I guess I'll be forced

I just discovered that I have no bottled water in the house. But just as I was about to start cursing I found a can of Stella in the fridge. Oh well, since I have no choice… Cheers!

Branding Romania

You might have asked yourself: “What is this Flickr site I heard of good for?” Well now you have the answer: it’s perfect to show the world Romania’s rich cultural heritage from a German perspective.

Please do kill me now.

I'm so back!

Thought you got rid of me? You were so wrong! :-)

The story goes like this: I got myself a hosting at Total Choice a while ago right when I bought rusiczki.net. If I give it a thought and with a little help from AjaxWhois that was more than 2 years ago. I opted for a monthly payment plan because it was convenient for me and back then my personal site wasn’t that important and I thought, hey, what the heck, if I get bored I could just stop paying and they’ll kick me out.

A few months passed and I payed each month as the good boy that I am but then a month came when they caught me offguard without any money on my card. As much as I remember, two notifications came and I rushed to the bank to transfer money to my virtual card (back then BancPost’s card system was much more complicated) which I did and then sat peacefully seeing that my website is still working. The surprise came at the end of the month when I received the transaction list from the bank and there was no sign of the hosting payment. And there wasn’t any ever since.

The only explanation I could come up with is that right when I had to make that last payment they moved their payment processing to another system and I think I somehow got in a glitch and was forgotten about. And so for 2 years I had free hosting. Nice, huh? I never wrote about this on the blog for obvious reasons but I put up their badge on the left as a sign of silent gratitude.

Fast forward to one evening last weekend when I’m checking my e-mail night and rusiczki.net gives me an error. I check the details and see an error message saying that my account has been suspended. I gulped knowing the last time I made a full backup was quite a long time ago and then with some sweat on my forehead I headed for Total Choice’s support section. I submitted a ticket to the customer service and some kind fellow reactivated my account and said that I have to contact their billing department. As soon as I saw my website working the first reflex was to rush into the control panel section and do a full backup. After I made sure that it was downloading I contacted billing. They told me I have to pay $55, a year’s worth of hosting and they’ll reactivate my account. And the site went inaccessible again. I patiently waited for the backup to finish downloading praying for my Internet connection to hold and after I saw that everything was OK and made a few copies of the file to each of my hard drives I went to sleep smiling.

And this week I started looking for solutions. In fact I didn’t look very hard because I remembered quite a few people praising DreamHost and their cutting edge features (Ruby on Rails, CVS / SVN repository, shell access, etc). I also remembered that Alex had a promo code listed on his blog’s pages and to make a long story short a few days and minus $120 after I have secured a cool hosting plan for 2 years.

So here I am now, dreaming on DreamHost. And the future looks nice once again knowing that I’m a fully privileged paying customer not a pest riding some payment system glitch… :-)

The LCD saga ends

SyncMaster 913N upper left corner

[ Context: one and two. ]

In fact it ended last Wednesday around noon but I had no time to post about it.

Long story short: after a near nervous breakdown on Tuesday generated by one Ultra PRO employe’s promise that it’ll be here that day and then the predictable disappointment of not arriving the panel finally got here on Wednesday. Only one week later than first promised. Not a bad performance, right? Not right! Not right at all! Ultra PRO sucks. Anyway, on with the story: I tested it right there on the spot, after waiting more than half an hour for it to warm up a little, because when I arrived to the shop they just finished unloading it from the truck and there were around -10°C outside. After witnessing it working perfectly with no dead pixels or any other problems whatsoever (touch wood) I took it home and since then I’m enjoying it. Fully.

I’m not too skilled when it comes to hardware reviews (for me it either works or doesn’t) but there’s one thing I can say about it: it’s big. Even if the native resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels is not that much it’s a completely new feeling that I actually have to use my neck muscles and rotate my head when I want to follow an instant messenger window that I move from the upper right corner to the lower left corner of the screen. Movies and multimedia look great and even greater from a distance. My only problem and worry is that I’m abusing the joint that unites the stand and the panel itself. Each evening when we (Ioana and moi) sit down to watch our favourite shows I pull it forward to be clearly visible from the bed and then after we enjoy our Lost / Scrubs dose for the day I push it back to be visible again from the chair. I hope it will stand the wear and I won’t be forced to superglue it or something… Touch wood again.

It’s a shame but I haven’t written one line of code on it yet. So I can’t report anything about that aspect. But it should be at least OK. No games played either because I don’t think that my feather light, no fat, ATI 9200 would be able to handle 1280 by 1024 in any modern games. However I used the TV card with my PlayStation plugged in and it looks cool. Haven’t watched any real TV on it though. Yet. And because there’s almost nothing worth watching on cable. And if it’s worth watching the “great” reception quality would surely disappoint and turn me to the nearest BitTorrent tracker to fetch the very same show in HDTV quality. For evaluation purposes only obviously. Hehe.

And that concludes my “review” and as a final conclusion I can say that all in all, I’m very satisfied with it.

Joke of the day

“A statistician, who refused to fly after reading of the alarmingly high probability that there will be a bomb on any given plane, realized that the probability of there being two bombs on any given flight is very low. Now, whenever he flies, he carries a bomb with him.”

Via Dragos (here’s the source). Don’t worry, I won’t start posting filler jokes but I just found this one way too funny to miss. :-)