Log in

feed me
The life of a continually poor, hungry, and tired grad student.
Recent Entries 
21st-Nov-2007 03:02 am - More Microsoft bugs
I just gave Microsoft Money Plus a spin after using Microsoft Money for many years (2006 is the latest version I used). It upgraded my Money file to the new format, started up the application, and promptly gave me the following informative error message:

"This operation cannot be performed"

Hmmm. I had two options: "Ok" and "More Info". Clicking "More Info" gives me yet another informative web page:
which says, "We're sorry. There is no additional information about this issue in the Error and Event Log Messages or Knowledge Base databases at this time."

Hmmm. So I tried clicking "Ok". The program continued loading, and popped up this message again. And again. And again. 10 times later, it finally finished loading and I could do my finances. But it seems that every time I open MS Money, I will have to enter my password and click "Ok" 10 times before starting. Ugh.

However, thanks to Google, I found the solution. Apparently, the conversion corrupts the Budget, so deleting my Budget (which had all kinds of funky characters in it) has stopped this error message from appearing.

Is it too much to ask for more informative error messages? Or maybe file repair options that actually work? (MS Money has the option to repair your data file, but it did not detect or fix this problem)

As my cubemate pondered, how did we ever live without Google?
7th-Jul-2007 12:02 pm - Another reason to love Sprint

"Our records indicate that over the past year, we have received frequent calls from you regarding your billing or other general account information. While we have worked to resolve your issues and questions to the best of our ability, the number of inquiries you have made to us during this time has led us to determine that we are unable to meet your current wireless needs. Therefore, after careful consideration, the decision has been made to terminate your wireless service agreement effective July 30, 2007. This will allow you to pursue and engage with another wireless carrier."

... or maybe this is a good way to get out of a multi-year agreement with Sprint? :/
6th-Jul-2007 01:47 am - Interesting things in my life
My life is typically boring. Here are two random things of note from today:

1. I got back my MacBook after dropping it off to get everything repaired before the warranty expired. One thing I asked them to look at was the optical drive. It seems to be rather sensitive to scratched media, to the point where it would not read CDs that my ThinkPad could without a hiccup.

Anyway, while it was off for repair, Apple released a firmware update for certain optical drives that improved the readability of certain discs. I wasn't sure if that update would help me or not, but I was hoping to give it a shot if Apple's tech support couldn't find anything.

When I got back my laptop, I assumed they didn't fix it. However, when I got home and tried to install the firmware update, I was told I didn't need it. Initially dismayed that perhaps my overly sensitive drive was actually considered normal, I checked the firmware version of the drive and realized that: a) my drive is one of the drives that needed the firmware update, and b) the Apple techs did look at it and performed the firmware update for me.

So I excitedly tried the CD that previously choked on my MacBook. No problems at all. I even tried a DVD that makes both my PS2 and my friend's laptop choke at a certain point. Now my MacBook somehow plays it without a hiccup.

I am happy.

2. I recently made some Chinese buns (known as "baos") (pic here, here, and here). I had some leftover that I brought home from school in two ziplock bags that were placed inside my canvas bag.

When I came home today from the Apple Store, I found two ziplock bags on the ground that had huge gashes in them. Smelling them, I could tell that at some point, I had placed my baos in these bags. I figured that I might have ripped them apart to get at the contents, possibly because I was transferring them to other bags (even though I don't actually remember *ever* doing this). Then I realized, wait why would I do this, these are ziplock bags after all, I could just open the top. I checked my canvas bag to see if the bags with the baos were still in there, and... the answer was no.

My new roommate, for those of you who don't know it, has a dog. I usually keep my door closed when I'm not home, but I'm starting to think that at some point, I must have forgotten. And the dog found the baos and ripped the bags open and consumed them.

I now worry that the dog will either be sick (the baos were starting to get stale, and plus its not food he's used to) or took them and hid them somewhere where my roommate or I might find them months later :(.
10th-May-2007 09:48 pm - WTF
I read this article recently in NY Times:

Summary: 13-year old spelling bee wiz (who looks like a 30 year old with that mustache) is upset that parents were denied asylum in US and is motivated to win spelling bee so that he gets more media coverage and ... somehow is able to sway the US government to let his parents back into the US.

Now, I'm typically a fan of the coverage they have on NY Times, but this article seems kinda stupid... sounds like some sort of sob story for some young spelling genius who lost his parents. In any case, it seems kinda silly that a spelling bee champion would be able to dictate whether his parents get to immigrate into the country or not.

Then I looked into it further, and this is what I found: the appeal for political asylum that his parents filed.

Quote from this:
When Sah lived in India, he was active in a group called Vishwa Hindu Parishad (Vishwa). Vishwa, according to Sah, is an organization committed to Hindu nationalism. In his 1991 asylum application, Sah stated that Vishwa was "fighting to demolish Babri Mosque," a mosque in southern India, because "[t]his mosque is built on our sacred land." R. 148. In fact, in 1992, after Sah had already come to the United States, Hindu extremists rioted and destroyed the mosque. In his asylum application, Sah noted that he "took a very active part in organizing and conducting [anti-mosque] meeting[s]" and that he "actively participated in the riots to [attempt to] demolish the Babri Mosque."

Hmmmm. According to this post, "Vishwa eventually succeeded in destroying the mosque in 1992, causing religious riots that killed 900 people."

I see. So this kid is upset because the US denied asylum for his Hindu parents, who were involved in persecuting people of another faith and would not be safe in a country where there are at least 800 million other Hindus?

Uh. Right. And now they are trying to get some sort of publicity stunt going on the basis that they were here for fifteen years waiting for the asylum application to go through?

Geez. Apparently though, NY Times isn't the only one; a bunch of other US newspapers are carrying this crap.
8th-May-2007 01:32 pm - I <3 Robots
I often post pretty negative links. Here is something that is more positive :).


Quote from Washington Post:

The bots even show elements of "personality," Bogosh says. "Every robot has its own little quirks. You sort of get used to them. Sometimes you get a robot that comes in and it does a little dance, or a karate chop, instead of doing what it's supposed to do." The operators "talk about them a lot, about the robot doing its mission and getting everything accomplished." He remembers the time "one of the robots happened to get its tracks destroyed while doing a mission." The operators "duct-taped them back on, finished the mission and then brought the robot back" to a hero's welcome.

Near the Tigris River, operators even have been known to take their bot fishing. They put a fishing rod in its claw and retire back to the shade, leaving the robot in the sun.

Of the fish, Bogosh says, "Not sure if we ever caught one or not."
2nd-Feb-2007 06:27 pm - I <3 cell phone companies
Fortunately, this time its not my cell phone company. Stupid Sprint.


By the way, does anyone know what the difference between a "state-mandated tax" and an "optional surcharge" is (mentioned in the first article)? Is the former a tax that government requires to be collected from the consumer, whereas the latter a tax for the business that is "optionally" passed onto the consumer?

Would the latter mean that you could cancel the contract since they are changing the terms of your contract? In other words, if you decline an "optional surcharge", what happens?
31st-Jan-2007 09:11 pm - Funny news day
From http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/01/us/politics/01biden.html:
Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, who announced his candidacy on Wednesday with the hope that he could ride his foreign policy expertise into contention for the Democratic nomination, instead spent the day struggling to explain his description of Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat running for president, as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

The remark, published Wednesday in The New York Observer, left Mr. Biden’s campaign struggling to survive its first hours and injected race more directly into the presidential contest. The day ended, appropriately enough for the way politics is practiced now, with Mr. Biden explaining himself to Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

From http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/31/technology/31vista.html:
About nine hours later at the Best Buy in Midtown, several Microsoft employees, store clerks and journalists on hand heavily outnumbered actual customers at a promotional event featuring Microsoft’s chief executive, Steven A. Ballmer, who appeared with two Vista beta testers.

One customer from Long Island, 22-year-old Roberta Mayer, said she just happened to be in the store and had been unaware of the event. She and her brother, Rodolfo, 23, came to buy two Hewlett-Packard laptops with Vista but were not expecting to talk to CNN reporters and others about why they were shopping.
21st-Jan-2007 03:51 am - Hahaha
“I don’t think [President Bush] understands the world,” Mr. Rockefeller said. “I don’t think he’s particularly curious about the world. I don’t think he reads like he says he does.”

He added, “Every time he’s read something he tells you about it, I think.”

- From http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/20/washington/20intel.html
This page was loaded Feb 26th 2017, 12:37 pm GMT.