Stephanie, AKA “Mom”

Posted in General on May 20th, 2010 by srhuston – Be the first to comment

My wife has had a website for some time, and updates it infrequently.  Recently she started to get the bug to post more than just status updates on Facebook, and started a new site: Stephanie, AKA Mom.  Chock full of family goodness, recipes, money saving tips, and all other sorts of things my wife decides to tackle.  Go read it, subscribe to the RSS feed, send her comments and ideas and all that.  Tell her I sent you.

Going Mobile

Posted in General on May 20th, 2010 by srhuston – Be the first to comment

You probably didn’t notice (how could you!) but there’s now a mobile version of the site setup.  I would keep seeing this when I browsed to places like Nerdist, but never bothered to look into how it was done.  Finally I did, and while there’s a bunch of choices I went with the one that seems to look the nicest in each available platform.  At least each one I can see anyway.  There’s a link to turn off the mobile site if you look and don’t like it, so there’s no harm done – but it does load a bit faster with it on too.  I’ll probably tweak settings here and there so don’t get too used to how it looks yet.

Sony Bones Customers Again, Customers Somehow Surprised

Posted in General on March 29th, 2010 by srhuston – Be the first to comment

I got a PlayStation 3 some time ago, and one of the things I really liked about it was the ability to install Linux and emulators. Some people see that as an esoteric function that only a geek would want, but then they play Super Mario Brothers on my PS3 and forget that it’s being emulated through a program running on Linux. Or we play a game of Blue Max, an Atari 8-bit game I have setup when you start the Atari 800 emulator. Or even playing Asteroids (Atari 2600), Super Metroid (SNES), or Leisure Suit Larry (DosBOX). None of these would be possible for a home user to install on a PS3 without the ability to run Linux on it.

Which means, after Thursday, none of this will be possible again. That’s when Sony releases PS3 firmware version 3.21 which adds zero features, but removes the “Other OS” feature from the PlayStation entirely (both the ability to install it, and the ability to run it). Their reasoning for this is some vague notion of security, though many have already pieced together the timing between this and “geohot” gaining full access to the PS3 running Linux. Supposedly turning off Linux support will “help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system”; in other words, they need to fix their content jail or the providers will pull out and disallow movie downloads and such.

Hey Sony!  Here’s an idea.  Why not fix your jail instead, and allow not only the PS3 owners to continue to have access to the stuff they paid for, but allow the content creators who might (or might not) be getting their panties in a bunch to be happy?  After all, I paid for my PS3, and now you’re ensuring that I cannot have access to one of the features which I bought.  And I might know a thing or two about what “the people” are interested in seeing, what with “PS3 linux” and “emulation” being some of the top reasons people find this site, and the above linked article.  Just sayin’…

EDIT: Earlier this morning, I submitted a new “share” idea to put Other OS back in the firmware; if/when that goes live, I’ll provide a link.

PECO: More Suck, Less Lawfulness!

Posted in General, House on December 18th, 2009 by srhuston – Be the first to comment

I didn’t mention it when it happened – in part because I was too pissed to write anything more coherent than a string of obscenities – but PECO turned off our power again a little while ago.  This time the overdue amount was just under $200, and again there was no contact made to Stephanie or I about turning it off.  Of course, like last time if you asked them about that, they’d say of course they contacted us, and provide dates and times when they talked to someone on the phone.  Mysteriously though, the recordings of those conversations would not be available, so there would be no proof that they actually talked to someone – just a line on a computer screen with a date and time.  Well, I did a little poking around last night, and found some interesting information.. while it’s hard to prove a negative (that they didn’t actually contact us this time, or the last time) there’s one thing that is easy to prove: This last time, they turned off the power on a Friday (October 30th 2009, I paid on my credit card so the date is easily verifiable too).  Now according to Pa. Code § 56.82, “Except in emergencies—which include unauthorized use of utility service—service shall not be terminated, for nonpayment of charges or for any other reason, during the following periods: (1)  On Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.”  So now I contacted the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission to find out what can be done to make sure PECO stops breaking the law.

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Is Verizon Scamming People Into FiOS?

Posted in General on November 7th, 2009 by srhuston – Be the first to comment

When I got home from work yesterday, Stephanie told me there was a message on the answering machine from Verizon, calling to confirm our “recent order”. She left it, because it mentioned a phone number, and she didn’t know if I had changed our phone or DSL service and just not mentioned it. I listened to the message, and while the computer’s voice sounded kinda like the Verizon voice mail tree, something seemed odd. A quick look up of the 1-800 number did show it was really them (1-800-VERIZON, or 1-800-837-4966, is their new all-in-one support phone number) so I called them back. Took a little while to get through voice mail since the system had no idea where to send me, but eventually I got someone who sent me to a CSR to answer my questions. After a little digging they figured out what the mysterious call was about. Somehow an order to upgrade us to FiOS was placed, and the call was to confirm it. Interesting since we can’t really do that; my job pays fo my DSL access so I can work from home if needed (to fix things on off-hours without having to get to the office) but I don’t think they’d want to pay for my landline and TV service too. Plus I’m quite happy with DirecTV, not to mention we’re constantly debating getting rid of the landline and either using our cells or getting VoIP. So this person sent me over to “the elite team” to cancel the order. I explained to her what happened, she offered to see if a TV and phone bundle was available, and when I said we were happy with our TV service she put in the cancellation right away, no questions asked. Everyone was very friendly and helpful.

So why does the title of this article ask if Verizon is scamming people? Because about two weeks ago, in the rain, some guy was coming door to door trying to sell FiOS service. Of course he knocked on our door too, and doing so woke up Emily – therefore Stephanie already wasn’t happy when she opened the door. When he started the pitch, she said no and started to close the door. He then tried to keep selling to her, and argued when she said we couldn’t bundle our Internet service with phone and TV (her and I had just talked about the problem a couple days before when a mailed postcard from Verizon gave her the idea). She just about had to slam the door in his face to get him to leave. Then a week or so later we’re magically signed up for FiOS? Sounds quite a bit fishy to me; wonder if anyone else in the area had similar experiences – if they even know that they are signed up for it, or will find out before a tech shows up with the equipment to start the changeover. Now I’m debating if I want to spend the probably close to an hour on the phone to find out where that order originated, and bring to the attention of someone with firing power that it didn’t come from us.

Let’s Get Analytical

Posted in General on September 5th, 2009 by srhuston – Be the first to comment

I don’t know what prompted me to check it out, but I had a look at Google Analytics not that long ago and thought it might be neat.  One thing I like to do now and then is browse the stats of my website; see how people got here, what they looked at, where they came from.  Maybe it’s voyeuristic, but it’s kinda nice to know that if you search for “peco sucks” you get an article I wrote some time ago when I was rather incensed at them (hey, I’m even the top search result!) and nicer to know that it’s one of the top search results that get people here.  I setup an account for the radio club too, so I can watch the traffic coming to that site.  But so far I think the most interesting bit I’ve found is that the most popular article I have written (and didn’t write with that in mind, more of a journalling and getting the ideas down so I remembered) is the one on installing Linux on my PS3.  Shame that it might be lost on folks picking up the PS3 slim, since that new model won’t include the ability to install Linux – which I think is completely rediculous to remove such functionality, especially since I don’t know that there’s any hardware change involved that breaks compatibility.  Oh well, Sony’s shot themselves in the foot enough other times too (hello, PS2 compatibility!)

Concerts A-Z

Posted in General on August 8th, 2009 by srhuston – Be the first to comment

Here’s a neat one. Copy down the letters A through Z, and name all the bands you’ve seen in concert that start with that letter. The garage band down the street doesn’t count, but that concert you hope nobody finds out you went to most certainly does!

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Can You See The Real Me, Doctor?

Posted in General on July 26th, 2009 by srhuston – Be the first to comment

If you’ve been tagged or you are reading this, you have the honor of copying all these goofy questions, writing your own response, and tagging 25 other victims. You have to tag me so really you just need 24 more people. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you – but not in a creepy stalker kind of way.  (Since I rarely tag people, I’ll decide as time goes on if I bother with that step or not, and if I tag 25 people or just work this via the honor system)
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Whadda Day

Posted in General on May 24th, 2009 by srhuston – Be the first to comment

David and I were wrestling earlier today.. much earlier.  He went down for his nap, and a half hour later wasn’t sleeping yet.  I went up, and he just seemed so out of it and tired; I read him a story and left the room again.  About two and a half hours later when he woke up, he was still lethargic and not moving much, and after a quick bit of poking and prodding we realized his left shoulder hurt to the point he didn’t want to move it.  Call the pediatrician, he said it could be one of a couple things.  Either something called “nursemaid’s elbow” which kids can even do to themselves, and requires a quick re-set of the elbow and he’d be fine.  Or it could be a soft-tissue thing, either a muscle pulled or a tendon stretched.  Or,  a broken clavicle.  Oh great.

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Did You Get The Plate Number Of That Truck That Hit Me?

Posted in General on May 9th, 2009 by srhuston – Be the first to comment

Yesterday was supposed to be our last doctor’s appointment before the baby is born on the 14th.  We went, heard the heartbeat, confirmed a few things, talked about plans, and we were done – a little earlier than expected even.  David was home with my mom, so we could chat with the midwife about anything that came up and not be trying to wrangle him at the same time.  All finished, we got into my truck and headed to Halo Farms to get milk, and then head home.  We went the way I normally would, coming down Route 1 to the Warren St. exit, then head across the Trenton Makes Bridge (I’ve yet to pay a toll on the Route 1 bridge).  We were first in line at the light at Bridge Street, with someone on my left and a woman on a bike half in the street on my right; I remember this for two reasons, one being that I hoped she wouldn’t ride out in front of me but would get up onto the sidewalk instead, and second because I got to find out just how nice of a woman she is a few minutes later.  Light turned green, I started to move forward.. and the douchebag to my left started trying to race me.  He wanted to cut me off, because he wanted to be in my lane (because he didn’t want to turn left and get on Route 1, he wanted the bridge, and figured if he gunned it fast enough he could cut me off and not have to wait in line like I did.)  Whatever asshole, wait your turn.. that’s what I was thinking, until he started moving into my lane anyway.

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