Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gainfully Employed... Again!

First entry in a while, but I'm writing to inform those who might read this and/or care that after being unemployed for some time (or working independently for a dynamic client base if you go by my resume), I finally got a new job!

After a phone interview, a nearly two hour 1st interview and a grueling three hour 2nd interview, I have a new appreciation for the phrase "Welcome Aboard!"...

There is some (2 months) training and certifications I need to get and It's not too much more than a glorified screwdriver monkey position, but that's what I love doing :) I'm actually looking forward to the challenges and learning the changes in how I am used to providing on site service in the past.

The only potential downside could be that what I will be working on will be restricted to printers, but who says I can't stay a computer tech on my own time? Heck, the vice-CEO encouraged me to so long as the job was my first priority!

So, I suspect that this could be a very ideal job for me and from what has been described to me about actual work I'm actually excited about the position!

I'll post some more updates as I get further settled into the groove...

Here's to fun times ahead! Cheers!

Friday, October 29, 2010

So much rage....


With the vote coming shortly and the world economy falling apart and religious crazies are trying to take over the government and the general violence and famine and death and destruction the world over, I am going to take a moment and put out something of some importance that has been bugging me for a few days now.

If you are trying to do anything and I really do mean ANYTHING at a professional level with Open Source Software you learn that it's all SHIT.

I'm not talking your regular shit either I'm talking USELESSLY USELESS SHIT!

Let me lay out some of the background here;

I am most commonly known as a computer technician, however, before that I was a graphics designer.

Hence I often use those talents to apply them to interests and such where they are useful, one such interest is geocaching. I make my own little logs for the caches I hide and to replace others that I come across that are damaged or full.

As per habit, I used to use professional level programs, such as Adobe InDesign or QuarkExpress to make them and as a result, they are really, really nice.

Just the other day, I decided to be altruistic and offer my log designs to the official site in order for other people to use them also.

A few problems of course, one, most people don't have such professional programs and two, some of them want to be able to change the log in some manner so they are supposed to be submitted to in an editable format such as .doc, .rtf or .txt

I figure I'd support open source software for a change and offer them up in the Open Document Format along with a few others AND while I was as it, recreate some of the simpler ones in, this is something that would take 15 minutes TOPS in InDesign or MS Word (gag!).

So, even though I figured that I almost NEVER use "middle of the road" text editors like MS Word or, I DO know their capabilities very, VERY well ("MS Office Certified" does actually mean something) and they would be perfectly sufficient for this task, after all I've even used Word to make some of the most basic logs before so would be no problem right? RIGHT?!?

Oh, how incredibly wrong I was.

Even after chalking up the learning curve, which was actually pretty flat, I was absolutly frustrated and horrified by the general... general... general... MISBEHAVIOR of the program.

The basic functions worked fine, but when I was getting into the more advanced layouts and using tables to create the lines was when everything fell apart.


I have been wrestling with this program for HOURS ON END at this point. Every time I want to restructure the size of the resulting logs is a nightmare of utter destruction on the entire document as elements scatter across 40 pages for no obvious reason and like HELL if I can fix that, bug in the drawing make something look totally different on paper than it does on screen and don't EVEN get me going about the almost terrifyingly inconsistent pasting of text styles... I could paste something 3 times and get 3 totally dissimilar results.

The list goes on and on and on...

This is completely and UTTERLY unacceptable.

I know fully well I could go to MS Office, InDesign, Quark Express, Apples iWork, and even TEXTEDIT on my mac and not have these troubles, so what the hell gives?!

I have dumped many, MANY more hours into fighting with OpenOffice to make it do what I want and I'm STILL NOT DONE!!!

Yet, for the heck of it (and to prevent myself from throwing my computer across the room in frustration) even went into the aforementioned programs and DID ALL OF MY WORK on the log sheets in a total of 20 minutes... for ALL FIVE OF THE PROGRAMS!

This is why I have become disgruntled with OSS lately. I've been using it more and more and have been considering Ubuntu as a replacement from even Mac OS X in the possibly near future.

I just can't yet. OSS is disgustingly unrefined and rough edged to the point where is is actually UNUSABLE in a professional sense.

It's not a learning curve issue, it's not "what I'm familiar with", it's not me not wanting to learn a new "way to work".

It's too buggy and flawed to work RIGHT.

This isn't to say that open source is useless to everyone, heck no! If all you want is the basics, which is all most people DO, then it's great... Just don't expect to do anything too serious with it because it's not there yet.

Is there a real point to this? Not really, I'm just blowing off some steam because something I want to rely on has made so little progress at being something I CAN rely on.

I'm going back to work now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oddball Surprise

I was puttering around late one night when I had a brainstorm I wanted to write about but I was tired and I had to walk the Meeka dog before going to bed and I knew I didn't have them time to do both separately so I figured I'd use the voice recorder function of my iPhone 4 while I was walking and just transcribe what I spoke the next morning so I wouldn't forget it.

Luckily, it was late at night (1:42am) and few, if any, people would overhear this crazy person monologuing on to himself.

When I finished walking and talking, I bedded down, got up the next morning and after transferring the resulting audio file to my Mac, I readied my typing fingers and pressed "play".

The resulting quality of the audio playing back through my speakers stunned me so much I totally forgot to start typing as I marveled.

I have never, EVER heard such amazing quality from a tiny little phone microphone! It rivaled and possibly, POSSIBLY, even EXCEEDED the "enthusiast level" dedicated dynamic handheld microphone and line level mixer setup that I have hooked up to my computer!

Absolutely WOW.

Now the microphone in my iPhone 3G wasn't BAD, in fact it was pretty good for a small microphone and, by FAR, considerably better than the ones in my Motorola RAZR or Palm Centro and even my old dedicated voice recorder that I used to use in my college psych classes.

Yet, here is this iPhone 4 with an uncelebrated, un-noted and arguably an insignificant detail of an upgrade giving anything less then a semi-professional setup a run for it's money.

People wonder WHY I love Apple despite my love of open source, my love of the freedom to choose my own hardware, and my love of inexpensive equipment.

I love Apple products because of the engineering, or more accurately, the OVER-engineering, that goes into their hardware. The countless nigglingly tiny and perfectionist details and exhaustive work that goes into making something so beautiful and yet amazingly functional that just looks and works BETTER than everything else.

Apple doesn't make products, gadgets or devices.

Apple makes a user experience that we all take for granted.

I'm convinced that Apple products are 50% engineering, 50% UI and 50% art. No, my math is good, because they always seem to find a way to wedge in that last extra 50% in the other companies just seem to not "get".

Call me a drooling fanboy. Call me a mindless Apple promoter. Call me a aesthetics obsessed dork that favors form over function. You're wrong, but feel free to accuse away.

When a company makes something, I appreciate the extra engineering. I appreciate the extra details. I appreciate a smooth and sculpted interface. I appreciate a design that is clean and beautiful and pleasing AND simple, yet doesn't interfere with the functionality. I appreciate the EXTRA EFFORT placed into ANY product above and beyond just finishing it and dumping it on the market in order to get something out as fast as possible to start making a profit.

When another company gets even HALF WAY to making something that is OVERALL better then one of Apple's products, I'll gladly and without hesitation promote and support them every ounce as much as Apple.

Sorry for the blurb, but I just wanted to note that sometimes it's the UNCELEBRATED and UN-MARKETED upgrades to a product that can make you go "wow!" just as much as the headline grabbers.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10

Okie dokie... I've been poking around fairly seriously in Canonical's latest release of Ubuntu; 9.10, also known as Karmic Koala.

I'm impressed.

The number of obvious and marked improvements over previous releases is notable, most notable of these are the improvements in look and feel, boot speed and hardware support.

Starting things off with the "look and feel" aspect, or as I have started to call it, the "shock and awe" factor.

I'm glad to report massive improvements across the board when it comes to the texture and unity of the GUI. Most notable of this to me was the fact that screen only changes appearance twice in the boot process (after the BIOS and GRUB loader screen of course).

Yes, I know it's minor, but seeing loading screen after loading screen during the boot process is something that has bugged me about EVERY non-Apple OS since DOS stopped being popular.

Apple has long had a minimum of screen changes in the boot process, namely, one. Two at most.

Of course until Windows 7, Microsoft's OS's were the most flagrant violators of this with windows 2000 winning the "Fail" title by showing a staggering 5 different loading screens.

Past releases of Ubuntu weren't much better, usually showing 3-4, even if they were fairly brief.

However, now with the change in the boot up process introduced in 9.10 Linux joins in the rest of the OS world with a truly elegant boot appearance. A sincere bravo for tackling something that, while unimportant in functionality, adds to the appearance of refinement that open source software has rarely had in the past.

Add in that some playing around with Compiz settings will allow even an "ancient" laptop like mine produce UI visual effects that put Windows 7 to shame with 1/4 of the hardware requirements.

I'm not going to compare to Apple's Quartz because, unlike Windows, Apple's window manager CAN technologically provide all the effects that Compiz does, they simply are not offered... Compiz DOES have lighter hardware requirements though.

Adding on to the list of visual refinements is the new default Gnome theme which is still called "Human". It offers the smoothest and most modern style look that Ubuntu has had yet and I'm proud to say that this finally allows the default appearance of Ubuntu to easily contend with the polished look and, dare I say it, FEEL of Mac OS X and Windows 7.

Another important appearance note is that the new theme FINALLY loses the "Windows 95" era look for most of it's elements to gain a smooth, graduated and natural visual "feel" to it's user interface that is almost as pleasant as OS X. Now it's Microsoft's turn to do the same for Windows ;)

There was obviously a lot of attention and effort put into filing off the rougher edges of the Gnome UI in this release and it not only shows, but will likely pay off in terms of user acceptance.

The look and feel of the latest release of Ubuntu gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me.

Second in my top three favorite changes is the radical decrease in boot time!

First numbers on the time required to boot fully on my T42 Thinkpad***:
- An install of Ubuntu 9.04 with a few modifications took just 1 minute 13 seconds
- A default install with drivers (and then fully patched to SP3) of Windows XP took 1 minute 43 seconds
- A highly tuned install (with drivers) of a completely up-to-date version of Windows XP takes 48 seconds.
**All these numbers are from the GRUB bootloader. Booting to the grub bootloader takes 12 seconds.
***IBM Thinkpad T42 Model: WMK2373 Specs: 1.5Ghz Pentium M, 2GB DDR 333 RAM, Western Digital 160GB Scorpio 5400RPM IDE Hard Drive, Radeon 7500 32MB Video.

Yes. That last number is correct, it takes 48 SECONDS to boot my Thinkpad into Windows XP. Granted, that is with a LOT of tweaking and tuning and trimming on my part, but still. 48 seconds. One minute from the press of the power button on a system going on 5 years old.

Ok, now for Ubuntu 9.10's out-of-the-box boot time:

43 seconds.


If they were looking to improve startup time they succeeded brilliantly! A 50% improvement in boot time over the previous release is a good reason to upgrade by itself!

The final item in my "top three favorite changes" list is 9.10 FINALLY functional out of the box with all of the hardware of my esoteric IBM T42 Thinkpad. All of the previous releases of Ubuntu had severe hardware issues that broke some functionality or another, especially after placing the system into standby or hibernate. These problems required manual workarounds or modifications, and a few I simply had to work around because there were no fixes.

There remains the higher power draw in standby problem (~4 watts instead of 1) but according to many reports, this might be an issue with my specific and fairly rare model of Thinkpad as most T42 Thinkpad users have reported this issue as resolved.

Aside from that one minor standby issue, I've had no other problems.

Near flawless hardware support top to bottom, it even worked when hot docking/undocking with the docking station (finally) with install defaults. Wireless network performance was increased by nearly 75%, massively improved EXA rendering support and performance for my old Radeon 7500, even the annoying inconsistency of the LCD backlight dimming on battery power is fixed!

Yes, some custom tweaks were still made, namely with Laptop-Mode but that's me being fussy ;)

All in all, Ubuntu 9.10 is a marked improvement over previous versions in not only technical ways and in hardware support, but in usability and appearance as well.

With improved performance, increased hardware support, an easier to use layout, painless install, refined UI and better isolation from the "scariness" of Linux, this is by FAR the most consumer friendly version of Linux ever.

If Ubuntu wasn't a major contender in the consumer OS field before, it is now.

I know Mark Shuttleworth stated that he wanted 9.10 to go head to head Windows 7, but I think he was aiming a little low. Even for "Joe Average", Ubuntu is now beyond Microsoft's offering in stability, speed, performance and, possibly most importantly, price.

I've been converting users over to Ubuntu where it was prudent and possible. I have not had one problem or complaint yet and I can't see the excellent quality of Karmic Koala doing anything less than making my life even easier and making users safer and happier.

Pardon this play on a saying, but If you haven't looked at Ubuntu lately, look again.

Great job to all those working on and who use Ubuntu, it truly is Linux for Human Beings...

If you haven't already, go get yourself a copy now and try it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Scam of the Moment Alert

Wow... Just WOW.....

Computer and internet based scams and rip-off are attacking a new class of people and this time it could be more of a threat than ever before to the already straining wallets of "average Joe/Jane".

Into the picture comes "".

Now the site in and itself is nothing special, typical "download a trial that reports hundreds and hundreds of false positives and forces you to buy it in order to 'clean' your system" scam. Nothing out of the ordinary in regard to typical scareware schemes that try and trick you into spending money to "fix" your system. Whether or not there actually is anything wrong with it in the first place. Of course I tried they crapware that was being hawked and it found THOUSANDS of "errors" in a mint system, freshly installed and custom tuned by me. Upon reviewing the logs, it was mostly fluff and false reports.

I digress however, this write up is NOT about crap software. Instead it's about HOW this junk is being hawked to the unwashed masses.

What is disturbing to me is that I heard this garbage being pumped out over my local RADIO station!

Oh man... this is something incredibly ugly because this is another conduit that will primarily target the most BLISSFULLY ignorant of users.

Hearing your computer might be "infected" on in the context of the radio either at work or on the road, will aid in planting the seeds of concern into the the minds of people like grandparents and the most gullible of those who click on ads, fall for phishing scams, open email attachments, download viruses and more...

I guess I wouldn't be so annoyed if the software that was being pushed actually WORKED.

This new path of hawking garbage on a "reputable" source such as the radio is surely going to rope many, MANY more suckers into parting with a fairly large chunk of $ for absolutely nothing in return.

I wish there was a way to inform people of such scams.

I suppose that's the price for using Windows.

Want a cheaper way to a safer, faster computer? It's free and not that hard, honest: Go and get Ubuntu and try it out!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

NUbuntu... It's Coming...

Friday, September 18, 2009


I have a bit of a saying that in my own opinion, find is true more often than not. That saying is; "Those that do it first do it best."

Now, as I just said, I find this TRENDS toward true, not that the phrase always is.

With that out of the way, there are a number of examples such as Apple with providing the modern personal computing experience, Ford with cars, etc...

Well, today I have an example that is all but a shame to the company that crafted it.

How Microsoft handles formatting floppy disks.

It's sad really, they really made the floppy popular with consumers with DOS being the first consumer level OS shipped on the then new format. So, of course they had to have a solid way to prepare those new disks for work and erase old disks to be used again.

The result was the now nearly forgotten command "Format". This tool was then the best way to easily format a floppy disk and now has come full circle to claim that same title in modern times despite the floppy having gone the way of the Dodo.

That's right,the Modern Microsoft OS is currently the best thing I know of in the use of handling floppies, hands down. Way to win the award for a dead technology!

I know this whole spiel may sound a bit odd, so allow me to elaborate.

I wanted to modify my IBM T42 Thinkpad the other day and was having a bear of a time getting a modern USB flash drive bootable and even getting it to work the way I wished off of a less modern CD.

So I gave up and for the first time since 1997-98 I decided to use a 3.5" floppy drive & disk. (if you exclude one college class in 2002 where the professor just stopped using a stone tablet with a chisel and had no idea of the internet and email)

I peeled off the several inch thick layer of dust from my USB floppy drive that I had received free with my iBook around 2000 and have used a grand total of exactly 3 times, plugged it in, was surprised it still worked and did my thing.

Now, I found a few scratch disks in a case I had used for the previously mentioned college class and decided to see if any of them were still serviceable.

Hmmmm.... My trust Macintosh understood the drive and media just fine, and even was perfectly happy to let me quick erase the disk in Disk Utility, but lo, there was just no way I could find to actually VERIFY the format and check for bad sectors, something floppies are INFAMOUS for...

Not a problem, the floppy was declared dead by Apple more than a decade ago, I can understand the less than full support in an OS that was built 2 years AFTER Apple stopped supporting the said media.

On to my Thinkpad with Linux! To this end, I thought to myself that this task would be NO PROBLEM as Linux was built LONG before such things as booting from a CD were even possible so a simple legacy task of floppy handling should be a cinch!

Bulllllllshit, 20 minutes later I rebooted my Thinkpad into it's seldom used Windows XP partition.

A few minutes later I had 3 disks formatted, verified and ready for service. I could have done the same thing on Vista or Windows 7 after looking into it for this post.

I suppose the point of all this text is my complaining about what's actually wrong with Microsoft's mentality of never letting go of anything... ever.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Ode to PA.

This is an ode to the state of Pennsylvania that I have recently returned from touring with a geocaching buddy.


Oh PA, your towns are so small,
Your roads are simply horrible,
Your cell service is a fucking joke.
At least the view is nice.

Posted with LifeCast

Friday, June 12, 2009

A 7 Month Gap...

Well, I'm bringing a huge gap in my posting habits here. Granted the frequency of my attention to my little Internet based soapbox has always been sporadic at best, but this was something more.

I guess you could call it a disenchantment of sorts.

While I really do enjoy ranting and posting here, to just let out my true thoughts and opinions on an ever increasingly sanitised and insane world. Whether or not they are actually READ by anyone was and is a moot point. What wasn't a moot point was the sheer amount of time that it takes to get a good topic, piece together an opinion and/or solution and then actually WRITE about it.

Despite being unemployed, I'm busy, in fact I'm surprisingly busy.

To a point that I was more "idle" and found more time to do less important things that I enjoy, that encourage my creativity and artistic sides to stay agile and fresh, when I was employed and was siphoning off 9+ hours of my life everyday for 'X' dollars an hour.

Can this be chalked up to poor time management because I no longer have to structure my day around a job? Perhaps.

The fact remains that for a rather long while, I no longer enjoyed taking the time to write for this blog.

I'm not sure I will get over this feeling any time soon either. So, what now? Frankly, I REALLY don't wish to "abandon" a project that I've poured many dozens of hours working on and is all but a journal of sorts of one side of my written creativity and thoughts.

The answer might be simpler than I expected and was given to me by my good friend Jason.

Twitter. Micro Blogging.

I initially had dismissed Twitter as another pointless internet social networking fad that was going to pop up, get stupid popular overnight and then vaporize like Yahoo's 360 or Palm. So, when Jason informed me that he had not only signed up for a Twitter account but was actually USING it, I was gobstruck and harranged him about it.

I strongly believe now that I was wrong.

I made a deal with myself that I would use Twitter for at least a week and at the end of that week, if the mere thought of making another tweet made me want to puke my legs, I'd let it go.

It's been about a week and I'm enjoying it despite all expectations.

Why? I think it's because it is a very "concentrated" source of "frivolous" information that lets me follow as much or as little of the lives of people I know.

Yes there is a fair amount of poinlessness that many people, myself included, enjoy writing about but it's still a great way to keep up with friends and family (assuming I can get them to even consider using it...)

So, I think I'm certain I will NOT abandon this blog, but I'm going to continue to use it for what I always have. Longer, more thought provoking thoughts and rants of the multi-paragraph style. While I will continue to use Twitter for what it does best, short thoughts, events and opinions in a compact easy to digest format.

I'll embed a "Twitter Feed" on this page in the near future.

Tune in shortly for a bit of my old irritation about the H1N1 flu virus... It's gonna be a blast!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Do it... DO IT NOW!!!

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Layout Tweakage

Ok, I've tweaked my blog layout, it's no longer 800x600 friendly, but I don't care because it looks great on a 1024x768 or higher screen. It's still a tad skinny on a monster monitor like my 1920x1200 24 incher, but it's no where near as bad as it was.

Adding a mear 200 pixels makes a big difference.

So advance apologies to all you portable device users, but I positivly cannot stand all of these constricted format blog templates and I don't want to blow the time and effort to build a proper resolution independant one.

Besides, who the heck uses a 800x600 display today anyhow?

I hope all 3 of my readers enjoy!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

And I Quote:

"...we haven't had an attack on this soil since 9/11," Meehan said.

There has never been an attack on "this soil" BEFORE 9/11 you NIMROD!

This, THIS is why republicans do not have and can never gain my respect.

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Amazed By The Minute

You want to know something I find very interesting?

I find that the truest, most gratifying experience I can possibly get is to buy a supposedly simple product that, as I use it more and more, continues to impress and amaze me as my knowledge of said device increases.

This may not seem like a big deal to most people, but for me, it's the ultimate drug.

This is because when I normally get a new device, I dive into it and fiddle with it for a few days while ocaisonally diving toward the manual when I get stuck. This usually results in very intimate knowledge of how a particular device works in a few shot days.

At this magical point, the said gadget tend to lose the "toy" value and then becomes a functional item usually falling into the category of use that the manufacturer intended.

Posted with LifeCast

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Still Here... Now Mobile!

I sit here tap tapping away at my iPhone screen, slowly building up this post letter by letter and I realize just how flexible and amazing technology is today.

Just in this tiny handheld alone I have more computing and 3D power than the first couple revisions of the iMac.

In fact this phone/music player/Internet device/gps/address book/etc... It's so powerful that it even gives my first laptop, a 500mhz iBook, a serious run for it's money.

Anyway, new portable device should allow for much more frequent updates as I can build up posts and pictures on the go, during lunch breaks and while keeping an eye on Mika as she galavants in the park.

Bye for now!

Posted with LifeCast

Monday, August 11, 2008

Let's Ride!

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Renn Faire!

Jason, Tiffanie, Dan, Rebecca, Will and myself all went to the Sterling Rennisance Festival in Sterling New York.

We had a blast! I might be just a geek, but I really do enjoy going and seeing everything fall back to a midevil day and time, even if it is expensive and a glamorized re-telling of by-gone days.

This is the second time I have gone and also my second time going in costume which is also fun and, well, helps you blend in! The workers and actors are all in period costumes and also a fair number of visitors are also wearing period dress.

That said, I was actually considering not wearing a costume this year because it's a multilayer costume that also has a cloak. Toasty.

Either way, the faire was tons of fun as usual.

Excellent actors, excellent costumes, cool stuff to buy, acres of stuff to see and do, jousting, turkey legs for lunch, hilarious comedy shows and much more. It never gets old and is different each year I've gone.

Always worth the time and money for the day of fun and friends.

That's all for now, I'll post pictures later tonight because I'm currently finishing this as we are heading into Friendly's for dinner.

Posted with LifeCast

Friday, August 08, 2008


Assembler is the lowest level of computer programming that is generally considered plausible to work with. It is barely a step over working directly with 1's and 0's.

To write assembler programs you are literally giving your computer of microprocessor direct instructions like store, read, add, divide, etc...

The bright side is most processors have very few instructions, usually in the range between 12 an 50 so you have only 12 to 50 instructions to remember total.

Cool huh?

The hard part is "assembling" (get it?) these instructions into the correct order to get the machine to do work. This is insanely difficult. Far harder, in fact, than it sounds as I have discovered.

T his has led me to the conclusion: "Assembler is the easiest program language ever. Assembler is the hardest program language ever!!!!"

Posted with LifeCast

Sunday, February 17, 2008

No Ranty.... Sorta...

I was on cruise control yesterday while I was buzzing down the ol' "superhighway" and checking out my daily regiment of geek news, technology, funny stuff and finally, the latest and most sensationalized, I mean greatest, in "news" (Suck it printed media!) when I ran over this not-so-little article.

The article itself was a rather interesting read and highlighted some very interesting things.

My beef, however, is not with the article or Apple, but instead with the utter retards that are inexplicably labeled as "analysts" or "experts" who keep speculating what Apple will spend all that money on.

First, and foremost, they don't HAVE to spend it! It's their money! If they just want to sit on that huge wad of cash until they decide to use it, fine. That's their choice and frankly if more corporations decided to try this instead of foolishly blowing every penny they make or just dumping it into their CEO's pocket then perhaps the economy wouldn't be such a fragile thing!

I'm just so damn sick of seeing headlines to some effect of: Oops! One hard year or one flopped product from Generic Products inc and they go belly up/are bought out!

So first off, screw you all those that say Apple NEEDS to spend that money. They don't.

Second, these utterly and flat out STUPID suggestions to what Apple may have planned.

Such as "It’s conceivable that Apple could use cash to buy its way into a new niche, like social networking or online collaboration."

Are you f-cking retarded?!?!

Apple would NEVER do anything so guaranteed for long term failure! Like it or not social networking places such as Facebook or whatever rely on AD REVENUE to operate and profit.

Worse yet, they are a PASSING FAD! Apple has never and (hopefully) WOULD NEVER stoop so low. The company has more CLASS than to do that.

Think about it, there are ads ALL OVER every major technology company's site! Microsoft, Dell, Gateway, you NAME it, it has ADS in AD FORM!

All except for Apple. I can't even imagine Apple doing something that is so tasteless as slapping ads on their web site let alone owning something so utterly tasteless. Yes Apple promotes their other products on their pages... but not every single one and not in "banner ad" form! they use subtle little chunks that are about ONE LINE of text tactfully placed on the page for RELEVANT products.

So Mr. Article writer and analyst. Your prediction(s) are made of FAIL.

Yes, all companies are after profit and they are all, to at least some degree, evil. This includes Apple.

However, even in this endless pursuit of profits, Apple has held on to something that all consumers love. A little something called style, ground breaking design, simplicity and finally, excellent taste.

Go ahead, call me a superficial person who cares only about a products beauty, design and elegance in hardware and software.


I'm a very picky person when it comes to the look and feel of something I spend my money on! I know it doesn't REALLY make or break a purchase for most people and honestly it's often the same for me. I more often than not choose function and/or affordable over form. You pay extra for form and often loose gobs of function, that's the cold hard truth presented to us by most corporations.

So, just like everyone else, I want a powerful computer or full featured device, but I also want something the FEELS good to use and LOOKS beautiful and is EASY to use yet is still very powerful and functional... Apple provides ALL of this and is one of the exceedingly FEW companies that do provide all of this at a fairly reasonable price!

Personally, I am willing to pay $50-$300 more, depending on the product, for something that just WORKS BETTER than everything else!

I challenge ANY of you out there to find ANYTHING like what Apple offers that provides even CLOSE to the same level of design, engineering and ease of use on both the hardware AND the software level yet costs the SAME or LESS than Apple's products.

Here's a hint: You CAN'T, I've TRIED.

So, despite the price being what so many people bitch about, for the raw level of design and thought ALONE that goes into every single one of Apple's products, they're CHEAP.

Long live excellent design! Long live style in this increasingly generic and sanitized society! Long live Apple!

They still have my dollars even if I don't have many.

P.S. - I support any company that has a similar approach as Apple... Like Nintendo or Nissan

Monday, December 10, 2007



Why is it that I find a hard drive manufacturer that I really, REALLY like and then everything goes all pear-shaped on me...

More Details Under This Link

In short, Western Digital (WD) has made a wonderful new external drive with a massive 1TB capacity with full 10/100/1000 network connectivity with the ability for external net access and totes this ability as access to your media from anywhere...

But there's a catch... you're not able to access your files from anywhere "Due to unverifiable media license authentication, the most common audio and video file types cannot be shared with different users using WD Anywhere Access." as per WD's support site...

I love WD, a lot. They are probably the only manufacturer that breaks the Law of Hard Drives which states "Hard drives are fast, cheap and reliable; choose two."

Yet, their software is jumping into bed with the MPAA/RIAA and grenading types of files universally because of their type...

No. It's NOT your job to police users. Yes, you may be feeling pressure from the nazi's at the recording industry due to the particular feature set of your hardware, but you do not make universal assumptions and restrictions that limits access to a users potentially UNLICENSED and LEGIT user data.

There is an infamous "phrase" on the internet to describe your actions.


That said, please keep making your very excellent hardware, but tell your software division to keep it's paws out of consumers affairs. The media police can handle us dirty rotten thieving scum-bags if need be.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Ok, I don't like Dell as a whole, their quality is often lacking and don't even get me going about their support...

However, being a big (really big) fan of World of Warcraft..... I kind of really want a Horde version of one of THESE.

They are COOL, even if they are horrifyingly overpriced to the point that they make Apple's MacBook Pro seem like a deal.

Anyway..... FOR THE HORDE!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holy Mother of all Screen Upgrades!!

Well, here I am, and to make a long story really short, I have been looking to upgrade I finally upgraded from a dinky little 17" LCD VGA panel to something... bigger.

Ohhhhh did I go bigger....

I was wandering around OfficeMax during their 2 Day after thanksgiving "super sales" that happen every year. Due to the weak economy and such, most stores dragged things out for two days offering the best deals and sales on "Black Friday" and slightly less outstanding, but still excellent, deals on Saturday.

I was out Saturday when I spotted, what I could pretty much describe as an outstanding deal.

I found a Soyo 24" LCD monitor with a 1920x1200 resolution for the same price I was considering buying a 20" for!

I so scooped it up... This thing is huuuuuuge!!!

I would write more, BUT I'm off to play with my BIG new monitor!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Actual Conversation:

The following was an actual conversation I had with a customer:

*Ring*"Service, call on line 3"

*Sigh.....* I get about 1-2 phone calls a day that require me to offer over the phone support.

Customer: "You have to help me! my computer said it had a fatal exception! I can't lose all my files!"

Me: "Ok, it was probably a small glitch, do you still have the error up?"

Customer: "Yes! and it is says that a fatal error happened! Is my pc broken!? I don't have time for this! I need it fixed as soon as you can! How serious do you think it is? I really can't lose my files and I need it for work!"

Me: "Ma'am, it's probably not a big problem. If you can tell me when the error says I might be able to help you a bit more."

Her: blah blah blah.... she repeats the problem and she can't loose anything 2 or 3 more times....

Me (frustrated after getting no where due to the customer panicking): "Ma'am..."

Her (insert attitude): "what?"

Me: "Is the computer on fire?"

Her (The confusion coming down the line is evident): "............... no?"

Me: "Then the problem is not that serious, please calm down and follow these instructions...."

I hate trying to provide support over the phone.

They make me want to go BoFH on them...

However, I do love having a boss who isn't concerned about providing support for non-paying customers.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sigh.... Someone Get Me a Taser

Drunk Zapped Repeatedly
Only a small part of the story of a drunk who is crying "foul" over getting zapped several times by a cops Tazer really pisses me off.

The subject of cops abusing the use of "non-lethal" enforcement weapons is an entirely different subject and is some pissed off I'm saving for later.

Actually the part that ticks me off isn't even part of the story. It's actually one of the little "facts" that cnn has labeled as Taser facts on the left hand side. Follow the link above and read them if you would like.

Well, the once I'm concentrating on is the one that reads "An average Taser device can emit a 50,000-volt electric shock. In comparison, a device in emergency rooms to shock hearts back to life starts at around 300 volts."

Sounds factual right?

Well, that's because it is.

So whats wrong here? Why am I cheesed off?

Because it makes the Taser sound thousands of times more dangerous and painful than a defibrillator. That's why I'm ticked.

Knowing what I do about the importance of current when electricity travels through the human body, I'd rather get hit with the Taser.

"Volts" means SQUAT in the case of these two totally dissimilar devices.

Quick lesson in electricity.

The Taser may produce very high voltage, but does so at MICROamps of current, the result, tons of pain, very little danger.

A defibrillator produces much less voltage but at astronomically higher current levels, sometimes as much as 40AMPS!! A defibrillator is easily LETHAL if used incorrectly.

Why do you think that use that conductive cream on the paddles? To prevent electrodes from BURNING the patient!

Volts with almost no current only hurts like hell, that's why a Taser can't start/stop your heart and a defibrillator can, it uses CURRENT instead of a lot of volts.

So in closing, I'd MUCH rather get hit with the Taser. CNN is just stupid and feeding misinformation in order to make a fairly safe (even if overused for no good reason) device look bad when it should be the cop who should be getting the brunt of it.

Besides, I have my doubts as to if a taser would be worse than the 10KV+ at who knows how many milliamps I came into contact with when I accidentally touched a live TV fly-back transformer and got lit up like a Christmas tree at college. Still don't remember hitting the floor...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Printer Woes

Argh! My printer is sick! Possibly very sick! Bad printhead error!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!

Good thing I'm a Xerox certified technician so no labor costs for any repairs! Too bad parts cost $$$ I don't have...

What printer you say? Why, "The Beast" of course! I have the Phaser 850DX and it's completely LOADED, there literally are no more options that you can add.

See? Printer when it's happy and working!

This is a really nice professional solid ink printer that is designed from fairly heavy use and I love it, well worth the tiny fraction of the original price I paid (hint: your little inkjet on your desk probably cost more).

It had been serving me very well until a couple weeks ago, I shut it down and moved it when I had family visiting. It's since been off for 2 weeks since I have been too busy to do anything that required printing.

Last night, however, I had to print a couple addresses on a handful of envelopes and I had a small queue of documents and projects that I had been putting off printing. I turned it on, waited the 10 minutes or so for the warm up cycle to complete and the inital test page to print, no problem! I sent my first envelope to it, and it shot right though, second envelope resulted in a jam. *Sigh* quick tug and one front panel shut later it tried to put it's normal cleaning page through and....

wtf? Another jam?


I cleared out the new jam and it did the same thing and I noticed there wasn't one of it's usual sounds being made at the pre-heater... crap.

Upon further inspection it appeared that a clutch wasn't engaging and allowing the page to be pulled through.

Cool. Easy and cheap to fix. Lets run a few diagnostics to be sure.

Reboot the printer into diagnostic mode and BAM!

ERROR: Contact Service



I look up the error code (not a good thing when it's one I haven't seen before) and sure enough it's expensive part related.

Could be wiring, could be re-programming... or could be a 500 dollar part replacement.... my cost. (I get things cheaper because I'm a tech, it'd cost anyone else $800)


More news will follow after I take the thing further apart and get to the culprit.

I'm hoping it's just a loose wire from moving it across the room *crosses fingers*

UPDATE 9/8/07: It looks like I was reading the error code chart wrong, it's actually claiming that the drum is dirty, which was why it was trying to put a cleaning page through before I rebooted it.

This is not a major problem but it still doesn't explain the constant paper jams, which may be back down to the clutch.... I'm gonna clean the drum and see what happens. Here's hoping to no further repairs needed!!

Update 9/9/07: Ok, drum is clean, unfortunately I'm tired and I don't want to clean up the pre-heater feed rollers atm, which is just a pre-caution and as I said before, I think it's the clutch not working instead of the rollers slipping.

Update 9/10/07: I hate technology.

Update 9/26/07: Started working on it again... No luck so far, definitely not a solenoid... That leaves circuit boards.... *cries silently*

Update 9/26/07 #2: Found out what was causing the error, the printer NEEDS to put a cleaning page through and I was trying to bypass it. Clutch is fine, appears to be the right I/O board... I hope. I also tore it completely apart and cleaned then reseated everything, inspected all the cables, etc... Still no go, but I'm gonna order the I/O board for it and hope all these dark clouds go away.

Update 12/14/07: Turns out there are a broken off paper registration flag in the preheater section all long.... SO it's fixed with uber-juryrigging (aka it's stronger than factory now) and I have $80 bucks in spare parts laying around for future breakdowns.... Oh well, if I need the cash back, there is always ebay.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bill of Lights

The article is under here

I know there are an ever increasing number of LED's and other lights popping up on an ever increasing number of products *cough*HP LAPTOPS*cough* but there are also an EQUAL number of products out there with very few or even NO lights of any kind, such as many Apple products.

Of course, there are also every combination of lighting options in between.

I, however, do not think "We the people" truly and for honestly care very much either way.

Though on some subconscious level, LED encrusted products that can be seen from space seem to induce an automatic "wooooow.." and all the subsequent drooling and twitching of fingers toward the wallet that causes fad products to sell well before word gets out how bad they suck.

On a personal note, I LOVE shiney things. LED lit or just plain beautifully designed, both are "shiny" in my eyes and I will admit to salavating. Though it only very rarely influences my purchasing decisions. I am too broke to just go "SHINY!" *SPEND!*

I am going to place the way I feel about those complaining of too many bright LEDs in the form of a question.

What is better than one LED bright enough to light up a whole room?

50 of them! That BLINK!!!

The more status information in the form of bright blinky things you can throw at me the better. I like bright things people! Yes, not everyone does and if not choose a different product! You have CHOICE in todays flooded market.

However, If you get the option to have my products light up like fireworks taken away from me, I'm gonna find you and brighten your day up with 360 volts of 3-phase! Nothing brings me closer to nirvana than when I walk into a server room and there are hundreds of thousands of brightly glowing and blinking LEDs of all colors. Turn off the main lights if you want to make me happier! All that whirring and blinking and brightness in the still of darkness....... all indicating that there is mammoth processing power residing there.... mmmmmm.....

Now THAT'S some fine shiny!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Work time workaround...

There is an old saying "Make do with what you have".

At work I have a craptastic old D(H)ell Dimension 2350 with a 2.8Ghz Celeron (Celery) a 160GB hd and 512mb of RAM running Win XP Pro.

Overall, it would be a fairly good system for a typical user.

I am not a typical user.

As many of you may (or may not) know, I am a heavy duty power user and I typically place a demanding load on my home system.

Work isn't too much different, I have numerous programs open all the time in order to do my job including, but NOT limited to, Outlook, Firefox, IE (Don't ask), an Access Database, Gaim, a music player, Acronis (drive imaging software), an interoffice chat client, SMART reporting software and numerous others including Virtual PC, Partition Magic, Excel and Word (ick)

512mb of ram is WOEFULLY insufficient for running this many ram hogging applications and while I will close down most of them when I can, I hate waiting forever for them to relaunch when I need them a few minutes later. It doesn't help that several of these application also intensely access the hard drive as part of their function.

Combine those two factors and you get one dragging system as the hard drive thrashes itself to pieces trying to swap and read and write data at the same time.

Worst part is this system is just a junker and my manage doesn't want to bother doing anything to upgrade it and I can't blame him.

So, in permanent lack of any official upgrades, I have been scrounging bits and pieces off of disposed systems and the junk bin to upgrade it a tad, including a DVD-RW drive, up from a 24x cd-rom, a 2.8ghz Celeron, up from 1.8ghz.

Since no 512mb ram modules were making themselves available, I decided I had to take another action to eek more speed out of my crappy work box.

*Ping!* Idea!!!

When you have lots of mediocre parts to work with, sometimes quantity can be better than quality.

I grabbed one of the 60gb scratch drives out of my pile of extra HD's and stuffed it in. I then wiped it clean and scanned for bad sectors (these things are pulls from systems in various conditions so it is wise to inspect them).

I don't have RAID capabilities on this old Dell board so I left it as a single drive instead of striping it into a RAID for speed.

I then off loaded some of my most often thrashed files to it including my windows swap file, virtual pc hd image, and some of the Acronis disk image files.

The speed difference is excellent! Granted, it's not QUITE as good as having 1 (or 2!)GB of RAM and a high powered Pentium or Core Duo as well, but it's better than nothing!!

It's much more usable than it used to be, especially when I'm torturing the system... I don't care how fast they are, single processor systems are so wimpy when it comes to multitasking.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Must.... Kill..... Everything......

Apparently it's been found that being fat is "contagious" accord to a recent study....

in short, they have found that obesity is not so much a disease, as a "socially contagious phenomenon" and affects friends and family even if separated by great distances. They found that you have as much as a 57 percent chance of gaining weight yourself if your friend or partner does.



Maybe, just maybe, YOU get fat if your friend gets fat BECAUSE ALMOST HALF OF AMERICA IS FAT AND GETTING FATTER BY THE MINUTE?!?!?!?

Yes, it MIGHT be possible for a direct psychological connection to influence weight gain, but STILL this "study" is CRAP!

I wouldn't buy this cruft if you PAID me!

One more thing!

I am so SICK and tired of hearing or America's "obesity epidemic". The next person who uses those words in a conversation with me is going to be savoring the taste of their own TEETH.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Picture of the Unspecified Time Period

Been a while since I've done one of these, SO.... Picture for you all! All together now! AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!

I think they microwaved my face with all that cute....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fatigue.... Bad!/Good!

I shouldn't think about forming a reply to ANYTHING when I'm tired and sick and cannot sleep. I was given one of those lil' "friend survey" thingies that circulate around email and blogs and the such. I was answering with one/two word answers until I got to this one particular question. I took my answer and just RAN with it....

15. RED OR PINK? Now that's not really a fair question to impose upon someone. The whole debate on Red vs. Pink (aka. Dark Pink vs. Light Red) is something that cannot be summed up in but a single word answer! Both of these highly dynamic and creativity inducing colors have a vast quantity of advantages and disadvantages to being chosen as an answer for this all important inquiry! I say it is not fair in forcing one to choose between either of these indispensable tones of reflective or emitted light and instead focus on acceptance of ALL colors of the visible light spectrum! Reflected or emitted! Reflected or Diffused! All colors are equally important in order to create the beauty that makes this world special! I say nay to answering such a question and instead offer open arms to ALL colors as equals!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

To Do List:

I wanna do this!

Heck, I have enough parts and scrap, I probably COULD do this at little, to no cost!

Just need magnets....