Sunday, November 26, 2017

How to program a Noma Outdoor Timer model 052-8873-0 49887

Years ago my wife bought these cool Noma outdoor timers with two plugs from Canadian Tire and when she pulled them out recently, they didn't work. They looked like they were programmed correctly but nada, no dice, nothing. Some of the numbers on the back are 052-8873-0 and 49887. If you search the web for this device, you also get nada, nothing, crap. Noma products are some of the most poorly documented devices out there and their web support presence is non-existent. When you type in these numbers all you get are stupid websites that want to charge you $40 US for a PDF download of some photocopied manual that is not even the same model of the thing you're looking for, or websites where helpful but clueless people post answers like "Your NOMA timer does not exist, but here is a website on water heater timers, just do what they say..."

Yes, the web is chocked full of people willing to give you useless information or trying to make a buck off you in order to program the thing you bought years ago but chucked/recycled the instruction sheet for. So, after an evening of pressing buttons, I present to you, the answer to the question of "How the hell do you program this stupid thing?"

There are six main buttons. Minute, Hour, Day, Clock, Prog, On-Off, and some secondary functions like RDM(random) and DST(daylight savings time). There is also an R(reset) and RCL-CD which I think is recall or reset or something.

To set the clock, hold the Clock button and keep it held down while you manipulate the Minute, Hour, Day(pay attention to the am/pm). When you let go of Clock, it should save the time settings.

When you press "Prog", notice the small "1" on the left for program 1. Each numbered program (there are 20) has an "On" and an "Off" setting and text is shown on the left to display what mode you are in("On" appears first). "On" is what time you want the thing to come on, "Off" is when it will shut off.

Repeatedly pressing Prog skips to program 1 "On" then Program 1 "Off", then program 2 "On", program 2 "Off" etc.. If you want every day of the week, press the Day button several times until all the days of the week are displayed (it will flash by with variants and you stop onb the one you want, mon to fri, Mon, Wed, Fri, etc..).

To set the "On" time for Program 1 , press the Hour and Minute to the desired time. To set the Off time, press Prog once (notice the off text on the left) and press Hour and Minute to the desired shut off times. To get out of Prog mode, press Clock once.

The key to making the device work, and the one point of confusion for me was the On-Off button. It cycles through four modes: On, Off, Auto On, Auto Off and they must be set in a particular way. If it is currently 5pm when you are programming and you are expecting an On time of 6pm and an Off time of 11pm, press On-Off until it says "AUTO Off". This means that it is 5 pm, you want the device to be off, but come on automatically at 6pm and off at 11pm. Setting On-Off to "On" or "Off" just overrides the programming and makes the device look like it is not working. If it was 7pm I guess you'd leave it at "Auto On" and the programmed off time for program 1 would kick in and shut if off.

The RND (random) is if you want to randomize the times you selected by adding a tiny offset so it does not start at 6pm exactly but perhaps 6:13 or something like that. I haven't been able to experiment with this fully but it appears to work along those lines. To use this hold down the Hour button (the one that says RND over it) for five seconds until you see the RND text appear on the right.

DST (Daylight Savings Time) works the same way. Press the Clock button (that says DST under it) and the clock will jump ahead an hour(hold it for five seconds).

And there it is.. no thanks to Noma.. I was about ready to go to Canadian Tire and bust open the box and take a picture with my phone

Stupid Noma.....

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Annoying IT Guy #2 - Animal noises, Nose trumpets & Phlegm cloppers

Continuing from Annoying IT Guy #1, without a doubt my biggest annoyance with the guy is the large array of f&%king animal noises his biological operating system makes over the course of a work day.

He clears his throat loudly up to 3 or 4 times a minute, coughing up phlegm in his mouth before swallowing it. He does this when he is by himself in his cubicle, when he is on the phone and especially when he has someone in his office. He talks loud and clears his throat louder. Most folks excuse themselves, step aside, cover their mouth, muffle it, not this guy, he is staring you right in the face, coughs up a phlegm clopper, deals with it and carries on talking like that is the way life is supposed to be... GROSS! If you are talking to him, the chance that you are going to get some on you is two minutes to midnight high.

Then there's the constant ineffective nose blowing. First off buddy, "There's nothing up there in your nasal cavity to come out.You are on empty.. " It sounds like a f%&cking Bach trumpet, this dry high brass trumpeting sound. He could re-use the same kleenex all day if he didn't perforate it with the blast of slotless air. If blowing your nose were an olympic sport this guy would be Bangladesh.

And it's not over.. Then we get treated to 4 or 5 of what we call, the daily Epileptic fits. He stretches - or something - and there's a uber-loud World Series yawn at the same time. Picture the loudest yawn you can possibly imagine combined with a follow up groaning stretch that sounds like a 600 pound Congolese mountain gorilla having an orgasm. Four or five. Every day.. WTF...

And there's some other sounds he makes when he is in transit. When he walks down the hall past my office he sometimes sucks his tongue in and out of his mouth loudly as he walks. Like a piston, except it sounds exactly like the sound Hannibal Lecter's character makes in Silence of the Lambs when he is talking to Starling about eating livers with a fine Chianti. I had a client in my office once and he walked by doing that sound and I had to explain that he's like a five year old and he's exploring the sounds his body can make.

Then we have the OUTBURSTS. These are not as common thankfully but two three times a month is still a bit much. In an office you can sometimes here a cricket in he will do things like shout "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" at the top of his lungs and smash his keyboard. To put this in context, picture a fairly quiet mid-day office, not a lot of noise and then a lightning clap of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" like Kirk shouting "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!" followed by the crash of some equipment being abused. When he does this I get up out of my office and walk over and see him and ask sarcastically if he's ok or do we have to call an ambulance. One time he was so loud I told him to quit that because the last time someone made that sound they were having a medical emergency and they left unconscious in an ambulance. He doesn't even look at me when I say this. When I got back to my office I had a bunch of emails one of which said "Go for it! We're ok with you calling that ambulance!".

I'm really sorry you changed the IP on the remote server and it kicked you off but that's how that shit works ;-)

I'm not alone in being miffed by this. I hear everyone around me going "What the fuck?" quietly under their breath or "Gross" when he coughs something up interesting into a tissue and looks at it(he should definitely stick to hawking up in the tissue, it works way better than through his nose).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Annoying IT guy #1 What's my PAFFWORD?

  For the past 8 months we've had a person in the office on another team and he's annoying the shit out of everyone within earshot. I'm an easy going guy and can take all kinds of shit, especially the stuff beyond my power to control and it rolls off my back. This guy however, is getting to me.

I first became aware of him in the first month of his start because he would do 2 to 3 loud password resets a week over the phone to the help desk. We live in cubicleland and if you talk in a normal voice you don't bug anyone. If you talk at the top of your lungs however, everyone can hear you. The annoying part starts when you hear the same conversation two to three times a week that goes something like this:

"I can't get in"
"I never fill in security questions"
"I've never had to type my login ID like that"
"You're wrong"
"I didn't disable it YOU disabled it!"
"Why does it disable my account just because I type the wrong password in, that's stupid!"
"I don't think you understand how this works"
"I have to support XXXX, it's imperative"
"I support mission critical infrastructure and I need to get access ASAP"
"I demand to talk to your supervisor".
"Potato Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Seven..."

You start to wonder if the people on the other line are doing everyone a favour by locking this guy out (only they're not locking him out, he can't keep his access straight and disables his own accounts).

Not to say he's not entertaining sometimes, one of the best bits we got to hear was when he was giving a help-desk guy shit over the phone recently for supposedly repeating his password to him wrong and he ended up locking himself out again.He called the Help desk back again and started yelling at the guy:

"NO! You're wrong, I distinctly remember you saying "F" as in "FAM!"

What the F*%k is F as in FAM you say? I dunno. Is FAM short for family? The kicker in that exchange was that he thought the guy on the phone told him his password was PAFFWORD. He wrote it down that way...

Now I'm just hearing one side of the conversation but let's see. The Help Desk guy is resetting your PASSWORD. He needs an easy temporary PASSWORD he can tell you over the phone so you can immediately log in and choose a new one. What word could he use for this? Hmm, I dunno maybe PASSWORD? You think?

No.. It was obviously PAFFWORD, stupid help desk guy, he doesn't know what he said, he's obviously wrong.

My god, why did they hire this guy.

(Big thanks to notadroid and TheHappyHippie for those memes ;-)

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Hanging out on my roof in the dark circa 1983

  In 1983 I was 14 living in Blackburn Hamlet and all of my best friends lived within a stone's throw of my house, that is to say, if I couldn't hit your house with a rock, you probably weren't my friend.
  One hot summer evening found me on the roof of my parent's house with two of my friends. I used to go up on the roof to read comic books in the summer when I was younger to get away from my little brother, who was an unrelenting annoyance of locust proportions. I'm not sure why we were up there that night, but we were enjoying the unusual vantage point in the hot night summer air. Across the street lived one of my best friends, who oddly enough wasn't with us on the roof that night. Also across the street lived my friend's beautiful older sister, who was worshipped by my group of friends as a minor deity, much to the horror and chagrin of my friend who would tolerate no talk on the subject.
  On this night, as we were sitting up there in the dark, a curious thing happened. A switched on light illuminated a second floor window in the house across the street and a female person walked into the room with a towel on their head and a towel on their body. The towel on the head came off followed by a long haired head shake and then as we sat there in shock and disbelief , the lower towel came off and we saw some bits of bits we should not have seen over the top of the window sill.
  No one said anything. Silence. It got weird. Someone said  "Oh My GAWD!". I agreed. We had just seen half of a bare naked lady after all. It probably lasted 7 seconds. As long as a top notch bull rider can stay on a bucking bull. Then the person put on PJ's and left the room.

It was surreal. We must tell no one we said. No one speak of this to anyone. It's creepy. It's wrong. We all agreed. Not good. Let's not do this again..

The next night there were seven kids on my roof. Everybody had told at least one other person and one of them had told two people. All of the noble second sobre thought from the previous evening  had gone right out the window (in deference to the much more interesting window across the street). I was actually questioning the load-bearing safety ramifications of having this many people up there when my friend from across the street walked over to my place, probably to ring my doorbell which would lead to questions of where I was etc.. so I hissed at him from the roof: "Up here".
"What?" He asked, looking around. .
"Up here" I hissed.

He looked up at me (uh, well, all of us), then across the street and then we were told to get down off the roof or he would come up and toss us all down one by one.

We complied. Besides, it wasn't safe that that many people up there and he was bigger than us.