Blackberry Tour 9630 Scroll Wheel Broken

I received my Blackberry Tour 9630 about 5 days ago, and almost immediately noticed that the horizontal scrolling was either laggy or didn’t work.

After five days, I couldn’t scroll horizontally at all at normal sensitivity.  At 100 horizontal sensitivity, it will jump around a lot but will eventually scroll.

Here is a blurry video that shows the problem:

Additionally, I tested out my father-in-law’s Verizon Tour, and his horizontal scroll is how mine initially was.

I received my new Tour today in the mail – hopefully doesn’t happen again.

I really hope this is not a defect.

Update: Just received my new 9630 and the scroll wheel works great!

How To Properly Setup and Configure Godaddy DNS Settings

If you buy domains through Godaddy, but host the website and mail somewhere else, chances are you had to edit your DNS settings.

Up until a few weeks ago I had been doing it wrong.  It was working, for the most part, but some things like reverse dns lookups would fail, and strange errors would sometimes crop up.

When you buy your domain through Godaddy, find your way into Total DNS Control.  You will see a page similar to this:

Scary, that’s for sure.

Now, before we can edit this, you need to know where your website is going to be hosted.  So if you are hosting at Hostgator.com for example, you would sign up with them and they would give you the IP Address to use for your site.

Armed with that IP Address, you can start editing your DNS Record.  Keep in mind that this is not gospel – your mileage may vary.  This works for me everytime when I point to a website I am setting up in CPanel and also need to manage the mail.  If you want your mail through Godaddy, then you do not want to make these changes.

  1. Switch to advanced mode so that you can edit more than one line at a time.
  2. Change the @ A(Host) @ record to your new IP.
  3. Delete every CNAME except for www and ftp
  4. Add the mail A(Host) Record for mail pointing to the same new ip.
  5. Delete the MX record with Priority 0.
  6. Change the priority 10 record to mail.YOU-DOMAIN-NAME.COM
  7. Add new SPF record and follow the following prompts
    1. Choose “an ISP or other mail provider”
    2. inbound tab: all inbound servers may send mail
    3. outbound tab: all addresses in A records
    4. PTR tab: include PTR
    5. The resultant line should look like “v=spf1 a mx ptr ~all”

Your DNS should now look like this:

Sprint Blackberry Tour NOT Available

June 30, 2009: Verizon announced the Blackberry Tour would be released on July 12,2009.

July 1, 2009: Sprint also announced the Tour would be available on their network the same day.

July 11,2009: I called Sprint’s Telesales and asked when the Tour is coming out and when they would be in the stores and was told, again, July 12, 2009.

July 12, 2009: Walked into a Sprint retail store and was told that they will not be getting any Tour’s until August 2nd.  The employee there said that no stores were getting them.

I called Sprint Telesales again and ordered it over the phone.  I was told I would receive it in 2 to 5 days.

July 13, 2009: My order on the websites switched to backordered status.  When I call back in, I am told that it would ship out in 2 to 5 more days “due to increased demand”.

July 15, 2009: Sprint updated my order status to, “While every attempt is made to fulfill orders first in and first out, a system issue earlier in the week resulted in some orders being shipped out of sequence. Our shipping commitment for the Tour remains 5 to 8 business days based on date of order.”

Does Sprint really have the phones ready or did they just push the launch date to compete with Verizon?

Starbucks Venti Iced Coffee Cup

I walked into a Starbucks in an old Albertson’s and saw this baby sitting there for $15. Apparently they had only been there for 1 hour and they were almost sold out.

Starbucks-cup

I was looking for this many years ago, and the Grande sized ones were selling for almost $80 on ebay. They were discontinued many years ago.

Specs:

  • Venti Sized – slightly bigger to accomodate the double walls
  • Double Walled Insulated to keep moisture off the outside, and keeping it cold longer on the inside
  • $.10 off all iced drinks
  • There is a bulb on the end of the straw to keep it from being pulled out (wonderful with kids around.
  • The lid screws on and has a rubber seal to keep it tight:

Starbucks-top

Although I do enjoy Iced Coffee, I mostly use the cup for water. Up until today, I have been collecting iced coffee cups to use around the house much to my wifes chagrin. Now I have a free drawer:

Starbucks-old

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

This recipe is taken from the article, Perfection? Hint: It’s Warm and Has a Secret :

Chocolate Chip Cookies Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

Ingredients

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt.

Directions

  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.

Disneyland Annual Pass Chooser

I have had to run through this question and answer list with several friends recently.  Answering these questions will determine which pass you should buy.

2009 Disneyland Annual Pass Options

  • Premium (365 days) – $389
  • Deluxe (315 days) – $269
  • So Cal (215 days) -$174
  • So Cal Select (170 days) – $134

Disneyland-blockouts_sm

Refer to the Combined Disneyland Blockout Calendar I wrote about prior for the large version.

Questionnaire

1. Do you want/need to go on the weekends?

If yes, So Cal Select is out since that is only for weekdays.

2. Do you want/need to go on Saturdays?

If yes, then all So Cal passes are out since they only allow you to go on Sundays and week days.

3. Do you want/need to go during Summer or Spring break?

If yes, then all So Cal passes are out.

4. Do you want/need to go on holidays (e.g. X-Mas, Independence Day, Thanksgiving)?

If yes, then you must get Premium.

5. Do you want to go only when it is not super crowded?

If yes, So Cal Select is the best option since you can’t go during the main part of the summer, weekends or holidays.

In Conclusion

Premium – Perfect if you have the money, have kids in school, and don’t mind going when the park is its busiest.

Deluxe – More economical, but you still want to go during the summer and don’t mind not going on the few dates you can’t go since they are absolutely INSANELY busy.

So Cal – Perfect if you need to go on Sundays and don’t care about going during the Summer and Spring break.

So Cal Select – Perfect if you want to avoid all crowds and can go during the week.

Disneyland Blockout Dates Calendar

Here are all the blackout dates for all Annual Passes on one calendar.

The blockout dates are additive – meaning, the Southern California blockouts are all the blue days PLUS all the yellow Deluxe days.  Therefore, the Southern California Select Annual Pass blockouts are all the orange, blue and yellow days.

(The Southern California Annual Passes are only available for people living in Southern California, hence the name.)

Disneyland Blockout Dates Calendar

Save Money With Your AT&T Home Phone Line

Att-logoI called AT&T yesterday to add our old phone number to our account so that I can port it over to a new VOIP account I am about to setup.

They charged me $40 for the phone activation, and $7.50 a month as the bare-bones rate to have the phone line.  No matter what I said, they wouldn’t get rid of the activation.

Today I called to cancel it when I realized that the VOIP system I am going to try out, Magic Jack, doesn’t allow number portability yet.

Without even asking, the woman offered to remove the activation charge, and when I said that I still wasn’t interested, she offered to lower my bill $5 for a year.

So, in the process of a 5 minute phone call, I got a phone line with AT&T for $2.50 a month (before taxes), with no activation fee.

Magic Jack says that they will start porting numbers sometime this year, so hopefully it will be sooner than later.

It may be smart to call AT&T and see what savings you can get…

Arm & Hammer – Consumer Scam?

I just bought replacements for the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda for the refridgerator and freezer and noticed a change on their box.

Where as the old box suggested to change every 3 months, now it tells us to switch every 30 days.

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Since the boxes and ingredients haven’t changed, it would appear to be an attempt to scam consumers into buying more Arm & Hammer.

I don’t like to feel taken advantage of and will not be buying their brand any longer – even if it is a relatively cheap product.

 

Make Your Emails Stand Out Using Personal E-mail Certificates

Notice the red badge on each envelope and the blue lock in the image below? 

The red badge tells me that the person is who they say they are, and the blue lock tells me that the message is encrypted.

Not only is this functionally important, but it really makes their email stand out and appear important.

This is accomplished by the use of a Personal E-mail Certificate, and is pretty easy to make work once you know the basics.

1.  In order to “digitally sign” your emails going out, you first need to find a provider to issue you one.  I used Thawte, which offers one for free:

http://www.thawte.com/secure-email/personal-email-certificates/index.html?click=DoYouNeedTo-SecureMail

Look for the “Click here to get your Personal E-mail Certificate now!” near the bottom of the page to start the process.

2. You will be asked many personal questions which will set you up with your credentials to login to Thawte.  You won’t ever have to do this again once you complete this process.

3. Next, you with see a screen to start the certificate process:

When you click the red “request” button under “X.509 Format Certificates”, you will get a popup similar to the one above.

4. In order to generate a Outlook compatible certificate, it told me that I had to use Internet Explorer, but Thawte’s site wouldn’t work with IE7.  It would just give me a VBScript error 3/4 through the wizard. 

To get around it, I found a machine to use IE6, which worked flawlessly.  The rest of the tutorial is assuming you are using that browser.  If you need the certificate for Thunderbird, you can just use Firefox.

5.  Once you finish the wizard, you will see the following screen and all the certificates you created.  It only takes a few minutes to change the status from “Pending” to “Issued”.

6. Click the “MSIE” link for the certificate you just created, which will open this page:

7.  Click on the “fetch” button at the bottom of the page, agree to all the prompts, and the certificate will be installed into your IE6 browser.

8.  Now we need to export the certificate.  First, go into your IE6 options, and click the content tab:

9. Click “Certificates…”

10.  And finally, highlight the certificate and click “Export…”.  I just put “C:\scott-key.pfx”.  It will append the “pfx” to the end if you don’t add it.

In this wizard, make sure you select to export your private key, and to delete it once you have successfully exported it.  It will ask for a password at one point, and you will use that same password when importing later.

11.  Now we need to install the certificate into Outlook.  For Outlook 2007, click on Tools > Trust Center > E-mail Security:

 

12.  Click both the “Add digital signature to outgoing messages” and “Send clear text signed message when sending signed messages” checkboxes.

13.  Now click “Import/Export”, browse to where you saved your certificate, and it will ask you for the password you used while exporting it.

14.  Try sending an email, and it should ask you to confirm the association between the certificate and your email.  Agree to the dialog box.

15.  Once you send some email, look at your sent folder to make sure they are all signed!

 

Now that this is complete, you also have the ability to easily encrypt your messages if the person you are sending to also has a certificate.  I will go through that process soon.