Author: Declan Durcan


Bacara Resort, Santa Barbara – Watch out for the…

Bacara resort, originally uploaded by Declan!.

My mother flew into town to see my son and to give Rose and I a night off. So we decided to to go to The Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara. We finally had a good nights sleep, and it was a nice birthday present for Rose. The resort and spa was beautiful, and the service was impeccable.

The one thing I could not believe was that the beach was covered in oil and tar!!!!!!!!!! Anyone walking barefoot on the beach had to scrub their feet to remove the tar. Apparently the Santa Barbara channel has been seeping tar for a few hundred years! So the unfortunate side effect of this is that besides the tar on the beach, the air didn’t smell very fresh. Reminded me of someone paving blacktop on a driveway.


Filter Spam by Language in Gmail

spam cake

Originally uploaded by debbiedoescakes

I’ve been forwarding my personal email to Gmail for a few years now. Google’s anti-spam has been pretty amazing. Lately I’ve been noticing Russian spam getting through. I couldn’t create a filter based upon charset, but found another solution which seems to work great so far:

Creating a Russian-language filter in Gmail:

1. Click “Create Filter” located at the top of your Inbox
2. In the “Has the words:” field, enter: lang:Russian
3. Select “Delete it” within the Action List, and (if you have existing Russian Spam) select: “Apply Filter to Conversations below”
4. Click “Create Filter”


Windows 7 64bit upgrade and Intel Storage manager issues

Windows 7 Default Desktop

Originally uploaded by nopattern

I just upgraded my 3 year old Dell Dimension E520 to Windows 7. I did a fresh install just to make sure there wasn’t any legacy junk from Vista hanging around. So far I’m very happy with Windows 7 so far! Its certainly faster, networking capabilities is certainly better and easier! It also works super well with my Xbox360 perfectly now!

I originally purchased my Dell with Windows XP 32bit, and later did an upgrade to Vista 32-bit. I had so many issues with Vista 32bit. The machine certainly got better with Sp1 came out, but the biggest problems I had to deal with was the Cisco VPN client did not work on machines that were upgraded to Vista. This made working at home an issue. The Cisco VPN client only worked on a fresh install of Windows Vista 32bit, and had no support for Windows VIsta 64bit. After a few months of struggling with various problems I wiped my machine and did a fresh install of Windows Vista 32bit. It was relatively problem and crash free since doing the fresh install, but I’ve consistently had strange network issues with Vista.

Some strangeness I had to deal with using Vista 32bit was my machine was invisible on the network even with the firewall disabled. The vista machine could access other machines with no issue, but other devices could not reach the Vista box using various methods (ping/netbios/CIFS/etc). I knew the local IP of the Dell, and it was basically invisible to the rest of the network sometimes till I pinged the IP address of the Vista box. Yes that sounds crazy..but that was the behavior. Trying to use the Xbox360 with Vista was painful due to these network issues.

Now I’m using Windows 7, and I have zero networking issues! All machines can see each other on the network including the Xbox360.

I’ve been using my windows 7 box for a few weeks now and I noticed my box would freeze up occasionally. I checked the event log and saw a few hundred of these messages:

Log Name: System
Source: iaStorV
Date: 11/6/2009 5:08:22 PM
Event ID: 9
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer: VADER
The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period.

I checked around the internet and noticed that other Dell owners were having the same issue when they upgrade to a 64bit Vista or Windows 7. It appears Microsoft is using the wrong driver for the Intel Storage Manager to run under a 64 bit OS

this is the latest Intel driver to fix the issue:*