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Archive for the ‘WTF?’ Category

Mar-7-2019

AT&T 972 Telephone Power Supply

AT&T 972 2-line speakerphone

A few years ago I moved, and I finally got around to unpacking old boxes and throwing out a lot of unused stuff. I came across this “Advanced American Telephone Model 972” also call the AT&T 972. It’s a decent 2-line, caller ID telephone. Of course I had no idea where the power supply was. I looked all over the phone and couldn’t find that little diagram that shows you the the polarity of the power jack and voltage and wattage. I searched for, found, and downloaded the instruction manual. Would you believe that in 29 pages, not once did they describe the power supply capacity and details? The manual said to call some 800 number for replacement parts. I’m sorry, but that’s bulls**t. So I hit google, and there were tons of places offering to sell a power supply specifically for this phone (eBay, Amazon, and on and on.)

Here’s the catch: EVERY SINGLE IMAGE was deliberately obfuscated so you couldn’t see what the voltage was. I probably have it in a bin full of wall-warts, and just don’t know which one it is because the manual won’t tell me and everyone selling a replacement part would rather sell me something for $25 than just say hey, here are the specs, check your stash before spending money.

AT&T 972 Power Supply
AC 9V 300mA

Well, I figured it out, and so I’m making this blog post to undermine this nonsense.

It’s a 9 Volt AC, 300mA adapter. Yeah, AC. Not DC. Weird. After searching for at least an hour, I found an expired eBay auction with a decent photo (shamelessly screen grabbed here.) Turns out I had one adapter with an AC output, it was 9V / 200mA, and it worked just fine. So there. To hell with all you vendors who deliberately obfuscate the details of the power supply in an attempt to make people spend money.

In conclusion: if you have an AT&T 972 and you’re wondering what the power supply voltage and amperage should be, the phone takes an AC, 9V, 200-300mA supply.

Posted under WTF?
Feb-13-2018

Airlines want full planes, not happy passengers

AAEver since the merging with US Airways, American Airlines’ primary objective seems to be filling every possible seat and flying their planes as full as possible. Actually, all airlines try to do this, and the biggest of them (AA and UA) put their full planes (read: their profits) ahead of their customers by overselling the heck out of each flight, and having many passengers eagerly waiting for a seat on “standby”.  The problem here is that if you miss a connection, you’re basically screwed because they’re giving away your seat and you’re going to sit on your hands hoping to get a seat at some point, somehow, to your final destination.  To hell with your vacation or work plans.

I had this epiphany a few weeks after swapping air travel stories with another passenger during a Southwest flight from LGA to DEN.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted under Flying, WTF?
Jan-7-2014

Stop The Chat Window

This is an open letter to corporate web sites.

Who thought an obnoxious offer “to chat” was a good idea?

Please STOP annoying me with your unwieldy, annoying, pop-up blocker circumventing offers to “chat”.  If I wanted to chat with you, I would find a “contact” link on your web site and speak with someone in an off-shored call center.  Why do you think it would somehow be more attractive to instant-message this person?  It’s merely a form of less effective, less efficient and more annoying customer service.  Whoever thought up of this IS AN IDIOT.  And everyone else who thinks it’s a good idea to jump on this bandwagon is suffering from EXTREME STUPIDITY and incompetence in leadership.

OK, I’m done.  You may now continue with your regularly scheduled programming.

 

Posted under IT, WTF?
Nov-5-2012

Misappropriation of resources?

Several years ago, the City of New York went around digging up and replacing sidewalks.  I’m not talking about the ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, I’m talking about the city determining that your sidewalk is in a state of disrepair, and showing up one day with jackhammers, digging it up and replacing it before you have a chance to complain about the noise.  Of course, a very costly invoice arrives shortly thereafter.  This invoice is generally two to three times what such work would cost in the private sector and failure to pay results in the usual collections and seizure tactics.

While the public-safety motivation behind this policy is obvious, the simple fact is that landlords, not the City are liable for slip and fall accidents and the extremely subjective and unpublished criteria by that determines whose sidewalk gets dug up makes the process suspect.  Universally, landlords and supers see this as another form of taxation: a cash-grab by the New York City.

Sidewalk Replacement in NYC on 11/5/12

And now, the point of today’s post: this morning, I saw the sidewalk being dug up on 111th Street and Broadway, in front of the Citibank.  I stopped in to joke with a friend who works there.  He informed me that the city is replacing the sidewalk, pursuant to the policy I’ve just described.

My question: could these work crews not be more useful helping clear debris in the communities ravaged by the hurricane?

Oh, and for the record, this sidewalk was absolutely fine and did not need replacement.  What qualifies me to say this?  Simple: I walk on it every day.  Unlike the sidewalk on the opposite side of Broadway, where I’ve twisted my ankle several times along the uneven surfaces.

 

Look for yourself:

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Posted under Politics, WTF?
Apr-17-2012

Top 2 Reasons Facebook Annoys me, this week

1. Why do you think I’m German? Why are all the adverts you send me adverts in German? I can’t read this. Whether it’s my laptop, workstation or work PC, you’ve got some algorithm somewhere that says I’m German. WTF? I mean, this is good because I’m unlikely to buy anything. But still, I’m curious what made you think that ich kann Deutsches sprechen?

2. I’m not interested in posts you think are relevant. I want my posts chronologically. Why do you keep changing my settings back to featuring crap that monkeys in a cube comment on, and that I don’t care about?

Sincerely,
Someone who is using you less and less every day.

Posted under IT, WTF?