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October 2004

The Geeks shall inherit the earth

Stephen Murray is a geek running for U.S. Congress, and he has a Wired article written about him to prove it:

Considering that technology issues demand more attention from Washington every year, one would think geeks would be well-represented inside the beltway. Federal lawmakers right now are mired in debates about everything from intelligence surveillance to file sharing.

And yet, there is not a single computer technician in Congress.

Any man who mentions Newton and Leibnitz's independent development of Calculus gets my vote! Although I think he should have a blog, even W and Kerry have one!


Tales of a Tablet PC convert

The Dev Theologian posts about his first few days with a Tablet PC:

So 2 Wednesdays ago, I decided to take the plunge and buy a TabletPC; I chose an Averatec AV3500.  I had read a number of user reviews which were mostly mixed.  One of the scarier reviews mentioned that the guy had returned 3 units and was not getting another one.  The last review mentioned that this machine was probably not for the unseasoned PC user (meaning “can you support your own machine?  if not then this machine is not for you“).  Anyway, the price was phenomenal!  I bought a brand-new TabletPC for about $1299 and I got it from Staples.com (they should send me money for what I'm about to do).  This appears to be the cheapest price for this Tablet and I would say that this is probably the cheapest priced tablet on the market with these capabilities.

I do believe the last time I was at Staples I played around with this very Tablet PC, and I was somewhat underwhelmed. Although, I must point out that the display made it nearly impossible for me to 'convert' it from a normal laptop to a tablet (it swivels), so that didn't help my impression of the whole device.

I still think that Tablets will be relegated to niche markets, but Apple makes a lot of money in a niche, so is that a bad thing?


Another weekend, another day at work

What is going on? Two weekends in a row I have to work one day! At least it seems like they are alternating, so if I have to come in sometime next weekend I know it will be on a Saturday.

Hurrah!

Anyway, I have alot of backlogged links and things I have been meaning to get up on good old Blankbaby.

When I get home from work I am going to be bloggin' like mad!


Google it, or not

MrBarrett.com raises a good point about Google, and his use of it in tech support:

Despite not ever having seen this error before, I was able to find the solution in less than a minute. How? Google. A simple Google search for (what else!) "Unknown error 9589" brings up the solution as the first result.


What marvels me is that this instructor who is savvy enough to teach Quark and use her computer efficiently every day wasn't able to find this solution on her own. She insists that she looked "all over Quark's site".



Congrats to Glenn

Glenn, my good friend, is finally moving to CT:

I'm signing the lease sometime this week/early next, and on the 30th I am enlisting help from friends and family (although I hate being 'the guy who asked for help to move this weekend') and packing all my worldly possessions on a truck bound for Shelton, CT.

I would offer to help Glenn with his move, but unfortunately I will be antiquing that weekend. I really do need an Edwardian Wardrobe, or perhaps a Tibetan wall hanging.

Anyway, hope the move goes well!


A Conversation between Vonnegut and Kilgore Trout

For those of you who do not know who Vonnegut or Kilgore Trout are, shame on you! For the rest of you, read this conversation between them penned by the man himself.

A memorable few lines:

KV: That isn’t anthropology. That’s sociology.

TROUT: What’s the difference? I’ve often wondered.

KV: A sociologist is paid by the Sociology Department. An anthropologist is paid by the Anthropology Department.



Agile Messenger 3.0 BETA Review from Keene iPAQ h6315/h6300 Tracker

Keene iPaq has a good review of Agile Messenger 3.0 BETA, which I do believe I will be installing on my iPaq when I get to work:

I have to agree with Agile's promotion , "No other mobile Instant Messenger is as mature and reliable as Agile Messenger." That said, most IM clients aren't as stable as they should be. Unfortunately, Agile Messenger is not immune. However, Agile seems to work best when the user exits the program when it's not in use. I'm hoping this is a BETA issue and the release version solves these problems.

I will soon be posting my thoughts on the iPaq h6315 and Pocket PC's in general.


Don Knuth doesn't want your stinkin' email

Don Knuth, a noted computer science thinker turned off his email in 1990:

I have been a happy man ever since January 1, 1990, when I no longer had an email address. I'd used email since about 1975, and it seems to me that 15 years of email is plenty for one lifetime.

Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I try to digest that knowledge into a form that is accessible to people who don't have time for such study.

I love email, anything that helps me avoid human contact can't be that bad.


I'm fat, are you happy now?

nopepsi.jpgThose who know me, or those who have seen any pictures of me, know that I am what you would call a 'fat guy' (you probably wouldn't call me that to my face, unless you were very rude, but you get my point). In college some of my friends called me 'jolly,' my mother called me 'husky' when I was a kid, and most people of the opposite sex (who have met me) think of me as either the 'funny guy,' or the 'oddly quiet guy who is creeping me out a little bit with his constant staring and labored breathing (an impression usually gained after I have walked up a few flights of stairs).'

Anyway, my point is I need to shed some pounds. This isn't some sort of recent revelation, nor is it doctor's orders; it is something I have been thinking about for a long time and I have thought about it long enough. I have a tendency to think and think about things but never actually act on them, so in order to kick start a healthier new me I thought I would write about it on Blankbaby, for everyone to read about.

The first step towards a healthy new Scott? Stopping all intake of Pepsi, effective immediately.

People who know me well, or in passing, know I love Pepsi more than any man should love a carbonated liquid, and might be shocked to learn that I am willing to give it up. A few years ago I tried drinking less Pepsi, but that didn't work out. Then I tried drinking Pepsi only when I ate out, but that didn't last long. The one time I tried to stop drinking Pepsi cold turkey I did it for about 7 months, and I felt much better. At month 7 I thought, 'Hey, I can have some sweet, sweet Pepsi again.'

And I did; I haven't stopped drinking it since, until that is today.

It is true that Pepsi alone isn't responsible for my girth, but it certainly doesn't help. I am sure I get a large part of my 'empty calories' from Pepsi.

Therefore, I am off the Pepsi! If you see me drinking Pepsi I give you the right to smack me in the face as hard as you can followed by the phrase, 'That, sir, was for your own good.'

I'll miss you sweet, sweet Pepsi, but I am a better man without you.


Happy 30th Birthday, D&D

Dungeons & Dragons marks 30th anniversary:

“The game allows you to live through your character in your favorite fantasy books,” said Drake, sporting an airbrushed T-shirt of himself as a “Game Master” surrounded by flying dragons and other beasts.

In 1974, 1,000 brown-and-white boxes filled with pamphlets for “Fantastic Medieval Wargames” were distributed by a couple of guys who liked war role-playing and decided to set a game in the Middle Ages but with monsters and fantastic heroes.

Dungeons & Dragons went on to become one of the best-selling games of all time, inspiring fan devotion so great that some travel thousands of miles to play in tournaments.

I have spent many a hour rolling the dice and slaying some orcs. Ahh, those were the days.


Bowtie Guy says Stewart looked ridiculous

The Ottawa Citizen has has excerpts from an interview with Tucker Carlson and you can get him Unfiltered:

"I thought that he looked ridiculous," Carlson said in an interview Monday, "and I think the tape makes that clear."

Carlson said Stewart continued lecturing the Crossfire crew after the show went off the air. "I wasn't offended as much as I was unimpressed," he said.

I for one, think Stewart cleaned Crossfire's clock, but then again I use phrases like 'cleaned his clock.'


EZ trumpet for EZ use

Engadget posts about Yamaha’s digital EZ trumpet:

Not to be outdone by Roland’s digital accordion, Yamaha has come out with an electronic trumpet that lets you avoid having to do the intense cheekwork yourself, like all that buzzing and blowing that the analogue version demands. Instead, you can eiether hum into the mouthpiece and have it convert your mumblings into trumpet-sounding melodies, play using the valves, or just use some combination of the two. We’re sure Louis Armstrong is turning over in his grave about now.

I have no musical talent, but even I am insulted by this.


The LadyKillers (2004)

ladykillers.jpgI just watched The Coen Brothers The Ladykillers, and while I am a huge fan of the Coen brothers, but I heard many not so good things about the movie.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the movie, and the soundtrack. I was tapping my toe along with the gospel music, and I am seriously contemplating purchasing the soundtrack, posthaste.

Overall, I would recommend the movie to all you Coen brothers fans, not their greatest but you will still enjoy the delightful dialogue, especially from Tom Hanks' character.


ColdFusion Best Practices for Oracle Databases

I may have linked to this article before, but I don't think so.

ColdFusion Best Practices for Oracle Databases:

One of the most popular large-scale, server-based database vendors, Oracle provides data storage facilities to millions of web applications, including those powered by ColdFusion. This article explores integrating Oracle databases into your ColdFusion applications, from both a performance and development perspective. While Oracle is used as the chief example, some of the concepts apply to other database vendors products as well.

It is chock full of tips for us Oracle luvin' Coldfusion usin' web guys.


Brak Wisdom

"There's no such place as Boston, at least not for me mother," said by Brak as he mourned the lose of Connie Gainway, of the Gainway Gainways.

The Brak Show may indeed be the best show on television, or at least the show that makes the least amount of sense.

Further evidence of this statement can be found here, for example:

[Brak prepares to dissect a clam in Biology class] Brak : I guess it's goodbye Brak the happy, go-lucky man about town... and hello, Brak the ruthless clam slayer

Now that is comedy.


National Novel Writing Month

I am thinking about participating in National Novel Writing Month this year:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

I can write just as crappily as the other people that will be participating, it is just a question of the volume of the crap. However, I do enjoy writing and when I set my mind to it the words flow, so I maybe be able to do the 1700 words a day.

I will keep you posted (get it, posted? ahh blog humor).