• 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.


    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.


    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!

  • Tech

    Using curl to download sequential files

    We all know one may use curl to download sequential files like this:

    curl -O http://www.example.com/file[01-09].txt

    But what if the site admin named the files using a more complicated scheme like “file01_101.txt” and “file02_102.txt”?

    You can actually pass a simple for loop using a variable, like this:

    for x in {1..9}; do curl -O http://www.example.com/file0{$x}_10{$x}.txt; done;

    If the URL gets more complicated like “file01-oo.jpg” and “file02-01.jpg” but still have a pattern, you can get creative too!

    for x in {1..9}; do y=$(( $x-1 )); 
    //for testing// echo "file0$x_$y.jpg"; 
    //actual// curl -O http://www.example.com/file0{$x}_{$y}.jpg; 
    HTH :)
  • Tech

    [Mac OS X] Using Memory Cards as a Boot Drive

    Quick Note

    On Intel based Macs, you can use USB thumb drives and SD cards as boot drives when you need to recover/re-install OS X. But they must be plugged into the BUILT-IN USB or SD card slots. The boot media will NOT work with a USB hub, memory card reader, or PCI interface. So, if you’ve been building a library of boot drives on SD cards for the Macbook Pro, then you’re SOL with desktop Macs that do not have a built-in SD card slot. You should move away from SD cards anyways since newer Macbooks do not come with built-in SD slots anymore.


    The boot media must be formatted for “Mac Extended (Journaled)” and the boot partition must be “GUID” enabled.

  • Automotive

    Note: 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo (9PA) Brake Pad & Rotor Replacement

    Some notes for the brake pad and rotor replacement on the 2008 CTT.

    • Time – 90 min/wheel
    • Technical -★★☆☆☆
    • Strength – ★★★★★
    • Dexterity -★★★☆☆

    On the 2008 Turbo (and possibly the Transsiberia) ONLY, the “big-red” calipers are the closed-top type. Therefore the brake pads cannot be removed without taking the calipers off the mounting brackets. That’s okay, because with how the car eats through the OEM rotors, you’ll want to change the rotors too. The bolt sizes are different from all other model years, so BEWARE.

    The process for replacing the pads and rotors are not complicated, but is dirty and probably the heaviest parts one would encounter on a DIY repair. Clean the wheel and tires before starting and prep your garage for a mess. Wear cloths you don’t mind getting dirty and have some disposable gloves ready. You will be working in the shadows of the wheel well – get good lighting.

    You will have NO LUCK trying to remove the brake pad wear sensors from the old pads unless the car just rolled off the ship from Germany. Buy new ones.

    You really don’t need replacement screws, bolts, or springs if your car has miles but not track/dirt time. Centric Posi Quiet pads come with the retaining clips if you’d like the visible parts to look shiny new.

    There are NO RETAINING PINS because the pads are mounted from below.

    There is a thin stainless steel backing plate on the OEM pads. You will need to clean and re-use them. Put new brake grease between the new pads and backing plate. NO GREASE between the backing plates and the caliper.

    Otherwise, the pad and rotor replacement process is the same as all other 9PA vehicles. The article at Rennlist.org is very helpful.


    • Front rotor 368mm (I/C 09.9870.11)
    • Rear rotor 358mm (I/C 09.98710.11)

    Brake pads

    • Front brake pads (955.351.939.63 or I/C 104.13490)
    • Rear brake pads (955.352.939.64 or I/C 104.13500)

    Brake wear sensors

    • Front
    • Rear


    • Wheel bolts: 19mm
    • Front caliper bolts: 21 mm
    • Rear caliper bolts:
    • Front rotor screw: T47
    • Rear rotor screw:


    • Fron rotor to hub: 10.5 ftlb
    • Front caliper to bracket: 200 ftlb
    • Rear rotor to hub: 10.5 ftlb
    • Rear caliper to bracket: 133 ftlb
    • Wheels to hub: 118 ftlb


    • Jack & Stands
    • Breaker bar (>200 ft/lb)
    • Torque wrench – small (for 10.5 ft/lb)
    • Torque wrench – large (for 200 ft/lb)
    • Socket wrench
    • 19mm deep socket
    • 21mm shallow socket
    • T47 bit socket
    • Socket adapters (as needed)
    • Brake pad spreader or Channel lock-type pliers
    • Short sledge hammer
    • Flat head screw driver or pry-tool
    • Wheel bolt guide
    • Zip ties or a tall bucket
    • Anti-seize (aluminum)
    • Brake pad grease
    • Break cleaner
    • WD-40