Adventures in Comcast support

We live outside San Francisco, and Comcast is our cable provider. We wanted to watch college football on TV so I visited Comcast’s website to add the “Sports Entertainment Package” for $10 per month. Immediately after turning on the big game, we found that the BTN channel was in old-style “standard definition” (SD), not HD. On top of that, Comcast’s channel feed was so terrible that it was almost unwatchable: we couldn’t always see the football.

To Sell A Car

In the process of moving to another state, we decided to sell my car to some friends. This turned out to be much harder than anticipated. I admit that this is entirely my fault and I deserve to be made fun of for it, but we couldn’t find the title. It could be that the bank which financed the loan never sent it to us. It could be that it’s in our safe deposit box in our last city and that I’ll find it next month when I go back for the rest of our stuff.


While I almost never buy extended warranties, conventional wisdom is that you should always buy AppleCare for an Apple laptop. You have up to a year after buying your laptop to purchase the extended coverage. At a high level, you’re basically buying an insurance policy for a piece of hardware with a specific serial number. Why does Apple make this so difficult? I bought my MacBook Pro directly from Apple’s website.

Omaha World Herald Makes School Remove Christmas Message

The Omaha World-Herald published a story about a Lincoln public high school who wrote “Remember the Reason for the Season” on their electronic bulletin board in front of the building. The ACLU contacted the school’s principal to request that the message be removed, and the school complied. I can understand why some parents might not want that sign above the school. While I don’t personally have a problem with it, I’d feel uncomfortable if my kids’ school ran a similar sign that appeared to endorse Islam, Hinduism, or other religions.

More On Migrating From Drupal To Blogofile

I wrote an earlier post on converting a Drupal site to Blogofile. I couldn’t be happier with how that turned out as it allowed me to immediately start using Blogofile while still keeping my old Drupal content online. Sweet! But who wants to continue running the two systems in parallel forever? I certainly don’t, and after a code sprint I came up with a way to completely transition off Drupal.

On Generated Versus Random Passwords

I was reading a story about a hacked password database and saw this comment where the poster wanted to make a little program to generate non-random passwords for every site he visits: I was thinking of something simpler such as “echo MyPassword69!|md5sum” and then “aaa53a64cbb02f01d79e6aa05f0027ba” using that as my password since many sites will take 32-character long passwords or they will truncate for you. More generalized than PasswordMaker and easier to access but no alpha-num+symbol translation and only

Migrating Drupal To Blogofile

I have a Drupal site with nearly a thousand nodes, several having over 100,000 hits. I wanted to migrate to Blogofile but absolutely did not want to start over or make this a major hassle. Instead, I used some Apache RewriteRules to gradually and seamlessly switch from Drupal to Blogofile one post at a time. Here’s how I did it, using my site’s real name of to give concrete examples:

Stop The E Parasite Act

This is the letter I just sent to my representative, urging him to vote against Hollywood’s E-PARASITE Act: Congressman Fortenberry, please vote against the appropriately-named “E-PARASITE Act” being proposed by Rep. Smith, TX. It’s the counterpart of Senate Bill S.968, the “PROTECT IP Act”. This flawed legislation seeks to criminalize civil offenses and reverse our Constitutional presumption of innocence for the benefit of a tiny – but very vocal – coalition of Hollywood special interest groups.

Making DOS USB Images On A Mac

I needed to run a BIOS flash utility that was only available for DOS. To complicate matters, the server I needed to run it on doesn’t have a floppy or CD-ROM drive. I figured I’d hop on the Internet and download a bootable USB flash drive image. Right? Wrong. I found a lot of instructions for how to make such an image if you already have a running Windows or Linux desktop, but they weren’t very helpful for me and my Mac.

Taken To The Cleaners By Abe's Detailing

I read a nice newspaper story a while ago about Abe’s Detailing in Norfolk, NE. When I wanted to have Jen’s minivan detailed as a present, I thought I’d give Abe’s a try and made an appointment for the $45.99 “express detail”. When we picked it up later, the van looked nice, but they wanted to charge us for the $159.99 “presidential detail” that they performed instead. I told the employee that I’d ordered the cheaper package.