WildBill's Blogdom

Mongo only pawn, in game of life.

New 4G/LTE iPads Come With Free Data?

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So, all the news about the Apple SIM that comes with the new iPads is interesting – it means that the end-user can automagically provision (or re-provision) their device on the wireless carrier of their choice, without having to go to the store and get a new SIM card and swap it. (The lone holdout, of course, is Verizon. Stupid Verizon. Get with the program!)

This news has been rattling around in my head for a bit, and the other night I put it together – T-Mobile has a free 200MB of data free, for life program for tablets. Since T-Mobile is one of the carriers that’s authorized on the new Apple SIM… could that mean that any new cellular-enabled iPad, out of the box, can be used on a cell network for free? I decided to ask.

The T-Mobile Support account got back to me:

Looks like they didn’t quite get what I was saying, so I tried again, and here’s their reply. (Yay for 140 character limitations!)

Still didn’t get the message across. Not surprising, the new Apple SIM is not that well known, and the devices aren’t in the wild in bulk yet, so I tried a double-tweet.

The answer took over an hour to come back this time… and is very positive and authoriative.

What does this mean? It means, potentially free 4G/LTE coverage for new iPads, RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX. Someone, please give this a try. If this does work, it means that Apple and T-Mobile just moved the bubble yet again.

The Mechanic’s Car

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There’s a saying my Dad - a long time professional mechanic - always has said. “The Mechanic’s Car is always broken.” Not literally, of course… that’d be stupid. But what Pops meant by that is there’s always SOMETHING suboptimal about the car owned by a mechanic. Something that he knows isn’t critical to its operation, but something he knows is going to take him a while to fix… ONE DAY. But since it’s more a nuisance than anything, he figures his time’s better spent working on the important things – like fixing customer’s cars and making money. Meanwhile, that little thing persists… not looked at… not fixed… just… existing. Until, that is, it becomes a big enough issue where it IS a problem.

Which is why I am messing around with a MySQL database at midnight. My own personal mailserver’s got multiple components (MySQL, LDAP, Java, Postfix), and it’s kinda been out-of-sight, out-of-mind for a while. Tonight, one of the MySQL databases decided to shit itself. Of course, it’s the database that contains MY mailbox.

And yes, I have backups, and I can get it restored from that. But this SHOULD be repairable. And dammit, I heard the engine knock of this MySQL DB and chose to ignore it, thinking it’d go a little while longer before I needed to take the time to fix it. Anyone got any shortcuts to fixing an InnoDB database that won’t do a clean mysqldump with data recovery enabled?

3, 2, 1… Launch?

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If you can read this, I’ve made the necessary sacrifices to the Elder Gods and Cthulhu has been satiated. As a result, my blogging engine is back up and letting me post shit to this place once more.

I Fail at New Year’s Resolutions

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So as it turns out, like many of us, I fail at my New Year’s resolutions. Looking back, I intended to do a few things. Let’s see where I’m at.

  • Blog more. Uh, yeah, my last post was back on March 7, 2014. FAIL

    I am fixing this today, sort of, by blogging about it. How meta.

  • Journal more. I was doing good for a while, but dropped off the daily journal thing back in June. FAIL

    I still have my lifeblog thing that is all automated so my tweets and other nonsense go to my journal, but my actual private thoughts are something I need to get back to capturing. I did notice it helped me write when I was doing it on a regular basis.

  • Lose a couple of tons. Yeah, right. At least I haven’t gotten fatter. FAIL

    I like my Mexican Coca-Cola, rum, and bagels with Nutella too much, apparently.

  • Find my patience. I think that I’ve made a small amount of headway in this department. I have to find more of it, though. MARGINAL

    I’ve noticed that regular massage therapy helps, believe it or not. Another silly yet good stress relief is to roll the windows down, open the sunroof, and do some car karaoke on the way home. Goofy, but works.

  • Write more. I haven’t blogged, but I’ve done a fair amount of writing for Linux Journal this year. That feels good. SUCCESS

    Keep it up, nimrod.

  • Have more fun. Yeah. There’s a blog post about exactly that brewing in my noodle as I type this.

    See upcoming post on this topic.

More to come…

Proposal: English-Lint

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We have “lint” for all kinds of programming-oriented things in technology. “Lint” makes sure whatever we’re writing passes basic syntax checks and is relatively sane. Why don’t we have this for English?

Seriously. I need “english-lint” as a plugin to my email program. That way, every time I get an email that is horribly mangled in some way, it kicks back an autoreply that looks something like the following:

Error: syntax, line 4. Expected question mark due to grammar, received period.
Error: syntax, line 5. Expected period due to grammar, received question mark.
Error: syntax, line 8. Missing preposition.
Error: syntax, line 12. Unnecessary use of plural. Language suggests singular.
Error: divide by zero, line 18. English-lint can't decipher this, but something's clearly wrong. 

Can someone PLEASE make this? I spent a LOT of time forcing my brain to parse weirdly-written English. We have all manner of other types of “lint” checks for programming tasks, so why not for written language? This has caused lots of confusion in the work environment from time to time – I’ve seen status reports miscommunicated and complete misunderstanding of project requirements due to this. I can tolerate a mistake or two in an email, but when I’m cocking my head sideways like the RCA dog trying to make sense of something, it’s incredibly frustrating. Even more so when the person is a brilliant programmer. Come on… you can learn various complex programming language syntax, but not English? Gahhhhhh. English-lint… it’s not just a good idea, it’s a great idea.