Unrecognizable Credit Card Descriptions

November 27th, 2017

I’ve decided to start journal some undecipherable credit card descriptions. For my own future reference.

Maybe it will also help clear up some confusion for others. Feel free to comment with your own strange ones.

“1717 GB VANCOUVER MARI VANCOUVER” – It took me some guessing and testing (while I was on hold with my credit card company) to figure out that this was legitimate, it’s the Gas Bar at the Superstore complex on Marine Drive in Vancouver. I can’t be the only person who couldn’t recognize this charge at first!

fping (Windows) – Download the last version.

November 10th, 2017

Hmm… two posts in a row about stuff I’ve used for years that have now gone offline. There’s a statement here about the so called longevity of things in the digital era. Hey, looking at the calendar widget at the right of this blog, it just hit 10 years of age!

fping, apparently short for “Fast Pinger”, is a really handy tool I use when I want a simple way to monitor an IP address over a period of hours or days. A ping response implies that at least the Internet connection and router/firewall at the remote location are up – so any claimed problems would be further downstream. The built in ping in Windows does not have a date or time stamp, so it isn’t useful for longer term tracking. And a lot of intermittent problems really do need to be monitored over periods of time.

e.g. fping google.com -D -T -l -c -L F:\temp\log.txt

will get you results something like this (on screen and in the text file):

2017/11/10 17:13:57.780 : Reply[1] from google.com: bytes=32 time=42.6 ms TTL=56
2017/11/10 17:13:58.824 : Reply[2] from google.com: bytes=32 time=43.1 ms TTL=56
2017/11/10 17:13:59.869 : Reply[3] from google.com: bytes=32 time=43.1 ms TTL=56

There are a ton of other options… but, I haven’t played with them much.

Originally from http://www.kwakkelflap.com (which is now just serving ads). By Wouter Dhondt – Thanks Wouter!

I haven’t been able to find any new address for the tool, so, I’ve decided to host a copy.

This is the latest version that I could find (using archive.org from September 2015): fping300.zip

Not to be confused with fping on Linux (Unix?) which is entirely different.

RIP yi.org?

September 29th, 2017

My very first host name was a free dynamic host name provided by the good folks behind yi.org. It was a classic story line, kid with his first always-on internet connection (cable, later ADSL) wants to host a web page on the world wide web! This ran well for me for well over a decade… until today.

I don’t even recall how I ended up with this free service, they were one of the first, but probably not the first dynamic host name provider. I suspect I just liked that “yi.org” was many characters shorter than the alternatives.

Unfortunately, as best as I can tell, the site has been shut down. My best guess, based on the snapshots available from archive.org, is that sometime in 2015 it all went away.

Apparently, they have graciously maintained DNS service for the host names that were in their system (I suspect updates have been disabled for a while). I wouldn’t have noticed that the site was gone if the static IP address for my little site finally had to be revised.

Long ago I deprecated that host name in favour of a lotus-land.ca address (of which I have control); however, I still type the shorter “yi.org” address often.

RIP yi.org, and thanks for all the great lookups!

Fido Fail… Where is that email invoice notification?

May 26th, 2017

So, my fears of paperless billing have struck again. My Fido email invoice notification did not come in last week. I only happened to realize this while processing my BC Hydro (hard copy) invoice.

No, it’s not in my SPAM folder, nor is it in my trash. The Fido customer website seems to have had a major update, so I’m betting it is related.

I hope not too many people get burned by this one!

Brother Network Scanning Installation Error – InstallNetworkDriver

February 19th, 2017

I recently had to set up a Brother DCP-L2540DW. For whatever reason, on one Windows 7 Pro machine, the installer would not complete. I got various error messages, all with InstallNetworkDriver in the description, some coded IS034 and IS052.

The printer worked out of the box with a USB cable. But I wanted to move it to a networked connection. This required the proprietary Brother software to get the network scanning to work.

The official Brother support page, The error message “IS052 InstallNetworkDriver” appears when installing the MFL-Pro Suite from the CD-ROM or the Full Driver & Software Package is downloaded from the “Download” section.  didn’t help. Neither did random results from Google.

In the end, I ended up installing under a different administrative account!

The user account I had been using had full administrative permissions… but it just didn’t work. I suspect it’s my use of EFS encryption on multiple of my user folders, or maybe some weird conflict with the networking setup in my day to day user account, or something weird involving the virtual machines that I sometimes run, or maybe with the multitude of programs and devices that I end up installing or uninstalling via my account.