Thursday, September 30, 2004

A little trailer park drama

Today marks a year I've been working at my current job. I really like working at Sidtek (BTW I made that site), albeit it doesn't always pay every single bill every month, but it is a lot of fun. Tomorrow we'll be going to the business expo. For the past month and a half or so, I've been working hard on case mods and...well...this Hard Drive Collage Mobile Transit Unit. I really don't know how to describe it other than what I've done on my web page, so just follow the link. Most likely I'll be posting pictures of my latest and greatest case mod too.

Trailer life has been a little too exciting recently. This month we get two leaks for the price of one. A little while ago we sprung a leek under the bathroom sink at a "T" joint, and yesterday a new leek was discovered between the 12Volt water pump and something else that I don't know what it does. I'm guessing it's some kind of water filter. In any case, I guess I'll learn soon enough.

Now for a little trailer park drama...

Being the nice guy that I am, I do some minor computer repair for the front office here in the RV park. Normally I don't charge them because it's simple stuff; like removing floppies from the disk drive so they boot up. I only actually charged them once because I had to do a Windows reinstall, and since my loyalty to my job has increased with raises I'm not inclined to do under the table work. So I charged the RV park what I would charge any other customer for a reinstall of Windows, and they were happy. Not only where they happy they got a computer back up and running, but you see my boss is such a nice guy he let the RV park take the charge off of my rent instead of paying him. I certainly wasn't going to complain.

This all happen just before my electric meter stopped working. It's my curse to be an honest guy, so when I paid my electric bill I told them about my meter. No harm, I still got 3 weeks of free electricity. The front office was so happy with me, because seriously, who would say anything if their electric meter just stopped? They were so happy with me they sent me a fictitious electric bill to "recoup" their loss? Their loss? They're a freakin' RV Park! They have at least 200 people paying $265 a month, and they're worried about my few weeks of free electricity? On top of that they charged me more for the time my meter wasn't working than I've ever used before. The most I've ever spent on electricity was around 55 Kilo-Watt hours a day; they charged me 62.

My first instinct is to go in the front office and give them a piece of my mind, but after talking it over with my boss I came up with a new plan. The RV park showed me that they don't give a damn about anything but money. They didn't take into account that I've done all kinds of work for them without charge because they're more than landlords; they're neighbors too. I was always taught to be nice to neighbors. Apparently they weren't raised in such a way (kind of sad since I'm 24 and they're at least 100 and they don't understand the concept of neighborly). I also understand that it's not fair to blame the park, it's really just one person. Everyone else is actually really fair and neighborly. Anyway, back to my plan. They're greedy and care more about money than being neighborly or even satisfying customers, so they came up with an electric bill that could never hold up in court. And now, next time I go to take a floppy disk out of the drive, they get charged our minimum of 1 hour labor--$81.19.

So that was my plan, I wasn't sure when it would be put into effect, but guess who called the repair shop the day after I got the phony electric bill? Yup, you know it was my RV park. I was out of the shop for all of 12 minutes (so this includes drive time there and back) and charged them $81.19. When I went to go pay their made up bill I was able to hand them an invoice that was actually a few dollars more. My theory here is, I'm going to treat them the way they treat me, like ruthless bushiness men.

Monday, September 20, 2004

A Discovery

Tonight I was standing in my trailer and I stretched. My hands quickly found the ceiling. It made since to me that if I can stand on the floor and reach the ceiling, that I should be able to stand on the ceiling and reach the floor. I was right.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Some bad news...only some

Some bad news here at the Geek Wagon. First they replaced my defective electric meter. Oh well, free electricity was nice while it lasted, but that's what happens when you're honest. Now it's back to being energy conservative.

Not long ago, I was happy that in the three years I've owned my truck that I've never had a crack or ding in my windshield. Well today, that changed. A freakin' meteorite came from SPACE and landed on my windshield. Well, it probably wasn't a meteorite, but it left a crater instead of a crack. This one will definitely not be a free bee. Surprisingly I took it light heartedly. In fact I laughed...what else am I going to do?

I made an update to I started a documentation of the Hard Drive Collage complete with a photo album.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The New York Times - Fans Hope Suns Can Rise Again on 'Star Trek'

The New York Times - Fans Hope Suns Can Rise Again on 'Star Trek'

Personally I'm a big Star Trek fan. I think most of everything I've learned about everyday life, I've learned from Star Trek. I believe mankind is good, and the human race will stand the test of time because we have the ability to overcome all odds. Star Trek has taught me this. It has shown me that there is nothing I cannot do if I really want to. It has helped me over come may obstacles with the use of logic, or on rare occasions when logic doesn't work, my gut feeling.

I know I'm not the only one passionate about Star Trek. Logically I say let "Enterprise" run it's course then let it die off. That way when it comes back it will come back big and make a lot of people happy (and others a lot of money). On the other hand, emotionally, I want it to go on. I want to see the crew of "Enterprise" make it on the big screen. I want a Star Trek series set in the 29th century. I want to see James T. Kirk come back. I want to see a movie that encompasses The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise (Voyager was intentionally left out). I even want to see shows about other people in the Star Trek universe. I know most of all that will be left to fan fiction, but that doesn't make me want it any less. I also know, having is not so pleasing as wanting. It is not logical, but often true.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Floppy Disk Becoming Relic of the Past

Yahoo! News - Floppy Disk Becoming Relic of the Past

I've been complaining about floppies for years; they so need to go somewhere else. There are two things in particular I can think of right now that, in most cases, can only be done with a floppy. Flash your BIOS and install Windows XP on unsupported controllers. Well that latter there is a work around, but it's still a pain. Some motherboard manufactures have moved to alternative means to flashing a BIOS. I've been fortunate enough to use Gigabytes web update BIOS flash utility. That's a trip and a half when you're used to using a boot disk to do it (and cross your fingers the power doesn't go out lol).

Unfortunately, as a computer repair technician, most of the stuff I work with is way behind the times. Even if all computer manufactures start making computers without floppies, it'll be a long time before I don't see them any more. Hell, I still get the occasional 5.25" floppy disk drive around here.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Granted my blog has turned into my own personal Slashdot; filled with links to interesting articles so that, when they come up in conversation, I can show them to my friends. On occasion I still like to sit down and write about life in the Geek Wagon. Probably the most interesting of recent news, my electric meter has stopped spinning. My travel trailer has become free range for fast moving electrons, and you better believe those bad boys are moving. The A/C on high, all the computers on 24/7 folding their little proteins, hell I even leave random lights on just because I can.

I've got a few projects going on at the repair shop, between computer repairs. The grandest being the Hard Drive College Mobile Transit Unit. Some people know about the Hard Drive College. It's a collection of hard drives that have gone bad and I opened them up so that the platters and read/write heads are visible. Then a couple of power supplies were rigged up to power the hard drives and they do absolutely nothing...but it's loud and impressive. The place I work, SidTek, is going to a business expo, and we need something to attract attention. What better than something large, noisy, and shiny? Now I've undertaken the task of moving all the hard drives, 37 now, from their secure location on the wall to a large, and very thick, piece of plywood. It's amazing how heavy 37 hard drives can get. The completed Hard Drive College Mobile Transit Unit will hopefully have wheels.

Other in shop projects include helping my girlfriend paint her case so that she has a nice black base to do some original art work. Knowing her ability to be a perfectionist it should turn out great. Also I'm still working on the upside down computer case mod. This one may take a while, and it's kind of complicated to explain. I'll post pictures when it's done.

My web page,, has been updated in an effort to include things like substance. I've added a whole new section called odd mods; that I hope will turn into a place to show off case mods. Right now it's just a really neat looking place to put a column I wrote. I hope to add more columns in the future; mostly to practice my journalism skills...or maybe find out if I have any journalism skills. Also this is a unique opportunity to use the Google Adsense I got approved for.

Another exciting thing for me is my new found ability to invite people to use gmail. It was quite exciting when I got a gmail account, but now that I can invite people to gmail I think that's twice as fun. It seems the more people I invite, the more invites I get. Any one who might be interested feel free to email me at

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

'Star Trek' actor James Doohan gets Hollywood star, farewell

'Star Trek' actor James Doohan gets Hollywood star, farewell

I'm surprised he didn't have it already....for that matter the entire original series cast should each have two stars.

Flexbeta - AbiWord vs. MS Word - Page 1

Flexbeta - AbiWord vs. MS Word - Page 1

This is the first time I've heard of AbiWord, but from the article I think I'll probably be sticking with as my Microsoft Office suite substitute.