Tag Archives: sick of it

Random Thinking

I’ve just come to the conclusion, at 12:48 this morning, that I don’t write here much anymore because I really don’t care enough to do so.  I am not that passionate about anything anymore to the point that I feel I should write about it.

Apparently I’m passionate enough about not being passionate, though.  I’ve just told you in a couple of sentences that I don’t care about anything enough to write a public discussion.  And look – you’re already growing bored of this post.  The fact is that I have had this blog here at benrehberg.com for over six years now and I have only posted 520 times.  I’ve nearly tweeted that much in 18 months.  And speaking of Twitter, I think I’m getting off of that train.  Facebook too.  Down with friends who only know me again through a social experiment and marketing shithole.  And fuck Mark Zuckerberg.

And lately, fuck Google too, and their sleazy one-night-stand Verizon.  I’m beginning to dislike those companies simply because they profit too much on the personal interactions of individuals.  It’s a sickness that wears one out from the outside in.  First it was search results which were innocent enough. It has come all the way to “push” advertising, where Google will know that since I like pizza and I am near a pizza restaurant, my phone will buzz to tell me the specials there (near future).

No thanks.  I’m quitting Facebook, and I am seriously considering not continuing with Google and Android.  I do not live where that plethora of information is usable, and I am becoming increasingly afraid that we will become too dependent on this availability of data and personalization.  Like GPS has done for travelers – we no longer have maps or ask for directions.

I realize that I am rambling.  It’s late and I have been drinking to counteract the early-afternoon coffee that punishes me when I close my eyes tonight.

Office Depot FAIL

I went to Office Depot yesterday to pick up a printer for resale.  I figured I could just walk in with my tax certificate, they’d put it on file, and I would walk out with the printer.  No deal, I guess.  I was told I’d have to fill out a form and fax it (seriously?  It’s 2010.  I don’t have a facsimile.) or send it to headquarters.  In two weeks I’d have a “tax exempt” card I could then present if I needed to get something for resale.

The problem is that my business, however slow it may actually be, still runs a little faster than a two-week turnaround.  Office Depot FAIL.  Amazon.com SUCCEED.  I’ll have that printer in tomorrow, at a lower overall cost, even with one-day shipping.  No more trips to Office Depot.  I’ll order markers and pens from Amazon if I need to.

                

Can’t Say I Didn’t Think About It

I’ve spent some time with my neighbor recently, and discovered that I am slightly envious of him. He lives alone, and is a senior NCO in the Air Force. He is two years older than I am, and he has six years to go to retirement from the military. He seems to have everything going for him and all is in order. Oh, to be like that.

I have battled for several months now about joining the military once more. Sixteen years won’t last that long, especially if I choose to enjoy my time. The four years I spent in the Army were very long because I resisted liking anything about where I was or what I did. I want to change that and retire in sixteen years, and then go get a job so I can retire again.

But some things make me not want to. First: the pay. I think I make more now than I would if I went back in, and raises would not come so frequently. Second: I’d have to travel some, for extended periods of time. I have become comfortable being home, especially now that we have a child. When I am gone, I can at least call and be called by the family.

But how else can I get a chance to live in Germany? To have free health care for my family? To go to the gym for absolutely free, and probably find someone to play racquetball with? To have a structured daily life? To not wonder what to wear? To get real-world experience with computers, a security clearance, and probably a $100K-plus job after retirement?

So I’m stuck. It’s stability versus comfort. I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting my life to be different.

The iPhone Didn’t Do It for Me

I’m surprised at Apple. Usually when something really groundbreaking comes out, the price of the item I’ve had my eye on drops into my range. In my case, it’s been the 32GB iPod Touch for several months. I was glad to hear about the iPhone 3G, and even happier that the price of that was $199.* Almost two weeks later, the 32GB iPod is still $499. Why?
Is it that the price of the new iPhone is so low that Apple can’t reduce the price of the iPod? Are there so many people dropping $500 bills on the biggest Touch that they don’t worry about lowering that number?

Or is it just that the iPhone 3G is not that groundbreaking? I have a few reasons that might be the case:

  1. Hundreds of thousands of people already have the pokey iPhone, and it’s good enough for e-mail, so why change?
  2. Solutions were built to make the first iPhone work for their business, so there really is no need to update to a new device that supports MS Exchange natively. It would make the recent infrastructure change a big waste of money.
  3. They are late adopters, and only six months into the first two-year contract on the old iPhone. They simply can’t afford to upgrade to a new device.
  4. It wasn’t impressive enough the first time to waste money on it again.
  5. We’re all waiting for Android on Open Handsets.

In any case, I’m still not buying the Touch until the price goes down. It will only take time, or the release of a 64GB or 128GB Touch. Fine with me. As soon as it hits $300 for the 32GB, I’m in. But I’m definitely not buying an iPhone.

*Price is $199 with a 2-year contract with AT&T wireless, the very worst wireless carrier in terms of customer service. Good luck if you think the $199 tag is worth it.

I am More American than Bush is Approved of

The results are in. I had always wondered just how American I am, and now Ann Coulter can’t say shit!

You are 63% American!
You have 126 proof blood

You’re a genuine American, citizen or not. Americanosity runs in your blood. You’re an asset to the U.S.A as much as anyone can be expected and while you may not go out of your way to push the nation forward, you do what you can to make it all run smoothly. You root for America in the Olympics, try to stay on the right side of the law, and can name at least eight past US presidents. Keep America proud, tough guy.

Other genuine Americans include: Betsy Ross, Johnny Appleseed, Irving Berlin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Humphrey Bogart, and Oprah Winfrey.

Maybe I’ll contact the CIA and finally get accepted. This was the last bit of proof I needed after that Qu’ran peddling incident. I’ll show those bastards.

Being American isn’t all that hard. It’s the getting along with Americans I have trouble with. I’ve stated those reasons in a recent post and will not continue to bore the bejesus out of you here.

Streets & Trips 2007 vs. Windows Vista

I got a new computer a couple of weeks ago and decided it should go with me everywhere. Having made that decision, I needed Streets & Trips installed and working so I wouldn’t have to install it on my company machine. No problem, right? Wrong. Here’s my story so far with Microsoft Streets & Trips:

In 2005, I got S&T 2005 with the GPS locator device. Everything worked great. Flawless. Perfect. Loved it. Upgraded to 2006 when it came out, again without incident. Last November, 2007 was released with an upgraded locator device, but since I already had a perfectly good one, I ordered Streets & Trips 2007 without the device (clever me – I saved about $80) and it arrived from Amazon.com shortly after the release date.

Upon installing over the 2006 edition, I found that it simply uninstalls 2006 (or whatever earlier edition one may have) and cleanly installs S&T 2007. Fine. Whatever.

What it never told me is that it flushed all the drivers for the GPS locator device I had. Same program, just a newer version, and it paid no mind to my existing device. Not recognized. No support. Found nothing at microsoft.com about the Pharos GPS-360 device. I didn’t get it. I still don’t.

What I finally stumbled upon was at some 4-wheel-drive site that somehow had the drivers for this device. I installed these separately and the device worked perfectly. I don’t know why the device isn’t supported naturally by S&T 2007, but I’d found a fix and had helped a few friends with this issue. I thought it was over.

And then I got this new computer with Windows Vista. Different structure to the operating system. Some things still don’t work. And all I had was this driver installer program written by some people who use Google to speak English. It said it successfully installed the drivers for this GPS-360, but when I plugged it in, Windows couldn’t find anything to support it. This went on for several days as I downloaded the latest stuff from pharos, installed it, plugged in my GPS locator, and had no luck. Several times.

Then I got wise. I still had the discs for S&T 2005, and the drivers just had to be on there, didn’t they? Tonight I put the setup disc in and browsed it for the drivers. They were there, and I was set. So I plugged in my locator and waited for Windows to tell me it couldn’t find the drivers for my device…

And somehow it found them automatically. I don’t know if it found them on the CD, or finally saw what I had installed seven times previously, but it works. And I’m happy. I’m writing this so that Google may index it for people looking to ease their troubles with Streets & Trips 2007 using the Pharos GPS-360 device. Here are the drivers from the S&T 2005 disc in case they happen to work for you.


Update: Some folks may have trouble with the zip file I’ve got. Here are the driver files as they are on the Streets & Trips 2005 CD:

GPSDrvrs/NT_XP:
ser2plms.cat
ser2plms.inf
ser2plms.sys

GPSDrvrs/98_ME:
SER9PLMS.sys
sersplms.INF
SERSPLMS.VXD
serwplms.INF