Cirago CDD1000 Docking Station

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 in Tools & Gear | 1 comment

I ended up being given two of these to play around with by my father who, after buying them on sale, was dismayed to discover that they don’t appear to play well with Macs. Having more time (and I’m guessing a little more patience) for troubleshooting problems of this nature, I took them to see if I could get them working at home. Honestly, I half expected them to just work without any intervention on my part. Call me superstitious, but I’ve seen too many consumer electronics inexplicable work perfectly the moment that someone comes to fix them, or gets rid of them as faulty, to believe in anything truly faulty without a second opinion.

So I was actually a little surprised when I plugged the thing in to get an error message from the OS that a “USB device drawing too much power has been disabled.”

In my mind, that’s a pretty scary message – with its red plastic shell and styling, this thing already looks a little aggressive, and now it’s demanding so much power that my gentle, pacifist iMac has had to disable one of its USB ports to protect itself!? What does this thing want so much power for, I wonder? I’ve already cleared a spot for it on my desk, is that not enough for this maniacal accessory? Clearly I’ve got to get this thing in check, not just for me, but for the sake of all mankind.

My first step was to google the product along with the error message. That led to nothing but one reviewer on Newegg complaining of the same error with no resolution (reminding me of this). Next I check the cirago website to see if they had any documentation, firmware downloads, etc that may lead me in the right direction – again, nothing (On a side note, why do hardware manufactures’ websites always suck? It’s not just the small ones, they all feel as if they were designed intentionally to obscure the information I’m looking for).

At this point I’ve devoted all of about 10 minutes to this thing, and, after unplugging it and plugging it back in (as if that should magically resolve it), am convinced it’s not going to work and realize I should give up on it. So naturally I took the damn thing apart.

Not surprisingly there was nothing of note on the inside that would explain the error I’m getting (or this thing’s megalomaniacal demands for power), but once I put it back together and plugged it in one more time for good measure, it started working like a charm! Seriously, wtf?

After much trial and error, I discovered that that my 4th grade math teacher was right – Order of Operations IS important. For anyone out there who’s been suffering with the same problem unplug everything and try this:

  1. Plug the power in
  2. Turn the power on
  3. Think deep thoughts for a good 3 seconds
  4. Plug the USB cable in

That process does the trick for me every time. Though it’s dependent on the docking station not loosing power. If you turn the docking station off, but leave the USB cable attached the computer will immediately warn you the docking station is drawing too much power and has been disabled. At that point, turning the power back on won’t get the computer to recognize it again without following the steps above.

Read More

I Love My Headphones

Posted on Apr 14, 2010 in Thoughts, Tools & Gear | 2 comments

I imagine that everyone who’s ever tried to run with stock iPod headphones knows what pain in the butt they are. Aside from being slightly too big to begin with, that shiny white plastic they’re made of slides out of a sweaty ear faster than Jay Leno can steal a talk show. I wasn’t even past light jogging before I knew I had to get something new.

One day I swung by a big name electronics store, looking for a new pair that would work better, but didn’t find anything that looked too appealing. I didn’t know what I was really looking for, I mean, I assumed athletic people needed to listen to music while they ran just like I did, so it stood to reason they’d already solved this problem, but if they had, I wasn’t finding it on the shelves.

When I got home, I hit up Google, and in less than 5 minutes I found myself with an incredible selection of ‘sport’ headphones of all shapes and sizes. Still not really knowing what I was looking for (and hating to spend money on something I might dislike) I was pretty reluctant to buy anything without being able to physically inspect them first – especially when every single set of headphones I checked had a mix of rave and terrible reviews. Eventually, I found myself coming back to the Sennheiser MX85 Sport Series again and again, so I figured I’d take a shot.

I’m really glad I did, because I think these things really rock. I’m not an audiofile, so I can’t speak intelligently to the sound quality, but I don’t have any complaints. What I can say, is that these things stay in your ears, even when you’re a big lumbering dude who has no idea how to run properly, and even when you drop your iPod shuffle while doing said lumbering. They stay in your ears, and they’re comfortable, and that’s exactly what I wanted. All in all, I couldn’t be happier with them.

It feels a little odd to be raving about a purchase I made months ago, and even odder still to think that this post about my headphones is twice as long as my post about my 5k. So odd in fact, that I almost didn’t write this out. For someone with steady employment, buying something in the $30 price range isn’t really an accomplishment, particularly when compared with running farther than you’ve ever ran before in your life, so what’s the big deal?

It might sound a bit silly, but buying those headphones was in investment in my health. I didn’t buy a home gym, or a treadmill, or some gimmick on tv telling myself that once I had it, I’d start using it to get healthy – I was already in the gym, doing the hard part, and when an opportunity to make an excuse not to go came up (“I need to get new headphones”), I refused to use it. Instead, I invested in the commitment I’d already made to myself and, in doing so, strengthened it.

So, when I say I love my headphones, I really do. Not because of how they sound, or because they don’t fall out, but because they serve as a reminder of how I’m slowly changing my life for the better.

Read More

Theme Update

Posted on Feb 23, 2010 in Tools & Gear | 2 comments

The WordPress theme I use pushed an update out to fix some sidebar display issues in Firefox 3.6, which I installed today. As far as I can tell everything still works, but if you run into anything that doesn’t look right, shoot me a comment and let me know.

Read More

One Receipt To Rule Them All

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 in Thoughts, Tools & Gear | 4 comments

I don’t know where I might find a Burgerville, and I’ve no idea if their food is any good, but they certainly have some kick-ass receipts:

Burgerville Receipt

Being in California, most places I eat now are required to have calorie counts available upon request, but this is really above and beyond. I love it, and would love to see more places adopt this kind of proactive approach.

Found on Consumerist

Read More

Site Updates

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 in Tools & Gear | 0 comments

The wordpress theme I’m using has had an update released. Of course I made a bunch of little changes to the old version and didn’t record them, so updating isn’t going to be as easy as it should be.

If the site starts behaving badly in the next hour or two it’s probably my fault. After that point, if you encounter anything weird, please drop me line at paul -at-

Read More

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.

- Walter Elliot