December 31, 2006
Exercise Probably Helps as well
Health Offline as an article on 11 tips to boost your metabolism. My metabolism has taken a dive over the last couple years. It is bad enough that I have gotten pretty good at noticing which exercises, activities, and eating habits speed it up and slow it down.
December 12, 2006
This is just a post. Currently I am …
This is just a post. Currently I am writing it from with-in the Google Docs & Spreadsheets application. The reason I am trying it out is that it looks like a useful way to add blog posts, that I can publish outside my blog, with a built-in spell checker. So here we go:
Testing… testing… one.. two.. three..
November 30, 2006
At Least C# isn’t a copy of anything
Someone at Reddit posted this wonderful list of innovative Microsoft products. When most people make positive comments about the software giant, they generally say things like “sure they are a monopoly but think of all the great technology they have created.” While I have a great deal of respect for the company that Microsoft is, it is important to realize that, much like Dell, they almost NEVER creates innovative new technology. In the last 5 years (post dot.com bust) computer start-ups and open source advocates have done more to advance cutting-edge information technology than Microsoft has done during the entire course of their existence. This doesn’t make Microsoft a good company; it doesn’t make them a bad company. It is just a fact of history.
November 29, 2006
Suse RPM #2
Quick link that I meant to post a long time ago. Seemed relevant for some reason.
Suse has NOT made me happy lately. I built my first Suse box at the new job, and then (not a day later) they go and make this agreement with Microsoft. Why is it that Novell can never seem to learn from the failures in it’s own history, or the results of dealing with Microsoft in Linux’s history, OR the effects of this kind of deal in Microsoft’s history. I need a new distribution.
November 27, 2006
It is finally done
So I finally finished Ulysses. I have been poking at it for the better part of 18 months; the longest time I have ever spent reading a single book. It’s not simply that it is an intellectually challenging book, but the book itself is something like a garden path sentence in that reading it straight through causes you to miss much of the underlying meaning.
Ulysses holds another distinction for me; it is the first book I have ever read the cliff notes for. I purchased the cliff notes because I desired to have a dialog about what I was reading. The cliff notes didn’t allow for the give-take of discussion but they did provide an additional view of some of the symbolism in the book.
So, what is my recommendation? I will never read the book again; but I am keeping my copy as it is an amazingly quotable book. I would NOT recommend it to most people but if 1) you enjoy total literary immersion and 2) you have a group of like-minded piers to discuss it with; then it could be an interesting cognitive exercise.
Overall, Ulysses is something of a mixed bag. Like puberty, I am glad I did it; but I wouldn’t want to have to do it again.
November 21, 2006
What We Say
It should be noted that no ethically-trained software engineer would ever consent to write a DestroyBaghdad procedure. Basic professional ethics would instead require him to write a DestroyCity procedure, to which Baghdad could be given as a parameter.
–Nathaniel S Borenstein
[The BLINK tag in HTML] was a joke, okay? If we thought it would actually be used, we wouldn’t have written it!
Pointers are like jumps, leading wildly from one part of the data structure to another. Their introduction into high-level languages has been a step backwards from which we may never recover.
November 14, 2006
The Fast and the Futile
Windows is SLOW… Don’t get me wrong, it’s not too bad when you first boot a cleanly formatted system with nothing running by default, but after you install your first dozen applications; it really starts to drag. I suppose it’s not really Microsoft’s fault that Hewlett Packard decided you need to have six new services, two tray icons, four desktop icons, and a start menu entry just to install a printer driver. Here are a few links to “fix” Windows XP (a number of them apply to 2000 as well) when it starts getting a little snail like.
- 23 ways to speed up WinXP without defrag. –A simple and fairly complete list for making XP faster.
- Bob’s Windows Page –Huge list of Windows options, settings, and configurations.
- 10 Simple Ways to Speed Up WinXP –A good beginner’s guide. Basically a simplified (and much smaller) version of the above two links.
November 10, 2006
The Dark Side
Once you travel down the path, forever will it dominate your destiny. I am actually going to post some information useful for working with Windows! I never thought I would see the day but here I am and here it is.
While I am absolutely positive that everyone else in the world is already familiar with this command; I just discovered it. From the Windows Run command type “msconfig” to get a list of processes that start on boot and initialization information. Also check out Autoruns. It’s a tool for removing startup applications (and other software) that doesn’t respond to “normal” removal techniques, ala qttask.exe…)
Keep it Quiet
I have 4 computers running in my “man cave” at home, and another couple scattered around the house. Withe so many computers running all the time, the noise level of these things has become more apparent for me. Thankfully there is a robust market of silent PC upgrades available for the decerning computer geek. Check out this list of the top 5 silent computer upgrades.
November 9, 2006
I breif History of ~
Subverting your homedir is an article covering setting up, managing, and using subversion for your home directory. It’s based on a similar article published a couple years ago describing in detail how to manage your home directory with CVS. This just adds the extra goodness that Subversion provides.
The benefits for those who go through the settup work are 1) a complete history of all changes to your personal files, configuration settup, and documents, 2) Multiple redundant backups of your data, 3) Access to all (or just part) of your personal settings/documentation from anywhere there is an internet connection, 4) Automatic configuration for any machine you have access to, 5) and The ability to delete files at any time from any location your using your SVN home settup (because the files are never really gone forever… they are just “retired” to SVN.)
November 3, 2006
Math is Funny
I just found xkcd on reddit and have spent the last 30 minutes pissing my pants. This is the comic that got my attention. The funny part is that everyone I know who has had an upper level math class with Dr. Browning has actually said those exact words.
November 2, 2006
I’ve Read Four
Wil Wheaton, well known geek and Star Trek actor, has listed his five most important books for geeks to read. Authors like Isacc Asimov and William Gibson have basically defined science fiction as we know it; while authors like Bruce Sterling have helped define a social sub-group. It’s a good list if you want to start understanding the hacker culture.
The article is also nice enough to link to one of the books (The Hacker Crackdown has been free for almost its entire life) and to a website of ascii porn… Nice of Wil to cover all of the geek bases for us.
November 1, 2006
The New Job
I have been at the new job for a little over two weeks. It has been absolutely wonderful. So far there has been a high level of professionalism and support. While things have been almost insanely busy; the environment has made all of the work “doable.”
By the way, it is official. I have been doing Windows tech support for almost three weeks. BTW anyone who says the “Linux doesn’t dominate the desktop market because it’s too difficult to install and the hardware support is bad” has either NEVER installed Windows or NEVER installed Linux. At least not in the last five years. Easy to use MY ASS!
October 12, 2006
Last Day of my First Beginning
Almost a month ago I accepted a new job. Tomarrow (Friday the 13th) is my last day at the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS.) As I have plans for Friday night; this is my last lonely night at DPS.
DPS was my first “adult” job using skills that I actually went to college for. As such it will always hold a special place in my heart. The work I did here allowed for the incredible opportunity I have now; such as wouldn’t have been possible some place else.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been some pretty awful moments; but I will leave this place with more friends then when I came, some really wonderful memories, lots of new skills, and a very bright future. Most of all, DPS has taken good care of my family over the last six years, and that is the most important thing you can say about a job.
Thank you everyone for the support; both in finding a new job and with surviving the one I had. By the next Vault post, I will most likely be working at Cobb.
September 21, 2006
“Some people go their entire lives never knowing if they have made a difference. Marines don’t have that problem.”
“Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.”
“Blood that has soaked into the sands of a beach is all of one color. America stands unique in the world: the only country not founded on race but on a way, an ideal. Not in spite of but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world.”
“The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.”
“Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal. It was Mussolini’s success in Italy, with his government-directed economy, that led the early New Dealers to say “But Mussolini keeps the trains running on time.”"
“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
“I notice that everybody who is Pro-Abortion already has been born.”
“No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”
September 20, 2006
Now I feel old
Today I turned 30. My wife said to me “Bobby, what’s wrong. You look awful!” She then quickly followed up with, “Oh yah, you turned 30 today.”
I gave her a dirty look. She laughed and said, “Relax, I’m just kidding. You looked awful yesterday too.”
September 16, 2006
From the ABCNews article “Muslims demand apology for Pope’s speech“.
“Middle Eastern leaders and analysts have warned of a potentially violent backlash in the region to the Pope’s remarks implicitly linking Islam to violence.”
Well, now I am convinced Islam is a religion of peace.
September 3, 2006
Links, Links, and more Links
This is possibly the most random group of links I have ever posted. Hopefully I will get back to posting real articles in a couple days.
- The Ubuntu Guide. Useful information for other Linux distributions as well. Like getting buttons 4 & 5 working on a mouse.
- IE 4 Linux — A drop and install version of IE for Linux. Uses a pre-configured, pre-built version of wine to work. Requires no outside wine configuration to get working. Perfect for web developers who need to test IE support for their websites on Linux.
- Upstart– A dependency-based system replacement for init on Unix systems. Works to solve dependancy startup issues by “pausing” a service until it’s needed resources become available. In this way it’s more intelligent than the more common init replacement, Initng.
- Advice to students– By Peter Norvig to the 2006 graduating class of UC Berkley CompSci department.
- Industry vs. Education– YES!!! One I kinda remember something about. This is a brain dump from a guy who has experience working for a univerity (doing research) and then working for a business (also doing research.) Covers the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches to knowledge gathering.
- No Sympathy for Students– A college professor lists the top ten things he ignores on end of semester course questionnaires. GREAT comment on what is wrong with entitlement students and how they view education.
- The Dutch Wind Carpet– The Dutch Wind Carpet is the largest off-shore wind farm in the entire world. It has a max capacity of some 2,500 MW of power. This article has some really interesting information on the coast/benefit breakdown of the carpet along with its overall weaknesses (not the least of which is an average 20% output from full capacity.)
- HowTo Build KDE4– The first developers build of KDE was released a couple weeks ago. This describes how to get it built on your Linux system.
- Kerberos & LDAP– Using these two technologies for centralized management of an enterprise system.
- Reason and Logic– GÃ¶del and the limits of logic. Rundown of his life and the problems he discovered with number theory.
- Two Dogmas of Empiricism — Willard Van Orman Quine’s famous attack on logical positivism.
August 29, 2006
Boys Will be Boys
Public school education, these days, strongly favors girls over boys. The evidence for this is a little overwhelming. SAT scores, graduation rates, college attendance, and grades have all become the primary domain of women. In that light, here is an article from City Journal by
August 14, 2006
More Than Meets the Eye
Ben Mayers (aka icefox of KDE fame) has just finally put up his opus magnum. Toybin is a list of all Gen 1 transformers. It show pictures of all the original toys, manuals, accessories, and even has a search function that understands things like “green truck.” I don’t know about you, but I cried when Optimus Prime died.