The Dean Website. AKA The Exploded Micro-Family
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Category — rants

Apple Sanlitun finally gets me a replacement Mac Book Air after it dies for the fourth time

After my mid 2011 Mac Book Air died for the fourth time, I had to kick up a bit of a fuss at the Genius Bar in Sanlitun, they wanted me to wait *1 month* to get a replacement MBA from Singapore (!!).
Turns out that Apple HK had also not put my AppleCare onto the MBA, so I also had to fight to get them to recognize I had Applecare on it (weird). Had to leave fuming. Then later that same day got a phone call, they would replace my MBA immediately.
I went back and got a brand new MBA and 3 year AppleCare :-). It seems to work and has same Samsung SSD as previous one. up at 2:45 AM having recovered from TimeMachine backup. now going to sleep. what a mess. can I expect this one to last more than one month??? Kudos to Apple SLT though for doing the right thing and getting me a replacement immediately.
See previous thread here: MBA woes

May 15, 2012   Comments Off on Apple Sanlitun finally gets me a replacement Mac Book Air after it dies for the fourth time

As it is only possible to complain to Lufthansa by fax, here is a copy so it can be added to the growing voices of discontent

I will be sending a fax to Lufthansa here in China, presumably this will go the way of all other communications but as they provide no other option I will have to try this:
<<
Lufthansa Customer Relation:  China
Name    Lufthansa German Airlines
Customer Service and Support Center
City    Shanghai
Zip Code    200021
Address PO    湖滨路222号, 卢湾区., 企业天地一号楼三搂, 14-21室.
Address    Department, SHA XR
Fax    + 86 21 6340 6698

Dear Sirs,

I wish to strongly complain about the attitude and service levels provided by Lufthansa and its flagship airport in Frankfurt. Like thousands of other passengers our luggage was stranded on the plane after we landed on the 19th of December 2010 as for reasons known only to LH the luggage was NOT/NOT taken off the airplane.
Information provided to us on the plane was not correct, information provided on the ground was not correct, staff was (apart from one really helpful woman at the baggage service desk who took the time to go with us to provide a replacement folding stroller) lazy or rude, or both.
We were told to contact LH in Shanghai to get compensation for items we had to purchase whilst our luggage was not delivered at our home.
Please investigate BRULH68005 – the missing item is a electric blue Quinny folding stroller that is most likely in Frankfurt.
Tag Number       LH549852
Tag Number       LH549853
Tag Number       LH549851
Despite three hours in Frankfurt on the way back your airport layout and inefficient (read lazy) staff meant that it was totally impossible to even find the Lufthansa Lost Baggage department. (finding the Frankfurt Aiport Lost Luggage department just earned us a “please fuck off and ask Lufthansa it is not our problem”, I add the please because they did not say “hau ab” but the meaning was the same: Es ist nicht unser Problem, bitte melden sie sich beim Lufthansa.)

Please find a thread started here: http://getsatisfaction.com/lufthansa/topics/luggage_lost_why_is_frankfurt_unable_to_have_luggage_delivered_when_onwards_flights_cancelled?utm_content=topic_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=reply_notification
short url: http://bit.ly/gXfTiJ
This will give you all the background info you need.

I would appreciate a quick answer as I need the stroller for our baby and the replacement is for a six month baby not a four year old and you know the quality of the strollers you provide as replacements. Failing that I will have to purchase a new stroller and I will be billing you as per our rights.

Yours Faithfully,

Patrick Dean

Victor in the Quinny stroller

Victor in the Quinny stroller

January 5, 2011   2 Comments

Nice to Meet You – and please hand over your cash…

<<NICE TO MEET YOU
I am Amelia Dacu. I am 23 years old girl. From Sudan. I am also a member of Facebook. I saw your email address at (www.btmbeijing.com). I will appreciate your friendship if you tell me more about you. Could you please contact me at this my e-mail address ( (amelia.dacu@yahoo.in) amelia.dacu (at) yahoo (dot) in) for my picture and more information about me.
Amelia.

( (amelia.dacu@yahoo.in) amelia.dacu (at) yahoo (dot) in)>>

Once more we are confronted by SPAM/SCAM. The really annoying part is that this is actually human actuated – they have done (apparently) some research on you (btmbeijing) and are greatly moved by your “profile”. What they fail to say is that they have received a list of emails trawled from a website and are spamming all of them. Again, if they really knew you, they could say your name, or try and give a page on which your profile appears. Also the headers show that its a blind CC, so it’s sent to a whole bunch of people.

Finally why would someone from Sudan (!) use a Yahoo email in India (yahoo.in)? Smells scammy.

Typing the email address in Google quickly shows up many pages with this email address, usually email blacklists, so you know, don’t bother unless you like to take them for a ride or be taken for one. Have fun.

November 6, 2010   1 Comment

Project honeypot

I have installed some code from Project Honeypot to the website, not that much is necessarily happening but the amount of cleverer or manual comment spam is starting to get on my nerves, so I am hoping that a couple of changes will help keep the site cleaner.

Using Bad Behaviour and Comments Cleaner I hope will stop nearly all comment spam since either it cannot get there, or once it has, the links are removed anyways. So all the stupid ‘I love your site’ or ‘please explain how to add me to your RSS feed’ type of stuff will go away..

If you are really human and want to add a link – please just add the site name (mysitename.com/gohere) as plain text and I will then change the link manually. Sorry for the hassle but given a ratio of spam of something like 1000/1 real comments it is better to proceed like this.

PS for those of you in ZH – you will need to use a proxy to find the code to install the honeypot code – it is blocked. Maikefailapolis? 😕

June 15, 2009   4 Comments

Archos 5 – The Ipod Touch Killer (continued)

Ceci est le contenu d’un message envoyé aujourd’hui au service de outien A-V de Archos après que bon, avoir décidé que vraiment ça foire un peu trop au niveau de leur browser.

<<

Bonjour, le browser est d’une lenteur epouvantable dans la derniere version du firmware, notamment sur news.bb.co.uk chaque fois que la page contient un lien vers une sequence video elle reste bloquee pendant deux minutes pendant le “chargement” de l’image, ceci ne se produit pas sur un browser sur PC.
Facebook se plante tout le temps, le browser vire au noir et la machine redemarre d’elle-meme. Meme lorsque la machine ne se plante pas, Facebook est d’une lenteur epouvantable et le browser se bloque et refuse de repondre pendant deux/trois minutes a chaque chargement de page ou de deplacement de la page via l’ecran tactile.
Il est impossible de rentrer dans la page d’administration d’un site qui utilise WordPress (www.wordpress.com) le browser reste bloque sur la page de login.
De maniere generale l’ecran tactile est tres peu fiable en surfant, tantot il repond au click, tantot pas, alors qu’il est toujours possible de deplacer la page ou de la faire defiler via le meme ecran.
Je ne me sers quasi que de cinq sites lorsque je surfe sur le Net, quatre de ces sites sont actuallement pour ainsi dire inutilisables (www.facebook.com, news.bbc.co.uk, www.guardian.co.uk, www.dean.be). Le seul qui fonctionne +/- ok est Google Mail. Il va de soi que je ne suis pas trop satisfait de l’Archos 5 en tant que plateforme de surf portable.
Je ne pense pas que ces sites soient particulierement inhabituels, exotiques ou inadaptes a l’emploi de Opera.
Merci pour votre aide!

>>

on va voir la réponse.

En tout cas, il est clair que autant que le Archos 5 détruit le Ipod Touch (actuel, la nouvelle version du Iphone/Itouch changera-t’elle la donne?) dans sa capcité de lecteur audio/vidéo, autant que dans tous les autres domaines elle est en retard.

Pour moi, tant que Archos garde un OS verrouillé et est sans une plateforme de développement ouverte à tous, Archos est voué à une mort certaine. Le manque de sex-appeal de l’Archos 5 et son manque de fun en font un produit génial mais simplement utilitaire. C’est dommage. Sa SEULE solution pour Archos est de totalement deverouiller l’Archos pour que enfin on puisse avoir des produits et des utilitaires a y intégrer, car attendre que Archos règle les problèmes avec son logiciel et son offre audio/vidéo est une peine perdue, à mon avis!

June 9, 2009   5 Comments

Eat your chocolate, get paid for it, and lose weight? Surely you mean lose money???

<<
Hello friend,

My name is Catherine Williams.

Let this HEALTHY CHOCOLATE be a perfect Christmas Gift
for yourself, your family, your loveones (sic) and your friends!.
Just like you, I was shock (sic), at first, but YES it’s true,
NOT ALL chocolates are created equal.
Please visit this very important link below:

[three ws][dot]cathwilliams.co.cc/

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January 5, 2009   1 Comment

More delayed musings on the state of eating (Chinese) in Beijing – and may the New Rat be a good one for you all!

I know there are zillions of places out there about eating in Beijing and how great it all is. So I keep on asking myself why is it that when asked ‘where do you want to go and eat tonight?’ I have *no answer*, I just don’t feel like there is anywhere that I can say – ‘yes let’s go there’. Nothing where you can eat reasonably good food, that is not more than 75 kuai/person (and let me tell you that this is a *lot* of money for most Beijingren who will eat for about 10 kuai or preferably less, usually max 20 kuai, including beer), that is not (ab)using oil that has been thrice recycled or taken from a sump, and where MSG and salt are used sparingly.

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February 16, 2008   3 Comments

Merry Christmas to all of you who come by here (and that includes all the robots as well :-)

Quick rant about our Xmas dinner at Feichang Thai (Very Siam) here in Beijing as it justs sucks to have to eat such fake thai when the place *was* so good in the past. Nothing is permanent here, and here is further proof of Beijing’s rapid descent *down* the culinary scales as people forgo authenticity in lieu of crass and in your face ‘trendyness’. It seems it is easier to make money selling crap wrapped up in gold leaf rather than making the effort of doing the real thing.

My wife asked me soon after we ordered ‘why are there so many dongbeiren serving us here?’ and it all clicked into place. I was the only paleface in the joint, last year it was full of them. It has changed its target clientele and is now aiming for the clueless hip ‘nouveau riche’ chinese and serves up Thai dishes that taste as if designed by a Dongbei chef. From the deep fried mandarin fish in sweet and sour sauce that looks and tastes exactly like a poor man’s song shu gui yu (but it ain’t cheap) to the Tom Yum soup that is tasteless and totally lacking in anything except maybe the name of the packet that it came out of to the masaman curry that is just totally weird and bears no relationship to the real thing. Oh and the ‘vietnamese spring rolls’ even had a layer of sugar to crunch on and no mint at all. Looked and tasted just like pillows. For 360 kuai per couple (and with only 1 beer! imagine how much if you buy drinks for two!) it is just a total waste of your money. Cool for dating clueless Dongbeiren though 😉 Looks nice, but it is all so shallow.

If you want real thai in Beijing, try somewhere else! (Purple Haze?)

December 25, 2007   2 Comments

Mediatemple is still there :-)

This site is getting very slow. This is nothing to do with the provider, but all to do with me. So far MT has proven pretty good for my current modest usage of it, in particular it allows much better customisation of the PHP/Apache interface, so you can actually use a php.ini or .htaccess file with most of the options. SSH access is great and works very well, only pity is I could not find a way to bulk FTP my old site across using the default MT tools.

Biedny Wiktoriusz!

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November 26, 2007   6 Comments

Mobsterings and no Gallery 2.0

Until I can somehow find a WSP (Web Service Provider) that allows me to host large files (ie 20GB of space or more) has secure SMTP, IMAP and POP3 access, the usual LAMP type setup and can run Gallery 2.0 along with WP and everything else I want to throw at it (Ruby on Rails for example) then I am stuck with kludging on this site.

This is a pity, I have a large number of pictures that could well go out there. Flickr is useful, but is a huge dustbin as well, with just a search on Beijing coming up with thousands upon thousands of pictures, nearly all of them just holiday snaps of no use or interest.

At least Porta is really beautifully designed, although it needs some tweaking to get it to be really 100% useful. It is very fast in generating pix, but totally non-interactive, in other words, once out there, the pix are static, just paintings on the wall. Why infomaniak cannot get its act together and ramp up PHP memory and have decent libraries beyond a basic GDLib drives me crazy, as they are otherwise really good.

So, enjoy theMOB pictures from Bai Hefrom KHM, they are really good. And there is another one here of the ride to Machang on the 1th of May

May 28, 2007   Comments Off on Mobsterings and no Gallery 2.0