July 2008 Archives

both times when i got a new iphone, the iphone voicemail wasn't set up. it's not supposed to be, because they wipe your account's voicemail to set up for the iphone voicemail. (i'm guessing because it's a different setup for it to be able to do "visual voicemail" but i don't know.) the instructions say you should go to the phone section, click on the "voicemail" button in the lower right, and it would walk you through the steps to set it up. except i couldn't click on it like the other buttons on that row, and if i did get it clicked on nothing would ever happen.

i think this problem occurs when you aren't a new at&t customer? or maybe it's a smaller subset -- you aren't a new customer and aren't using the default voicemail passcode (the last 7 digits of your phone number). with both of my iphones, i eventually logged into the at&t website and went to the "phone/device" tab and hit the "reset voicemail pin" text. that resets the voicemail pin to the default, and sends a text message to the phone saying so. once i got the text message, clicking on the voicemail tab worked just fine and i was able to complete the process of setting up my voicemail.

it appears the voicemail passcode is expected to be the default 7 digits by the iphone software for doing the voicemail setup, but the voicemail reset at&t is doing for the iphone isn't resetting your voicemail passcode. and it doesn't appear to be documented by at&t that i saw.

a new iphone! (yes, again!)

today being day 14 of the ownership of my 8gig iphone, it was the last day to return/exchange it. i'd been planning on trying to exchange it for a black 16 gig, but the at&t stores were usually completely out of all iphones from what i'd heard, and the apple stores were hit or miss. i'd checked the apple website for availability over the last week, but the black 16 gig was usually out in houston (and in most or all of Texas as well).

well, last night the apple site showed the galleria store having 16 gig black iphones in stock, so i did a backup and then a complete reset/wipe of my 8 gig, repacked it and all of the accessories in its box, and went to bed.

i got up this morning and got to the galleria (*sigh*) around 7:50am. there was a line of about maybe 50 to 60 people. a little after 8am the apple folk emerged from their cathedral and began to go through the line preparing and pre-verifying the iphoneless. when one got to me i explained that i wanted to exchange my 8 for a 16, and they told me i shouldn't have to wait in line for that. *swoon* they pulled me from the line and walked me right into the store. they pulled a black 16 gig for me and a girl named jess started to help me. she looked at the at&t receipt and said "uh...i'm not sure we can exchange this." (one or more people at at&t...and i think the apple store too...had told me i should be able to return/exchange mine at the apple store.) she asked others, and they said they couldn't. *sigh* she suggested i see if i could buy the 16 and then return the 8 to the at&t store. but of course i couldn't because i wasn't eligible for an upgrade. so...she told me they could hold the 16 for me, and i could return the 8 and then come back and get the 16. it sounded like a plan fraught with perilous scenarios, but i decided to try it. i left the apple store around 8:40am.

the at&t stores don't open until 10am, so i had some time to kill. i stopped at chick-fil-a for some breakfast. while sitting in chick-fil-a with my chicken biscuit, my wiped iphone rang. (good thing i had put it in my pocket instead of leaving it in the box.) oh yeah...i was supposed to be at home this morning for the pest control guy. he said 9:30am to 10:15am, so i packed up my food and went home.

he showed up around 10am, as did raj's dad and nephew. his nephew is going to paint the apartment in back. i walked around with the pest control guy and talked to him while he did his work. i also helped redo some rigged electrical cabling he had on his pump sprayer because it wasn't working right. one note of interest: the two big trees near the street in my front yard have some kind of hard foam filling in gaps that run up the trunks. for a number of months there had been bees living in one (or both). he sprayed powder in them and no bees came out. however, he started spraying the liquid bug killer stuff and roaches started streaming out. lots and lots of them. they were climbing up the limbs and then dropping from the sky. they were all over the place. it was crazy. all different species and sizes. there was even an albino roach. exciting times, i tell you what.

anyway, when he finished and left, i hopped in my pickup and went to the at&t store i'd bought the iphone at. it shouldn't matter which at&t store, but i wasn't taking chances. they of course had no 16 gig black iphones, so i told them i wanted to return mine. they refunded my money minus a 10% restocking fee. i asked them if they could verify for sure that my account said i was eligible for an upgrade. (because - and i didn't say this to them - i'd be pissed if i returned my 8 and then couldn't get the 16 at the apple store.) she showed me that my account showed that i wasn't currently in a contract and that i was upgrade eligible, so with the first hurdle passed i left for the apple store.

back to the galleria. (*sigh*) there was a line of about 30 to 40 people for iphones, but i was able to walk up and explain my situation and get right to an employee. my black 16 gig iphone was still being held. second hurdle passed. he checked my at&t account and it said i was upgrade eligible. third hurdle passed. everything worked. my purchase was complete. while in the store, i went ahead and bought another iphone+bluetooth travel adapter (for work), as well as another power adapter and usb cable set. i looked at the cases as i'm thinking a gel or soft plastic case might be much better than this hard plastic one i've got, but i didn't see anything that really excited me, so i decided to check around online instead. there was a line to activate/register the phone in the store, so i told the guy i was buying the accessories from i'd just take it home and register it. he said that was fine, and i was out the door with my black 16 gig iphone.

with my luck holding fairly high, i decided to take some broken bose comfort-fit headphones by the bose store in highland village to see if they would repair or exchange them. i asked, he asked me to bring them in, i did, and he gave me a new pair no questions asked. that was awesome. plus the new headphones don't have the very flawed design of my old ones that caused both sides to break. i definitely left with a good feeling about bose stores.

i got home and took the shrinkwrap off my iphone box, opened it up, and hooked the new 16 gig up to my computer. i went through the registration process with no problems, then it noted i had synced a different iphone and asked if i wanted to restore that to this one. why yes, yes i do. all apps, text messages, contacts, pics, etc. were put on my new black 16 gig. the only things i noticed i had to re-enter were all of my passwords (wireless, mail, etc.), set up the passcode again, change my default ringtone and text message sound, and my icons were rearranged. not too bad.

so let's say you decide to host a domain on google apps. cool. i do. i like it. but you want to use the google chat feature. great, log into webmail and there's a cute little one built in. but let's say you want to use a free-standing client. okay, all you have to do is download the google talk client and go to town. except it's only available for windows. what if you (or people you are giving accounts to) use linux or mac? (or you have a windows chat client you already prefer to use.) google chat is an xmpp-based server, and there are plenty of xmpp clients. but how do you get it to work with your domain?

unfortunately, the google apps help doesn't tell you. the best it currently does is this. it tells you how to set up some srv records so other xmpp/jabber servers can communicate with users on your domain. but what about getting regular old xmpp clients connecting?

the answer is a different set of srv records. the two the google help page provides are srv records for xmpp-server and jabber entries -- server info for xmpp/jabber servers that connect on port 5269. what you need are xmpp-client srv entries. xmpp clients connect on port 5222. (newer server/clients do unencrypted or tls over this same port. older server/clients do ssl over port 5223. not that it matters with the google xmpp servers, but i thought i'd throw that in.) anyway, you just need to follow the directions the google help page provided above as far as creating srv records, but change the records slightly:

_xmpp-client._tcp.YOURDOMAIN. IN SRV 5 0 5222 xmpp-server.l.google.com.
_xmpp-client._tcp.YOURDOMAIN. IN SRV 20 0 5222 xmpp-server1.l.google.com.
_xmpp-client._tcp.YOURDOMAIN. IN SRV 20 0 5222 xmpp-server2.l.google.com.
_xmpp-client._tcp.YOURDOMAIN. IN SRV 20 0 5222 xmpp-server3.l.google.com.
_xmpp-client._tcp.YOURDOMAIN. IN SRV 20 0 5222 xmpp-server4.l.google.com.

just replace "YOURDOMAIN" with...well...your domain (such as failure.net or diablostejanos.com -- except those are mine) and once the dns records push out your xmpp client (such as pidgin, adium, ichat, whatever) should work by putting your domain in as the jabber/xmpp server and using your username (email account) and password. note that the only thing that changed from the ones in the google help doc is it's "_xmpp-client" instead of "_xmpp-server" and "5222" instead of "5269". basically, your xmpp client will look at the domain you entered and look up the srv records for your domain to get the info on where to connect. (if not, you might need to get a newer or classier client.)

no, i didn't figure this out myself. i did some poking around and found a few sites mentioning this, as well as some threads in the google apps discussions. here's one of the current top links based on the search i did:
http://victortrac.com/migrating-to-Google-Apps
but i figure i'll go ahead and add my voice to the people mentioning this.

slow week

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i never got around to posting that on sunday i decided i should get a case of some kind for my new iphone, so i went to the galleria. bleh. but i figured the apple store would be the most likely place to have cases to fit the new phones, as well as a good selection. wrong. but anyway...i got there, and of course there was a line for the iphone. maybe 50 people or something. but they were guarding the entrance, and i learned there was a (much shorter) line just to get into the store at all. *sigh* i went and ate lunch and came back. still a line. i started to leave, but then decided i had already violated myself by going to the mall, so why not just go ahead and roll with it. i waited about 10 minutes to get in. once in, my sales guy couldn't answer most of my few questions, and didn't seem too interested in figuring it out for me. the case selection was dismal (well, for non-leather). and to top it off, my sales guy was either a freak or on something. or both. he had a dazed look, paused and smiled a lot while staring into space, and seemed to feel the need to stay very close to me. like invading personal space close. i got my clear contour case and left.

the sad thing is, i may have to go back there. although it seems both at&t and apple stores are out of iphones most days, so maybe it won't matter. but i've been thinking about trading my in for a 16gig, since i'm under a two-year contract. i don't know what apps are coming down the pipe, or how i may use the phone in a year or more, so why not just get the bigger one and be done with it? but if no black 16gig phones are available for weeks, then i guess it doesn't really matter.

thursday night i went with jack to brasil, where we hung out and tried to come up with ideas for an advertisement he is going to be running in a fancy-schmancy architectural magazine (he bartered photog work for it). i came up with plenty of interesting idea, but very little of it appropriate for the clientele of the magazine. i think he eventually got something he could work with though. while we were there, the hot russian chick no longer from work came by and hung out with us for awhile. she has an unnatural affinity for brasil.

last night i spent a few hours writing code in a language i don't know (ruby), pulling data from network protocols that i'm unfamiliar with (zeroconfig), doing work for something that isn't for me (jack). but it'll be pretty slick if i can get it to work. i'll post more about that some other time.

i was woken up at 10:30am this morning by the motorcycle shop calling. evidently my bike was almost done and ready for me, but when one of the techs was out taking it on a test drive he went to adjust one of the mirrors and it came off in his hand. he came back to the shop holding it. they are ordering another one to replace it, so my bike won't be ready for at least a few more days. since it happened under their watch, i assume it's at no cost to me.

today after walking to lunch, on the way back home i stopped by a new cigar store near my house. it's pretty cool to have one so close. it makes it pretty convenient for picking something up if the mood suddenly strikes me. they're still filling out their stock i think, but they have what appeared to me to be a fairly solid (if thin) overall selection. (of course, i'm no cigar fanatic or snob, so my opinion isn't worth much.) then again, they didn't have any of the things i specifically asked for...and no, i didn't ask for swishers. : )

and very shortly, it'll be time for the technology bytes radio show 13th anniversary party. it's been about six and a half years that i've been on the show. (my first appearance on-air was in either february or march of 2002, i'm pretty sure.)

sweet! iphone 2.0 software does 802.1x peap wireless.

settings -> wi-fi

then do one of these:

  1. if you see the network you want to join in the list, select it

  2. if not, choose "other..."
    in "name" type in the ssid network name
    select "security", then select "wpa2 enterprise"
    (or your network might use "wpa enterprise")
    hit the "other network" back arrow

enter your username and password
click "join"
it shows you the certificate, click "accept"
(i'm not sure if it always shows the certificate, but it did for me)

it should now join the wireless network.

now if someone could get an ssh client into the apple app store...

a new iphone! (for real this time.)

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i got up this morning and decided to go to the at&t store in rice village. i got there around 10am, the line was maybe around 40, about 10 shorter than yesterday. as i was standing there, brock wagner (the owner of the saint arnold brewery) walked up and stood with the lady in front of me. turns out it was his wife. i had a nice conversation with both of them during the 1.5 hours we were in line together. at some point, an at&t person came out and told everyone they were out of the black 16 gig model. *sigh* that's the one i wanted. they said they had 13 white 16 gigs left, and didn't mention the number of 8 gigs. (they later said they had 26.) but awhile further back in the line they started telling them they were going to run out. unfortunately for brock and his wife, he had to leave to go give the saturday tour speech at the brewery so they were about 5 people from the front door when they gave up. about 20 minutes later i got in. the purchase only took about 10 minutes. i went with the 8 gig black model. the rep told me my phone would be active in 5 to 10 minutes, so i thanked him and left. all told, it took me about 2 hours.

i drove home and learned i hadn't downloaded the latest version of itunes (7.7) to my desktop yet, which is necessary for the iphone. my phone still hadn't gone live on the at&t network, so i downloaded itunes and waited for the phone. which still wasn't happening. *sigh* i messed around with things, turned it on and off, etc. but it never would find a signal. eventually the sim in my old razr went unregistered, but the iphone still wouldn't work as a phone. i registered it in itunes, and started getting everything set up and playing with it. at one point i even pulled the sim from it and put it in my old razr to see if the phone would work...it showed up as an unregistered sim. (that didn't seem like a good sign.) after about 1.5 hours, i decided to call the at&t store i'd bought the phone from. of course, they weren't answering their phone. so i had to give up and drive back to the store. (fortunately, it isn't far away.) i walked in and asked if they were having activation problems (which i feared, based on the events of yesterday), but they said no. the guy i'd bought the phone from pulled my sim and checked it. he didn't say what he had to do, but i think he fat-fingered my sim code or something, because he said "oh" and typed something and restarted my phone and it was fine.

i'm still trying to decide if i'll be happy over the next two years with 8 gigs, or if i should go ahead and upgrade to the 16 gig during the two weeks i've got to change my mind. there's a 10% restocking fee according to the at&t reps, but if the extra 8 gig seems necessary, $20 to switch would be worth it.

here's the first pic of my new 8-gig black iphone:

black-8gig-iphone.jpg

i've already set up mail accounts, taken and made some calls, set up and used my apple bluetooth headset with it, sent and received some text messages, configured and played with most of the default apps, and downloaded a few apps from the app store: remote, jott, pandora, and weatherbug.

the pandora app looks to be pretty nifty. the weatherbug app used my gps to set my location to get my local weather info. and the remote app...it rocks. i can control my itunes library with it (or more if you have multiple ones) -- it shows me what is playing, lets me browse artists, albums, songs, etc. as if i were at my itunes window, as well as control volume, which apple express speakers are active, etc.

one annoying thing i have noticed is that the slightly changed size of the iphone makes it not fit into the cradle that came with my apple bluetooth headset (which has a place for the iphone and the headset). so i'm currently using the cable that came with the headset instead. i could probably shave a little plastic from the sides of the hole for the iphone on the cradle and the iphone would fit. i'm not sure what i'll do about that yet.

I'm typing this on my new iphone

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yep, it's true. more shortly.

a new iphone! not.

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since i was working the evening shift today, i had nothing better to do with my time than stand in line to get an iphone. plus, with my razr battery getting disturbingly near death, and my razr itself actually getting alzheimer's and forgetting it's a phone from time to time, my holding out for a 3g iphone mixed with me having the day off on its release date seemed like fortune herself was smiling down upon me.

i woke up on my own around 7:30am. amazingly, got up. went to the computer and checked my mail and such. right before 8am my boss called from work with some "urgent" stuff for me to work on. *sigh* spent the next 20 to 30 minutes taking care of that. finally was able to get finished getting ready and walk out the door. drove to the at&t store in rice village. about 30 or 40 people in line. i decided to go check out the at&t store on buffalo speedway at 610. about 15 or 20 people in line. (this is around 9:00am.) parked, got out, got in line. someone in line says the store only got 30 phones, and about 8 or 10 people in the outside line will get phones before they run out. the rest are waiting, hoping someone won't buy so they'll get a chance. "screw that" i think. "it's a small store. i just need to go to a bigger store, since obviously there will be plenty of phones today." get back in my pickup and drive back to rice village. (now around 9:20am.) the line is about the same length. get in line. about 2 minutes later an at&t employee comes out, gathers everyone around him, and says they're out (or about to be out) of iphones so everyone can go home. but he talked to the supplier and they are getting more tomorrow. in fact, they should have more than they got today. i overhear him or someone say "everyone is out." dejected, i get in my pickup and drive home. i start looking around on the internet for info about stores getting small amounts of stock and running out. i can't find anything. finally i give in and decide to try the at&t store on 59 near lakewood nee compaq center nee summit. (this is around 10:00am.) about 20 or 25 people in line. i get in line. about 5 minutes later, at&t employees come out and say no one after about the 8th person in line will be able to get an iphone. i go back home. now i'm really dejected. i search around some more for stories about iphone scarcity. nothing. i get in touch with dwight silverman (of houston chronicle and technology bytes fame), who says he was just getting reports that houston at&t stores are all out. but he's heard nothing about the apple stores being out. *sigh* finally, i give up and decide to go to the (bleh) galleria. (this is around 11:15am.) i get to the galleria and there is a line of probaby 100 to 150 people. there's no way. it's just not worth it. i instead go to sbarro's and get a couple of slices of cheese pizza.

as i sat eating my slices of pizza, i kept thinking "hopefully tomorrow. surely it can't be as bad as today. right?" i guess at least maybe this helped me miss the massive amounts of problems people had activating the devices today. ah, the glory of bittersweet victory.

10 to 6

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well, a number of days ago was my birthday. some of the folk at work got me an xkcd t-shirt (based on this comic). (it's okay if you don't get it...it's a joke based on a unix command.) it's a shirt i really liked, so it was cool to get it as a surprise present. i also enjoyed lots of pie. i ate at armadillo palace with a couple of coworkers, and we shared a slice of their pecan pie (which is the best company-made pecan pie i think i've had). later, back at work, i had some pina colada cake with whipped cream and whole fresh blueberries and raspberries. (okay, it's technically a cake and not pie, but it was mushed up and very wet...perhaps drowned in sweetened condensed milk...so that's more pie-like.) in the evening i went to the house of pies and shared a slice of bayou goo. i rode around on my motorcycle, which was enjoyable. then later that night i had some cherry pie (also house of pies).

last wednesday i went by taurian after the radio show and got my ears stretched from 8 gauge captive hoops to 6 gauge captive hoops. the stretching seemed to go pretty well. (i didn't nearly pass out or anything.) i went home, then i went to the house of pies with jamie and the hot russian chick from work. jamie was inside the loop for some reason, so she was looking for something to do and my birthday was a convenient excuse. which is part of the reason we ended up at the house of pies. the hrcfw had done a surprise drive-by to see my new hoops (and tell me i should stop doing that), so she went ahead and tagged along. after all of the pie i'd just had though, i opted for the fruit salad (which is surprisingly made of pretty good, fresh fruit -- surprising seeing as it's a diner and all, you know).

for the 4th of july, i celebrated america's independence by eating south american food at amazon grill for lunch and mexican food at tacos-a-go-go for supper. i was originally supposed to watch fireworks with the potts clan from the roof of jack's office, but they didn't have the keys to the roof. so i bailed and came home instead. after the rockets' red glare had dimmed, they texted me to see if they could come by to set off some fireworks at my house. i agreed. i got a cigar, turned up the country music on my porch speakers, and sat on the tailgate of my truck waiting for them. and waited. much later, they showed up. the younger two were already asleep by then, so jackson and dietrich got to play with some sparklers and stuff while i hung out with jack and sue and sue's brother shawn (who is in town for the summer).

on saturday i got up and drove my bel air around a little. i then hopped in the pickup and went to meet jack and sue at saint arnold's for the tour. on the way i stopped at target and picked up a picture frame and some new shades. the picture frame is for holding the original braderfly, which i am planning on giving to kelli (and brad).

saturday night i met jack and sue at the house of pies. (this time i got the strawberry waffle.) while there, sue said when they got to saint arnold's they were walking up and jack said wistfully "man!  i remember when this used to free."  and sue replied "uh, jack, it wasn't that long ago." sue and i started laughing, so jack said "well, you know, i'm not so good with realizing time and such."  and we both looked at him and said "you think?!" later on, jack was telling a story and he said "one time, my mom was in hawaii" -- but he sort of slurred it and it was hard to understand, so i took a poor interpretation of it and offered: "one time your mom was whoring?"  sue had just taken a big mouthful of water and she actually spewed it all over everything across the table.  including me. i don't recall ever having someone do a spit take just like in the movies like that.  (although it's probably happened and i just don't recall it.) (you should follow that link, by the way.) about a minute later i said "oh man, remember that time back when you said your mom was in hawaii and i said 'your mom was whoring?' and sue spit water everywhere?" fortunately, sue didn't have water in her mouth the second time.

as of tuesday, there is one less hot russian chick at work. yep, she put in her resignation with two weeks' notice on monday. they locked her accounts and put her out on the street (with pay) on tuesday. she's probably moving on to better things though (if the descriptions of her new job turn out to be true).

also on tuesday, i finally took the bike in to the shop for maintenance. i'm going to be getting an extensive service on it, as well as a new front tire, a state inspection, a replacement reflector on the front fork ($25 for a reflector?), and a replacement clutch assembly cover (since my Texas key ring jacked up the one on it now). afterwards, i went by an aaron brothers and bought some picture frames, as they are having their semi-annual (?) "buy one, get one for a penny" sale. i wanted to get a frame for the russian political poster i've been lugging around with me since 1996 or so. it's a poster for the Либерально-Демократическая Партия России (liberal democratic party of russia, or ldpr) for Ð’. Жирино́вский (vladimir zhirinovsky)...i believe for the 1996 russian presidential election. i got this poster back in 1996 (or maybe 1997) from a russian engineer who was at johnson space center to work on the space station program. he also gave me a leather belt with a brass buckle with the hammer and sickle on it. (i think it is probably a generic military belt.) anyway, i guess he was a fan of a powerful, aggressive, proud russia. back then i had the poster up on my cubicle wall at lockheed martin. i'm not sure anyone knew what it was, really. all that to say, i've had it with me but i haven't really taken care of it. so it's sort of beat up. but i think maybe that just adds to its charm. sort of like russia. ; )

oh yeah. sue, who has decided my birthday is july 7th, baked some butterscotch chip oatmeal cookies for me. jack dropped them off tuesday evening. they're mighty delicious. if you haven't tried any, i highly recommend them.

and about that stretching that seemed to go well...my right ear (the one i got pierced at taurian a few years ago) is fine these days. my left ear...it's not so happy. when i got it pierced by a gun back in 1991 or whenever, it took months to heal and i don't think the skin really grew like it should have. so i'm not sure if the stretching ripped it or what, but it's been at various stages of puffy, pissed off, and possibly infected over the last week. oh well. i assume it'll get better at some point. hopefully it won't take months though.

and now, i must be off to bed. for tomorrow, i have to attempt to stand in line and get myself a new apple 3g iphone.

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