Tuesday, 15 August, 2006
Sometimes I just don't know where the time goes. Between working with Flash, trying to decipher the infuriatingly obtuse Windows Console API documentation, and shuttling my truck to the transmission shop and back, I let a whole week get away from me and didn't even notice it fly by.
- If you have a Dell laptop or notebook computer that you bought in the last two years or so, listen up. Dell has identified a potential issue with some laptop and notebook batteries which could result in the batteries short-circuiting and smoking or causing a fire. They've issued a recall on many, many Sony batteries. Of the three batteries here (the two standard batteries in mine and Debra's laptops, and the one larger auxiliary battery), one is affected by the recall. Visit Dell's Battery Recall site for the full scoop.
- I'll bet anybody reading this has been annoyed a time or three by automated telephone response systems that put you in an infinite loop of pressing buttons and trying to make the speech recognition system understand you. Sometimes it's impossible to get any useful information from those crazy menus, and many of them don't have a "please let me talk to a real person" option. If you really want to talk to a person, you might try visiting the gethuman database. There you'll find phone numbers and magic keypad codes that just might bypass the idiotic automated response system so that you can find a flesh and blood human to scream at. I haven't tried it, but you can bet that I will the next time.
- If you're looking for batteries, you probably can't find better prices than what you'll get at CheapBatteries.com. I'll warn you up front that it's one of the ugliest Web sites around--looking like something out of the early '90s. They also could use a decent shopping cart. But, boy do they have batteries. All I needed was three or four CR2032 cells (the quarter-sized disc batteries), but the minimum order is $15.00. I bought 10 of the CR2032s for 50 cents each (you can get them for as little as 15 cents each if you buy 1,000) and to make up the difference decided to try their 2700 milliamp hour AA NiMH rechargeables. They're kind of pricey at $3.00 each, but they're amazing. Two of them kept my GPS running for more than 24 hours.