• Life Lessons

    How to Get Comcast to Bury the Cable

    When Comcast (or any other cable provider) installs a new cable line, the installer usually just drops and leaves the new cable line sprawled on the lawn. They have numerous install jobs to go to and they are not wasting their time to bury the cables.

    In many states, including Illinois, there are regulations that cable companies must follow. One of them being, they must bury the cable. But this is not a law in the state constitution. It’s just a regulation that Comcast would get penalized if they don’t follow it. I seriously doubt the Illinois executive branch actually enforces this regulation.

    BUT

    As a business, companies like Comcast have two things to worry about. Lawsuits and Shareholders. So a threat of a lawsuit stemming from unburied cables and a warning from a shareholder watchdog group would scare Comcast into burying the cable.

    The first part is easy, mention to Comcast customer service that the unburied cable is a “Safety hazard”, “somebody could trip on it and get injured”. Because they record all calls, they can’t say the customer didn’t warn them about a potential death trap.

    The second part is a little-bit arcane. Shareholders don’t like when employees don’t follow their own corporation’s rules and procedures. So when you mention a rule or procedure by name, the employee will be sure to jump on it. The particular procedure is called a “Drop (Down) Bury Order”.

    When you say this word or type it into a chat, a special screen becomes available to the employee. It actually lets the customer service person pass your info to a local contractor, usually a landscaper working on the side, to come out to your yard and bury the cable.

    CAVEAT

    The Drop Bury Order will only work if the cable line has already been installed (dropped). You cannot schedule a bury order at the time of your installation order, it must be installed and working to be buried. The install tech must close the install order.

    You must mention the “Safety hazard” “Injury” or any other kind of catastrophic lawsuit words, like “If a fire broke out at night”. If necessary, go out and touch the cable at night and say “I couldn’t see it and almost cracked my head”.

    Remember, if you call at night, you’re talking with somebody in India. They do not understand how houses have lawns or patios in America. They don’t understand the litigious nature of neighbors. They don’t understand the craziness of HOAs. So be patient but firm. Be respectful and thank them, at least for their effort.

    Good luck!

  • Life Lessons,  Tech

    How Data Rescue Saved My Life (sort of) Pt. II

    We’ve left off in part one, where the internal hard drive in my MacBook Pro became non-mountable, Apple replaced the hard drive, I was able to diagnose the bad hard-drive, and pinpoint the problem to a BAD SUPER BLOCK.

    So I needed some kind of  software that could access a non-mounted hard drive and read data off of it to retrieve the two months worth of files. The two months I’ve slacked off from connecting an external USB drive for a TimeMachine backup. I scoured the web for some answers and got myself to the website for Prosoft’s DataRescue 3 (actually, the version number was 3.2).

  • Life Lessons,  Tech

    How Data Rescue Saved My Life (sort of) Pt. I

    This past week, I’ve had the fortunate(?) chance to try out some data recovery software on a malfunctioning hard drive. My MacBook Pro took a beating during transport and the hard drive performance started deteriorating until it would load no more.

    At first, it was taking a whole minute to load anything after I clicked anywhere on any application. So I restarted the computer to find that it would not load beyond the Snow Leopard “Universe” background (no login window). Then after the second restart, It would not load beyond the “grey apple with wheel” screen. “Oh oh”, I thought, “my last back up was two months ago… and it was only the work files”. My personal music, photos, and my tax return was not backed up.

  • Life Lessons

    Americans use Guillotines (and so does United)

    During the French revolution, there were so many people to be beheaded, the executioners’ axes would break. Worse, was when the blade became dull, one throw of the axe would not kill one instantly, leaving them to be wheezing in bloody agony “resting” your head on the cutting block. Thus the guillotine was invented.

  • Life Lessons

    Army as Heinous as Big Tobacco

    Before anybody starts to hammer me, let me say that I am ALL FOR the men and women of the armed forces that are already in theater, risking their lives for the people at home.

    But this CNN article talks of a Army flavored playground, enticing teenagers to get hooked on military action, that is as bad as bubblegum flavored cigarettes.

    You probably have heard this argument over and over – There is NO RESET BUTTON to war. And the simulation facility completely undermines this fact.

    I would only support such facilities if there were simulated repercussions to mission failure – like if you die in a simulation, you can’t see your friends for a whole month, or you have to walk around with one hand tied behind your back and wear an eye patch for a week.

    Without penalties to failure and warnings to the consequences, the Army is as responsible for dead kids as much as the tobacco companies are for cancer patients.