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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

This series has gone from weekly to weakly. I’m thinking maybe Nintendo should buy it from me and make it Wiikly.

Sign of the political times

Listening to the news today, I heard tell of everyday citizens having the little political signs they put out in their yard damaged, broken, vandalized, and stolen.

My first reaction was shock — primarily because I still expect people to be civil.  I love disagreement and conflict (hint: it’s how we grow), but when it escalates to property damage, that’s beyond sad; it makes me mad.

One story was about a woman here in Austin who had her Obama/Biden signs stolen and decided to spray-paint her lawn with a custom sign.

Another caller lamented how one morning he went outside and found his McCain/Palin signs vandalized, torn up and kind-of left as a “oh yeah?!?!?” message.

More and more stories popped up with McCain/Palin signs being damaged and Obama signs going missing.  Who am I sharing my city with?  A bunch of vandals and thieves?

Then I started thinking… hmm, the Obama signs aren’t being damaged like the McCain ones are.  The Obama lawn signs are just going missing.  Isn’t that a bit weird?

And then I got it!  It’s not Obama haters that are taking the signs at all!  It must be other Obama supporters!

Yeah!  The democrats are so confident that they’ll win next week that they’re starting early on their ideology of taking from those who have and giving it to those who don’t.

I’m hoping the lady’s own words will be reviewed in her own mind, and apply the same mentality to other things in life, like, oh, I don’t know…. taxation, maybe?

They might think it’s extreme, but I think it’s extreme to come into my yard and take something that belongs to me, so I wanted to express myself.

Technical fun

I’m on vacation from work this week.  This means I’m helping some friends with some technical projects that I’ve having a ton of fun with.  For me, fun usually means gadgets, fiddling with new systems, or learning something new with software.

Here are some of the things I’ve been playing with:

Macintosh

I’m a PC.  I’m a Unix.  I’m a toaster.  Whatever.  But the last time I was a Mac, it was late 80’s and early 90’s with a Mac IIc, a IISE, IIcx and the like.  I thought that this time around, my getting used to the mac with it’s unix base would be easy.  However, some of the things I took for granted with my decades with a PC/Unix system have created frustration with working with the Mac.

I am borrowing a MacBook Pro that’s definitely a sweet machine.  Leopard 10.5.3.  4GB ram.  2.6Ghz dual core.  I have some specific things to hammer out, like pointing Time Machine over a network.

But the things that are slowing me down are things related to efficiency.  I’m a keyboard person.  I don’t like using the mouse unless I have to, so the lack of a built-in right-click mouse button is insane for me.  I don’t know how to lock the screen fast (like windows+L) when I want to walk away.  How do I run an app from the keyboard?  How can I browse or search my files?  The mouse just slows me down for most of the things I do all day.

I want to be able to do everything with the keyboard, and I’m having trouble making the time to learn it all.  Oh, and where’s the page-down key?  ARGH.

I’m not expecting the mac to be a windows box – but I do want to know how to do the things Mac-style.  So that’s something I’m working on.  Marty and Dave have been answering my probably-annoying tweets and that’s helpful.

zeroshell

I got to know zeroshell some – it’s an all-in-one open source appliance that does DNS, DHCP, LDAP, RADIUS, VPN, firewall, QoS, vlan routing, Wireless integration, load balancing, HTTP Proxy, certificates and Kerberos.  I set up two of them on a network for redundancy and I’m really liking the web-admin console for DNS.

I have it running in a virtual environment – it’s literally a fully functioning operating system on a CD.  I just mount the ISO file in VMWare ESXi (also free), tell it to boot from it, give it some disk space to use, and it just works.  Very lightweight, very usable.  Sure, it’s beta but still.

FreeNAS

Another open source tool I’m playing with in a virtual environment is FreeNAS – a network attached storage appliance.   The idea is that you can bring up a virtual machine with a lot of disk space, and it can service files to all your computers in whatever format you want – Windows-style SMB/CIFS, Apple-style AFP, NFS, FTP, RSYNC, iSCSI and others.  I still don’t have it working with Time Machine, but I do have it working with the macintoshes as a storage device. 

Evidently there’s a tweak for the Mac called the Flux Capacitor that allows the mac to see non-local hard drives as Time Machine backup targets, but it’s not working for me yet.  That’s another thing that bugged me about the Mac.  It seemed that it was just a simple command-line, but I had to download a 400KB “application” that ran that one-liner for me?  or am I misunderstanding the app?

Best of LOLcats

 

 

Who knows, maybe you will want to MISC this week’s edition.  How could I possibly know? (psst: I’ll tell you: I’m psychic!)  I’ve had Guitar Hero III on the brain a LOT this week, so I’m going to do a Guitar Hero post in the next couple of days.  I stuck one GH3 tidbit in here though…


Funny Kids Tag

I’ll be the first to call foul on myself and say this tag is only family friendly to the purely innocent. 🙂

I went to my godson’s 1st birthday party over the weekend and as part of my “pitching in” I decided I’d offer to put together the toys he raked in – you know, take them out of the boxes, remove the annoying wiring and screws and locking pieces and actually follow whatever instructions to make the toy eligible for play once the day was over.

Attached to one of the toys was the following tag:

remove & discard screw & tag

And all I could think was – are there 4 verbs there, or 2 verbs and 2 nouns?  Or is it possibly hunting related?


March Guitar Hero Madness

Guitarhero.com is combining collegiate loyalty, regional player ability and a catchy logo to bring the “Madness Tournament” to the masses.  Basically you join a team based on your college and then you play in a huge guitar hero III tournament.  Cash prices and a trip to San Antonio for some big guitar Hero tournament is up for grabs, but frankly I just feel like I could use the practice.

So I signed up (I think sign-up stops today or tomorrow) – there are a whopping 920 923 933 940 people entered so far in the qualifying round!  (the number kept going up as I composed this entry)

guitar hero madness

Yeah, yeah, I know you can’t read it very well.  It just shows that I’m registered and I have 100 groupies.  How come I never meet any of these groupies?!?!?  (I think the answer is I couldn’t afford $4000/hr).

Now for the kicker – I don’t have GHIII for the Wii or PS3 or XBOX, so I can’t play online.  I use PS2 only.  So I’m going to have to beg a friend of mine who DOES have it to let me borrow it. PLEASE? 

I can has wii-tar hero?  Or is that Guitar Wii-ro?

Evidenly the first round (qualifying round) is medium only, and what they do is take the highest score from your team and use it to try to beat the other team.  I’m sure there are millions of small print annoyances that someone will complain about, but for the most part, I’m pumped!


The Move to Vista

I think I’ll make a post dedicated just to the move to Vista later on, but suffice it to say, I spent many hours this week learning, imaging, testing, playing and getting my rear into Microsoft Windows Vista.  Currently, I’m using the Vista install as my primary operating system on a kick-butt laptop, and I’m in it enough that I have Office, Picasa, and my tools (vim, snagit, some others).  I can print, I can scan, I can email, I can blog and browse and that’s enough for now.

In short, this is what I did:

  • My laptop was running XP Pro before, and it was HIGHLY customized.
  • I installed VMWare Converter tool (this takes an image of a physical drive and creates a virtual machine file)
  • I attached a 500GB USB drive and ran the converter tool to create the virtual machine on that drive
  • I got a 2nd hard drive, swapped it out, and installed Vista w/SP1 from scratch.
  • VMWare Server was then installed on the Vista machine, and I imported the virtual machine (the old XP image) into it.
  • Now I can run my old XP Pro image any time I want inside the virtual machine, and be free to slide nice and easy into the new Vista environment

I’ve learned a lot, but the real benefit is that I can understand Vista more so we can plan a deployment to ~500 systems.  There’s nothing like trying to support something you know NOTHING about.  I’m just glad we’re a Microsoft Software Assurance customer and we get some great deployment and training tools, not to mention special version of Vista (Vista Enterprise)

I’m trying to keep a running tab of my questions, but invariably I forget to write them down.  Here are a few:

  1. I386 directory?
    In XP, a good idea was to copy the I386 directory to C:\.  Do we need to do something similar with Vista?
  2. Start –> Run
    Where did Start–> Run go??!?!?  Thank goodness Windows+R still works!
  3. Global “the way things were” setting?
    I see here and there “Classic View” or ways to set Windows Vista to work like XP from a user interface perspective, but is there one big hammer you can use to knock Vista back to normality?  Or a video guide on where everything is?  Man this is frustrating sometimes.
  4. USB Headsets
    I don’t like how it supports USB headsets, because it looks like you have to go into the control panel to switch from system speakers to USB, and in XP, it auto-switched for you.
  5. UAC
    The whole ruckus about PC vs Mac commercials and how Vista is so annoying popping up and asking “is it ok to do this?” and “is it ok to pick my nose?” and such… actually, I don’t mind it so much.  I’m actually liking it.  I know a lot of people disable UAC quickly when they get on a box, but frankly I’m glad it’s there.  I’m sure it’s going to stop a lot of spyware and nastiness on systems for normal end users because most of the time they shouldn’t be doing things very often that would cause it to pop up.
  6. Don’t switch OS’s when you’re stressed
    Most change isn’t very good when you’re dealing with issues.  I chose to take the Vista plunge when I didn’t have anything major going on at work or at home, so the last 3-4 days has been great, being able to take my time getting to know my new friend.  I know I’d be frustrated out of my gourd if I was dealing with “where the HECK is (x)?!?!?” when I had something due or was dealing with a crisis.  That’s also why I took such lengths to go the VM route because I didn’t want to get a 2nd laptop and make it a “trial” thing – I needed to actually immerse myself into the Vista world but not lose touch with my old familiar setup in the XP world.

Essential tools that help me in this transition are VIM (vi improved, a unix-based text editor), SnagIt, and Treesize.


Best of LOLcats 

It’s late and I want to go to bed.  So I’m just giving you one.  I actually haven’t even looked at blogs hardly at all this week so I’m behind getting the collection.

 


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