Jun 192016

Came across this link in an internet conversation. I kind of wish that I had come across this logic puzzle before I’d come across the Wikipedia entry on it, because I would have been interested to know whether or not I would have successfully deduced the correct answer on my own. (Apparently, a large percentage of people fail this test.)

An example of the Wason Selection Task is:

You are shown a set of four cards placed on a table, each of which has a number on one side and a colored patch on the other side. The visible faces of the cards show 3, 8, red and brown. Which card(s) must you turn over in order to test the truth of the proposition that if a card shows an even number on one face, then its opposite face is red?

A response that identifies a card that need not be inverted, or that fails to identify a card that needs to be inverted, is incorrect. The original task dealt with numbers (even, odd) and letters (vowels, consonants).

Jul 152015


Solution that worked for me:

  1. Start Task Manager
  2. Find GFExperience.exe *32
  3. End Process
  4. Re-launch GeForce Experience from system tray
  5. Installation completes successfully

This also seems to have fixed a problem with games not optimizing. I’d been putting off reinstalling drives from scratch (clean install) so this is a nice bonus.

May 042015

So there I was, trying to remember the password to one of the Excel script files I had but nothing was coming to me. So obviously the solution was Google.



  1. If it’s a .XLSM file, you can rename it to a .ZIP,
  2. extract the .\xl\vbaProject.bin,
  3. Rename the .bin to a .txt
  4. Edit in a Text editor (that can handle binary files as text)
  5. Search for DPB=
  6. Replace with DPx=
  7. Save the .txt
  8. Rename back to a .bin
  9. Copy into the .ZIP
  10. Rename the .ZIP to a .XLSM
  11. Open the Excel document in Excel
  12. Bypass the error
  13. Edit the project (Alt-F11)
  14. Right-click the project in the Project Explorer
  15. Choose VBAProject Properties
  16. Select Protection (tab)
  17. Leave Lock project for viewing checked
  18. Enter a new password
  19. Select OK
  20. Exit the VBA for Applications editor
  21. Save the Excel
  22. Re-open
  23. Alt-F11 to enter the VBA Project, use the password entered in Step 18
  24. Your project is now recovered

Other solutions apply for other file extension or for older Excel files.

Note to self: If you require true encryption or better protection for your VBA applications, create a better security strategy.

Mar 092015

A New Dawn

Starting in January 2015, Avaya has changed it’s official policy with regards to Microsoft Hotfix updates to AACC servers. Prior to this policy update, all Microsoft Hotfixes were approved for installation only when tested and approved specifically by Avaya. There were numerous Hotfixes that were not approved and if those Hotfixes were installed, Avaya could (and sometimes did) decline to support the customer site. As of the January 2015 policy update, only those Hotfixes specifically listed by Avaya as not compatible are restricted from installation.

What this means for the traditional customer is that the standard IT Security policy of installing the latest Microsoft Hotfixes to ensure OS security is now part of the approved processes for Avaya Aura Contact Center Servers. As long as the Hotfix was released prior to the last published date of the bulletin, and as long as Avaya has not discovered a specific fault, the Hotfix is supported for installation on AACC systems.

As of this blog post, all Microsoft Hotfixes released by Microsoft on or before 10 Feb 2015 are approved for installation on Avaya Aura Contact Center, if the AACC is Release 6.4 SP14. Service Pack 14 was released mid-December 2014. For older systems (AACC SP13 or earlier, or any NES CC or Symposium systems), the older policy remains in force. Only those specifically tested and approved by Avaya are allowed to be installed, and for extremely old systems (NES CC or Symposium) installed on Windows 2003 Server or earlier operating systems, the Microsoft end of life is relevant.

Avaya Aura Contact Center runs on Windows 2008 Server R2 with specific server hardware engineering requirements. [Avaya credentials required] For more information about server specifications, please refer to the linked documentation or contact your support partner for assistance in ensuring hardware compliance.

Take Away

From a partner support perspective, this makes checking compatibility a much simpler endeavor– as long as the system is on SP14 or later, if the Hotfix isn’t listed then it’s OK to install. So the business partner need only look to see if any patches were installed after the “released before” date on the bulletin and only check those (or look for a limited number of specifically restricted hotfixes.)

From a customer support perspective, this ensures that AACC server OS security is capable of being much more current than it ever has been before in the history of the AACC product line.

This is great news for all concerned!


First, consult your support partner. Take their direction over anything you read on the internet. Installation of Service Packs for AACC is (these days) virtually a full dot release upgrade instead of the simple patch window we used to have with early AACC Service Packs or NES CC Service Updates. My experience is that instead of having a 2-5 hour window, windows are now consistantly 4-7 hours, and potentially much longer if the system is Highly Available. And that doesn’t even take into account the pre-upgrade engineering that is necessary to ensure you don’t upgrade and then find yourself exceeding the hardware requirements on the AACC’s Windows 2008 Server hardware.

Second, if you are on anything prior to AACC 6.4 Service Pack 14, you should update to SP14 ASAP. This addresses many of the most common and well known issues on the AACC. Similarly, if you are on anything prior to AACC 6.x you should upgrade now. Windows 2003 Server will soon reach end of life. This will obsolete NES CC6 and NES CC7 even more so than it is obsolete now (since those systems are “functionally stable” and there are no “corrective content” plans for this manufacture discontinued product version.) There are many reasons why you should upgrade, but to keep this focused on OS Security and Microsoft Hotfix compatibility, Windows 2008 Server will continue to receive additional Hotfix content. Windows 2003 Server, and earlier, will not.

Third, in the process of upgrading to SP14, you or your support partner should carefully review the readme to determine all of the known issues and known fixes for associated systems. There are engineering considerations on the PBX, PBX patches, Callpilot versioning (if you have ACCESS ports) and other considerations that should be taken into account. Some considerations aren’t part of the standard PBX DEPLIST, and by updating the DEPLIST the PBX patch required by the AACC Readme gets removed, resulting in recurring maintenance issues.

Jun 112014


Updated my Google doc table of IP Phone firmware:

Mar 252014

So, it’s spring time. The clocks have changed, the flowers are blooming, allergies are acting up. We decided it was time to do some yard work and home improvement. Of course, we don’t really know what we’re doing so we got assistance.

We added some nice hanging baskets with some violets and petunias. I’m really hoping those grow like mad; I’d love to train them up and have them hanging out of the basket. We planted the rose bush (Angel face) our realtor gave us as a house warming present. (Thank you Leslie!) The mulch was all cleaned up and we topped it all off with fresh new mulch which looks absolutely amazing. All the plants were trimmed; pretty aggressively I might add. I would not have thought we could have trimmed them back as far as we did. The landscaper also did an excellent job of pulling out weeds we didn’t even recognize. We had one that was growing up inside of another bush, basically planning a take over. We did other things, replaced some hoses; got some drip irrigation (which I still need to install) for some of the stuff not currently covered by irrigation.

And, since it’s Tuesday I have to soak our new lemon tree which is the prize possession in our yard. When we got the lemon tree they advised us to soak it thoroughly once a week and then let it dry out between (do not over water it). It seems that the acidity and flavor of the lemon is improved by reduced water. It’s a Meyer lemon, which isn’t the most popular store brand but is apparently the most popular lemon tree for the area.

Of course, the allergies are acting up. Since I never had a yard before, I haven’t really suffered too much from allergies over the years, but now that I have a yard and I’m getting out into it for little things here and there, I’m really beginning to notice my allergies.


It’s just amazing watching everything grow.

Mar 142014

YOU’RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK | My book of cartoons ‘You’re All Just Jealous of my….

Mar 132014

I’ve been monitoring my solar power and P&GE bill regularly, looking forward to the next bill. I know, funny that I’m looking forward to my next electricity bill. The billing period closes on the 14th and it’s looking like another 20% normal month– this because of longer, brighter days and more cloud cover– which is to say the bill would have been even lower if we had not had the cloud cover and rain. (Not that I’m complaining, California is suffering from drought conditions. We need every drop.)

For March 11, 2014 we produced 27.4 kWh

With a Peak Power of 4.13 kW at 1:35 PM.

The power production graph looks like this:

Since these are 15 minute intervals, the peak power is around 1000 kW per 15 minutes (4 kW per hour). Each horizontal bar represents approximately 250 kW production. The grade in the morning is longer but not as robust as the afternoon grade. This is because the panels are positioned to take advantage of mid-day and evening sun.

The afternoon slope is shorter and steeper because behind us we have taller neighbors and therefore more obstructions restricting energy production.

I still have space on the roof towards the front. If for some reason, somehow, I ended up needing to install more panels, I could probably eek out another 1 kW or so (taking advantage of the morning light).

The power consumption graph looks like this:

  • 5 AM is computer and station keeping on all appliances.
  • 6 AM is station keeping + computer + heater. (70 is comfortable. I turn it on in the morning to make the house comfortable and then turn it off.)
  • 1 PM is peak production with only station keeping + computer. (Consumed about 800 kW, produced about 4.1 kW. Net credit.)
  • 4 PM, I probably had left my computer on and went to watch TV. (Catch up on one of my DVR’d programs.)
  • 6 PM is dinner prep, plus probably some laundry and TV.
  • 10 PM is probably plugging in the hot tub (I drained and re-filled it that day, so it had to heat up the fresh water which consumes a lot of energy apparently) + dryer on high.

Total consumption for the day was (27.4 kWh produced + 15.6 kWh more consumed, equals) 43 kWh for the entire day. Definitely higher than normal.

Without Solar that would have been a very very expensive day (because we would have been into Tier 4 pricing already). As it was, it was only $2.42 (We entered Tier 3 prices on Mar 7.)

Total (estimated) electricity bill for Feb-Mar is only $60. (Not counting gas charges.)