giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
When I got back from Dorsai Thing a few weeks back, I saw a kernel panic on my iMac, so I tried rebooting it. Upon rebooting it, the screen stayed black and no sounds came from the speakers, nor did the Caps Lock light turn on on the keyboard when I pressed the key. So I took the machine out of service and made a note to open it up at some point.

I finally got around to opening up the machine today, and I found what the problem was:

Blown capacitors

It's quite clear that at least 3 of the capacitors blew out. I'm not clear how this happened, I know that excessive heat can do it but the fans on the system work just fine and there was no excess buildup of dust when I removed the back cover. And I could understand one capacitor failing, but 3 at once? That just doesn't make any sense to me.

Oh well, the machine was old, and served me well for the nearly 6 years that I had it. I'll just stick with my newer machines for now.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I had a pretty interesting day with AT&T on Sunday:

- No Internet connectivity on my iPhone
- My phone did not ring with an incoming call from my parents
- I could not retrieve the voicemail that was left for me
- Attempts to call my parents back resulted in the call being dropped no less than 3 times.

And this was all in 5 minutes.

Since my contract with AT&T had expired a couple of weeks before that (and I had an iPhone 3G, which really showed its age with IOS 4.1), I figured it was time to get a newer/faster phone, and fire AT&T as my cellphone company at the same time. One short walk to the Apple Store later, and this is the result:

Dear AT&T: YOU'RE FIRED!

I find that Verizon's service is much nicer than AT&T's was. No random cases of the Internet not working here, the performance is quite consistent no matter where in the suburbs or city I am.

Having a phone that does video is nice, too. :-)
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
After setting up a new iMac for my mother ([livejournal.com profile] music4fun) last weekend, I liked it so much that I went and bought one of my own. You can see it below, next to my old clunky Gigaware keyboard:

Apple's Flat Keyboard

So, what's to like?

For starters, the keyboard takes up less desk space than my old keyboard. Also, there are two low power USB ports on the underside of the keyboard, which let me unplug my mouse from the back of my iMac. (Yes, the Gigaware keyboard really did not have USB ports on it)

If you look closely at the function keys, they have symbols on them for common desks, such as starting/stopping music, firing up Dashboard, etc. I have no idea if these work on a PC (I'll test at the office soon), but it works great on my ancient G5 iMac. And it seems stupid, but I actually find myself making use of these keys because they're so darn convenient.

The keys are very short. Whereas the average keyboard has keys that stick out of the keyboard up to 1/4 of an inch, I measured these keys, and I would say they're closer to 1/16th of an inch. If you're a fast touch typist, this is a big boon because less effort to press each key == faster typing speeds.

The gaps between the keys are almost non-existent. This is awesome if you're like me and eat meals at your desk. No more nasty crumbs that fall between the keys and cause nasty things to come out when you turn the keyboard upside down and shake it. (No, I've never done that to co-workers, why do you ask?)

What's NOT to like?

Something that takes getting used to is the fact that the keyboard is very low to the desk. I'm used to "feeling my way across the keyboard" because it's so high from the desk. With this one, it's much more difficult to do that. However, I found myself adjusting to the height difference even while typing this post.

Apple's Flat Keyboard Apple's Flat Keyboard Apple's Flat Keyboard

The Apple Keyboard currently sells for $49.99 and can be snagged from Apple's online store, or at any of their physical Apple Stores.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I had some furs over last night for a little get together. I ended up underestimating interest and had a total of 11 guests. Anyone who has seen my living room knows that 12 people jammed into it means it is pretty well packed. I'll post pictures later.

Had a bit of stress on Sunday when I woke up to find my iMac G5 non-functional. Seems that it blew another power supply. That's twice in 2 years. Based on Davin's advice, I packed it up and carried it down the road to the Apple Store. Apple's silly little concierge system said that they would be unable to see me until Tuesday, but the nice folks at the apple store put me on "standby", which involved me sitting around at the Genius Bar for about 20 minutes until the tech became available. Once he was able to take a look at my Mac and verify that the power supply was bad, he replaced it on the spot and my machine worked again.

The good news is that I had 5 months left on my AppleCare plan. The bad news is that I was hoping to get another 2 years out of this machine. I'm going to be grumpy if I have to replace the power supply a third time. (I've never blown a power supply on a PC. Not even the generic boxen I bought in years past.)

Other than that, things are going well. Got my apartment cleaned up and booze put away. (somehow I'm left with more than what I had to begin with..) I'm looking forward to getting back to my day job tomorrow.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
So, I'm coming up on the 3-year anniversary of buying my Powerbook, and this means that my Applecare is about to run out.

Since this is a first for me, I figured I'd ask if anyone has any suggestions for when it finally does run out. Can it be renewed? Are there other companies that provide similar coverage to aging laptops? I would gladly pay another $300 for the machine to be covered against hardware defects for the next 3 years, rather than risk a dead main board setting me back $500 or more.

I did search on Google, of course, but the results were inconclusive. :-/
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
"Think Different" when performing in the company talent show.

If you've ever worked tech support, especially phone-based tech support, you'll be able to relate to this guy:

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giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Douglas Muth

April 2012

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