Archive for the 'Life' Category
November 3rd, 2007
Earlier in the week, I came across ProQuo, a new site that promises to allow you to unsubscribe from all those annoying fliers, preapproved credit card offers, and other crap that piles up in your mailbox. I decided to try the site out and registered (it’s free). Overall, it was pretty cool. Once you register, they show you a list of…well, lists…that you can unsubscribe from. For some, all you have to do is click a button and ProQuo will send your request to whoever maintains the database. For others, they send you directly to the source (like the DMA) and you handle unsubscribing on the source’s site. Note that not all the sources allow you to unsubscribe online; for some, you have to mail them a request to be removed. All in all, removing my name from about 10 lists was pretty easy. Now I’ll have to just wait and see if I notice a decrease in the amount of junk mail I receive.
There’s also a site called GreenDimes which promises to do a similar thing but costs $15 for their removal kit.
September 9th, 2007
Last Monday night, I returned from a Labor Day vacation in Tahoe. Before I went to bed, I ran a full backup of my MacBook Pro using SuperDuper (I try to back up my Mac once a week in the event of a crash). When I woke up Tuesday morning, I tried to quit SuperDuper but it appeared frozen. I then tried to shut down the computer but the entire operating system appeared frozen (the mouse still moved but nothing would respond). So, I forced a power off by holding down the power button. When I powered the computer back on, all I got was a gray screen with a blinking folder icon with a question mark in the middle. My Mac was hosed!
After work on Tuesday, I took my MacBook Pro to the Genius Bar at the Apple store. The Genius took a look at it for about two minutes and then told me that the computer was no longer under warranty (it had been a year and two months since I bought it) and that the problem was most likely with the hard drive or the logic board. He said if it was a hard drive problem, it would be much cheaper to have it fixed by a local repair shop than send it Apple and referred me to a local Apple-certified repair shop. I took my lifeless Mac in the next morning and a few hours later, they had a new hard drive in it.
When I got home, I installed the operating system from the original install DVDs and then went to find my SuperDuper drive image on an external hard drive. At first, I was a little confused how to restore the image and it took me a little while to realize I had to boot into the OS installer and then open Disk Utility from there. However, when I opened Disk Utility from the install DVD, I wasn’t able to drag the drive image (the user interface requires you to drag the image, there’s no other way to select it). After searching around for a bit online (I luckily had my work laptop with me), I found out that there’s a bug in Disk Utility on some of the OS X Install DVDs. Luckily I know my way around the command line so I opened the terminal and used Apple’s asr to restore the drive image using the command asr restore -s
The restore took about an hour and a half and when it finished, I rebooted my Mac and the OS immediately loaded. I’ve been using the restored image for a week now and everything seems to have worked perfectly with the backup and restore except for some font caching issues which were easy to clean up using Yasu.
I’m just glad that the backup and restore process worked so flawlessly. Let this be a lesson to all of you. Back up your computer often!
May 15th, 2007
Last week I went to the NCTA convention in Las Vegas for work. The show got off to a violent start with the a bomb exploding in the Luxor parking lot and the head of HBO’s arrest for hitting his girlfriend (a very stupid thing to do the eve of a cable show let alone at all). Anyway, I stayed at Mandalay Bay (where the convention was held) which is a great hotel. They have a swimming pool that creates its own waves and their own sandy beach. While I was there, I also had my shot of 15 seconds of Internet fame when I met the guy from Justin.tv, a site that broadcasts this guy’s life live 24/7. So, of course I was on the site for the 5 or so minutes he talked with us. I don’t want to post a link to the video here but for those who know me personally, email me and I’ll send you the archive information to look it up.
This week it’s back to work in LA.
April 26th, 2007
The car I drive isn’t registered to me. It’s a long story which I don’t want to go into right now but recently I’ve decided I should probably get the title transfered over to me so I started researching how to do that. Luckily, the California Department of Motor Vehicles Web site is full of useful information, especially this nugget from their FAQ:
Q: What if I cannot remember the name of the person to whom I sold or transferred the vehicle?
A: You may put “unknown” in the new buyer’s name and address fields
Other than Tony Soprano, who sells a car and doesn’t know the name of the person the car was sold to or forgets his/her name four days after the sale (by law, the seller is required to notify the DMV of the sale within 4 days)?