Good news! This thing still works!

True story

My sister and I had some Chinese food late last week. After eating, she informed me of a rule one of her former coworkers had: you should not pick your own fortune cookie–instead, you must let someone else pick it for you.

The next night I ate leftover Chinese food. After eating, I thought of Marin’s story–and then figured “ef it, I determine my own fortune!”

The fortune cookie I selected was empty.

One more day

Under penalty of perjury, do you swear that the testimony you shall give on the issue now pending before this grand jury is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Death of a PS3

Brian has, in a fashion, been around to see the entire life of my 60GB “fat” PS3. He joined me on Launch Day when I picked it up from an EB Games in Salem, witnessed me opening it up and (per Andy) “letting all the ducats out,” and then joined me in frustration at how insanely the Ridge Racer 7 cars handled. (Once we got the hang of it, that game became a whole heck of a lot more fun.)

A week ago Tuesday, we were playing Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker online together, when my console suddenly decided to turn off and beep three times. Attempts to reboot it resulted in a power light that went quickly from green to yellow to blinking red, again accompanied by three beeps.

This, apparently, is the YLOD, or “yellow light of death.” Whoever came up with that name (obviously a play on the 360’s RROD/red ring of death) should be ashamed of themselves.

All launch PS3s appear to be doomed to this fate. It’s a damn shame, and just as bullshit (albeit not as immediate) as the 360’s overheating issues. My (…mentally counting…) twenty-seven-year-old NES still works just fine, which makes the lack of reliability of these recent consoles that much more galling to me.

Apple Watch

I didn’t care for the first iPod. If memory serves, my primary beef was that it cost too much for what it did (5GB for $400?). I did buy the second generation model, though, which was still in the same class (10GB for $400), and it did make my time sorting papers at work much more bearable.

The iPhone was obviously a game-changer; I don’t think anyone who saw that launch would disagree. (That said, I’ve never owned an iPhone; the associated cell contract is just too expensive for how little I use a cell phone.)

I was excited for the iPad, and knew that it would sell well… though I had no idea what the heck I would use it for. That’s still mostly true to this day: I use my iPad for reading PDFs of books and comics (tasks where it easily beats the pants off of any other device), but I feel like it’s a product that barely fits into my life.

And this Apple Watch? It does nothing for me. I stopped wearing a watch when I graduated from college—keep in mind that there was no iPhone/iPod touch back then, otherwise I might not have even worn one during college—and this gives me absolutely no reason to start up again. (And this is overlooking the fact that it needs an iPhone to work.)

I’m definitely not very good at predicting marketplace success, and I am admittedly not a typical person, but it’s rather strange to me that the most important technological things in my life are a five-and-a-half-year-old Mac Pro and a two-year-old iPod touch. (Both are getting closer to the end of their useful lives, but neither are there yet.)

Perhaps I’m taking the first (next?) steps down the road to being an old curmudgeon, but it seems like Apple’s gotten worse at answering the question “why?”… and the actual utility of their products, to me, has suffered accordingly.

The Best Juror

So I’m a grand juror.

I am among the most elite of the elite, having both had my number randomly selected for the jury pool and then randomly selected again to join the actual jury. My term is two months, meeting twice a week.

This has been hell on everything. Since jury duty began, I haven’t been working terribly reliably; I’ve failed to standardize my sleep cycle to a morning routine, so two times a week I wake up early and the rest of the time I wake up late (and I perpetually wonder why I’m exhausted); I haven’t seriously looked at my to-do list even once.

On the other hand, the experience has been very educational (sometimes in ways that I wish it were not). There is, however, the threat of perjury if I say too much, so I’ll hold off on general observations until after my term has concluded.

(Unsurprisingly, I am the pedant of the jury.)

CommercialCuts: Some of these are just dumb, but the Subaru, Cheerios, and Vodafone ads had me sniggering. Yes, I am twelve.

This thumbdrive hacks computers: Holy Fuck.

Or, if you prefer more words (quoting ElectricBlue in the article’s comments): This is a terrible security flaw but it’s also kinda awesome from the perspective of a “cyberpunk dystopia is now” point of view.

The American Room: I read this as part of my procrastination routine, and was surprised to be reading about myself. (*exaggeration)

The way of the future

I upgraded my server from Ubuntu 12.04 to 14.04 this weekend. It took forfricking ever, thanks to one little file that got added to my Apache configuration files. I never found anything about it online, either; the only way out was through prolonged cussing.

So (search engines!), if you had a working Ubuntu 12.04 server that you upgraded to 14.04, only to discover that your PHP files are no longer processed by PHP (i.e. your server just spits out the PHP code as the page): check if /etc/apache2/conf-available/php5-cgi.conf exists. If so, try disabling it in the commandline (a2dissite php5-cgi.conf) and restarting Apache.

Otherwise there were a mess of issues, but they were pretty easy to address: find a service that’s broken, check the error log, fix the error, repeat until the service works. It’s pretty much the sysadmin equivalent of Shinji’s “Target in the center; pull the switch. Target in the center; pull the switch.” training in Evangelion.

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