First World Problems Rap

Definitely a good laugh. The “problems” of the first world, even contrasted with those faced in the first world even 30 years ago, should make you roll your eyes.

When it’s a personal tragedy that your automatic garage door opener isn’t working, you *really* need to reevaluate your priorities. Hell, I still get a little giddy when I play with my power windows in my SAFE, QUIET, DEPENDABLE car. Which car will probably need a tire change in maybe another couple of years and will require me to manually tinker with its engine um.. never.

 

Posted under Affluenza, Amusing

This post was written by Marc
on June 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm

My first piece of Twitter SPAM!

It had to happen eventually. It seems that National Geographic Wild (Nat Geo Wild) has the honor of being my first piece of Twitter SPAM.

@MarcBourassa see the lastest technology news at http://t.co/3CnAyNu !
Natfeo_wild
Wed 22 Jun 00:03 via web

Posted under General

This post was written by Marc
on June 22, 2011 at 7:38 am

Power outage here in Marietta

Power went off here at about one thirty. I checked Georgia Power’s website and was pleased to see they had an electronic means of reporting outages. I was somewhat less pleased to see that there is yet no prognosis for resolution:

Outage Status

Your Status: OFF

Estimated Time of Restoration: Type of Account: Electric Service Notes: We are aware of the outage reported at your location. The next available repair crew will be assigned. We anticipate power will be restored by .

Posted under General

This post was written by Marc
on June 21, 2011 at 1:54 am

Syba SY-KVM20054 1920 x 1200 DVI Video 2-port USB KVM Switch with Wired Remote Port Selector Review

I purchased this KVM after my TRENDnet TK-207K bit the dust after only 6 months of use.

I have to admit that I’m now happy for being forced to change. The TRENDnet was only about $23 from Amazon where this Syba weighed in at closer to $60. This is still a very good price for a fully functioning KVM.

The reasons I am happy are twofold:

The Syba uses native DVI ports so I no longer have to use any converters or VGA cables. I really can’t tell if this has improved the quality of my video performance but I am finding that I have no more issues with my screen resolution being reset on me when I remove and replace my laptop (something that happens frequently as I take it to and from work).

Swapping ports is nearly instant with the Syba where there used to be a lag of several seconds plus a little acknowledgment sound from each computer as the change was made before. I silently swap between machines now with just a click of the Syba remote button or a double-click of my mouse middle button (scroll wheel). Quick, easy, reliable and the settings are remembered.

So far count me very happy with this new Syba KVM.

FYI my setup is:

1 desktop machine (Alienware) with two monitors (Syncmaster 226BW and SyncMaster 2343BWX). I am sharing the Syncmaster 226BW whose native resolution is 1680 x 1050.

1 Dell Lattitude E6410 with a port replicator

Basic 3 Button Alienware optical mouse (USB)

Basic standard Dell keyboard (also USB)

I don’t like using laptop keyboards or the eraserhead or trackpad pointer devices. I’m a mouse and full-sized keyboard kind of guy.

The laptop travels with me to and from work so I can have a consistent platform as my primary workstation.

 

Posted under Opinions, Tech Stuff, Utils / Tools

This post was written by Marc
on June 18, 2011 at 9:04 am

TRENDnet TK-207K KVM Switch Failure

I’ve had this switch for almost exactly 6 months now and it’s just failed utterly on me this morning.

My setup is:

1 desktop machine (Alienware) with two monitors (Syncmaster 226BW and SyncMaster 2343BWX)
1 Dell Lattitude E6410 with a port replicator

I don’t like using laptop keyboards or the eraserhead or trackpad pointer devices. I’m a mouse and full-sized keyboard kind of guy.

The laptop travels with me to and from work so I can have a consistent platform as my primary workstation.

I used the TK-207K to share the 226BW between the laptop and the Alienware along with a proper keyboard and mouse. This has always presented a minor issue where, each time I replace the laptop into the port replicator and switch to it, the resolution on the monitor is ALWAYS incorrect with no correct option to select from. I always need to log onto the laptop and then PULL THE VIDEO PLUG out of the back of the port replicator and then plug it back in. After this the computer recognizes that the resolution is incorrect and allows me to select the right resolution. The monitor that I use at work has exactly the same native resolution so there is something a little odd here. Once this is done I’m good until the next time I remove the laptop.

This morning I was working on my Alienware machine when the keyboard and mouse just stopped responding and the computer threw up a message indicating that it did not recognize a USB device.

Several restarts later and after swapping out keyboards I come to the conclusion that the TK-207K is no longer of this world…

I am not going to try to get a replacement as others have done. I’m sure TRENDnet will probably honor their warranty but frankly I prefer my stuff to work the first time and work right.

I’m going to look for another solution. Until then I will have an extra monitor on my desktop and two keyboards and two mice.

Posted under Opinions, Tech Stuff, Utils / Tools

This post was written by Marc
on June 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm

PDF Indexing for Evernote Premium

I use Evernote to store a boatload of information. Having it available EVERYWHERE in a searchable and organised fashion is very useful to me.

Recently I noticed that PDFs that I had created (of useful pamphlets or contracts) were not text searchable. I presume this is some side effect of my changing from a free to a premium subscriber and some switch was not properly set for my account. I love the product, but want to be sure that others are aware of this issue in case they are depending upon this functionality as well.

Following is my email exchange with the Evernote folks.

The initial communication from me:

I’ve been noticing this for a couple of months now but I have just now found the time to contact you.

I am finding that none of the PDFs that I create (usually from scanning printed documents) are being made text searchable.

The little searchable icon at the right hand side of the “Note Info” panel is always grey and I do not ever see the “Save as Searchable PDF” option when clicking on these PDFs.

The only ones that are searchable are ones that were created that way originally and that I have just imported wholesale. Any that I create remain unsearchable.

Please let me know if there are some settings that I should be exploring or if there is perhaps a glitch with my account (I was originally a free account holder but have been a premium subscriber for several months now).

Regards,

Marc

And the email chain that ensued:

Hi Sam,

 

It appears that my new test PDF note was made text searchable so it looks like I’m good on that front.

 

Since NONE of my PDF notes is showing the magnifying glass icon properly, it sounds like you are telling me that Evernote’s PDF indexer does not properly set this indicator. Either that or all of my PDFs are not completely indexed.

 

I believe there is a bug here.

 

Thanks for whatever was done to activate my PDF indexing as it appears to be working now, I can probably live without the indicator since it is not reliable. I’ll keep an eye on the release notes to see if that issue is addressed in future updates.

 

You can close this ticket.

 

Marc

 

On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 8:10 AM, Evernote Support <en-support@evernote.com> wrote:

Hi Marc,

 

If the magnifying glass is greyed out, there could be a portion of the PDF that was not able to be indexed.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

 

Thanks,

Sam

Evernote Support

 

—–Original Message—–

From: “Marc Bourassa” <Marc@Marc-Bourassa.com>

Reply-To: “Marc Bourassa” <Marc@Marc-Bourassa.com>

Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 07:48:15 -0400

To: “Evernote Support” <en-support@evernote.com>

Subject: Re: (Case 256009) [Premium] PDFs are not being made text searchable

 

>Hi,

>

>I can see that you did something to update my PDFs, my local backup

>indicates that pretty much every one of my personally created PDFs has been

>updated.

>

>Also, I can now see “Save as Searchable PDF…” as an option for these.

>

>The only thing outstanding is the little search icon (magnifying glass over

>a document at the right side in the “Note Info” section) is still greyed out

>for the PDFs. Am I correct in understanding that, once a note has been made

>Text searchable, this icon should be colored? It is correctly colored for my

>OCRed JPG notes.

>

>As a test, I’ve created a new note (Test pdf text searching) in the Evernote

>folder and have synced it as of this email. I’ll check tonight to see if it

>has become searchable to ensure that whatever fix is in place is ongoing as

>well as retroactive.

>

>Thanks,

>

>Marc

>

>On Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 11:50 AM, Evernote Support

><en-support@evernote.com>wrote:

>

>> Hi Marc,

>>

>> When I am searching for these terms, I am able to find the note that

>> contains the term.  Are you not able to find the note?  Please let us know.

>>

>> Thanks,

>> Evernote Support

>>

>>

 

 

 

 

Marc

Posted under Tech Stuff

This post was written by Marc
on June 14, 2011 at 9:02 am

Great experience with Affordable Electric

Yesterday morning I awoke to the sound of my CO2 detector letting out a brief but piercing chirp that tells me that the power has gone out.

As we have a guest staying with us this week I figured it must be something where everybody was using hair driers and toasters and the like at the same time.

Mysteriously, none of the circuit breakers in the fuse panel were thrown but all the items associated with circuit #6 (Yes, I’m geeky enough to have mapped out everything in my fuse box) were without power.

Figuring that perhaps the circuit breaker had gone bad, I zipped over to Home Depot to pick up a replacement, popped open the fuse panel, swapped out the circuit breaker and… nothing.

At that point I knew I’d need to get an electrician to take a look-see. I checked out electricians in my neighborhood via Google and then cross referenced them with the Better Business Bureau.

Gritting my teeth I contacted what I thought was the strongest candidate, Affordable Electric.

Mike answered the phone and, after a few questions to narrow down the problem, he quoted me a flat rate of $199 to come and resolve the issue, all labor, time and parts included.

The price sounded reasonable for what I was sure he was in for and 30 minutes later he was at my front door.

After a bit of discussion, he walked over to the electrical panel and flipped the circuit breaker (I had left it off after the new breaker had failed to resolve the issue) and everything came back on. Uh oh.. it’s never good to have an intermittent issue.

We went through the house and he was quickly able to determine that the cause of the issue was an outlet that our guest had been using to recharge some batteries. The wiring for the receptacle had somehow come loose and, if you shook the outlet everything else on that circuit would flash like it was part of a disco tech.

So he corrected that issue, then went back to the fuse panel and he wasn’t happy with how some of the other circuit breakers were not sitting flush as they should be in there and adjusted those. We then had a discussion regarding some new trim options that can make some of my can lights look a bit more attractive (not to sell me, but just so that I was aware of the options).  He then asked if there was anything else that I wanted him to check out while I was there which I’m sure he would have addressed on the spot.

Total for the quick service and resolving that mysterious (and not very safe) issue: $199. Exactly as quoted. No muss, no fuss. He was on his way and I was confident that I didn’t have a mysterious electrical problem lurking and waiting to inconvenience me (or worse!).

This may not be the cheapest that I could have paid for this service now that I have the benefit of hindsight and knowing exactly what the issue is, but that price would have been the same had he also had to go up into the attic and work his way through the junction boxes and all the circuit wiring to resolve the problem.

Having a flat rate for service rather than an open ended per hour charge plus whatever other unknowns is very comforting to me and leaves me as a very satisfied customer.

So I heartily recommend Mike and Affordable Electric, Inc. (404-509-1799) if you are having issues in or around the Marietta, GA area.

Posted under Retail Experiences

This post was written by Marc
on June 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm