Things have been rather busy this week.

Work has been very busy with nearly 2 dozen builds spread among 4 people. Mind you I only have a week left in the department so I’m trying to finish up all my builds as quickly as possible so I can start my transition. Still trying to pick up the pieces and recover whatever data I can from a sad and failing WHSv1 box. Not looking too promising, but we shall see after this weekend when I can actually pull individual drives and begin ripping data directly. In the process of building and populating a new WHS2011 box with the old data that can be recovered all while tinkering around with the new beast. I have to admit, I wasn’t very fond of it initially, but with a multiple raid configuration that I’m going for, it looks like most of my concerns will have been met. Only time will tell on that and I should be providing a review or something of my experiences with WHS2011 in the not so distant future.

Busyness continued into tonight. Get a call around 6:30pm, “You need to let the dogs out, your wife has had a couple sangria’s”. No big deal, last day at work with her friends, I understand. So, head home with the intention of probably not returning due to the time. Get home and not but 10 minutes later another call, “You need to come pick your wife up, she’s not doing so good”. Oh dear. I wasn’t able to pick her up due to still being on the clock. See, headed home, took my 30 minutes driving, playing with and feeding the dogs, then got back on the clock via VPN. “I still have an hour left”. “Ok, we’ll finish eating and I’ll give you a call”. About 45 minutes later here comes Fallyn with one of her friends, Fallyn heads straight to the bathroom, not good. Turns out they had begun drinking around 2pm or so and she only had a couple of chips, which means that in the past 7 hours she had only had a couple of chips and who knows how much alcohol. So, spend the next hour and a half keeping and eye on her as she falls in and out of sleep on the bathroom floor. Now she’s all snuggled on the couch, not wanting to come to bed cause that would require walking up steps and she still doesn’t feel up to that yet.

Anyways, nearly soft-bricked my phone today. Did a kernel update which apparently isn’t compatible with the version of CM7 that I’m currently on. Either that or it actually needs a Data wipe to work. In any even, update didn’t go as expected but luckily I was able to three-button back and fix it. Although CWM4 isn’t supposed to work right via three-button, so we’ll see if it actually fails or something. Still very curious about this MIUI stuff, but also wary seeing as its a Chinese based ROM ported and translated to nearly every Android device known and in every language available. Also a little wary because of the iPhone’esque interface. *shrug* Might give it a whirl once the CM Devs make some headway on a few of the issues I have with the ROM on the Fascinate. I mean I’ll have to data wipe at that point anyways, might as well give it a shot, right.

Think I’ve finally got my BIND Nameserver/IP update script finished, at least as finished as I can make it without access to the GoDaddy API for updating Nameservers. Really blows when you got everything done and working except for one little piece all because a company doesn’t feel its necessary to open their API up for people to script against. Blah. Least the difficult part is finished. I have it set to update 3 different nameservers and restart them all sequentially so they all receive updates from their appropriate master. So YAY, go me, blah… what’s next?

Well, next week is last week in Provisioning and then I transition to Mass Storage, er I mean Cloud Services. Should be good, new stuff to learn. Lets see where it takes me. Same time I’m starting the new position I’ll be starting Fall semester classes. Oh buddy, let me tell you how excited I am. CIS130 – Computer Organization, which appears to be an assembly language class and CIS210 Data Communications, which I’m still not to sure about. Both classes are needed for either degree I’m considering, CIS or CNE. I’m still on the fence about CNE due to the electronics and ac/dc nature of some of the “networking” classes, but who knows. All I know is I’ll be getting some programming experience either way, which is really what I need seeing as I’m OK at it, I just really have issues getting things started. So yeah, busy remainder of the month ahead.

<p>Since our current Samsung LN-T4066F LCD TV has begun showing some signs of wear, 2 service requests in less than a years time, we decided it was time to begin looking into LED TVs similar to what we saw when we were at CES this past January. I should point out that at the time we were at CES we were really looking to purchase one of the new Sharp Aquos with Quattron due to the addition of the 4th color, which when we saw the demos, made the TV just that much more vibrant. Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself, the first service was last last year, the TV was beginning to experience the power related issues that are notorious for this model. Pink dots on the black background and the LCD panel beginning to take up to 2 minutes to actually show an image. Repair dude replaced 4 capacitors on the power board with larger ones, as the originals were clearly beginning to bulge from wear. Then during the BBQ is was pointed out how pink the display was starting to look on parts that should otherwise be white. We then began noticing how RED the reds were, almost blindingly red. We tinkered around with the settings and got the red turned down and blues and greens turned up to the point that the TV was watchable, but it didn’t look quite right. Repairman came on Tuesday and replaced the component board that houses all the connectors, HDMI, VGA, Coax, etc. That cleared that issue up, so all appears well now.</p><p>While waiting for the repair to occur for the LCD we decided to go shopping and began comparing the Samsung’s with the Sharp’s. As previous indicated, earlier this year we were really looking towards abandoning Samsung for the latest Sharp Aquos w/ Quattron, but in the end we came purchase the Samsung UN46D6000S LED TV. It wasn’t to say the Sharp wasn’t a pretty TV, but the demo’s they were showing in the stores and comparing the stats with the prices, the Samsung just fit better with our budget and us. That said, when doing comparisons in the store you do have to remember that you won’t be comparing anything when your at home. If it looks great in the store, even if it doesn’t look as good as the TV next to it, it will still look great at home.

</p><p>As for the Samsung, well this TV is BRIGHT and I mean like WOAH bright. This thing is amazing. The picture is gorgeous, colors and vibrant and whew, sound is fantastic. Its not to say the LN-T4066F was BAD, but Samsung has definitely showed that it is progress its TV development. One of the first things I noticed upon unboxing the TV was the energy star sticker. The TV fits rather snuggly into the entertainment center, hardly a finger tip fits on either side of the panel. Its super thin, about 1/2″ thick. It runs COOL, the other LCD, after being on for an hour was a little warm to the touch, this thing is still cool. The picture is the thing that I am still getting used to. Its so clear and crisp and so real looking that its unbelievable. Its almost hard to describe how real looking the image is, but I definitely recommend a 120Hz TV to anyone out there that is looking for a new TV. The picture is almost as if your looking through the camera lens yourself. It appears to real and lifelike, doesn’t look like there’s been any processing done to the image what-so-ever. And this is even when watching a moving that’s been up-converted to HD from 1993. Yes, even Cool Runnings looks AMAZING after being up-converted to HD. I could go on and on about it, but I’m telling you, what you see on the TV when its in the store is NOTHING like what you will experience once you get it home and unbox it. I was a little concerned due to the lack of component connectors on the TV, but since it had 4 HDMI ports, I thought I would just purchase a new HDMI for the Wii. Well, Samsung really has thought of everything with this TV. Yes, its true there is no traditional 5 connector component and 3 connector composite+a/v connectors on the TV, what they have done is created adapters for each. I can’t find the model or a picture of either of them, but they are amazing little adapters and they work flawlessly. Its fantastic, keep up the good work Samsung.</p><p>That said, the LN-T4066F has already been migrated to the basement and has replaced the old 80lb Sony CRT that has been running since what, 2000 I think. I’ll have to check it when I get home, but yeah, its been running for at least a decade and has finally been retired.</p>

So, as some of you may or may not know, I have the Samsung SCH-I500, aka Verizon Fascinate. Its a great phone, love the sleekness and size of it. The speed and hardware is fantastic. I am however very disappointed in both Samsung and Verizon with their slowness and lack of updates for the device. Nearly a year after it was released it finally got a Froyo build but as far as I can tell, Verizon has yet to push and OTA for it. They have no problems providing updates and OTAs for the I9000 which is the International version of the phone, but no, not the US CDMA based versions. Granted I’ve been rooted since Day 2 of having the phone, so I have not participated in any of the OTAs, so I can’t be certain. Looking at the <a href=”http://opensource.samsung.com/”>Samsung Open Source Release Center</a> it appears that the ED05 kernel was released 2 days ago, this is still some 2 weeks behind the leaks. In any event, I upgraded to a leaked Froyo and about 2 weeks later CM7 became available and I immediately jumped to it.

All in all CM7 on the Fascinate is fantastic. The speed is excellent, and I am actually getting quite accustomed to ADW Launcher. There are just a couple of issues that I have come across since upgrading to this ROM.
<ol>
<li>Battery Life – Its not great, but that could be the Glitch kernel that I’m running. Kernel is fast as all hell and there are tons of voltage controls, I just haven’t tweaked it enough to get it to its best efficiency, at least I don’t think. I get a solid day of battery even with moderate usage, which isn’t bad, but considering I was getting about a day and a half on the Froyo ROMs with the same if not more usage, is a little concerning. Community believes this is not just kernel related but also ROM related and should be fixed sometime soon in the nightlies.</li>
<li>MMS – Notorious CM7 Beta MMS bug resides on this ROM. Sometimes you have to jump to Airplane mode and then back to 3G to get MMS too send/receive. You absolutely cannot do MMS when connected to Wifi, which totally baffles me. Shouldn’t the MMS be forced solely through the 3G radio and not the Wifi radio? Granted, MMS does work, its just a little buggy. Like the Battery issues, the community also expects this issue to be resolved through the nightlies, eventually.</li>
<li>Flashlight – Cannot get any flashlight applications to light the camera flash. This was true with the stock ROMs for the phone as the way Samsung has engineered the flash to operate is only when the camera requests flash and at no other time. There was an app, Zaphoyd flashlight or something, that I was able to use on Froyo that worked, he had the phone cycle through 7 or 8 different settings during the configuration process to get it to work. This will be outstanding until I can come across some different flashlights. I read the other day there is a flashlight app for an older Android phone, the Ares I believe, that is supposed to work for some versions of the Fascinate.</li>
<li>LED Notifications – Apparently there seems to be an issue with LED Notifications displaying for the soft keys but then not turning off. ANNOYING! So I’ve got this app that blocks them, but in the process of doing that I now get a notification for every single email that I get even if I haven’t viewed them. Which I absolutely hate. If I have an email waiting unread and you’ve notified, if others come in, don’t notify again, I’ll get to it when I get to it.</li>
<li>Fifth thing, don’t remember, will update later.</li>
</ol>
<div>Now, seeing as the development community for this phone has all but dried up, this leaves me with using older Froyo ROMs with old kernels, sticking with this buggy CM7 or looking at this Chinese developed MIUI ROM. Its an interesting looking ROM, not sure if I like that its Chinese developed and ported, not to mention the iPhone-esque interface, which includes the apps on the home screen. We shall see, I may be flashing to MIUI’s 1.8.5 release if they get a couple of the 1.7.29 bugs fixed, if only to see how it compares to CM7.</div>

This would be the first post regarding the Mazdaspeed 3. There is an ever growing list of mods and changes that I would like to do to this car to make it “perfect”. Thus far she’s pretty stock aside from the 18% tint all around and the de-badging that was completed yesterday.

Today I ordered a front and rear pair of Black Out “Flying M” emblems and a set of Billet Shifter Spacers to replace the rubber ones that Mazda pre-installs.

The remainder of the mod list is as follows:
Rear Motor Mount – <a title=”SURE Torq R3 Sport” href=”http://www.suremotorsports.com/products/r3″ target=”_blank”>SURE Torq R3 Street</a>
Short Ram – <a title=”SURE Aeros” href=”http://www.suremotorsports.com/products/aeros” target=”_blank”>SURE Aeros</a> or <a title=”cp-e XcelNANO” href=”https://www.cp-e.com/content/mazdaspeed3-xcelnano%E2%84%A2-air-intake” target=”_blank”>cp-e Xcel NANO</a>
Turbo Inlet – <a title=”SURE Sidewinder” href=”http://www.suremotorsports.com/products/sidewinder” target=”_blank”>SURE Sidewinder</a> or <a title=”CPE Nvscid” href=”https://www.cp-e.com/content/mzr-23-nviscid%E2%84%A2-pipe” target=”_blank”>cp-e Nviscid</a>
Window Visors – Holding out for some tinted OEMs but they have been rather hard to come by in the US.

I’m not sure if I want to stick it with one company, SURE, or if I wanna mix it up a bit and SURE + CPE. Both companies get rave reviews, however SURE seems to be dedicated to Mazda performance as a whole so I’m really thinking about sticking with them.

Testing out WordPress this time around. May stick with it, may not, only time will tell. All I know is that I need some place that I can post my thoughts and stuff that’s not overly public like Facebook or something of that nature. We will see how long this lasts as I’m often prone to just wiping and starting over.