Your Skype Number subscription was cancelled

I have a Skype number that I don’t use very much. When I went to renew it, the Skype website said “Your Skype Number subscription was cancelled.” No way to renew it or an indication why it was cancelled – only the option of getting a new number (at twice the price).

After wasting way too much time reviewing the Skype’s website and Googling the problem, I had a chat session with a Skype representative that told me:

It was cancelled because I did not have a current automatic payment method. There is no way to renew it before it expires once the system cancels it. However after it expires, if I then renew it within the grace period, it will renew at the price I had been previously paying – not the current more expensive rate.

That’s the quick answer.

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After an EMP, my watch will still be running – even if I’m not

Automatic (aka self-winding) watches are not necessarily inexpensive, but I found one on Amazon that is 70% off and meets my requirements for a work watch:

  1. The time must be immediately self-evident with a quick glance. No busy or low contrast faces for me.
  2. Low profile and subdued so it doesn’t catch on anything or draw attention to itself.
  3. Appropriate on a smaller wrist.
  4. Inexpensive – if I break it, it’s no big deal.

Seiko Men’s SNK809 Seiko 5 Automatic Black Canvas Strap Watch List $185.00, selling for $56.03 & prime eligible.

After that flash brighter than a 1,000 suns I’ll still know what time it is…

after my vision returns.

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Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you intend

Jeff certainly didn’t mean to be drawing his last breath last week. More likely, he was happy to see old “friends” who encouraged him to indulge in his old ways. He was probably looking forward to a rush, an intensely pleasurable feeling. Drugs were fun, but he had been clean too long. At his funeral, his dad said he was the type to leap before he looked.

Getting clean hadn’t been easy. I was told that sometimes he attended up to four 12 step meetings in a day, one day at a time. It gave him hope that he would be able to get his life back on track. He was loved and lovable. Not a bad person, but unfortunately capable of making bad decisions. He burnt the candle at both ends for 31 years.

As he lay there he probably realized something had gone wrong. His last “oh shit” moment. He’s inadvertently killed himself and now it’s killing his parents and his siblings who have to carry on. Rest in peace young man.

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Kindle Touch WiFi & 3G (model D01200) $56.98

I was planning to buy a Kindle Touch when I found out that it was replaced by the Kindle Paperwhite. The first Paperwhite I received from Amazon was really a paper white and rose. As I researched the problem, I found that several of the early Paperwhite displays were actually white, with rose and green blotches. I saw a couple YouTube videos demonstrating the problem. There was noticable variance in the color of the light produced by their LEDs. The display on the replacement Paperwhite that Amazon sent me was worse than the first – so I set the replacement back.

Scanning dealnews today, I found is selling previously owned Kindle Touch WiFi & 3G units for $56.98. They have quite a few and you can select the condition of the precise unit you purchase. Click the choose best available button and be sure you scroll through several pages before you select one. I picked up a condition 6 unit for my wife that showed little signs of use, but they are also selling condition 4 units that show significant signs of use for the same price.

Here’s the link.

Happy shopping!

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The Calendar Quandary – Setting up a Synology NAS hosted CalDAV calendar on iPads and iPhones

What is the best way to share in sync a calendar between a Windows desktop and Apple iOS devices? That’s the question I been trying to answer. So far, I have figured out most of that queston. My wife and I both have iPhones and iPads. When I originally set them up, I made a choice between Google and Apple. Since it is helpful to have your calendar with you, and our mobile devices are Apple devices, I chose iCloud. Probably a mistake. It’s been hit and miss.

I haven’t had a problem using iCloud to sync contacts. On my Windows 7 desktop, I installed the Windows iCloud control panel (version 2.1.1). Unfortunately it doesn’t play nice with Outlook 2013. (more Office 2013 grief) Every time I run it I get an error from Microsoft Outlook saying that Office has run into an error, needs to close, and would like to repair itself. Oh joy.

I need to see my exchange server calendars from work, I have Google calendars, my buggy iCloud calendars, and the calendar in Outlook 2013. The problem with the iCloud calendar is that our shared iCloud calendars on our iOS mobile devices are not updating iCloud. The calendar notice only appears on the local mobile device. Creating the calendar notice in iCloud from a browser interface will push the calendar notice down to the mobile devices, but that’s not very helpful if you’re not in front of your computer.

The Google calendar and tasks sync up fine with the mobile devices and vice a versa. It makes me think that android devices are the wave of the future. But for now, I need an IOS solution. I was about to switch over to Google when I remembered I have this fine new little Synology NAS. My iOS devices support CalDAV. In the control panel in the Synology box you can set up CalDAV calendars in the WebDAV menu. Ooooooo…

I set it up. It works really well. Going forward I’m going to lose the iCloud calendars. While it is reported that Windows phone will support CalDAV and CardDAV, Outlook 2013 does not. Really Microsoft? Mozzila Sunbird is an open source calendar with a windows version that will sync to the CalDAV calendar on the Synology box. The instructions can be found here.

To set up a Synology hosted CalDAV calendar in an iOS device:

In Settings, select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

Under Accounts, select Add Account.

Under server, enter the domain name you have chosen from your DDNS provider. (I use no-IP)

Enter the username and passwords of the people you’ve given read/write rights on the shared folder where you created your shared CalDAV calendar in your Synology NAS.

I recommend, you use SSL over HTTPS, so if you’re running behind a router like most home users are, you have to port forward 5006 to your Synology NAS.

The account URL will be (if your CalDAV calendar is stored in a shared folder you named /Cal). You do not need to add the name of the calendar (i.e. /Cal/myfamily).

Now I need a battery backup for my NAS.…

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WordPress site navigation links point to internal IP

How amazingly annoying. Today I got this WordPress site running off the Synology NAS on my desk. I’m using noIP as my DDNS to resolve my domain name to the dynamic IP address provided by Verizon FIOS.

When installing the WordPress package, by default the site navigation links used the internal IP addresses provided by  the DHCP server in my router instead of Internet visible URLs. So when I clicked on any of the site navigation links they referred to 192.168.1.XXX. So they worked great as long as I was connected to my home network, but useless for the Internet… which makes writing a blog a very solitary experience.

After a lot of searching and frustration, I found the solution was to run a SQL command using the phpMyAdmin application in DSM 4.1

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = replace(option_value, ‘http://192.168.1.XXX’, ‘’) WHERE option_name = ‘home’

That’s all it took. I can’t preview from my intranet, but at least the navigation links on the pages created work on the internet.

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Office 2013

I purchased a copy of Microsoft Office Professional Plus for $9.95 through their home use program. The price was sooo good, I couldn’t pass it up. While I like the improved features of office 2013, this is the first version of office that has left me wondering if I made a mistake upgrading.

Visually, the color scheme of the user interface is awful. Your choices are light gray, medium gray, or dark gray. Dark gray, is the best of the worst. Light gray, as others have observed, is like staring into the sun. Not a useful activity.

This is also the first time that I’ve downloaded an office update that crashed my computer- requiring me to use a restore point. Sure am glad that works. If you’re using office 2010, don’t qualify for the home use program, and don’t have a compelling reason to upgrade to 2013, I would wait in till the first service pack is issued. This feels more like beta software to me.

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