Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World


Laptop Blues II: Electric Boogaloo

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 12:27 am

Well, I had to send my laptop in for service again; good thing it’s still under warranty until August of this year.

Why, you ask? Well, you know the little jack where the AC adapter plugs into the computer? Tonight, that jack somehow managed to come loose from the mainboard and to fall inside the computer. The hole for the plug is still there on the back of the machine, of course, but there’s nothing inside for the adapter to actually connect to.

I managed to get the necessary part of the computer open, but I couldn’t figure out how in the world to get the jack back into its proper place. Obviously this was an operation meant only for Trained Service Personnel, so my only resort is to send the machine off to Gateway to have it fixed.

But the really sad thing is, the adapter jack probably came loose when Gateway reattached the display panel last June; interestingly enough, I hadn’t noticed any difficulties with the adapter until after that incident. And it makes sense, since the hinge for the display is right there next to the power connector.

Incidentally, it seems as if my worst fears have been confirmed; Gateway appears to have followed the trend of outsourcing its technical support call centers to India some time after my support experience last year. Quite a shame, too, as today’s call to support was far more confused and generally unintelligible than the shining support experience I had with American tech support back in July. Suffice it to say, among other things, that heavily accented Indian support workers and auditory processing disorders don’t go together all too well; I had to ask the support rep to repeat herself more than a few times just to understand the line of questioning, and it was especially heinous trying to confirm my address to which the mailer was to be sent.


File this under “spam, strangely ironic”…

Filed under: Spam — codeman38 @ 8:07 pm

Sometimes “spamonyms”– you know, the bizarre pseudonyms found in the “From” lines of spam e-mails?– can be strangely appropriate. How so? Well… here’s an actual bit of junk mail that ended up in my inbox tonight (with URLs removed to protect the guilty).

Subject: Zone, last longer than v1 .agra. vernacularization
From: “Nastier A. Typo” <>

Pleased to meet you!

Want to btoost ,Znoe , Your sexuale Preofrmance?

News for the privacy-conscious

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 12:04 am

Need to read articles from The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel or Newsday, but don’t want to go through their incredibly intrusive registration process? Turns out that accounts created on, which has a much less intrusive registration form, work on all of the above-linked newspapers as well. Sure, you still have to give away your e-mail address, but personally, I’m more comfortable with spam than with marketers having immediate access to my name, address and phone number.

I just hope The Baltimore Sun doesn’t end up changing its registration form; this is quite a useful discovery…


Enter The Eternal SPLOST Boy

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 3:06 pm

In the local news has been quite a bit of debate about the renewal of a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST. This seems to be primarily a Georgia thing, judging from the Google results for that acronym; basically, as the name suggests, it’s an extra 1% sales tax, added on to the state sales tax, that’s used to fund county government projects.

But that’s not the point I’m trying to make. No, the point I’m trying to make is that “SPLOST” would be an excellent comic-book sound effect. It’s like the sound made by a watermelon falling fifty feet to the ground, or something along those lines.

Yes, yes, I know, I’m way too easily amused…


But I thought Parasitic Flo was incorrigible…

Filed under: Spam — codeman38 @ 4:08 pm

Inexplicable spam subject line of the day:

parasitic flo ain’t incorrigible sixty

Huhhh? Yes, I know, I know, it’s just a random assortment of words, yet it seems oddly coherent compared to most.

The ad contained within, for the record, was for yet another herbal impotence drug…


I don’t like spam!

Filed under: Spam — codeman38 @ 8:58 am

Mrggh. Some stupid comment spammer with an affinity for the name John hit my blog last night with a salvo of comments advertising casinos and business grants. And he did it while I was asleep, thus making it so I had to manually despam the comments when I finally woke up. The good news is that, because he only advertised two URLs in his thirty-five comments (!), it was very, very easy to do a global search for those addresses and delete all of the matching comments…

Spammers, I don’t mind you trying to increase your Google rankings, but don’t do it in my personal space…


You could say I have a personality…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:31 am

A rather interesting Valentine’s Day article that I stumbled across while searching for various introvert-related things online:

ESTJ seeks INFP: Looking for love through personality tests

If any of this makes sense you’ve probably taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a personality measurement developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs. Today, the questionnaire is used by 2 million people a year and in nearly 90 of the Fortune 100 companies.

The four-letter acronyms […] are so eerily accurate it’s no surprise that they’ve found new life in the online-personals ads.

The evidence is plentiful, from mentions in profiles (“thoughtful ISTJ seeks similar”) to entire dating sites, such as and, designed in large part around the Myers-Briggs or its close companion, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter.

As an INTP, one of the rarest personality types, I can totally associate with this article. It really is interesting how taking various Myers-Briggs-based personality tests online made me feel like I really wasn’t as much of an outcast as it originally seemed. I really do feel more “at home” with INTPs, INTJs and INFPs than I do any of the other types…


Who do they think they’re fooling?

Filed under: Spam — codeman38 @ 1:37 pm

The latest ridiculous names from the spam files (yes, I know, this is the latest topic I’ve been hyperfocusing on):

“Upholding L. Unsanctioned”
“Spellbinder C. Stabilized”


From the “bizarre spam subject lines” file…

Filed under: Spam — codeman38 @ 10:26 pm

Expand your educatíon Cody – bowling ball alchemists around 92

I don’t know why, but the mental image of bowling ball alchemists cracks me up, for some reason. I’m not exactly sure what you’d want to transmute a bowling ball into…

And the text of the e-mail was yet another one of those series of randomly-generated sentences interspersed with images that my mail client of choice doesn’t show. Heh. (Copying and pasting the URLs of the images, for the record, revealed that it was yet another ‘university’ ‘diploma’ scam.)

The full text, for those who are amused by these things:




Filed under: Spam — codeman38 @ 8:54 am

I think I may have found the Best Spam Pseudonym Ever:


“Blasts O. Booty”. I kid you not.

And to make this even funnier, it was a Viagra spam…

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