Thursday, September 24, 2009

my mom gets me...

I just got the best birthday present ever - my Mom finally groks me.

Long story short - My Dad was a Mercedes guy, but used to buy my Mom quality boring automatic cars to drive. When he passed away, she kept buying quality boring automatic cars. ( I did try to teach her to drive a manual once, in my 90 coupe quattro, but that's another story ) Last year I had an opportunity to do some work for Google in the EU, and so I gave my hopped up A4 Special Edition to my 80+ year old retired elementary school teacher Mum. The timing was right - she's retired and does what she wants when she wants, and now has reliable wheels with a warranty and 24 hour roadside assistance. ( Please try to imagine Mom + Audi, cruising up and down the eastern seaboard, stopping at random spots and visiting sorority sisters and relatives at all hours of the day and night ). Anyway, so she took the car in for an inspection on Monday, and called me Tuesday to wish me a happy birthday. The interesting part of the conversation went something like this:

Mom: " Less Charles, I took the car in for service, and as usual the service people were so nice! Did you call them and tell them to be nice to me? "

Me: " Only that first time. That's what you get in that type of car, mum."

Mom: " Well it was wonderful! They inspected the car and didn't try to add any ridiculous charges, and the service manager took me out so I could get some lunch while I was waiting on them. Oooh Less, you should have seen this car! It was a little two seater, a little bigger than the one you used to have. The manager asked me if I wanted to trade up, but it was what, 120 thousand dollars? If I was a little younger I would have done it! I told him how much I was enjoying your car, and that this one was right up your alley. You know the one I mean? It had the little window in the back so you could see the engine and everything. I asked him "who really needs to see the engine when you're in the car? "

Me: " The service manager took you to lunch in an R8?!"

Mom: " I think that's what it was! I knew you would know."

Me: " You're right Mom, that's exactly what I want. If I won the lottery tomorrow, that's exactly what I would get!"

Mom: " No, my good man you would not! - If you won the lottery tomorrow, you'd pay off your house! And then maybe you could get one. Be sure and get the automatic in case you go overseas again..."

40 years old, and she's still telling me to eat my vegetables - but she groks me about cars. Best present ever!

all works subject to copywrite. Anything here just reflects my mindset, not that of my friends, relatives, employers, etc.

Friday, June 19, 2009

the perils of jeepin with TomTom

Frustrated with companies that don't take active roles in theft deterence...

open letter to TomTom

clearly you know these things are often stolen, but since it's in your best interest to sell more, you're not doing much about it. A bit of customer loyalty would be appreciated. Since I've bought three of these things and recommended numerous others, I would have expected you to do something about making it easy to enter stolen serial numbers etc., and take an active role in theft deterrence. Since you are clearly not interested in that, I think I will have to recommend other solutions that are. I was disturbed with the lack of concern with the initial theft of

DeviceName=TomTom ONE XL
DeviceVersionHW=ONE XL
DeviceUniqueID=AK9AL CSEUS

so I'm not surprised that you guys don't really care about

DeviceName=TomTom GO 920
DeviceVersionHW=GO 920
DeviceUniqueID=AK6S4 BJEUJ

call ref # 090 620 001774. Your rep was nice, but not much she could do since you aren't addressing the problem as a company.

all works subject to copywrite. Anything here just reflects my mindset, not that of my friends, relatives, employers, etc.

Monday, March 23, 2009

fun with mirrors

Ever do that thing with two mirrors where it looks like you're going back in time ?


all works subject to copywrite. Anything here just reflects my mindset, not that of my friends, relatives, employers, etc.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fwd: fun with VMS when you dont know the volume name...

Thanks to Alan Frisbie!!!

this solved a couple of recovery issues for me!

R. D. Davis wrote:

> I How do
> I find out what the right volume name of this device is in order to
> mount it, or how else can I mount this disk?

I have a simple procedure for doing this. CAUTION!!! This is
not a good idea to do in most cases. I use it primarily when
mounting CDROMs when there is no danger of someone writing to
the wrong disk.

$! S y s M o u n t . C o m
$! Command procedure to mount a disk system-wide without
$! knowing its volume label.
$! P1 = Disk device name (e.g. DKA400:)
$ Old_Privs = F$SetPrv("SYSNAM,SYSPRV") ! Make sure we can Mou/Sys
$ Mount /NoAssist /Foreign 'P1 ! Let system find volname
$ Label = F$GetDVI("''P1'", "VOLNAM") ! Get volume name
$ Dismount /NoUnload 'P1 ! Dismount disk, but keep it spinning
$ Mount /NoAssist /System 'P1 'Label ! Remount it /System
$ X = F$SetPrv(Old_Privs) ! Restore original privileges
$ Exit

Even he, to whom most things that most people would think were pretty smart were pretty dumb, thought it was pretty smart.
 - Douglas Adams