So if you can't get your TH55 to connect to your WiFi access point, check the access point's channel. Apparently the TH55 doesn't work with channels of 7 or higher. Nice...
Tales and thoughts from the founder of NormSoft (maker of Pocket Tunes), working and living in St. Croix, USVI
I went to see Baaba Maal at the Sommerville theater last night. It was absolutely incredible. I first heard his music on Napster 2, but I had no idea what the live performance would be like. It was extremely up-beat; I think I worked off 1,000 calories just watching it! They did some amazing dances and dueling (between a drummer and vocalist), and they really got the audience involved in the music. It was quite improvisational, and a few audience members joined them on stage for a short bit of dancing and music-making. Overall, I enjoyed it immensely, and I highly recommend seeing his band if they're playing locally.
Stolen Credit Card Verification
So apparently someone decided that my web site would be a good place to verify their stolen credit card list. He placed about a dozen orders with obviously false information. Since my shopping cart is automated, it can't tell that "khkljhl" is any different from "john" for someone's name, so it just processes the orders.
I ended up blocking the entire C class of IP addresses where he was coming from (somewhere in .ae United Arab Emirates), and I'll have to keep an eye out for crap like this in the future.
I'd like to limit orders to 1 or 2 per day for each IP address, but that would mess up people behind big firewalls. I could store their last order in a cookie, but that's easily circumvented by deleting the cookie between each order.
Can't think of a great solution except to keep blocking addresses when people do this kind of thing...
Breaking Away Bicycle Tours
Okay, I found a replacement for my bike tour: Breaking Away Bicycle Tours. I talked to Greg Hogan, its directory, on the phone, and he was very accomodating and managed to squeeze me into their almost-full tour. The dates are almost the same, so I can keep my flight. Sweet, I'm going to France afterall. :)
Someone allegedly from Discover card just called me (the caller ID said "Unknown number") asking me to fax them a "proof of address" like a bill or something, plus my Discover merchant account number. We've been a Discover merchant for about 8 months now. Yeah, that sounds legitimate...
La Corsa Tours
Well, La Corsa Tours just cancelled my bike tour on me. Great! Time to go searching for another tour at the last minute. I called them up, and spoke with Lori, and at first she was a bit rude and defensive, which really put me off. But I insisted that she help me find another tour to go on that matched what they were offering, and she became much more friendly and gave me some good advice.
I'm in USB Hell right now. I bought a USB hard disk (it also has a Firewire interface, but the stupid makers of Firewire decided to have two cable standards, so I have to wait for the right cable to arrive). I can't unmount the hard disk for some unknown reason (Windows says to "try again later". Thanks!). So out of desperation, I unplugged it, and now I can't use that USB port for anything else.
Add to the fact that I just bought a D-Link 7-port USB hub, which ocassionally (5-10 times per day) flakes out and needs to be unplugged and plugged in again, and it's USB Hell. How many USB devices do I have? Let's see. A mouse, hard disk, 2 card readers, USB->serial cable adapter, and numerous Palms. Argh!
Windows 2003 Server
Dr. Dobb's came with a Windows Server 2003 CD this month. The CD package is called "Essentials of Windows for UNIX Developers". Interesting; seems Microsoft realizes that they want to convert UNIX developers over to Windows.
Personally, I'll program for whatever OS there's a market for. (That doesn't quite explain why I'm writing low-priced consumer apps for the Palm, but hey; I like to have fun, too!)
Going back to my first post in this blog, the construction workers are now removing several trees from the road in order to complete the bridge work. I've never seen anything like it. They have a small crane that they drove up in front of our driveway. They extend the crane all the way, drop the hook, and send someone up on it. He ties a rope around the tree and ties it to the hook. Then he slides down his rope, and ties himself at a lower point on the tree. He then releases his rope from the crane, pulls out his chainsaw, and cuts the trunk. The tree then gets pulled up with the crane and deposited in the road. Then it gets thrown into a chipper. Repeat for all major branches and finally the main trunk, and they're done. Next tree.
I'm curious to see how they do the bik oak tree in our front yard. They have to go over the electric lines somehow. Initially, the contacted us and wanted to put the crane in our front yard, but we told them "No way" because we have a septic tank there. They also wanted to cut our electricity for a few days, which we also vetoed; how can NormSoft operate without electricity :)
So weather.com just started offering a Gold service for $20/year. You get no ads, faster maps, blah blah blah. I've always said that I would sign up for such a service if it existed, so I felt obliged to do so.
It's a good idea, but so far it's plagued with problems. The web interface is really confusing to use. It took me 15 minutes to figure out how to customize my main page. And it doesn't offer as much functionality as the free version! For example, you can't click on a particular day in the 10-day forecast and see the detailed forecast for that day.
I wrote them a letter of complaint; I'll probably never hear back from them.
Hmm, my blog is turning into a list of complaints about email. I promise to post something Palm-related soon!
So I finally get fed up with all the viruses I've been getting via email lately (several hundred per day; it makes my Treo 600 nearly useless for receiving emails), so I wrote a Perl script and filtered all my email through it. Any email with an attachment that ends with .com, .exe, .scr, .bat, or .pif will be blocked. Unfortunately, that doesn't cover the new viruses like Netsky that send ZIP files. After some thought (and copious searching of CPAN for useful modules), I added code to extract ZIP attachments from all emails received and parse the contents. Here's the algorithm I used: