What else do you need?

Sysadmin just stepped in and told me this story

This user gets a password and complains to him that it does not work. So numerous times they change the pass and still same thing. (Oh we have a fairly complex password structure. ) At last he steps in to sysadmin`s office with his manager. Sysadmin tries to logon with his password and uname, TADAAA.. And he tells to user to logon, he tries 8 (eight) times with username and password, and he locks himself

What now?…

Attitude sux…

Yesterday we went to lunch to Kaz Bistro-sushi in I street, somewhere between 19th and 20th st. It is a cozy place and good food (I`ve been there before). When I was deciding what to eat, I needed some advice from the waitress. But I guess she though I wanted her soul or something… What an attitude man! Could you be more bitchy and rude? I had several choices:

– Eat, call her several times and do not tip at the end

– Be ruder and call her names,

– Call the manager and ask her soul…

– Bitch and yell and scream in the middle of the Kaz and be a dumbass..

So I chose not to choose, I left the place with a red face…

I don`t like you waitress…

VW service. :P

Ok I`m sick and tired of writing my car`s stealership service horror stories. But they [alexandria-vw.com] are not tired of doing BS service job on my car. So the car went to service Saturday morning at 8:30AM. Because same problems happened Friday night again. Same old story. An Alexandria VW classic. No good technical service, no loaner, no good customer service.

I went to the service Saturday morning. Dropped the car and requested a loaner. This is the FOURTH time that my car goes to Alexandria VW for the SAME problem! First they changed the throttle body late 2003, then the temp sensor is changed early 2004, then the whole ECM is changed two weeks ago, none of them fixed the problem. (The problem is that the idle is very rough, car stalls, there are stupid burps coming from the exhaust. And believe me if your car stalls at 40 mph with no brakes and very rough steering THAT IS A F.CKING RELIABILITY ISSUE! ) I dropped the car and asked to talk to the service manager for my problem, since this is the 4th time. There were no service manager available. I requested a loaner since my car was going to stay whole weekend there. But the response is a classic. My manager is not there i cannot give you a loaner. So I walked from Alexandria VW to Pentagon City, since they don`t have a shuttle the weekend. (No cab also saturday morning) Distance: 2.2 miles according to Yahoo! driving directions [maps.yahoo.com]. Oh BTW the owner of the 337 with kamei grill in the service… You are not friendly at all…

Afternoon I got a call from customer service saying they couldn`t find what the problem was in the car so it would stay in the shop for the weekend, still no loaner, nobody cares about the “driver” that they “want” [vw.com] !!! So I spent my weekend without my car.

Monday is another story. Since I didn`t hear back from VW service, I called them. First the service department. American faceless corporation multi layered approach kicked in, and the phone operator lady transferred me to the topest layer of the customer service. (No you cannot talk to your customer rep on your first call, just like you can NEVER see your car while it`s been fixed and NEVER talk to real technicians ) Anyway… Customer service lady put me on hold for 5 mins where I learned how Alexandria VW can fix all my problems, how they are sooo good and they have the state-of-the-art showrooms etc… So she told me that my customer rep is taking care of my car and i needed to talk to him directly… OK… So transfer me to him.. NO! here is his phone number and call him. Why you can`t transfer? Because we are in different buildings… Huh? I can transfer my tech support calls to Abu-dhabi, and you cannot transfer this call in the SAME department? And since when Alexandria VW has multiple buildings? I only see one building! Anyway… I call the guy. He said he is not taking care of my car, so i needed to call the other customer rep guy. (This is my third call so far) So I call the service dep. transfer my call to the other customer rep. Same woman answers and tells me my customer rep is at lunch…. I thought you were in different buildings? How do you know he`s at lunch?!

I go out and get some food and café and call my customer rep. He tells me my car is in test drive and they found the problem. GREAT! So I ask him what the problem was. (he is a fast talker and i hate fast talkers especially since english is my third language…) He talks about a lot of acronyms and gibberish expecting that I would get lost in the conversation. Basically he says that he was on vacation and the technician did something wrong and forgot to close some mode in ECM, or something similar. I`m like???? WTF??? I go to vacation too, and I support a f.cking hundreds of servers and I ALWAYS HAVE BACKUP PERSONS!!! IF YOU GO TO VACATION ASK SOMEONE TO TAKE CARE OF MY CAR!!! Anyway… There I start to get angry… Tell him that I will be there even if they will not give my car back, since I need a loaner, I need a transportation device, a scooter a car, a truck I don`t care… Yes! you guessed right. NO LOAAANNEEERRR!! They don`t have any. I told him that my car is in the service forth time because of their incompetance and they have to give me a loaner. And he says sir, i didn`t break your car!!!!!! (How can you break my car, you are just a layer between me and yor technician!?!) And he added I accepted you without an appointment. (OH YEAH?! THANK YOU!!!!! What a great service!!!) They give loaner to appointed customers. I`ll get an appointment next time when I guess that my car brakes down!!!!! (I`m still on the phone)

So I get another call from Alexandria VW. My car is ready. (They claim that it has been fixed) Thank god my friend Atilla drops me to the stealership. At last I am face to face with my customer rep. He says my problem was throttle body!!! (What happened to ECM etc… we don`t know!!) They replaced it and it should be fixed now. So enlightened followers of this page must know that at the first place they changed my throttle body, and the problem went on and on. So we are going back to the loop and start all over…. I guess I`ll puke now….

Yesterday a quick test drive shows that the RPM on idle is still flaky but not as much as to complain. One time when the A/C was open the car tried to stall after higher rpms but recovered without intervention. I sens a little bit of performance loss, but I couldn`t test drive more since it was rainy… I`ll do a better test today. In general, I hate VW and I hate Alexandria VW

Our lego bug :)

Last week we almost completed our lego bug. I call it a bug cause it looks like one. We are currently using two touch sensors to navigate in the obstacle pool. There are two antennas surrounding the body of the robot, (Those antennas make the bot look like a bug.) which are connected to the touch sensors. As soon as the robot touches anything in the pool, the sensor is triggered such as the robot makes an opposite turn.

Since we also have a ramp to climb on we needed some torque. First we started with the wheels but it turned out that this was not enough. We decided to go with tank like tracks. But it was too slow for our needs. So I played with gear ratios to obtain a faster tankbug. I realized after testing that my ratio sucked while climbing. Well who cares?! Go back to the original track design. (Slow but steady )

Although I have to add a routine for “both sensors pressed” condition, I guess we are pretty stable for the navigation. Now we will spend some time on ball catching and dropping to the other side of the obstacle -|o /    

I`ll have some more pictures i guess this friday.

Updates on my car.

Since my car went to the service because of the same problem three different times, and they replaced several parts (Temp. sensor, throttle body, etc…) and those replacements did not fix the problem, they changed whole EMC. (the mini computer which handles the fuel injection, etc… a.k.a chip) The car is running OK. After testing one more week, I will believe the problem might be fixed… Will make more updates.

Robot builder Emre

So yesterday we went to build Lego MindStorm robots for a summer training program for teens in the Catholic University. The goal of the bots is to catch a ball and drop it to the other side of the obstacle. The obstacle looks like this __/\__ So catch the ball in one side, climb and drop it to the other side.

First of all… Lego MindStorm Robolab visual language SUCKS! It is not intuitive for making ifs or whiles or loops, etc… There is no source code available for the program that you load to the robot controller. There is only .vi files which looks like binary files for the robot.

The idea of building a robot and giving some “intelligence” to it is amazing and very fun. The first thing our team did is a car with a bumper where there is one push button sensor on each side of the bumper. I tried to catch the clicks of these sensors to make the robot turn. But since there were no loops or if clauses I cannot limit the robots turn. Instead I tell it to turn 1 secs when the bumper sensor is triggered. (run only the wheels of the triggered bumper sensor side.)Also since there is no loop available after hitting and turning, the program comes to an end.

I`ll check out some Linux implementation of the MindStorm cause I know that there is at least one out there. I`ll keep it updated… Next session is tomorrow (thursday 04/15/04)

My car is in the service again.

My lovely VW GTI 337 is in the service again. This is the 2nd time in a month that it goes in the service. First time it was for a malfunctioning Temperature sensor that was causing rough idleing, stalls on idle, CEL, EPC, ASR lights turn on, sputting like a tenthousand years old Dodge. Now same symptoms. I bought that car because i though it was reliable. But It caused my much more trouble than any other car I owned. [Check this page…] So I found 130 pages of results when I search “+i hate VW” in google. I guess I will be in one of those search results soon. I HATE VW!

New defense scenario against machine invasion…

So poor Neo is fighting against the rise of the machines in Matrix. He`s the spiritual leader of the mankind. Flying, kicking ass, moving faster than bullets, (faster than jackie chan) jumping from one scyscraper to another… But who needs that for fighting against metal mechanic robots? I`ll tell you one thing, just spray them sea water. For best results please use Mediterrenean water. (cause it is damn salty!) And sit back and enjoy your victory. Those robots, probably “made in china” will get rusty in no more than a day… You don`t believe me? Go buy a cheap chinese watch and see what happens after swimming in the Med. Are you still resisting? Check out your car or metal appliances of your home near any sea shore….

Anyway, Neo, my son, you are fighting a war that you cannot win with EMP guns or heavy artillery. Load those water pistols with sea water and mount some water tanks on Nebuchadnezzar. And you`re done…

Living as a sane person in an insane environment.

Colleague comes: (let`s call him C.)

C: Call me at 3:30PM I have to come to your office. We need to fix this and that.

Me: Ok come to my office directly I`ll be waiting after 3:30PM

C: No you call me at 3:30 and then I will come.

Me thinks: Why do I have to call him if we will already have a meeting in MY office after a specific time?

Me: I will be here after 3:30 PM, I don`t have to call you. You can come directly.

C: I came to your office yesterday and 2 days ago and you were not there and blah… blah… blah…

Me: Did you call me or did we agree on a specific time to discuss this issues and you came to my office and you couldn`t find me yesterday or two days ago?

C: No…

Me: So? Did we agree on a time today?

C: Yes…

Me: So do I still have to call you at 3:30?

C: ….. no…..

Me: Thanks. I`ll see you in my office at 3:30PM…