When extra security would have failed

I took a trip to Los Angeles to visit a friend. Updated FAA regulations have allowed the use of small electronic devices during take-off and landing, but no laptops. I don’t have any games on my phone, so I pulled out my Kobo Aura to read for a bit. A few minutes into our flight, the “Fasten Seatbelt” turned off, and I put my Kobo in the seat-back pouch before pulling out my Chromebook to watch a movie.

When I arrived at my friend’s appartment and started unpacking, I realized that I had forgotten the Kobo on the plane. I immediately filed a report with Alaska’s Lost-and-Found website, hoping that somehow the Kobo would get back to me. I gave a detailed description of the device (Black Kobo aura with leather cover. Current book is Garden of Rama.) and my contact information. After several days, I started to lose hope, and began preparing myself to buy another when I got back home.

The night after I returned home, an employee from Alaska Airlines emailed me saying that they had found the Kobo! I immediately called them back (it was 11:30 PM, but they had just sent the email) and arranged to have another friend pick it up from LAX the next day.

It turns out, Alaska hadn’t contacted me via my lost-and-found ticket. They opened the Kobo (which doesn’t have any form of security) and managed to find my email address in the “Accounts” section of the settings. I’m curious as to whether or not I would have got it back if my contact info wasn’t as readily available.

On a low privacy risk device such as an e-reader, having a pin lock is unnecessary in most cases. As a result, someone was able to contact me to return my device. On a higher-risk device such as a tablet or smartphone, putting owner or ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact info is easy to implement, and may just help you get a lost device back.

From the walled garden to open fields

I made the jump from dumb phones to smart phones about three years ago with the purchase of an iPhone4 from my carrier. Like many others, I was blown away by the convenience of having my digital life at my fingertips.

Fast forward about two and a half years. The iPhone4 was starting to show its age. From all the previews I had seen about iOS7, I wasn’t all that amazed. A new iPhone5 would still cost me upwards of $700, or I’d have to renew my contract with my carrier (Canadian telecoms are running a pretty tight oligopoly) to be eligible for a discount.

Then came the announcements for the Nexus5. The more I saw, the more I got excited. After getting frustrated with some of the limitations in the Appleverse, I switched to Android.

It’s been a great year – more posts to come with some of the awesome stuff you can do on Android.

New VPS hosting

After over seven years, I finally got fed up with Dreamhost.

I’ve signed up for VPS services with tmzVPS, which gives me far more control over how the server operates. Dreamhost is fine if you want them to manage everything for you, but ask for any sort of administrative permissions (even on their “VPS” services) and you’re quickly going to run into troubles. I’ll be posting a bit more in the future about some of the specifics.

This setup also allows me to proxy into the US to access Pandora and Netflix. :D

I remembered! Sort of….

So, continuing my challenge. I meant to post this up earlier (it’s technically Tuesday now), but I got distracted with other things.

In current news, my girlfriend and I are making a trip to Hawaii next week with a few friends. I’m really looking forward to getting away from the city for a while (not that I don’t love Vancouver) and finally getting my fins wet while scuba diving again. I might have to take a bit of a break on this whole ‘post every two days’ thing while I’m away, depending on internet availability. I’ll try to get something up and running though.

I’ve also been putting a bit of spare time into getting my Youtube channel a little more streamlined and putting a few more videos up on there in order to increase it’s popularity. Most of my videos are probably going to be related to World of Warcraft (I’m currently in a progression guild at the moment), but there will be some other videos as well. Zxian’s Youtube Channel.

Now it’s time for sleep.

I’m really terrible at this blogging thing….

So, I said in my previous post (which was nearly two years ago) that I was going to try to post more often. In following my girlfriend’s lead, I am posing myself a challenge. I must post at least once every two days. Even if it’s just something simple (like what I made for dinner), or something big and exciting. I’ve also started uploading quite a few videos of the games that I play, and I’m hoping to start recording a few guides on how I have my system and software setup.

For now, I leave you with a video of some kittens my friend is taking care of at the moment.

Phew… long time no post.

Man… it’s been a while since I wrote anything here. I’ll try to keep things going more often, even if it just is a blurb here and there. Here’s a list of the things that have happened since I last posted:

  • Almost done my research for my masters. Only a few more months until I’m done!
  • Dave Matthews Band concert at the Gorge! Amazing times with friends. Good music, lots of raw dogging (if you weren’t there, don’t ask), and plenty of empty Corona bottles.
  • Upgraded the main video card in my desktop to an XFX ATI 4890 (900Mhz core, 3.9Ghz Mem). This thing screams…
  • Upgraded my desktop and netbook to Win7 RTM. This is a legit final build copy (I’ll be buying my licenses on Oct 22), and it’s awesome. There’s a couple of small quirks when it comes to UltraMon and some other apps, but those will be sorted out soon enough.
  • I became the guild master of our guild in World of Warcraft (I’ve been playing for about a year now). Herding cats is fun!!

I think that should do it for now. Like I said, there will be more frequent updates in the future. =)

Getting with the times…

So… I’ve got quite a few computers (I need to update the “My Computers” page soon) that are used for various purposes. Eclipse is my main computer at home, and the biggest beast of them all. A few months back, I upgraded the video cards and installed Vista on it. After a couple of days of figuring out my way around the OS, I really liked it, and was somewhat depressed every time I had to go back to an XP system.

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Hiding Microsoft SyncToyCmd for backups

The more work I do, the more paranoid I become of possibly losing it all. I’ve got a pretty elaborate hardware setup in terms of disk storage, but I was lacking a simple, functional tool to do the backups of the data on a regular basis. I looked at Microsoft SyncToy for the backups, and it seems to do everything I need/want it to, except for one – scheduling. Their help documentation tells you to use their command-line application and the built in scheduler. This seems to do the trick, but there was one snag – it shows the ugly command prompt. This simply wouldn’t do….

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Snow – How do I love you? Let me count the ways…

Ah snow… how I love you. You make things pretty and romantic. You make it possible for me to go skiing. You give me excuses to stay in all day and do nothing but drink hot chocolate and sit infront of the proverbial fire (aka, TV).

And yet… I hate you. You make drivers in Vancouver turn into complete and utter morons with no sense of the word “grip”.

EEE 1000 and upgrades

A little over a month ago I sold my trusty Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop to a family friend since I found that I was basically just using it for movies and nothing else. However, I still needed some sort of mobile computer for email and basic web browsing. On my list of possibilities were one of the netbooks, a smartphone, or an iPhone. After using my friend’s iPhone now and then, and looking at the web capabilities of most smartphones out there, I decided that a netbook was probably my best option. The next question was, as often is the case, which one?

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