Monthly Archives: April 2006

Approx Date for MySQL Beta Certification Exam 5.0 Results

I had taken the MySQL Beta Developer 5.0 Certificatino Exam a couple weeks ago.  Since it was a beta, I knew I would get my results for a good 8 – 12 weeks after the beta exams were supposed to end, which at that time was April 15th.  I stopped over at the MySQL website today, to get the information on the JDBC for MySQL.  That’s when I noticed that the beta exams were extended until May 15th.  I guess their website was not finished being updated, because a lot of places on the page still listed it as ending April 15th.

A bit frustrated with the new date, because I did not want to wait an additional 8 – 12 weeks after May 15th, I sent them an email asking when they intended for the results to be sent.  I was hoping that it was still inteded for 8 – 12 weeks after April 15th.  I quickly received an email from Carsten informing me that they will be grading the exams right after May 15th and that he strongly suspects that I will see the results from my certification exam before the end of May.  Woohoo.

Since the certification has been extended another month, I think I might consider taking the first certification exam for the MySQL 5.0 Administrator certification.  Haven’t decided on that though since I also want to get some Java certifications soon. 

Microsoft Windows XP Activation Frustration

So, here’s the background of what I’m doing before I really get into my rant.  I have my Inspiron 6000 laptop that I’m giving to my wife since I’ve gotten a new laptop for work.  I’ve decided to reinstall windows, just so that she has a clean system without all the development stuff and other nonsense.  About 4 – 5 years ago, I bought a Windows XP Professional disk from my school at the time (University of Cincinnati).  I’ve used this disc to install Windows XP on this laptop a couple times.

This time around, I went to activate it and was informed it has been activated too many times and that I would have to call the phone hotline (888-571-2048).  No problem, called the number and a automatic voice asked me for my installation ID.  I then was connected to a representative that also asked me for the installation ID.  I guess Microsoft has outsourced this department to India.  I have no issues with India, but I do have issues with very thick accents that I can’t understand.  Take someone from deep Kentucky with a thick accent, I would have an issue there also.  So we went through the entire thing, and the woman informed me that this is a technical issue and told me to call the technical department).

So I hung up and called the technical department (888-346-5229).  After waiting for 13 minutes, I was connected to another thick accent representative.  Luckily, his accent was as thick and I was able to understand him a little longer.  He asked what my issue was, and I informed him about the account activation.  He immediately told me I had the wrong department and he was transferring me to …. the activation department.  Luckily I caught him and explained they had just sent me to him.  We went through the issues.  One thing that bothered me was all the questions they asked.  Phone number, email, full name, etc. He then gave me a SR number and said he would transfer me to the support department. 

Another 7 minutes of waiting and someone picked up.   The asked for my name and SR#.  The second I told them this, they immediately said they’re transferring me to technical support put me on hold before I could say anything.  After waiting for another 23 minutes on the phone, I hung up.  Luckily, I have another copy of Windows XP Professional, so I changed the activation key to that one and it activated fine.

This kind of treatment is amazing.  First the require you to activate the product, then they limit the times you can activate it before making you call in and wait possibly HOURS, then the product ends up needing to be reinstalled every 6 months to a year.  I can only guess that since the corner the market, they are just trying to frustrate customers into just buying another copy instead of waiting on the phone for hours.  I know why I switched to Linux and this just adds another reason.  If anybody knows a good place I complain about this to, let me know. 

ATI Mobility x1400 on Linux Working … Kinda

I ran across a post in a forum on the Gentoo Forums that pointed out a VERY dirty hack to get the ATI Mobility x1400 working correctly at the correct resolutions.  I haven’t check to see if anything else is working (3D, accelleration, etc) because all I really needed was correct 2D working at 1920×1200.  I was able to get my laptop to work now with 1920×1200 resolution which just looks great.  One issue that I’m having is that when using the console, my font is fuzzy. Fuzzy meaning the pixels around the words are constantly turning on and off in some places.  This is not the console in Xorg, but the one when you hit ALT-F1 …

The only way I was able to get the ati drivers to compile correctly was to switch from using the -mm kernel branch to the standard gentoo sources branch.  I was then able to get the ati drivers to install correctly.  After that I was able to switch a driver out with one at this website.  At that point, everything worked correctly.

Since I switched kernels, my wireless card has stopped working again.  Since I want this laptop for work, which I have a wired connection at work, I’m not too worried about it.  I’ll get it working eventually, just need to spend more time getting it to work with the non -mm kernel.