Sep 25 2012

Atrix 4G to Ice Cream Sandwich?

For quite a while the owners of the Motorola Atrix 4G have been waiting for an upgrade to the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) version of Android.

Unfortunately, it appears that we’ve been waiting in vain …

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Sep 03 2012

ReadyNAS and SMART Errors

As some of you may be aware, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in the “SMART” feature of hard drives.

Rarely have I had the SMART capabilities of a hard drive actually tell me that the drive was going to fail.

Recently I had an encounter with SMART errors in a totally different way.

Basically, my ReadyNAS NV+ storage server was telling me that “Disk 1″ was having problems and might fail soon … but all my tests indicated that the drives were fine.

After a lot of hassle, and going back and forth with Netgear support, I finally figured out the problem.

It started a few weeks ago with an email the ReadyNAS sent

Reallocated sector count has increased in the last day.

Disk  1: Previous count: 671 Current count: 677

Growing SMART errors indicate a disk that may fail soon.  If the
errors continue to increase, you should be prepared to replace the
disk.

The odd thing was, the SMART information on the drives, that was available via the ReadyNAS web interface, did not indicate any of the 4 drives currently installed had any reallocated sectors.

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Jun 10 2012

Tour de Cure 2012 Followup

The ride is over and I did my 35 miles.

I had a good time, got lots of exercise, met some interesting people … and got involved in a cause that both directly and indirectly effects me.

I raised $3380 … which made me an “Ultimate Champion for Diabetes”.  I got a fancy shmancy gold medal and, theoretically, a champions riding jersey (although that didn’t arrive on time, so I wore a red riders jersey).  The medal was kind of silly, but I would have liked to have been able to wear the jersey.

Riding helped me in many ways … there’s the obvious cardio benefit, which helps keep my diabetes under control, but it also helped me deal with the stress of my mom’s illness and passing.  About three weeks before the ride, my co-worker Marty and I were planning on doing a 35 mile ride (following the Tour de cure route), when my mom was moved into the hospice unit at St. James Hospital.  He asked if I wanted to cancel our ride, but I told him that I needed to ride.

I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored me on the ride … your support is greatly appreciated.

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Jun 04 2012

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me – Golden anniversary Edition

This post could also be titled: Why Carl Kasell is the greatest guy in the world!

If it hadn’t been for my mom’s passing last week, this Sunday would be my parents 50th wedding anniversary.

My brother Mitch, the really creative one in the family, pulled out all the stops.  He got a letter from Senator Dick Durbin, a card from Barack & Michell Obama, and to top it all off … he arranged to have Carl Kasell to record a special greeting for the event.

The original plan was to do a “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” (WWDTM) format game during the anniversary party (which had been scaled back from a big even to a much smaller affair, for obvious reasons) … and Mitch thought that the only thing missing was Carl Kasell’s intro.  So he sent an email to the producers of WWDTM, explained the situation and asked if it would be possible to get Carl to record a message, and they agreed.

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Jun 02 2012

Leah Gibbs

For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook, I’m sad to announce that my mother, Leah Gibbs, passed away last week after a long battle with cancer.

It was a long time coming and we were (more or less) prepared.  None the less, it was very hard.

The funeral was held last Thursday and, despite  bad weather, there were a tremendous number of people in attendance … they even had to open up the partition in the synagogue to accommodate the number of people. It was a heart warming testament to the number of people who’s lives intersected with my moms.

Although I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it, I did speak at the funeral service … here’s what I said:

Mar 29 2012

Tour de Cure – Support Diabetes Research

I am participating in the American Diabetes Association’s annual Tour de Cure event this year. I am asking you to join me in the effort to Stop Diabetes by making a contribution to support my ride.

The dollars we raise for the American Diabetes Association fund research, provide services, and give voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. I believe in the work they do, and I invite you to join me in this effort. More than 25 million Americans live with diabetes, and your support can and will make a difference in their lives.

Please help by making a donation – large or small – to support the work of the American Diabetes Association. Or, why not join me on the day of the event? Become a participant and side by side, as teammates, we can work together to Stop Diabetes!

Whatever you can give will help! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Thank you for making a generous contribution to this cause that is so important to me!

Mar 04 2012

I Do Not Believe in Evolution!

Yes, you read that right.

I do not BELIEVE in Evolution.

Why?

It’s simple … you CANNOT believe in evolution.

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Feb 24 2012

Renting Glass

As many of you probably know … I’m a shutterbug … I put myself in the ‘serious amateur’ category.

My camera of choice is a Canon 7D … and I have two lenses currently.  A Canon 70-300 zoom and the lens that came with the camera and a Canon 28-135 “kit” lens.  Both have in lens image stabilization and are quite adequate for my uses.

That said … I’ve heard great things about Canon’s “L” line of lenses.  These are higher end lenses that have better quality optics.

For my current trip to Hawaii, I planned on taking a lot of pictures of surfers and whales (it is whale season in Maui).  In the past, I’ve had reasonably good results with my current lenses, but wanted to try out some a higher end lens.

A bit of digging around on the internet and I found LensRentals.com … they had a wide range of lenses available and, as an added bonus, they would ship the lens you rented direct to your destination.

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Jan 05 2012

A1C

As someone who has type 2 diabetes, tracking my blood glucose levels is very important.

The problem is … tracking your glucose levels on a daily basis isn’t really enough … at least it’s not enough for me.

Everyone who has diabetes should be getting their A1C tested on a periodic basis.  The A1C value represents a 3 month running average of your blood glucose levels.  People with well controlled diabetes have an A1C level under 7%.  Non-diabetic levels are below 6%.  The American Diabetes Association has a good writeup on A1C.

Getting your A1C tested usually means going to your doctors office and having it tested.  Sometimes this can be done with a simple finger stick blood test but, often, it requires a full blown blood draw (nobody likes those).

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Jan 02 2012

Spontaneous Security

Over the holiday weekend, I experienced the ultimate computer security mechanism:

“Spontaneous Security”

I was using my new Dell Latitude E6420 to do some network reconfiguration when the machine started acting weird with regard to the network.

Since this machine runs Windows 7, I decided to just reboot it to clear the network configuration.

After I restarted the machine I was asked for a password by the BIOS.

The odd thing was … I never set a BIOS password.

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