For Sale: Dirt Devil Ultra Vision Turbo.

For Sale:  Dirt Devil Ultra Vision Turbo.
Price: Make an offer
"It Kinda Sucks" - John Hogenmiller, USMC

I once owned a regular Bissel bagged vacuum cleaner.  For the better part of a decade, I would turn it on and vacuum the floor. Before that, my sister owned the vacuum and did pretty much the same thing.  It was a rather boring device that picked up debris from the carpet and would place it in a bag.

Like all good things, this boring vacuum cleaner broke.  A plastic part that held the upright portion to the base developed a crack.  This prevented the belt from tightening properly, leading to breakages.  Perhaps some JB weld would have held this piece together.  However, we had received some money from our wedding and decided to replace this 10+ year old appliance.

We picked up a Dirt Devil Ultra Vision Turbo.  Robin had been saying she wanted something red, shiny, powerful, and fast.  I felt this "turbo" vacuum cleaner would fit the bill.  As we began using it, I often thought back to how boring the old Bisell was compared to this new vacuum.  You see, Dirt Devil had done some research and found that most people found vacuuming to be a boring job.  In a survey, 93% of all respondents stated that they would rather do "anything else" than vacuum.  Dirt Devil decided to change all this.  They had all the data.  People hated vacuuming.  The Ultra Vision Turbo was designed: not so much with vacuuming in mind - but to challenge people.
That's right.  Before getting this vacuum, it had never occured to fight with my vacuum.  It never occured to me to question its functionality.  Dirt Devil has changed the way I look at vacuuming.  The first thing I noticed when we first used it was that it seemed to only pick up half the dirt.  In fact, I often had to question if it was picking up the dirt or if it was just spreading it around.  I knew that if I turned it off in one room and carried it to another, dirt from the first room would be deposited in the second.  This was part of the mental challenge.

The next thing I noticed was that it was constantly getting clogged.  With the older bagged vacuums, air flowed through a 1" x 3" straight plastic chamber to the bag.  With the new bag-less (and even most of the bagged) vacuums, this is replaced with a 1.5" diameter bendy hose.  This feature isn't specific to Dirt Devil, but it does an amazing job of trapping dirt, lint, and dog hair in each bend.  The cool thing that Dirt Devil did is that they require you to use a philips screwdriver to remove the hose enough to unclog it.  You can plan on doing this at least once for every two times you vacuum.

The other nifty feature of this vacuum is a thin, fragile belt.  The thin belt is crucial.  If you had a durable belt like the older vacuums did, you might never have to replace it.  Our last vacuum had the same belt for over 10 years -- the original belt from the store.   With the Dirt Devil, you get to replace the belt once a year or more.  The vacuum currently needs its third belt in under two years.  Much like the last time I went to pick up one of these belts from the store, Wal-Mart is sold out.  They are a hot commodity.  They have the same exact vacuum, some filters, and an empty peg where the belts would go.  It's a lot like new game consoles being sold out everywhere, but for all eternity.
Sometimes.. you just don't know what the problem is.  In this case, you do exploratory maintenance.  This involves taking the vacuum apart and cursing at it until it works again.

So if you're looking for a vacuum that needs maintenance as much as your floor needs vacuumed, the Dirt Devil Ultra Vision Turbo is for you.   I picked up a Bissel bag-less.  I would have got the bagged version, but I saw it had the same hose setup as the bagless.  It did get the clogged hose, but the hose is transparent.  I can see the clog.  It lets me stretch the hose out to get the clog moving again.  It also picks up all the dirt I can see or feel with my bare feet.  It fails to dump dirt from one room into another.  It is.. a boring vacuum.

Sending messages using xmpppy

In continuing working with XMPP and Python, I managed to get xmpppy

This proved to be particularly tricky because xmpppy uses some outdated
modules like md5 and sha.  It also relies on some dns functions which no
longer seem to work.

I was able to use the sample script "" that the project
provides.  The big thing is that I had to specify and
the port number directly in the connect command.

If I did not specify the servername, I would get the error:
 An error occurred while looking up

NOTE: DNS is configured correctly for the domain I was practicing with,
but the xmpppy code was not able to resolve it.

To run the script, simply execute;

./ [email protected]  text to send

The Script:


$Id:,v 1.8 2006/10/06 12:30:42 normanr Exp $

import sys,os,xmpp,time

if len(sys.argv) < 2:
    print "Syntax: xsend JID text"

text=' '.join(sys.argv[2:])


jidparams['jid']='[email protected]'
jidparams['password'] = '123456'


con=cl.connect(('',5222),  use_srv=False)

if not con:
    print 'could not connect!'
print 'connected with',con
if not auth:
    print 'could not authenticate!'
print 'authenticated using',auth

cl.SendInitPresence(requestRoster=0)   # you may need to uncomment

this for old server
print 'sent message with id',id

time.sleep(1)   # some older servers will not send the message if you
disconnect immediately after sending