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Oogie McGuire [userpic]

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January 4th, 2015 (12:50 pm)

Everything will be over on www.desertweyr.com eventually.

Oogie McGuire [userpic]

Apple iOS4 Problems on iPod Touch - UPDATE Downgrade Instructions

June 25th, 2010 (11:37 am)
Tags: , ,

Well I stupidly upgraded my iPod touch to the iOS4 system yesterday.

Don't do it!

The battery life is now less than 12 hours even with wifi off. The advantages of the OS are not worth the hassle but to add insult to injury I can't go back.

Now the first rule of any computer system is that you need to be able to recover to where you were before you changed stuff. That's why we all do backups right?

Well Apple will not allow you to downgrade or go back a version in the firmware once you have upgraded. I called Apple Customer support and was told no option exists to do this at all. I tried to post in the Apple discussion forums as the rep said I should do to suggest that people call in and request changes and my message was rejected and pulled from the forum.

Here is it in its entirety because the issue is important:

From: communityhosts@apple.com
Subject: Apple Discussions - Post Removed by Host
Date: June 25, 2010 11:20:38 AM MDT


Apple removed your post on Apple Discussions, titled "Apple Cust Serve response re iOS4," because it contained the following:

Speculation or Rumors
Discussion of Apple Policies, Procedures or Decisions
Off-topic or non-technical posts

We are including a copy of your post at the end of this email for your reference.

Our terms of use, which include helpful information about using Apple Discussions, is located here: http://discussions.apple.com/help.jspa We encourage you to continue using the Apple Discussions while abiding by our terms of use.

If you would like to send feedback to Apple about a product, please use the appropriate selection here: http://www.apple.com/feedback

As part of submitting feedback, please read the Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy linked to the feedback page.

Kind regards,

Apple Discussions staff


A copy of your message:

I just got off the phone with Apple Customer Support. I have verified that there is no way for a consumer to downgrade the firmware in an iPod or iPhone unless you jailbreak it.

If you think the consumer needs to have the ability to choose which version of firmware & SW to run and the ability to go back a version if something isn't working for you you have to call in to Apple. They will only consider it an issue if they get Apple Support calls on it. The highest level person I spoke with had not had any other calls about the problem.

I mentioned the numerous reports here and was told that unregulated forums are not considered important.

This message is sent from a send-only email account. Any replies sent to this address are deleted automatically by the system.


Here is how I've managed to downgrade my iPod Touch 2nd generation to 3.1.2

I can't get the 3.1.3 firmware to install. Apple has disabled it.

Doing so is at your own risk and you will lose all application specific data. My app data was only game high scores so I didn't really care.

I have one app that I was using fabric stash that now won't run because it required 3.1.3

I did call Apple Support, paid $59 for the privilege of telling them how stupid it is to not provide an easy backup/downgrade plan. No satisfaction there at all. But at least I can harass them again for another 2 years. (I bought the Apple Care plan as I figured if I use it 1 more time I am at break even)

To do it you must either locate a copy of your old firmware on your machine the files are usually in ~user/library/itunes/iPod software updates

You can also download the various firmware files here: http://www.felixbruns.de/iPod/firmware/

Be sure to put it on the desktop or somewhere not in the normal folder.

iTunes automatically moves to trash all older firmware files when it comes up

Run iTunes and option click on restore. Navigate to the location of the new file and select it for restore.

This did all work and I was able to eventually restore all my apps except as noted above.

Oogie McGuire [userpic]

SplashShopper problems

February 11th, 2010 (12:46 pm)

I've been a loyal user of SplashShopper on the Mac and on the Palm for years. It's one of the best shopping applications out there, fast, responsive and allows the creation of many lists and stores.

When I got my new iPod Touch I was looking forward to getting SS running on it. The lask of support for traditional Palm OS is forcing the move to a newer platform.

Imagine my dismay when the SplashShopper product on the iPhone/iPod Touch is horribly slow and completely unusable as a normal shopping program.

SplashData has said that it doesn't handle lists larger than a few hundred items. Now I don't know anyone who only has a few hundred items they routinely buy. It's doubly frustrating since SplashShopper works so well on the older Palm OS system.

So I made this video of a side by side comparison of identical SplashShopper databases on both my Treo and my iPod touch that demonstrates the issues.

Oogie McGuire [userpic]

Quick Note Taking Systems

December 2nd, 2009 (09:32 am)

Recap: I needed a faster way to take notes during brainstorming sessions

After reviewing traditional shorthand, LiveScribe and a couple other choices I narrowed my choices down to EasyScript and QuickHand.

To get a feel for the two systems I bought two books off Ebay, EasyScript Express and a Quickhand Self Teaching Guide. Yes I knwo that in many places libraries have these or can get them via inter-library loan but our county library does not have those books and the cost to get them via ILL was more than purchasing my own used copies on E-bay. Many rural libraries charge for inter library loans so you have to carefully weigh the cost of an ILL vs buying the item even if you only plan to read it once.

I have finished reading both books and practicing with both systems for a short while.

My opinion now is that of the 2 systems EasyScript is the easiest to learn, fastest and most adaptable.

My take on the 2 systems:

Presumes legible longhand writing, a major negative point for me personally who always uses a mix of script and printed letters in normal writing.

Strict system of abbreviations for specific words you have to memorize

Presumes taking transcriptions not just notes. Focus is on capturing as fast as someone can speak, useful but I tend to abbreviate my notes as I only need to remember what I was thinking not what exactly someone said except in a few cases.

Looks like a modified form of Gregg shorthand in how it is written, position and penmanship matter

Defines several rules for how to abbreviate any word

Ignores how you write what the abbreviations are, script, print symbols they don't care just that you use a consistent framework based on word structure.

Very flexible in terms of subjects you can take notes on because the rules are based on word parts not on specific words.

Explicitly allows and suggests defining a personal set of abbreviations based on your specific needs and topics.

As you can tell from the above I found EasyScript much more adaptable and useful.

I am now going to explore Easyscript more and may invest in the more detailed training options available. I have already seen an improvement in how fast I can capture/collect thoughts using the few rules I have managed to really memorize. I got a bit confused trying to learn both systems so I need to let the Quickhand stuff go away before I try to become more proficient in EasyScript.

And if anyone wants my Quickhand book, you can have it for the cost of shipping.

Oogie McGuire [userpic]

RMPBS Signal Lost in Translation

November 23rd, 2009 (07:21 am)

PBS is the only TV channel that has actual useful programs. Real news via Nightly Business Report and the Newshour and interesting shows, documentary and entertainment.

Unfortunately for much of rural America the vaunted digital transformation is a joke.

You see a little known exemption means that anyone who receives an over the air signal from a repeater or translator may and probably still is getting analog only.

Our local PBS channel comes to us via the Montrose Colorado translator. There have been continual problems with this device. Lip synch had been off for well over a year with no effort to fix it at all. That was finally mostly fixed or at least much improved but the problems just continue. There is no signal at all for hours at a time and all the HD shows are no longer letterboxed so we lose the sides of the picture.

Last night was one of the worse.

Montrose Signal 11 22 2009
This is typical of what we now get as the over the air signal from Montrose.

We do not have a cable TV option here at all. Our only source of TV programming is what comes over the air. We have typically been strong supporter of PBS for over 30 years but the quality of the signal has gone downhill for the last 10 years. Problems like this are why we have not provided anything but the most basic level of donation to RMPBS this year and why we are seriously considering whether to continue to support them at all.

I tried to go to the web site to send this problem to the staff and got this as a result:

Error Occurred While Processing Request
The request has exceeded the allowable time limit Tag: cfhttp

The error occurred in D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\components\geocode\weather.cfm: line 3
Called from D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_base.cfm: line 212
Called from D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_base.cfm: line 16
Called from D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_base.cfm: line 1
Called from D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_main.cfm: line 37
Called from D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\index.cfm: line 68
1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 :
• Check the ColdFusion documentation to verify that you are using the correct syntax.
• Search the Knowledge Base to find a solution to your problem.

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_8; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.8 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Safari/531.21.10
Remote Address
22-Nov-09 08:18 PM
Stack Trace
at cfweather2ecfm392122407.runPage(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\components\geocode\weather.cfm:3) at cflay_base2ecfm627587862._factor5(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_base.cfm:212) at cflay_base2ecfm627587862._factor7(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_base.cfm:16) at cflay_base2ecfm627587862.runPage(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_base.cfm:1) at cflay_main2ecfm1085442545.runPage(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_main.cfm:37) at cfindex2ecfm331706758.runPage(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\index.cfm:68)

coldfusion.runtime.RequestTimedOutException: The request has exceeded the allowable time limit Tag: cfhttp at coldfusion.tagext.net.HttpTag.checkTimeout(HttpTag.java:2014) at coldfusion.tagext.net.HttpTag.connHelper(HttpTag.java:924) at coldfusion.tagext.net.HttpTag.doEndTag(HttpTag.java:1062) at cfweather2ecfm392122407.runPage(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\components\geocode\weather.cfm:3) at coldfusion.runtime.CfJspPage.invoke(CfJspPage.java:196) at coldfusion.tagext.lang.IncludeTag.doStartTag(IncludeTag.java:370) at coldfusion.runtime.CfJspPage._emptyTcfTag(CfJspPage.java:2661) at cflay_base2ecfm627587862._factor5(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_base.cfm:212) at cflay_base2ecfm627587862._factor7(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_base.cfm:16) at cflay_base2ecfm627587862.runPage(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_base.cfm:1) at coldfusion.runtime.CfJspPage.invoke(CfJspPage.java:196) at coldfusion.tagext.lang.IncludeTag.doStartTag(IncludeTag.java:370) at coldfusion.runtime.CfJspPage._emptyTcfTag(CfJspPage.java:2661) at cflay_main2ecfm1085442545.runPage(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\resources\layouts\lay_main.cfm:37) at coldfusion.runtime.CfJspPage.invoke(CfJspPage.java:196) at coldfusion.tagext.lang.IncludeTag.doStartTag(IncludeTag.java:370) at coldfusion.runtime.CfJspPage._emptyTcfTag(CfJspPage.java:2661) at cfindex2ecfm331706758.runPage(D:\wwwRoot\cc_RMPBS_web_application\index.cfm:68) at coldfusion.runtime.CfJspPage.invoke(CfJspPage.java:196) at coldfusion.tagext.lang.IncludeTag.doStartTag(IncludeTag.java:370) at coldfusion.filter.CfincludeFilter.invoke(CfincludeFilter.java:65) at coldfusion.filter.ApplicationFilter.invoke(ApplicationFilter.java:279) at coldfusion.filter.RequestMonitorFilter.invoke(RequestMonitorFilter.java:48) at coldfusion.filter.MonitoringFilter.invoke(MonitoringFilter.java:40) at coldfusion.filter.PathFilter.invoke(PathFilter.java:86) at coldfusion.filter.ExceptionFilter.invoke(ExceptionFilter.java:70) at coldfusion.filter.ClientScopePersistenceFilter.invoke(ClientScopePersistenceFilter.java:28) at coldfusion.filter.BrowserFilter.invoke(BrowserFilter.java:38) at coldfusion.filter.NoCacheFilter.invoke(NoCacheFilter.java:46) at coldfusion.filter.GlobalsFilter.invoke(GlobalsFilter.java:38) at coldfusion.filter.DatasourceFilter.invoke(DatasourceFilter.java:22) at coldfusion.CfmServlet.service(CfmServlet.java:175) at coldfusion.bootstrap.BootstrapServlet.service(BootstrapServlet.java:89) at jrun.servlet.FilterChain.doFilter(FilterChain.java:86) at coldfusion.monitor.event.MonitoringServletFilter.doFilter(MonitoringServletFilter.java:42) at coldfusion.bootstrap.BootstrapFilter.doFilter(BootstrapFilter.java:46) at jrun.servlet.FilterChain.doFilter(FilterChain.java:94) at jrun.servlet.FilterChain.service(FilterChain.java:101) at jrun.servlet.ServletInvoker.invoke(ServletInvoker.java:106) at jrun.servlet.JRunInvokerChain.invokeNext(JRunInvokerChain.java:42) at jrun.servlet.JRunRequestDispatcher.invoke(JRunRequestDispatcher.java:286) at jrun.servlet.ServletEngineService.dispatch(ServletEngineService.java:543) at jrun.servlet.jrpp.JRunProxyService.invokeRunnable(JRunProxyService.java:203) at jrunx.scheduler.ThreadPool$DownstreamMetrics.invokeRunnable(ThreadPool.java:320) at jrunx.scheduler.ThreadPool$ThreadThrottle.invokeRunnable(ThreadPool.java:428) at jrunx.scheduler.ThreadPool$UpstreamMetrics.invokeRunnable(ThreadPool.java:266) at jrunx.scheduler.WorkerThread.run(WorkerThread.java:66)

Come on PBS if you want support you need to provide a basic level of service or at least indicate that you know there are problems and give us a hint of when they will be fixed!

Oogie McGuire [userpic]

Salt in Old Wounds

May 11th, 2009 (07:04 am)

OK, So not satisfied with canceling our Pioneer Plan phone without contacting or notifying us at all, Sprint had the gall to send us this letter.

Yep, they are asking if we still need that line or it will be cancelled.

I called and was told that the letter went out in error because our line had already been cancelled.

I am waiting to hear back from Mr. Scott Lane for his explanation of the incredible stupidity of this action.

Oogie McGuire [userpic]

Exploring Social Media

May 2nd, 2009 (01:04 pm)

An article I read a while ago about reserving your usernames on popular social media sites was the stimulus to force me into exploring Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Because of our farm business I added Ravelry to the short list of critical places to be on. At first I just wanted to be sure no one else was OogieM on those places. And also to reserve Desert Weyr. I soon added Etsy as well as upgraded my CafePress site (although that is still a work in progress)

But I've found that for me there is usefulness in all of these new media.

Twitter is short and I am following several folks I met on GTD forums, some farming and cooking people and a few fiber folks as well. It's very interesting to see how businesses can use Twitter for good service and customer feedback.

Facebook is mostly used for local communications between folks here in the valley. In fact we use it to communicate with people doing remodeling work on our new building in town.

Ravelry is the big surprise. My on-line wool orders had really slowed down, but once I started posting and participating in Ravelry groups and sharing my fiber projects orders picked up. I think my old e-mail list customers had moved on and forgotten about our farm and its products.

You Tube is the next to work on, we do have a small video up there of new lambs but we haven't yet done much with it.

Etsy is a bust so far, no sales yet and I haven't spent much time improving my site to attract more buyers. My CafePress site is also in the same boat but since it's now going to be not only our personal farm site for logo merchandise but also the place where you can buy stuff that supports the American Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Association and our Historical Society I hope things will improve.

I'd be interested in seeing how other small businesses use these new tools to get the word out. Let me know in the comments.

BTW you can find me at:

OogieM on Twitter
Oogie McGuire in Facebook
OogieM on Ravelry
DesertWeyr on Etsy
DesertWeyr on Cafe Press
DesertWeyr on YouTube

Oogie McGuire [userpic]

Is Wealth Really Gone?

March 11th, 2009 (08:08 am)

Headline today is that 45% of the world's wealth is gone in the recent economic storm.

But is this really true?

Depends on how you define wealth.

No one has destroyed gold bars, the semiconductor plants are still operating, barring soil erosion farms still can grow food. Snow still falls generating water and electricity for our use.

So is the wealth in the numbers on a paper that aren't real or is it in the tangible assets?

I'd argue that true wealth is in tangible assets, sheep in the fields, hay in the barn, clothes on your back, real, physical things and that in real terms the wealth of the world is not down.

The only bad part is to convert some of those assets into usable stuff you need items that you must purchase with those fake dollars. Harvesting hay costs fuel we have to buy.

Those whose wealth and livelihoods depended on phantom dollars on paper growing in value unrelated to real tangible assets are in trouble. Those who maintained a connection to real physical assets are not nearly as bad off.

Want to help yourself in this crisis then start creating tangible assets. Plant a garden, keep a few chickens as inside cage birds for eggs, sew one item of clothing yourself. Generate real wealth and you can wait out the doomsayers bemoaning the loss of their paper profits.

Oogie McGuire [userpic]

Customer Service the Good and the Bad

February 22nd, 2009 (07:42 am)

4 recent incidents prompted this mini-rant about customer service.

First the Bad:

We were one of the very first users of Sprint PCS service. We were in San Diego and had a Pioneer Plan phone. The deal was the phone was to have no monthly fees for life but paid a very high per minute charge. When we moved back to Colorado we still kept our Sprint phone although there was no Sprint service here. Several years later Sprint bought Cleartalk and we decided to get cell phones with Sprint and switch our wire line to my phone number. We've had the same phone number in my family for over 30 years and I was not about to change it. This took filing a complaint with the FCC about our local phone company who initially refused to transfer the number. Long story short we did manage to get the number switched to Sprint service.

Now, several years later I'm looking at doing more bill paying on-line and was having problems getting set up at the Sprint web site. I contacted their on-line chat help and they assisted me in getting the accounts set up for the two current phones here in Colorado. But when I tried to get our old Pioneer line phone set up I couldn't do it at all. Found out that Sprint, with no warning and no notice, had cancelled the phone for non-use. We typically used it once a year when traveling as it's per minute charge was still less than the roaming charge on our existing phones. Now I can see asking about canceling a phone but to do so without ever a single warning to the customer that it was going to be cancelled was really bad. Sure the phone number didn't show up on Sprints new billing system but I didn't expect it too because it had no monthly fee. Not only did Sprint cancel our long term phone number and contract but they also refused to re-instate it even with a new phone number. If going to supervisors is like levels on a game I made it to level five before stalling out.

FInal result, no additional Pioneer plan phone in our house and down to 2 Sprint phones. Unintended consequence for Sprint. The Pioneer plan phone we had was the only reason we stayed with Sprint for so many years. Without that link we are now shopping cell phone plans in our area and expect to switch when our contract runs out. Sprint's inability to provide the customer with a clear warning of impending significant changes has lost them a very long time customer.

Bad Customer Service Number 2

I run on a Macintosh. I spent the last year gearing up for the switch to Leopard (10.5.6) because I had many legacy applications I needed to replace or upgrade. So finally I made the switch around the first of the year. Major operating system upgrades are always fraught with hassle, particularly in how they handle printing and scanning. I had verified at the HP site that our laser multifunction printer a model 3015 was one of those that would be supported by Leopard. Note the printer is clearly listed on page 6 of this document and has no notes that scanning will not be supported. I know it is an older printer so I checked it first.

Hewlett Packard Launch PDF

I follow all the procedures and install Leopard per all the instructions. I get printing to work but scanning no longer works on my machine at all. I started searching the HP site for help. Discovered that some folks from several months ago said HP was not yet supporting scanning on the multifunction printers. So I download and install HPs latest driver SW thinking that might fix it.

No such luck. I finally call HP service after being lost in their e-mail service for days with no response other than stock answers to reboot and install new drivers etc. When I finally found a person to talk to the answer is that HP no longer supports scanning under Mac OS X Leopard for their multifunction printers. No amount of pointing out that their own website says they do got any results. I was offered the chance to buy a new HP multifunction printer at full price.

Needless to say this will be my last HP printer. When this one dies or as is more likely I can no longer get cartridges for it I will buy something else. I will never buy another HP product because they lied. Had HP honestly documented on their web site that scanning would not work under Leopard for my older printer I'd have been upset but not totally unhappy. I could have planned for how to handle the change and in fact probably would have bought a new HP printer. Instead I went out and bought a nice Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M and got rolling on scanning year end documents within minutes.

Now the Good

I got a kindle from Amazon last summer. The first one had some problems which resulted in Amazon sending out a replacement. By the time the replacement got here the first one was working. It was an authentication error with the EVDO data service that got fixed at Sprint. By now we had decided that we needed two kindles in the house so I called Amazon and they said to keep the replacement and after 30 days my credit card would be charged. I did and they did. I download and read a lot of samples, put a number of them in my save for later section on Amazon and also have a lot of the free books from both feedbooks.com and Gutenberg on my kindle. I started having problems with it not holding a charge for overnight. I used Amazon's call me back now service option. The support person called back immediately and we spent several days back and forth testing things and working out a solution. Along the entire thing I was able to get back to the same support person I had originally spoken too, so he knew the history and understood the problem. Amazon was all ready to send me a new kindle but I was sure it was a software problem not a hardware one. I managed to get enough samples and music off my kindle and left it plugged in overnight to fully re-index the system and the power draining has stopped. I still suspect it is a bug in the power management and other kindle owners report a similar thing on occasion but it is rare. The kindle appears to go into an infinite loop reindexing the system under some hard to replicate circumstances. During the entire episode the Amazon rep was cheerful and helpful and called me back when I asked and really worked to try to help me get my kindle back operating properly. I was very impressed and will continue to buy kindle books. Now I'm not going to get a kindle 2, but I'll look at kindle 3 when they come out.

Good Customer Service Number 2

My last good customer service episode was with Apple. I was trying to put some MP3 files on an SD card to use in our non-apple music player. I could get the card to less than half full and then I'd start getting errors that the card was full and there was no space. The mac system reported over 1 GB of space left so I was confused. Putting the card into a Linux system showed that for some reason Spotlight was reserving a huge space for indexes and there was no way to turn the indexing off for that drive because it was a removable card. I used Apple's call me back now option and got a real human on the phone almost immediately. The customer service rep stayed with me for over half an hour as we tried various options and finally we got the card reformatted. He stayed on the line waiting while I slowly transferred over a bunch of files to get up to the limits to verify that the problems was fixed. Sure I wish the solution had not involved a full reformat of the card but I was pleased that the customer service rep was willing to stay on the line until I was satisfied it was all working even though it took a long time. None of this reformat and call back later BS.

So the lesson for businesses is that you need to keep in mind that customers can be very loyal if you keep us informed of your plans, call back when asked and do not lie to us about your service.

In these hard economic times companies would do well to remember that one upset customer will tell many, as I am doing on this blog, and that retaining a customer is far better than to trying to get a new one.

Oogie McGuire [userpic]

Going to activate this Blog

February 21st, 2009 (07:34 am)

While our major farm blog is over on blogspot I'm going to start using this one for other items. In the coming weeks and months look for irregular posts about technology, GTD and whatever else catches my fancy that is not directly farm related.

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