About Me

Time Management

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/03/07/time-management/

Well, you know what?  I’m getting better.  Better than I was.  But there’s so much farther I can go.  It’s mind-blowing.

I am starting to adapt stuff from Tom Limoncelli’s awesome work, “Time Management for SysAdmins.”  He assures us that it does take some time to get new habits going, but what I have so far is gratifying.

In the life goals, which I haven’t touched yet, he observed that if nothing else, writing down a goal makes it more likely that you’ll achieve it.  Why?  Because when you’re making decisions about what opportunities to pursue . . . you’ll have some criteria, right?

And, I haven’t gotten too nitty-gritty on the time-management, but one big thing is the idea of writing out the tasks you want to accomplish today.  Just today.  And push stuff you don’t have time for to tomorrow, or talk to the boss or people involved if you have too many things that can not wait for tomorrow . . . (more…)

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Technical, Technology, Testimonials

Customer Service Rant

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/03/07/customer-service-rant/

So, we use Bugzilla at work, and our users are mostly comfortable with it. On the other hand, there’s a popular “ticket tracking” system that is designed to track IT-type issues, which are considerably different from, although similar to, bugs. So, I have been asking around for advice . . . one reason I like RT is that it is simple for the user to send an e-mail directly into the system. A response was “well, then you don’t get enough information to solve the problem, so making the user fill out all the information in a web interface is better.” This . . . this, is one of my peet peeves:

Ah, personally, I HATE any system that makes “reporting a bug” any more cumbersome than absolutely needed. You need to make it as easy as possible to record that “something is wrong” and then query your customer for missing data as needed. All these “customer service” forms that have ever forced me to supply 5, ten, fifty pieces of frequently irrelevant data, and then ask me to explain my problem in a tiny little window . . .

No. Tools need to accomodate customer needs, and customer needs low barrier to entry. My cynical take on requiring the user to answer twenty questions is that you gain “efficiency” by making it sufficiently cumbersome for a user to report trouble such that the user will simply tolerate all but the very biggest problems, meanwhile cursing the jackasses over in the support organization with their “talk to our dumb*ss web interface” mentality.

A good compromise is to capture the user inquiry, and then, if there’s a standard questionnaire that needs filling out, have them fill it out.

Just, ah, my 2c. :)

I am so exhausted right now. Where has all my energy gone? Grr!

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Excerpts, Lyrics

“Be” . . . Lyrical

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/03/11/be-lyrical/

So, last night we were listening to Common’s album, “Be”. We both enjoy this album, some songs a lot more than others. Yayoi likes the tune but the lyrics are a real challenge . . . do black people always understand the lyrics? No, I said, from what I have observed of my step-siblings, you listen to the tune over and over, picking up lyrics on each pass, and perhaps argue with your friends and siblings, until you mostly get it. We did this. I’ve got most of the lyrics. Can you write them down? Yes. And so we worked our way through . . . over and over.

“Be” — Common

(Intro – guitar, synthesizer, piano, strings)



I want to be as free as the spirits of those who left
I’m talkin Malcolm, Coltrane, my man Yousef
Through death grew conception, new breath and resurrection
For one’s new steps in a direction in the right way
Told inside is where the fight lay
And everything a nigga do may not be what he might say
Chicago night stay stay on the mind
But I write many lives they lay on these lines
Waving signs of the times many say the crime’s on they mind
Shorties blunted out and everyone wanna rhyme
Bush pusher lies killers immortalized
We got arms but won’t reach for the skies
Waitin’ for the Lord to rise I look into my daughter’s eyes
And realize that I’m a learn through her
The Messiah might even return through her
If I’m a do it, I gotta change the world through her
Furs and the Benz (greps?) wantin’m
Demons and old friends pops they huntin’m
The chosen one from the land of the frozen sun
When drunk nights get remembered more than sober ones
Walk like warriors we were never told to run
Explore the world to return to where my soul begun
Never lookin back, or too far in front of me
The present is a gift, and I just want to Be.

(be, be, be, be, be ….)

It is a good song, starting with a strumming guitar, then a doo doo doo Pac Man synthesizer, and a piano tumbles in, joined by strings, before Common explodes with some complex, uplifting, starry-eyed lyrics, and then its over.  A good anthem to start the album.



Ruptured Hyphen

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/03/29/ruptured-hyphen/

Am I the last English speaker on this planet who reads “sundried tomatoes” as “mixed tomatoes?”

People!  Please!  Hyphen!  Sun-dash-dried . . . dried-by-the-sun!  Sundried reads as “to have made sundry” and “sundry” means “miscellaneous, mixed stuff.”

Sundried!  PAH!  Sun-dried!


1 Comment

Technical, Technology

More DST Fun

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/03/30/more-dst-fun/

From Wired:

“This is like Y2K except this one is really happening,” said [Purdue University] IT spokesman Steve Tally.

Currently, most Indiana computer users set their PCs to a special “Indiana East” setting — Eastern time that doesn’t spring forward every April. Starting this April, however, they’ll change their PCs to Eastern Daylight Time. The few who observe Central time set their computers to Central, and will also make the switch. Tally predicts the changeover will create havoc with the widely used Microsoft Outlook calendar application. When the time changes, he said, appointments will still be listed according to the old Indiana East time. The calendars of Central time Outlook users, in turn, will continue to list appointments according to Central time.

With a nationwide shift in daylight-saving scheduling slated for next year, Indiana’s experience offers a preview of potential glitches in store for the rest of the country. Starting in 2007, daylight-saving time will begin on the second Sunday of March rather than the first Sunday in April, as it does today. Daylight-saving time will end the first Sunday of November, a week later than it does now.

I heard on the radio yesterday that computer technology actually plays a much bigger roll in the growing gap between high-wage and low-wage employees than does immigration, such that those opposed to immigration should also be opposed to computers. I suppose one could look at the legislature mucking around with timekeeping as a way of creating demand for IT jobs, and thus slowing, ever so slightly, the rate at which IT efficiency disempowers low-wage workers.

My favorite DST bug was when Windows first started doing DST compensation automatically. The first time Windows computers were trusted to “fall back” an hour there was a bug such that several computers set their clocks back, and then set their clocks back, and then set their clocks back again . . . some computers ended up three, four, five, six hours behind . . . (more…)


FreeBSD, Technical

“Indiana Time”

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/03/31/freebsd-howto-fix-indiana-dst/

Nominally, you would fix a FreeBSD server by supping to stable, and running:

cd /usr/src/share/zoneinfo && make clean && make install

Though, you may have a valid reason for not doing all that. You could instead do this:

~> ls /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Indiana
Indianapolis    Knox            Marengo         Vevay
~> fetch ftp://elsie.nci.nih.gov/pub/tzdata2006b.tar.gz
Receiving tzdata2006b.tar.gz (149555 bytes): 100%
149555 bytes transferred in 2.6 seconds (55.68 kBps)
~> tar xfz tzdata2006b.tar.gz
~> sudo zic northamerica
~> ls /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Indiana
Indianapolis    Marengo         Vevay
Knox            Petersburg      Vincennes

A tip-of-the-hat to William Computer Blog and participants on the FreeBSD-questions mailing list.

Feedback Welcome

Arrr! . . . Avast!
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