it’s been fixed… for weird definitions of fixed

Click to enlarge.  It’s not fake – I don’t have nearly the skill necessary to do so even if I wanted to.  It’s all I can do to add the red ellipses in mspaint. 🙂



how many things are wrong with this error dialog?

Here’s a lovely error I got from VSTS(uite) 2008 SP1 during a debugging session this morning:


At least Google lets me know the error message is “A supplied object or type belongs to the wrong AppDomain”, so I’m guessing the app domain recycled for some reason (I think I edited web.config, which would do it) and the debugger’s mixing the old and new app domains.

No URL, no (clickable or otherwise) link.  How am I supposed to get to this “Microsoft Help and Support web site”?  I need to find it, so I guess I need a search engine, not a decision engine 🙂

That happens to get into another thing I disagree(d) on – “website” (better, IMHO) vs. “web site” (worse, IMHO, but a decreed UE standard, although so is not saying “please” in error messages, which the above violates).


I’ll save that for another day, though.

My son loves the Backyardigans

Of course, since I Control The Remote(tm) (simply because Jessica’s out shopping at the moment, admittedly 🙂 I get to pick the episode.  One of my favorite is an underwater explorer adventure (looking for mermaids) called “Into The Deep” where Pablo and Tyrone are dressed up like Zissou team members (which I liked, even though the RT score isn’t great).


One of my favorite exchanges between them during the episode, which admittedly doesn’t work as well written but I can’t find the clip on YouTube right now, goes as such, between the commander (Pablo) and the navigator (Tyrone):

  • Tyrone: Commander Pablo, we’ve begun our descent.
  • Pablo: Excellent! Speed?
  • Tyrone: Fast.
  • Pablo: Direction?
  • Tyrone: Down.
  • Pablo: Temperature?
  • Tyrone: Cold.
  • Pablo: Time?
  • Tyrone: uh, now.

That’s all – we now return you to your regularly scheduled Saturdays, already in progress.

Found a backdoor in my mortgage payoff!

While paying off the mortgage recently, CitiMortgage said I had to send in the payoff amount as certified funds to a particular address in Iowa.  Sure enough, if I tried to pay the balance as a one-time electronic payment through the web interface, it wouldn’t let me.

Now, I’m really sick of dealing with companies that force users to do thing via 1) snail mail or 2) fax or even 3) phone calls.  That’s one of the reasons we switched our checking accounts over to a place that lets me just scan in the check and be done with it – no more having to take the check to some place (ATM or otherwise) to deposit it.

Anyway, back on topic, I really wanted to avoid having to go to a bank to get a certified check then mail it in, hope it didn’t get lost in the mail, hope they processed it by the end of the month when the payoff amount would “expire”, etc. etc.

So, I tried something that I didn’t expect to work, but it did.

I paid the remaining balance except for one penny through their web site.  That part worked fine.  Logged in to the web site the next day (after the payment posted) and sure enough, Principal Balance is listed as $0.01

Then I called their customer service number today and asked the nice lady if I really needed to get a certified check for $0.01 and mail it in.  She laughed and said that if the balance is below $10 they’ll typically just take it out of the escrow balance and close the mortgage.  Sure enough, she did that for me and the mortgage is now closed and a check for the remaining escrow balance is on its way to me.  I got pretty immediate feedback from the web site as well since I then tried to log back into the web interface to confirm it, and I can’t even login any more since the account’s been closed 🙂

Yay for sneaking around stupid silly corporate requirements! 🙂

finally free of the platter – how did I live before SSD? Oh, and… newegg price gouging?

I finally took the plunge last week and swapped out the 320GB 5400rpm drive that came with this laptop (Core 2 Duo, 4GB, Win7) for a 160GB second-generation Intel SSD.  The performance improvement is dramatic, as many others have noticed, but it still amazed me.  The best way I can put it is that around 5% of my time before I’d notice operations I’d have to wait on (things that fell above my personal threshold for “instant”) and invariably glance down to see the HDD indicator light blinking furiously. 

Now that doesn’t happen any more – all such operations feel “instant” as they fall below that threshold.  The things that aren’t “instant” are things that are still dramatically faster, like copying multi-gig files or backing up and restoring multi-gig databases. 

More qualitatively, I’m happier with the laptop as those times of waiting were very annoying for a laptop I just picked up a month ago.  The machine now meets (well, exceeds really) the performance expectations I had when picking up the laptop in the first place, which definitely wasn’t the case with the 5400rpm platter drive it had before.




This one turned out a bit fuzzier than I had hoped, but you get the idea:



One thing I just noticed today is that the price for the drive doubled since I ordered it just over a week ago.


Here’s the $450 I had to pay for it just 9 days ago (also picked up the external enclosure Joel recommended since I stuck the now-free laptop 320GB drive on my Windows Home Server for extra storage).  I found the processor comment amusing, presumably there because I was getting an Intel product.



It’s now $900 bucks for the same drive (and still sold out!)


Checking google products it seems like most places are still charging the $450, but they’re also still sold out.  A couple of the comments on the page call it price gouging, and while I’m not sure it meets the strict definition of such, Newegg is definitely cashing in big-time on the high demand, or at least attempting to do so 🙂



I’m sure the price-fixing accusations that they’re giving Intel kickbacks to funnel a disproportionate supply of the drives to them to prevent $450 competition from other retailers will start soon 🙂