November 2003 Archives
November 21, 2003

Hike at Calico Tanks

Steven at Calico Tanks, Red Rocks State Park near Las Vegas, Nevada

I've uploaded the only two images I've taken with my digital camera during the relatively short hike Steven and myself took at Calico Tanks in Red Rocks State Park, just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

The rest of the shots are on slide film that still waits to be developed. Last night I developed 4 of the 8 films, and this evening I'll do the other 4. I didn't have time to look at the slides yet, I'll be doing this tonight after mounting them.

Hiking very early in the morning is great. Steven and I woke up at 4am to go hiking and take lots of pictures. We came back around 11am, with still plenty of time left in the day to do useful things, including giving my presentation on the Cocoon control flow.

Posted by ovidiu at 10:06 AM |
November 19, 2003

ApacheCon 2003 slides

Cocoon | Open Source

I've uploaded the slides for my ApacheCon 2003 session on the Cocoon control flow. The presentation describes the work I've done in Apache Cocoon to use continuations in programming Web applications.

I was looking at a similar presentation that I've done in November 2002 at Cocoon GetTogether in Ghent, Belgium, and I noticed with great surprise that all of the items on the todo list were implemented since then. Quite impressive! Especially since all of the items on the todo list were contributed by people other than me ;)

Posted by ovidiu at 10:43 PM |
November 17, 2003


Open Source

I arrived in Las Vegas last night, after the plane was delayed in San Jose for about 5 hours. Had I known that, I would have taken a later flight. Oh well...

Around 9pm I met with Steven, Bruno, Gianugo, Stefano, Gregory ?, and Pier. We had dinner at a spanish restaurant in Venice - the fake one of course.

I was pleasantly surprised to meet Steven again after last year's Cocoon GetTogether. He's a really great guy, last year we didn't have much time to talk. We discussed at great length about the flow engine, especially about the Rhino engine.

Today I woke up at 4:20am and headed to Valley of Fire, about an hour drive NE from Las Vegas. I spent a great deal of time driving around and taking some shots very early in the morning. The weather was cloudy very early in the morning, but around 7am the clouds broke up. I went on few small hikes through few red-rock canyons, and finally headed back around 12:20pm.

I'm now attending Stefano's talk on the dynamics of virtual communities. He's presenting his work on Agora, a tool for visualizing the links within the Apache community. Interesting stuff.

Next session I want to attend is Steven's introduction to Cocoon. He decided to stay at the hotel, rather than coming with me in Valley of Fire, to polish his presentation. In retrospective, I think he made a good decision, I'm very tired after getting only 4 hours of sleep.

Posted by ovidiu at 02:32 PM |
November 10, 2003

Intuit's deceiving business practices


Today I received an email from Intuit that confirmed an order for TurboTax Premier Home & Business for Mac for Tax Year 2003. The only problem is that I did NOT place such an order!

I bought the 2002 version back in February. I was totally disappointed by their software and returned it to them for refund shortly after I bought it. And I'm still waiting for the refund to come!

So what happened today? According to their email, I placed an order on their Web site for the new 2003 version of their program. This is amazing, since I did not do such a thing! They charged the credit card I used in February to buy the software, without me giving them such an authorization!

Date: Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:40:41 AM US/Pacific
To: email removed Subject: Your Shop Intuit Order Confirmation Dear Ovidiu Predescu, Thank you for placing an order with Shop Intuit today! We have received your order, and it is currently being processed. Your order information appears below. Order # removed Order Date: November 10,2003

Quantity Item Price ----------------
-------------------------------------------- ---------------- 1
TurboTax Premier Home & Business for Mac for Tax Year 2003 w/ free
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 / Print Shop
CD-ROM for Mac $79.95 1 TurboTax State for Mac - CA - 2003
DOWNLOAD for Mac $0.00 ----------------
-------------------------------------------- ----------------
Subtotal: $79.95 Shipping: $0.00 Sales Tax: $6.60 Total for this
Order: $86.55

Bill To: Ovidiu Predescu
address removed Ship To: Ovidiu Predescu address removed Shipping Method: Standard Payment Type: removed e-mail Address: email removed We will send you an e-mail when your order has shipped. You can track the status of your order by going to our Order Status tool at You'll need to have your order number and zip code handy to check the status. Or, if you have a Shop Intuit account, you can do even more with your orders online. Go to to: - View your order history - Track your order status - Change or update your account information - Cancel unshipped orders If you have other questions about your order or need additional help, try checking out our Customer Service section at Thanks again for shopping with us. Shop Intuit Customer Service Please note: This e-mail was sent from an auto-notification system that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

It's just amazing to see to what tactics this company resorts to in order to sell its crappy TurboTax software!

I first tried to cancel the "order" I supposedly place with them. The order number however doesn't exist, so there's nothing I can cancel! Their customer service is available 8am to 5pm, when I'm not going to spend my time and my company's time on the phone with them.

I called the credit card company to see what I can do about this. The customer service rep told me they'll be able to act only when the charge actually appears on the credit card. This should happen once they ship the package, another few days perhaps.

I imagine I'm not the only one their doing this to, so I was wondering if there is any way of stopping them from such practices.

In any case, if you ever think of using TurboTax, think twice before giving your credit card to their online shop! Given their deceiving business practices, I would seriously consider doing any business with them! Screw Intuit!

Posted by ovidiu at 07:24 PM |
Cool stuff
  Arduino TinyWebServer: part 3 and part 2
More from me
Picture gallery
Copyright © 2002-2016 Ovidiu Predescu.