Thursday, October 29, 2009


Musical Laptops:

About 6 years ago I bought a Dell Inspiron 8500. This was a very good laptop for its time, in my opinion. As time went on the machine kept on truckin', and I bought a new battery for it last year. Early this spring I bought additional RAM for the machine, bringing it to the laptop's 2Gb maximum.

Then, soon after adding the additional RAM, the motherboard failed, in a unique-to-Dell way. Dell incorporated into the Inspiron 8500 a circuit that checks whether the AC Adapter plugged in to the laptop is a Dell AC Adapter, or an AC Adapter with somebody else's brand-name on it. If the AC Adapter is NOT a Dell, the laptop will not charge the battery, and will run at 50% speed.

On my laptop, the circuit failed, resulting in a laptop that won't charge batteries, and runs too slowly to be usable, even with proper Dell AC Adapters.

Once I concluded this was something that wouldn't be fixed, I found a terrific Thinkpad T41 for sale on Craigslist, and bought it with a fairly large amount of accumulated change on my dresser. The Thinkpad was great. It was the right size, powerful enough, felt great to type on, and had a great set of features. Last week it died.

Once I gave up hope of repairing the Thinkpad, I spent an enormous amount of time researching and shopping for a replacement. This is certainly not the right time for me to be indulging on expensive luxuries, and I very nearly traded my old Dell in to Staples for a $75 trade-in credit, that I planned to use toward their $350 Acer, a very low-end laptop.

I then considered that whatever laptop I purchase will be a tool I use to earn my livelihood, and it isn't unreasonable that I equip myself with a decent toolset. Also, a friend of mine pointed out that I can be 'finicky', and if I did buy the bottom-of-the-line laptop, I'd feel irritated about the machine every single day.

So I decided to get something better. I didn't get the top-of-the-line, $1100-1200 models I'd looked at over the last week. I did get something that was a little bit pricey though.

The machine arrived today, and I LOVE IT. Soon after I'd opened the box, I concluded I made the right decision. What did I buy?

The Asus UL80V.

This laptop is undeniably neat. It is light. It looks good. It isn't the fastest thing out there, but it was a lot cheaper than the absolutely fastest stuff out there, and it gets amazing battery life, even if the real-world battery life turns out to be only half of what Asus claims. (I haven't had the laptop long enough to test the real-world battery performance.)

So I might have spent more than I should have, but I'm thrilled with the decision.

On the job front:

I'm still with ISS Group. But for the last several weeks I've also been working with a new company, Cloud Strategies. At year-end, I may be working at CS instead of ISS. Cloud Strategies is a consulting firm, with a focus on helping businesses evaluate and implement Microsoft's cloud-computing product, Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). In September I implemented BPOS at ISS Group, and I've been very impressed with the product, and also the support Microsoft offers behind it.

If you've got a small (or large) business and you've been frustrated with the cost and/or headaches associated with maintaining your own Exchange and/or Sharepoint servers, I encourage you to investigate BPOS. The product is surprisingly easy to get started with, is inexpensive, and free 30-day trials are offered.


Changes In Latitude...
Sunday afternoon I'll be helping to coach Nate's soccer team as they play a double-header. So far this season the team has played three games, winning 2 and tying one. Sunday evening, after Nate has showered and everybody has had dinner and changed clothes, we are hitting the highway! I've just paid off my car, and while it sits in fully-owned glory in my driveway, we're minivan-ing it to Chicago, to visit Jessica's sister Elissa and her family. I'll be working out of their home for a week, and next Friday we're beginning the drive back to NJ.

In December we plan to travel again, either to Orlando or NOLA. The destination will be determined soon, hopefully.


The New Orleans Saints!!!

This year's Saints are phenomenal. They looked great in pre-season, and they haven't choked yet. Watching and listening to the Saints games this year has been thrilling. I hope this ride continues for a few more months!

More next time...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Trying (hard) to exhibit Best Behavior

There's one person that drives me up the friggin' wall! If he falls off the face of the earth and I never encounter him again, I'd be OK with that.

BUT, I shouldn't rant to other people about this jerk. I should keep it to myself. Bitching about him would be impolite, immature, unprofessional, and really, unkind to him. And with Yom Kippur still fresh in my mind I'm trying to improve my behavior.

BUT, I've got to vent somehow. This guy is a reall ass, and I can't easily hold my aggravation in.

So, I'm not naming names, and I'm only writing about this here.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

CRM E-Mail Router with Microsoft BPOS?

I'm working on migrating our company to Microsoft BPOS. Honestly, this is the first business-related activity I've found exciting and interesting in a very long time, and I think the whole BPOS offering looks fantastic.

I have a concern though. We operate a Microsoft CRM system in our office, and use the CRM E-Mail Router with automated workflows, to send various system-generated e-mails. This afternoon I tried to find a definitive statement online that would indicate whether or not the CRM E-mail Router will work with the Exchange Online service provided by BPOS. I found nothing definitive, and almost nothing anecdotal.

I did find one old reply on a message board that stated the configuration wasn't possible yet, but might be available soon. (That was from April, 2009.) I found one other mention, here:, that states the configuration isn't a choice.

Maybe I'll get lucky, and the MS team that responded to Richard Knudson will let me know whether or not I can use the E-Mail Router with Exchange Online, and if not, when that will be possible.

Or maybe not. But you can't blame me for trying, right?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

How I skinned my knuckles (or, another car story...)

I've already bored you with my previous car issues in the previous post here, so I won't repeat that.

Prior to this week I hadn't been to the gym since July 13. This week I was feeling pretty guilty about that. Over the weekend I decided to start August off right. I fixed my car, fixed the kitchen light, mowed the yard, and declared out loud that starting now things were going to get better - all things, but primarily my job and financial situation, if only through force of will. I was going to be positive, look up, etc...

Monday morning I woke up early and went to the gym before work.
Tuesday morning I woke up early and went to the gym before work.
Wednesday morning I woke up early and went to the driveway, entered my car, and discovered my car battery was dead.

I jump-started the car and drove to my mechanic's shop. He verified the dead battery, and then told me his batteries were expensive, and the $80 battery I'd found on the AutoZone website would be perfectly good. So I drove to AutoZone and bought a new battery. I then jump-started the car again, thanks to the friendly guy in the early-90's 626 parked next to me, and drove home. I changed the battery in my driveway (skinned my knuckles while removing the old), cleaned up and drove to work before lunchtime, stopping along the way to give my mechanic a $20 as thanks for all of the help he's given me lately for free.

It's a good thing I chose to be positive about all of this!

Sunday, August 02, 2009


A few Sundays ago I was driving home one evening when the Check Engine light on my car illuminated. I had no idea whether this was something safe to ignore or postpone, or something that needed to be repaired pronto, before it damaged the engine further. Despite the light, the car drove perfectly fine, and got perfectly fine gas mileage.

The next day, Monday, I needed to be in my office 30 miles away. Instead of waiting, and bringing my car to my usual mechanic, I took the car to the service station across the street from my office. <<<---- THE BAD GUYS - Sparta Shell, Woodport Rd, Sparta, NJ.

Around 1:30p or 2:00p I called the service station, and was told they'd cleaned my Mass Airflow Sensor, driven the car and the light stayed off, so the problem was fixed, and the cost would be $131 + tax. I had them do an oil change for another $30 or so, and picked the car up at around 5:30p.

This is a good time to mention that a couple of weeks before this, I needed a brake job. All 4 rotors were all used up, and I had the two rear rotors replaced. My mechanic told me then that I could probably get another month or so out of the fronts. Also, the afternoon of the Check Engine light repair, the driver-door window motor on Jessica's van failed, and we needed to have that replaced as well. I tried to do the job myself, but once I had the door panel removed, I couldn't figure out how to properly remove and replace the window mechanism, so I had to admit defeat and let my mechanic handle that job.

SO, to do a quick tally, so far in our story I've had my rear rotors and brakes replaced, replaced the window motor in Jessica's car, and now had the Mass Airflow Sensor in my car cleaned, all in a span of a couple of weeks (the last two within a few days of each other).

On my way home after picking up my car, the Check Engine light illuminated again. I phoned the Shell station, and they said that the problem must be the Oxygen sensor then. I could bring the car back, and they could replace the Oxygen sensor, but the cost of the replacement sensor was pretty high (like, around $200), and there was a Mazda Service Bulletin stating that the sensor may break when removed. If that happened, I'd need to pay and additional $90 labor for them to drill it out. I declined their polite offer to shaft me further, and decided it was time to take control of the situation.

For many years I'd wanted a code reader, a device that would let me identify myself the codes thrown by the car's computer. This was the final straw. I bought an inexpensive code reader from Auto Zone, and pulled the codes stored in the car's computer. For anybody interested, the codes were P0171, P0174, and P0138. (2004 Mazda 6, 3.0L, 5-Speed)

The 171 and 174 indicated a Too Lean condition, and the 138 was related to an Oxygen sensor.

Armed with this info, I posted a couple of messages to a Mazda 6 forum. I included as much detail as I had, and waited for helpful suggestions from the more knowledgeable regulars. And waited, and waited. I was almost completely ignored on the forums. I did learn that an air leak in the various hoses under the hood could throw the codes I was seeing, so last week I spent some time under the hood, trying to find any holes in the various tubes and hoses. I found nothing.

So Friday evening I visited AutoZone again, this time intending to bite the bullet and buy replacement Oxygen sensors. I spoke with a counter rep at the store, and learned that there are several different O2 sensors on my car, they are expensive, and I'd only be able to get to one of them myself (the others are located in places I can't get to). Lastly, I wasn't even sure which one(s) I needed to replace.

This morning I gave up, and drove over to my regular mechanic. <<<---- THE GOOD GUYS - Clairidge Sunoco - 195 Pompton Ave Verona, NJ 07044-3017 - (973) 239-7950. I explained the full background of the situation to Tim. He looked at the codes I'd pulled, and checked them online with some sites he belongs to. He then looked under my hood.

In no more than 5 minutes, he found a hose near the top of the engine, near the base of the windshield, with a large split down the length of it, in the back. The split was impossible to see, but easy to feel. The hose was only about 3 or 4 inches long, and easy to get to. I thanked Tim and drove home.

Later this afternoon I returned once more to AutoZone, where I was given a replacement piece of hose for free. After I replaced the hose in their parking lot, the folks at AutoZone even let me use the washbasin and Orange cleaner in their back room to wash up before getting back in my car.

The car is finally fixed. Not seeing the Check Engine light lit up is a beautiful thing.

Other happenings today in our home -

* I took down a flourescent light fixture in our kitchen, took it Home Depot and bought a replacement ballast for the fixture, and then replaced the ballast and reinstalled the light fixture, fixing the kitchen light.

* I mowed the yard, providing much needed relief to my neighbors, I'm sure.

* I whipped up an excellent batch of homemade red beans (Thanks Noah!).

* Jess, Nate, Maren and I went to Jessica's parents' apartment, and played with their Wii. We recently gave Jessica's Dad Wii Sports Resort for his birthday. This afternoon we played Sports Resort a lot, and had a lot of fun. Maren bowled, and all by herself scored many spares and strikes. She's probably much better than me. (I played Frisbee Golf when it was my turn.)

* Jess, Nate and Maren went swimming at my in-laws' apartment pool.

* Jess, Nate and Maren went to the West Orange Family Fun Night at the town pool.

All in all, it's been a busy day. And my CAR IS FIXED! Yay.

Next weekend we are driving to Philly, and I'm very happy the car is solid again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

From the Learn Something New Department

Dynamics CRM 4, IFD, and Mobile Express - For Dummies

{NOTE: A LOT of the below content is a rehashing of already available documents, guides, and kb articles. I'm re-writing it, in an informal style, because various bits and pieces weren't perfectly clear to me in the proper documentation, or weren't emphasized enough for me to 'get it', etc... }

In the course of my job I am sometimes called upon to install, fix, and otherwise manage Microsoft Dynamics CRM. At least in part due to the business climate over the last several months (presumably), I have had very little to do concerning CRM since last Fall.

So, my CRM knowledge has grown a bit rusty, and when I was tasked with some CRM work late last week things were challenging. I decided to document here tidbits from my recent work both to aid my own recollection, and provide the info for anybody else that may encounter similar troubles. Hopefully this may help.

The task was to implement Mobile Express on an existing Dynamics CRM v4 server, so that remote users could view CRM data on BlackBerry mobile devices.

* CRM 4 Mobile Express DOWNLOAD

* CRM 4 Update Rollup 5 DOWNLOAD

Installing Mobile Express is a pretty easy process, but things may not go smoothly, so I'm here with some tips.

IMPORTANT: The Mobile Express installation includes CRM Update Rollup 5. On two different servers this caused problems for me, and the problems were avoided easily by simply installing Update Rollup 5 separately, first, and then installing Mobile Express afterward.

* The installation of Update Rollup 5 required a reboot on my two servers.
* The installation of Mobile Express also required a reboot on my two servers.

On one of my servers, after installing Update Rollup 5 the CRM site no longer worked, only displaying an error that the GUID {servername}$ could not be found in the Global Catalog. Any error involving AD and the Global Catalog is very, very frightening to me. To remedy this problem I simply uninstalled UR5. Later I reinstalled UR5, and all was fine.

Somehow I overlooked an important requirement while reviewing the documentation for Mobile Express. Mobile Express REQUIRES your CRM server to be configured for Internet Facing Deployment (IFD). Without IFD, some devices may work, but others won't. In my experiences, my T-Mobile Dash, running Windows Mobile 6, worked. An iPhone worked (something I can't explain at all!). A pair of AT&T PocketPC phones, running Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro did not work, and most importantly, a BlackBerry Storm and a BlackBerry Pearl did not work.

Mobile Express requires IFD in order to work properly.

IFD is a system designed to let users view a CRM system that exists behind a firewall from outside of the firewall, without the use of a VPN. You should use SSL security with this arrangement, but that is not required.

DIGRESSION: It IS strongly encouraged, though, and I personally consider it unwise to ignore this advice. If you implement an IFD system for you CRM server, and you don't put SSL into the mix, than all of the traffic going back and forth between you server and your remote users will be transmitted across the public internet in clear text. Anybody can point a network sniffer at your IP address, collect all of the data going back and forth, and view the entire session. If usernames and passwords are transmitted in clear text, you've just given away the store. If, on the other hand, you use SSL, the entire session is encrypted, and it becomes impractical and unlikely that anybody will decrypt the transmission. Every bit of documentation you find will recommend you use SSL, and I agree as strongly as I can. As for how to implement SSL on your server, you'll need to find that information elsewhere, sorry.

Now, back to IFD...

IFD works its magic by identifying where a user is located when that user attempts to log in to the CRM website. If the user is on the same local network as the CRM webserver, the CRM server prompts the user to authenticate (to login) using NTLM Authentication (Windows Authentication). NTLM Authentication will display a login dialog box on your screen, with OK and Cancel buttons:

ASIDE: NTLM is a Microsoft protocol, and it's very unlikely that non-Microsoft clients (Linux, Mac, Opera, Safari, Mozilla, BlackBerry, etc...) will work with NTLM. NTLM does not work across the internet.

If the user is on a different network, as a remote user will be if coming in from the internet, than IFD will prompt the user to login using Forms-Based Authentication (FBA). You'll know you are encountering FBA because the login is NOT a dialog box, but instead looks like a webpage with username and password fields, and a SIGN IN button:

Without IFD, a CRM system would need a user to login using NTLM, and as NTLM won't work across the internet, the authentication would fail and remote users would be shut out. With IFD, the remote user is able to login via FBA.

So, how does IFD work, and how does the unfortunate administrator set it up?

If you haven't yet installed your CRM server, you can configure your IFD in an .xml file, and have the CRM installation process refer to the .xml file during the installation. Most likely, though, is the scenario where the CRM system is already in use, and you want to add IFD functionality. For this, Microsoft has made the IFD Configuration Tool.

Get the IFD Config Tool here: DOWNLOAD

[MS KB explaining how to use the tool:]

The tool, CRM4IFDTool.exe, must be run from the Tools folder, within the CRM Program Files directory. (On my server, the path was C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics CRM\Tools.) The tool is fairly minimal. The interface is one dialog box, that's it:

There is a drop-down box that lets you select whether the server is running On-Premise, or IFD & On-Premise. This effectively turns IFD on or off.
There is an area for you to enter IP addresses and subnet masks. THIS IS IMPORTANT. IFD needs to know whether or not a user is local, and it does this by looking at the IP address of the incoming user request. You must enter a local IP address and subnet mask here. The specific address isn't important. It only matters that you enter an IP address and subnet that is on the local network. If your environment has multiple subnets, you should add an IP Address/Subnet Mask for each of your subnets.

Below the list of IP addresses are a few textboxes describing the AD and IFD domains. You need to specify whether your remote users will be using HTTP:// or HTTPS://, and in the IfdAppRootDomain box, you should enter the public domain of your site. Notice the large box at the bottom-left of the CRM4IFDTool. It lists the Organization Name for your CRM system. (You may have multiple Organizations.) IFD will add either HTTP:// or HTTPS://, and the Organization name to whatever you enter in the IfdAppRootDomain box, and redirect remote users to that URL.

So in the example screenshot of the tool above, as configured a remote user would be sent to THIS IS WHERE DNS COMES IN. The URL that IFD redirects remote users to must be resolvable from outside. You need to make sure the URL is publically resolvable, and publically accessible. In other words, public DNS servers need to know about the URL and know what public IP address it should map to, and you need to make sure that URL will get through your firewall and get to your CRM webserver, whether via HTTP or HTTPS, depending on whether or not you've implemented SSL. You ALSO need to make sure your networks internal DNS is configured to resolve the address, and get the users to the CRM server. The right-most Ifd textbox, Ifd SDK Root Domain, will most likely be identical to the IfdAppRootDomain value. It is only different if you've got your CRM server's Operations split among different servers.

Below the Ifd textboxes are the AD textboxes. The values entered here correspond to how the users on the internal network will get to the server. You'll probably just enter HTTP://, and the CRM-servername and port # here.

Next, you can use the 'Check DNS' command in the Tools menu to verify the values you've entered resolve before you save your changes. To effect the changes, click on the File menu, and choose 'Apply changes'.

When you apply changes, the following occurs:
* A value is changed in the CRM website web.config file.
* Anonymous Access is enabled for the CRM website
* A registry key is added to the registry of the CRM server, containing the internal network IP Address/subnet mask, for use by IFD
* The Ifd values in the CRM4IFDTool textboxes are added to the MSCRM_CONFIG database

When I used the tool this morning, NONE OF THE ABOVE OCCURRED. I applied my changes repeatedly, and the tool consistently did NOT make the necessary changes. If that happens to you, you can manually make the changes:
1) First, the easiest: Edit the web.config file, found on the CRM webserver, probably at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics CRM\CRMWeb. Within the file, find the line "authentication strategy=..." and change it to "authentication strategy="ServiceProviderLicenseAgreement".
2) On the CRM webserver, use the IIS Manager and open up the properties of the CRM website. Enable Anonymous Access to the website. Leave Integrated Authentication enabled as well.
3) Within the registry of the CRM server, run regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSCRM. Add a new string value, named IfdInternalNetworkAddress. The value of this key should be a local IP address, then a dash, then the subnet mask. Make sure there are NO SPACES before, after, or in the middle of the value. Example: .
4) To add the necessary values to the SQL database, start up SQL Management Studio and connect to the SQL Server running your CRM databases.
a) In SQL Mgmt Studio, expand 'Databases'.
b) Find the MSCRM_CONFIG database and expand it.
c) Expand 'Tables'.
d) Find the table called 'dbo.DeploymentProperties'.
e) Right-click the DeploymentProperties table and select 'Open Table'. (NOTE: Changes made in the table are immediate. BE CAREFUL.)
f) Look in this table for three records with a ColumnName beginning with 'Ifd'. IF THEY ARE MISSING, you need to add them, using the SQL Query Editor:
g) Click on the 'New Query' button. When the query editor opens, verify the tab at the top-left of the editor is labelled with the name of the DeploymentProperties table.
h) In the query editor, enter

INSERT INTO DeploymentProperties (Id,ColumnName,NVarCharColumn) VALUES ('whatever value is in your other records','IfdRootDomainScheme','HTTPS')

INSERT INTO DeploymentProperties (Id,ColumnName,NVarCharColumn) VALUES ('whatever value is in your other records','IfdSdkRootDomain','your Ifd Root domain')

INSERT INTO DeploymentProperties (Id,ColumnName,NVarCharColumn) VALUES ('whatever value is in your other records','IfdWebApplicationRootDomain','your Ifd Web App Root Domain')

Press the 'Execute Query' button, and the three records should be added to the DeploymentProperties table.

Once all of the above is accomplished, your CRM system should be accessible from outside of your firewall. When a remote user wants to view CRM, he/she should go to https://{organizationname} Your CRM server will receive the request, and send them a Forms-based Authentication page to prompt for login credentials. The user enters the creds and signs in, and is then able to work with the CRM system.

Assuming the above is all installed/configured and working, Mobile Express is a piece of cake. The install is pretty much nothing but clicking Next, and then Finish. After Mobile Express is installed, it can be configured by going into CRM, then Settings, then Customization. You'll find a link for Mobile Express Customization, and clicking that will take you to a page that allows you to configure Mobile Express. Mobile Express can be accessed by going to whatever your CRM URL is, with a "/m" added to the end. Using the URL in our previous example, you'd go to https://{organizationname}

If Mobile Express doesn't seem to work, pay attention to the login prompt, and verify you are getting a Forms-based authentication page when logging in from a remote network. If you are seeing an NTLM login prompt, than IFD isn't working properly, and Mobile Express won't work right either.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pop Culture Docs

I just came across the following posted to Slashdot, and thought this makes a fun little pop-culture quiz. Thanks to mr_mischief, whoever he/she may be!

I plan on trying to identify which tv show/movie/book each of the doctors is from, though I doubt I'll know more than a third. If you think of others that aren't on the list, add them to the comments field, and I may update the list.

I suppose I can also link to an 'answer key' once I have all of the answers.

May this mindless challenge divert you, at least momentarily, from dreary worldly concerns. GO!
POSTED to Slashdot, by mr_mischief (456295) on Thursday June 18, @12:22PM (#28375437)

Dr. Dana Scully
Dr. Niles Crane, Dr. Lilith Sternin
"The Todd" Dr. Todd Quinlan, Dr. Bob Kelso
Dr. Dolittle
Dr. Wallace Breen, Dr. Eli Vance, Dr. Isaac Kleiner, Dr. Gordon Freeman
"Little Doctor"
Dr. Strangelove
Dr. Mario, Dr. Wario
Dr. Wily
Dr. Schabbs
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable
Dr. Joel Fleishman
Dr. Marvin Monroe, Dr. Julius Hibbert, Dr. Nick Riviera
Dr. Ross Geller (come on, it's not a geeky show, but he's a paleontologist and a major geek himself!)
Dr. Sam Beckett
Dr. Zachary Smith
Dr. "Doc" Daneeka
Dr. Sam Weizak
Dr. Abraham Van Helsing
Dr. Faustus
Dr. Rumack
Dr. J.S. Hirsch
Dr. Robin Van Dorn
Dr. Emmett Brown
Dr. Julius No
Dr. Xavier
Dr. Wellington Yueh
Dr. Ira Kane
Dr. Richard Kimble
Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Raymond Stantz, Dr. Peter Venkman
Dr. Lexus
Dr. Robert Morgan
Dr. Howard, Dr. Howard, and Dr. Fine
Dr. C. A. Rotwang
Dr. Zaius
Dr. Frank-N-Furter
Dr. Malcolm Crowe
EMH Program AK-1, Dr. Christine Chapel, Dr. Phlox
Dr. Clayton Forrester
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein
Dr. Heywood R. Floyd
Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Dr. Eric Gablehauser, Dr. Leonard Hofstadter, Dr. Rajesh Koothrappali, Dr. Leslie Winkle
Dr. Stephen Franklin
Dr. Temperance Brennan
Dr. Benjamin Kyle
Dr. Spencer Reid
Dr. Simon Tam
Dr. Lawrence Kutner
Dr. April Green
Dr. Maureen Robinson
LTC Henry Blake, MAJ Frank Burns, MAJ Sidney Freedman, CPT B. J. Hunnicutt, CPT Oliver Harmon "Spearchucker" Jones, CPT "Trapper" John Francis Xavier McIntyre, COL Sherman T. Potter, MAJ Charles Emerson Winchester III
Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard
Dr. Carson Beckett
Dr. Kate Heightmeyer, Dr. Jennifer Keller, Dr. Rodney McKay, Dr. Elizabeth Weir, Dr. Radek Zelenka, Dr. Samantha Carter, Dr. Janet Fraiser, Dr. Daniel Jackson
Dr. Tim Marcoh
Dr. Ritsuko Akagi
Dr. George Claw
Dr. Victor von Doom
Dr. Robert Bruce Banner
Dr. Otto Octavius
Dr. Feelgood
Dr. Bones
Dr. Demento
Dr. Horrible

I just tried this challenge myself. My initial results were 25 that I did know, 35 that I did not know, and 5 that I thought I knew, but was unsure. Of those 5, I was wrong on 4, and the other 1 was a multi-doctor entry that I knew the 'world' of, but named the wrong specific origins of each doctor. I haven't yet bothered to actually verify my accuracy on the picks I think are right.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I'm So Excited (and I just can't hide it...)

About 5 years ago I purchased a Dell Inspiron 8500. For the most part I've been happy with it, and it has served me well.

A few months ago it developed a problem that is, practically speaking, unfixable. The laptop will not charge batteries, and will only run the CPU at 50% of it's maximum speed. This means the laptop must be plugged in always (even with a new battery), and the Pentium 4 2.4ghz processor only runs at 1.2ghz.

The problem is due to a defect on the motherboard. In fact, searching the internet reveals that this is a VERY widespread problem. A replacement motherboard would be about $300, and isn't a reasonable purchase in my opinion.

So I've been looking to replace the laptop, but a new laptop simply isn't in my budget.

Well, for years I've known of ThinkPads, and known they are considered the creme de la creme of laptop computers. Last night I found a ThinkPad in excellent condition on Craigslist, and bought it tonight. It wasn't inexpensive, but rather than taking money out of my bank account I cashed in some of the change collected on my dresser, and that covered it.

I may try and sell off my old laptop to cover part of the cost; I haven't decided yet.

But on to the good stuff:

Thinkpad T41, model 2373
Excellent keyboard!
Cool light that illuminates the keyboard, so you can work in the dark. (Doing this right now, as Jess sleeps right next to me!)
The whole laptop just feels solid. It feels like it is of much higher quality than my Dell.
Compared to the Dell, the machine seems quick. The specs on the two machines are actually fairly close, with the Thinkpad a little bit faster. I think the difference is the 50% CPU speed the Dell is running under.

An extra bonus is that just a few weeks before the Dell began having the charging problem, I bought 2Gb of memory for it. The IBM uses the same memory, so I can use the RAM from the Dell to take the IBM up to 2Gb, and leave the Dell at 1Gb for whoever ends up with it.

I've been using the ThinkPad all night, and love it.

(EDIT - May 12, 5:30pm - Discovered yesterday the TP includes built-in Bluetooth. Nice.)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

FIOS install notes, continued

More notes about the internet portion of the service:

* The wireless component of the Verizon-supplied router is junk. As described in the previous post, it doesn't work properly with the Dell wireless software. Additionally, the signal strength on it is pretty weak compared to the standard Linksys WRT54G found all over America.

* Dial-ups - Not included
* Webpage - You get 10Mb, and addl space costs extra.
* Webmail interface is pretty good, but has ads on the page, and has some annoying bits. One example - If left alone for around ten minutes or so you are logged out, and must re-log-in to check for new mail. I haven't found a way to disable or increase the time-out period.
* Newsgroups (Usenet) - Not included
* Bittorrent - pretty fast as well
* DNS - I don't recall the term for this, but some ISPs override the proper DNS protocol of the Internet, and effectively hijack DNS when they think it won't hurt anything. Specifically, if I'm web-browsing, and enter an address that doesn't exist (usually due to a typo), then instead of my seeing a proper and informative (to me anyway) error presented by my web-browser, Verizon will show me a Verizon-branded page with suggestions for where they think I was trying to go, or where they recommend I go. This VIOLATES internet networking standards, and as an IT professional that relies on accurate, predictable, and informative error messages this sort of thing is a major annoyance. Many mainstream ISPs do this - Verizon isn't the only company doing this, but it is a bad practice and should be stopped.

I think that sums up my comments on the internet service. If I think of more, I'll add them later on.

There's not much to say about the phone service. It works. It sounds fine. The install includes a battery back-up mounted on the wall in my garage, that provides phone service for up to 8 hours in the event of a power failure - pretty slick. The service includes Caller ID, Call Waiting, and Voice Mail.

* Verizon took nearly two weeks to get the Voice Mail working properly. During that period I called Tech Support about the voice mail at least 4 times. On every single call the support agent I spoke with was friendly, seemingly competent, and every single time I was given a different explanation for the problems. Some of the explanations seemed believable, others seemed as far-fetched as Howard The Duck. During all of this I was also having issues with the TV part of the package, and increasingly losing the Wife Acceptance Factor battle, so I was growing more and more frustrated when one day the voicemail mysteriously started working properly. Go figure.

* Speakeasy had a kludgier VOIP service, apparently contracted out to another provider, but they offered many more features and flexibility with the service. The feature I miss most is email integration. With SE's VOIP, you could control all sorts of phone-functions from your PC - you could view real-time logs of phone activity, place calls from the PC, pulling phone numbers from your Outlook address book, have voicemail messages emailed to you, etc... Verizon offers none of these features.

* Before ordering FIOS, I compared my existing situation to both Comcast Cable and Verizon FIOS. I compared features and price, and compiled a comparison chart.

While researching the options, I phoned both Comcast and Verizon to ask questions about the services. The Comcast agent was clueless, compared to Verizon's phone-rep, and this influenced my final decision. Well, multiple Verizon reps told me before I ordered, as well as after the service was installed, that TVs that lacked a digital set-top box would only receive channels 1-49, essentially local channels and public access, and nothing else. The Verizon website states that a cable-ready TV tuner will only receive local channels - 1-49.

At the end of the installation, I discovered the TVs received no signal at all without the set-top boxes. The installer suggested that I might need to use a digital adapter like those the government has issued coupons for. These are the adapter boxes necessary to receive digital broadcasts on an old analog TV.

So I hooked one up, and still received no signal.

After a few calls to Verizon, I found a tech support rep that seemed to know what she was talking about. She told me that only QAM256 tuners would work, and that Verizon had very limited tuners available and with those I would get only the local channels, but because I couldn't use the TV without one, Customer Svc would provide them for free. Naturally Cust Svc was closed.

The next morning Customer Service insisted they couldn't provide the boxes for free; they were $4/month each. But to compensate me for the aggravation, they agreed to credit my account with a $30 discount for 6 months. Fair enough. (This was much longer and harder to achieve than it sounds. I was on the phone for a LONG time.)

So I ordered 6 adapter boxes. (Technically, DCT-700 units.) I already had 3 set-top boxes. The DCT700s were for various VCRs and TV Tuner cards in PCs.

Two days later I received the adapters, hooked them up, and hated them.

Ultimately, I gave up on the idea of setting up a DVR on a PC (Goodbye MythTV). We abandoned the possibility of recording TV on our VCRs. And I returned all 6 digital adapters, and added a Verizon DVR set-top box instead. The final result will be a little bit cheaper than when I had the 6 adapters, and is much easier to use. It also takes up less space and most likely consumes less electricity.

*OnDemand - the free OnDemand offerings are lousy compared to Comcast.

*Picture quality - MUCH better than Comcast.

*Set-top box - comparable to Comcast (both use Motorola equipment), but I think it is slightly better.

*Many more music channels than Comcast.

*Seems to have a TON of HD offerings, but I don't have an HD TV and don't really care about this.


Now, 3 weeks after the install (installed April 13, 2009), I've figured out the wireless quirks, settled on the right equipment for my TVs, and the Voicemail problem has been fixed. Now that everything is working, I'm perfectly satisfied with the service, and would recommend it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Reports from a recent Verizon FIOS installation

Last Monday I worked from home while a Verizon technician installed FIOS service at my house. I"d placed the order in late-March, and was eager to check out the promised upgrade in speed for my internet connection.

My FIOS package includes Internet, television, and phone service.

Internet -
I ordered the 20/5 internet service (20Mbps download, 5Mbps upload). The package also includes 10Mb of webspace; I added an additional 50Mb of webspace for another $4.95/month.

I didn't notice any dramatic increase in speed while web-browsing. This is probably due to a couple of factors. When surfing the web, the pages you view are sent to you from web servers located remotely. Those servers are attached to the internet through an internet connection, just as your own PC is attached through your own DSL, cable modem, etc... Even if your connection is the fastest connection possible, you won't receive data any faster than it is being sent to you, so if the connection at the other end is slow, you'll wait. Another probable explanation why I didn't notice blazing speed at first is that my main desktop PC at home was purchased in 2000, and isn't a real powerhouse. So, web-browsing didn't bowl me over, but was perfectly acceptable.

I maintained a couple of websites on the Speakeasy servers. Before cancelling the account, I needed to retrieve the files from SE's servers, and upload them to Vz's servers. The FTP transfers were unbelievably fast! That DID blow me away.

Then, a few days ago the latest version of Ubuntu was released. I started up a uTorrent session, and managed to get a full copy of the new Ubuntu .iso very quickly. And with my increased bandwidth, the torrent activity doesn't impact the phone, so I've been sharing the Ubuntu iso for several days for others that need it.

A couple of years ago I registered an account at DAD is a torrent sharing site for concert recordings. DAD enforces a strict upload/download ratio, mandating that users upload as well as download. I always had trouble sharing enough to maintain my ratio, due to my pitiful upload speeds with Speakeasy. Once FIOS was hooked up, I logged in to DAD and started sharing a few concerts until I'd uploaded about 20Gb, putting my ratio well into the green.

Part of the FIOS installation required the replacement of my trusty Linksys WRT54G wireless router with Verizon's branded Actiontec router (MI424WR Rev.D). The Actiontec takes a coax feed from Verizon, and splits that out to all of the computers in the home. It broadcasts wireless, including WPA2, and also has a 4-port 10/100/(1000?) wired switch built-in.

The management GUI in the router is very-full-featured, and pretty nice, although it isn't perfect. I've got to admit I was very, very surprised at how much flexibility and control the user is permitted. I'd expected Verizon, the giant corporate overlord, to lock that sucker down tight.

The Actiontec introduced a problem with my wireless network though. After it was installed, 3 of the 4 laptops in my home could no longer use the wireless internet connection. Those laptops could establish a wireless connection, but would then drop the connection in under 5 seconds, and then immediately begin connecting again. This cycle would run continuously unless the wireless was disabled. The signal strength was perfect. The 4th laptop was fine. (Note - 2 of the 4 belong to my employer, don't get jealous!)

After trying all usual approaches (change wireless frequency (channel), reset the router, update the wireless driver software on the laptop), I hit upon an unlikely solution. Configuring the laptop to use the Windows wireless software instead of the Dell wireless software solved the problem.

(Will continue later, with additional comments, concerning the phone and TV service.)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Uncommonly good

Following my occasional and usually depressing ritual, I sauntered over to my 401k management webpage this morning, curious to see just how dreary things looked today. While there is still much lost ground to make up, I was happy to see something very unusual:

Go, Baby, Go! Daddy (and children) could use new pairs of shoes, really!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Learn Something New, March 2009 Edition

BlackBerry Server installations.

Judging by the hits I found on Google, it seems very, very common to encounter this error when starting the BlackBerry Manager software on a BlackBerry Server:

"Failed to open the default message store using the MAPI profile "BlackBerryManager". Please review the log for details. You will not be able to send messages from the BlackBerry Manager by email".

This seems common among new installations (like mine), and probably among installers that don't know anything about BlackBerry (like me).

I found countless responses on forums to people encountering this error. All of the responses were friendly and informative, and all of them explained that the BlackBerry service should run as a particular account, and that account needs specific user permissions (on the BlackBerry and Exchange servers), and also needs particular permissions in Exchange.

That's all nice, but even having configured everything properly, I still received the above error whenever I'd start BlackBerry Manager.

SOLUTION: If the BlackBerry Manager software is run by the BlackBerry admin account (normally BESadmin), there is no error.

I had logged in to the server as an administrator, and then tried to run the BB application. If I used the 'Run As...' option to start the BB program as the BB admin account, the program started fine. If instead I just ran it normally, as an account that was NOT the BB admin account, I did see the error.

Maybe this will help someone out there.

Have a nice weekend.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My new personal savings plan

He-who-should-not-be-named suggested them, Obama made a skirting reference to them, and now I've devised my own spin on the matter - my own Personal Savings Plan. Now, my idea is nothing as exotic as some tax-deferred, annuities-based, windfall-whatzy-dinger sophisticated financial derivative instrument.

No, I've come up with an idea brilliant in its simplicity. I charge myself $1 to spend money. That's it. Every single time I spend anything, whether it's a $0.50 candy bar, a $0.99 MP3 from Amazon, the water bill, or a mortgage payment, I charge myself $1.

I take that $1 and move it to my left pocket. When I return to my bedroom later that day or evening, I take the money from my left pocket and stick it in my change cup on my dresser.

I've been doing this for about a month, and I'm averaging about $10/week. Granted, that's not a huge amount, but it's more than if I wasn't doing this, and had I begun saving this way when the Wii was released, I'd have enough saved to purchase one by now.

And this is easy enough to actually do. Plus, unlike my 401k, the money saved won't decrease in value to 2005 levels. What goes into the savings cup, STAYS in the savings cup. (Apologies to the Las Vegas tourism commision.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A small thing I found funny.

Yes, I know Obama is a good guy, and that 'Change' (as in ' is coming to Washington' ) could be translated as 'Competence' just as easily as any other meaning. But this was too easy a dig....

I just read this on the website FAQ:

Q: Who runs
A: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act establishes an oversight board of inspectors general (the watchdogs of government) called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board....

The RAT Board ????? 

$787 Billion dollars will be doled out, overseen by the RAT Board.

Hee hee hee...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Odds and Ends

Latest happenings -

On January 19, I took, and passed, Microsoft's MB2-633 certification exam, focused on Installing and Implementing Microsoft CRM v.4.


Last Tuesday I was fortunate to attend a seminar covering Enterprise Storage Performance Assesment. The speakers were very interesting, especially Richard Lary, CTO of TuteLary, LLC. All attendees were given 8Gb iPod Nanos!

I've spent the last few years unintentionally collecting an assortment of cheap mp3 players. I have a 30Gb Dell DJ, gen 2. It has ample capacity, but the firmware is lousy, and Dell killed the product after about 2 years, so it's unlikely any new firmware will ever see the light of day unless the Rockbox people make something happen.

I have a Coby 512Mb player that I bought a few years ago because it was $9, and I could use it as a USB memory stick.

Five or six years ago I bought a Rio One for about $60. It has 32Mb built-in, and also a 128Mb compact flash card slipped in to attain the max capacity of 160Mb. The firmware on that player wasn't so great either, and by today's standards the player is physically enormous, about the size of a pack of cigarettes.

A few months ago listed a couple of different refurbed Sansa MP3 players for about $13 - a 2Gb Sansa Express, and a 1Gb Sansa Clip. I bought one of each, and I have to admit they are very nice players, without a doubt the best of every player I had up until last week. The Express can be expanded to a max of 4Gb using a MicroSD card.

Finally, I can use my T-Mobile Dash as a media player, with a maximum of about 2Gb of storage.

Then last week I was given the iPod Nano. First, let me get the negatives out of the way:
  • 8Gb Capacity - I've got several hundred CDs, as well as mp3 files I've downloaded, both legitimately and otherwise. I need at least 40Gb to store ALL of my music.
  • Proprietary iPod connector. I don't believe there is any technical reason Apple couldn't have used an industry standard mini-USB connector for the iPod's connector. But instead the iPods use a non-standard connector that requires special iPod-only cables and accessories. If I lose or break the included cable, I've got no way to transfer data to/from the Nano, and also no way to charge the Nano, until buying a likely-overpriced replacement.
  • REQUIRES iTunes. I spent nearly 2 full days trying to make my Nano work properly in a Linux world. I tried various methods, including using OpenSuse 11.1 and Amarok, straight file copies (drag and drop), and even installing VirtualBox and Windows XP SP2 with the intention of installing iTunes there. I finally gave up and swapped my Windows XP hard drive back into my laptop, in order to use the iTunes installed there. Upon attaching the iPod I was informed that I would need to upgrade the installed iTunes in order to use the iPod. I THEN learned that I couldn't install the new iTunes because I was out of hard drive space. The aggravations continued through the third day until I finally managed to free up enough space that I could not only install iTunes, but also successfully sync with the iPod. AAgghhh!!!
  • The iPod Nano is undeniably, unbelievably COOL! I don't mean cool in the sense that it enhances your image or popularity. I mean it is a neat device. It's fun to mess around with. It appeals to my appreciation of fine engineering, electronic gadgetry, etc... The device is great.
  • Cover Flow - I've seen this on TV ads, but didn't really appreciate it until playing around with it in person.
  • Capacity - yes, this is listed in negatives also. 8Gb is not enough for me. BUT, 8Gb is 4 times greater than my 2Gb Sansa, and aside from my unreliable Dell DJ, the largest capacity player I've got.
  • Games - yep - the iPod can play games, and includes 3 impressive games.
  • Photos - the player can display photos and videos. It can tell when the player is turned on its side, and reorients the screen appropriately.
  • Shake to skip - if I want to skip a song, I can shake the player to jump ahead to the next song. I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds pretty neat.
At the ripe old age of 40, I've begun hitting the gym. Since the last week of November I've been going to the West Orange JCC fitness center regularly. Working out isn't as boring as I expected it to be, and I feel pretty good. Sometimes it's a downer when I see other folks in far better shape than I am. One time, while waiting for a turn at the bench press, I noticed the behemoth I was waiting on was using much larger weights than I use. When he finished, I compared what he was lifting to what I lift. I ordinarily bench press 55lbs. This man(?) was lifting 270lbs. Yikes!


SiriusXM -

In late 2003 I subscribed to Sirius satellite radio, and immediately loved it. I evangelized for the service to anybody within earshot. I bought receivers for my car, my wife's car, and my house. I gave a receiver to my Dad, my father-in-law, and my brother. I stopped listening to terrestrial radio entirely, and rarely listened to my CDs.

This continued until this past November, when Sirius and XM began to merge their channels and staff. Since then I've been hugely disappointed with the service and the company. My favorite station was eliminated, and I'm not thrilled with the replacement, but am still trying to give it a chance. My second-favorite channel is still around, but seems blander than it was previously.

I used to be able to email the on-air staff, and they responded. Over the last few weeks, every email I've sent has been answered (sometimes automatically) by 'Customer Care', with no mention that the email was or wasn't delivered to the actual staffer I tried to contact. Given that I've not received any replies from the on-air staff, I think the messages are not being delivered to them.

I recently received an email from Sirius declaring that there will now be additional charges to listen to the internet stream, and the monthly rate is also increasing. I can 'lock in' my current rate, at least temporarily, if and only if I buy a long-term contract now.

Through a roundabout way, I managed to finally reach a handful of the DJs via email outside of the proper channels. The DJs are all very friendly and receptive, still. It's Corporate that is being so awful. I'm torn as to whether or not I want to bag it and cancel the service.


Laptop troubles -

I don't know when this started, but my laptop is no longer capable of charging batteries. I've got an Inspiron 8500; I think it's about 5 years old. For the most part it runs just fine. BUT, Dell designed the unit so that if you connect an AC Adapter other than the official Dell adapter, the laptop runs in a low-performance capacity (i.e., slower), and also does not charge the battery. My laptop now runs in that condition, even with the proper AC Adapter. The BIOS reports 'Unknown AC Adapter'.

I've tried 3 different batteries, and 4 different AC Adapters (all Dells). No luck.

I suspect there is a bad connection between the power jack and the motherboard, but I am nowhere near skilled enough with a soldering iron to repair this. It's a bummer.

Over the weekend I watched the Super Bowl with my father-in-law and Nate, while Jess and Maren stayed at home. The game was, of course, very exciting. Nate, unfortunately, wanted very much for the Cardinals to win, and became pretty frustrated through the course of the game. Oh well. He liked the Bridgestone commercial with the Potato Head couple.


More later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

(239) 482-3803

My home received a phone call from (239) 482-3803 today. A silent, 2-second voicemail was left for me.

A quick and simple Google-search on the number returned a 4-page message-thread listing other people's experiences with this number, explaining that the callers are trying to scam people somehow.

I haven't returned the call, and advise that anyone receiving a call from this number ignore it, and don't bother talking to the people at the other end of the line.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A screenshot with CONTRAST

I don't know what the best term is to describe the conflicting feelings this screenshot provokes. Cognitive Dissonance is the best I've come up with.

I've had that wallpaper on my monitor for a while, and just noticed the juxtaposition of it, with the weather applet running in the corner.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Learn Something New, January 2009 Edition

For several years I've been tinkering with Linux. I'm not at all an expert, but I often have fun playing around with various distributions, and for the last few years I've tended to lean toward Suse (since Suse 9.0, I think).

My Dell Inspiron 8500 laptop came with a 30Gb drive, that I immediately re-partitioned when I received it, allotting 15Gb to Win XP, and 15Gb to Suse 9.1. Over the last several months the computer grew increasingly awkward to work with due to my filling the drive, and reluctance to delete things - I'm a pack-rat in the computer realm as well as in Real-Life&trade .

So after a great deal of searching, I recently managed to find a 2.5", non-SATA, 7200rpm hard drive I could use in my laptop. (I found the drive at Grassroots Computers in California. I think the man that helped me was named Jeff - very friendly, very helpful.)

I was too busy to do anything with the drive when it arrived in early-December, but about a week ago I installed the drive in the laptop, and decided to install the latest version of Ubuntu. For a few years now Ubuntu Linux has become very popular, and I've read many accounts of people having no trouble at all with it.

For about 5 years I've been installing various flavors of Linux on my laptop, and have always had difficulty getting the wireless network card to work properly and consistently. I hoped that the newest Ubuntu (v8.10) would detect and use my wireless card perfectly. To be fair to the community of Linux developers, as I understand the situation the manufacturer of my wireless card has obstructed the development of the necessary software to use the card with Linux.

My wireless card is a Dell TrueMobile 1300. The Dell TrueMobile 1300 is based upon the Broadcom 4306 chip, and the Broadcom company has obstinately refused to provide any technical information to the Linux community despite several years of requests. Broadcom won't provide the needed software themselves, and have refused to provide the information necessary for others to write the software.

This is a common aggravation among Linux users. The problem is so widespread that the Linux world developed a handful of software methods to use the Windows XP drivers in Linux. There is a commercial app called Linuxant. There is an opensource, no-cost app named NDISWRAPPER. I think there are a couple of other similar apps also. Each of these applications allow a user to use the driver that was written for Windows XP on his/her Linux-based system.

Unfortunately there is another wrinkle to be considered. Typical home and small business wireless networks use encryption (security) for the wireless connections. From least secure to most secure, the possible encryption schemes include: WEP (64 bit), WEP (128 bit), WPA, WPA2.

The wireless networks in my home and in my office are both WPA2.

After installing Ubuntu on the laptop, nearly everything worked perfectly. BUT, WPA2 did not work properly. I probably could have found a solution given enough time searching the 'net, but I didn't feel like putting in the required time and effort, and I'd read about the new OpenSuse 11.1 release, and was excited to give it a try.

So Sunday evening I installed OpenSuse 11.1 to the laptop. Almost everything on the laptop worked, but again the wireless card wasn't right. In fact, under OpenSuse 11.1 the card wouldn't work at all. This was very disappointing of course.

I spent some time last night and tonight trying to find a solution, and tonight came across something so simple I assumed there were additional required steps that had been left out of the instructions. I was wrong - the fix really was as simple as the document I found stated.

The solution was found here - The wireless card on my system, running a brand-new install of OpenSuse 11.1 (32-bit), and using a Dell TrueMobile 1300 (Broadcom 4306 rev 02), worked immediately after entering the single command:
sudo /usr/sbin/install_bcm43xx_firmware

That's all I had to do. I didn't have to find the Windows driver and download it. I didn't have to manually edit any configuration files, or init.d files. I didn't have to mess around with modules, or install any extra applications. The default Suse installation already included whatever it needed, aside from the copyright-protected Broadcom firmware, which is obtained by using the command above.

I can now use my laptop, running OpenSuse, on my WPA2-encrypted wireless network in my home and office.

Pretty cool. If anyone from the B43 team read this, THANKS!