zazzle customer service

You hear from everybody these days that the art of customer service is dead, this is apparently not so with and Disney, in an effort to get a T-shirt done in time for lotus Sphere, i ordered it and had it emergency ups’ed to the hotel in Florida, alas it did not arrive in time (to be fair i only gave them a couple of days), i gave a mental shrug and counted it as a lost gamble, a couple of weeks later i get a email from zazzle customer service saying that they had had the T-shirt returned, and that i had been given a full refund including postage, a complete surprise (if one that makes me feel slightly guilty)

Changing your perspective

Been watching all the “sticking with notes”/”moving on” talk on all the blogs, and only just realised that i was one of the offenders, the reason why i only just realised is not simply because im dumber than a sack of bricks, its because i have taken the domino 8.5 splash screen to heart, it says “built on eclipse”, just as the flex splash screen says “built on eclipse”, and the myeclipse screen (well duh!)

When you realise that, the reason for conflict just seems to melt away, your an eclipse developer, Domino is suddenly a back end and a UI interface, just as flex is, and hibernate, etc etc, you may have a STRONG preference for one toolset, but your core is eclipse (providing you are on a modern version of notes), so we can just write amazing apps, why make life complex (shrug).

1.5Tb Seagate Drives, Drobo, formating and temper Tantrums

Fiends and Followers of this pack of feeble ranting’s will know my love of the
drobo external nas drive, as i had filled mine up with 1tb drives, i was much
pleased with the news that the first of the new uber big Seagate drives came
out (1.5tb), i purchased 4 of said drives, and popped them in, a week later one
seems to fail for 30 seconds then be ok, but the drobo did its rebuild thing
for 24 hours (which means it goes slow), i shrugged, but then a couple of days
later another one failed on the other drobo, so they were both rebuilding,i
started to get nervery if one more failed i would lose the raid, Eeeeeeeek!.
How ever it seems i was not alone, the drobo forums were alive with the horror
of these drives, turned out that something to do with their slightly larger
power requirements, if the drive did not get EXACTLY what they wanted on
startup, they would go in to “autistic mode” for 30 seconds (ie sulk), which
breaks the drobo raid, it turns out that is problem is common to all the modern
operating systems (Linux, Mac osx, vista), Seagate flatly refused to accept
responsibility telling people were miss using their drives (it mainly happened
when people were using them for raid), however as they had put “best usage:
Desktop raid” on their website, that did not cut much mustard (the little
devils removed it once people pointed that out but thanks to the joy of the
internet, plenty of screen shots had already been taken….ha..power to the
geeks!!), they have now released a firm ware fix (which you need a PC to apply
to the drives), but it too late for me, I’ve already swapped back to the 1TB
drives and used the 1.5Tb for other backups, the following is how to format
said drives in Linux as they throw a little tantrum.

Most people who are Linux users who have come from a windows background, like
gui apps, and the best for disk formatting is called Gparted, however the
current “sanctioned” version of Gparted (0.3.5), throws a hissy fit when you
try and format a partition greater than 1TB, Sooooo, with these monster drives,
open a terminal window:

sudo su

means you don’t need to keep putting “sudo” at the beginning of all your
commands for this terminal session

parted /dev/sdd

or what ever drive is if you have gparted you can see the drive name there, now
your in parted, but your drive is completely blank so you need to enter

(parted) mklabel msdos

an msdos label will do these drives fine, Next enter “print” to see the drives

(parted) print

Disk /dev/sdd: 1500GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number Start End Size Type File system Flags

as you can see we have no partitions on this drive, in this exersise i want one
partition that takes up the whole drive and to use the ext3 format, the 2
numbers at the end are the start and end points of the partitions so “0” to
“1500GB” to do the whole drive.

(parted) mkpart primary ext3 0 1500gb

now lets do “print” to see if that took effect

(parted) print

Disk /dev/sdd: 1500GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
1 32.3kB 1500GB 1500GB primary

rayyy, worked, now we need to pop out of parted

(parted) quit

the drive is still not formatted so fill in the following (you can check on
gparted again if you don’t know what to put as the drive, ie. /dev/ssd1)

/sbin/mkfs -t ext3 /dev/sdd1

mke2fs 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)
Filesystem label=
OS type: Linux
Block size=4096 (log=2)
Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
91578368 inodes, 366284000 blocks
18314200 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
First data block=0
Maximum filesystem blocks=0
11179 block groups
32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group
8192 inodes per group
Superblock backups stored on blocks:
32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208,
4096000, 7962624, 11239424, 20480000, 23887872, 71663616, 78675968,
102400000, 214990848

Writing inode tables: done
Creating journal (32768 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done

This filesystem will be automatically checked every 28 mounts or
180 days, whichever comes first. Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.

here you go that’s the format done, while your here you might as well sort out
the other bits, soo

e2label /dev/sdd1 mp3picsbackup

This give the drive a label, so that, say this is a usb drive, it will auto
mount to the label, now i like really open security (lazy sod), and as such,

chmod 777 -R /media/mp3picsbackup

oh, i had to mount the drive for this command to work.

Fencing and the return to fitness

I cant exactly call it a return to fitness as i hurt from my bones outwards and have blisters in all the places where i used to have fencing callouses, but i have had 2 squash sessions this week and one fencing lesson, proper fencing tomorrow and on Friday another squash game (or at least a gym)

I at least feel as I’m making some progress (nearly made it through the lesson with Steve without whimpering like a baby)


Places that hurt:4 (Back, knees, left hand, right foot)

Fencing Status:
1) Being an embarrassment in any fencing hall (X)
2) Being fit enough not to cry ()
3) Being fit enough to go to a comp (
4) Returning to the status of “Oh bloody hell I’ve got to fight Myers” ()
5) Learnt to Fence properly (

Flex tutorials without the pain

For those of us looking at Adobe flex as an additional arrow in our quiver, you might have seen that adobe does an excellent 44 part video training called “Flex in a week”, the training is excellent, the fact they say you have to use their windows only “Adobe media player” is less so, im not going to go into the many things that vex me about this bit of software but it is definitely not “S.S.C.” (you’ll have to ask me if you want to know what i mean by that), however it turns out you don’t need it, just open up and down load all the reasonably named .FLV files, and watch them using VLC or what ever media player rocks your boat

….why do people try to ruin a good idea by telling you how to use it.

Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf Books

After a chance meeting in a second hand book store, I’m suffering from a return to childhood on Fighting Fantasy books (ah the joys of ebay), and while rolling in this happy and cheap glut of thrills (although some of the ‘supposed’ rare ones are proving tricky to get hold of), I remembered their main competitor the lone wolf series, after a quick search it turns out that the author Joe Denver has given them all away to the Aon Project so that we can all enjoy them for free (a very nice act on his behalf), but even better is the fact that these books are now back in print at mongoose publishing but instead of the scabby paperback form we remember (and even the new reprints of the fighting fantasy are in) they are amazing stitched hardbacks with colour and all mod cons (sort of like what the folio society does but for role play books) mine arrived last night and the are beautiful …only one problem, i could not bring my self to write in the old ones (you were supposed to), and to even consider to do so in these ones is quite frankly a sin

….some how i need to get a set of these to my son (my own fantasy adventure!!)