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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Full day

Turns out I had a dentist appointment I had to cancel, lots of calls this morning, remotely installing a Linux server in Texas, I was on a Windows machine burning CDs and someone brought the server in and installed CentOS from them on there, interesting how you can teach and get things done 4 states over, just glad I didn't have to jump on a plane.

Also helped out my Neighbor by going to Glendale with him for his barber certification exam. I had no idea that the state ran a hair salon/barber testing place where the issue licenses to barbers, or that my barber didn't have such a thing, the fine for not having it is $1000, wow. Anyhow now he is fully licensed. Lucky guy too, he didn't read the instructions completely and almost got rejected for not taking the written test earlier.

So you arrive at this place, and they are really anal about not having cellphones or cameras there. He went to some computer farm for the written test. Then we went to a station for a shave and haircut. Can't believe this took 2 hours! Even had to rent a kit before all of this for $60 to get the haircutting supplies. It was interesting to see something completely different from what I do. Anyhow he passed, and we sped back to El Segundo, some talking on the cellphone while driving, missed exits and general aimless driving, too late, had to drive to Torrance for the breastfeeding class, I got there in time, thank goodness, she wouldn't have been happy otherwise.

So breastfeeding class was another new and completely different thing for me as well. The bright spot about it was the comedy of errors at the end of the class, really like a comedian, the instructor went through a scenario of having a baby, taking her home and asked us to write down all the things that were done wrong in her scenario.

.NET Geek dinner in El Segundo Feb 19

This is rather cool, we have a Geek dinner around the corner from us. If you too live in town, maybe you want to join us. Don't forget to RSVP early so that Geoffrey Emery can get a head count and let the Tavern know what to expect.

Time is so precious these days...

Monday, January 28, 2008

tired

So going to CodeCamp and then working on that telephony thing in San Dimas has pretty much drained me. I am now laying on my back typing into the laptop, need a rest.

Didn't stick around Sunday to see if my ticket stub 2213 won the xBox, just gave Howard my stub and took off. But what are the chances when there are 200 people there. I had to get to work on that Talk Switch at 15:30, got there 15 min late as it was.

But Code Camp was a great experience and did learn new things. So back to my day to day problems, today I need to ship a 20" TV/VCR to Ohio.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

CodeCamp

Wow, what a great geek coder event, it is sponsored by MS and although they want to keep a low profile and invite all open source guys to go give talks, the secretary put the Microsoft logo no all speaker badges so they can't escape the public recognition that this is a MS event, sponsored buy and largely about MS. Woody did make it clear that they wanted open source guys to come talk, so if you are out there, come and give a talk about Ruby, Drupal, LAMP or whatever you want.

I got there after all the Geek Dinner tickets where passed out at 8:15 AM, 200 tickets went fast. I first went to a talk the Sleepless people gave about SharePoint, which worked great for me as it matched the book I got at registration. I even got to be in some video about the event where I pretty much talked about this blog and I was asked about Sharepoint, my expectation is that it is easier to setup and run, might have more eye candy then open source stuff. But it is probably easier to then use the open source stuff after it is installed, since it is hard to install and you learn more about internals. At least that has been my experience with other things. When you have simple apps with source available it makes lots of things simple. Anyhow there was a nice breakfast spread outside room UH 248, I ate again, since I had been up since 5am. So yet another thing to eval from MS. They do good marketing, and the MVPs do help out. Full disclosure, I do own the stock right now, but I try to ignore that when reviewing.

I next went to room 246 Everything Developers need to know about Active Directory, which started out with a slide that talked about everything they were not going to cover in the talk, and since I don't know much about AD, I was rather amiss with all that stuff missing, no matter the WikiPedia will fill me in. Sometimes I will put links in my blog for me to read, I do need to learn more about AD. Active Directory Application Mode was mostly what was left in the talk.

After lunch Geoff had a great talk about Data Stories With Virtual Earth put your data on a map and it makes so much sense when you look at it. Followed by a great talk about management. Scott Dunn got a big round of applause and certainly deserved it. No slides, but a nice count down to the talk at the start. Anyhow he clearly knows what he is talking about.

We then networked and headed for the Chase Hotel to go in the basement for the Geek Dinner. They had pasta coke and a bar, tickets were very scarce at the beginning and lots of people left, but plenty of drinks later. The 2 bands were pretty good, especially the second Sound Cake I have some video, but do I want to post? Lets just say that the recruiter from Avanade is quite the dancer.

A ride over the the Marriot with someone from SocialMixr to find that the room MS rented for the all night coding was deserted. I walked over to my car from there in a drizzle and drove home. Rather scary drive, we are not used to so much rain, but I guess at least it had already washed all the dirt from the road, so other then some unexpected puddles, it all went well and I got home soggy and happy.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

KickStart

Thinking about the strange things of the day before. I have to learn how to use KickStart, would have solved so many problems documenting on Friday how to go through some useless menus to build a server according to a very precise specification. I suspect that a KickStart file would have automated the procedure. I don't have time again to read this, I am running late to CodeCamp, starts at 8:30AM and I haven't asked around for carpool buddies yet.

Friday, January 25, 2008

short Twitter

I just had my cable modem replaced with a smaller newer model. They left the box, maybe I can eBay it someday, also have the old power brick plugged into it, they didn't bother swapping it. Nice guy, put bags on his boots, they aren't allowed to take the boots off, interesting, something about dropping a hammer on a foot, from the tool belt. Don't write about the dust bunnies or rats nest of cables down there, I will clean it up someday, like when I move out. So waiting for my carpool.

Charles gave me this IBM NetVista with OS/2 on it a few years back, I thought great, faster computer so I gave Mike the kitchen computer, which worked, but was noisy and older. Then the thing started crashing, until it didn't work at all. I pulled the motherboard and took it to BiPro for a replacement, David actually took the time to test the old board, and decided that although IBM makes good stuff, and he couldn't find any busted capacitors, it is in fact busted. I have looked at it several times in the sunlight in hopes of finding a cold solder joint, but didn't. I am stumped and tempted to play with it more, but obviously this isn't a matter of doing something rational anymore, more of a challenge, like trying to find a lost cellphone by calling 20 phone numbers that the theif/finder of the phone called. It was rather funny to watch that yesterday, wish him luck.

So this all started because I was going to Twitter that I got the cable modem replaced, but that site was temporarily broken again. As I see the wheel turning on that other T Tab.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

spent energy

The energy at work is starting to get less intense, thank goodness, we haven't moved our offices in days. I even got home at a resonable hour. A cellphone was lost and the calling of all the numbers the cellphone called was pretty funny.

I am not able to go, but this would be a cool event, StartUpWeekend in Seatle this weekend. I am still very much impressed with the last one in LA.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

can't blog

I spent the afternoon in a datacenter, bought a Skype phone, listed it on Amazon. I also finally uploaded our podcast to Switchpod.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Surf Cards

I had a friend drop of some surf cards about 2 weeks ago, I dropped them off at Tyler and that other surf shop on Standard. No bites, he seems talented, but the marketing of his cards has produced few clients. Maybe $2.50 is steep, maybe he needs to give free shipping or something like a special sale for a week. If you need a surfing greeting card, these are very exclusive right now: SurfReal.us

Amazon

I have been making progress on creating space here by selling stuff on Amazon, the DVD/VCR was the first to go, paid UPS 11 in shipping to Yorba Linda CA, after spending 20 mins in line at the post office only to have 3 agents go to lunch on me, I was at the front of the line and left in disgust, went to TheUPSStore next door and not only were they cheaper, there was no line and they were very cordial and helpful. So I created an online account and tried to print the next package, a CD changer, it didn't quite work out as the printer ink had dried out, oh well, write down the tracking number, they wouldn't print with that I filled it out by hand and after the LiLAX meeting shipped it out. This was last weekend, but I have been way to busy to blog. I then next sold the 750 GB drive I got at a great price and decided to list on Amazon, unfortunately it sold too, at a good price, it seems that Amazon gets you more for your goods then eBay. Of course these were all newish in the box items, maybe eBay is for the used stuff. Amazon keeps more, but since they make it so easy it is probably worth the extra price for less hassle. The only item I was happy to get rid of I didn't ship a 20" TV/VCR that is in great condition, but I had no packing material for, I returned the purchase price $129+33 shipping to the buyer, and still have to sell the item, are you in El Segundo in need of a TV?

The next item goes out of California to Maryland, could ship with a fiend who is here and can get it there, 26 miles from his home, but I guess in the cold Winter that won't happen.

I also have a HP A1097C in the kitchen, it is a very old 19" monitor that works great, but isn't easy to connect. It has a separate RGB cables and I have a converter to VGA kind of plug, but still it needs a very special TI chip in the Matrox Millenium card, I have 3 of those that makes it shine. I once spent a week getting this to work, not full time, but you get the picture, well it took me a week to get a picture on this SyncOnGreen monitor. Something else that needs to go, even though it has a great picture. Today I was contemplating connecting it to TWC's Explorer 8000HD through the YPbPr connector, but I suspect that since RGB is simply it gives you 3 colors vs. YPbPr seems to be lumina and some differences in colors that make up the other 2 signals, goofy way that NTSC works I guess. Haven't had time to digest all this WikiMedia info.

loss of independance

I am too busy these days. Yesterday I got dragged off to the Asia Expo in Pomona. It was 5 pavilions of Chinese goods. Lots of freebies, like playing with massage chairs or sitting in 35K-55K home theater. They had a create your own Paradise in your back yard water fall and koi pound, show special $4800. I sat down at the Chinese school and spoke with a teacher in China over Skype with cameras installed, it was kind of fun, but the place is just way to loud to understand anything, even though they had sealed headphones, they didn't appear to be noise canceling. We ate some spicy meat on a stick, very nice and walk around until the place shut down. Long line to get the shuttle to the car, what could we expect.

Friday, January 18, 2008

robot catapult

http://www.manapotions.com/robopult.html


This is pretty cool, makes you want to have these toys to play with and forget about the economy and the market.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

crushed

This is funny, in 2000 I stared a job that paid well, then the market tanked and I was busy working, lost my shirt in the meantime. I got to pay attention this time around. Today I bought some more BIDU, and it is loosing money for me, what the heck? Does our rescission affect China? It does in that we won't be buying as much and due to a weak dollar can start exporting, but won't the Chinese buy their own products now that they are wealthier? Is the US bringing down all wold markets? Interesting times, hope it all turns out right. Would be nice if the troops came home from Iraq and did something productive. Let us invest that money in something that benefits us.

So I search in eBay for a monitor, to find completed sales prices and see this interesting very well filled with pictures post for using your computer to watch TV. It sold for 9.99 and you save lots of money, hmmm.... Joost or Miro? Can't really tell what the underlying services is, maybe it is Bit Torrent.

slowdown

Like to wake up at dawn, it is a gentile time where you can decide if you sleep another 5 minutes or not all is silent, you can think about what to do during the day. I race to the computer, I feel better today and turn on CNBC, Bernake is tat Capital Hill talking about the softening economy. So far the DOW takes it badly C is at 26.06, other banks are down as well, I buy some BIDU at 183, low of day 182 so far. Think about carpooling to the office, I have no parking there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

new job

So I am now working part time for a company, I wonder if I can make an Air my signing bonus for going full time. I would love to play with one of these, I am OK to wait, but would like it once it has the first price drop. First day was great, I hope that I keep playing with neat stuff and learning. First time I was asked to wipe XP from the HD on a desktop the first day :) Ubuntu rocks! I was working during the install.

parrot flu

So I am watching DayBreak OC, on TWC19 and they are talking about a flu like disease that can be contracted from parrots. I didn't choose this channel at 6 in the morning, I just happened on it as I was tossing in bed with a headache and what appears to be sinus trouble. Yesterday I was with a person who had parrots at home and had flu like symptoms at the office. We also visited 6' tall twins that were moving to Arizona, because they found affordable housing and clean air there. I am told they both contracted some ailment in the LA area around the same time. I have often thought that I won't live long if I stay in this town too. I am between a refinery, airport, sewage plan and 3 power plants. This can't be good for my health.

So then I moved on to CNBC and Cramer is hanging out with Queen Latifah and the co-stars of Mad Money, the movie. Opens Friday, I will have to use my MS free movie pass for this. Yesterday I signed up for an IIS lauch event and didn't make it, rather unhappy about not having the time, usually don't miss RSVPed events, but things have just been too busy here. Way behind blogging, uploading pictures and all that. Sold another item on Amazon, last night filled out the shipping label, by hand, see post about printer and I got to say that having a UPS shipping account is worth it. Really speeds things up. I can just fill out the form, drop it in a truck, or ask for a pickup, after all the truck comes to my street pretty much every day, there is a store 2 blocks from here, I will UPS all this clutter out of here, is someone will buy it from me. I shipped out the CD changer on Monday. Have sold my new 750 gig external, shipping today, I am learning how to do e commerce because I have a client that wants to go sell on the web, Katmandu Furniture. Actually they want to partner with me in the e commerce since they don't have any idea of how to sell online, it is a young business with aggressive pricing and a lousy website that I had nothing to do with so far.

So some of the things I still need to get rid of:

  • Sharp 20" color TV or JVC 20" TV/VCR both work great, but too many of them
  • EtherFast 10/100 Auto-Sensing 8-Port Workgroup Hub Model No. EFAH08W, missing DC Input power supply.
  • 3 Port USB 2.0 PCI Interface Card.
  • 10x 26VAC power supplies.
  • USB HUB Self-powered Hub UH-144
  • more stuff later

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

a day at work

Today I am disconnected sitting in a conference room of a Java study group for which I didn't read the book. But it is interesting to see this from the outside. Nine bright people, although some of them are clearly falling asleep are talking about some very advanced programming subjects. I was rather impressed with the concept of software archeology.

This was the first full day I was working out of my office. I actually spent a whole day at a office with others, learning about all kinds of arcane things. I hear that openVZ is better then XEN. So darn, I still have that free voucher for training. This morning I got a really neat Dell with 2 gigs of RAM. I should probably sell all my home systems, because after getting spoiled I wouldn't be able to use these anymore.

This is bizarre, blogging to a computer with no internet connection.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bonkers

This week I am busier then ever, and my free garage sale printer, an HP DeskJet 3845, went crazy moving the head violently from side to side.

video

Sunday, January 13, 2008

SimCity was open sourced: Micropolis

One of my favorite games is LinCity, a Linux game that lets you be a major of a city. I used to play SimCity many years ago, now it is open source, this is cool, Micropolis.

bumper 2 bumper, technology on wheels



Yesterday we were doing lots of driving and I decided to start a technology podcast from the car. It is probably a very low quality one right now, but it is a start. Now we need to figure out how to get this up for all to hear. I can upload it as a movie, it is a .WAV file on the N95, uploads in this blog as a movie, but never completes, hours and the wheel spins... I am stumped.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Speed of the blog

Watching Fast Money on CNBC, time delayed, but they mentioned that you could Google KFIN09 and I thought I would blog it to see if others might be looking for this. It is their joke about running Karen Finerman for president. Anyhow I think the show is great, so catch it on CNBC at 2PM PST.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thumb replaced with Toe

This guy can do woodworking again after having his thumb replaced with his big toe, wow, great, of course he lost his original one woodworking. This is the stuff that the local news is reporting, I was trying to figure out why the helicopter was flying over us. But TV isn't indexed, no search engines, very simple ones so far, I can look for stuff in the DVR, but not something in the news. Miro is very cool and blip.tv etc... the internet will takeover video, why wouldn't you rather watch it on YouTube when you need and have time to see whatever you just searched for?

Swamring helicopters

Again I see a strange helicopter spotting over El Segundo, not something that often happens, it circulated 3 times and the flew away. On our way to San Diego we saw many of them as well, bigger and close to camp Pendleton. What is going on?

Lower rate on Visa and MC

I just got a spam automated call, pressed 9 to get operator, asked over her sales spiel, were did you get this number, she told me to have a good day and hung up. I wish I had CallerID, I would so look up the number in Google, bet you others have had this experience too. Not the first time they called, but I do hope it is the last or I will prosecute them. My neighbor wants one of my new phones only because he is sick of telemarketing calls.

disco no more

Four years the light in front of our building has been flashing faster and faster, today I saw a truck from Edison pull up and within minutes the guy was up there, replaced the bulb and drove on, really fast, hope it worked.

Now 5 minutes later the guy's picture is up on the web. The speed of it all, crazy, just wish I had a way to give the Edison guy my URL as I was giving him the thumbs up, while snapping the last pic (not shown.)

Last minute

UUASC doesn't often change speakers, but today I could get my talk in about updating or go to Dan Kegel's in Pasadena. One is close, the other far, but I am going to learn something.

KeyNote

I spent some time on the phone with an Apple fan boy talking about great stuff the iPhone does, the new law in California, you can't drive while holding a cellphone to your ear, had a JawBone, so no problem, and Office 2008 Mac, I verified it, which does exist and he claims to hear is better then the Windows version, no comment. I had to rack my brain to remember that great Power Point replacement, KeyNote, part of iWork, I had heard LJ talk about it fondly, likes it better then PowerPoint.

Got another call authorizing me to spend up to $500 for a new computer, where I will be loading Server 2008 and VS2008, which I got at the launch part :) I am good to play with this, I of course have to spend the money but knowing that someone will reimburse for hardware and time is a very nice feeling. I figure some kind of PC with at least 2 Gig or RAM. I am shopping Dell, Fry's and CallPCTech because I have to collect from them anyways, maybe I can simply get hardware.

So starting now I am a Windows fanboy, .NET and VS2008, funny how MS marketing works and a few drinks make me wear the LA NET developers group baseball cap everywhere. I have been attending .NET events for years and been interested in programming again, I am taking the leap.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

TestingCounterP

poker online

poker onlinePerhaps later I will write about our adventures in SanDiego. Meanwhile I have to test a counter.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fastest Vista Notebook is a Mac


I am talking with LJ as I often do and he told me the fastest vista laptop is a Mac according to PCWorld. Wow, that dip yesterday to 171 was a buy opportunity! The OS is growing in market share as well, that can't be bad either. The iPhone is the 4th most used browser on the internet, amazing stuff, Apple, what a comeback from death, back when MS invested in them. I might have to tell my new company that I don't want an HP, but a MacBookPro, if I travel much, otherwise a desktop is just great.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Blank Check IPOs

JMBA and APP were blank check IPOs, I am going to have to look into what this means, interesting concept: you IPO and try to acquire companies, so the investors don't know what they are buying, only the management, I guess. Wow, this is like so risky, I guess, but then there are good managers out there and you would give them your mad money if you could.

Got voxlinesystems.com to reconnect my Line4 on my desk phone. So I am back up, but still figuring out why they can't call me :(...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Busy

It is amazing how many things are starting to move in the new year, I am starting 3 companies it seems. Known Enterprises wants me to work with them on VoIP, CallPCTech, is not paying and can't be reached, SocialMixr seems to be biding its time to fix and launch Frenemies, but real soon now, the holidays are over, we are back to work. I didn't do my yearly MerryChristmas and a happy new year outreach email, so darn, am I waiting a year or just doing it? This is how I prune my address book of all those people you meet and loose touch with. I still have job leads sitting on my desk that I didn't follow up on, I guess that goes first, need money.

MS Visual Studio 2008 is sitting on my desk and I may be going to more .NET events to keep up with that segment of the market, need some more powerful hardware to test this all out. Still waiting for a laptop that was promised. I probably have to hurry it up before the warranty expires and can't be fixed.

Thinking back on the past week, I went to breakfast yesterday in MontereyPark, one of those places that you might as well be in Beijing.

Jacques thought this morning that the Neuros digital storage was really cool. Hmm, nothing you can't do with your old VCR/DVD player and a computer running Myth, who knows maybe that is what is inside. We buy so many devices because we don't know what our computers can do, sometimes all it takes is free software.

I may have blogged about the Chinese iPhone, I finally found the picture I took. This thing actually works very well, too bad it has the corporate logo of a company in the US. Or is the Apple bitten on the wrong side? Nope, just checked, same on the real Apple.

I didn't have it very long, unfortunately didn't get to test extensively, but it does work and has 2 SIM slots. Felt more flimsy, but it is, no doubt much cheaper.

After breakfast we went shopping and I found this gem for a buck at the 99 Ranch Market, together with .99 compact florescent bulbs, all subsidized by the electric company. Great stuff, little desk lamp only uses 1.5W and it has a compartment for batteries, you might as well put them in as it is too light otherwise.

Meanwhile the market is falling and all the bulls are getting poor, darn, I am bull, hats off to you bears, you must be happy these days. AAPL is so cheap, wow, but do I dare buy more? C is cheap, GE loosing me 2%, darn, could have bought cheaper, but who knew that is would be such a bearish year. ETFC is a complete desaster. This isn't any fun, I sometimes fell like cashing out and getting going short.

Watching Robbie Zach, Pres. of MS Entertainment and devices division talk about the Zune, seems they want to be the legitimate play behind Apple right now and he thinks that someday they could dominate, this as Apple is taking OS market share, I just read that Apple went from 4.21% in Jan 2006 to 7.31% in December 2007 that is some amazing growth. It is amazing that the iPhone shows as forth on this market share for OSs graph. I could see how a small amout of them might make a big splash, after all something in your hand can be used in the train or meetings, you would use it more then a desktop. I think that this blog has chewed up a whole hour of my time today, no wonder I don't get any income, I do things for free all the time, like this, the ad sense is up to 23.77, but what does that mean if I were to know how many hours I have spent doing my blog? pennies on the hour I bet. I think I probably should start keeping track of the time I spend typing this blog.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

MacWorld, MacCamp

I am looking into going to MacWorld on Jan. 14th. Jacques called this morning to say that he managed to setup his appointments in SF to coincide with that day, cool. He is a big Apple fan, has bought, as far as I have seen the MacBook, iMac, iPhone and stock in the company. I own the stock, but no products right now, but I have to say that seeing how the stock goes up and how well the Apple stores do, I do feel tempted to change my whole life to Mac, but at what cost? No maybe next year, Oh wait, this is '08, hmmm.... would it help me enough to justify the price tag, since right now I have an N95, XP, Ubuntu and don't really need it, but the times I have used an Apple it makes everything so easy, would hope that this way I can concentrate on doing more productive stuff, reinstalling XP really hurt me last time in my productivity, to the point that I bought a Maxtor OneTouch III drive to do backups, yes I was lacking and still am a backup of my old drive, not that the data is lost, I just haven't bothered to fix Windows and get it out of there. Google has been a great help in storing lots of stuff for me online to the point where I don't feel as lost without my desktop computer. It also allows me to switch OSs without a big loss in data. But just what I need, another OS in the mix, one that I have used often, but don't consider a core competency, I am more versed in Ubuntu, XP, and CentOS. I used to use many more, but these are the ones I have settled on. Gentoo is one that I want to play with more, but it takes time, OS X doesn't.

Naked Cowboy

Sometimes we create noise to quiet the silence, today the first day of the year it is pretty quiet, I like that, but sometimes I feel, give me more input, so I turn on the TV, flip up to channel 13 and see a Naked Cowboy hat in court, this must be good, he is telling the judge his side and his girlfriend is telling hers. I was amazed at how understanding a judge was about his lifestyle defending it in part and trying to uphold her needs too. In the end she ruled that they can both work it out and they should spit the filling fee for the court. I guess that this is really great publicity for the Naked Cowboy, tune in on Justin.tv. I see that old SDTV is on the way out, better sell the 2 old receivers while they are still worth something, I am ready to move on to digital, have one monitor that gets that.

Flight Pattern LAX

I live next to LAX, in El Segundo, like the title of the blog might give away, I just saw an airplane cut through the residecial area, like it was going to land then vered to the left of a runway flying West and turning South such that it was right in my East facing bedroom window, so reminicent of Sept. 11, something out of place. All I caught of the plane was the green tail, maybe a Ted? I tried to find the airplane on airliners.net, but no luck, guess it is a 767 or perhaps a similar sized airbus.