Monthly Archives: June 2008

FireFox 3.0! Help set Guinness World Record

That’s right…for today only…download Firefox 3.0 and help set a record — or — just download the latest version of Firefox and try it out.


Mini Cooper Tires Part III

After spending two hours on Friday to get my front tire replaced (due to a screw). I returned on Saturday to get the left front tire replaced (due to a nail), I also discovered (the dealership didn’t discover this); that my back two tires were badly worn. I paid ($500) to have the two rear tires also replaced and balanced on Saturday. I spent another 2 1/2 hours at Global Imports BMW Mini. Continue reading

Mini Cooper Tires

I was leaving work a bit early yesterday, when the tire warning light came on.  Rather than just reset it as I had done this morning when driving in, I decided to call the dealership and stop by on my way home.

Upon inspection we discovered that the right front tire had a screw in it.  The head was missing, but you could still make out the threads. 😦

The Global Imports BMW MINI dealership estimated one hour, it took two hours to replace the tire.  In talking with Brandon the service rep, he was very nice and helpful.  He told me to watch my tire pressure, as we talked about my tires having uneven wear.

On the way home, I stopped and picked up a digital tire gauge and checked the air pressure in my tires.  That is when I noticed a nail in the left front tire.  Frustrated I called the dealership and now today, I am back at Global Imports BMW to have them replace the front left tire.

I asked Tara, the service rep. I am working with now if they could inspect the back tires for foreign objects while they had the car up in the air.  Just as I was saying it, I walked behind the car to look at the rear tires and noticed the steel belt barely visible in the center of the tires only.  Crap!

Well Tara has been very helpful.  She apologized that they let me even leave yesterday with tires looking like that and offered me a discount.  Since I have the wheel and tire warranty, the front two tires are free.  But the back two tires I have to replace, they are worn out and even if they had a foreign object in them, they are below the minimum tire tread wear for a free replacement.

Things I’ve taken away from this experience:

  • I need to monitor my tires much more closely.  They are high performance tires and if not watched closely, even a small amount of air pressure will cause uneven tire wear more dramatic than any other vehicle I have ever owned.
  • Tara and Brandon are excellent service reps at Global Imports BMW.  They are professional, provided me with free food and drinks.  This isn’t something that even my wife’s Saturn dealership provides as adequately.
  • I have strong concerns with the maintenance technicians who are working on my car downstairs.  Why didn’t they take a quick spin of the other tires and check them yesterday? This isn’t the first time they have made me unhappy.  The first time I brought my Mini to them, they left the drain plug too loose and I was leaking oil!

Google App Engine over lunch

I decided to grab lunch and read more of what I could find on Google App Engine (GAE).  Found a few interesting sites.

Steve talks about how GAE fills a much different need in the cloud computing arena than Amazon has done with its own S3 and EC2.  Google doesn’t charge you for the server you rent (i.e. like EC2), but rather they charge you with how much you actually use.

Next up is Shannon, who explains how .NET can leverage GAE through abstraction via a webservice call.

Last up, is a solution I found very interesting.  Andreas explains how GAE can be used as a Content Delivery Network (CDN).  I won’t bother going into details of what a CDN is, it is explained well on his website.  What I found interesting is how this would compare to Amazon’s S3; where I’ve seen several people adopt a similar strategy using Amazon’s S3.

Over the last couple nights, I also watched the GAE video on YouTube introduced in Google Campfire One.  Parts One, Two and Three.

You can download the GAE SDK herePricing is discussed (not confirmed) here.

Radar detector comparison: Escort 9500i vs. Valentine 1

Two weeks ago I picked up the Escort 9500i from Best Buy to try out. I’m not a radar expert and I wouldn’t classify myself as a radar consumer enthusiast. I have never had a radar detector before either. I was going into this self-evaluation completely blind. First to determine if I wanted to buy and keep a radar detector and second which one did I like best? (I like != best radar detector)

I researched several detectors online. This site, oh this one too, and this.

Now my buddy, J Helms…likes cars and so I asked him one evening after I had the 9500i for a week. Which one did he feel is better? He gave me several opinions and suggestions on why they work, why they suck and why the V1 or Valentine 1 is rated as one of the best. As fate would have it, just before asking his opinion I ordered a Valentine 1 on their website to compare against the Escort 9500i I have been using lately.

I have 30 days to evaluate each radar detector!

Continue reading

VMware Workstation 6.0.4 Upgrade fails on Windows Vista!

After my recent new desktop purchase.  I had always intended to run multiple machines on it using VMware Workstation.  I started with the 30-day trial.  Just as I went to sit down and knock out some work, I was hit with the your trial has expired.

So, I head over to the website to purchase the software; $189.  No problem.  Oh, wait, there is an update.  Fine download that too.  Might as well get it all done at once right?


I purchased the software, downloaded, installed the new version (which automatically removed the older 6.0.x version) and rebooted.  Next I started VMware.  But instead of getting the program I expected, I received a dialog with an error:

Application failure. hr = 0x80004003: (null)

WHAT???? I can’t believe I just purchased software from a reputable company (is it?), upgraded to the latest version and I get this.  I did my research and found a solution on the VMware forums here.

I can’t believe the only solution offered is by the community.  Why hasn’t VMware/EMC addressed this by now? What is even more confusing is I didn’t originally receive the error when I first installed the software!

After wasting 1.5 hours, I am finally going to get to work. 😦