Talking About Work

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/02/talking-about-work/

I’m on the last of my three days working as a NOC Technician at my employer’s data center. My normal day job is as Manager of Technical Support, which is normally performed at a seperate office. I’m covering a few data center shifts as something of a cultural exchange, and to help cover some transient staffing requirements. The data center is fun because we have security measures all over the place — just to take a poop I have to pass through a biometric security checkpoint.

My employer provides me with a T-mobile Sidekick, which is fun because I can IRC while I poop. There are those who think that this is wildly inappropriate, but they are weenies. Anyway, as I was pooping just now, I checked my e-mail, and was passed a link titled “Shitcanned from Friendster for Blogging.” (more…)

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John Kerry Throws Down

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/02/john-kerry-throws-down/

“The vice president even called me unfit for office last night. I guess I’ll leave it up to the voters whether five deferments makes someone more qualified to defend this nation than two tours of duty.”

Boo-yah! Thanks kos! More stuff at The New York Times, including:

“Letting the Saudi royal family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Handing out billions of government contracts to Halliburton while you’re still on their payroll makes you unfit.”


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Good Reads, Politics

Krugman: Feel the Hate

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/03/weird-gop-hatred/

A nice op-ed from Paul Krugman:

Barack Obama, who gave the Democratic keynote address, delivered a message of uplift and hope. Zell Miller, who gave the Republican keynote, declared that political opposition is treason: “Now, at the same time young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrats’ manic obsession to bring down our commander in chief.” And the crowd roared its approval.

Roared Jon Stewart, “how dare they … field a candidate … and in an election year!” (more…)

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Good Reads, Technology

Lindows: Dell is Microsoft’s Pawn

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/03/dell-microsoft-pawn/

The Register reports on allegations made by Lindows that Dell’s occasional efforts to sell Linux-based desktop systems are squashed because of special business relationships between Dell and Microsoft.

Although the Department of Justice has ruled that Microsoft must supply Windows licenses to top OEMs at the same price, there are other financial incentives that Microsoft can make, including Office licensing and promotions programs, that can add up to as much as $30 per PC, or about 25% of Dell’s profits. Very creepy reading.

A cursory visit to Dell’s web site reveals that Microsoft Windows is the only option to be had on an inexpensive PC. Caveat emptor!

Attempts to contact Dell for comment have not succeeded.

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Good Reads, Politics

Humiliated, Angry, Ashamed, Brown

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/05/humiliated-angry-ashamed-brown/

The tale of Ian Spiers, one brown American, trying to take a few photographs, in a time of fearful paranoia. Very much worth a read.

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Good Reads

Chicago’s Beaches

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/06/chicagos-beaches/

From The Christian Science Monitor:

Quick, which city has the best beaches: New York, San Francisco, or Chicago? Forget the oceanside location of the first two, and the Windy City’s well-earned reputation for harsh weather. For at least three months of the year, give or take a cold snap or two, the broad-shouldered hog butcher and freight handler is also a beach town.

A gentle reminder that the third coast is the one with the most! (It is hard to get to a good beach in the San Francisco area, though I will admit that SoCal is so sweet!)


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Free Style

East Cermak Road

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/07/east-cermak/

I didn’t get his name. He hailed me as I was crossing the street. It was 11:30 at night on East Cermak, and I was on my way to the L.

“Excuse me,” he said, and stood back. He said he smelled, that was afraid he’d scared me … I was a little apprehensive, sure, but not scared.

He said he was homeless. It sounded like a recent thing. A few weeks ago, he fell asleep on the train and … he lifted his shirt sleeve a bit and on his arm I saw a lump covered with a jagged line of stitches, he pointed at a cut face and a missing patch of hair. (more…)

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Politics, Technology

Touch Screen Voting: Just Say No

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/09/touchscreen-voting-just-say-no/

California is suing Diebold, the nation’s largest manufacturer of touch-screen voting machines because the company lied about the machines’ security. According to the LA Times:

The system’s key vulnerability is that county election workers or others with access to the machines could type in a two-digit code and create a second set of results that would then be forwarded to the state as the county’s official tally.

I am curious what purpose that feature may have, beyond the obvious application of election fraud. (more…)

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Dealing with Business Bullies

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/13/business-bullies/

We occasionally get intransigent customers who want things fixed but do not want to cooperate with us. I had to politely tell one off last Friday. Today a self-important customer wanted to blame us for the failure of a third-party web server. After explaining what I saw, he responded that I “had no idea” how important he is. No big deal. I wrote back, explained with a little more detail, and closed with:

I would further request that you maintain a professional tone when interacting with our staff. We take pains to ensure consistent support to all of our customers. A condescending tone on your part does nothing to yield results, and only builds animosity in relationships with your business partners. I thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

As someone who has played the part of smarmy know-it-all bully, I can tell from experience that when someone calmly confronts you head-on, gives you a competent explanation, and then requests that you behave yourself, well, unless you got some seriously sociopathic issues, that works really damned well.

But, we’ll see. I could have laid it down a bit more politely …

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FreeBSD, Technical

HOWTO: Create a Tar Archive From a File List

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/14/howto-create-tar-archive-from-manifest/

I had a list of files that someone requested. I wanted to put them in a tar archive, but the tar on the box doesn’t have an option to add a list of files. Huh. Well, this is quick and dirty, and will choke if you have any space in the filenames, but it met my purposes: (more…)



Make RealPlayer Suck Less

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/14/make-realplayer-suck-less/

Q: RealOne Player is evil and it sucks ass. I hate it. Is there anything else that can play RealAudio while sucking less?

A: Download Real Player 8 from http://forms.real.com/real/player/blackjack.html. This is a pretty decent version of the software that was written before they starting loading it full of spyware that auto-reinstalls itself. Be careful — it’ll occasionally offer to upgrade itself. Just hit cancel when it does.



If Bush had his way . . .

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/16/bush-way/

George Bush has this line in his stump speech:

“If John Kerry had his way, Saddam Hussein would still be in power!”

I think John Kerry could weave this in to his stump speech:

“If George Bush had his way, Osama bin Laden would still be at large!”

It makes me grin. (more…)


Good Reads, Politics, Testimonials

Read This: Notes from the RNC

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/16/rnc-notes-nyc-detention/

2600 has posted Notes From the RNC – The 8/31 Experience, a long recounting of the thirty three hours that one journalist experienced in detention, after being penned in by the NYPD for standing on the wrong sidewalk at the wrong time. It is definately worth a read by any American. (Thanks, Mike!)

I’ve been lucky enough to talk to a few people, both online and in person, who were also swept off the streets during the convention. We shared stories and experiences and it became obvious that we really needed to do this. A tale of injustice, even one that is dwarfed by others, needs to be told.


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The Race is Close

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/17/bush-kerry-polling-close/

It is getting exciting today over at electoral-vote.com:

The poll also concluded that without Nader, Kerry is leading Bush nationally by 48% to 45% and with Nader by 46% to 45% with Nader at 3%. Among likely voters, it is Kerry 47%, Bush 47%, Nader 3%. The Harris national poll (Sept. 9-13) puts Kerry ahead 48% to 47% and the Pew poll (Sept. 11-14) puts Bush ahead 47% to 46%. In contrast, Gallup (Sept. 13-15) has Bush ahead 55% to 42%.


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Next Time I Need to Debug Windows Setup Crap …

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/09/20/windows-startup-registry/

Run regedit and review http://www.absolutestartup.com/help/Winstart.htm.

God I hate Windows.

And, for the record, Trend Micro PC-cillin sucks in many layers. I’m not going to elaborate.

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