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Box of Cats #4 and #5

December 22nd, 2009 by Jim

Allison and I both received our 4th and 5th box of cats from Woot! Here’s what we got…

My Box (#4)

  • 1 Zune 1089 30GB (refurbished, like new condition, everything included, works!)
  • 1 Framed Star Wars Film w/ Certificate of Authenticity (Anakin Skywalker)
  • 1 Captain Kirk Bobblehead
  • 1 Spock Bobblehead
  • 1 Targus Laptop Cooler (no A/C adapter included)
  • 1 American Tourist Camera Case
  • 1 Western Digital Caviar 40GB ATA Hard Drive (probably DOA)
  • 1 Maxtor 40GB ATA Hard Drive (also probably DOA)
  • 2 Tissue Paper (Invisible Letter)
  • 1 Cardboard Box

Allison’s Box (#5)

  • 1 Plantronics 855 Bluetooth Headset (everything included, appears to work!)
  • 1 Sansa 4GB e260 (everything included, refurbished, screen will not power on – DOA)
  • 1 Framed Star Wars Film w/ Certificate of Authenticity (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
  • 1 Captain Kirk Bobblehead
  • 1 Spock Bobblehead
  • 1 American Tourist Camera Case
  • 1 National Geographic Watch Box (empty)
  • 7 Packing Material (Texas Air, 7 inflated)
  • 2 Tissue Paper (Invisible Letter)
  • 2 Silica Gel Pack
  • 1 Cardboard Box

Lots of good stuff in there! Still no Woot lights! Maybe next time… Thanks, Woot!

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Box of Cats #2 and #3

December 1st, 2009 by Jim

This time my wife and I both scored a box of cats from Woot! Here’s what we got…

Allison’s Box

  • 3 Polaroid Digital Photo Frame Designer Faceplate
  • 1 Belkin Zipper Cases for XM Xpress
  • 1 American Tourist Camera Case
  • 2 Tuffwrap Xtreme for the iPod Touch (pink)
  • 1 SmartWipe Gloves (LCD/Plasma Display Cleaner, 3 Pack)
  • 1 Western Digital Caviar 250GB ATA Hard Drive — DOA! 🙁
  • 9 Packing Material (Texas Air, 7 inflated)
  • 3 Tissue Paper (Invisible Letter)
  • 1 Cardboard Box
  • 1 Cat (War Paint Design)

My Box

  • 3 Polaroid Digital Photo Frame Designer Faceplate
  • 1 Belkin Zipper Cases for XM Xpress
  • 1 American Tourist Camera Case
  • 2 Verona Flip case for iPod Classic
  • 1 Western Digital Caviar 250GB ATA Hard Drive — Also DOA! 🙁
  • 11 Packing Material (Texas Air, all inflated)
  • 1 Tissue Paper (Invisible Letter)
  • 1 Cardboard Box

So we basically got a bunch of the same stuff, but had lots of fun regardless. Too bad those hard drives did not work, though. That would have made a nice RAID1 setup. And again, no Woot-off Lights! Maybe next time…

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Box of Cats

November 7th, 2009 by Jim

The Bag of Scaffolding arrived! FedEx still said it would be Tuesday, but USPS said it was out of delivery. So I drove to my office (on a Saturday) and arrived just two minutes before the USPS man pulled up. Close call. 🙂

USPS: You looking for something?
Me: Yes! You got it?
USPS: *grin* Right here.
Me: *thinking* (Perhaps he has delivered one of these before…)

Here’s what we got…

  • 1 Chop and Grate Set (Slap Chop, working)
  • 2 Belkin Zipper Cases for XM Xpress
  • 1 Classic Frogger Handheld Game by Excalibur (working)
  • 1 Burp Pen (working)
  • 5 Halloween Visibility Lights (only 2 work, 3 are dead)
  • 3 Pieces of Packing Material (inflated)
  • 2 Pieces of Tissue Paper
  • 1 Cardboard Box
  • 3 Cats (see photos)

My wife and I are very happy with our first bag of scaffolding. I only wish Woot had put some Woot-off lights in there for us. Maybe next time…

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How to Time a Linux Shell Command

October 7th, 2008 by Jim

Date and TimeKnowing how long a Linux command line task executes can be useful in many situations. For example, how long does it take to…

  • …perform a backup? [rsync]
  • …calculate a directory’s size? [du]
  • …find files within large folders? [find]

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Forcing SSL on a subdomain

April 9th, 2006 by Jim

It is common to create a subdomain named secure.domain.com, and then purchase (or self-sign) a SSL certificate to go with it. The intention is that visitors will see the word “secure” and feel better knowing that a secure communication channel is being used. Not everyone knows what the acronym SSL means, after all.

Simply having an appropriate host name does nothing to enforce the concept, though. The subdomain intended for SSL connections should not be accessed any other way, and likewise all other subdomains should disallow SSL connections.

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dos2unix / unix2dos

April 4th, 2006 by Jim

If you have ever found yourself on a Linux system that lacks the dos2unix or unix2dos commands, this reference may be helpful to you.

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Using Google as a quick spell checker

January 22nd, 2006 by Jim

I consider myself a good speller, but from time to time I need to quickly find out if my spelling of a particular word is correct. This happens very frequently while working on a customer’s website, hacking out a new web app for my company, and even while writing for this blog.

Google steps in…

You might be wondering why I would waste Google’s bandwidth to look up words, or even why I would waste my own time with the hassle of opening a web browser. The truth is Google can offer me the fastest word lookup for my (possibly specific) situation. All of my use cases listed above involve a web browser, which is already open and ready for my input. And Google is so fast it does not seem to matter how you use it, or how frequently. Besides, I would be very surprised if any of you even try this trick. 😀

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List of Windows XP Environment Variables

January 14th, 2006 by Jim

The following table lists the system and local environment variables for Windows XP. This information is difficult to locate when needed, so I decided to post it here for quick reference.

Tip: To quickly open your user’s hidden Application Data folder…

  1. Open the Run menu (Windows Key + R)
  2. Type %APPDATA% in the prompt, and press Enter.

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Microsoft KB: How to Remove Linux and Install Windows XP

December 22nd, 2005 by Jim

I just ran across a Microsoft KB article that I thought was interesting.

Microsoft KB Article ID 314458, Revision 2.0, December 14, 2005

This article explains how to remove the Linux operating system from your computer and install Windows XP. This article assumes that Linux is already installed on your computer’s hard disk, that Linux native and Linux swap partitions are in use (which are incompatible with Windows XP)…

Hmmm… Is Microsoft having trouble with those new cheap computers that are shipping with Linux? 😉

Microsoft is probably not hurting much from Linux computer sales, but considering that a user educated enough to install Linux would also be able to remove it, the KB article must be targeting those who bought a computer with Linux preinstalled.

I bet those users feel pretty bad when they learn their $200 computer needs a $130 copy of Windows XP Home to make it work for them. 😀

Fix for 30 second gaps between subscription music tracks

December 17th, 2005 by Jim

If you own a portable audio player that supports subscription music services (Janus DRM), such as Yahoo! Music Unlimited and Napster To Go, you may have noticed the wait time before DRM protected tracks begin to play will increase over time. With the current players available, most users report 1 to 5 seconds before playback will begin, 3 seconds on average, but once this bug triggers the wait time increases to 30 seconds or more! 😯

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