Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I Think I’ve Lost It.

Ever have one of those dreams that cause you to wake up and wonder what the heck the sandman was smoking when he dropped off your nightly shipment of pixie dust?

Yesterday was one of those, and I have to say that he must have some really good stuff in his private stash.

I can just picture it. A very high sandman staggers into my bedroom with bloodshot eyes, smelling of herb, and says, in a bad Jamaican accent, “hey, mon, you’ll never believe what I got for you tonight. *giggle and coughing fit*. By the way, got any Doritos? I’m hungry.”

It involved zombies. Lots and lots of zombies coming out of some cave, and I was fighting them along with a bunch of other people, some of which I know in reality, some of which I don’t (seemingly generic people).

And then there was… Mr. T.

You heard me. I was fighting zombies with Mr. T.

Don’t blame me. It wasn’t my dream. It was the fault of the stoner sandman. Honest.

Unfortunately, Mr. T was not as tough in my dream as he is on TV and did not fare well against the zombies. His age must be catching up with him because they ended up bringing him back to the base with half his butt missing (don’t ask me. That’s just how it ended up, no pun intended.)

That’s when I woke up – from a zombie dream featuring a half-assed Mr. T.

I was afraid to even try to go back to sleep because I knew if I did, the dream would just resume.

All I can say is “I’m Mr. T, and I’m a Night Elf Mohawk! (but I suck at fighting zombies)”

Current mood: I don’t even know where to start
Current music: Curve – Crystal


I Don’t Play Favorites.

I often catch flack from some of the “Free” software people over saying things like the fact that Microsoft actually makes some good products and seems to have a nice, positive environment for their employees (going by what I’ve heard from people who have worked there).

One thing about me that a lot of people don’t seem to understand is that I have a perspective on things that seems to be different than most.

I don’t care if you’re my best friend or someone I can’t stand. If you do something well, or do something to help people, you will get respect from me. You could be, in my opinion, a real jerk whom I have no desire to socialize with, but if you do good work, I have absolutely no problem telling anyone who asks.

If you do charity or the like for ulterior motives, that respect may be lessened (if it is, it’s generally only a little) and I may point out those motives, but you still get the respect you are due because you’re out there doing it.

Heck, you even get the respect from me if you honestly try and fail, because you deserve it. Sometimes things just don’t work out.

In a similar fashion, it doesn’t matter how I feel about you, if you do something bad or do something poorly, I will take a critical view of it.

I won’t be a jerk about it. In fact, I’m actually quite tactful and even generally nice (as a result, I have, on several occasions, been called on to be the moderator in a group), but my opinion of you may slip a bit (again, I realize that sometimes things happen). Make it a habit, and it certainly will.

I will agree with people that I agree with on a subject and disagree with people that I disagree with. This is not based on the person, but the facts in question. In that regard, I honestly don’t play favorites, and that drives some people up the wall.

That’s something that a lot of people seem to have a problem grasping when it comes to me. This, I think, is largely because most people are used to traveling in their little group, agreeing with them for fear of being ousted if they don’t and disagreeing with the people that group hates, no matter what, for the same reason.

I just can’t do that. It makes no sense to me. As a result, I tend to get along with a lot of different groups, and I tend to get respect from a lot of people that I don’t get along with.

Current mood: I’m really not sure
Current music: AFI – Love Like Winter

Friday, December 14, 2007


Rights? What Are Those?

I did something today that I haven’t done in quite a long time. I wrote an actual, on paper, in an envelope with a stamp letter to a politician.

Our governor, whom I generally support, has well and truly screwed up. Nativity scenes were removed from two state parks here and he later ordered them to be replaced because they were “proper and traditional.”

Before you look at me like that, let me say that I don’t have a problem with them being there provided a couple of things are true –

1) They aren’t being provided using public funds (as in some private org is putting them there with a permit)

2) Every religion that wants to can put up a display.

He killed #2.

In a display of a complete lack of regard for the first amendment, he has decided that he should be able to decide which religions get to be represented and which don’t (and already said no to one).

I’m not happy.

The letter, which is to be mailed today, follows.

Governor Strickland,

I have been a long time supporter of yours. In fact my family and I actually knew you at one time. Personally, I think that, on most things, you have looked out for the best interest of your people. You’re not perfect, but then nobody is.

However, you have recently done something which I consider unconscionable.

If the Nativity scene is provided or maintained by using public funds, it should not be in the public parks, tradition or not. If it was provided for by a private group and allowed to be there, that would be different provided that ALL other faiths were allowed to put up displays of their own.

However, the statement by your spokesperson, Keith Dailey, that you would decide which religious symbols to allow on the park grounds was so far past the boundaries of good taste and legality that it’s not even funny.

It is a statement that your administration is going to pick and chose which religions to represent and which ones to repress, and that is not only against the Constitution, it is morally repugnant in a nation that was built on no religion being higher than any other.

In a few short days, I have lost a great deal of respect for you – not that I think my opinion will have any real affect on you as you seem to be set on doing what you are doing despite the law.

In addition, I think that you need to send word to Whitehall City Council member Chris Rodriguez that we take our rights quite seriously and his statement that “people should get over it and stop being so smug about their rights.” is a sign that he has no regard for those he serves.

Part of the responsibility of all politicians in this country, including both of you, is to protect the rights of the people. Suggesting otherwise should constitute breaking your oath of office.

I mention him only because you are currently in the same boat and you both need to re-think your stances and make formal apologies to the people which you serve (and you do serve us. Never forget that.)

I’ve done my part as a citizen by voicing my concerns. It is now your turn to do your part by following the law and acting in a reasonable manner.

Regards,

James Hollingshead

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I admit it. I occasionally look at Slashdot during the course of the day. It will generally have something interesting at some point during the day. However, some of the people that comment there make my head hurt.

Granted, you have sane people, and they’re probably in the majority, but then you have the rabid [insert non-MS operating system] fans who can agree on one thing – that Microsoft sucks and needs to die.

This is not a view I share. Granted, that could be because I’m not a fanatic or it could be because, like a large portion of the business world, I do most of my work in a Microsoft environment, but the fact stands that I don’t think their products are horrible (despite my dislike of Vista based on the limited experience I currently have with it) and actually like more than a few of them.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think they’re a big fluffy bunny of a company. In fact, I think they have a number of problems that they need to resolve (as do a lot of tech-related companies), but I don’t go around decrying them as the great evil which Linux must vanquish (which is a rant for another time. I like and use Linux too. I just don’t like the fanboys).

Earlier today, I saw on a different site I keep on my RSS reader that MS was giving away copies of various pieces of software in exchange for running a usability monitor. They were even up front about it. The page at Microsoft basically said “let us see how you use Windows and Office for three months, and we’ll send you the software of your choice when it’s over”

It’s closed now. They ran out of the software they allocated earlier today, so I’m not going to bother linking to it.

I passed on it for two reasons – I didn’t need any of the software they were offering and I didn’t feel like being monitored though I can see where it would be a good deal for some people.

Slashdot got wind of this and the anti-MS crowd came out in droves. You got comments from them running the gamut from “spyware!!!!” to “free? How *dare* they call their software free!!??” (also another rant for another time) to “I’d get it just to smash it”

In other words, they showed more than a couple of reasons why so many businesses and people refuse to take open source, or technical people for that matter, seriously. Whether they realize it or not or like it or not, they are part of the problem. Technology is meant to solve problems, not be a religion.

That’s right. Microsoft is evil because they’re offering to give people software for no greater cost than monitoring their PC usage for a few months. Sounds well and truly evil to me alright. (Please note the sarcasm)

Then again, they’d probably think that my only having to pay $10 for Visual Studio 2005 was evil as well. After all, it means I’m not using Linux or Mac exclusively and that I might actually be doing something productive besides saying how MS needs to die.

(Say what you want. I *LIKE* Visual Studio. It’s a very full featured, responsive IDE and I love having the ability to graphically lay out my user interfaces. It saves so much time.)

Part of me says “I’d say the technical community needs to grow up, but I realize most of the people on there aren’t actually in the IT field” but then the other part of me reminds myself how many people like that I’ve met who *are* in the field.

Current mood: amazed
Current music: Killing Heidi - Mascara

Saturday, December 08, 2007




Pardon the following outburst, but I have to say the following:

SQUEEEEE!!!!!!!

They're in the process of making a 5th Phantasm movie. It's currently in pre-production.

It's been a point of speculation for a number of years, and now it looks like it's actually going to happen. *grin*

Hey, give me a break. I'm a fan of cheesy horror movies, and am especially fond of this series of movies.

Now if they'd just release the 2nd one on DVD (1, 3, and 4 are out, but not 2)

Friday, December 07, 2007


Bad Santa.

Apparently Billy Bob Thornton broke into the Microsoft codebase sometime between last Christmas and now.

Once again, Microsoft made their Santa AI agent (based on one of the many classic AI bots that so many of us know so well), only to pull it recently.

It seems that, when repeatedly asked about eating pizza by an underage girl, Santa responded “You want me to eat what?!? It’s fun to talk about oral sex, but I want to chat about something else.”

Microsoft said they don’t suspect a prank on the part of one of their developers and have since repaired the offending code, but are not going to bring Santa back online at the current time.

I wonder if Santa made his own naughty list this year. =]

Current mood: amused
Current music: Lit – My Own Worst Enemy

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The Eternal IT Security Struggle.


There seems to be a constant battle between IT and users on the topic of security.

On one side, you have IT who tries to secure systems and on the other, users who chafe at restrictions, sometimes justifiably and sometimes not.

From the IT perspective, the only really secure computer is on that’s turned off and encased in a block of concrete (You could say that being turned off and unplugged is enough, but you can always convince someone to plug it back in.), so they try to restrict every point of access that they think is unnecessary.

Looking at it from this angle, users are as much an enemy as the hacker outside your network wanting in.

Users, on the other hand, tend to think any restriction at all is bad and constantly try to find ways around the procedures that have been set in place to secure the computers and network.

So, who’s in the wrong?

Both of them.

Both of those extremes are bad. Security will *never* be absolute. Instead, the best you can do is to manage risk. That means setting sensible policies and making sure that users follow them.

It comes back to a couple of what seem to be my favorite subjects in the field – resources and requirements, and cost/benefit analysis.

First, on the resources and requirements front, which is really basic survival 101 for pretty much any situation (what do we have and what do we need?), your resources are computers, appliances, network infrastructure, people, money (with which to acquire other, needed, resources), and your requirements are the rather nebulous concept of “security”.

Yes, security is a nebulous concept. That’s where the cost/benefit analysis comes in. You have to ask yourself questions like “how rigid do the rules affecting this area need to be so that we have adequate security while allowing our staff to do their jobs without jumping through too many hoops?”

For most places, that means setting workstation passwords. In addition, you may also have password protected network shares, a whitelist (or blacklist depending on how strict your security has to be) for what your employees can access outside your network, whether or not they can use a VPN from home, etc.

The answer to those questions will vary from business to business and it would be silly to try and tell you that you absolutely *need* X, Y and Z. In fact, after you set your policies, you need to review them periodically to see if they still meet your needs.

As time goes on, you may find that you need to make some things stricter due to increased threats and new regulations or you might find that some of the rules you thought were great are actually preventing your people from doing their work and can be loosened a bit.

Security isn’t just a set of rules or a box you put on your network. It’s a constantly evolving set of procedures and resources (both in the form of equipment and people).

Part of that is listening to the people the policies apply to. Yes, sometimes users make unreasonable demands and it needs to be explained to them that the demands are unreasonable (and why) and management needs to stand by that decision. However, they are also capable of making suggestions that you might not think of because they work with things in ways that others don’t.

IT and “regular” employees need to work together. If they’re fighting each other, things aren’t getting done. I know that I’ve heard the argument of “IT is a cost center and *we’re* the ones who make money” far too often. The fact is, it’s true, salespeople do bring in money. However, without IT they wouldn’t be able to. What’s more, IT can help *save* your company money which is good for your bottom line.

The point is that everyone in the organization is both part of the problem and part of the solution. Stop drawing lines in the sand and try working together for a change. You might find that the results are much more to your liking.

Current mood: calm
Current music: Rise Against – Paper Wings

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Ghost Town in the Dark of the Night.

Have you ever walked through a town at 3am?

In most places, at that hour, almost nobody is out. It’s like the entire population of the town has disappeared, swept away by some unseen hand. It’s a strangely serene, and at the same time, somehow unsettling, feeling walking though a place that you know in the daylight to be full of people, only to find it populated solely with the ghosts of society in the darkness.

At 3am even driving is like being in some post-apocalyptic movie. The only other vehicles on the road are the occasional long-haul truckers which you can almost convince yourself are hallucinations produced by a mind wishing for company, screaming for contact with someone, anyone, and all you see is the road stretching out ahead of you until it reaches the black nothingness which your headlights fear to illuminate.

It’s like driving through a barren wasteland; especially when it’s snowing and all you can see is white until it merges with the black void beyond your field of vision, causing some sort of seemingly impossible change from one extreme to the other.

Of course it’s quiet. I mean, most “normal” people are at home in bed. The only people who are out are raging insomniacs, people up to no good, the occasional straggler from a bar, those who have to work 3rd shift and people like me who seem to frequently end up with our sleep cycles shifted by several hours for whatever reason.

(Though I will admit to occasional bouts of insomnia. Heck, there have been times when I haven’t managed to sleep for a few days or have only managed to get a few hours sleep over the course of a week or more. Thankfully those episodes are pretty rare, but they somehow find me wanting to clean and re-arrange the house in the middle of the night, much to the consternation of my cat.)

Why am I bothering to write this? Simple. Because it’s 3am and I’m sitting here, awake, and realizing that, for whatever reason, my body is not wanting to sleep at all.

In the past, in what sometimes seems like another life, I would grab my coat and go for a walk through town, possibly ending up at some all night restaurant or donut shop and watch the world go by. Heck, in college, I might even wind up wandering around town with a couple of likewise-afflicted friends.

Unfortunately I can’t do that here because there really don’t seem to be any of the aforementioned joints and dives that are open all night, and, truth be told, it seems like fewer people are out at this hour in this town than any other place I’ve ever been.

So, with that habit basically not an option (which, I have to tell you, makes me feel restless because, as odd as it may sound to some people, I really do crave the ability to wander), I tend to sit here and either read or write in the darkest hours of the night, waiting for my body to come to grips with the fact that it has to shut down for a few short hours.

Current mood: tired
Current music: Machines Of Loving Grace - Golgotha Tenement Blues

Monday, November 19, 2007


They’re killing my childhood.

It seems that they’re releasing the early seasons of Sesame Street on DVD, but are labeling them as being for adult entertainment due to things that are now controversial (Monsterpeace Theater where Cookie Monster has, and eats, a pipe for example).

That’s right. The stuff that I, along with countless others, grew up on is apparently not suitable for kids. I actually caught an episode of what they’ve turned Sesame Street into a while back. It was sad.

I have the following to say *puts on his Grover suit*

NEAAAAR…..

*runs away*

FAAAAAAAAAR!!!!

*takes off the Grover suit*

(Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

Speaking of things I miss from my childhood – lawn darts (hey, it’s not my fault that people were stupid when they used them. They were fun)

This post has been brought to you by the letter 3 and the number Cat :-P

Current mood: eh
Current music: none

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Happy Anniversary

Tuesday, October 30, 2007



Programs.


Looking through my logs this month, I've noticed a few things.

Releasing the exe versions of my ruby programs has caused more people to download them (which isn't really surprising since a lot of people don't have Ruby).

Zipper seems to be the most popular of those with Prepend in second place. I've found them all to be handy programs because I deal with a lot of files with different naming conventions (otherwise I wouldn't have made them), so I think it's interesting to see what other people think is the most useful.

People are grabbing the new FunLibs version a decent amount (which I also expected).

They're also grabbing copies of the FunLibs *source* (which is just plain weird, in my opinion, because it's so mind numbingly simple. It's just forms, data passing, and string manipulation really. I didn't dynamically create the forms or anything because I really wasn't in the mood, so every story has it's own word gathering form for the sake of playing with forms)

It also seems weird to me that more people download the toys rather than the tools. Maybe they'll send me some of the stories they get. I like to see those on occasion. =]


On an unrelated note, I probably won't be available tomorrow. If you call or email, expect a response on Thursday.

Current mood: contemplative
Current music: Sneaker Pimps - Curl

Monday, October 29, 2007



This Is Why I Hate Software Cults.

I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again. Software and licenses for same are not a religion and SHOULD NOT BE.

Today, when news that Sun has Dual-Licensed Netbeans 6 in their own OSI-approved CDDL license and GLPv2 (not 3) hit Slashdot, there were a few people who slammed them for not being really “committed to Free Software.”

I wanted to strangle people. I know it sounds stupid, but after so long of dealing with people slamming you and people you actually know because you don’t open source *everything* that you write, you’d understand.

First off, no kidding Sun isn’t committed to “Free” software (“Free” software is a subset of Open Source software and it galls Stallman that Open Source has more support than "Free" does because the rest of the world isn't into the moral crusade). They don’t buy into the moral crusade. The fact that both of the licenses are OSI approved, but one of them is not “Free” should tell you that.

Secondly, how dare a company or a person decide to use a license only when it makes sense to do so? The shock and horror. (Pardon me while I roll my eyes).

Not all people who use or advocate Open Source are zealots. I’m not.

Some of us actually realize that tools are meant to be tools and not religions. Sometimes you use a screwdriver, sometimes a hacksaw, sometimes a hammer…

The zealots, on the other hand, view everything as a nail. The great irony is that most of the zealots that I’ve met don’t release *anything* into the community. Heck, probably 90% of them I’ve met don’t even *code*. The other 10% is generally idealistic high school and college students who haven’t been into the world yet.

Most of them just want to bash Microsoft because they can’t get a copy of Visual Studio for free. (Ironically, I only paid about $11 for mine. Legally, from Microsoft. You have to love promotions)

The heck of it is that I’ve known a lot of developers that have stopped releasing *anything* as open source because they were tired of the backlash because, no matter what they did, no matter what they released, they were still evil because they didn’t release *everything* as open.

As a result, the zealots now get nothing from those people and neither does anyone else. How’s that for helping the cause you claim to espouse?

The zealots are a bunch of ingrates, and I would love to add a clause to my license to prevent them from using my software, but that would be childish. Instead, I just grit my teeth and release things under whatever license I bloody well want.

Some of it’s open. Some of it isn’t.

Use it or don’t. That’s your choice. What I do with it is mine unless someone else owns the rights to it after it’s made.

Current mood: annoyed
Current music: Matthew Sweet – Silent City

Friday, October 26, 2007


Apparently I’m Blind.

I got a response the other day from the creator of rubyscript2exe about why my sorter program wouldn’t produce a useable exe file (for which he has my thanks. It’s always nice to get a helpful response).

It seems as though I missed that section in his documentation and had to add a few lines of code to my app. Strangely, the other ones didn’t need it. Go figure.

The upside is that I am now slightly less confused (by one thing, at least) and sorter now has a working exe posted in addition to the source code.

Current mood: tired
Current music: Fall Out Boy – Bang the Doldrums

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Ever had one of those nights where it seems like, no matter what you do, you just can't seem to decompress? The ones where there just seems like there's something you're forgetting, but you have no idea what it is?

Yeah, this is one of those. We're not talking shove your fists in your mouth depression, beat your neighbors to death with Lego blocks manic behavior, or stuff rabid badgers down your co-workers trousers style psychosis (now isn't *that* a fun mental image?). I just feel restless for some reason, and I really dislike that feeling. *shrugs*

Current mood: blah
Current music: Veruca Salt - Sound of the Bell

Friday, October 19, 2007


Fun new stuff

Over the last couple of days, I’ve posted several new programs on my site and updated a couple of existing ones.

Since I’ve been working with C# now instead of Java, I decided to redo my old FunLibs program and add a few new stories to it while I was at it.

In my personal opinion, it looks a heck of a lot better than the java version, and I added the capability to save the story to a text file (not a huge deal since you could just copy and paste the story into a file, but I thought it was a nice touch).

In addition, I added error checking to Sorter and Zipper. I don’t know about you, but I thought it was kind of important that my programs die gracefully if they encounter an error while mucking about with files (especially if I’m not the only one using it).

The new programs that I’ve posted are things I’ve been using myself for about 6 months or so now. I just took a little time to polish them a bit more and decided that I might as well share them since someone else might get some use out of them as well.

Prepend adds a string to the beginning of all of the filenames in the directory that it’s called in.

Renamer replaces one string in all of the filenames in the directory that it’s called in with another string.

Spacer replaces all of the underscores in the filenames with spaces.

Underscore is the opposite of Spacer, replacing all spaces in filenames with underscores.

They’re written in the Unix tradition of simple programs that do one thing and do it well. They get used quite a bit by me, so I thought that there might be others who would appreciate them as well.

Prepend, Renamer, Spacer, Underscore, and Zipper all have both .rb versions and windows exe versions thanks to a handy little program called rubyscript2exe. Unfortunately, for some reason, it won’t work properly with Sorter, so it only has a .rb version available at the moment.

Feel free to use them. They're all on the Programs section of my website, and are all distributed under the GPL (version 2 only).

As always, if you have any suggestions, questions, comments, bug reports, or just want to drop me a line to say “hi”, my email address is on the website.

Current mood: tired
Current music: Metallica – Unforgiven II

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007


Where Do They Find These People??

I realize that I post on here about the local area far too often. However, sometimes something happens that you just have to share.

In a letter to the editor, someone asks when will the levies ever stop because they say they pay $300 more a year in taxes than when they first moved here (no word on how long they’ve been here, which is rather important).

Of course, we get the people going “no no no no no more levies!!!” and a few reasonable people saying that the public infrastructure (schools, libraries, fire, etc) needs to be funded and that’s done through taxes, because apparently some of these people think that there’s a magical money tree somewhere that the government gets operating funds from.

And then you have the guy who wrote that I’m going to paste here in just a minute. I wish I could say that he’s some weird lampoon, but there's a really good chance that the boy's for real because there are a lot of other people just like this who comment on the paper...

Finally, let me say that this is a direct cut and paste. I didn’t clean up anything, and I certainly didn’t make it worse than it was written.

NONONONONONNOONONONNO!!!!!!!
These taxis are way to much! Seniors can hace a center but make it with a factory where the users make carvings and quilts that support it. They can wokr there till the center supports istelf.
As for fire and rescue, why don't they just charge people that use it? Don't want to pay? Don't set yourself on fire! Duh!
And the library. What do I want with a library? I already have several books and my kids dont red them anyway. Only in school cause court makes them go. People that want library are intellectil snobs.
Keep ballets free!!!”

And, in a later comment from him:

“DONT MAKE HONEST WOKERS PAY FOR FANCY LIBRARY!!!!
I dont want anbd dont pay for grocery store at library. Whos fancy idea is that anyways. Im tired of being taxed out the ears for that snob place”

My head hurts. The library is a place for intellectual (actually “intellectil”) snobs? What ever happened to bettering yourself?

Oh, I forgot. We don’t do that kind of thing here. That might mean that you were acting better than you were.

*slams head against desk, deepening the forehead shaped indentation just a little bit more*

Current mood: Sad
Current music: AFI – The Missing Frame

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Merchandising!

Today, while wondering through a store, I saw something that made me do a double take. You could say that it was a case of merchandising gone much too far.

“What?” you ask?

Jeff Foxworthy Teriyaki Style Beef Jerky.

I kid you not.

I think he must have a new addition to his list –

You might be a redneck if…. You eat Jeff Foxworthy Teriyaki Style Beef Jerky.

Current mood: amused
Current music: Cyndi Lauper – The Goonies R Good Enough (hey, one bout of cheese deserves another)

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Groktober Fest

It has been my experience that a lot of people need to expand their horizons more often, and many of them don’t really understand what they claim to know.

To that end, I propose a new holiday that I think most geeks and technical people would agree is kind of overdue. I present to you Groktober Fest.

The point of Groktober Fest is simple. Learn something in more than just a cursory manner. It doesn’t matter horribly much what it is, though I give you kudos if it’s useful to you or those around you.

It could be something entirely new or it could be something you already have a little understanding of, but pick something (or more than one thing) and learn it well.

If you want, post here what it is you are going to try to grok. I’d love to hear it.

After all, we should all try to better ourselves on occasion.

Current mood: contemplative
Current music: Rise Against – Give it All

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


W…T…F…..???

Reading a friend’s blog, I discovered that apparently, if an agreement hadn’t been reached by October 1st, the state of Michigan was basically just going to shut down.

Much like the pool, the state would be closed. Everyone pack up your beach towels and go home.

Being a bit doubtful, I decided to do some checking. She wasn’t kidding. That’s straight from Michigan.gov.

My head hurts. I mean, really, how do you just close a state? I can understand that schools might get disrupted if teachers go on strike or some other group decides to walk, but an almost complete shutdown of an entire *state*?

Think that I’m exaggerating? Read the article I linked in this post. The plan was to cut everything down to a barely functional skeleton crew of absolutely essential services (basically just state police, prisons, courts, and mental health – all at drastically reduced manpower capable of only dealing with “emergencies”).

Current mood: o.O
Current music: Rob D – Furious Angels

Monday, October 01, 2007


I just realized something freaky while I was doing my (usually) nightly workout. (hey, when you spend most of the day behind a keyboard, it's actually needed)

If you factor in the weight and number of reps I do, I'm generally lifting around 2,000 lbs a night.

It's no wonder I'm built like a wall...

Current mood: tired
Current Music: AFI - Love Like Winter

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Fraud and Loathing in Ohio

Part of this week has been an adventure. Somehow, someone got my debit card number and promptly started to drain my account. My guess is that some company I’ve ordered from has gotten hacked.

Thankfully my bank is very good about this sort of thing and I had the money back in my account the next day, and the resulting overdraft fees dropped the day after that.

As a result, I am now over my heart attack (figurative, not literal). All I can say is that it’s not a happy thing to look at your account balance and see $20 there when there should have been significantly more than that, and I’m glad it’s all cleared up now.

However, the day that it took to clear everything up was special (not in the happy way), and it really took most of the whole day between calling my bank and the merchants who authorized the transactions, filling out the fraud paperwork, getting it notarized, fax it to my bank, etc.

On the upside, I found out that one of the local banks only charges $1 to notarize things for non-members, so that’s good to know for future reference.

To close, I would like to say the following things:

I love my bank. They are absolutely wonderful to work with and get things resolved insanely quickly.

Yahoo Voice was actually good about the whole thing and refunded the charge of their own volition without having to have papers filed.

Sony Online Entertainment, however, was absolutely horrible to work with. First off, their support line is long distance. You’d think that, with a company that size, they would have an 800 number. Then I had to spend almost half an hour trying to convince the rather inflexible person on the other end of the line that I did not, in fact, authorize the purchases, that I didn’t let anyone in the house do so, and that I don’t even *play* MMORPGs. She was actually trying to get me to say that I had done it myself after I told her that most certainly was not the case. Repeatedly.

Just how many times can you say “I am the sole cardholder and I didn’t authorize the bloody charge” anyway? After that, I was told that the only thing I could do is file fraud papers. This was after they determined it really *was* fraudulent because, looking at the account in question, the same person had used a number of different cards to pay for his purchases.

If that was all they were going to do, they could have told me that up front and saved me half an hour off of my plan.

Current mood: tired
Current music: Cowboy Bebop – Call Me Call Me

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Randomness

As a lot of people who know me in person can tell you, I’m a music junky. My CD collection is somewhere on the order of 400 discs plus the vinyl and cassettes that I have sitting in storage. I’ve turned a lot of people on to a lot of different kinds of music over the years and I’ve even DJ’ed on occasion.

It’s occasionally been half-joked that I should start a club if I ever have the means to do so. Personally, I think that could be an interesting trip.

My latest musical meandering has led me to Fall Out Boy’s Infinity On High album. I have to say that I really like most of it. There are a couple of tracks that I don’t care too much for, but on the whole, it’s a solid CD.

After listening to it for a while again today, I finally realized part of the reason that I enjoy it so much. A few of their songs remind me of a band on campus when I was an undergrad – Red Wanting Blue; especially their live shows. It’s just the general vibe, and I have to say that I enjoy it.

Current mood: I’m here
Current music: Fall Out Boy - Thriller

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Sometimes... Laughter Hurts

You know, when you think of Robin Williams, you generally think of kids movies. Granted, he’s done some other, darker, movies, but mostly you think of things like Mrs. Doubtfire or Aladdin.

Today, I got his Broadway CD.

Let’s say it’s a bit of a departure from kid-friendly stuff. The man pulls no punches and doesn’t bother with censoring language.

It’s absolutely hilarious. I’ve literally spent half the time I listened to it doubled over from laughter (and I have to say that I really needed it today).

There is no way I could drive and listen to this at the same time.

If you love smart assed political and social commentary, this is right up your alley. However, if profanity offends you or you have little kids around, I’d advise you skip it.

Current mood: better
Current music: Robin Williams

Sunday, September 02, 2007




YARG!!!!!

I appologize to anyone who tries to email me this weekend, and anyone who gets spam from my domain. I've been getting hammered today by "bounced" emails that have addresses that don't exist on my domain. We're talking over 1000 in the last half hour, and it shows no signs of slowing.

Apparently, some spambot thought my domain sounded like a great one to use.

*sighs*

Current mood: p****d off
Current music: Our Lady Peace - Tomorrow Never Knows

(EDIT: Well, that was fun. 24 hours and more than 2 thousand "bounced" messages later it seems that things have calmed down again. I really hate when that happens. Now, I wonder how many spam blacklists that's landed me on...)

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Background Checks

Sometimes I wonder just how in-depth the background checks that some companies do on potential employees really are. I mean, it’s fairly a given anymore that they’ll look for a criminal record, check your credit history (which, in my opinion is rather stupid. I understand why they do it, even if they don’t understand it themselves, and I don’t agree with it), and the like.

However, you frequently hear these horror stories of companies going google happy and trying to find any little piece of negative information on potential candidates that they can. The thing that they don’t seem to realize is that, if you look hard enough, you’ll find *something* to dislike about a person’s past online (whether it’s true or not is a completely different matter).

I’ve always kind of wondered just when I was going to be confronted with something from my past in an interview that I really don’t want to discuss. I even have a feeling that I know what the something would be, and I know with a fair amount of certainty how I would react to it - the interview would be over right there.

(The people who know me pretty well could make a good guess at what it is, and know that it’s a touchy subject)

To be perfectly honest, I really am a fairly private person. There are a lot of things in my past that I don’t talk about with most people – partially because I don’t often want to think about them (or deal with the dreams even though I have to sometimes anyway) and partly because it’s none of their bloody business. My personal life is just that – mine and personal.

That’s not to say that I’m closed off or frigid. It’s just that there are a lot of things in my life that aren’t up for public scrutiny. This is largely because I don’t feel like purposely ripping open old wounds. I do that enough inadvertently as it is.

Now, before you start wondering what skeletons are in my closet, don’t bother. There are no convictions, trials, etc in my past (other than a couple of traffic tickets because I was going to be late for tests and those were just “pay the fine, and have a nice day” affairs) nor do I do drugs (other than caffeine or the occasional over the counter pain killer), have carnal relations with farm animals, or anything else of that sort.

Granted, some people might think the martial training and sword collection are causes for alarm, but that’s their problem.

A lot of the private things in my life are a result of actually having lived and having been involved with a lot of other people who have also lived their lives. Some of the memories are nice, and some aren’t, but they’re mine, and I kind of chafe at the thought of someone with whom I am only supposed to have a business relationship digging into my personal past (which has nothing to do with the work that I do).

I’ve even done a fair job of keeping my profile online pretty low key. If you google me, you’ll find my site, my blog, things about the magazine, Slashdot posts and a few random things that other people have posted. Thankfully, trying to figure out which ones are me is a little more difficult because there are two other fairly prominent people with the same name (though I seem to be more popular).

Heck, I even get email meant for one of them on occasion.

Even if you started digging into paper records, most of what you would find are mentions of me in my old hometown paper from when I was in school there. (I was involved in a lot of things while I was in grade school and high school, and ended up in the paper on occasion).

I just think this obsession a lot of companies seem to have with regard to the lives of their employees is unhealthy for everyone. The company is not your family, and you shouldn’t let them treat you like they are. Nor should you let them treat you like they own you, because the only person that owns you is you.

Current mood: contemplative
Current music: Angie Aparo - Cry

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Yeah Right


I got the new issue of ACM’s Queue magazine the other day. The interview this time was with Joel of Joel on Software fame.

There are some things that I agree with Joel on (by and large, I think he’s a self-important blowhard, but he does occasionally have some good ideas). I think that developers (programmers, software engineers, whatever-the-heck-you-want-to-call-us) should have offices with doors that close so we can get things done.

My friend and I agree that our ideal setup if we ever started a company would be private offices along with a lab environment so you could have quiet if you needed it, but if you felt disconnected and wanted to work around people for a while, you could just go to the lab. What can I say? We had a lot of fond memories of the Sun labs on campus (especially when it was just the few of us in the room that really knew what we were doing).

However, there was one thing in Joel’s interview that just makes me want to ask him what the heck he’s smoking. It’s not the first time he’s said the thing that makes me question his connections with reality either.

What is this thing, you ask?

That nobody is developing GUI desktop applications anymore and they are, effectively, dead.

That’s right. You heard me, Netcraft hasn’t confirmed it yet, but according to Joel, desktop software is dead.

Please allow me to call bullshit.

I realize that Joel thinks he’s the end all and be all of software company owners, but on this, the man doesn’t have a bloody clue. His main application, Fog Bugz, is browser based, so of course, he sees the software world as browser-centric.

However, the rest of us, minus some intranet applications that we may use at work (or the poor schmoes that use Google’s apps) are using stuff that is well and truly on our desktop.

For example, here is a quick rundown of the apps I’ve used today – Windows, Winamp, Firefox, Thunderbird, Word, Exact Audio Copy (I finally finished ripping my CD collection to the new drive), Visual Studio, File Zilla, and a few other things.

Want to know how many web apps that I’ve used in the last several months? The shopping carts for a couple of web stores, my bank (it sort of counts) and Blogger (if you want to count that since they have sort of tied it to their apps).

Hey Joel, want to know a secret? Web 2.0 is NOT going to take over application development. I remember when things were console based. What we have now is a VAST improvement.

Web 2.0 style stuff has its place. However, that place is pretty bloody narrow in scope.

Want to know something else that kills your prediction? Just what do you think your precious non-desktop-GUI apps run on? That’s right. They run on an operating system (which generally has a GUI desktop) and generally a web browser.

What are those two things? Could they be desktop GUI applications? I think so!

Want to know something else? Most of us (and most businesses) want to have control of our own freaking data. There are a number of reasons for that – among them, being able to control who has access to it and the fact that we don’t have to worry about not being able to get our data if our net access goes down.

Desktop apps aren’t going anywhere for a long long time, and, despite what you think, there are a LOT of people out there making them.

Current mood: amused
Current music: Rihanna – Shut up and Drive

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Save Me...Please

I have to say that I apologize to anyone who’s contacted me if I have seemed a little batty this week. I feel like I’m going stir crazy(er).

My ability to read people well has been shot this week.

It’s been one of those where you feel like laughing and screaming at the same time. The sheer lack of things to do here is getting to me, I think.

I really need a change of scenery. Working on getting a job elsewhere, so I can make that happen. Preferably someplace with museums and cultural centers, various things to do, and more people that are somewhere in the neighborhood of my own age and who just might have similar interests.

There is a lack of all of the above here. Hence my going crazy =]

Well, that and the fact that I’m feeling homesick for certain places, but there’s not a lot I can do about that at the moment. *sigh*

If you know a company in the Columbus, Ohio area (since that’s where I want to end up) that’s looking for a decent software dev (C#, please as I have kicked Java to the curb), let me know.

Current mood: frustrated
Current music: Moby & Gwen Stefani – South Side

Saturday, July 21, 2007


/dev/random

There are a lot of things that I could write about at the moment, but I really don’t feel like ranting right now. Most of them involve local issues, so I doubt many people who read this will really care about them anyway, and to be quite honest, I’m to the point of beating my head against the desk over it, so I really don’t want to think about it.

Instead, I think I’ll just cover randomness that’s going on or running through my head. (No, you don’t have to run away in fear)

* It seems that Google has been lobbying Congress to get the H1-B cap raised because they’re “having trouble finding qualified people” while saying that their drop in earnings is because they’ve been on a hiring binge. I’m sorry, but that sounds like a steaming pile of something unpleasantly fragrant to me.

We can’t find qualified people, but we’re hiring right and left? Yeah right. Admit it, boys. You broke your “do no evil” motto a long time ago. I didn’t want to work for you before and I certainly don’t now.

* The editor of the local paper doesn’t seem to care for me anymore. It just might have something to do with calling him on his attempted bullying (and got him to back peddle like mad) of the message board when people started speaking out against a partnership between the city government and the chamber of commerce to expedite building permits.

The thing that really galled him, I think, is the fact that I didn’t fall for him trying to change his arguments (and twist mine) into something that he had a snowball’s chance of winning. (I would love for him to try to pull a “I am the editor of a newspaper” showboating contest because there are things that he doesn’t know about me =])

Sorry, folks, but the Chamber in this town treats non-member businesses like dirt. I wouldn’t trust them with this as far as I could comfortably spit a large rat, because what it would amount to is the member businesses getting a fast track on permits.

* I seem to be getting frighteningly handy with a seam ripper.

* And on a completely random note, I would love to see someone who can pull off the Witch Hunter Robin look. No, it’s not because of any weird fetish. I just think that it would be a really cool look on someone that could pull it off (and it wouldn’t be that easy to pull it off).

Current music: none
Current mood: tired

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


A Much Needed Break

Every now and then, I find that I need to take a break from working on projects and actually get out of the house. I find that it helps me to stay motivated.

Today was a nice day. It was filled with thunderstorms and a decent amount of rain, so I decided to spend part of it in the park, wandering around and watching the world go by from one of the gazebos.

Yes, I like to run around in thunderstorms. I’m weird like that.

I’ve always been a big fan of thunderstorms. I know that some kids were frightened of them, but I always found them soothing. The world just feels cleaner after one, and I have to admit that it seems like something in them lightens my mood.

However, I have found that they’re more enjoyable when you can share them with someone. For a while, I got to share them with someone that loved them as much as I did. Sometimes I think she actually enjoyed them more.

I still enjoy them. It just feels weird to do it by myself.

Current mood: contemplative
Current music: Revis – Caught in the Rain

Saturday, June 30, 2007



You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means…

While wandering around online, I came across the blog of a couple of software developers. Some of the contents made me shake my head.

I’m not going to name names since that would be tacky. I don’t want to embarrass anyone. They’re a husband and wife team, and I honestly wish them luck. However, there are a few things that I have to say.

One of the two of them, while discussing the fact that advanced math isn’t often used in day-to-day coding (and she’s right. For most stuff, the most complex math you use is algebra), made the comment that not every programmer writes algorithms.

Rubbish.

*Every* programmer writes algorithms. An algorithm is just a series of instructions to accomplish some task. One of the most basic things a programmer learns to do (usually in the first few days of classes), namely a for loop such as the following one

for(int i = 0; i < 10; i++)
{
cout << “hi!” << endl;
}

is an algorithm with a big O of n. Actually, in this case you could argue that the big O is C where C = 10 since the value of i is known, but still.

Not every programmer writes innovative new algorithms, but every programmer does indeed write algorithms.

The fun continues.

In their “about us” section, they state that if they do a web app for you from the ground up, it’s going to be in Ruby on Rails. They go on to say that they can also do maintenance in a few other languages, but they end by saying “We’ll use the technology that’s the best fit for your project.”

I’m sorry, but if you do everything new in Rails, you are not going on a mantra of “best technology for the project.” Rails, while neat, is not the best solution for every web app out there.

I hate to rain on their parade, but they might want to re-think either their claims or their bias.

Then again, she says that they look for contracts and employers that won’t have an issue with bringing a nursing infant to a meeting.

I have nothing against mothers (or kids for that matter. I actually like kids.), but a meeting is not the place for nursing or an infant. Meetings are there so people can get things done. Distractions of that magnitude do not belong there if it can be helped. If you have a meeting, please leave the baby with someone who can watch him or her while you’re gone.

Like I said, I wish them luck, but I think they have a little bit to learn.

Current mood: amused
Current music: The Pillows – Blues Drive Monster

Friday, June 29, 2007



Head, Meet Desk
Or
James Opens up a Can

This town never seems to stop amazing me. They tout that they are the first state capitol (you can’t miss it. The bloody signs are everywhere. They even have a plaque on the court house proclaiming that the stone it refers to was from the first capitol building) and want to be considered a great and wonderful place, but they refuse to do anything to make that happen.

The local newspaper (yes, the town of about 25,000 people only has one paper) has a web board on its site where you can discuss the news stories. So many of the people who use it make my head hurt, and the frightening thing is that they really are indicative of the general population.

Two of the mind-numbing issues follow.

First Issue – The Library

There’s a 0.49 mil levy on the ballot in November to support expanding the library (that means that, for a house appraised at $100,000 the tax increase would be $49/year). It’s not a bad little library as it stands, but in a town of this size, I’d really expect a little more.

The plans are for, among other things, a nice connector from the main building to a now-closed school that they purchased next door for extra space and the addition of a café and a small used book store so they can divest themselves of less frequently read books year round without having to wait for the yearly book sale.

I think this is a positive thing. Unlike what most of the people who responded seem to think, a library is more than just a place to walk in, get a book, and walk out of again. It’s an integral part of the community and serves not only for the dissemination of information, but also as a gathering point and culture center.

The best libraries I have ever been in have had not only books, but displays of art and discussion rooms. Hell, the library at my alma mater (which has about the same number of people as this town) had art displays on almost every floor except in the general stacks on the top two floors and even had a rock and water garden on the first floor (Asian Studies).

This is something that the people here don’t seem to understand, because most of the comments were of the “why do we possibly need that? It’s a waste of money. Just walk in and get a book” variety. To top it off, they were downright violently opposed to the people who advocated the expansion and started arguments of the “well, *I* never use the library, so why should *I* have to pay for it??” and “Since the city is wanting taxpayers to pay to expand the library, I think they should have taxpayers pay to expand my house!” sort.

No, I’m not kidding about the house expansion comment. Someone on there honestly made it.

The really frightening thing in my opinion, though, was not the fact that someone made the comment that the city should pay to improve their house or even that some people are opposed to expanding the library. The thing that made my jaw drop was just how many people said they never used the library and seemed proud of that fact. To top it off, they were not only proud of the fact that they never use it, but think that it should not be a public resource, but instead that you should have to pay to use it!

Yes, people there actually said that you should have to pay if you wanted to use the library.

Folks, the library is there as a public resource for all to use – young or old, rich or poor. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a coin in your pocket, you can walk into that building and learn something or find a book to pass the time. To say that it shouldn’t be that way is an insult to all of the people that clawed their way up the ladder from practically nothing, because that proposition means that they would never be able to do that.

It’s disgusting that these fools think that way. That’s the only way I can think to put it, though I admit that I may be a bit more adamant in that view because I have known people who really have pulled themselves up out of poverty through effort and public resources like the library.

Issue the Second – Historic Theater

The Majestic Theater, a historic theater and one of the local cultural draws is looking at doing renovations. It’s run by a non-profit organization much like the local art gallery (which, though small, is nice. If you’re in town, stop by and wander through. It’s in the park and it’s free) and derives its budget from grants, donations, and box office sales.

Keep the sources of funding in mind. It’s important later.

First, however, a quick word about the theater:

As I said above, it’s a historic theater. From what I gather, it’s been around since before the Civil War and was even turned into an emergency hospital during said war.

The inside is a wealth of period architecture and artwork. Outside, the sign for the theater (which spans the street) is the last arch from Columbus’ old Arch District and, it must be said, looks darned spiffy at night when it’s lit up. Even if it weren’t for the artwork and history, it runs a number of performances each year (for extremely reasonable prices – we’re talking like $5). It’s even been named a National Geographic travel site.

The bottom line is that it’s a very nice place and could serve as a wonderful anchor for the revitalization of the historic downtown.

However, when the paper ran an article that the Majestic was looking for funding to do improvements, the locals started griping about the possibility of another levy when the truth is that there wouldn’t *be* a levy. They’re looking for grant money and charitable contributions.

When that was repeatedly pointed out, they started saying how there was no way they could get grant money for that. I know better, but that’s because I spent four years working for a non-profit who, among other things, acquired grants for those sorts of projects.

The discussion went on from there about how it would be wasted money and that nobody should bother. That’s right. We shouldn’t ever try anything because nobody cares or we might fail.

Sorry, people, but the world doesn’t work that way. If you want something, you have to fight for it. Personally, I hope that the library’s levy passes (and the money is used properly) and that the Majestic gets the funding it needs for improvements.

The thing that these people really don’t seem to understand is that those improvements pay off for the city as a whole. They help bring not only tourism dollars in, but can also make it a more desirable place to move both families and businesses to (which this town really needs).

To the residents of Chillicothe, and indeed the residents of all other towns and cities in this country that feel the way these people do, I have the following to say to you – you disappoint the hell out of me. Try doing something for people other than yourself once in a while. You might find that you’re doing yourself a favor in the process.

Current mood: annoyed
Current music: Van Halen – Right Now

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Grace vs. Force

It seems like most martial artists that you see now are taught to focus on raw strength. They all just try to overpower their opponents. It’s all just punch and kick faster and harder than the other guy to them.

It seems to be an American thing. Think of the most popular American sport – football. The biggest part of what’s drilled into the head of the people who play it from the time they’re kids is that you hit the other guy as hard as you possibly can.

As a consequence, they tend to lack grace. Their motions are jerky and disjointed. Their balance is not the greatest, and they aren’t prepared for surprises because they expect the other guy to be doing pretty much the same thing.

The real practice of martial arts, as opposed to simply being a bruiser like most of them try to be now, requires a great deal of grace, finesse, and balance. In fact, it has a lot in common with dancing – one motion flows into another.

Your opponent moves and you counter, avoiding his strike and flowing into the opening that his attack creates.

Strength often takes a back seat to grace in the actual practice of martial arts. People are very fragile creatures. It doesn’t take a lot to incapacitate, injure, or even kill. The only thing going at an opponent full force generally does is make you tired.

I’ve seen the same thing over and over again. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s watching a couple of karate-ka spar or trying to teach people how to fence. They almost always seem to want to simply overpower their opponents.

Granted, it can work sometimes, but if you ever face someone who uses finesse instead of force and try to force your way through the fight, you fall flat on your face. This is something that most of the fencers learned when they fought me.

Personally, I would advocate that all martial artists learn to dance. I know it sounds silly to most people, but the movements have a lot in common. It’s a matter of grace. In fact, a lot of people who have seen me use a blade can tell you just how much it looks like a dance.

There’s one other advantage to learning to dance – it’s a wonderful social skill. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this area (and others that I’ve been in) who think that dancing is completely the opposite of everything masculine. Of course, they also think the same thing of anything artistic.

The Midwest seems to be especially bad about that mindset. In high school, I was at a friend’s house when his stepfather came home. Since I’m a fairly large guy, he asked me if I played football. I told him it didn’t really interest me. The immediate follow up was along the lines of “What are you? A sissy? You probably play flute in the band don’t you?” in a rather taunting voice since, of course, football is the only thing that matters in this life.

My friend turned pale, afraid that I was going to kill his stepfather.

The thing is that it isn’t an isolated incident. In fact, it’s pretty widespread. It’s a shame really. I think the world would be a little better off if people relied less on brute strength and more on grace, finesse, and judgment.

Current mood: contemplative
Current music: Loreena McKennitt – Between the Shadows

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Nice Swag and Weirdness

If you haven’t been paying attention, I develop software. Most of said software is for Windows though I do get the occasional request for something on Linux.

That said, I tend to use Visual Studio a fair amount. I started using it back in version 6 when I was writing C and C++ code in college because it let me get work on projects done on the weekends without having to drive the 45 minutes to campus to use the unix labs (this was back when Linux was a pain in the rear to get to work.).

The fact that VS has a nice graphical debugger and Emacs didn’t have one at the time didn’t hurt either.

For the longest time, my license was covered by the university because we had an insane site license deal with Microsoft (basically any software they made we could get for about $10). Of course, after I graduated, that didn’t apply anymore.

The graduation gift from a friend of mine was a copy of VS2003 which was rather appreciated. When VS2005 came out, I didn’t want to throw down the $300 to get a copy, so I stuck with 2003 until the Express editions came out.

While the Express editions are nice, they’re kind of limited (which is sort of the point). That’s why I was happy when I found out that Microsoft was giving away free copies of Visual Studio 2005 Standard for watching a couple of podcasts and paying about $11 shipping and handling.

I just got my copy in the mail yesterday. I was surprised it only took a week to arrive. If you’re interested, click on the link above and jump through the rather simple hoops. It’s well worth it, but you’ll have to do it soon since the offer ends June 30th.

Now for the weirdness.

It seems that my Zipper program is one of the more popular examples of the use of RubyZip out there because, on checking my logs, I found a lot of hits from Google for “Rubyzip example.” Curious, I decided to check for myself, and it turns out that I’m on the first page of the results.

I thought that was kind of neat. Maybe that means that people are actually using at least some of my free stuff after all.

Granted, the reason I wrote the ruby programs was to scratch my own itches when I was setting up an entertainment computer, but still, it’s nice to know that someone out there is at least looking at it.

Now if I can only figure out why I keep getting so many referrals from dvd4arab. Don’t ask me. I just look at the logs and scratch my head…

Current mood: amused
Current music: The Cars – Hello Again