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Friday, February 29, 2008


Got up early carpooled to work, still learning and doing stuff, long day.
Decided to test the home Cable MODEM, after testig work's. Got better performance at work.

new job, new piggies

My first day at work was a real waste of time, I got a laptop with XP on it, spent hours reinstalling drivers as I was reading the wiki, XP sucks. I shoulda just blown away the partion and installed Ubuntu. The issue I have is that the drivers on the C:/DELL directory have really easy names like R107116, so that drives what, which of you is a network driver? Is OS X as obtuse? Ubuntu isn't. Anyhow afterwards I take lots of Togo's sandwiches from work to the Python meeting at Gorilla Nation, great talks about dJango, JQuery, and Cobra. Our host even provided dinner, good times.

I couldn't believe that Python floating point math was really that bad, until I ran it and did a .1*1 and didn't get .1 as an answer, wow, try 1.0/3, it is slightly off, something about floating point. Cobra has good math and all kinds of great features, like running on .NET and Mono, I was impressed with the talk. Chuck did a good job at it and seems he has spent 2 years writing Cobra, that is some time too. Couldn't take is picture for the blog, actually didn't take any pictures today, well maybe a few of the host, thanks Brad.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

eary wednesday

I don't understand but typically I wakeup very early on Wednesday, strange. Last night I drew out my strategy for this computer. Windows XP failed, so I will fix it, but first have to backup the Documents and Settings directory, as I don't want to loose that. A total reinstall, might be a good time for a backup. I have always wondered if I could get a home directory in Windows to move from one drive to another, this might be the time to figure that out. The picture is of sunset on the beach, right before we went to pickup the car, click run... nice times, so short, meanwhile my backup idea is getting messed up: $LogFile indicates unclean shutdown (0, 0), yea, when the Update gave me a choice to put in the Product Key, well, as you know the keyboard doesn't work, I had to turn off the system.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Google apps

My Windows XP didn't progress today, I got to admit that other then a visit to the dentist and a walk around Marina del Rey I didn't get much done today. Maybe I am burned out. During my walk I saw this little dog, smaller then I remember the king charles cavalier taller, but as I told Maggie's owner, on the other end of the red leash, I was much smaller when my parents had this dog, before I was born and it gave birth to my dog. I am sure I could find a picture of our own somewhere to compare the size.

I have to say that even though I am jumping computers and OSs like crazy lately, mostly I can keep stuff on Google and not suffer as much from not having a fixed computer. Usually I would have moved a picture to my system, here I am moving it to the web, and don't really need a printer to share it. The Internet is real now.


So I finally get into my old XP hard disk, no keyboard, but it works without that as long as I only use the mouse. There is an on screen keyboard that you can get from the accessories acceptability menu, cool. Then I did the misstep of trying to do a reinstall restore from the XP CD, this led me to have the system ask me for the product key and now I am stuck. Hours spent rebooting and trying to fix things, made it worst. Maybe I will next try to copy files from the working XP to the broken one. Or simply a clean install.

I found a Google finance work around for the sorting problem, if you click one header to the right of the one you are trying to sort, it sorts the one on the left, well, not intuitive, but it works for me.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I wake up read an Ubuntu book, I like reading in daylight and since it is too cold to get up, it seems like a great compromise. I am passing the Ubuntu book on to the neighbors, it is another great UUASC library book, so needs to go to the next person soon, unlike bookshelves of books here that can't possibly be read and ought to be listed on Amazon.

I turn on CNBC, market is a little tame today, not too bad it bounced back up, maybe the bears are finally giving up, bears make money in bad markets by shorting, they have conviction that the market will go lower, they can become bulls in time as they cover and go long. It has seemed for a while that this is going to be a year of bears, of course that doesn't include oil so far.

Finally I decided this morning to take another read of GTD. I keep being pushed into it, and it does seem to make sense. The SysAdmin market seems to be hot in the LA area, good time to be one, unlike the last 5 years where there was a real slump. Did the reduction in H1 visas have an impact?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday not off

So my wife got a long weekend, 4 days, driving me nuts, seems her EU company gives her 5 weeks vacation, but it is expiring, take it or loose it. I spent Sunday on a never ending conference call I am still on, just muted the phone so my typing wouldn't be part of it. Exciting stuff in a way, we are doing a new company and installing all kinds of applications for it. MediaWiki is up, have a CentOS5.1 box and installing OpenVZ on it and other things. Feel that it looks promising, 5 people on the call, this is pretty good turnout.

I still want my idea of VoIP to be spread to the user groups. I attended a meeting of the OC Asterisk group in Irvine. Today being on this long call I feel as though I might like a better SIP phone then GrandStream provides, don't get me wrong, it has worked for years, but Polycom would be nice to play with. Maybe we, all the LUGs can make a mass purchase of phones. I would buy more for resale then I need, but the idea is to use the mass purchasing power to lower price. Actually just getting samples out to a group of people like this could stimulate demand. Maybe we could do a OneTelephonePerChild OTPC. I think that a VoIP phone would be a great addition to a broadband connection.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

cheap rent

Swap to old HD

Some of you may remember that when XP back in October on Wednesday after what I presume was a update Tuesday my XP wouldn't let me type my password anymore, locking me out. I decided yesterday to connect the old HD again and try to revisit that problem. Well first of all, it boots right into Ubuntu 7.04, a apt-get dist-upgrade, I of course didn't remember the password for that either, but a bit of trying and finally I hit it and there are first 34, then 101 updates available, ignore them for now, maybe I will blow this entire HD, since it now hosts broken Windows XP and outdated Ubuntu, I thought I would fix it. I fist ignore the update request, but today I boot back into it, accept the update offer, and notice a dist-upgrade offer right there on the GUI update manager. I can work while I install Ubuntu, I can dist-upgrade right there from the GUI, I think I may be moving some people to this, they are really delivering on promises that I told people 2 years ago when I did the Maco slide deck at LiLAX for the first time. Dell ships Ubuntu on computers now, 2009 could actually be the year of the Linux desktop.

In looking for something else I find that DSL is the Dominican Summer League. I always get interested when I see something of the island I grew up on. I was reminiscing today about the Italian Christopher Columbus movie that was filmed in Las Terrenas, North Samana peninsula, Hispaniola and the crazy Jerry who took of to Italy with the film crew only to return years later not speaking any Spanish anymore on a one-way ticket he tought was a return ticket. I will have to talk to this guy someday again, when I am traveling. Long time ago.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Does anyone still recognize a EISA bus? I don't see any, but got this Intel EILA8225 ethernet card with 10base2, 10baseT and AUI that might be useful to someone fixing an old server, but not to me. Trouble is finding someone who needs strange things like this. A museum perhaps?

I keep not updating my resume with all the things that I can do. I thought this morning that having grown up in a business where merchandise was sold on credit means that we always had to evaluate the credit worthiness of the borrower. I was adviser to the president of the company all the time, not only in matters of technology, but it extended to other things. I was younger and foolish, but I have thought about many of these issues over the years. I was a consultant to many companies and still listen to problems and advise. I don't work nearly as hard as I did back then, I was working at the ICDA, going out of the house every day, then going to college, sitting in what were very boring classes to me, this was where I first read while listening to a lecture, I keep doing that today, I have the TV on CNBC while writing this, scanning for news, listening the the general mood of the market, I even fast forward over commercials, they add nothing, too much of the same.

So I have ads on my blog, and I am listing many items in my home that I would like to recycle, maybe sell. If you look at my very first post, you will see that although I share lots about myself and what I learn in this blog, I did start it originally because I ended up with lots of stuff after going to David's house to pickup a router.

I just looked, this blog is a year old now! I made my first post Febuary 17 with this list of stuff some is gone by Amazon, some was given away and some is still lingering:
  • EtherFast Cable/DSL Router Model BEFSR41 (missing 5v Power Supply 3 prong triangle plug.)
  • PCI WiFi: D-Link AirPlusXtremeG DWL-G520, 2x DWL-520+, 2x Broadcom BCM4306KFB
  • EtherFast 10/100 Auto-Sensing 8-Port Workgroup Hub Model No. EFAH08W, missing DC Input power supply.
  • D-Link wireless broadband router Print server parrallel, serial, DI-713P, power is missing top, but works.
  • 3 Port USB 2.0 PCI Interface Card.
  • 10x 26VAC power supplies.
  • USB HUB Self-powered Hub UH-144
  • Ether H5 Ethernet Hub Model No. Ether-H5, missing power supply.
  • Nokia 3650
So I invest and use to list some stocks I own and some that others have advised me on, to track their performance. Problem is I use the sort function to see which stock is hurting me the most on a given day, but it isn't working, the sort is broken, test it, comment if you have the same problem. I ended up posting this here, because I couldn't find a quick place to tell them. I did find the finance blog.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New light post.

It has been a pretty busy day out on the street today. First a guy lays out a carpet, then I get 2 trucks replacing the light post that was leaning to the right.
Frankly we were actually happy without the light, it shines right into the apartment. Funny thing is the CEO of Terex is on CNBC as I am looking out the window and see one of their cranes working.

Need video cards?

I really like these Google maps, they can be pasted in anywhere, they are interactive, cool.
View Larger MapFirst picture is of an AGP 1997 STB Systems, Inc, 1X0-0620-305 6000736 210-0275-00X Mexico, VGA This morning someone actually bought an old Creative Labs DI5630 Modem Blaster Flash 56K Modem [Electronics] off of my Amazon listing. I was hopeful about selling old cards, but this was a very good price. I am of course shipping today as I will be close to Kinkos for an interview. I hate tossing things that work in the trash, I thought it costs nothing to list and what the heck, maybe someone can use this stuff. I also need to practice for a client, he is going to have me sell furniture on-line, so I regard this as a learning experience that pays. So if anyone needs video cards I have a few in stock.

AGP S3 Trio 3D/2X on Board QCE2HC Taiwan.

So there they are my video cards, probably have more out there, might add them to this post later. Please feel free to email me or call if you need one. I guess that puts the interesting idea of putting my phone and email on this blog. Hmmm... my email is the blog name at, hopefully bots can't figure that one out, not that the email address isn't already on all kinds of lists.

Number Nine NND 9750 CH03563 Korea 32800700-12731-813-0271 Revolution 3D WRAM 8MB AGP.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

So JJ comes home and tells me to look out the window, right here a lunar eclipse, not that the camera can do such a great job of taking that picture. So I can see the moon rising and the sliver of light keeps getting smaller, cool! Last night when I walked home I remember seeing a full moon.

I keep meaning to take a night picture of the 2 candy cane chimneys, I don't quite know how to get them look like it is night and a the same time good enough, the idea is to put them as a background for the blog title. Another idea is a night shot of the refinery.

SoCal .Net dinner in El Segundo

Eleven people showed up and drank mostly beer at 123 Main St, The Tavern at Main, a nice location with too many large screen TVs, could work as monitors, not many people on a Tuesday night and free WiFi, great location for a geek dinner. I guess you bring a VGA cable and try to use a monitor for your projector, but Geof did bring a projector too. Just no surface to point it at. Woody was there, I discovered his Twitter woodyp and followed him, he has cool stuff to day in person, but his blog is rather dead. The waiter was thrilled that we all had name tags, for the separate checks, a pint of Guinnes is $5 there, just like the Pilsner room where UUASC OC meets after the meeting. I wonder where Geoff will take this group. Might be nice to have a meeting about VS2008, I would look forward to that. Anyhow good times, there will be a SoCal road show next month, I wish I had a pen, didn't write down that thing, it hasn't been blogged or twittered by Woody, it is invisible to me right now, give me something to google. Speaking of Yahoo, I brought up the subject and Woody is very passionate about not messing up Flickr, I agree, what a great site. Today I learned how to highlight a word, right-click it to Search google it and then you have a new window with the search, FireFox is great.

Rainy day, very unusual here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

VS2008 just arrived

but haven't bought any hardware to run this one, Peter?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Farmer's Market

Since my neighbor Stephan didn't have time and my wife had other plans for me, I got taken away Saturday morning from the idea of going to OCLUG to collect a remote for the Tivo and distribute USENIX info to a compromise of going to the Santa Monica Farmer's market first and then the meeting about ATK Framework. Jorge Garifuna a frequent speaker at LAMPsig did a great marketing presentation on how easy and quick you can do things in ATK. ATK's website: "ATK is a business framework. It is written in PHP, and allows you to build web applications with minimal amounts of code. The only code you write is business logic." One plus of this was I managed to book Jorge to speak at LiLAX, at his own request. I still help to fill the speaker queue.

Some vendor was having a Kodak moment with his kid, I took his picture and emailed it to him at, but it bounced. I got to say that email from a cellphone has not worked very well for me. At another booth I had many samples of cheese fed, we eventually settled in a rather mild one, but JJ likes it. I would have gone for something sharp.

I learned how things used to be preserved in olive oil in jars before refrigerations was available, interesting concept. I knew about salting meat to preserve it.

Today I woke up with a soar throat. So still in bed typing on the old laptop, wifi is great. Didn't register a fever yet, but feel like it is coming.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

XEN vs OpenVZ

Today I plan to spend some time with virtualization. I have a video to watch from XENsource and a live Knoppix based CD for OpenVZ I got at SCALE6x.

If I have more time I might do some playing with EC2.

no time

I have been sleeping without a clock in the bedroom the last few nights, I was cleaning, unplugged it and got the lame idea of selling the $5 clock radio on Amazon, but couldn't find a listing for it. Anyhow today I reconnected it and set it to 4 AM so that JJ doesn't get the wrong idea about waking up too early, like I just did. Not sure why I have been sleepless again in a Wednesday, often I wake up really early that day. Today I was remembering the very long day I had at work and the fact that I need to send them an invoice. This is something I need to program something for. In the days I used to do dBase I had a program that would take my time and * rate, print get paid. Now days I need all kinds of stuff like an interface to the Skype API since some of my stuff comes from there, probably want a live start stop app that I can run from a sh so I don't have to use paper anymore, comments in there would be nice as well. A google brings me to TimeSlips, but do I want to buy something? Probably just want to program it or find an interesting open source app. But did an open source guy develop something to bill? It might just not be something they would have developed.

I have this TV JJ wants gone, it is the only VCR in the house that works, haven't tested the free garage sale one, but it is probably broken. Anyhow, I listed it on Amazon 3 times now, the darn thing always sells for $10 more each time. Problem is no shipping carton means that I can't get the thing shipped far, yet again someone ignored my instructions and wants it moved 239 miles from here.
View Larger Map

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Skype on 3G

I use Skype every day and it works great. Now even have a cordless Creative DECT Skype phone, depends on the computer, really good sound quality. This morning on CNBC I hear that Hutchison 3 Group is partnering with Skype, cool. 3G with Skype sounds like a great idea.

So I discovered a new carpool buddy right down the street, got added on Skype and he was saying there is a MYSQL meeting in Rancho Cucamonga Wednesday night, darn, can't make it that night, have another class that day. Have to take a walk down there and find his FreenetElsegundo1 router which he as loaded with Tomato. Open to use ;)

Monday, February 11, 2008


Just got a call from Washington, seems like SCALE might actually be influencing our nations capital. We might actually be influencing what they use all the way across the country.

I don't understand my Slavic neighbors. I gave them my living room PC and they were to lazy to even plug it in. I wish I had a picture of it sitting on the floor, and the 3 of them. So now my back hurts from hunching over the keyboard on the floor. The kids were saying why would you give us a perfectly good computer, they thought it was crap.

SCALE is over long live freedom

So we chewed all we could and now the show is over. We saw lots of interesting presentations, have a new quiver of t-shirts, some bought some new toys, that penguin was rather cool. It was a great show, and now it is over, eaten to the bone. I took this picture as I got in the car, I guess it was a bird, that will fly no more.


This Friday the gates opened to SCALE6X, actually from the looks of it some rammed the gate. They came from far and close, a march of penguins that congregate once a year at the Westin Hotel LAX. We know this meeting is better every year and keep looking forward to do it again. Someday I hope to be live blogging, from my laptop, or maybe my phone with a blue tooth keyboard. However I just gave up my SIM chip, so can't be called right now.

Again before dawn, amazing, I must be getting old, I dry out in the night, go to a leaky faucet get a full Brita filter. And the sun is coming out by the time I take another little nap and start dreaming about some work related crap, it is amazing how the whole weekend, SCALE6X didn't make a dent in my early thoughts. The week that passed, I have a ton of things I saw, I should live blog in this events, but I realize I need to borrow a better laptop to do so, the battery life just wouldn't allow me to do it, plus I would loose some attention, on the other hand with a memory device, I would retain more of what I type.

This event isn't expensive at all, with our LUG discount and the fact that I I got paid to go right on site it was only $35 to attend. Given that the conference covered 2 meals, or the sponsors I suppose, I only ended covering 3 more meals and transportation. Parking is not cheap, but Sunday you can street park in front. USENIX does cost more, but also has a longer tradition, and is probably better at putting on shows right now, but I have to say is more expensive, and SCALE is really so close to me and so right on target with so many things it got to be my favorite trade show, I also have to admit that I am surprised at how many people know me there, I have spoken at local groups, so they are the main audience. Home court, I guess.

Thursday I had a class, walked to Sepulveda carpooled to it, came back Eric was here. The start of a very busy weekend. Good day for his plane to be late half an hour, still probably got here still an hour too early for what I could do. So catching up and then sleep, big days ahead, Friday was a rather quiet day at SCALE, lots of tracks, but we didn't pay up the $300 track so were more limited. After finding a carpool, getting ready we got into Dan Anderson's talk about Using Computer Programming to teach Concepts integrating Science, Math and Technology. I was impressed with his curriculum and AP was probably not a problem. Viewpoint School must be a good place to go for CS. I would love to replicate this at or school.

Pretty early I get recognized by Ealon who once showed up at a LiLAX meeting at BiPro with a Dell laptop running some kind of Darwin version of the Mac's OS X. It was rather cool to think that this thing ran on cheaper hardware, but the legality of it all is kind of a problem, Apple might not like this. I don't think it hurts them much, probably would drive sales, it probably hurts Linux more, but then who cares, since there isn't really money involved so nobody is going to complain. Was happy to see him again, hope that we can get all these people to show for our LiLAX meetings, now that we have cool new digs, we can take more of an audience.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

job hunting

is time consuming and not very rewarding, you don't get paid to do it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

cold dark

lots on my mind this morning as I got up early in the dark cold day

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Walk home

A few days ago I was asked to take some pictures of a garbage container that moved out and crashed into a car, I thought I would put them here. It was a rather windy night, but I didn't get all the details yet. Only to email out the pics, wish I had posted them here Wednesday, the event was that day.

Another day of figuring how how to install WikiMedia and Bugzilla then move the old data back in. Boring stuff I guess. I end up at the Hacienda after work, my carpool, turns out JJ went home first, was going back to meet me there, but never mind I will walk home, I thought I was on the way. So I take a walk through our safe but also very small El Segundo.

This morning I get an answer to the messages I sent Firday so my answer: "IM is hopeless with you, not fast. I had a very interesting walk home. I peeked into SpaceX, they had a very large open door. Lots of cool very big toys in there, wish I had taken the picture, would lead my blog with it. I then was on Franklin and kept walking West through a very lonely but also interesting industrial looking area. You get much more detail when you walk. I think it took me 25 min., but no hurry."

I spent my morning so far reading up on FedEx, and preparing shipments. So far I had only used UPS and USPS to get stuff there, Amazon suggested I use FedEx and encouraged me with 16% off, but I wonder if they are 20% more expensive to start with? I really don't know, must compare some in the future. I got a package with lots of barcodes so I don't have to print, but still need a new printer anyhow, waiting for a donation, not that this is an item that lasts, but I have someone who is actually trying to give me one, I so far declined. I have however sold the HP DJ 612c, for $20 on Craiglist, yea you shouldn't sell there, but they guy called from Texas and is paying for FedEx ground on his end, the money was paypaled, I feel like I can do this.

On Amazon I am a 5 star seller so far with 3 recommendations all 5 star that is 5/5 stars, I might have a future in ecommerce if this sysadmin stuff doesn't work out for me, but the pay isn't as good, volume creates far more work. I would have to hire people and that makes stuff complicated. I am sure I can be a manager, but would I want too?

I have lots more items to list, but now I am getting into stuff that isn't electronic and I don't know as much about. No matter, not fragile and easier to pack I guess. This was bought in China, probably fake.

I get an interesting email from a farmacy owner in Samana, Dominican Rep. For those who don't read Spanish, it is about putting up a server and WiFi in his town to do computer orders. Wow that is pretty advanced for this place.:
Estoy de vaca y me he encotrado con una idea muy parecida a la que tenia en mente. Quiero un sistema de Internet inalambrio wi-fi de unos 500 metros a la redonda donde todos se puedan conectar a una pagina web mia donde le pida x cantidad de dinero por minuto y los trasnfirera a la farmacia directamente para otorgarles el acceso con pasword o que pagen con paypal directamente desde la pagina web. Ok requerimientos:

  1. antena transmisora de 500mts a la redonda (si existe, pero cual es la mas barata y si por amazon se puede comprar)
  2. pagina web (tengo un primo que me la puede diseñar pero no puede hacerlo dentro de un router y mucho menos que trabaje con paypal, si puedes hacermela cuanto me cobrarias , considerandome??)
  3. router de mucha potencia y que se pueda trabajar dentro de el para poder hacerle la pagina web (se que existe pero eso es una larga historia y no se si tienes tiempo) (cual es el router?)
  4. Internet de alta velocidad y ancho de banda (eso no es un problema ya lo tengo averiguado y en experimentacio podriamos utilizar en principio mi dsl )
se que existe un sistema que te vende todo esto pero no con una pagina elazada a un sistema de pago por tarjeta de credito no, esto es sumamente caro y es solo para personas que se dirijan directamente al establecimiento y ahí se le da la clave. Esto es una limitante doble por el traslado y por el precio 1,000 dolares mas envio e impuestos.

Que me dices se que puedes dar un poco de luz en esta idea. Donde vi este sistema lo hicieron, que crees??

I wonder if some of the PayPal payers are actually in NY, so the story I guess goes, they are taking care of sick parents and sending money to the DR to do so, this cuts a step out.