Aukey — now Idiot-approved!!!

So I just bought an Aukey 28000mah multi-voltage battery pack for my laptop. 2 problems:

1, they only send an EU plug. Even if you are in the US buying from Amazon here in the US. Oops…. Good thing I have adapters from buying unlocked European phones years ago…

2, If you register it, you get the 18 month warranty extended to 24 month. Or you can make a ticket to ask for that US plug. Just hope you don’t need that authorization email….



Exchange and SMTPS

Exchange with SSL certificate setup for SMTP still handles both SMTP and SMTPS on port 25. So for any mail client which expects SMTP and SMTPS to be on different ports, just forward port 465 to port 25 in your firewall. And while you are at it, forward port 587 to port 25 as well — secondary SMTP for ISP’s that block 25.

Windows 7 Explorer — switching to double click mode

So I keep setting windows 7 explorer to use double click to open folder, single click to select. But it still works off single click. Even though single click option is greyed out (disabled) keeping me from setting it to single click in the first place! Weird….

Registry fix:

— change from 1 to 0

Android + bluetooth + Skype= FAIL

I’ve used Skype for a while, ironically as a text messenger for the most part. Anyway, now that I have a smart-azz phone, I installed Skype (azzdroid version) and thought I would try talking to someone. Hey, this is a phone after all — and I use a SIP client to connect to the phone system at the office — so maybe it should handle voice calls ok. Haha, yeah right…

Bluetooth support is just horrible. First, my older Cardo S800 that I keep laying around (and have used on my POS3 in the past) doesn’t seem to do anything at all. Can click on the bluetooth option all I want, doesn’t matter. I have a Motorola H17 sitting here, which shows a media audio profile in settings, and it works — if turned on after the call is made. And it seems takes a random number of pushes (3-5 usually) to get the audio to kick over.

After all these years, we can watch stream movies to our phones all day long and cannot get the basic voice features down. In fact, bluetooth headsets worked better with my dumb phones if I’m honest. I almost need to get a “dumb” Nokia just so I have something that works great for making phone calls. Then I could use my Azzdroid like, well, a PDA. Oh wait, that’s what I did 10 years ago. Except for the years I had my P800 — which combined the PDA and phone before there was such a term as “smartphone” — and it actually WORKED!!!

UPDATE — Work-a-round!

Special thanks to Rev_Pizzaguy for suggesting the BTHeadSet app. It runs as a service and works around Skype’s problem. Just turn it off soon as you are done with Skype! Sounds like a hack from the old days, but glad it works!

All hydraulic mountain bike brakes SUCK

Of course cheap hydraulic brakes suck — like the Shimano M485’s that came on my bike. Granted, I shouldn’t expect too much from the brakes on a bike that was barely over $1200 retail. Yes I know, I was a sucker when it was on clearance and didn’t know if a mountain bike was under 2k it was junk and would need everything upgraded. Anyway, a caliper started sticking causing only one pad retracted from the rotor, so I ordered a new one and it just wouldn’t retract either pad really. So I took it to the bike shop and admitted I needed help and while I was there let them look at the bike to. After chatting with the helpful tech I decided fine, I’ll get some good brakes…

Avid does make good brakes; their BB7’s are amazingly easy to setup. So I was suckered into buying Elixir 5’s. After buying new wheels to take the 6bolt rotors (adapters would have been too cheap and I needed a wheel upgrade anyway) and throwing the Elixir’s on, I am highly disappointed. First, they don’t set themselves up magically like the lying marketing material says. Second cutting the hose and re-bleeding (which you aren’t supposed to have to do) is a huge mess; it isn’t clean and simple like working on car that’s been out in the elements for the last 10 years. Third, after you get it setup on your stand, and you go ride it, you will need to adjust it again. Back on the stand, break out the 5mm allen wrench…. Oh, and make sure you keep a stack of business cards to use as shims — even on these self-aligning brakes….. Oh, and if you use your front quick release because, well, it is there, good luck having the rotor line back up to the caliper without any brake rub…

Granted, once you accidentally get it setup right, it should stay in adjustment for a long time. So it should give you a few months of paranoia waiting for something to go wrong. And if you ever hear the brake rubbing, you don’t know if you are in for a 5 minute job to recenter the caliper and get back to riding or will you have to try again with a shim, or recompress the pistons/pads or….

If you like riding your bike more than working on it, and want something that doesn’t screw itself up, stick with the BB7’s. Sure, you may have to adjust them once in a while as pads wear (you ride enough to do that all the time? hah, didn’t think so) — so you turn the adjustment dial a couple clicks and you are done. Is that rotor slightly off center after using your quick release? Well just a few clicks to adjust the pads over and you can compensate for it.

The trick with BB7’s is good levers, cables, and housing. The Speed Dial 7 levers are awesome — and paired with a teflon-coated compressionless housing cable kit like the Jagwire Ripcord — heck it makes crappy Tektro disc brakes feel pretty darn good. Go for a full-length housing run and be done with it so you can spend your time riding instead of being an idiot and sitting here angry with the whole world.

Video games need to quit this saving the world crap

Why does every FPS these days have to save the world? Halo 4 (ammo rationing edition) fights through the galaxy — and has to stop to save the earth. Bad Company 1 got it right — lets go rogue and chase gold. That was fun. You run around and attack the enemy without orders — just to take their gold. But Bad Company 2? Nope, lets take the misfits and make them save the world. Again. Yawn.

The real world is full of Idiots (ok, I may resemble that). Sometimes I’ve had a long day. I get tired of hearing about stupid politicians (yes that may be redundant) and even stupider people going nutso over the latest crisis the media is playing up…. So if you can’t make some sort of premise as epic as just chasing gold, or some sort of treasure in a far away galaxy, I think I’d rather just play BF3 multiplayer and burn a tank down with a repair torch — just to spite some random person who is also trying to unwind from the insanity in the real world. The last thing I want is some big dramatic plot to save the stupid world I am trying to escape from…

AT&T…. Idiots…

I called AT&T to say I want to port my existing number to another carrier but I do not want to cancel my service — just want a new number assigned and keep everything else the same. Well, AT&T says I’d have to go add an additional line before I port the number because a port has to cancel that line of service. I said that’s ok, I just need a SIM card and no phone since I’m already using a phone — but she was still insistent this would extend my contract 2 years. So I said no thanks, I’ll just see about moving everything off 🙂

But here’s the problem: lots of people transfer their existing cell number to Google Voice and have their carrier reassign a phone number. So obviously this is being done all the time — I don’t think most people are cancelling their contracts and going in to sign new ones. AT&T is so set on forcing you back into a contract that they even told me that an old rate plan I had could not have text messaging added to it because it wasn’t supported. But text worked just fine — at 20 cents a message….