Tuesday, 22 April 2008, 18:52:55 EDT
"Healthcare is not a privilege. It's a right." -- Heather Arnet
Wrong! The only time anything close to "healthcare" is mentioned in the United States Constitution is in the one sentence preamble:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
"Welfare" does not mean healthcare. Yes, it has to do with your health. But look at the full clause: "promote the general Welfare." That doesn't mean you are guaranteed to be healthy and happy from the day you are born until the day you die. It means the United States government, as established by the constitution that follows the preamble, will not do anything to prevent you from being healthy and happy. It in no way implies the government is there, nor obligated, to make you healthy and happy.
This healthcare issue is probably the most infuriating one being discussed in the presidential campaign. I agree that healthcare is too expensive. But that doesn't make it my responsibility to pay for your healthcare.
Let's examine the problem. Before health insurance people were expected to pay all of their own medical bills. Let's say you broke your leg and need a doctor to set it and cast it. Under the original model, the money comes out of your pocket. Simple. But then someone got the bright idea to "insure" you against such accidents for a monthly (or some other annual) fee. Now when you break your leg the insurance company will pay the bill. Awesome right? Hell no.
Think about it. Instead of a one time fee, you pay someone, who is not a doctor, an annual fee just in case you happen to break your leg. So now the doctor is getting paid by someone who has a lot more money than you (because they presumably insure many more people than just you). What is the doctor going to do? He's going to raise his prices because now his client can afford to pay more. Oh, but now the insurance company is going to raise the rate it is charging you to make up for the increased expense at the doctor. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum.
Doctors are now charging exorbitant amounts for their services because they expect you will have a giant corporation paying your bill (and all of the people charging him outrageous prices for his supplies sin ... (view rest)
Monday, 18 February 2008, 22:03:22 EDT
Obviously, that will be an issue both for Blacks and Whites, and one of the things my candidacy has surfaced is people have some confused views, both in the White community and the African American community about this. But what it does say is I think the vast majority of Americans right now, what they want to know is how are you going to help me hang on to my house now that the sub-prime lending crisis is in full force?
What are you going to do to help me deal with my job now that the plant moved to China? How can I save for my child's college tuition and my own retirement at the same time? And if I can answer those questions effectively in the last few months of this campaign, then we have an excellent chance of getting this nomination.
Barak Obama on the Tavis Smiley show. Maybe I misunderstand Article II, but I don't think any of those things are the responsibility of the president. In fact, I think every single one of those things are the responsibility of the individual. You took out a loan to buy a house you can't afford? You lost your job and didn' ... (view rest)
Thursday, 05 July 2007, 09:30:12 EDT
I'm fed up with stores insisting on a minimum purchase amount. This morning I was told I couldn't buy a Tropicana juice and a Little Debbie snack because the price total was under $3.00. Evidently, the store I was at will not accept MasterCard, unless it is a debit card, for sales under $3.00. I told the cashier that he can't charge a minimum amount, it is against the merchant rules, and he said "I know. I'm just going by store policy." I simply put up my wallet and walked out.
No more! Now, I will hand them a second card. If I am trying to pay with a Visa card, the card I will hand them says "Page ten of the Visa merchant rules states: "Always honor valid Visa cards, in your acceptance category, regardless of the dollar amount of purchase. Imposing minimum or maximum purchase amounts is a violation." If you refuse to make the sale, I will write a letter to Visa informing them of the violation." If I am trying to pay with a MasterCard card, the card I will hand them says "MasterCard merchant rule 9.12.3: "Maximum/Minimum transaction amount prohibited. A merchant must not require, or post signs indicating that it requires, a minimum transaction amount to accept a valid MasterCard card." If you refuse to make the sale, I will write a letter to MasterCard informing them of the violation."
I know that it is a proprietor's right to refuse business with anyone they choose. But if they are going to refuse my business because of the way I want to pay, and because of the amount I owe, I will not let it slide. It is not my problem if they have made a bad deal with whatever agency they have signed up with to handle credit card transactions. If they are not aware of the merchant rules established by the credit card companies, I will be educating them. If they are aware, then they will have to live up to them or face whatever penalties may be imposed when I complain.
If you would like a copy of these cards I am making them available in a PDF — Merchant Rules Cards. I made the cards the same size as a credit card minus one millimeter on each side. There is an outline provided to make cutting easy. Simply cut ... (view rest)
Saturday, 30 December 2006, 16:48:32 EDT
Don't get a sinus cold in Georgia. You'll be considered a criminal if you try to get over-the-counter medication for it. From House Bill 19 (2006): Any person purchasing, receiving, or otherwise acquiring any product, compound, mixture, or preparation containing any detectable quantity of pseudoephedrine, its salts or optical isomers, or salts of optical isomers shall produce photo identification showing the date of birth of the person and shall sign a written log or receipt showing the date of the transaction, name of the person, and the amount of the product, compound, mixture, or preparation purchased, received, or acquired.
Why? Because if you have a significant quantity of pills, you can extract enough pseudoephedrine to manufacture methamphetamine. The pseudoephedrine in the cold medication causes the nasal passages to open a little wider so that the person can ... (view rest)
Thursday, 12 October 2006, 18:50:50 EDT
Sometime in 2004 either Best Buy or CompUSA, I can't remember which, had an awesome deal on Seagate hard drives. I had two Western Digital drives in my machine at the time; one was an old drive I had used for a primary drive, but was then using as a storage drive, and the other a newer drive. The storage drive was at least three years old and the primary at least two. So I decided to buy one of the Seagate drives to replace my primary drive and finally retire the aging storage drive (I gave it to my roommate and I believe he is still using it). Well, this past June my Seagate drive developed a few hundred bad sectors and I had to ship it off to Seagate for a replacement. They got the drive on the twenty-seventh of June and were not able (out of stock they said) to send me a replacement until August 18. When I got the drive on August 22 it was 20GB short of the drive I sent them; I sent them a 140GB drive and they sent me a 120GB in return! I never even broke the seal on the anti-static bag before getting a new RMA authorization. It took them another two weeks to get the correct drive to me. About three days ago this replacement drive started chirping. That's right, the drive sounds like a damn bird. The Western Digital drive that used to be my primary drive, and became my storage drive when I bought the Seagate, is still working and has yet to show signs of imminent failure. Can you guess what I am going to do to fix the Seagate drive? Yep. I'm going to buy a new Wester ... (view rest)
Monday, 04 September 2006, 14:57:29 EDT
I was going to spend today catching up on homework. Instead, I spent most of the day dealing with some bullshit. Sometime last night someone decided to chunk a brick at my truck. It broke out the passenger window (which I had replaced about a year and half ago), damaged the window frame, and dented the door in such a fashion that a new window can't be put it without the dent being fixed. It seems that someone drove by the parking lot and threw the brick from the car as they were moving; glass was in the handle of the driver side door and the imprint of the brick is too deep to have been thrown from a standstill. I filed a report with the police, but I have no hope of them finding the responsible party. I doubt they will even try. No, that was mainly for my own satisfaction. Though, if by some miracle they do find a responsible party, it will make the cost of this crap a little easier to bear.
This has already cost me a good bit and is definitely going to cost me a lot more. I spent a couple hours cleaning up the glass from the parking lot and out of my truck. I had to go spend $3.00 on a coin operated vacuum to get a majority of it out. I know that the window is going to be around $200 - $300 itself. The body work is probably going to equal that amount. I was hoping to use the remainder of this semester's student loan to pay down some credit card bills ... (view rest)
Monday, 05 June 2006, 18:10:39 EDT
"There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. ... The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic. ... There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else." -- Theodore Roosevelt, October 12, 1915.
I saw this quote in some guy's signature yesterday when searching newsgroups for some information regarding spark plugs. According to the venerable Wikipedia (a little joke there) this is an accurate quote. Since trusting a signature in a random Usenet post is not the best grounds for making an argument I did some searching to verify its validity. The first link I came to was the Wikipedia article Hyphenated Americans. Whether or not Wikipedia is more reliable than a Usenet post I won't go into here. I believe it is good enough in this instance. Also, in that article is this quote from Woodrow Wilson: "Any man who carries a hyphen about with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic whenever he gets ready." I like that one too.
I happen to agree with the good Theodore Roosevelt about hyphenated Americans. I think that if you are an American citizen, particularly by birth, then you should be proud enough of that citizenship to call yourself "American." If you are a naturalized citizen I can understand the hyphenation on occasion to denote whence you immigrated. I think in most contexts that is acceptable and not showing allegiance to the mother country. But when someone who was born here, their parents were born here, and their family for generations, refers to themselves as a hyphenated American I get a little upset. In fact, no other hyphenated American term gets me as riled up as the increasingly popular "African-American."
Back in January a friend wrote a post on his web site in which he referred to himself as an African-American. I had never heard him do this before and was intrigued. We later had a discussion about it during one of our card games. I don't think we really came to an understanding of the term in each other's views. If I am recalling correctly (correct me if I am wrong Chris), he has started to accept the term as a social moniker in that it is now more appropriate to refer to a black person as African-American just as it was once more appropriate to refer to such a person as colored instead of negro (I could be wrong on that one too). I completely disagree with this point of view for a variety of reasons. First, not all black people are from Africa (including ancestry). Calling someone from Jamaica an African-American, when they might not even be an American, is just plain abs ... (view rest)
Monday, 17 April 2006, 19:51:21 EDT
"People called it Ozzie Ball. It's not Ozzie Ball. It's fucking baseball." — Ozzie Guillen in an interview for Playboy (May 2006).
The interviewer was questioning Ozzie about the way the White Sox played ball, and won, last year (2005). They were the first team to lead their league from opening day to closing day (of the season) since the 1927 Yankees, the only other team to have done it, did it. That is seventy-eight years, by the way. Why were they able to do this amazing feat? Because they played "fucking baseball." I absolutely love this quote. It seems to me that people are more worried about whether or not the players are going to blast homeruns all night instead of play baseball. Baseball isn't about the homeruns. Oh, they are awesome. Who doesn't love a homerun? But they aren't the whole game. A well timed, and executed, bunt is infinitely more important than a single homerun nine times out of ten. Fundamental baseball is beautiful when it is actually played. A team playing good fundamental baseball will make a homerun reliant team look silly.
That's what my favorite team does year after year. They play good baseball and win. They are the most consistent, constantly different, team in the history of all sports. The Atlanta Braves play baseball. That is why I get sick when I hear people like guys on Baseball Tonight on ESPN talk about the Braves. They are infatuated with the homerun, not baseball. For example, I was eating dinner at Smokey Bones last night (everything else was closed) and so I decided to listen to the baseball highlights over their table speaker. That was a mistake. They, of course, started a segment where they showed nothing but homeruns from the day and said little comments about them. When they showed Andruw Jones' homerun the mo ... (view rest)
Friday, 03 February 2006, 22:52:06 EDT
It seems that thirty years ago, Bill Gates wrote a letter to the Homebrew Computer Club. Essentially, he called everyone there thieves and asked them to pay him for the software they were using. He didn't feel he was being adequately compensated for his time in writing Altair BASIC. In the subsequent month's newsletter there was a response to his letter. The very last sentence of this letter is awesome: "And, by the way, calling all of your potential future customers thieves is perhaps "uncool" marketing strategy." It is the same way I feel about the book store on campus.
A couple years ago, the campus book store lost some books to someone with a backpack. Evidently, they couldn't keep an eye on people during the rush at the beginning of the semester. Their solution for their ineptness was to make people leave their backpacks, and laptop bags, in a room outside of the book store during the first couple weeks of the semester. Well, it didn't take too long before someone lost a laptop as a result of this stupid policy. Did that make them remove the policy? Nope, they just stationed someone in the room to check-in/out the bags. When the University Center opened, the book store decided to implement the policy full time. They decided to call every patron of their store a thief year-round — I stopped shopping there except for when I can't get my book any where else. I have only had to purchase one book from them since, and that was because I was unable to register until a couple days before classes started. I buy all my books online; mostly via campus-i.com.
I suppose this is one of the problems with a monopoly (even though MS wasn't then; they just always been morons). They feel like they can tell the consumer how high to jump and get away with it. The RIAA will eventuall ... (view rest)
Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 09:26:28 EDT
I haven't been very lively lately. A particular R.E.M. song sort of gets my recent mood; it is more extreme than my actual mood but it is similar. Any way, that is the reason there haven't been any posts recently — apathy. That is also why I haven't finished my gallery script. I got to the point where I need to parse sub-albums and just haven't felt like writing the code to do it. Plus, classes have started and the ones I am taking are not easy and are very time consuming.
Having said that bunch of garbage, I have a small rant to vent in Hewlett-Packard's general direction. I don't have a scanner, so I use one that is available in Student Software Support Services on campus. It is an HP ScanJet. Since it is a USB scanner I just plug it into my laptop and scan directly to my computer. Well, the scanner, being an HP product, isn't so simple to use where that is all I have to do to use it. I had to download a 50MB driver package, which comes with way more software than anyone needs, just to be able to scan with the scanner. I've had this stuff installed on my computer for a couple semesters now because I like to scan in my graded assignments and tests for future reference. That way I don't have to keep stacks and stacks of paper. When I first installed the software, it placed an application in my dock that automatically started every time I logged in. I quickly got rid of that; I don't want crap software starting up that I use only occasionally.
Thinking I was done with that, I went on my merry computing way until I need to track down a rogue process and noticed that the damn thing was still running on start up! It seems that HP really wants their "HP ScanJet Manager" to run all the time after it is installed. Evidently, the application just waits for buttons to be pressed on the scanner so it can intercept their signals and do fancy "one button scan" garbage. As I write this, it is using almost 7% of my processor's time to do absolutely nothing. In other words, HP installed a constant battery drainer on my computer. I finally got fed up enough with this program today to track down how I can prevent it from starting. There are a lot of old posts, one or two years old, on the internet that say to remove it from either a) "/Library/StartupItems" (which I didn't know existed) or b) your user profile startup items under system preferences. If the application were installed in "/Library/StartupItems" I would be able to delete it from that location and all would be well. If it were in my user profile, it would be as simple as highlighting the entry and clicking a remove button. Neither is the case.
Some time in the past couple of years (so it seems), Hewlett-Packard got crafty. They found an API called AutoLaunchedApplicationDictionary in Apple's Core Foundation classes. How did I figure this out? It wasn't too simple. There is no information, that I have been able to find, on the internet about this. First, I had to find the "HP ScanJet Manager" application since it isn't installed in a typical "startup location". Spotlight to the rescue! Using Spotlight from a finder window, I was able to find the application in "/Library/Application Support/Hewlett-Packard/HP Scanjet/Scanner". This directory contains three files: the offending program, an XML data file, and an application to install the offending program to the system startup items. Using ... (view rest)
Friday, 02 December 2005, 14:46:16 EDT
I just bought two books for the two courses I am taking next semester. Both used. On of them listed as being in "acceptable" condition. What did I pay? Oh, only $138.45. Isn't that awesome? One of the is 384 pages. What a bargain! If it weren't for Campus-i I would have spent three times that much in the campus book store (fuckers). Oh well, such is the rising cost of education. At least next semester I will finally be a junior and that much closer to graduation.
With that out of the way, let's talk about another gadget. My previous post was a lead-in for this one. Well, not the books part; I just ordered those and wanted to go ahead and complain. It was a lead-in for a review of Kinsington's Digital FM Transmitter for the iPod. I bought one of these about three weeks ago because I wanted to be able to listen to my iPod in my truck. I was going to hold off on getting one for a while but I decided that I was too sick of the radio and bought one earlier than I should have. I knew that this is the one I wanted because I read a couple reviews about it that gave it a thumbs up over any other available FM transmitter. One of these reviews said "good enough for car listening." I'm not sure what "good enough" is to that guy but I'm not sure I agree with him.
Before I get to that, though, I would like to cover some of the details about the transmitter. The name seems to imply that the device will broadcast music from an iPod with a digital signal. This is merely marketing. The "digital" aspect of the device is the digital display and tuner. Kensington makes another FM tuner that has three buttons and can only broadcast to three different channels. The "digital" transmitter can tune to a wide spectrum of FM frequencies; it can also store up to three favorite frequencies for quick access. I would not recommend going for the cheaper "non-digital" version of this product. Particularly if you live in an area with a cluttered FM band (e.g. the metro Atlanta area). The transmitter is not very strong and you will have to find a frequency that is not being used by radio station. In fact, you will want to find a frequency that is fairly isolated. If you are able to tune a step away from a station and still sort of pick it up then you will get really crappy quality from this transmitter, if any at all. There is probably a lot of mathematics about it that I don't know, but it seems there are specific frequencies that are really good for broadcasting a signal. Of course, almost all of the frequencies are being used by the radio stations. There seems to be a nationwide frequency, 87.9, that is reserved for things such as this transmitter but the transmitter won't tune to that frequency without using a trick. You can hold the second and third preset buttons and tune to any frequency in the 87 band but you can't set them to one of the preset buttons and the transmitter will conveniently forget about being tuned to one of those frequencies when you turn your vehicle off. The lowest station my radio will tune to is 87.9, and the transmitter is super clear over that frequency, but I can't use it — awesome. I did manage to find a frequency that works fairly well though. I can tune to 89.1 and get a decent, mostly static free, transmission. One thing that helped was figuring out that the cord from the transmitter to the iPod acts as an antenna. So you have to play with the physical positioning of your iPod, as well as the station you are broadcasting to, in order to get a good signal.
Thus bringing me to the "good enough" comment. The signal coming from the transmitter has the quality of an audio cassette without the hiss. Sounds are a bit muted and if you are not listening to a high bitrate audio file it is almost impossible to hear over road noise. I suppose if you don't h ... (view rest)
Wednesday, 02 November 2005, 22:32:07 EDT
There is going to be some insensitive bitching in this post. This post employs MLA style citations. You have been warned. Also, while composing this post I found out that my site had disappeared (technically, just the "james" subdomain). It is clearly back. It seems my hosting provider has been troubles today with the machine this site resides on and it magically lost part of my site. A kind gentleman at Bluehost restored everything without any fuss.
Fall Semester 2004, I took a history class on United States history since Reconstruction. The professor that taught the class has a policy of assigning each of his classes a book to read, and review, each semester. Every semester it is a different book. That semester he assigned Parting The Waters: America In The King Years 1954 – 1963 by Taylor Branch. I didn't like the book because it literally put me to sleep every time I tried to read it. I ended up writing my review having only read twelve of twenty-three chapters; I think I made a B on the assignment. I did manage to pick up a few bits of knowledge whilst suffering the portion of the book that I suffered. One of those bits happens to be about something in the news lately that they just won't shut up about — Rosa Park's famous bus ride. What do you hear on television, the radio, and read in print recently about this historic event? That Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. Is that the whole story? Hardly.
Have you ever heard of a woman named Claudette Colvin? I doubt it. On March 2, 1955, Miss Colvin refused to give up her Montgomery bus seat for some white passengers. She, a minor at the time, was hauled off the bus and arrested. Why haven't you heard about this? The black community leaders didn't think they could press a segregation case with Claudette because no one would back an unwed pregnant teenager who was prone to outbursts of profanity (Branch 120 - 123).
Before going on I would like to explain a bit about the bus segregation in Montgomery, AL at the time. The buses were essentially split into three sections: white [front], black [back], and "no man's land" (Branch 14). Basically, as white people boarded the bus they would fill in front-to-back and as black people boarded they would fill in back-to-front, meeting in the middle. The dividing line was arbitrary and imposed at the discretion of the bus driver. If the driver felt the the white section needed to extend further back he would do so, forcing anyone sitting in the then black, or limbo, area, now white area, to move back or stand as seating permitted. A completely retarded system and one that needed to be abolished, along with the rest of segregation, to be sure. But, thems was the breaks.
Okay, fast forward to December 1, 1955; the day Rosa Parks did exactly the same thing Claudette Colvin did — refuse to give up her seat in "no man's land." The only charge filed against her was that of "violating Alabama segregation laws." Long story short, Parks was a model citizen, other than this infraction, and just the person to become the poster child of bus desegregation. Knowing full well the danger of standing ground in this matter, she agreed to fight the charge. That is essentially the extent of her involvement — she consented to let others use her in a fight (Branch 128 - 131). Very brave and very ... (view rest)
Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 21:19:37 EDT
Another year gone by.
Twenty and six
have come and gone.
is on the run.
This is being posted later, way later, than I intended. I wanted to post this earlier in the day instead of an hour before it ends but the day conspired against me. I came up with that little "poem" a couple weeks ago and really wanted to use it for this post; I am not the poet, that would be my brother, so that is why my poem sucks. I'm not even sure how that one came to me. I was trying to get to sleep and it popped into my head. Any way, I left the poem at home this morning so I couldn't post from work. Then, when I got home my room mate and I went out to dinner and over to Best Buy where he surprised me by buying Midnight Club 3 for me; that, of course, sucked up the rest of my evening. The game rocks! So, here I am writing my birthday post at the end of the day. This turns out to be a good thing because it has given me an idea for these birthday posts. I am now going to try and write something about what has happened in the world on this day every year. Well, for as long as I keep this up any way.
First, I would like to thank everyone for making this birthday another good one. As I have already mentioned, James, my room mate, hooked me up with a game I have been wanting for quite some time. So, on with the others. When I got to work this morning I was told to seek out one of my old supervisors because she had something for me. It turns out she was baking me some delicious chocolate chip cookies. After lunch, my current supervisor walked into the office carrying a Great American Cookie Company cookie cake; I love those things. This evening, my Dad called to with me happy birthday, actually calling on my birthday for the first time in a long time; not that it bothers me when he doesn't, but it was still nice. Lots of other people wished me a happy one as well. I can't link to all of you or this post would go on for days, but you all know who you are. And, finally, me, my Mother, Grandfather, Grandmother, and little brother all went out last night for dinner at Pilgreen's (I got home too late tonight to have such a dinner on the actual day). There you have it. Lots of nice personal stuff that made the day nice.
Now for the "what happened today" part of the post. This morning it was announced that the major Atlanta area had been using fuel from its ten day reserve for the past two days. Hurricane Katrina knocked out power to a couple pumps that pump fuel through a couple supply lines that feed into Atlanta. These supply lines evidently provide a majority of the fuel in Atlanta. Upon hearing this news the major Atlanta area collective lost its mind. Everyone started running to the gas stations to fill up before the commodity became extinct in the area. It seems ... (view rest)
Thursday, 31 March 2005, 13:08:11 EDT
A week or so ago I mentioned that I would be adding a "favorite icon" to the site. It took a while because I can't draw and I am not talented enough with photo editors to do what I wanted. So, I asked Jason to draw one for me. He managed to find time to scan it in and send it to me last night so today there is an icon. Thank you, Jason, for the icon; it is perfect.
Speaking of video games, I have to rant a bit more on violence in video games, parents' lack of responsibility, and the government. On the fourteenth of this month Senator Hillary Clinton gave a speech concerning the media and its affect on children. Near the beginning of her speech she says, "And probably one of the biggest complaints I've heard is about some of the video games, particularly Grand Theft Auto, which has so many demeaning messages about women and so encourages violent imagination and activities and it scares parents." Of course, she has never played the game so her assesment of it is woefully inaccurate. Yes, the game is predicated on violence; but, the game is also satire which makes fun of the media! The very thing she wants to regulate is the very thing the game, which she doesn't seem to care for, ridicules.
Later in her speech she talks about how advitisers target young children with flash commercials about junk food and toys. She says, "And so it's a kind of real whammy. You get the child hooked, you know, into these ads and then the child, if you've ever been in a supermarket with a young child, becomes a very effective advocate just to be quieted in the cart. Go ahead and buy it so we can go ahead with the rest of our shopping." Am I the only one that recognizes the problem here? The child she is speaking of evidently has not been diciplined. The parent is probably the same parent that would buy their child a mature rated video game.
Senator Clinton advocates a cross media rating system that is "clear" so parents can judge what their ... (view rest)
Sunday, 20 March 2005, 18:40:53 EDT
I just canceled my World of Warcraft account. I have not actually played the game in at least a month. I have logged in a couple of times and done some miscellaneous stuff like sell items or quickly do a low level quest, but I have not played the game per se. I also have not felt any overwhelming desire to play recently. I do enjoy the game and I was looking forward to the upcoming player versus player content but it just isn't enough to keep me paying the monthly fee. And, after reading the latest update concerning the PvP system, I am not too jazzed up about that any more either; it seems that they are going to reward the people that can play non-stop and give people like me the cold shoulder. One of the reasons I purchased the game was the fact that it is supposed to cater to the casual player and not overly reward those that are more than casual. Besides, I have other things that I need to be doing.
In other news, I wouldn't be surprised if our government collapses in upon itself at some point in the future. It is a behemoth that can not seem to contain itself while, at the same time, it tries to be overly correct and not offend anyone. In case you have not heard, there is a special session of the House and Senate being held this evening to debate federal legislation as to whether or not an invalid should be allowed to live or die. It seems that our congress thinks this is a more pressing issue than, oh say, social security reform. If the issue is not a family issue then it is surely a state government issue and is most assuredly not a federal issue. Why they are even discussing this is beyond me — it isn't like she is paying taxes. Oh, that's right, it is a "moral issue" and we care more about christian morals in this country than about actually solving problems.
I am not sure what is worse, the fact that this issue is before the congress or the way the legislature members address each other. When I was watching the meeting this afternoon where they debated about possibly having ... (view rest)
Tuesday, 08 February 2005, 14:14:33 EDT
I regularly read a site called Slashdot. It used to be a rather good site for technical information; particularly, information related to open source software, mostly Linux. Since the Open Source Technology Group, formerly Open Source Development Network, bought the site it has increasingly become a pointless site to read. The site is woefully unmaintained and the founders of the site just don't seem to care about it any more. The people who approve new stories don't even bother to remember, or even check to see, if the story has been posted before. On top of all that, the stories are just plain lame ninety percent of the time. For example, a story was just approved that asks the Slashdot readers "how much they charge for technical support."
Granted, the site is for technical people and that is relatively on-topic, but come on, that is lame. If a someone cannot figure out what the going rate for a person of his qualifications is in his area then I don't think he is truly qualified fo ... (view rest)
Tuesday, 01 February 2005, 11:50:43 EDT
I touched up my friends links and my general links. Instead of the friends links pulling from the database and tracking clicks, they are now just standard links. For some reason the old page would randomly decide to not send you to the link but instead send you right back to itself. I have no idea why and don't really care to figure it out. As for the general links, I never really read two of the three "Daily Web Journal" links so I replaced that section with something a bit more interesting — mathematics links! I hope to add more links to the list as I come across more sites that impart mathmatical information in a way that is either intriguing or easy to understand. When I get stuck on a math problem I turn to Google and usually find something to point me in the right direction.
This past weekend I learned why I am not very excited about publicly available wireless access. It is a lovely dream, take your laptop to some location other than your house or work and actually be able to browse the internet and do other online things. What is my problem with it? If you don't live a major city, and I mean really live in it and not just say you do like everyone who lives "in Atlanta," then your possibilities of getting wireless access outside of the home or office are very slim. Sunday, I came to the conclusion that my apartment might be without electricity until some time during the week. So, I dragged my roommate around two towns looking for internet access so that I could do something other than walk around stores. We first tried Barnes & Noble in Morrow; I knew that wasn't going to work but I figured we would at least give it a shot since it would have been a comfortable environment. After sniffing out the SSID I connected to the network and proceeded to try and browse the web. What happened? I was greeted with a page asking for my username and password to Freedomlink with every web page I tried to visit. So now I have another reason to hate the yuppie bookstore — they charge for a service that other people provide for free to attract business. Good job BN!
There is no way I am going to pay $3.95 for internet access for two hours so we went over to the Dunkin' Donuts in Morrow. I got a donut and some juice and sat down to use the wireless. After I figured out the SSID I fired up GAIM to test out the connection. One of the instant message protocols connected and the rest hung up. After determining that I could ping the wireless router but all traffic was stopping there I talked with the people behind the counter. It seems they had just got on the phone with their tech people about a problem with their computer. Great. That was two down.
After Dunkin' Donuts we drove by campus to see if it was open. Sadly, public safety still had all the entrances blocked off. So, I continued on my quest to find internet access "in the wild" so to speak. There was one ... (view rest)
Friday, 21 January 2005, 16:29:12 EDT
Last semester I was able to acquire financial aid by appealing to the financial aid office. I had not been completing school fast enough for them to consider me a "good student" to support with financial aid. Well, my appeal was successful and I was granted financial aid on the stipulation that I not earn below a "C" average in any class. I finished the semester with a 3.0 GPA, as mentioned previously, so I figured I was good to go for the Spring 2005 semester. I registered for classes in December and made sure that my financial aid was covering the fees via the Digital University Campus Kiosk (DUCK); I was good to go. Wednesday, my calculus instructor mentioned an email that she had sent to the class email list which I did not recieve. So, after class I checked on the DUCK to see why I didn't receive the email. It turns out that I was no longer enrolled in any classes! This was a complete shock to me so I went up the registrar's office to learn why I was no longer enrolled in any classes. It seems that I was dropped from my classes because I never paid for them. The folks in the registrar's office called financial aid to inquire why I never paid for my classes and they said that I violated the terms of my appeal. After doing a little more inquiring I found out that financial aid views my not having passed the regent's test, a required test in the state of Georgia, as not having passed the regent's remedial class.
Let me explain this remedial class. Every student in the state of Georgia is required to take a test that covers reading comprehension and writing ability. You can take this test once a semester, every semester, without penalty until you complete forty-five hours of school credit. I was dumb enough to wait until I had completed forty-five hours before taking the test. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am not a very good writer (at least not when confronted with time and topic constraints) and thusly failed the test. So, last semester I was required to take RGTE 0199, the remedial writing, course. During the orientation for that course last semester the program coordinator discussed how they had changed the grading scale from the traditional four point scale to a "U" or "S" classification for "unsatisfactory" or "satisfactory" so as not to conflict with financial aid. I ended up failing the writing test for a second time and earned a "U" in the course. Well, when financial aid got my final grades from last semester last week they decided that the "U" constituted a failing of the course and a violation of my appeal; it doesn't matter that I probably would have made a "B" average in the class were they still on the four point scale. Keep in mind that the remedial class is nothing more than a class to teach you how to pass the test. This class does not affect your GPA or graduating credits. It is mandated by the state that you take the class if you do not pass their test.
So, I spent the better part of three hours Wednesday trying to figure out how to get this resolved. I ended up writing two letters of appeal: one to the financial aid director and one to the registrar's office. I appealed to the director of financial aid to get reinstate my aid because I was never informed that my aid was being revoked. I never received and email, phone call, or even an automated letter on the DUCK. They just refused to pay my tuition and proceeded to not give a damn if I knew about it. I had to write an appeal to the registrar's office in hopes that they would let me re-enroll in my overfilled classes and pay tuition today by 5:00PM EST. My appeal to the registar's office was successful, probably because they realized I was getting screwed, and I could pay my tuition plus a late fee today. My appeal to the financial aid director took a little more work though.
When I turned in my letter to financial aid one of the higher ups in that office sent an email to my old boss to inform her that I should hear a ... (view rest)
Friday, 01 October 2004, 15:49:25 EDT
Tradition. Tradition is defined as "a specific practice of long standing." Tradition is what the Jack Daniel's Black Label stood for. I say "stood for" because it no longer means anything near the definition of tradition. With no prior warning, not even so much as a press release, the corporation that now runs the iconic distillery has lowered the proof from 86 to 80; or, 40% alcohol by volume instead of 43%. My room mate told me about it yesterday but I refused to believe it. Sadly, he was correct. You can read all about it over at Modern Drunkard Magazine. The provide a link to an online petition that hopes to change the companies mind; my signature is number 4,370. According to the company that runs the distillery they lowered the proof because they feel people like a less potent drink today. I drink Black Label because I like the taste of it and the potentcy of it; I know what I am ... (view rest)
Monday, 12 July 2004, 19:04:54 EDT
What a conflicting day. It was a mixture of good and bad. It was good because I was finally able to do something at work other than find obscure locations to use the wireless connection; I helped install equipment in the two wiring closets on the first floor of the new University Center and tomorrow will be more of that just on another floor. Although, at the end of the day a curse that afflicts me arose. I seem to be cursed in that I break things without even trying; at least what I broke is easily fixed with some plastic epoxy. I still feel like a complete jackass for having broken something though. But, nothing to do about it now other than fix it.
Before I left for work I managed to completely mess up my FireFox configuration so I had to delete it this afternoon when I got home. While I was at it I decided to quit waiting on the person maintaining the Debian package and reverted to installing 0.9 to `~/bin/firefox`. I am a little disappointed that the flashblock and session saver extensions won't load but that will be fixed in due course. I am pleased, however, with the single window extension. It fixes the broken behaviour that almost every site out there seems to want to use — opening links in a new window. Links are not meant to be opened in a new window unless the user decides they should be. It is insanely annoying to have to switch between five different windows just because the website authors do not want you to leave their site. I hate to burst your bubble mister "you can click the links but you are going to stay here" site maintainer but if I want to leave your site then I am going to do so. When you open windows I didn't request then that is probably going to make me leave it quicker. Not quite as quick as if the site required a flash file that makes no sens ... (view rest)
Sunday, 25 April 2004, 23:01:55 EDT
I like baseball. Specifically, I like the Atlanta Braves. As often as possible I am watching or listening to the games. I think the announcers that the Braves employ are superb and they actually know something about baseball so their chatter is usually interesting. However, there is a problem. The Braves are under contract with ESPN and Fox Sports to air a certain number of games on their stations per season. This annoys me to no end. The announcers on these two stations are the lamest most annoying people I have ever had the displeasure to listen to. ESPN is especially annoying. They constantly put the game in a small window and show random stuff like people in the crowd or the damn television control room (and they don't always show the game in a small window). They also incesently try to sell just about everything imaginable; they love trying to sell HDTV stuff. No, I can' ... (view rest)
Wednesday, 14 April 2004, 22:56:33 EDT
I was going to write my opinion of a video game tonight. I was also going to talk about the new search feature I added. But, that will all have to wait. I have to take this time to talk about certain goings on in our country that is just flabbergasting.
This country, the United States of America, is founded on some very clear rules. These rules are outlined in the Constitution and the subsequent Bill of Rights. For those you who do not know, and if you are a citizen of these United States of America you damn well should know, that the Fifth Amendment, or the Fifth right as defined by the Bill of Rights, states:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Another ammendment that is pertinent to this post is the Fourth Ammendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
There are certain people that are citizens of these United States of America that have been denied these rights. These people, and surely more to come and maybe even some we have not heard about, have been denied their rights through the Patriot Act. Under this act the government can jail people as "enemy combatants." As explained here "Detention as an enemy combatant is not criminal in nature but is permitted under the law of war to prevent an enemy combatant from continuing to fight against the United States. Under the law of war, enemy combatants may be detained until the end of hostilities." When do hostilites end when you are engaged in a "war on terror"?
If this is not upsetting enough, and evidently not since I am just now posting about it, the people are just placidly accepting this. People I know, people I live with, do not see a ... (view rest)
Sunday, 04 April 2004, 22:56:07 EDT
I have discovered a profession that I will not consider if I ever have to choose another one. That profession is called "mechanic." I have no idea how people can put up with all the crap that comes with being a mechanic. I went out to my grandparent's today to replace the remaining three struts in my car (replaced one last weekend) and we only accomplished getting one installed. The day started off pretty good; I got the front right strut out in record time, which is basically a helluva lot faster than it took to get the front left one out, and thought things were going to go well. Sadly, that was not the case. We had to drive up to Sears in Union City and buy an offset box end metric wrench so that we could put the nut on the top of the new strut. So, after buying this $18.18 tool we had the nut in place and secured inside of two minutes and put the new strut in in about five minutes (that is damn sight better than the five hours it took us to do the left one).
Awesome, so we move on to the rear right strut. Oops, the bolts were seized so we had to get craft and use a five foot pipe, or "persuader bar" as called in this situation, and use it on the wratchet. After getting the bolts out of the bottom of the strut it was time to climb in the trunk and get the top one out. Let the fun ensue. This nut was also seized to I grabbed a Giant Fucking Wrench™ and used it to "persuade" the wratchet to unseize the nut. Aside from taking a chunk of meat out of the knuckle on my left thumb when the nut broke free and all my force shove my hand against some sharp metal things were looking up. After the nut was broken I started, foolishly, trying to turn the nut off of the shaft of the strut. This, of course, did not work because the shaft turned with the nut. After trying to work some voodoo and get it off without "proper tools" we resigned ourselves to going back to Sears to return the tool I bought and let my grandfather buy a whole set of tools. Lo and behold the nut came off after we had the "proper tools." Time to put the son-of-a-bitch new strut on and move on to the final one right? Wrong! The nut that came with the new struct doesn't fucking fit.
So, in the end my car is still on jack stands in my grandparent's drive way. I hate cars and the seemingly haphazard choice of nut and bolt sizes the car designers like to use and I am missing part of my body that I started the day off with.
On to other things...
I have heard a lot of Pink Floyd today. It got me to thinking about how amazing they really are. I mean have you ever heard a more talented and in sync group of people? The can rock out while retaining a peaceful acid trip sound at the same time. Don't believe me? Listen to Comfortably Numb some time and just try to figure out how they play that well. It hurts my head just to try and comprehend the talent in that one song much less all others they have done.
It seems that there will be a second Neverwinter Nights. One of the public relations people for Atari let it slip in this ... (view rest)
Sunday, 04 April 2004, 12:21:29 EDT
All this weekend I have been doing nothing but learning Unreal Script so that I can work on a modification for Unreal Tournament 2004. I have found it to be quite frustrating because there is a severe lack of proper documentation. Yes, there this but it is not navigable in any quick and easy manner. Yes, the #unrealscript channel on irc.gamesurge.net has been tremendously helpful. But that is no substitute for good documentation written by the authors of the damn language. When I first started watching the tutorials about unreal script on the second DVD that came with the game I thought they were going to be helpful. I was wrong, oh so very wrong. They are just about useless. The start out talking about object oriented programming and how it works and then move on to the language operators, control statements, and how to write and work with functions. They spent at least two hours on all of that and I learned one, one, helpful thing - iterators specific to unreal script and the unreal engine. Whooptie-doo! As I put it to Will, learning a programming language without proper documentation is like trying to find the right hole blind folded; sure, you eventually get it but there is a lot of fu ... (view rest)
Sunday, 28 March 2004, 23:10:33 EDT
Well, my grandfather and I are quite possibly the slowest mechanics on the planet. We spent five hours this afternoon replacing one of the struts on my car and we still have three left to go. It probably would have gone by a little quicker had we actually read the directions before we took everything apart. Spending more time searching for sockets and wrenches than actually using them probably didn't help matters either. No matter though; at the end of the day we each had more knowledge than we started with and it was a good way to spend the day. I can tell you one thing though, when you go to the mechanic to have the struts and/or shocks replaced in your car and he tells you that it will be about $230.00 in labor he isn't kidding with you. It is a severe pain in the ass. I like the fact that I now know what it takes to do such a job and will have a better idea of a good price for the job in the future should I have to have it done on another car (I won't be doing it again).
Aerosmith has a new album coming out on the thirtieth of this month (Tuesday). The first single has been getting a fair amount of air play the past month or so. Just about every time it is played the dj has to make some sort of comment about it. On 96 Rock the djs seem to think it is an original tune and hype it like the best thing since Walk This Way. This afternoon I heard it on Z93 (which has really changed recently - for the worse in my opinion) and the dj claimed it to be a Who "classic!" Who is he kidding? To the best of my knowledge The Who never even recorded a cover of the song. They did record Please, Please, Please which is very similar in the lyrics at least (I don't think I have ever heard the song). The song that I am ranting about is called Baby Please Don't Go and was made famous by the band that gave Van Morrison, whom is the man by the way, his start. The song was orignially written by Big Joe Williams, a delta blues artist. I just want to make sure some people out there, that may have heard it on the radio and the resultant dj blather, realize that Aerosmith did ... (view rest)
Thursday, 18 March 2004, 12:49:45 EDT
I just got off the phone with Virgin Mobile again. I totally threw the script monkey off this time. He tried to give me the spiel that my situation is being investigated and will be fixed as soon as possible. He was not prepared for me to throw it back at him that they have been giving me that shit for a month and half now and that I want to speak with the technician who is supposed to be fixing it. He tried to tell me that he isn't even sure they have a phone. I reminded him that he works for a telephone operations center and the technician "working" on my problem is basically a telephone repair man - of course he has a damned telephone. He then stuttered and said he would go ask his supervisor; when he returned he said that his supervisor is going to get in touch with the NOC (Network Operations Center) and call me back within an hour. They now have fourty-five minutes before I call them again. They are getting my god damned phone working today whether they like it or not.
*Update - 19:47EST*
I just got off the phone with the person in charge of all the port-ins and outs, the guy that actually talks to Sprint, at the Virgin Mobile operations center. I basically had to tell the call center's floor manager to fuck off and put his boss on the phone. Well, he actually gave me some information that makes sense. What he says happened is this:
When they tried to get the number from Sprint the number basically died. Why in the hell that would happen is beyond me. So, what they had to do was do a "vanity request" (e.g. when you go to the store and request a specific number having never had service before - any where) to get that number. When they did that the network id for the number changed and caused a mismatch between all the databases (nationwide) and that caused Sprint (Virgin Mobile's network c ... (view rest)
Thursday, 04 March 2004, 19:48:48 EDT
Well hot damn Jason finally got his internet connection fixed and posted some new content to his web site. I should download the new Quake III maps he has there and try them out but Unreal Tournament 2003 is calling my name.
My headphones are starting to show their age. I really need some new ones. The problem is is that I want the model up from the ones. While the new pair is now the same price as my current pair was when I bought them they are still too expensive for me right now. My current pair are really showing their age though; the "leatherette" is almost completely gone from the left ear piece and is flaking off more and more on the right piece every day. Who wants to save me from my headphone hell and by me the MDR-V700DJs?
Wolven reminded me today how much I love Green Jellö album Cereal Killer (technically it is a sound track but I just like it for the good Metal that it is). Since I have evidently lost my compact disc somewhere along the way I hit up EBay like a crack fiend and put in a bid on an original copy printed before they were legally require to change the name to Green Jellÿ. Hopefully no one will jack the bid up past the $3.99 it currently is in the next six days. I doubt they will because just about no one likes the band and would hardly even dream of buying the CD. Here is to hope against hope.
Also, I have been getting more and more aggitated with the piss poor grammar skills of people who post text to the internet. Damn it people, pick up a book and do some reading. I promise it will d ... (view rest)
Friday, 27 February 2004, 12:02:43 EDT
When I have the money I am moving to another country. This is just insane. Evidently some idiot DJ in Florida was fired because he aired a controversial skit during his morning radio show. Does no one realize that morning radio is intend for adults stuck in traffic on their way to work? What sane individual is going to let their children listen to morning radio? Why should this even be an issue? Why are congressional sub-commitees being called t ... (view rest)
Thursday, 19 February 2004, 01:28:40 EDT
Okay, this amendment to ban same sex marriage is really getting on my damn nerves. It is embarassing to me that my home state wants to amend its constitution in this manner. Just read this quote from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution:
"Children need mothers and fathers. Their well-being cannot be sacrificed so that adults get to form the families they choose," said Sadie Fields, Christian Coalition state chairman. "We must do what is necessary to preserve marriage, as that is the only way to reproduce ourselves, and it also is necessary for the preservation of any civilization."
I am absolutely astounded at that statement. I particularly love the part where she says, "We must do what is necessary to preserve marriage, as that is the only way to reproduce ourselves..." How can anyone make that statement and consider themselves even remotely intelligent? Sorry lady, marriage has absolutely nothing to do with reproduction. Here is a five hour History of Sex as related by the History Channel.
I can almost guarantee you that this lady is a "christian" and as such has been inundated with out of date notions of human sexual interaction.
I think some people need to learn that the bible, the book they can't seem to live without, is written by man. As such, it has "laws" written to keep man in check. It is also influenced by other stories that are MUCH older than it is. Don't know what I am talking about? Read Gilgamesh. It is an epic, just as the bible is an epic, that is the earliest known writing on Earth. This document is estimated to have originated around 2000 B.C.E. The start of this epic mentions a great flood. Sound familiar?
Aside from the biblical stuff being an absolutely horrible way to look at it there is the fact that it is an inherrent denial of civil rights. Yes, ... (view rest)
Tuesday, 17 February 2004, 01:35:37 EDT
Yesterday was a horrible day. I had trouble getting to sleep Sunday night so Monday morning it was a real pain to drag my lazy self out of bed and get ready for work. Nothing unusual about that, it was just the beginning though.
When I made it to campus it was unusually busy and as a result I had to park way out in the middle of no where and hike to the library, where my "office" (I don't want to describe it right now, just know that I don't have an office) is, in the cold - I loathe winter. Once I got in I found out that we had to attend a speech being given by a prospective CIO for CCSU at 3:00PM. My lunch is scheduled for 3:00PM so I got to take an early lunch. No problem right? I wish. Since I absolutely had to be in the auditorium by 3:00PM I got to rush over to a fast food place, pick up some food, rush back to campus, and then shovel the food into my mouth as fast as possible. I sat down in the auditorium probably a minute and a half before they started the speech.
Yay, half the suck day is over.
If you have been reading recently you will know that I am trying to get my cell phone number ported from Sprint PCS[uck] over to Virgin Mobile. I called VM Saturday and they told me it should be active Monday by 6:00PM. Guess what? I still have no cell phone service. The whores are now saying that I should have service five days from last Saturday, that would be this Wednesday, and that there really no one else to call because "the people that can do the porting have the information and are working on it." Porting numbers is bullshit.
I also got my electric bill today; it is always fun to get bills on a shitty day. The bill is for $343.67. What...the...fuck? Evidently, they never sent me a bill last month. When I don't receive a bill I assume either a) I don't have a bill or b) I have already paid it. I know I didn't receive it because the assholes that are Georgia Power stop sending you paper bills in the mail when you sign up to pay your bills through th ... (view rest)
Tuesday, 03 February 2004, 00:39:19 EDT
What the hell is wrong with people in this country? Unless you live under a rock in the deepest darkest cave on earth you will have heard about Janet Jackson showing some nipple on national television during the super bowl Sunday evening. Let's go over this one:
First, football is a violent sport and more than likely gets a content rating of TV-14. That means children under the age of fourteen should not be watching it. I could be wrong and it has a rating of TV-PG, I don't know, I don't watch football.
Second, it is a breast. Almost everyone has sucked on one at some point in their life what is so wrong about seeing one on television? Television isn't going to corrupt your children - not teaching them whatever morals yo ... (view rest)
Wednesday, 19 November 2003, 00:16:29 EDT
On the way in to work this morning (or yesterday morning now) I saw a car parked in two parking spots with an expired parking permit. So, I took a picture of it, walked up to the campus police office, and reported it to them. On my way out to lunch, four hours later, I walked by the spot where the car was parked illegally and it was still there. This time it had an ever ... (view rest)
Sunday, 16 November 2003, 19:27:14 EDT
I fucking hate Wal-Mart. I stopped by there tonight on my way home to pick up a couple of little items and it was an excruciating experience. It is like people go there just to walk around with lost expressions on their faces. What is really great is when they don't even give any hint as to the direction they are going to suddenly steer their buggy in. Several times I almost ran in to people because, instead of being courteous and letting me walk by first (I was walking briskly), they would just randomly turn into my line of travel. Then at the checkout these two little Mexican kids would NOT bac ... (view rest)
Monday, 08 September 2003, 16:13:43 EDT
If you all thought that I am a bastard when I yell out in public for rude fucker answer their damn cell phone when it has been ringing for five minutes just check ... (view rest)
Wednesday, 03 September 2003, 14:57:18 EDT
So they caught one of the fuckers. Fucking script kiddies think they can get away with whatever they want. I hope he g ... (view rest)
Monday, 18 August 2003, 18:30:13 EDT
Damn Windows machines. Every machine brought on to campus today must have had the fucking MSBlast virus. It brought the campus' network to its knees right about lunch time, a.k.a. when everyone was on campus.
I am actually stunned that I am able to write this post right now. I am shocked that my bootleg server even has a connection.
If you, the person reading this page, are a Windows user and have not already done so then apply the patch found here. You would do the rest of the world a huge fucking favor by not sucking up all the damn bandwidth.
That or ins ... (view rest)
Monday, 18 August 2003, 00:12:44 EDT
So it seems that Microsoft and Sony revel in being completely too large to do anything right.
Rewind about three years Christmas time. I bought this lovely little jewel: NW-MS7. One year later the battery died. The real kick in the nuts is that this is the last model they made which does not have "user replacable" batteries. I spent two damn years trying to find some place that would replace the dead as fuck battery. Finally one of my room mates said, "Oh, my uncle could do that. His shop is a SONY authorized service center." Well hot diggity damn! I get to use my walkman again (this thing is great for going out to town and not having to hear eveyone's annoying ass little kids).
So, today John brings my walkman back from Agusta with a brand-damn-new battery in it and the mother-fucker works. Yippie!
I spent the rest of the day trying to get some sort of system up and running that will allow me to actually put audio on the memory stick [this is where Microsoft comes in]. The second [hard] kick to the balls is that this model only works with Windows 98. Not Windows 95. Not Windows 2000. And, most assuredly, not Windows XP. "Noooo problem," I said to myself, "I'll just install Windows 98 in VMWare and be happy." WRONG! After I got Windows 98 and the OpenMG software installed in VMWare and got the two to recognize my walkman I find out that VMWare has a known bug, number 1541 so it says, that prevents the OpenMG software from copying audio cds into the ARTRAC3 format my walkman requires.
Well bend me over and put it where you like.
Attempt number one being a resounding failure I put a new harddrive in my laptop and loaded XP on it [I was under the impression that the OpenMG 2.0 disc I have would work with XP and the N(o)W(ork)-MS7]. After I had XP installed I found out that I have to have the Windows 2000 patch applied to my walkman in order to use it under XP. If you scroll down to the seventh link on the above linked page you will see that I actually have to ship my walkman off for around fifteen days to get this "free" firmware upgrade done.
Attempt number two: FAIL.
So, now I loaded Windows 98 on my laptop. Nvidia does not provide GeForce 2Go drivers for Windows and Dell does not have drivers available for Window 98.
Attempt number three: FAIL. Can you see where this is going?
After all of this I check back with a post I had made to vmware.for-linux.experimental on news.vmware.com asking if anyone knew of a way around the bug. It seems that if you use ide-scsi for your cdrom instead of straight up ide access you should be able to disable VMWare's legacy cdrom support and it ... (view rest)