Archive for June, 2008


Monday, June 30th, 2008

I dropped Muse off with her luggage and waited for her at the bus stop to the airport. I put her bags on the bus when it arrived. I asked her for the fifth time if she had her passport and drivers license. I waited by the bus and watched as it pulled away.

Now I’m sitting here with the pets waiting for the exporter to arrive. They are late. Soon though, they will all be gone.

I’m very sad.


I’m back from taking the dogs and cats to the airport. I don’t know how Muse did it before. They were so scared and pitiful I actually was crying when they put their cages in the air-conditioned live animal room. There were two small white dogs in crates in the room already. They were excited to see people. Our animals looked and acted like they were being sentenced to their deaths. They were that pitiful.

Now I’m even more sad….

Colors & Shapes

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Colors and Shapes

Here’s something I made while just having some fun with Adobe Illustrator.  Nothing fancy, I was just playing around and thought I’d share the results.

There’s still alot of things that I prefer Photoshop for but Illustrator is really growing on me.  If only I could merge my favorite features of both applications….


Mixed up PCs

Friday, June 27th, 2008

For as long as I’ve been with this company they have been using only Dell computers and servers.  Recently though our parent company has decided that all companies under it’s umbrella must start purchasing and using HP computers and servers.  I don’t mind HP at all but this shift in hardware was not thought out other than to make this mandate and then leave people wondering: How?

We have no corporate or global agreement with HP like we do with Dell.  We have no standardized pricing and discounts like we currently enjoy.  And so far, it looks like the first HP notebook I’ve ordered is going to take at least three weeks to arrive.  Unlike Dell which takes, at most, a week.  Someone should have thought about this just a little more.

Now add to this that we also have to deal with Lenovo on some projects so we have to be able to buy Lenovo notebooks as well.  I just received a brand new Thinkpad X61s this morning (which was ordered one week after the HP) and have started removing the bloatware.  Thinkpads have always been notorious for putting tons of extra crap into their computer builds that no one will ever use.  It’s a waste of everyone’s time.

I just ordered six PCs from Dell last week.  They are all here already.  I think I’ll just worry about HP later.

Thursday Tech Tips

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

I had a user setting up his notebook at the last second in a conference room full of expectant visitors.  When his notebook wouldn’t connect to the room’s built-in projector it seems that he went and grabbed our nice Dell portable projector.  When that didn’t work and the meeting was two minutes overdue to start, they finally came running to me.

Unfortunately, this left me with no time to help him with the problem he was having with connecting to external displays.  The only thing I could do was grab a spare Dell notebook on the way out of my office and have him copy his presentations to it so he could continue on with the meeting.  Problem not solved but crisis averted.

Today he tells me that he’s leaving on the weekend for a week and he needs that functionality to work and he won’t be able to let Dell have the laptop before then to fix it.  Uhh….  So I dredged through my rusty databank of a mind and remembered that I kept seeing a little graphic pop-up each time he hit Fn+F8 and it said “Presentation Mode: OFF.”  I remember thinking that that wasn’t right but couldn’t troubleshoot it at the time.

I contacted Dell Support and of course they can’t do much without me having the PC in front of me, but they did give me a hint that I thought might work.  There’s a Dell QuickSet application that runs in the background and gives some control over certain system settings and functions.  So I got the PC for a few minutes and checked QuickSet and sure enough, there’s a Display setting that, if unchecked, will not allow you to use external displays.  Presentation Mode was indeed turned off.

So I checked the box to enable Presentation Mode and tested it with an external LCD monitor and a HD Plasma TV in the conference room.  Imagine that…   it works now.  Not so hard of a fix after all.  But how did it get set like that in the first place?  That I can’t answer… yet.  I have two new D630s sitting here in my office though and I intend to see what their default settings are on this.

So that’s the first tech tip for today.  The second one is more of a common sense tip that should be obvious after reading the above.  If you need help with your PC, please… for the love of all that’s silicon, give us technical people a little time to fix your problem.  Asking for help at the last possible second is the worst time to do so.  Especially when you knew the problem existed previously.

Hong Kong: Closed

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

A severe tropical storm passed through Hong Kong this morning and the goverment instated the highest weather warning of Typhoon Signal 8 at around 10:30pm last night.  Because of that, our office along with pretty much everything else in Hong Kong, was shut down until the warning signal was lowered to a 3.  It makes sense when you consider that most of Hong Kong is water.

So that means that I was up every 30 minutes or so after my alarm went off to check the Hong Kong Observatory website to see what alerts were raised.  As long as the Signal 8 was in effect, the ferries to leave our island wouldn’t run, the busses to leave our apartment wouldn’t run and as far as I know, even if I were to make it out of Discovery Bay alive, the MTR trains don’t run either.  So, as I said, Hong Kong shuts down.

If the signal persists to 2:00pm then we can forget about work and do whatever.  But if the signal lowers before then we have to come to work within 2 hours.  That kind of sucks.  So when I saw that the signal had changed back to a 3 at around 11:30am I reluctantly took my smelly self to the shower and got cleaned up.  I had to go to work.

It’s not a bad thing.  I have a lot to do today.