July 25, 2011

It’s a girl!

Filed under: General — Tags: — Darrin Maidlow @ 5:02 pm

Hey everyone!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s been an insane month.  Just wanted to take a moment to let my friends, colleagues and my loyal readers know that my wife popped out our first child the other day.  July 12th at 2:10 am Ms. Georgia Laine Pawliuk-Maidlow was born and let me tell you she is full of awesome!  Both Mom and Babby are doing great.  Both Mom and Dad are both pretty tired  =)  Here is a picture for your viewing enjoyment =P

June 30, 2011

Coolest marketing campaign I’ve seen in a long time..

Filed under: General — Tags: — Darrin Maidlow @ 1:39 pm

Ok.  I had to break the long blog silence here to send a tip of the hat to Telerik for their promo.  Not only do you get to play a cool PacMan’esque game (WITH throwing stars), but they also give you that you can redeem for discounts on products.  Check it out.  Hugely cool.  http://www.telerik.com/products/ninja-in-the-maze.aspx

well done!

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June 27, 2011

Transferring US Dollar Funds out of PayPal

Filed under: General — Tags: — Darrin Maidlow @ 12:27 pm

Great post on how to setup PayPal with Royal Bank of Canada US dollar account to save on the steep exchange rates charged by PayPal..

Transferring US Dollar Funds out of PayPal.

May 12, 2011

A new breed of scam – QuickResolve.Net

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Darrin Maidlow @ 12:33 pm

Today I received an unsolicited phone call from a helpful Indian fellow named Karesh, sadly his number was blocked so I cannot share that with you =).  He informed me that there were "deadly junk files” on my computer, that were much worse than virii and trojans.  He really cared about the health of my PC.  He asked me to start the event viewer and showed me all the errors that were on my computer.  It was terrifying.

Finally, he informed me that given the age of my PC we needed to “register my license with Microsoft to receive ongoing security assistance from Microsoft Certified Technicians”.   He told me that “Microsoft provides two kinds of secure warranty.  hardware and software! “ I needed to reactivate this protection…For the low low price of 109$ / year or 388 for 4 years I could get my computer protected from junk files, virii, trojans, and terrorists.

Next step was a LogmeInRescue session.  At this time, I told my helpful friend Karesh that my PC had blue screened!  Oh no!  This bought me a little time to fire up a test virtual machine and Camtasia :).  Turns out now a Mr. Kevin Andersen would be helping me, with a trial LogMeIn account  :)  I wonder if they noticed that my Windows Vista had now all of a sudden become Windows XP?  hmmm doesn’t look like it.a new scam 1

This is where it got a little scary.  Well not scary for you or I, but for your grandmother or other computer illiterate person.   They started digging trough Windows for negative looking things.  First they started the Windows certificate store and they highlight a number of revoked by Microsoft.  They were even so kind as to highlight these problems!

 

a new scam 2At this point they brought me to the Quick Resolve website (quickresolve.net) where they were ready to help me enter all my information to pay the fee.  At this point, I asked to get four years of coverage.  Karesh became quite excited!  First I needed to see the “Junk Files” on my PC.  Mr. Kevin Andersen started the “Junk Files Viewer” (which you may know as the event viewer).  He applied some tricky filters and then BAM.  Errors and warnings.  Now your grandmother is probably scrambling to find her credit card…

I let Karesh talk for a bit more, ready to stop my VM – finally I had another “Blue Screen” and hung up.  Oops ,look I restored a snapshot…  Unfortunately the joke is on me..they’ve been calling back over and over and over.  <sigh>

At first, I went along for the ride because I figured it might be fun.  Soon I started to realize that this will be very  convincing to a lot of people, and I started to think that maybe I should write this up in hopes of letting the geeky masses know.  So please let the people in your lives who could benefit by knowing about this type of scam know that no one will ever call you at home out of the blue to help you remove junk files…

Here is the video of the LogMeIn session:

A new breed of scam?

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February 21, 2011

1337 System Idle Process

Filed under: General — Tags: — Darrin Maidlow @ 2:14 pm

Came across this by chance today on one of our servers =)

1337 uptime

Usage based billing vs. Text Messaging

Filed under: General — Tags: — Darrin Maidlow @ 12:48 pm

Text messaging pricing has always annoyed me.  Given the recent craziness around the I wondered how the proposed rates of UBB stacked up against what we’re charged for text messages.  Here is some figuring based on some maths I pilfered and simplified from on .

1 text message is capped at 140 characters (140 Byte) – Cost per text ~0.25$

Cost per byte (in dollars) of text message: (0.25/140) == 0.0017857142857142857142857142857143

Now some math around internet usage and UBB -assuming one of the proposed usage based billing rates of 1$/GB

1GB = 1,073,741,824bytes

Cost per byte (in dollars) at 1$/GB  = 0.000000000931322574615478515625

UBB cost for the equivalent of one text message= 140 x (1/1,073,741,824) = 0.0000001303851604461669921875

So I guess we should be thankful that the proposed UBB rates were lower than text message rates, 13695 times lower – (thanks for the maths there ])

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February 16, 2011

Creating a custom notepad for use with FullCircle SmartInk

Filed under: General — Tags: — Darrin Maidlow @ 4:41 pm

I’m in love with …  I’m using it for just about everything I write on paper.   Initially I started laying down ink purely as a testing exercise for SmartInk – but now I’m finding more and more uses for the pages that are getting saved up into the cloud.

One thing that I decided would help me would be to create a pre-printed notepad so I was not having to constantly print out new pages to write on.  I decided to build out a nice little Microsoft Word “template” that could be printed off en-mass in using SmartInk.  And well, sharing is caring.  So here it is!

Creating this template was pretty simple.  I fired up word and started a new blank.  I added a stock header and footer.  Slapped in the SmartInk logo and typed in a title.  Added a footer and that was it.  All you SmartInk users may to download this template and modify it to have your own corporate logo or company name – feel free to do so.  You could even go so far as to hire a designer or work with your corporate marketing department to build you out a custom design.   If your organization has an existing corporate letterhead template you can simply load this up in word and print off a blank page using the SmartInk print driver.

Last step is to bind the pages.  You can go as simply or as crazy as you like!  The easiest option here would be to use a 3 ring binder and simply use the standard hole punch.  Optionally you could also invest in a or some binding glue (rubber cement).  More details on here.  One last thing to look into, though this might be the most expensive would be to have a printing company bind the pages for you.  You could get some seriously cool notepads done with this method – hard cover, embossed corporate logos, etc.  Just remember though that the printing needs to be done on using the SmartInk printing driver.

I’ve attached a zip file to this post that contains a Microsoft Word docx file that can simply be printed out using the SmartInk printer driver.

If you have any suggestions on how to make this template better I’d love to hear from you.  Please comment here, or head over to the and post a topic there  It’s funny – I’ve been using Microsoft word forever – at least since – but I’ve barely scratched the surface of its functionality =)

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February 3, 2011

Hey Canada – Speak up against usage based billing (UBB)

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Darrin Maidlow @ 8:00 pm

I’ve been following this decision for quite some time.  Recently the petition against hit – and turned the head of even the Canadian ruler.   Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not against companies making a profit -  but come on.  Lowering bandwidth caps and charging between 1 and 15 dollars per gigabyte is gouging.

Keep pushing the CRTC to stop the meter on Internet use. If 400,000 could turn their heads, then 1,000,000 ought to bowl them over.

So please spread the word and sign

February 1, 2011

My House is For Sale – Edmonton Area

Filed under: General — Darrin Maidlow @ 1:43 pm

Hey everybody – Just a quick note we’ve just put our place up for sale.  If you or someone you know is looking for a place in the Edmonton area – check out on the MLS =)

Contact me with any questions you may have!

December 14, 2010

Netflix in Canada…

Filed under: General — Tags: — Darrin Maidlow @ 11:33 am

NetFlixCanada

This about sums up my experience with Netflix Canada…Too bad too, if we had the same selection as what is available in the US I would have been all over it…

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