Archive for the Sucky service Providers Category

Aliexpress has gone down hill

Posted in Sucky service Providers on March 18, 2017 by asteriondaedalus

So, last couple of orders from Aliexpress went south.

I ordered 5 more Wemos D1 Mini with 10 more single relay modules.  Got only one of each in the mail.  Contacted the vendor who then sent 20 RFID readers and chips.  Whoops.  Vendor response was to claim to resend the Wemos stuff but nothing has turned up.

A second order from another vendor saw a botch in the form of wrong module sent.  I was after a 3G module with audio input/output, got one without audio.  Nothing to sneeze at as the module I received was twice the price of the module I asked for BUT can’t use it on the project I had in mind. So, got it for half price.

The thing is though, I note you can still add vendor ratings to aliexpress but they are not longer shown on the web pages so you can’t get any warnings about the vendors.

All a bit sleezy.


Posted in Sucky service Providers on December 18, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

Got back from run to Jaycar for parts for OpenSprinklette prototype.

Wife was browsing using FireFox.

Downloaded and installed it herself with no need for IT support from me or user groups – which she loathes.

She felt it was twice as fast as Chrome and, of course, she could do her banking – which she couldn’t do with IE(dge).

DOH di DOH di DOH!

Posted in Sucky service Providers on December 18, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

My wife complained that her Google Chrome browser wasn’t working.  So in typical IT support almost but not quite help I said, well goodness gracious me uninstall it and reinstall it.


She can’t reinstall.

Turns out an error message is raised whether you try to install with the cloud install or the desktop install.

So, I dropped her into the Google Chrome help group and connected her then searched to find, you guessed it, other people are having the same problem.

Her laptop is that brand spanking new HP Spectre we got a month ago when we went up to the hardware store … no they don’t sell them at hardware stores … you have to understand my wife’s motivations for coming along to the hardware store … it was then 3 hours of torture at half a dozen furniture stores as sales were on … then off to the hardware store, literally for 5 minutes … then off to get a printer cartridge … and an “accidental” HP Spectre purchase ensued.

Go figure, they only had the display model so we had to go across town to another store … another 2 hours of my fast closing life lost.

So, brand new HP Spectre, Windoze 10, and a pesky update of Chrome has likely come through and broken it.

Now the downloads from Chrome don’t work.

Of course, why doesn’t she use the browser formally known as IE(dge), well that’s because it fails to support the webpages my wife’s bank’s servers spit out.   How many billions of dollars does Microsoft have to make before it keeps up with the standards?  And the ultimate insult, they have that new constant automatic user has no control, no way, mechanism.

They just can’t seem to add standards compliance into that pipe (dream).

In any event, I marvelled at having to drop into a Google user group, of a company that makes literally billions of dollars, to watch the ritual of users turning on one another for obviously being stupid and cannot install the software.   You’re not entitled to “help”, not having paid, but you are entitled to what … solace?

Google haven’t admitted to botching the update nor the downloads.   Of course, it can’t be expected to work on every machine.

Who’s to say Microsoft haven’t done one of their naughty knobbling things?  So blasé, been going on so long, you just shrug and keep stumbling on.

And of course the HP Spectre is not exactly the type of machine my wife should expect Chrome to be targeting.

My wife doesn’t even like James Bond.

DOH di DOH DOH, DOh Doh doh, DOH di DOH DOH, DOh Doh doh, DOH DOh, DOH doh DOH!

Lies, more lies and statistics

Posted in Rant, Sucky service Providers, The downside of Opensource on December 7, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

So, Intel “confirm” it cannot possibly be the Curie that is causing the problem I am having as they tested their Curie on their computer and it worked.

The problem, either they don’t understand quality control and process statistics or are hoping I don’t.

Indeed, it is the same fallacious, that is flawed, argument you get on user groups where someone’s “help” is the statement “it works for me”.

Can people really be that vague?  I suppose so.

Using that logic, for example, the wheel bearings on my 01 01 Subaru WRX do not need replacing.  Granted the front right bearing is squeaking badly.  There is a suspicion about one of the rear ones.  After all, the car was built in 2001 and has many  many kilometers on the clock.  Still, if there is one other 01 01 Subaru WRX that doesn’t have squeaking bearings, needing replacing, then mine does not either … despite the annoying squeaking.

That in a nutshell is the class of “help” you get on user groups and also what passes for “help” of vendors.

However, Curie vendor no help.  Curie device suppliers no help.  Curie community no help.  Arduino community help in as much as it helped me work out that many people are having the problem and there is no clear cut solution.

So, on balance:

  • Two different computers saw the same problem.
  • Two different Curie devices saw same problem on both computers.
  • Different versions of the Arduino IDE saw the same problem.
  • Failed on all USB 2 ports on both computers.
  • Failed on cables that, using the same cable, on the same USB port, programmed an AVR or other board (verifying cable and USB ports work)
  • Failed on all versions of dfu-util that were downloaded from dfu-util site.
  • Failed on all versions of Curie core tried.
  • Failed on various programmer options in IDE.
  • I had a secret bet with myself it would not allow upload of new firmware, it couldn’t because it wouldn’t upload *ino.bin files.
    • It failed to upload firmware.
    • I won that bet with myself so now I have a crisp new $5 note in my left hand, paid by my right hand.
  • Recompiled the uploader with extra error messages.
  • Oh, and re-installed, disabled, re-enabled drivers as nauseum such that I imagine I etched their random patterns of dribbling useless bits into the substrate of my hard drive.

Bored now, SF Genuino returned to LBE. (thankyou LBE).

DFR CurieNano in bin.  Too hard to negotiate because with all I have had to do that wasn’t enough.


Posted in Sucky service Providers on March 30, 2016 by asteriondaedalus

Got a new router from Telstra the other week.  Didn’t pop it online until tonight because Telstra shut down the service to the old router … so wifey she screamy loud.

I had high hopes BUT …

… I may have bleed my bleeding heart over these pages about the problems I have had with my WIFI since I downgraded my PC from Windoze 7 to Windoze 10.

Same old same old.

I wasn’t surprised when my box did not see the 5G connection.  I was secretly expecting thought that I could hop back onto the 3G connection.  As I have been piggy backed off a wireless extender for 6 months, I was expecting that the wankers at Microsoft had sorted WIFI problems.


Here I am piggy backed off my wireless extender.  Nope it doesn’t see the 5G either.

No biggy.

Enough to get by.  I will think about getting a new WIFI board as soon as I can trust that Microsoft has … no … I will keep my money.

New Security Measures by Outlook but …

Posted in Sucky service Providers on March 1, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

… what about the Use Cases?

So, I go to log into Outlook (formally Hotmail) and get a “You can’t get in until you go through a new security setup”.

Not something I wanted to do in a rush to get of Uni emails.

There was a vague warning about your account being locked for 30 days as part of the process.

Just that, locked out for 30 days.  Ominous yes?  I am checking URL at this stage to see if my account is being hacked and this is a phish.

Then it requires you to use email backup email addresses attached to your account for verification.

Go figure both email backups on my account were and subject to the same lock out yes.

Now one of those emails accounts had actually expired as I hadn’t used it for yonks AND it was also the first in the drop down list SO sort of kinda became the default backup email address.

Anyway, option to use something other than the attached backup email address so I type in a gmail account and it sends me a 4 digit code.

So, still a little confused about the claimed 30 day lockout I go back in to use the 4 digit code.  It balks of course with a request for a 7 digit code?!

Thinking now they are really locking you out for 30 days as part of the security check.  Nah, they wouldn’t would they?

So, because mainly I spent my formative career in software maintenance thence onto CSCI and system testing and integration my bug/unfortunate_feature decoding gland kicks in.

Going back to the stage the security check is at there are those pesky backup emails with asterisk masking out some of the address name.  Where I was entering the four digit code, and getting the error response, was actually an email address verification field so it turned out that you had to select one of the alternate email addresses in the drop down and type out that email address as a verification (and not the 4 digit code you got).

This sent a 7 digit code to the email address you selected.

Go figure, I selected the first one in the drop down, the expired one.  The system happily told me it “sent” the email even though errors in existance of email addresses are detectable – and go figure it was a hotmail address so either they didn’t check the livedness of the email address or they aren’t really deleting accounts yadda.

Anyway, small amount of angst now arising because I realized if it thinks it sent my details to the non existent account then if I tried using the second account account, to get a second email sent (to a potentially locked hotmail account) will it have already lock me out by going to the next security step.

Phew! It actually let me resend to the second email address and I got a code.  Now think about this, it has locked one of my hotmail accounts and not the other???  Good for me but WTFO.

All good yes. But what if the second email address had also expired? Why wouldn’t you let me do the transaction via the option I used in the first step (to use the email alternate email address that wasn’t attached to the account as a backup).

The greatest fear was having to ring Microsoft to sort it out, or worse use there help website.  You’ve seen their help site right?  You need to do a 12 week community based course to get a handle on that sucker – which is no help at all.

Telstra SUX

Posted in Sucky service Providers on February 13, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

So, finally, Internet access after 9 weeks.

How?  The replacement modem was replaced.

The serviceman didn’t check it out, walked away and left us we a dud.

The problem, you ring a help desk in Deli who don’t talk to the local Contractors who don’t talk to Telstra, not to mention the billing department in Phillipines who don’t talk to anyone.

So, you ring to get the thing fixed 17 times in the end.  Each time you are explaining an never ending story over to the other end of the phone.

Another contractor turns up, no idea what the problem is they’ve come to fix so you have to explain the never ending story.

You ring billing for compensation to have to explain the never ending story.

Promises of discounts lost or denied.

You end up paying for the new modem, your mental health worth more.


Last Master’s subject so back to no time to tinker.