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August 2008

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A few weeks ago I bought the Sony ICF-C1iP Dock with Clock for iPod or iPhone. I was at Target and started listening to all their iPod/iPhone docks. The Sony was one of the systems with the best sound (besides the extremely expensive Bose system). I usually don’t buy an electronic like this without reading reviews but I was able to play with it and listen to the sound quality, so I had a new alarm clock/iPhone dock/mini-stereo. This was a big disappointment.

The first couple weeks of having the system I only found one problem: the brightness of the clock. The clock had three brightness settings and on its lowest it was way too bright. It would literally wake me up in the middle of the night, that’s how bright it was. No big deal though, after a while I could get used to that. And for the most part, I did. Then last night something happened.

I was just about to fall asleep and I hear this incredibly loud buzzing. It was distortion/feedback fromsony the speakers. The iPhone was causing interference with the speakers. I read a couple other people having this problem but the product was clearly marked as working with the iPhone, so what gives? Well, even though it clearly states it works with the iPhone, unless you want to turn your iPhone to just a normal iPod while it’s docked, you’re going to experience problems. Apparently the only way to not have any interference is for it to go into Airplane mode, in which it turns off the phone (nowhere in the instructions does it even say to do this, by the way It tells you it will ask, but doesn’t tell you which option to choose). Since I sleep with it on the dock I would miss calls if I do this. This is unacceptable, especially for a product marketed towards iPhone users. So, I took the system back, very disappointed, and very disappointed in Sony for trying to cash in on the iPhone when it was clearly made for the iPod and works somewhat with the iPhone.

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I recently started backing up my computer with Jungledisk. I previously used Mozy to backup but Jungledisk intrigued me for a few reasons. One is you can add your storage as a mapped drive. You couldn’t do this with Mozy. That will be handy if I want to backup something at work and download it at home. Also, once you purchase the $20 software, you can install it on as many computers as you’d like. Mozy charged for additional seats. Jungledisk will also work on Linux, which I’m thinking about switching to because Vista is annoying me. Mozy has no Linux client. Another thing I’ve been very impressed with is the speed of the uploads. While you’re limited to the speed of your ISP, Mozy never used the bandwidth to its fullest. Jungledisk backs up much quicker.

I still have several more days before my 60GBs are backed up, but when all is said and done, I’ll have backed up almost twice as fast as I did with Mozy. Jungledisk costs bit more than Mozy’s $4.95 a month for unlimited storage. With Jungledisk you pay the one-time $20 fee and then $.15 for every GB used in storage and $.10 for bandwidth. After the first month I’ll be spending about $10 a month instead of $4.95. The extra cost is worth it for the speed and features of Jungledisk’s software.

This entire week Blockbuster has only been shipping me two movies. I have the three movies out at a time plan yet I’m only having two shipped. Today, I decided to contact customer support to see what is going on. Here is my email:

For a few days now only two DVDs will be out at a time, even though I have DVDs that are available to ship in my queue. I have the 3 at a time plan, so why aren’t 3 shipping?

I think it explains my problem well. I have DVDs available, they are not shipping. Here is the response I got:

I am sorry if we haven’t ship your DVD. I’ve reviewed your account and see that you are waiting for one DVD to be shipped. Here’s an explanation of why this happened. I noticed that your queue mostly contains box/series sets, which if added as a set (with the padlock), they are considered a as a group and treated as a single request when the system searches for available DVDs to ship.

In looking at your queue, this appears to be the case. “X-Files: The Complete First Season” is not shipping due to its availability of disc number disc one. Unfortunately, this prevented anything from being shipped. Based on the way our system searches for movies, we suggest keeping at least 15 “Available” titles in your queue at all times, keeping in mind that each set is considered as “one” during this process. I really hope this information helps, Mike. Please let me know if I can answer any further questions.

Ok, I would understand this answer if two things weren’t a factor:

  • 1. I didn’t have movies that were available to ship that weren’t part of a boxed set at the top of my queue. I do. Why not ship them?
  • 2. They already shipped 2 discs of The X-Files season 3 (the first season that is currently available). Since they’ve already started shipping those discs (last week) why not pick back up with shipping them since I have an empty slot? This makes no sense.

So basically I’m paying for a plan to ship 3 movies and Blockbuster only wants to ship 2. Great job Blockbuster. Maybe it’s time to go back to Netflix.

Update: I have canceled my Blockbuster account. Not just for this reason, but also other reasons (no streaming service, queue page problems, etc) and moved back to Netflix.

The Obama Action Figure brightens up any work cubicle
The Obama Action Figure brightens up any work cubicle
Yes, I got an Obama action figure from Jailbreak Toys. Now I think I need a McCain figure for Obama to beat up on. But then I’d have to spend money on something McCain, and to be honest, he is not worth a dime.

I’m going to begin a little experiment I’d like to call The Costanza Experiment, named after one of the wisest philosophers of our time, George Costanza. If you remember, there was an episode of Seinfeld where George decides to do the opposite of what he’d usually do. I’ve decided I’m going to start doing this. I’m not taking it to the extreme that George did, meaning I’m not going to change the food I order just to do the opposite. I will start doing the opposite for major things in my life though. A good friend and I had an argument the other night and things didn’t turn out all that well and might have permanently damaged our friendship and it was over something that was really stupid and it just got out of hand in a hurry. In the future I’d like to avoid such things and maybe doing the opposite is exactly what I need to help me out. I’ll keep you posted on my little experiment.