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February 2007 Archives

February 3, 2007

When 1 does not equal 1

Well, bunches of things have happened, so let’s try to summarize:

  • Adium finally hit v1.0
  • I’m engaged in a variety of tech projects at my church (improving the technology of the web site, extending the internet connection to multiple other buildings, improving wireless access, purchasing new computers, etc.).
  • We released Open MPI v1.1.4 and are steadily rolling towards v1.2. Actually, the vast majority of my time recently has been spent testing testing testing…
  • I got a bluetooth headset for my cell phone. It’s handy — definitely more convenient than my old hands-free, but sometimes it’s a little scratchy-sounding.
  • The munchkins continue to make more and more complex sentence structures in conversations. They understand basic logic now (“if you do A, you can do B”, “we’ll do X because of Y”, etc.), meaning that they understand cause and effect. This is, er, interesting because it means not only can they do more things, but also they can try to get away with more things (e.g., consciously grokking that mommy and daddy react differently to different things — they’ve always taken advantage of things, but it was at more of an unconscious level before).

February 14, 2007

LAM 7.1.3 escaped!

Woo hoo! Congrats to the Indiana University team for putting out LAM/MPI v7.1.3 (this was the project that I was the head of while I was at IU). Here’s the release announcement:

It is likely that this is the last release of LAM/MPI ever.

February 19, 2007

Toys-R-Us online: what the heck?

For Christmas, we bought one of my nieces a few things through Toys-R-Us online, including an Aquadoodle. We’ve bought lots of stuff through TRU online before, and never had a problem with it. This time — problems.

And yes, you’ll notice that it’s now mid-February, and I’m posting about a Christmas issue. I’ll get to “Why the long delay?” shortly.

I actually placed the order through Google Checkout, and everything went smoothly. A few days later, I got an e-mail from TRU saying that they were out of stock of the Aquadoodle and that it was automatically cancelled from the order. Well, ok, that’s a bummer, but I know how these things go — sometimes the actual demand is larger than the anticipated demand. Oh well. The other items shipped and they were Good Enough.

But when clearing credit card transactions through Quicken right around Christmas, I notice that TRU had charged me the full amount (including for the Aquadoodle that was canceled) and never credited anything back. Hrm. Surely there must be some mistake; perhaps ordering it through Google Checkout created some kind of problem in their system and my refund got overlooked. So a few calls to customer service later, I was assurred that it should be refunded shortly (which seemed odd to me — why couldn’t they refund it on the spot? But… whatever; I had other things to worry about).

January comes around — still no refund. So I call again, “Yes, we still haven’t processed all the Christmas refunds yet. We will soon — I’ll mark yours as expedited and it should be done by the end of the week.” Well — ok, whatever. $20 isn’t really all that much to create a stink about, but it is getting a little annoying. It’s the principle of the matter, not the money.

I then totally forgot about the issue — until today. I just got an e-mail from Google Checkout that TRU has finally refunded me for the Aquadoodle. It’s Feb 19, 2007 — well over 2 months since TRU charged me for the item. WOW!!

But wait — it gets better. The refund was less than I was initially charged! The Aquadoodle cost $19.99 (before tax), and I was refunded $17.66. There was no explanation provided.

What the heck? I really don’t have the time/energy/inclination to call and fight about $2.33+tax, but the principle of the matter is just galling. In effect, I was charged $2.33+tax for something that I never received. Plus, TRU got to use my $20+tax for 2 months. Granted, ~$20 for 2 months is a pittance, but consider the total dollar value of all the Christmas refunds that TRU is apparently just now refunding. That must be quite a tidy sum.

What the heck is going on over at TRU online?

February 24, 2007

Netflix is cool

I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for a long time (renting DVDs through the mail). We used to be on the “unlimited/2 DVDs at a time” plan, and that was fine. But then along came the munchkins, and we started watching far fewer movies. We’re now on the “max of 2 DVDs a month” plan which reduced our cost to only $6/month.

Earlier this week, I got an e-mail from Netflix telling me that they’ve reduced the cost of our plan to $5/month. How cool is that?

This change is only saving me $12/year, but when a company reduces the cost and still provides the same exact service, that’s just darn cool. And appreciated by customers. And they should be rewarded. So here’s some free PR: thanks, Netflix!

About February 2007

This page contains all entries posted to JeffJournal in February 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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