Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/01/fear/

So, I spent last week in a hotel near Dulles Airport in Virginia setting up a new network. Most things went great, but we had a vendor, whom we are paying a lot of money, crash and burn on a support call. In a fantastical way. I mean, it was like dealing with a telco. We managed to complete everything on time, I even got to visit the Air and Space Museum before my flight back. But the bad experience shook our confidence in the vendor. Badly.

I spent a lot of time upset over this . . . actually lost sleep in my disillusionment. I wrote up a list of stuff I was upset about, and on Monday I took some time at my own office to re-write a more professional list of things that I want addressed. I sent this off to the responsible parties, and immediately got calls back, which I did not want to take. We have established that they have until Wednesday to answer my concerns and restore confidence.

But the thing that sticks in my mind was when I checked my voicemail last night, was that shortly after I had sent my list of concerns off, was that the guy who called back, his voice had fear in it. Like I’d caught him in the cross-hairs. Granted, he probably has the most riding on this . . . but I want him to succeed, and this is something I tried to convey in my message, though I made it clear that we were entirely prepared to cut our ties with the vendor if I were not impressed . . .

There is a little gratification to be had in the knowledge that you have scared someone, because fear is a powerful motivator. But, things happen . . . support and communications screw up from time to time . . . I don’t want to hear from someone who is working from a place of fear, I want people who have the confidence that they can see a way out of the problem . . . fear has its place, I suppose.

Well, I hope things work out. While giving the vendor time to get their story straight, I have also lined up some alternatives.


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Technology, Testimonials

Civilization IV

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/01/civ4/

As posted on Skirv’s blog:

Overall, I think it is an excellent game.

I tried one game on easy level … quit after an hour or so … too easy.
In my second game I’m in 1902 on the almost-balanced level, but still feeling a little too easy to be interesting. But I want to use my panzers . . . and I just trained a spy, which sounds a lot more useful and intresting than in the older games. (more…)

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Good Reads, Politics


Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/02/comptroller/

So, I’m not looking at the blogs so much lately, but sometimes after I sublimate the animosity I’m feeling at a vendor into a very polite “but I need you guys to stop screwing me or else” missive I need a little chill.

The Banterist delivered giggles. You don’t have to live in New York City, I certainly don’t, to deeply appreciate and giggle heartily at this:

Superficial Voter’s Guide – NYC 2005

It’s fricking hilarious because . . . well, at least my mind works that way, especially when you ask yourself “Comptroller? What’s that? I have to pick one?”

Frazz induced a grin a well.

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Technology, Testimonials

Abovenet Rocks

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/08/abovenet-rocks/

I am a picky customer. And I have at least one vendor to bitch about once some of the dust settles, but I have to say, Abovenet has always been great. They are honest, they have good sales support, their data centers are nice enough . . . and any time I file a ticket to take care of network trouble or something like a server reboot, they have always taken care of business. Their networking people in particular do an excellent job of offering to help, to the point of offering to take a look at my BGP configs to offer pointers.

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Excerpts, Technical


Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/08/slash-initrd/

Do not taunt Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

Finally, one more directory worth noting is the /initrd/ directory. It is empty, but is used as a critical mount point during the boot process.

Warning Warning

Do not remove the /initrd/ directory for any reason. Removing this directory causes the system to fail to boot with a kernel panic error message.

<doomsey> do not taunt the happy fun directory. (more…)

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Testing Sidekick Upgrade

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/09/sidekick-upgrade-nice/

Hello world!

This is a test post from the bus via my Sidekick II. They recently updated the software on this device and things are nice. Timestamps in my AIM logs and the web browser is now noticeably faster, and prettier. There’s support for JavaScript, at least enough that the Flickrbar appears on my web site, which loads up with full color backgrounds and pleasing-to-me fonts.

Nice job, T-Mobile and Danger! Now, if only I could have per-account e-mail ringtones, so I could check my normal e-mail on the device without the loud “system pager” ring that is my default for email sent to my mobile . . .

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About Me, Testimonials

Local Time: Tomorrow

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/09/universal-time-dammit/

Yayoi has heard me quote this bit from The Simpsons a dozen times now, but:

“Welcome to Japan, where the local time is tomorrow.”

Today I noticed that my blog timestamps were now one hour off, because WordPress does not support the abomination that is Daylight Saving Time. So I went in and said “stick with Universal Time,” which I think should be the standard time zone for everything anyway. Standard Time zones are an inaccurate fiction, invented as a convenience to schedule trains. Daylight Saving is a silly kludge built on that fiction. When I’m elected dictator, we’ll all use Universal Time for coordinating schedules, and everyone’s time-keeping device will also accomodate local solar time, so you can coordinate pre-industrial activites like eating lunch around noon, or heading home from work some time before sunset.

I am a crackpot who is fifty years ahead of his time, so don’t mind me.

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Linux, Technical

Install Red Hat via Serial Console

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/09/install-redhat-serial-console/

This is an easy problem, but Googling the answer didn’t immediately return a great solution.

I want to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux via serial console. How to set that up? Red Hat says how. Hook up a keyboard / monitor, and at the boot prompt, enter:

linux text console=ttyS0 (more…)

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FreeBSD, Linux, Technical

WARNING: PermitRootLogin defaults to “yes”

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/12/permitrootlogin-p4wn3d/

For many yers I have used FreeBSD nearly exclusively. In the BSD tradition, root is pretty well protected — root can not log in from remote unless you put some effort into hooking that up, and local users can only run su if they are members of the wheel group. Because of the nifty sudo tool and my own disinterest in memorizing any more passwords than necessary, I have tended to remain unconcerned with the root password, setting it and storing the thing somewhere, which is a pain, or setting it to something dumb, or just not setting it, depending on the security needs of a given system.

I recently learned a painful lesson from Fedora: not all unices are as protective of the root user. Sure, I knew that in Linux any local user can run su, but OpenSSH isn’t going to allow people to log in as root, right? Wrong! (more…)


Excerpts, Technology

Japanese Gaming Chic

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/13/japanese-gaming-chic/

“Right now Asian fans really like the Japanese products and culture. They want the package in Japanese, manual in Japanese, they want everything to be in Japanese, or Japanese style. Japan is cool and popular in China, and right now it seems like they don’t want anything else.”

Takeshi Kimura
SNK Playmore
Game Devloper Magazine, November 2005

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Good Reads

Lorah Sees Polar Bears

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/13/lorah-sees-polar-bears/

She’s been riding the train and now the tundra buggy and she sees Polar Bears.

Some nice pictures and video clips.


Makes Thailand seem dull. :)

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Good Reads, Politics, Religion


Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/14/pro-life/

“Ramatou Issoufou is lucky to be alive,” said Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. I recently witnessed the 37-year-old Nigerian woman and her baby son survive a treacherous childbirth, after Issoufou nearly slipped into a coma from eclampsia, a complication of pregnancy that kills 50,000 women a year in the developing world. The maternity hospital where the birth took place was filthy, bug-ridden, and poorly equipped, and her husband had to pay $42 for an emergency surgical kit supplied by the U.N. Population Fund. Thanks to that effort, “two more lives” were saved. But last month, President Bush cut off U.S. contributions to the fund, due to pressure from Christian conservatives. They don’t like the U.N. agency because it promotes contraception. They also object to the fact that the Population Fund operates in China, which has an appalling policy of forced sterilizations and abortions. But the Population Fund has been pressuring China to end the coercion, and besides, “the solution isn’t to let African women die.”

Every year, more than 500,000 women die worldwide during pregnancy and childbirth. Through both contraception and medical supplies, the Population Fund is making a dent in that appalling statistic, but each day, hundreds of women perish because it can’t do more. “Call me naive, but I think if Mr. Bush came here and saw women dying as a consequence of his confused policy, he would relent.” Surely, letting women die isn’t what America stands for.

Nicholas Kristof
The New York Times
The Week, November 4, 2005

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Excerpts, Politics

“History aint Changed”

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/15/history-aint-changed/

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that’s all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed

Remember how Iraq used to be run by a brutal tyrant who did nasty things to minority elements? Until American troops came in and liberated the place, and ran the jails, except after awhile the American troops got crazy again? (more…)

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Linux, Technical

Installing Software on FC4

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/16/installing-software-on-fc4/

I’m new to Linux, but I’m trying out Fedora Core 4 on my work laptop. It’s pretty slick once you change the desktop environment to KDE. But I want to be able to play mp3s, and there’s nothing in the default system that can handle this, and yum doesn’t know where to find good stuff like mplayer or mpg123. (Yeah, I’m a command-line type of guy . . .)

So, I go shopping for “repositories” that extend the Fedora Core base repository . . . and the short answer is that if you do this: (more…)


Excerpts, Good Reads

“Kundera Sucks”

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/11/17/kundera-sucks/

Actually, I enjoyed The Unbearable Lightness of Being but that’s not so say I’m going to disagree Maciej. How can you disagree when someone with impeccable Eastern European street cred runs through a list of “date books” with such exuberence:

[The Unbearable Lightness of Being] has that sexy whiff of the Eastern Bloc to it (very effective on anyone who hasn’t been immunized by an actual relationship with an Eastern European), it’s full of young people having complex, turgid sex with one another, and since the first sentence of the book mentions ‘Nietzsche’, it is ipso facto philosophical.

I mean, he even goes to the trouble of worrying about the right translation for you, his gentle reader: (more…)


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