One of the news
websites I visit on a daily basis has recently 'improved'
The Globe and
Mail now lets you read 10 free articles a month before
blocking you with the message below. The intent is to annoy
people enough that they'll cave and end up subscribing.
Leaving aside the entire issue of forcing people to pay to
read the news online even though they still get all their
income from advertising revenue for a service that has zero
overhead - I was extremely annoyed by this new direction.
How do they know
how many articles you've read? They (and other websites)
employ what are known as 'cookies'. Essentially each time
you visit their site and click on a link a small file is
downloaded to your computer which records your activities.
This is nothing new and has been going on for ages. You do
have the ability in the various web browsers to clear them
out on demand, but it's a pain if you had to do that on a
Don't Think So
of the features that us paranoid types have been clamoring
for - the ability to surf the web anonymously - has made
it's way into the latest generation of browsers. By using
this feature we are able to get around The Globe and Mail's
paywall - and any other site which employs a similar
terminology for the different browsers varies, but they
all do essentially the same thing. In Google Chrome they
call it 'Incognito Mode'. You can enable it by going to
the Preferences and selecting 'New incognito window'. In
Firefox go to the Tools menu item and select 'Start
Private Browsing'. In Internet Explorer click on the
Gear icon, select Safety, and select 'InPrivate
Browsing'. Safari also has a Private Browsing option,
however it does not appear to get around this particular
issue. Your mileage on other websites may vary.
Email Woes -
Nov 1, 2012
This has been
driving me crazy for awhile and today I figured it out.
At some point in
the past couple of months or so whenever I'd email my home
account from work with an attachment the attachment would
come through on my Mac as a winmail.dat attachment which
you couldn't open. The .dat extension is registered to the
VLC Media Player application, which is obviously wrong. And
if you tried to open it with TextEdit
it'd be all scrambled and unintelligible.
So I took to the
Apple Support website and did some digging and found a lot
of other people having the same problems. In typical Apple
fashion the finger was pointed at Microsoft as being the
culprit. The usual response was it's a problem with
Outlook because Microsoft doesn't adhere properly to email
standards like Apple does. But I took issue with that
because based on my testing if I sent the same email to my
account it'd be messed up, but if I sent it to my Wife's
account (on the exact same computer) it'd come through fine.
To me that meant
there must be a setting in my Apple Mail application that
needed to be changed. But I couldn't find anything. Most of
the posts suggested using a 3rd party add-in as a workaround
- but because it had worked previously I thought that was a
After awhile I
had pretty much given up when I got an email response to
one of my posts. I checked it out, did what was
suggested and it worked! For whatever
reason I had my home email in my Outlook contacts. I deleted
the contact, exited and re-opened Outlook, sent a test email
and it came through properly.
In terms of
my setup, I'm running OSX Snow Leopard (10.6.8) and
Apple Mail version 4.6 at home and Outlook 2010 and
Exchange 2010 at work. The original support thread can
this will help out anyone else who encounters this
Oct 1, 2012
the capacitors on my prized Mac motherboards I turned my
attention to my Amiga 2000's.
eventually replace the caps on them (thankfully they are
through hole components and not surface mount), I first
wanted to tackle replacing the motherboard battery. Unlike
my Mac's where you can simply swap in a replacement battery,
on the 2000 boards they are directly connected and not
removable. So I did some research and found a kit online
which lets your replace the old batteries with a new lithium
ion type. The benefit of these newer kind is that they will
never leak and destroy irreplaceable components.
I have an older
Rev 4.5 board that already had acid damage so I decided to
do a test run using it. First I used a soldering iron to
remove the solder around the pins and then rocked the
battery back and forth until it came out. It was a fairly
painless process. Feeling emboldened I then tackled doing
the work on my pristine Rev 6.2 system. I had a bit of an
issue with getting enough solder removed to be able to poke
a safety pin through the hole to clear it out. Once that was
done I put the new battery holder in place after double
checking the polarity and soldered the positive and negative
leads. Last step was to pop the lithium battery in place.
I did some more work on my Funhouse pinball machine.
previously, the display on it was starting to go. Several
characters on the bottom display would be missing segments
of light. These old school displays operate using plasma gas
and use very high voltages and thus are prone to eventual
failure. It didn't make sense to me to find another used one
which would also be over 30 years old. Instead I bought a
LED replacement kit from
This guy makes a living out of redesigning pinball circuitry
and selling simplified replacements using all new parts.
I've bought from him in the past and think what he does is
benefit of this new display is that because it uses LED
technology there's no heat generated and doesn't need
high voltage to run. And unlike the original, which
consists of two circuit boards connected together it's
been simplified down to a single board. Removing the old
one was a simple process of removing the four screws
that secured it in place as well as the ribbon cable,
and two power connectors.
But then I
ran into issues. The replacement kit is supposed to be
plug 'n play, but I had a hell of a time getting the
standoffs into the new board. I also dropped one on the
ground and of course it magically disappeared. The
location of the connectors is shifted as well so I had
to reroute the cable and wires - which was
nerve-wracking as these wires are so fragile and
brittle. But in the end I got it all hooked up and put
back together. I'm very pleased with the end result.
Sep 6, 2012
With all the
time I've been spending on my old computers I've been
neglecting my pinball collection.
So I spent some
time fixing up my Funhouse machine. The most obvious thing
that needed fixing was the left flipper which snapped in
half while I was playing ages ago. I already had a number of
spare flippers so I just needed to swap it out. I was
worried this was going to be a lot of work, but it was
actually relatively painless.
All I had to do
was loosen a bolt/screw combination and then wiggle the
broken flipper back and forth until I was able to remove it.
I then reversed the process to install the replacement. I
started up a game to test it and after awhile it started to
get out of alignment. So I opened it up and tightened it
more and it's been fine since then.
While I was in
there I figured I'd replace one of the broken plastic parts
of the playfield. In my bin of parts I had a reproduction
part and swapped it in. It looks ok, but if you look close
you can tell it's not an original part as the colours appear
a bit muted.
From there I
decided to install the Cliffy Protector I had bought awhile
ago. Cliffy is an enthusiast who makes custom metal brackets
for the various games. Typically the scoop hole on any given
machine is the part that receives the most abuse and starts
to look the most worn. After awhile the wood edging around
the hole starts to wear away. The metal protectors not only
look sharp but more importantly prevent any further damage.
actually the fix that I had the most trouble with as trying
to get the second screw in to hold the scoop assembly was
frustrating as hell. It's just extremely awkward working on
the underside of the playfield and I must have dropped the
stupid screw two dozen times. And then it would somehow
magically disappear and I'd have to look all over the
cabinet with a flashlight to find it. Needless to say I was swearing
up a storm. Eventually I grabbed the drill and forced the
sucker in there.
The last thing I
did was to replace all the burnt out bulbs. What a number of
enthusiasts are doing now is to buy LED replacement kits for
the bulbs. They generate no heat and unlike the regular
bulbs last forever. However I know many people have not gone
that route as the LED lighting just doesn't look 'right'.
Here's some pix
of my efforts:
still more work to do. There's a second Cliffy Protector
I need to install in my Funhouse as well as put one in
my Roadshow. The Dot Matrix display on my Funhouse is
also starting to go so I'll look at getting a replacement board. The last big
thing to do is to fix Rudy, the head on the playfield
that mocks you as you play. But this is what I would
consider a very advanced thing to do, so I want to do
more research before I tackle that sucker.
Windows 8 -
Aug 24, 2012
Even though it
won't be available to the general public for a few more
months, I managed to get a hold of the RTM (Release To
Manufacturing) of Windows 8. Unlike earlier builds, this is
the final production release.
The industry is
undergoing a major shift. A few years ago Laptops displaced
Desktops in terms of sale numbers and now Smartphones and
tablets are replacing everything. The future is smaller,
simpler to use, mobile, consumer devices. Recognizing this,
Apple with it's release of OS X Lion attempted to take some
of the features of iOS - the operating system for the iPhone
and iPad - and integrate it into their computer operating
system (OS). For oldtimers like me this wasn't well received
as it seemed like the first step in eventually replacing OS
X, which generally has remained pretty consistent since it
came out in 2001. Thankfully (for now) Apple is keeping the
two product lines separate.
Which brings us
to Microsoft. Late to the game as always, Microsoft has
taken a different approach than Apple. With Windows 8 they
are unifying their operating system across all product types
- desktop, laptop, tablet, and Smartphone.
spent several days with Windows 8 I believe that this is a
mistake. While likely not a huge deal for the home user,
it'll be a nightmare for corporations. Most will likely
remain on Windows 7 for as long as they can much like they
did with Windows XP. I know I'll be recommending that to the
company I work for. Vendors such as HP and Dell are already
warning of large losses of sales and Valve, one of the
largest gaming companies, which called Windows 8 "a
catastrophe for PC's" is now focusing their efforts on Linux
issue I have is that you're forced to use the new Metro
interface which really is geared towards touch screens and
tablet devices. You can still get to the familiar Windows
Desktop, but you're constantly having to switch between it
and the new interface to do familiar tasks. It's frustrating
that despite the OS knowing I don't have a touch screen,
when I put in a DVD it pops up a message saying something
along the lines of 'tap here to set behavior options'. And
all the Metro apps are obviously designed to not be run in a
corporate environment with most wanting you to log in with a
Microsoft account and many showing advertising.
I've captured a
disproportionate amount of pictures related to the Weather
app as it nicely highlights my frustration. It literally
took me 5 minutes to figure out how to switch my city to
Calgary (for some reason it thought I was in Edmonton) and
change the temperature to Celsius. If you click/tap on the
bottom right of the screen a menu bar pops up with a
Settings graphic. Clicking on that gives you an Options menu
which naturally you'd assume would give you the option to
change the setting. But no. Instead you have to click/tap on
the top of the screen which gives you the option on the
bottom of the screen. And after all that I still couldn't
figure out how to delete Edmonton from my list of cities.
think Microsoft has shot itself in the foot. The majority of their revenue comes from the
corporate environment and with this release they've
turned their backs on their best customers. And if they
think that this will somehow propel them to the top of
the tablet and Smartphone market they're sadly mistaken.
They are too late to the game. The consumer space is
dominated by Android and Apple and Windows 8 is not
going to change that.
And if you
think I'm simply just bashing Microsoft out of my known
preference for Apple, the majority of the reviews out
there are overwhelmingly negative. Windows 8 is a dud.
Xceed SE/30 - Jun
So I finally got
around to working on my other SE/30.
Like my other
one, this also has a 68030 processor running at 50Mhz. But
the key difference is the accelerator and motherboard are
extremely rare. Unlike most that plug into the PDS slot,
this one replaces the CPU and plugs directly into the
socket. Obviously this requires a socketed motherboard which
are also extremely rare. I've never come across another one
in my history of collecting.
And as if that
wasn't cool enough, I also have the highly coveted Xceed
video card which turns your monochrome SE/30 into one
running 256 shades of gray. To do so requires replacing the
neck board on the CRT (always a risky proposition),
installing the video card and running a new wiring harness.
After installing all you need to do is power on the box and
go into the Monitors Control Panel and tell it to use 256
shades of gray as the system automatically recognizes the
Then to top
everything off I installed another strengthened power supply
I got from my buddy Artmix - giving me a brand new power
about installing OS 8.1 and initially gave it a go but ran
into issues that frankly I didn't feel like figuring out.
Plus while it will run on 68030/68040 cpu's, a lot of the
code is optimized for the PowerPC chip. It would probably be
fairly slow. So like my other system I ended up putting OS
7.6.1 on which is in itself a great accomplishment as OS
7.5.5 was the highest supported OS on the SE/30.
though there's still something to do. This system currently
doesn't have any sound which is a well known symptom of
leaking capacitors. I've already detailed getting the caps
replaced on my other system, but as this one is so rare in
terms of the socketed CPU I'm somewhat reluctant to get it
have a few boards and an accelerator getting recapped by
the guy that did it previously. Assuming all comes back
ok I'll probably take the risk and get this one done as
But for now,
I'm absolutely thrilled with this system. Seeing
everything in grayscale time warps me back to the late
80's when my love for computers first began. It's a
great day to be a geek!
Free Space? - Jun 8, 2012
It's not just
ancient computers I spend my time playing around with...
For work I
actually get to use the latest systems and operating
systems. We're currently in the process of upgrading our
many servers from Windows 2003 Server to Windows 2008
Server. Lately I noticed that the systems running 2008
didn't have a lot of space left on their C drives. I know
with each successive OS release the size increases, but
there seemed to be much less space than when I initially
So I did some
searching trying to find what folder and programs were
taking up all the space. It turns out it was a folder called
'winsxs' under the Windows directory. This folder was
consuming the majority of space and I wasn't even sure what
it was for as I'd never noticed it before. After a bunch of
Googling I found the answer.
In the old days
you used to have what they called 'dll hell'. These were
small library files that various applications would link to
and run in memory. The problem was one application might
ship with one version of a dll file and another would ship
with a different version. Windows would get confused as to
which one to use and you'd have errors and system crashes
and general frustration. WinSxS actually stands for 'Windows
Side by Side' and is the solution to this problem. It stores
all the different versions of the files in one place and the
OS is able to figure out which one to use for any given
solution has been around on previous OS's, for whatever
reason I've never noticed it until we started installing
2008. The thing is simply a massive pig under 2008 (and
presumably Windows 7). It is not safe to delete this folder,
but there are utilities you can run to clean it up. The
actual utility differs between OS's. For Windows Server 2008
the command is below:
/online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded
Note that it
needs to be run from an elevated command prompt and as
always use at your own risk.
On several of
the boxes I ran it on it reduced the size from around 10GB
down to 6GB. A pretty decent reduction for around 5 minutes
of processing time.
Preservation - May 7, 2012
One of the
problems with maintaining these old Mac computers is it gets
increasingly hard to find software.
software have long stopped working and your precious
floppies are increasingly likely to fail with each passing
day. So what's the solution to keeping older software and
utilities viable as long as possible? You need to get the
software burnt onto optical media (CD or DVD). This should
be easy right? Just download off the Internet or copy the
files onto a fileshare, throw in some media to your modern
computer and burn it right? Wrong.
Any older Mac
running System 7 is unable to read the modern formatting
that newer Mac's use. Prior to OS 8.1, the file system used
was 'Mac OS Standard'. From OS 8.1 onwards it is 'Mac OS
Extended'. Ok, well just pick the older one when you're
formatting the disc image right? Nope. Newer Mac's running
OS X Leopard, Snow Leopard, or Lion no longer give you the
option to format with the older file system.
Thankfully OS X
Tiger does have that option so my plan was to use my Mac
cube to burn the media. The only problem is the Cubes
typically only came with DVD-RAM drives (read only) - not
burners. So I did some digging and came across a company
that sells a
burner that's compatible. I swapped out my old drive,
reassembled everything, powered it on....and instead of the
usual gray colored Apple I got a crossed out circle which
I've never seen before.
I did some
digging and the problem was that the DVD drive ships with
the 'Master' jumper selected which apparently can't be
changed. So I then had to change the hard drive to be a
'Slave' so as to not conflict. This time the system booted
properly and recognized the new drive.
hardware installed the next step was to create the disc.
this burner can create DVD's, older Mac drives only
recognize CD's. Therefore you'll want to use a writeable CD
(CD-R or CD-RW).
The steps to
doing this is as follows:
the New Image button, select the appropriate media size,
no encryption, set format to read/write, give the image
a name and click on the Create button
Highlight the image, click the Erase tab, select 'Mac OS
Standard' from the Volume Format drop down. Give it a
name and click Erase. The new disc should appear on the
Desktop, drag whatever files and applications you want
burned into this image
to Disk Utility, highlight the image and click Burn
You now have a a disc that can be read by any ancient Mac
with an external CD drive. In my case I put all the old
versions of the Mac OS as well as a number of utility
programs onto it. I loaded it in my SE/30 and everything
your collection of Classic Macs run OS 8.1 or greater you
can use a modern Mac to do the burning.
The Myth of
Apr 16, 2012
For the longest
time people running Macs were generally immune to the
constant virus infections plaguing the Windows world. In
fact you could argue in the 30 plus years the Macintosh has
existed there's never really been a successful virus attack.
A lot of that
was due to security through obscurity. Virus writers
couldn't be bothered to target Mac users as the install base
was tiny compared to Windows. Part of it however was also
due to the inherent security that comes with running a
variant of Unix. But as Apple is now the largest company in
the world it makes sense that it is now being actively
targeted by the hacker community.
News broke last
week that up to 600,000 Mac computers worldwide were
infected with what is being called the 'Flashback Trojan'.
There were even infected computers within Apple
headquarters! The virus would trick users into installing a
fake Adobe Acrobat update. That update would then exploit a
flaw in Java to install executables which would leave the
infected system at the mercy of the virus writers.
One can argue
that the flaw isn't with OS X directly, rather it uses
social engineering to exploit the non-stop Acrobat Reader
updates (I'm asked to update every few days it seems on my
Windows box) and a technical flaw in Java which is a
programming framework. But the (valid) criticism against
Apple was because of their slow response to this. Oracle
patched the Java flaw back in November, but it took Apple
over a month to come out with their own fix.
Some of the
Anti-virus vendors came out with detailed instructions on
how to detect if your system was infected (mine wasn't), but
a few days ago Apple came out with an update (below) which
will automatically detect and remove any infection.
obviously am biased towards all things Apple I'm also a
realist. The smugness of some in the Apple community
regarding how invincible they think they are never ceases to
amaze me. The same safe computing practices that Windows
users have had to painfully learn over the years are just as
valid for Mac users.
Keep your system
Apr 05, 2012
For about a week
now my Tassimo has been complaining that it needs to be
well I just throw in the yellow cleaning disc, press the
button and that's it right? Not entirely. I had to do some
digging to figure out how to do it properly. Here then are
the steps to descaling a Tassimo:
the water filter from the reservoir
reservoir about half way with water
packet of descaling solution into it
the yellow cleaning disc in the holder
large container to catch the water
and hold down the start button for 3 seconds
lights will alternate between green and red and the
display will say 'Descaling in Progress'
cleaning cycle will last approximately 20 minutes
is done empty any remaining water in the reservoir,
rinse out, and put back the water filter
the container and put back to catch the water again
disc holder and then close it again
the button to run a clean cycle
Your machine is now good to go.
discs can be purchased directly from Tassimo, but the
filter and descaling
solution have to purchased from other companies.
Mar 5, 2012
awhile, but I've finally finished upgrading one of my
The goal with
this one was to have it network enabled, accelerated, and
running the last version of OS 7. In the end I managed two of the
three. For whatever reason, I just cannot get it to work
with the Ethernet card. As soon as I boot it locks up. I've
tried three different MacCON Ethernet cards, two different
motherboards, two different CPU accelerators, and now two
different TwinSpark adapters. All with the same result.
As part of my
troubleshooting I ended up ordering a new revision TwinSpark
Artmix as well as sending off my motherboard to get
recapped. When it came back I was
a little dismayed to see all the traces that were run. In
the process of replacing the capacitors a number of pads got
lifted and pieces of wire were soldered to repair the
damage. As mentioned previously, this recapping process is beyond my
skills so I didn't have a lot of choice. But despite being
ugly the board has been rock solid.
The SE/30 only
supports up to OS 7.5.5. However there are instructions on
the net that detail how to fool the installer into thinking
you're actually running a different model system - in this
case a Mac IIsi. But first you need to replace the ROM chip
with one from either a IIsi or a IIfx system. The reason is
that SE/30's aren't 32-bit 'clean' and therefore aren't
compatible. But by using the ROM chip from one of the newer
models you can work around that problem.
I had a hell of
a time getting everything to work. It was a monumental test
of will for me to not give up. The
instructions that are out there were somewhat confusing
and it was through much trial and error that I finally was
able to succeed. My problem was I couldn't get OS 7.0.1 to
install (kept hanging) so I'd install OS 7.5 instead. But because I
was booting from the OS 7.0.1 disk tools, when I ran the OS
7.6 installer it wouldn't recognize the hard drive as the
driver was the wrong version. The trick for me was to modify
the OS 7.5 Network Access Disk and boot using it.
Here then is
exactly what I ended up doing:
16MB memory (initially), 4GB hard drive (Apple ROM), Apple
CD-ROM drive, OS 7.6 CD
Boot with OS 7.0.1 disk tools (replace
existing HD SC Setup program with version
Run HD SC Setup, create a 2GB partition,
update disc driver
Install OS 7.5 using install floppies
Copy ResEdit 2.1.3 onto hard drive
Copy OS 7.6.1 update floppies onto hard
Modify the OS 7.5 Network Access Disk (NAD).
Delete the existing extensions, copy Wish I
Were and CD-Sunrise v2.2c extensions to the
extensions folder. Copy the Wish I Were
Control Panel to the Control Panels folder.
ResEdit the System file as follows:
resource 'ID 1' at offset '000018',
replace data '0008 0003 0009 0003'
with '0008 0003 0009 0005'
Install the IIfx ROM, boot off the modified
7.5 NAD floppy
Set Wish I Were control panel to 'Macintosh
IIsi', reboot and boot off of the 7.5 NAD
Run the OS 7.6 Installer, make sure to do a
When it is finished run the 7.6.1 Update
ResEdit the 7.6.1 System file as follows:
'gusd' resource 'ID 1' at offset
'000018', replace data '0008 0003 0009
0003' with '0008 0003 0009 0005'
Use System Picker v1.1a3 to select hard
drive OS 7.6.1 and reboot
Crack open beer
So I now have
a SE/30 running OS 7.6.1, 128MB of memory, Diimo 68030@50Mhz
accelerator, recapped motherboard, and upgraded power
supply. Hopefully one day I can get a network card installed
and working and I might swap the hard drive for a flash
based one, but for now I'm very happy with the result.
Here's some pix:
Vent Saga -
Feb 14, 2012
on here has to be Hi-Tech...
think this kinda stuff only happens to me.
This all started
back in October. I booked an appointment to get our furnace
cleaned. As part of their tasks they also clean out the
dryer vent which is extremely important as lint buildup can be
a fire hazard. As they were wrapping up the one girl said to
me 'Oh, we broke one of the louvers on the dryer vent. This
happens a lot on these older homes.'
I was somewhat
annoyed, but I've seen missing flaps on the neighbors houses
so I knew that they were indeed brittle. So I did some
searching and found a similar vent at Canadian Tire. The
cool thing about this vent was that it had a latch
so the whole thing would swing open - meaning this wouldn't
happen the next time the vent is cleaned. I ran down and
bought it for maybe $20. I came home, ripped off the trim
around the old one, installed the new one and realized I had
made a mess of things. The new vent without the trim had
about a half inch gap all around. And as I had broken the
trim getting it off I was stuck. So I tried to fix it with
clear caulking. I soon realized the gap was to big and there
was no way in hell it was going to work.
coming I had that sinking feeling in my gut as I knew this
had to get fixed soon. So I tried to find a
siding/ventilation company to help me out. But because the
job was so small no one could be bothered. Finally I found
this one company that said they did smaller jobs, were
listed in the Better Business Bureau, and actually responded
that they could help me.
Seeing as they
were fixing the one vent I decided I might as well get the
rest replaced. They had a single flap type vent that they preferred
installing so I asked them to fix the vent I installed and then
replace the other vents with the other style. After the work
was done I was happy with the result. The new ones looked really
sharp. Until the next night when it was really windy. All we
could hear the entire night as we tried to sleep was 'flap,
flap, flap!'. Over and over. Obviously they had to go.
I talked to
them and they came back with a proposal to install a hood
type vent that also had it's own mesh to keep critters out. The idea was that the hood would shield most
of the wind blowing by and not cause it to flap. Great. So
they installed them and when I came home I was angry beyond
hell as two of the vents were obviously defective. The flap
wouldn't completely close and was crooked. So at this point
I'm really frustrated and bitched at the owner, expressing
my disbelief that the guy who installed them would have seen that there was an issue, but walk away from
the job regardless. At least tell me that they'd be back to
Turns out this
'guy' was her husband and she got all pissy with me but
she agreed to fix it. I came home today and saw that they fixed
the one vent and had removed the flap from the other. I'm
guessing they didn't have a part and will have to come back.
The good news is that there's been a few windy nights lately
and the flapping issue looks to be resolved.
So five months
later the end appears to be in sight. All of this because I
decided to get my furnace cleaned. Sigh.
Jan 15, 2012
birthday, I ended up getting Chris a Kobo
I did a bunch of
research, talked to friends who had one etc. and in the end
decided it was a better option than the Kindle, mostly
because it used an open source book format and because it's
more friendly to Canadians (Kindle has a lot of US only
features). And while we already have an iPad, the iPad
really isn't a good eReader between the glossy screen,
larger size, and heavier weight.
been really happy with it. the eInk based screen looks
terrific, much like the pages of an actual book look like.
Today she asked
me to hook it up to our WiFi network. Now normally this is a
straightforward process, but I've put in some advanced
security features such as not broadcasting the SSID (network
name) and employing MAC filtering - only devices I authorize
can join the network. So I wrote down the MAC address of the
Kobo, plunked it into my Apple Airport Router's exception
list, went to the Kobo network settings and punched in the
info, hit the Join button....and....it gave me an error
saying the password was incorrect.
I then spent
about an hour mucking with it and swearing until I finally
got it to work. I searched Google and it seems a lot of Kobo
users have issues with getting WiFi to connect. It works at
a friends house or at a Starbucks, but when they try it at
home they get the same error I was getting. So I read
through the forums and tried the various suggestions
(Factory reset, turning off MAC filtering, switching from
WPA2 to WPA etc. etc.) with no luck. I also tried updating
to the latest firmware but it still wouldn't work.
Finally I came
across one posting where the person said they got it working
after power cycling their router. At this point I had
exhausted all other options so I tried it and it connected!
So the moral is, when all else fails, yank the bloody power
Now off to
download some smutty romance novel...
Jan 6, 2012
years ago (can't believe it was that long ago) I came across
a game that I didn't know much about called Bioshock. I
likely saw the cover, was curious, and read the reviews
which were overwhelmingly positive.
In it you play a
character who ends up in an underwater world called Rapture.
Once there you must fight all kinds of deranged citizens
called Splicers and the occasional bathysphere suit wearing
brute called Big Daddy's. These monsters guard possessed
little girls called Little Sisters who wander around sucking
the life force out of fallen residents. After exploring this
world equal parts beautiful and horrifying you finally end
up making your way back to the surface.
Bioshock was a
terrific game. Although it was technically a first person
shooter (FPS), the world they created, the involving
storyline, the use of special abilities, and the gameplay
made it a winner.
I bought the
sequel over a year ago and it sat on the
shelf as life got in the way of my gaming. Last week I
finally got around to firing it up and ended up finishing it
yesterday. In all respects it's as good as the original.
Art Deco inspired world is the same as before which is a
good thing and the combat system is even better. The plasmid
powers and hacking abilities are still there as is the moral
dilemma of whether to save or harvest the Little Sisters.
As before you
have the option of turning off the Vita Chambers which is
where you are resurrected when you die. I left them on as
the alternative is having to constantly save the game. The
major twist is that instead of avoiding clashing with Big
Daddy's you end up being one this time. And while not
technically a horror game like F.E.A.R., there was more than
a few times that I jumped in my seat.
About the only
possible thing that I didn't overly like (which was probably
an issue in the original as well), is that ammo is much to
readily available. In fact near the end of the game it was
pointless for me to even search things as I was maxed out on
everything anyway. One oddity I noticed is that unlike
before the Little Sisters don't really talk. That was one
thing I loved about Bioshock...."Kill him, Mr. B!". I
couldn't figure out how to get into a room on one level so I
looked up a walkthrough on YouTube which was
running on a console and in it they talked as before - so it
must just be a glitch with the PC version. In the end it
probably took me a solid week of playing several hours a
night to finish it.
Along with the
Half Life and Portal games, the Bioshock series is one of my
"Look, Mr. Bubbles. It's an angel! I can see light
coming from his belly."