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Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

Another tale of tech support

I have a client I set up with an e-mail workaround. His domain service provider provided only POP e-mail while he, like most people with multiple devices, needed IMAP (which these days you’d call cloud e-mail).

I kept his work domain but routed everything through Gmail, which had the added benefit of the best spam filters in the world. His e-mail looked like it came from his-domain.ca, and all replies to him went to his-domain.ca, but Gmail was the way station between his-domain.ca and all his desktop and mobile devices.

Everything worked great for years until yesterday. His Mail application (I dislike that name even more than I dislike the application itself) stopped sending and retrieving his e-mail. I thought it was a problem at his domain provider and told him to hold tight while they no doubt fixed it overnight. This morning, things were still awry.

His other devices could access and send mail just fine. He called his domain provider and they recommended he access their IMAP server directly. Then he called me in.

It sounds like it was an authentication issue, right? I could log in to his Gmail page in a browser without a problem, so I knew I had the correct password and account name, but using them in Mail did not help. A quick look at Mail’s Connection Doctor showed that we could not access Gmail to get mail or its SMTP server to send mail.

While waiting for his domain provider to call me to help work this out, I had an idea. The browser passwords are stored separately from the system passwords. What would happen if I deleted all traces of his Google account from Mac OS X?

I opened the Keychain Access utility and looked at all the Google entries. There were four. I forget exactly what they were, but one was an authentication expiry, one was a new deadline, etc. I looked at the entries and nothing seemed particularly troublesome, but since I knew how to log in, deleting them would do no lasting harm.

I tried deleting the youngest first, but the entry would immediately be rebuilt – no good. So I deleted them starting from the oldest. In doing so, I got a system notification that I would have to log in again, which heartened me.

I closed Keychain Access and went back to Mail. I put in the requested password and poof – everything was working perfectly.

I didn’t find this solution when I looked, so I decided to write this to advance such obscure human knowledge through Google searches.

Genius steals

YouTube Preview Image + YouTube Preview Image + YouTube Preview Image + YouTube Preview Image + NO1983 = YouTube Preview Image

Food heroin

Some arch-villain in my family brought this home.

penotti

There are a few different brands of speculoos spread on the market. Go ahead. Try some.

If Costco set up a tasting booth for this, they would sell this by the barrel. The first hit is free.

“Speculoos” is Belgian. I’ve know the Dutch equivalent, speculaas, because my Dutch grandfather used to buy the cookies for us and my dad used to snarf them.

Seriously, this spread is dangerous. It will strip you of any shreds of civilization and make you claw the jar with your fingers. Child 1 couldn’t find bread so used old hot-dog buns on which to spread this. I scrape icing off cupcakes and replace it with this spread.

I’ve been slowly and steadily losing weight for a year and a half. I have a few setbacks: when my mother comes to town, when I visit friends in Oregon and have little to do but eat, and when this infernal, tasty cookie spread entered my home.

IMG_1193

Don’t buy from AA Electroménagers

Our washer has had a slow leak for a while, but Sunday it stopped spinning, too. A washing machine that stops spinning probably has one of the following things wrong with it:

  • A slipped or broken belt
  • A broken or jammed rotor
  • A burnt-out motor
  • A burnt-out or shorted circuit board

The first two items are easy and inexpensive home repairs. The latter two cost $160 or so each for parts – and then there would be labour. Our washer is a 14 years old so our best option is to buy another one.

We looked at Kijiji and Craigslist and performed a Web search. The best deals seem to come from an outfit called AA Electroménagers, which refurbishes equipment. They offered the exact same model we had for $350. New washers start at $700, more or less.

It was 8:30 p.m. at that point and the place was open until 9:00 p.m., which was enough time to call but not to go there. We called the to say we’d but that washing machine and asked if we could pay online. The owner said no, but that we could come by the next day to pay for it and they would deliver. We agreed that I would show up at 12:00 noon.

I showed up at 12:00 noon. The owner said he sold the washer to somebody else that morning. I was not pleased. he said they might have another one in a week.

I asked him why he did that and he said he had no guarantee I was coming. I explained that some people stick to their word. I asked why he didn’t hold the washer until noon and tell whoever wanted to buy it to wait a few hours, or to come back in a week. He then yelled at me, “Are you telling me how to run my business?”

I yelled back that I wasn’t, I was telling him how to be a decent human being.

I decided to write my experience in a review or two. What do you know? Others have also had poor experiences. Here’s the Google Plus page for AA Electroménagers with five negative reviews and no positive ones. The Yelp page has three negative reviews and no positive ones. Uh, make that six and four, respectively.

And then there’s this YouTube video, which has no reason to be a video, but the comments are enlightening.

YouTube Preview Image

I especially like this comment (I paste it here unedited).

I worked for this shit whole company doing deliveries. I had so many complains about fridges not working after 1 or 2 days, They would deliver a Oven and when we plug it to see if it works at the clients well it wasnt working at all. Also this motherfucking muslim piece of shit is refusing to pay me what he owes me for my last week of work. When I finaly received my check it was missing the holiday (8hours) and some hours he owed me in bank. This business is a RIP OFF I STRONGLY recommend to stay away from it. Most fridges will work for a week or 2 and youll have to exchange it and lose your food again. And IF you are lucky and get passed the 3 months of warranty itll break soon after that and youll be stuck with no fridge and your money gone STAY AWAY FROM THIS place

What a miserable and non-ethical person, with crappy products (big surprise). Avoid this place at all costs.

Winter photos

Since my finger has sort of healed (it’s still a bit sensitive), I have lived an uneventful life, and that includes a week in Oregon.

Here are the salient points of my life in photos since December 1.

This is my finger after the stitches were removed.

This is my finger after the stitches were removed.


The removal of the stitches was the most painful part of the whole ordeal. I assume the physician did not use dissolving stitches because he wanted the cut sealed for ten days.

Two days later, I learned not to take photos against a green background.

Two days later, I learned not to take photos against a green background.

The saddest pillow in the land.

The saddest pillow in the land.

The saddest Rummikub opening in the land. Fourteen rounds in and I still couldn't open.

The saddest Rummikub opening in the land. Fourteen rounds in and I still couldn’t open.

This morning, Laurence was too lazy to keep her tongue in her mouth.

This morning, Laurence was too lazy to keep her tongue in her mouth.

That was a lot of blood!

If you’re squeamish, do not scroll down or read further.

The Bantam A team I’m helping out this season had a full-ice practice last night but only one goalie, so I threw on my pads and took a net.

Aside from the incredibly tiring effort that it takes to face shot after shot after shot (repeat 150 times), it went well. I was too tired to drag my gigantic goalie bag into the house when I got home so I left it for this morning.

This morning, around 9;45, as I was hauling my bag over the raised threshold of our front door, the plastic handle of the bag snapped. One sharp edge sliced a joint of my poor left forefinger. I dripped a considerable amount of blood into the sink while Elvi bandaged my finger with gauze and tape. That seemed to stop the bleeding, so we went to to brunch with my mom, who’s visiting this week.

We got home before noon and I decided to check out the wound. Upon removing the tape and gauze, my finger started pouring blood again. I got Elvi to patch it back up and off to the emergency room I went.

In triage, the nurse wanted to look at the cut. I told her to bring over a garbage can because I was going to bleed all over her office otherwise. Good thing she listened to me.

A doctor finally saw me around 4:45. He took the triage nurse’s bandage off and, yes, blood started pouring out of my finger again. There was no way he could see inside the wound to check for damage or sew it up without stopping the flow of blood. The first thing he tried was to put my hand in a rubber glove and roll back the glove finger of my wounded finger so that the tight roll would form a sort of tourniquet. As you can see below, that didn’t work.

blood

What did work, finally, was using a strip of the rubber band normally used on the bicep for IVs. I would have a pic of that, but my phone ran out of battery. In all, I lost about half a cup of blood. That pool of blood in my palm inside the glove clotted into a cool jelly-like mass.

I have no tendon or nerve damage, but I do have four new stitches. I did almost throw up, but only after the doctor had finished all the sewing. There’s been surprisingly little pain after the original slice.

Bonus pic:
stitches

Either, Eller

Morgan Rielly’s temporarily tying goal lies on the shoulders of Lars Eller, but not because it bounced off his torso and trickled through Carey Price’s five hole.

Eller had two decisions to make before Rielly got near the puck, and chose unwisely both times.

(Pardon the screenshots with the faded play button in the middle. I’m not patient enough to wait for this to appear on YouTube so I used the NHL highlight.)

Fifteen seconds before deflecting the puck into the net, Eller took control of loose puck along the left boards in the defensive zone.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.13.14 PM

He makes his first poor decision in choosing to swing in front of his own net instead of taking the puck behind it. Taking the puck behind the net, he has a potential outlet pass on either side or can run a set play. By taking the puck through the slot, he boxes himself in between the two forecheckers and his net. The Maple Leaf players can predict his path in the short term because he can only keep skating left.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.13.42 PM

The Leafs see this and block Eller’s further movement right and can intercept any pass to PK Subban. Eller must take the puck behind the net now, but the pursuit is much closer than it was when he first picked up the puck.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.14.00 PM

Ever since both Leafs followed Eller, Alexei Emelin has been standing all alone. He sees Eller swing around the net and prepares to accept a pass they will lead to an easy breakout along the left with three Leafs in on the right side. Eller, though, is fixated on Subban and looking back at him. Eller never sees Emelin. Eller instead dishes the puck backwards along the boards to Subban, his second major error. It’s not a strong pass given that he’s skating hard in the opposite direction.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.14.37 PM

By the time Subban gets the puck, a Leaf is on him and another is about to join the scrum.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.15.02 PM

The Habs lose possession of the puck, which will eventually lead to the tying goal.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.15.26 PM

I have been retired from coaching the kids so you’ll have to put up with me doing this. Sorry.

Bonus update:

Here’s the video.

YouTube Preview Image

Seriously, Apple (Store)?

I just got off the phone with David, a genius – well, an Apple genius. Let me backtrack….

I hadn’t heard about my expected two to three-day repair by Friday so I called the Apple Store, twice. The tinker geniuses were too busy to call me back so I made do with a receptionist genius. He checked my file to see why my repair was taking so long.

He told me that the store was waiting for delivery of a replacement video card. Apparently, that had died. He assured me that my comatose iMac would need both a new logic board ($708 after tax, remember) and a new video card (cost unknown).

I’d been biding my time, taking advantage of my kids’ absences to use their computers to do work and stay in touch with the world. A replacement used iMac, according to my research, would have cost $700, give or take $100. (In my research, I discovered that you can find the best deals on Kijiji.) I would have much rather kept my repaired iMac than risk buying another. But if the cost was rising to $800 or more, I would bite the bullet and pull the plug on my old machine.

As I was looking for replacements on Kijiji Saturday morning, a near clone of my machine popped up. The only difference was that mine had a better video card. I quickly decided I could live with that downgrade for the $400 it would cost me.

I owned it by 1:00 p.m. The case is a little dinged but it’s otherwise perfectly good. It was good enough to let me surf to that Kijiji page and find one of these on sale for $700. Wow! Faster, bigger, better.

I could not pass that up. I bought it this morning. I can always sell the one I bought Saturday at a profit so my net would be a faster machine with a much bigger monitor at an outlay (after reselling the first one) somewhat less than $700.

Yeah, so I just got off the phone with the genius David. It turns out that the problem with my original iMac was the power supply. They discovered that the replacement power supply they tried was faulty. My Mac is up and running but they want to test the hard drive because they think it might fail. If the hard drive is fine, I can have my old machine back for the $160 cost to repair.

Right now, I am out $160+$400+$700=$1,260. But if I succeed in my self-appointed mission, I will earn back $800+$700=$1,500 by selling my old iMac and the first used one I bought at market prices. That $240 difference will either be profit or pay for a new hard drive and a new backup hard drive (my current one is only 1 TB which is not enough to archive a 1-TB drive through Time Machine).

And I’ll have upgraded to a monster.

Computery badness

It’s the logic board that’s shot, not the power supply. I’m not sure why Apple doesn’t call it a motherboard like the rest of the world – uh, scratch that. I do.

It’ll cost $708 after taxes to repair. That’s still less expensive than buying a comparable used iMac off eBay, but a lot more than a $160 power supply.

Child Three is in Ontario somewhere or possibly LaSalle. Regardless, I can use his Windows 7 computer and his superchunky gaming keyboard while he’s gone. It practically sounds like a typewriter.

Upon opening Chrome on the boy’s computer, I was besieged by ads and in-page dialogue pop-ups. He had adware/malware infecting his system and this was not an easy problem to solve.

Some of it was branded as from the YTubeAdsRemover extension but when I opened Chrome’s extensions page, I got a message that it was “Installed by enterprise policy” and there was no way to disable it there.

It also doesn’t show up in Windows’ “Uninstall or change a program” panel (snappy name, that). What does show up there are some suspicious programs. I deleted those but it didn’t solve the problem.

A Google search leads to a number of dubious choices, especially when this insidious adware is planting false links.

After a couple of false starts, I found one thing that did work – maybe two.

The first thing I did was download and run Junkware Removal Tool, which a few reputable sources recommended. It did this:

~~~ Services
Successfully stopped: [Service] backupstack
Successfully deleted: [Service] backupstack

~~~ Registry Values
Successfully repaired: [Registry Value] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\\AppInit_DLLs

~~~ Registry Keys
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{18B9B16E-716F-43DF-A6AD-512C7D2EB983}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{19975B78-1907-4DD6-A437-4C48120F46A4}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{562B9317-C08A-444A-9482-62080DD851AE}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\addonsframework.dll
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\buttonsite.dll
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\scripthost.dll
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3C471948-F874-49F5-B338-4F214A2EE0B1}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{31E3BC75-2A09-4CFF-9C92-8D0ED8D1DC0F}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{E2343056-CC08-46AC-B898-BFC7ACF4E755}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\conduit
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software \installedbrowserextensions
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\App Paths\mypc backup
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Uninstall\optimizer pro_is1
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes \Toolbar.CT3309762
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{1c3e43b0-c3b0-468d-a56b-13748674893a}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{52db1893-8a90-4192-aede-08e00b8f8473}

~~~ Folders
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\ProgramData\conduit"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\ProgramData\wincert"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "\searchprotect"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\conduit"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\magnipic"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\movies toolbar"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\mypc backup"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\optimizer pro"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ Programs\optimizer pro v3.2"

I’m sure that rid the computer of all sorts of crap, but it didn’t solve the YTubeAdsRemover problem.

This Malware Tips page, however suspicious it seems, did. Thank you, Stelian Pilici.

I stopped at Step 4. Step 5 is downloading more software to make sure there’s nothing else left and that was a step I wasn’t willing to take. I figured if the problem had not been fixed, I’d know. So far, so good.

My superpower

I appear to manifest power failures. I told Child 1 that I feel like a mutant X-Man. She said I would be the crappiest X-Man of them all.

It started yesterday when I was at the dentist. Not at the dentist, though – the power failure happened at home. When I got home, I discovered the damage, and damage it was. My iMac, my beloved Bender, would not boot.

I couldn’t get the chime to even sound. I would unplug the thing and plug it in again to reset the SMC, but the best I could manage from that was a whir that died after a second. I’m not sure if it was the hard disc or a fan. Does the 27″ iMac even have a fan in it? Regardless, this was obviously a hardware issue and not something I could fix myself.

I learned you can’t call an Apple Store directly to make an appointment so I hung up the phone and went to Apple’s Web site to make an appointment with the store I jut hung up on. This was around 3:00 and I snagged an appointment for 4:30 – not too bad.

At the Apple Store, the genius (I can’t type or say that without sounding sarcastic even if I’m not) plugged in and tried to start the iMac. He got the startup chime, but nothing else. On his second try, the chime eluded him as it had me.

The genius (snicker) laid out the options for me. The best-case scenario is a blown power supply that would cost $130 to replace. The middling-case scenario is a blown logic board, which would cost me about $600. We all know what the worst case would be, but I do have everything backed up on a Time Machine archive as far as I know.

I’m oddly optimistic. It’s like I’m paying $130 for a forced staycation. All my clients are understanding and none need anything right now.

So, as part of my forced time off, I decided to catch a movie tonight with Child 1, the only family member who was both home and willing to go see “Snowpiercer”, an apocalyptic SF tale that’s a cross between “The Road Warrior” and “Murder on the Orient Express”.

The first two-thirds of the movie captivated me despite some wooden acting on the part of the lead, whom I didn’t recognize but whom Child 1 informs me is Captain America. Everything else worked.

I can’t say I’m disappointed with the final third of the film because the theatre and the mall it is in suffered a – yes – power failure. We sat in the dark for 15 minutes before the theatre staff decided that there wouldn’t be time to show the rest of the late show. They gave each of us a free admission and an offer to come see the rest of the movie at another time.

All I need now is a mutant name. I’m thinking of the Brown-Out Aura.

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