in the test unit they were able to alert NASA and discover that the flight unit had the same sabotage inflicted upon it.

The capacity for wrongdoing that some people clearly have never fails to astound me.

 Posted by at 12:36 PM
Jul 272007
 

Apple has agreed to replace the iMac.  Yay!  Once the paperwork is all processed and they have confirmation that the old one is on the way back to them, they’ll be sending us a 2.16 GHz iMac Core 2 Duo with 2 GB of memory and upgraded VRAM.  We’re buying a couple of upgrades, but otherwise it’s just a replacement.

Since my performance needs are higher than Sarah’s, she’s agreed that it makes sense for my current Core Duo iMac to become hers, and the new one to replace it on my desk.  Woohoo!

 Posted by at 10:30 AM
Jul 262007
 

My wife’s iMac is screwed up.  Again.  I’ve been a little busy dealing with that today, since the AppleCare expires in a little over a month and we’re therefore pretty desperate to get this dealt with promptly.  That tells you how long we’ve had it (just shy of 3 years now).

It’s already had the hard drive replaced (3 times).  The logic board replaced.  The power supply and inverter replaced.  New memory.  Now it’s crashing at random and failing SMART tests in TechTool Pro.

The person at Apple that Sarah’s been talking to apparently thinks the memory needs to be replaced.  There’s of course no way that bad memory can cause SMART errors, since those are errors reported directly by the hard disk.

Apple is supposed to call back in about an hour.  They want to know the final results of the TechTool Pro tests before they decide what to do next.  I don’t think the test results are relevant.  The fact is that some flaw with this machine — a heat-related problem would be my guess — is gradually destroying components over time, causing repeated and worsening failures.

After all these problems, it’s really time for Apple to own up and admit that this unit is a total lemon and to replace it.  With only a few weeks to go until the extended warranty expires, it’s the logical thing to do.  We’re quite convinced that even if they manage to make it work again, we’ll wind up with it failing again in a few more weeks or months, and then we’ll be screwed because the warranty’s gone.

Enough is enough.

 Posted by at 1:56 PM
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 Posted by at 1:16 PM
Jul 132007
 

I’ve been spending the last few days poking through the existing documents about Places, and while there are rough spots, it’s actually not bad at all.  I’m going on vacation next week, but when I get home, it will be time to hunker down and start turning that material into our official MDC-grade documentation, complete with formal reference documents.

I wonder if anyone else is glad that the July 31 release has been renamed to alpha 7 instead of beta 1.  My official documentation plan calls for the Places docs to be done by beta 1 — this buys me extra time!  Woohoo!

 Posted by at 1:11 PM