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10 May 2009 @ 07:14 am
Last weekend we tried printing boarding passes from a hotel computer, so I thought it would be a good time to change the password I use on the JetBlue site.  I logged in successfully to my account there and went to the preferences page which, reassuringly enough, asked for my current password before allowing me to change it. 

And it (repeatedly, and in different browsers) rejected the same password I'd used to log into the site.

So I called JetBlue and was passed along to someone at the appropriate desk who said she'd tested my password and it worked.  (I'm used to a system where the admins can't actually see passwords at all, but I do recognize that there are places that work a different way.)  She offered to walk me through the process.  To save her time, I repeated the process myself and told her what I was doing.  And, predictably, the password failed.  So she (reasonably) asked what I was entering.  And I told her.  As it happens, there was a capital letter in the string, and as soon as I said so she stopped me:  "It's all lower case."  Except, of course, that it shouldn't have been, because what I entered included mixed-case letters, and mixed-case let me log into my account on the site.

I would very much like to figure out how to tell someone just how wrongheaded I think this is.  I could even be civil about it.
03 November 2007 @ 11:15 am
The other day, having officially Given Up on the damned thing, I tucked my nonworking T/X away in my carry-on bag, so as not to have it taking up space while it was useless to me.  We've spent the last few days as we usually do:  We take a long hike in the morning, break for lunch, and then go out in the afternoon on a less strenuous excursion.  Yesterday we met my high-school buddy George, who (somewhat to his surprise) has turned into an archetypal Daddy bear (in the gay-guy sense).  I think he's having more fun dating now than he's had before in his life.  Sadly, he's had a bunch of surgeries this year, mostly to alleviate some pretty bad sleep apnea.  He thought he was finished, but has discovered that there is still more to do. 

Having complained to everyone about the sad state of my PDA, this morning I was overwhelmed by the temptation to take it out and try it again.  I had some vague hope that it had all been a bad dream, and the thing would just work.  Mind you, I knew it was hopeless, and besides, if it did work, what the dickens would I do about dealing with this device (which might or might not actually be functional)?  But I couldn't resist.  So I took it out and pressed the button and lo, it lit up.  And the battery meter said it was at 100%.  And my data were all there.  I have to say it was PEBKAC, but it's a little hard for me to figure out how I can have failed consistently to hit the "on" button over a period of several hours and countless tries.   At the moment, I think I'll pretend it never happened.

We seem to have a glorious day ahead of us.  I'm not sure what this morning's excursion will be.  This afternoon we'll take it fairly easy, as we'll want a bit of a nap before catching the red-eye home.  I understand that the weather in NY is pretty bad today, but the forecast for tomorrow is okay; just a little cool.
Current Location: San Francisco
Current Mood: puzzled
31 October 2007 @ 11:42 am
So, M and I have experienced our first Bay Area earthquake.  We've been through a couple in New York.  They felt like a huge truck going by-- and going by -- and going by -- and still going by...  This wasn't all that different.  We were on the bed, which began to tremble, and the reflections on the darkened television screen were rocking back and forth.  We heard on the news, later, that it was a 5.6 quake.

In other news yesterday, my T/X has died.  I bought this after my ancient Palm m500 died while we were traveling in Canada last summer.  That was in August.  It's only October.  I'm sure it was charged in the morning, but when I went to check the address of a restaurant while we were on the bus, it wouldn't turn on.  So I brought it home, let it charge for a few hours, and it still won't turn on.  I changed outlets (even though the indicator light on the charger went on just fine), left it charging all night, and still nothing.  So (bleah) I get to deal with this when I get home.  I'm not best pleased.

Fortunately, I have most of the relevant data on the laptop, and I know what dates we've made without checking the calendar (which is *not* on the laptop).  Oh, well.
Current Location: San Francisco
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
16 October 2007 @ 06:57 am
In a (futile, I'm afraid) attempt not to buy more books before we put up more bookshelves, I've been going back through some old favorites.  Now I'm finishing up a project I've meant to get to for a while:  reading through all ten of the Martin Beck mysteries, one right after the other.

For those of you who don't know the series:  It was written in the mid 1960s-1970s by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (yes, I'm missing diacriticals; live with it).  They're a set of police procedurals, and the reflect the authors' increasing pessimism about Sweden's political mood and central bureaucracies.  The authors devised and write these books as a series, and, much as I like the books, I think the series as a whole is really outstanding.

So anyhow, yesterday I was standing on the number 3 train on my way to the office, reading _The Terrorists_, when a man got out of his seat to approach me and say that he'd noticed what I was reading, and wasn't it a great series, and this was his favorite book.  So I told him what I was doing, and said that, at the moment, I thought I preferred _The Locked Room_ (book number 8). 

The last time someone approached me on the subway to comment on my reading was, I think, for something by Terry Pratchett.  But my all-time favorite encounter was wordless.  Some years ago I was sitting on an uptown train reading one of the Harry Potter books.  Next to me was a boy of (I'd guess) nine or ten, reading a different Harry Potter book.  We exchanged grins and went on reading.
Current Location: very NYC
20 August 2007 @ 06:34 am
Last month, I was on the plane to Halifax when I opened my ancient Palm Pilot (m500, I think) to check that I had Dan's phone number with me (because he'd invited us to dinner on our last night of the trip), and lo, my ancient Palm Pilot was, effectively, dead.  So I got Dan's number from the phone book while we were in the airport, and I figured I'd get a new PDA when we got back home.

On August 6, early in the morning, I ordered a Palm TX from Amazon.  Yes, it's overkill for my purposes, but if I'm going to upgrade only ever six or seven years, I might as well aim high.  And Amazon said they'd ship it on the thirteenth.  I have no idea why they needed a full week to  ship it (and the two books I ordered).  (The old Palm was still vaguely functional as long as I charged it whenever I was within range of an electrical outlet and could cope with the lack of contrast in the screen.)  Anyhow, the TX and the two books arrived Thursday morning.  I read the basic instructions, started the three-hour charging process, loaded the software onto my computer (Mac G4 running OS 10.2.8), and went to work.

When I got home, I tried to sync the TX:  no go.  I plugged and replugged the USB cable into various ports, but I never got beyond error 16385, and Google wasn't very helpful.  I tried the chat page for Google support, but they didn't know enough about Macs to help, and told me to use the phone line.  I spent a long time (about 45 minutes, I think) on the phone with their support person going through a lot of the same stuff I'd already tried and some other stuff (removing the backup folder).  She put me on hold for a couple of extended periods to get more information, but finally said she'd have to research it and would call me back Friday.

Meanwhile, I was impatient.  So Friday morning I copied my Palm data onto the iBook that M uses, because that's running 10.4, and the sync worked immediately.  I sighed deeply and thought it might be time to upgrade.  (I've been postponing the upgrade because there are things I like better about 10.2-- or so I thought.)  So I cloned the partition usually use for my boot disk and started to run the install-- which failed.  Fortunately, the clone partition (which I'd actually tested) worked fine, so I wasn't entirely incapacitated.  But I couldn't spend time bringing it back because I had to get to the office-- and home again to take  the call from Palm support.  (And yes, I tried syncing again running from the cloned partition; no go.)

Home again:  Support calls me.  We create and delete files and users and change the conduit settings for another 45 minutes or so-- to no avail.  She says she'll escalate to the next level of support.  I thank her and start to figure out how to organize my desk, which is a shambles from the various upgrade projects I've been trying for the last two days.  In the process, I decide to change the port where the Palm sync cable is connected.  And lo, the sync works.  (Now, it's not that we didn't try changing ports.  I tried myself before I called her, and it was one of the first things she told me to try.  But we hadn't changed the files around yet at that point. 

So now all I have to do is to finish the OS upgrade, right?  Right.  That can wait until Saturday.

So Saturday I verify the disk (which, according to the built-in utility is fine), and then I go to do the upgrade.  And I can't find the disk.  (My desk, you'll recall, is a shambles.   So I do some minor de-shamblizing  of my desk  without turning up the disk, and I sigh deeply and decide to live my life a little.

Sunday morning I wake up early (well, I always wake up early) and go over to the computer.  And there, right where I left it so I'd be able to find it easily in the  messiness of my desk, is the install disk, sitting in solitary splendor on top of the printer.  Sigh.  I take a deep breath and run the install.  Which runs smoothly and completes.  Restarting is a little slow, but not especially problematic.  And then I have to run all the updates to bring it to 10.4.10, and that works smoothly, and syncing the palm works, and there's no trouble with the network, and I am a very happy camper.

And, so far at least,  I'm much happier running 10.4.10 than I was running 10.2.8.  Oh well.  But I'd much rather have spent the weekend at motsscon.
Current Mood: draineddrained
19 May 2007 @ 06:27 am
We've been home for nearly two weeks, but I'm still feeling the effects of our Arizona vacation.  We flew to Phoenix, and drove up from there to Sedona, where we spent two nights.  We've been to Sedona a couple of times before.  It's great for us because there are a lot of fairly short hikes (a few hours) with spectacular views of the rocks.  This time was a little disappointing.  They're widening the road, and the area is messy.  The hiking is still perfect for us, but we were glad to move on.

We spent three days in Cameron, an Indian trading post in the Painted Desert.  There isn't anything much right in Cameron, but we used it as a starting point to go into the Painted Desert, up to Lake Powell (and Glen Canyon Dam), and to Navajo National Monument and Monument Valley.  The security search at the dam was much more thorough than anything at airports, and it took us a while to empty out sufficiently to get through, but we managed.  Monument Valley (and the route through Kayenta) is stunning.  There's one particular rock that looks like something off the cover of a fantasy novel-- big and black and craggy and Just There..

And then we went to the Grand Canyon for three days.  And that was beyond description.  All in all, we took nearly 800 pictures in the nine days we were away.  I'm not looking forward to figuring out which ones to keep.

Thing is, there have been some hard times at work since I got back, and I should be feeling it, but I still feel as if I just got back.  Now, that's what I call a vacation.