I sat, waiting for the connecting flight to Cleveland, listening to something on my iPhone and tooling around on my Macbook Air.  I felt a tension in my chest when I looked around at all the people doing something similar including overly-loud-ichat-user, annoying-physics-game-on-iphone-kid, and semi-staged I-point-at-your-macbook-screen-you-point-at-mine-couple.   I wanted to rise from my chair and yell “I am comfortable in a command line, I run 2 flavors of linux, and manage 3 dedicated windows servers.  I know some C++ and non-Apple devices outnumber Apple devices 2 to 1 in my home.  I’m not one of you!”  My scream would not be blocked out by the shitty white standard iPod earbuds, and no one would be quick enough to capture it on their iOS devices nor record it with their iSight cameras.  Steve recommended I put that line on a t-shirt.

I’m going to buy an Android phone and compile a copy of Darwin to return harmony to my technological soul.

I needed to do a presentation at the College of Commissioner Science and realized too late that I’d need a projector.  Someone there would have one but statistically it’d be someone I’d rather not owe anything to so I opted for bringing my 27″ iMac.  The benefits were that it works in full light and there’s almost no set-up.  I got there, set up, and found that two people were scheduled to instruct the same session.  This is the kind of asinine shit that’s made me want to ragequit Scouting some time ago that I at least now have an end date for.  The training was otherwise fine and consisted of 10 trainers for 14 people, another dose of farce I’m glad I can escape for a bit.

After this I went to camp where there were six campmasters for the six odd campers present.  At a few points, Don Wiater would leave the table and want to check on a sports game and I’d yell “Come back, Don.  Who needs the cold embrace of a TV when you have us.”  Like I was one talk to talk about blocking people out to look at displays:

Since it's not a tower, it must be a laptop.

Ever since I got an iMac, I’ve noticed some changes in my PC.  For one, the boot sequence hangs on AHCI detection and second, the S3 sleep keeps being disrupted and the computer reboots on waking.   I wonder what is causing such disquiet in slumber and waking.  Not be outdone, my iMac seems to have difficulty finding its keyboard from time to time.  Maybe I should introduce the two and see if there’s a case of unresolved sexual tension on the network stack.

I posted on Facebook that I had some spare cables and someone told me he wanted a few.  I asked what, he said “standard ones” and I ran with that.  I added a USB cable, 2 power cables, a SATA cable, and a few other things but wanting to get rid of more, I started applying specious logic.  So, he has a TB of storage, but what if he actually has 8 128 gig PATA drives?  He’ll need at least 9 cables (one always breaks).  To power all those drives, he may run a dual power supply, and you don’t want those to break down, so 4 more power cables.  He’s probably backing up those drives to external storage so he needs at least 4 USB cables.  Just in case one of the drives fail, I included another hard drive, some mounting screws, a drive cage, a gigabit ethernet card (to use as a shim to hold the drive in) and some optical cables.  Who doesn’t like playing with fiber optic cables?

I got a text message at 10 AM on Monday that my team’s website was down which I chalked up to DB difficulties after a few hours and frantic emails I found out that our site had been compromised and that I was allowed to start crying.  After a few days of hacks, and communicating with a programmer who’s helping us with our site migration, I got an email today at 11:30 AM that all was going well and did a fist pump in the middle of lunch to indicate my approval.

I returned home only to find out at about 5:00 PM the site had reverted to its status as of 12/2/2010.  I wasn’t sure what was up so I waited and by 8:30 Pm, the site had reverted to its state as of 10/2/2010 and these changes were being wrought by an IP address in Belarus.   Not knowing the source of this march of devolution I contacted the conversion plugin programmer with a furious “WTFOMGBBQ” and received the response back of “led programmer is gone till monday.  We sorry :(“.  So I set to start manually moving forum categories one a time and after a mere 10 hours, I had 110k of our 125k posts moved.

I’ll be damned if my team goes without a web page for a week.  Happy New Years.

I lost my thumb drive the other day and today I relocated it.  I lose my thumb drive every six months or so usually because it falls off the carabiner I use to hold my keys which means I could switch to a conventional key chain but the knife has proven very useful.  So, what to do with my damaged thumb drive?

After mangling the USB end to fit into a computer, I formatted it and wrote over all sectors with 1s and 0s but I wanted more certainty.  The microwave proved much less interesting than I thought so I resorted to the simple elegance of a claw head hammer.  Blow 1 and 2 did little but blow 3 had a comfortable crunch as the two RAM chips fell off.  I put it inside a cardboard box which I doused in toluene, lit on fire.  I am comfortable that my data has been securely erased.

After finding that there seem to be no FLOSS or free-as-in-beer Windows Movie editing suites besides Windows Movie Maker after a quick Google search, I decided to contact the help desk to ask what would be required to add it.

Helpdesk: I’m sorry, Windows Movie Maker is a non-standard application.
Me: How?
Helpdesk: The approved editing application is Windows Media Player.
Me:  That’s a player.  Windows Movie Maker is the editor.
Helpdesk:  It’s non-standard.
Me: I repeat, how?  The name is Windows Movie Maker, it comes with Windows, it is considered actual reasonable functional software, and again, has the word Windows in its name.  It’s provided by Microsoft.
Helpdesk:  The application is not designed as approved video editing software.

I eventually found a free solution but the generation time led to a curious calculus: Time to make video including set-up, data transfer, and cleaning my camera – 30 minutes.  Time to edit together two pieces – 7 hours and 30 minutes.

Dad: Mom wants a laptop like mine.
Me: Ok, I can find another.
Dad: I was thinking of getting something with a touch screen.  I don’t really like the keyboard thing.  I see ads for some pad computer that looks sharp.
Me: You want an iPad?
Dad: I think, I’ve got to try another thing.
Me: I did not pay the Internet bill for the last 8 years so you could waltz in with your fancy tablet like you own the god damn Internet.  If you’re going to learn how to use a computer, you’re going to use a big boy computer and unless you plan on also getting an espresso machine and a pair of Birkenstocks, you’re not going to get an iPad.
Dad: If I get one,  I’ll give you my laptop so you can give it to mom as a Christmas gift and avoid asking her what she wants.
Me: Deal.

Sometimes my dad is a latter-day Kissinger.

Two years ago a friend of mine purchased my old PC and recently it started freezing on him while playing Starcraft 2.  I wanted to stress test the rig to make sure it wasn’t a hardware issue so I ran the standard CPU tests of calculating Merseinne primes,  the first trillion digits of pi, and solving rainbow tables but I needed something to test the video card.  After poking around, the industry standard appears to be seeing how quickly your computer can render frames of a spinning torus covered in fake fur being blown by a fan.

CPU testing – Find an odd perfect number.

GPU testing – Imagine a wind-buffeted squirrel bagel.

I want to be able to work on my team’s dedicated server from work but was thwarted by the fact that there are restrictions on remote desktop.  I asked what it’d take to get by this restriction and I was told “it couldn’t be done from your PC”, really?  So my desktop had off-site remote desktop access turned off, but not on site.  So, I wound up remoting to another desktop, so I could remote home, so I could remote to the server.  Simple.