Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit

Sed lacinia tempus dolor, ut faucibus nisl sagittis id. Vivamus quis volutpat eros, eget aliquet nibh. Fusce vehicula, enim nec pharetra commodo, sem tortor pretium ligula, quis ullamcorper nulla ipsum ac odio. Nulla dignissim tellus in tellus bibendum, nec euismod metus ullamcorper. Nulla auctor mattis congue. Donec mauris augue, consequat eget ligula eu, feugiat laoreet tellus. Donec vitae erat eget arcu pulvinar mollis id sed enim. Nullam ornare consectetur semper.

Integer id vehicula magna, vel sodales urna. Praesent eget tellus eget nisl placerat sollicitudin. Morbi quis orci ipsum. Mauris at velit arcu. Integer non justo nisi. Curabitur rutrum, ligula id ultricies scelerisque, metus elit faucibus augue, at eleifend sapien arcu non purus. Vivamus venenatis, justo id cursus sagittis, nisl nisi egestas ligula, eu pretium eros ipsum vitae tortor.

Nullam interdum hendrerit dolor eget varius. Nam eleifend imperdiet mattis. Sed nec diam justo. Praesent tristique turpis eu lorem placerat, nec tincidunt ligula consectetur. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Aenean eget imperdiet nulla. Morbi sed nulla non nibh eleifend interdum. Nam eu elementum neque. Morbi dolor magna, fringilla id consectetur vehicula, aliquet at eros. Curabitur fringilla augue lacinia interdum aliquam. Aenean a convallis sem. Aliquam a orci diam. Nullam quis varius turpis. Vestibulum sagittis diam pulvinar, molestie est id, pretium sapien. In ultrices metus ut felis vestibulum tristique.

Closing down shop

Since it is painfully obvious that Google doesn't care about Blogger as much as they used to, I don't see the point in running a blog here when everyone that reads my content is already reading it off Google Plus. Effective immediately I am going to put to sleep all of my blogs except for PedroJavier.Org. If you are one of the rare few that actually checks my content here instead of Google Plus, please circle me.

Source: BlackBerry just "gutted" its salesforce

Source: BlackBerry just "gutted" its salesforce:

Well, WTF, it is not like they need sales people, right? Whatever the company makes will just sit on the website and people will flock to it and throw money at them because it is the superior product. If anyone actually calls just forward them to Marketing, it's the same thing as Sales nowadays ...

Idiots. And somebody out there, right this second, is going to see this as "oh, nice, so they trimmed a lot of fat and this makes the balance sheet look a lot better!"

Sunday, May 5, 2013

And then the Kenmore stove went beep beep beep and it wouldn't STFU and it kept displaying F10 in the clock screen ...

And I mean a hellish racket.

Nonstop beeping, and this of course triggered a near-meltdown for PJ.

Initial online research: a bad part, $97 plus labor.

RTFM research: reset the breaker for the stove, see what happens.

Outcome: Annoyed kid, power cycled every damn thing in the house trying to find the breaker for the stove, but at least the damn thing is fine.$97 saved, but I still have to figure out how to calm down PJ.

Update: 2/2/2016 did it again, but caught it before PJ did. Breaker #4 did the trick but had to do it twice.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pedro's Rules of Email Etiquette (2013 edition)

This is an update to an article I wrote a couple of years ago, I thought it was time for a refresher.

Pedro's Rules of Business Email:

1. Must follow the same standards in place for WRITTEN communications.

2. Spell check the damn thing, please. It is embarrassing to all parties when an email has unnecessary typos.

3. Be concise. Be specific. Write in full sentences.

4. Check your tone.

5. Check the stupid carbon copy and blind copy lists! Then do it again!

6. If you are complaining about an error, make sure the error isn't yours. It makes you look stupid and somebody will eventually dig out the email to use it against you.

7. Provide relevant information. If you are sending a screen capture, also send the URL of the page, so others can replicate it.

8. Don't hit the send button if you are upset. I am sure 99.99% of all email clients in use have a draft feature.

9. Don't hey people, it's rude. Don't dude people, it's stupid. 

10. Always use a signature block with your full name, title, company, phone/fax, etc. whenever you contact somebody outside of your organization for the first time. NO EXCUSES! Once you reply back and forth within the same discussion thread, it is OK to skip it. But that very first message MUST have a signature block.

11. Don't curse in external emails, it's childish, stupid, rude and unprofessional. And emails can be subpoenaed for legal proceedings. 

12. Check rule #5 if you are cursing in an email. Then do it again. 

13. Don't be stupid/lazy with attachments. Give them real names, not document.doc or document.pdf. If it is big enough, don't email the document, put it in a web folder and email instructions on how to download. 

14. Don't break the thread. Once a thread starts, breaking the tread makes it much harder to research issues at a later date.

15. Don't cut people off a thread unless you have a very good reason. The third time I add my project manager and my business manager to the stupid thread, I am hinting at you to stop deleting them, so please stop it. Don't purposely go around people through email, it'll bite you in the ass. If you really have to be so self-destructive that you need to go around people, talk to them in person, then it is your word against theirs. 

16. No SMS notation, sorry.

17. Be careful with acronyms with outside recipients, they may not have a clue what you are talking about.

18. Even if you don't need to reply in length, acknowledge receipt. This allows the sender to know who read what.

19. Always make sure your emails have a proper subject line that makes sense. Don't type the whole email into the subject line. Don't use PLEASE HELP as your subject in every stupid email. Yes, people still do it in business emails.

Pedro's Rule of Personal Email:

1. Rules #2, #4, #5, #8, #13, #17 should apply for most cases.

2. Make sure that you are not copying the same person with multiple addresses. Don't be lazy maintaining your address book, as the same people email from new addresses, ask them for their preferred address and stick to it. Almost all address books have a de-dup function to allow you to find duplicates so they can be merged. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Adventures in crappy engineering: The FIOS ONT won't power up if its backup battery is dead, even if AC is fine

Now that's a handful for a title, but that's about what just happened to me: the Verizon FIOS ONT has a built-in battery that it uses as a backup for its phone lines. If there is a power outage, this makes sure that you will be able to use the phone for about 8 hours.

It doesn't help the TV and Internet signals, it is simply used for the phones. And if the battery goes bad, or the ONT "thinks" that the battery is bad, the ONT will refuse to power up even if the AC current source is healthy.

So there I was, being held hostage by a device that relies on a battery, for a service I don't subscribe to, with healthy AC power and no way to keep my Internet connection up for more than two minutes in a row, and every 5 minutes or so it would drop completely dead until I reset the ONT.

And of course, the perfect time of the day for neither of our cell phones to get a decent 3G connection so we could Google it.

After about a long miserable hour I was able to find troubleshooting threads that suggested that the problem was the battery itself, so I tried to Google THAT and see where I could find one. No luck there. If I wanted that exact battery I would need to order it and wait days, or pay a ton of money to have it shipped overnight.  Verizon's own price was much higher than what others were quoting, but their shipping fees were much more reasonable so I was able to order it with some kind of next-day upgrade for about $52 including tax. Other sources would quote me $20-$30 for the battery then turn around and quote $50 or more to overnight it.


As I was making my order, I did one more desperate thing: unplugged the ONT, unplugged the battery and let the unit sit for a few minutes. That was three hours ago and it hasn't blinked once, so I don't know if the fix was in disconnecting both items or if it was Karma screwing with me for ordering the battery.

It could be worse, at least I got it working before PJ went into a full-blast meltdown.

I am not even annoyed at the battery going bad, things like that are to be expected. But it annoys me that the unit can't run without it, even if it is only using systems that can't benefit from it. Verizon could also have sent me an automatic email on the date that warranty coverage expired to either upsell me to whatever service plan they got to cover this, or to warn me about the battery and how to order one if this one died.

Update (2/24/215): It's been two years since I got the second battery for our FIOS ONT. The original battery was OK. Every now and then, especially after a power outage, the ONT will bitch about the battery so we switch it for the spare one. This goes back and forth every few months.