CoffeeCrew Blog

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Because, hey, you never know.

Long lost Gibson Guitar Les Paul Gold top stolen from ago · 2 June 2016 by colin newell

Lost (Stolen) Gibson Guitar from Victoria B.C. 1992

A very long time (1985) I was a Gibson guitar player – they are awesome for Rock, Blues, Jazz, pretty much whatever you want to play. And I played it in a few pick-up bands and a couple of outfits that played a few shows… in a life a long time ago.

That said, I was not a big fan of this for some reason. Might have been the colour or the weight.

Ah, the weight! It was like carrying around a large dog draped around your shoulder – like a Lab or a Bull Mastiff -

And the sound of the Gibson Les Paul is unmistakable – it snarled like a cornered tiger and commanded any musical performance it was involved with.

But the weight got me down… literally… and one day I sold it to a notable and currently successful musician. That was in 1990 or so.

The new owner traveled the World with it – and took on a new life of its own.

Long Lost Gibson Serial

Then one day: It was in the locked trunk of of the owner, “Sean’s” 1980 Buick in underground, gated parking beneath the Seagate Apartments on Esquimalt Rd. He came home after an afternoon practice and had left it for around two hours before he had to head out to another practice. Two hours in a locked basement garage. It could have been an inside job, an unscrupulous neighbour… someone that clearly did not appreciate the fact that this particular guitar playing fellows livelihood depended on those 6 stringed instruments. Guitar be gone.

Anyway – occasionally I make a shout out to the World about this missing guitar – likely in the wrong hands, maybe getting played, maybe not or in the hands of someone that is not aware that it is hot.

Anyway – here is the picture of the guitar stolen years ago – and somewhere out there, this guitar is waiting to come home to its owner. If you see it, please send it on its way.

The original owner thanks you!

This was a 1971 or 1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe with hard case stolen from the Seagate Apartment parking lot in 1992. The serial number is 171568

Any intel on this item would likely be rewarded with cash or whole bean coffee! Or both!

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Moving, moving, moving... · 30 March 2013 by colin newell

Linode getting it on

If you have noticed an absence of activity around these parts for the last month, it is because I have been prepping numerous websites for an “experimental” move off of Islandnet.com (after almost 18 years with them…) after many technical hiccups, slow downs, the occasional Ddos attacks etc – it was simply time for a change.

Do not get me wrong – Islandnet has been great – it has been puzzling to me why (for me) that are the slowest loading pages on the internet. My customers and readers simply cannot wait 10 to 20 seconds – sometimes minutes for the pages of my sites to load. Additionally, I will be keeping my Islandnet accounts very much alive as instant back up for my own new ISP that I have created – I do still believe in product loyalty and keeping “largely good” relationships intact.

So, I have moved over to Linode.com where I am my own ISP maintaining my own virtual cloud servers – 10 times the firepower and arguably 5 times the speed – for around the same coin – with tons of space to spare.

My bottom line folks is keeping my websites fast and accessible to my readers – no excuses, no technical foul ups, no mysteries…

I do not “do the web” merely as a pass time. I have a message and lots of media to share – and if there are black-outs, I want to be the one responsible for it.

Enjoy the new experience on DXer.ca and Coffeecrew.com for starters. More to come.
And now I can concentrate on getting some new content out there. Thank you for your patience!

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Shaming the forum/comment referral spammers - chapter 1 · 23 February 2013 by colin newell

Forum spam and website defacement in the form of comment/blog/forum unsolicited shills and ads cost webmasters and editors millions of dollars a year.

I got so fed up with it on one of my websites that I instituted a new registration policy that requires an authentic e-mail address for the user to post anything on my site – As a result I have been regularly harvesting the most notorious of these vandals – with fresh e-mails ready to post to sites like: http://www.stopforumspam.com/ their mission to out these shameful crumbs and the large corporations that they work for.

Stop Forum Spammers now!

Here are some examples of actual authenticated e-mail addresses that were used to register on one of my websites that would likely vandalize, deface and spam my forums with referral ads:

[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected] (username – buy zithromax ) – [email protected][email protected]

Forum and comment spammers cost us web folks millions of dollars in clean up every year – they are the lowest form of life on the World wide web and need to be shamed and stopped. They benefit by riding on the success of popular websites and are, sadly, a common method for large corporations to cheaply get their message out.

I have e-mailed hundreds of companies over the years asking why they roam the internet defacing websites to improve their bottom line: Quite often they respond with “We did not know this was going on…” or “We will definitely get to the bottom of this!” I have even been threatened with a law suit after outing a series of forum spammers on the very website they were spamming!

Like I said, they are the lowest form of internet life.

How can you help? Visit support sites like StopForumSpam and out these hucksters and their billionaire partners.

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The fun of electronics and the bomb scare that never was · 2 December 2012 by colin newell

I had a couple of 1st year students (apparently from the music department) come in to my shop a few weeks ago seeking advice on soldering some parts together to make a “pocket theremin” kit — a noise maker that is light sensitive.

Neither of them had much, if any experience in electronics or soldering things together. Their bag of parts included two integrated circuits, resistors, capacitors, a speaker, some light sensitive cells and a battery. They were missing several bits of modern electronics to hold it all together – a circuit board.

I gave them a primer on soldering and electronics and we all mutually decided that it would be in our best interest for me to assemble the circuit quickly using some modern technology. Which I did. I assembled the circuit successfully (and threw in a electronic engineering development circuit board) and much to my delight, it worked like a charm. In the dark, the little unit was completely quiet. As it was exposed to light it would squeal like a demon.

The gals reappeared within a few hours and checked out my creation.

They were delighted. Smiles and squeals all around, the gals vanished with the device (ostensibly for a project in their department…) and that was the last I heard of it. I never even got their name but I did leave them with a couple of personal cards if they needed any additional assistance – and I put the circuit in a cute little box… that had my shipping info on it.

The following Monday I got a call from a senior student in the music department that found the device outdoors near an entrance to one of the University buildings. Look at the video. It could have been mistaken for a small bomb – but it was not. The box that had the device in it I had provided for the circuit. It has some contact info on it – my contact info. Ironically, I recognized the University student who discovered the device and brought it to my attention. His 5 minutes of fame were from a recent viral hoax he and a friend had created. This whole thing started to smell like a fish market on a summers day.

I can just imagine a panicked call to campus security and the bomb squad – which was averted because a smart student found it first. Police. Bomb squad. Media. Yikes! Not good.

Moral of the story – be more careful about who you build and hand out electronic circuits out to. They seemed like good kids – and maybe the project was completed and they were discarding the product. Maybe they were trying to scare some friends. Maybe they wanted to create a viral video and everything went haywire. Who knows.

This was a perfect example of a University bomb scare that never happened because of some common sense responses from sensible people or foolish curiosity of a student or two. Still, I learned a lesson about giving out advice and technology that could potentially be misused.

Lesson learned.

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Frausters at work in B.C. Budget Rent-A-Car · 20 November 2012 by colin newell

Budget Rent a Car I curse youI think it’s odd with Budget Rent-a-car being in the news lately… allegedly scamming victim after victim to the tunes of tens of thousands of dollars — with nothing happening… no police investigation or law suits… that any one person could walk into a Budget Rent-a-car (and I am NOT advocating that anyone try this…) and say: “Give me $1000 right now and I will not ‘punish’ you…” Again: Do not try this… ever!

I am pretty sure the person would be tracked down and thrown in jail for 5 years or more – for theft, attempted theft, behavior contrary to public order etc…
Which I get. You would not do this in a bank or a Starbucks… and I believe that theft is theft.

Or (and I am not suggesting this…) if someone were to stand outside a Budget rent-a-car and bounce the occasional crab apple off of their windows –

I am pretty sure this person would be incarcerated and given a psych evaluation.

So. What is so upsetting about this, is that hundreds, if not thousands of British Columbian residents may have been victimized and scammed by a small assortment of rental car places in B.C. – and nothing happens to them – the excuse being tossed around: “Car rental companies are not regulated in British Columbia…”

Say what? I think criminal behavior is regulated in B.C. — I know it is for me and you… So why not Rental Car agencies? Word on the street this is more widespread in Canada.
From my personal experience: I have been renting from the same Rent a Car agency since the mid-eighties (AVIS rent a car) and I have nothing but gushing praise for them, hundreds of rentals and nary a blip — so, the bottom line is, these companies are capable of great service…. but somewhere along the way, some companies lose their moral compass – and I am not sure why.

Some more stories on this issue from the good folks at the CBCBudget employees reveal
BC Budget Rent a Car repair scams

Bottom line avoid Budget Rent a Car in B.C. until this issue is sorted out…
and PLEASE, do not hassle the hard working staff at Budget Rent a car and do NOT throw apples… and if you have been scammed, make sure you harass the crap out of your credit card company and be firm with your car agency – Some tips upon rental include – do a walk around with the rental agent and take lots of pictures with your iPhone – and be prepared to contest any fishy charges.

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Bonus blog - serving the social media masters - but why · 9 October 2012 by colin newell

Between my blog (right here), my coffee website and my radio-tech-geek site, I have upwards of 100K readers per month.

100 thousand. Unique readers.
And the stats to back it up.

But I consistently ignore the bigger audience (you folks out there in blog land)
in favor of spending my free time quipping on Twitter and posting the periodic axiom on Facebook.

But why? Why? WHY?

Well. I have been thinking about it.

Social media challenges in 2012Part of having 1800 twitter followers – which is a small number in the big scheme of things, is that I can attach a face to so many of these good people. It is, in fact, a conversation – a back and forth if you would. A kind of interaction that does not really happen as effectively on the Blogosphere. Unless of course the occasional blog reader chooses to comment on something – which is great. I LOVE comments.

Twitter is great. No question. But it can be frustrating at the same time. Every one of the 1800 followers is a sentient personality, with fabric, substance and real edges. Twitter is blog-3D. And a twitter writer needs to put substantially more energy into the 140 character snippets because you are trying to convey a focused thought and be aware that potentially several thousand sets of eyes might take a peek at your thought… and react to it… good or bad… in near real time.

So. I love twitter and my following readers.

And if twitter is fun (and not effortless) then Facebook is even more challenging and more frustrating… because you are preaching to a largely converted choir, who are going to be less tolerant to the spectrum of your (my) muse.

Meaning, as over the top as I can be on Twitter – as funny or unfunny as I can be – or as cynical or jaded, my thoughts are quickly lost in the conversation as other funnier quips move up the feed chain.

Not so much on Facebook. Things are moving a little slower – and I find it way easier to become impatient with my FB friends and likely they are experiencing the same thing about me. I am challenging at the best of times – and not always in a good way.

So. My big audience gets nixed more than occasionally. I guess it is about balance and managing all the social media tasks. I will most certainly talk more about this – because the discussion has merit and it’s an opportunity for me to dial it down a bit… and who in my social media circle would not want that!

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