Thursday, June 29, 2006

Adobe Reader pains

Why in the hell do I need to reboot Windows after upgrading Adobe Acrobat Reader? Going from .5 to .7 to .8 required three reboots. Plus they wanted to jam some photo album in there as well.

Your program reads .PDF files. I want to read a .PDF either the file association or mime type will start the appropriate reader. What is being loaded that cannot be uploaded to upgrade? If I'm not viewing a .PDF then there should be nothing on my system pertaining to a damned .PDF.

Windows is Genuinely Assine

from Ed Bott's Microsoft Report:

He told me that "in the fall, having the latest WGA will become mandatory and if its not installed, Windows will give a 30 day warning and when the 30 days is up and WGA isn't installed, Windows will stop working, so you might as well install WGA now."

The latest version of WGA or "Windows Genuine Advantage" went out Tuesday and my workstation wanted to install the thing yesterday when I put the .Net 2.0 framework on it. I declined the EULA and it didn't install; until 24 hours later. One day later almost to the minute there are updates for me to download and install - only one - WGA. I cancel the installation but WGA installs itself anyways asking for a reboot. I tell it I don't want to reboot now because I'm downloading an .iso image. It pops up again about ten minutes later wanting to reboot and my choices are now or later (what happened to manually, like when I want to reboot).

Personally, I am getting sick and damn tired of Microsoft. Why do I need WGA to remain resident? If I run WGA and it determines my copy of Windows XP is legit then why in the hell does it have to check the same install on the same machine again? Why does it have to stay installed? If I'm good, I'm good - right?

Earlier this month it was proven that WGA was phoning home to Microsoft and sending information. This same little piece of crap is now going to have the ability to make your purchased copy of Windows (separate or what came with your machine) stop working if you do not have WGA.

This is a flaming load of dogshit.

What if some keygen out there figured out my key and some noodle-head is using it illegally?

How in the blue hell does Microsoft build any type of trust in people when their software continues to contain critical flaws, has a component that phones home without your knowledge, forces you to accept a piece of software you don't need after initial verification and takes the cavalier attitude that you have to accept this whether you like it or not else they will make the piece of hardware you spent a good chunk of change on and the license of XP Professional that you bought and shut them down.

My friend Dave is already dual booting to Linux. Some folks at work use Linux on laptops and some folks own Macintosh computers. I can guarantee from this point forward that eventually only one workstation I own will have Windows XP Professional. The "family" server will be converted to Ubuntu Linux running Samba and Apache. My mega-sooper-gigundo box will be converted to Ubuntu Linux with VMWare Server. All development workstations will be Linux with Open Office and Eclipse. The versions of C# Express, SQL Server Express, and Web Developer Express I downloaded yesterday will not be installed.

I've been dealing with Windows since 3.0 (and one copy of 286) and Microsoft has made my blood boil so many times it is getting stupid. There have been too many times where their flaws and their problems and underhanded techniques have made me so violent I had to break something. They have frustrated me seven times more than IBM, Computer Associates and Oracle combined.

Enough is enough.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

USA vs. Ghana

Let's just say, for now, all I want to do is go drink a gallon of gasoline then go puke on a campfire.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bitch, bitch, bitch ...

Sorry but I really feel like bitching this morning. The majority of items I would like to bitch about either shouldn't be bitched about publicly or cannot be bitched about public without some sort of life altering effect. So I'll just let my brain puke; let it all out then go to its nice quiet place.

First of all I'm disappointed the Edmonton Oilers fell short of winning the Stanley Cup from the Carolina Hurricanes. I have nothing against the Carolina players or the coaching staff, which if you have half a brain and do some simple math you could probably figure out the individual I have issue with. Nothing would have made me happier than to see them lose but they had a good team and a little luck (the Buffalo was wounded and the Oilers lost two of those four games when their goalie went down) on their side. Game 7 was set up for such a heartbreaking defeat, too. They got an early lead, added insurance, has a goal that was not counted (controversy) – all Edmonton had to do was even it then net one in overtime to create a vortex of disappointment so big it would have sucked the ocean inland three or four miles. But it didn't happen.

Our housing subdivision is a half-mile road that has a speed limit of 25 miles per hour and has no stop signs on it. It is really hard to stay at the speed limit and it is really easy for cops on motorcycles to hide and write tickets left and right. I've seen the same motorcycle cop hidden on a 25 mile per hour street in the neighboring town. It seems like the Columbus Police Department has an entire group of individuals for this type of enforcement. I don't like to dump on police officers, they have tough jobs and take a lot of crap from vermin and people that deserve a bullet in the brain, but it's this type of enforcement that really upsets me. There are speed traps all over the city of Columbus and its suburbs and eventually you could get caught in one of them; which will cost you around $120 out of your pocket and potentially hundreds of dollars per year in adjusted vehicle insurance due to the incident. Is this really serving and positively benefiting the public? If I were to get a ticket for 28 in a 25 is that really that big of a threat in our community, especially when compared to the number of garage thefts, vandalism, and illegal garbage dumps in our area?

I'm tired of the movie / recording / software industry doing things that remove value from something I purchased or rented. I've had my fill of un-skip-able previews on DVD discs; where you have to sit through three or four previews and advertisements before even getting to the menu on the disc to play it. I'm tired of the recording industry force feeding the same garbage while installing potentially damaging software on my computer. I am sick and fucking tired of Adobe Acrobat Reader and having to reboot my computer twice while having a bunch of junk offered to me for a download. There is no reason why Acrobat should need to reboot my computer unless they are hooking into crap they shouldn't be hooking into. I'm sick of copy protection on games that require Administrator rights to install and run; and well any copy protection that in the long run does not prevent piracy and inconveniences the user. I'm sick of Microsoft and their monopolistic world. Now we learn WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) is an adaptive piece of code that talks to Microsoft servers. Way to build our trust, Bill. I have dealt with Microsoft's crap for over fifteen years now and I'm just sick of them.

Well it's nine o'clock and I'm just getting grouchier by the minute. I'm already going to have to stay an hour later to make up for this time here at work. Great.

Monday, June 19, 2006

USA World Cup Woes

It is almost a full two days since the FIFA World Cup 2006 match between the Italians and the United States of America. I still feel a great sense of disappointment at what has transpired so far. Here is where we stand:

The US must beat Ghana on Thursday or we go home hanging our heads in shame. If we beat Ghana a couple of other things must happen. The best case scenario would be a win against Ghana with Italy beating the Czech Republic; which would leave Italy on top of Group E with us in second. Now is where it gets both interesting and disappointing. If the Italians lose they would be equal in points with us so the goal differential must favor the United States (i.e. we must beat Ghana by 1-5 goals depending upon how badly Italy loses; they have +2 we have -3) and the Czech Republic advances. If the Czech Republic and Italians tie, then Italy will advance winning Group E and the Czech Republic would be equal in points with us; taking it to goal differential (i.e. we must beat Ghana by five or more goals; they have +1 we have -3).

As you can probably tell it would make things much, much easier if Italy wins; at least until the next round. The runner-up (that would be us) in Group E plays the winner of Group F (that would be Brazil unless they somehow manage to totally puke their match against bottom dwelling Japan and the Australians just pulverize Croatia; chances of that happening are worse than the USA advancing).

It would be interesting to see a match-up against Brazil. The Brazilian central defense is frequently questioned even though they are pretty solid compared to the rest of the team full of vibrant, highly skilled players. The United States would have to have a solid, densely packed defense and midfield to stifle the fluid Brazilian attack. They would have to patient as well, like France was in the 1998 World Cup.

First things first though; we need to beat the team speed of Ghana. Like the United States, Ghana will have so key players out due to caution accumulations/ejections. The USA will be without Pablo Mastroeni (red carded vs. Italy) and Eddie Pope (two yellow cards and subsequent ejection vs. Italy). Although Pablo has merit I don't feel as strongly about Pope. Eddie Pope has been a rock for the USA for numerous international matches but all rocks eventually erode. He was beaten on the first goal for Italy and may have seen his last action for the national team. I have a feeling Brian McBride will not start against Ghana as well. There are a number of younger, hungrier players sitting on the bench that might be better options.

It should be an interesting match on Thursday. I have a bad feeling we won't have a repeat of 2002 where we slipped into the next round by the skin of our teeth. Knowing the World Cap and the "soccer gods" I vision a 1-1 or 0-0 tie in the ITA vs. CZE match leaving us short on goal differential with whatever we do against Ghana.

Crazier things have happened, though.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Personal Internet use at work

Internet usage in the corporate world is a touchy subject to being with but with recent compromise of taxpayer records at the Oregon Department of Revenue (an employee downloaded a Trojan from a porn site) this topic will blitz its way through management and the hysterical committees. But just how much Internet usage at work is acceptable and what type of usage is acceptable? In my opinion it breaks down into to two categories: time and content

Time

Personally, I don't care how much personal time you spend on the Internet as long as you are putting in your allocated work time. If you are supposed to be working forty hours a week then work forty ore more hours a week. Personal usage can usually be allotted to lunch; simply eat lunch at your desk while catching up on news or whatever. I will take time in the morning to read news, catch up on hockey and soccer, do a sudoku puzzle and participate in some message forums. If I spend a little too much time I will always add time to the end of the day to keep a simple eight hour day. If I know there will be rain for the drive home one afternoon I will put in time there to avoid the idiots on the roads; which leaves time for personal Internet or extra time in the gym

Some people will complain that they have down-time or slow-periods where they are either bored doing nothing or can surf the web. I have a mixed reaction to that. If you are part-time or on a job that has busy and slow periods then maybe some personal Internet time is warranted unless the office works to help each other out during peaks. If you are slow while another area is getting slammed then maybe you should help them out (and they should reciprocate). If you are a programmer like me you should be bettering yourself through education during off-time

Content

Obviously there are some places you shouldn't go when using the office Internet. Pornography is almost universally unacceptable but there are gray areas. Some "humor" or "not safe for work" content sites might have pictures of women flashing their racks along with pictures of mother ducks walking her chicks into a storm drain and animations of dogs eating their own barf. Obviously the naked breasts are wrong but that mother duck was funny and cute. A little humor works wonders when you are dealing with idiots all day long

The extreme point of view is "no personal use under any circumstances" – which is a harsh policy but really the only one that almost guarantees so workstations get compromised. Such organizations will usually have content filtered through a proxy, will log EVERYTHING you do, and will actively monitor your workstation with about eight scanning programs. In such environments it is best just to not use the corporate workstations to go to the Internet for anything. Don't even request access. As a consultant I had to be extremely careful what I did because the slightest infraction could be used against me to negate a contract or worse. A friend of mine got sent off a contact for having Yahoo! Sports in his bookmarks. If a client had any Internet policy or made me sign anything that weighed more than a can of pop I would simply say "no thanks" and worked without the Internet. If I needed something I would make the client do it. Sometimes they got the point

The other extreme is totally free and unrestricted access. While awesome as this might be it leads to compromised computers and plenty of content problems. Sites that start this way usually end up implementing this next type of policy

The most common policy I see in place in business entities is what I call the "gray area" policy. It is a policy drafted by some legal team somewhere that basically says "do what you want but don't do anything is wrong or will offend anybody, else we retain the right to punish you (for doing something wrong that might be wrong or might not be wrong or we might have no idea if it is wrong or we simply don't give a rat's hiney just as long as we cannot be held liable for anything)." It is policies like this one that scare me because I simply don't know what to do right and an employer can always use something I did in the past to justify an action towards you in the future. If the policy is gray then the button leading to the Internet should probably be gray as well.

Or if you want to have a little fun, mail the list of web sites you are going to access then have your supervisor sign-off on them. If your management is as gray as the policy they will eventually get tired of you annoying them all the time and either yank everything or give you full access.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Parasites

What an awful, depressing day this has been so far. It all started this morning when I found a partially gorged tick attached to my upper leg, dangerously close to my junk. My whole day has been screwed now as I feel crummy and totally "skeeved" out by the parasite. Most diseases carried by ticks are transmitted in the 24-48 hour time frame of the feeding period, so hopefully I'm okay there. The dog was most likely the source of the tick; we found three on its paws this morning and it hopped up on my lap a couple of times last night.

Oh well. It's not like I can turn to the news for comfort. Microsoft warned of 8 "critical" security flaws; great.

Speaking of parasites, apparently FEMA money for hurricane Katrina victims has been used for Hawaiian and Caribbean vacations, sex changes, divorces, "Girls Gone Wild" videos, season tickets to see the New Orleans Saints, Dom Perignon champagne, and various sex toys. Now I know these are simply the worst examples out of a program that benefited a lot of people left homeless and in horrible conditions but between victims using money for cocaine and breast implants to the millions who defraud government programs and insurance there comes a time where the normal people on this planet just have to say enough is enough. Most of us are tired of carrying these parasites through taxes and high insurance rates only to watch them continue to feed. There are published documents circulating through our country the show exactly how to come to this country, gain citizenship as quick as possible by exploiting the marriage system and family services, the live off government hand outs and lawsuits. While it might appear the lower class vermin are responsible for this, the same type of parasites exists in the upper layers of society. Like the lower class frauds, these upper class vermin know exactly who to exploit for power and profit while they also have the funds to both protect themselves from both government and authority. For every seven-figure salaried CEO that drives their company into the ground (sorry; navigates their corporation successfully through the harsh economic landscape) there could be numerous if not millions of investors and employees that suffer for doing nothing but their jobs while the people at the top enjoy separation funds more than any of those beneath would see in a lifetime and, more than likely, become head of another organization (or President as the ultra-liberal here pointed out – shaking my head).

Sometimes I feel as though the control over my life is slowly slipping away from me into the hands of the vermin and the extremes. There will come a time (if it isn't here already) that I won't be able to do anything about this politically because the ignorant and the extreme will control the vote. It's just depressing.

Wow, I really (sarcasm) want to go back to work now.

Is it just me?

Or is posting here on Blogger.com been a pain in the ass the past couple of weeks?

Blogger postings have been a complete pain in the ass for well over a week now. I am beginning to get really pissed at this. Being in computers I know hardware and software upgrades can be a bitch, especially if they are unplanned (i.e. a component and it's redundant part both fail, or if capacity is breached unexpectedly) but when continuous problems occur over more than a couple of weeks then there is reason for concern. I know Blogger is a free service so theoretically I don't have room to complain because I am (theoretically) not paying the bills but even with free services there is a certain level of quality and service you should expect; Blogger is riding that line right now.

On thing that seemed to help with the last one-liner post I made was going into settings and turning the RSS feed off. To be honest, the crap I write is not worthy of and I certainly am not important enough to have an RSS feed and it's just one more thing the publishing script has to do when publishing a post. I already had the "Notify weblogs.com" turned off.

Monday, June 12, 2006

USA vs. Czech Republic

At noon EST the United States Men's National Soccer team takes on the Czech Republic in the first round of the 2006 Fifa World cup. I'm unfortunately going to have to view the first half via match tracker on the Internet but hope to get out for the second half.

The United States is in Group E, the "group of death", with Italy, Ghana and the Czech Republic. Many are predicting the United States won't get past Italy or the Czech Republic and will be sent home early. Of course, that makes the match taking place in about fifteen minutes pretty damn important. Well every match is important, but all eyes will be on this one.

Personally, I think we have a chance of surviving the "group of death" but only through mistake free play. At this level of competition a single mistake can break the game.

Links:

Go USA!

Update

Wow, that was depressing... Out-played, out-coached, out-scored and looking like out-of-the-whole-damn-thing.

Shoot the doctors?

  • The number of doctors in the U.S. is 700,000.
  • Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 120,000.
  • Accidental deaths per physician is 17.14%.
Statistics: courtesy of the U.S.Dept of Health & Human Services
  • The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000.
  • The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500.
  • The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.001875%.
Statistics: courtesy of the FBI

So statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

Remember, guns don't kill people, doctors do.

FACT: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE DOCTOR.

Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!!!

Out of concern for the public at large, I have withheld statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

ABC...

Alphabetic lists that describe yourself seem to be floating through blogs recently; oh well, here's me:
  1. is for American, which is what I am
  2. is for big butts, which I like and can't deny
  3. is for computers that require my programming skills that my employer pays me for
  4. is for drawing that I do occasionally
  5. is for evil, quite scary
  6. is for something that I like doing but cannot mention in public
  7. is for Grouchy, for obvious reasons
  8. is for hockey, which I like to play on ice someday; go Bluejackets (and for this year's Stanley Cup, go Oilers)
  9. is for intelligence which I seem to have some of
  10. is the first letter of my first name
  11. is for something else I can't mention
  12. is for Libertarian, a direction I am slightly leaning
  13. is for metal, my favorite type of music
  14. is for nothing, something I do more frequently
  15. is for oriental food - their noodles are quite tasty
  16. is for pizza, also quite yummy
  17. is for quality, something I strive for
  18. is for running - something I should be doing more of to get into shape
  19. is for soccer, which I like to play; go Crew
  20. is for Trish Stratus, the hot WWE wrasslin' babe
  21. is for ugliness, something I see in life too frequently
  22. is for "Vulgar Display of Power", the CD I am currently listening to
  23. is for weight training I try to do at work once a day
  24. is for x-rays, which I have had done on my kidneys, right finger, left arm, feet and teeth
  25. is for youth; something I wish I could relive
  26. is for zombie fiction; found here

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Evil...... Eeeeeevillllll !

It's an evil day folks. Tuesday June 6th, 2006 might look normal to most people but when you look at it from a numerical standpoint it is 06/06/06. Holy sh*t, then number 666 is in there - ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Seriously, though. Is the world coming to an end? No. Is the great Satan going to devour our spleens in an orgy of lust? No. Are we going to get a semi-truck full of email bombs and messenger viruses? Yup. Crap. Here are some interesting links I felt like listing just for giggles.

There are plenty of other references out there but I'll leave it up to you to find them.

The important thing to remember here is if you honestly feel fear and/or respect of today then by all means repent; be good to your fellow man in the last waning moments of the universe. Or should you sin like no tomorrow because no salvation is at hand?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sick...

Sometimes I just get so sick of this world.

This all started at about 3am yesterday morning. I woke up in a cold sweat with jabbing pains in my kidneys and gut. I would have sworn it was the kidney stone in my right kidney deciding to get off its lazy ass and make its searing pain inducing journey to my bladder. I barfed up the ibuprofen I downed to kill the pain. It roughed up my throat pretty bad, there was some blood. About two hours of suffering passed until I started feeling comfortable enough to go to sleep.

Of course, that was when everybody in the house got up for school and work. The majority of the day was spent on the couch or in bed, my girlfriend's dog loyally by my side most of the way.

It is about 1pm now. I'm at work now, hoping that the turkey sandwich and Gatorade I had for lunch will digest without feeling like a toilet brush going through my small and large intestines.

Needless to say I'm in a grumpier mood than usual. A lot of things are getting to me; I want to just go off on some people. It reminds me of how much I just don't like my life and some of the people in it. Of course I shouldn't go into details in a public forum like an online journal.

So here I sit, waiting for a couple of people to do their jobs so I can do mine. I should just go home. The whole experience has been physically draining. Then again, if I go home there will probably be just as many problems and crap as here at work. It makes a person just want to go curl into fetal position in a sewer somewhere.