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January 20th, 2003

So I took my car in for a 30,000-mile maintenance check on Friday. This usually doesn't take too long, so I was surprised when I got a phone call just before the end of the day saying that my dashboard was still in pieces, there was no way they'd have it reassembled before quitting time, so I'd have to wait until Monday to get my car back.

Turns out they were tracking down a minor issue I pointed out to them, wherein the little light that indicates the alarm is armed doesn't blink once per second like it's supposed to, but instead flickers frenetically. I guess they started down the diagnostic path for that and before they knew it had half my car taken apart.

It could have been worse; Becca came down for a visit so was able to drive me around on a couple of errands I really needed to run, and I don't have to go to work tomorrow because it's a holiday. But I hope this doesn't cost me a mint. I have no idea if any alarm system fault would be covered on my warranty or not.

At least Ajay got a nice long walk today... it was the first day in a long time that it was above 20 degrees, and not too windy. Lately it's been down in the teens, or colder, and with quite a wicked wind, so dog walks have been a rather rushed run around the block. I'm sure he enjoyed the outing today.

on kids with no life

Dorms opened today, so I was paying extra attention to our residence hall network, for which I wrote the management software.

So they opened at noon, and LAR went from just about zero to 4 Mb/s worth of traffic within ten minutes! What do these kids do... mommy and daddy drop them off and they immediately race to their room, plug in their computers, fire up Kazaa and start downloading shit? It boggles my mind.

I did spend a couple hours today making it so the student computer consultants in the dorms can access the Ethernet error statistics for the ports in the rooms. I guess they've been asking for this so they can better diagnose complaints of things "running slow." It amounted to one little PHP script and a few minutes' research into RFC2665. So that felt good to have accomplished.

on warranty service

I got my car back today, after having been without it all weekend. They said that their own dealer's service manual for my car was wrong, causing them to chase down a nonexistent fault in some part of the electrical system that required them to remove the entire dashboard. The problem turned out to be a faulty "system multiplexer" (whatever that is) that is easily swapped out in the driver's footwell.

The faulty part cost $130, and they spent FOUR HOURS of labor on that one little problem. Fortunately it was all covered under warranty, so it was on their dime. Phew.



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