December 29, 2000
Someone else had set up an interface that takes Snort output and makes pretty HTML output. It's called SnortSnarf. I'm going to try to implement that next. If anyone has any experience with these tools, let me know what you think. It looks nice and has links for different hack attacks so you can just click on them to jump to descriptions, etc.
December 24, 2000
But THAT'S NOT THE WORST OF IT. The worst of it is that I was given an estimated up-time of 5pm, then 5:30. Then, at 5pm, their customer service went home for the holidays, without telling the national Road Runner service desk what the problem was, or when it is expected to be fixed. For all I know, we may be out until Tuesday because everyone left for Christmas.
It's all about maturity. The Internet just isn't mature enough, folks. Until the ISP's deliver the type of service we expect from the phone company (not that they're perfect...), the Internet will be a toy.
December 19, 2000
For those of you thinking about changing ISP's, I would suggest BigFoot's email for life. It's a nice service [when it's working...I've caught it being down twice in the past month]. Of course, you get what you pay for - case in point the big HotMail fiasco.
Changing email addresses can be cleansing though. Gives you a chance to get off all those SPAM mail address lists and force you to clean up all your online memberships. Maybe I'll actually get organized this time, and document all my online memberships this time....nah!!
December 17, 2000
December 15, 2000
I get my cable modem tomorrow (CHEER!) and may put up a webcam out the back window in my house. (or a fish cam...) We'll see what happens. I just can't wait for those 3MB/sec downloads from Happy Puppy. Speaking of games, I've been having a hell of a time making Ultima VIII run on my Windows 98 box. If you have any hints to stop it from crashing, let me know....[yeah right..notice I didn't tell you anything about my machine]
November 22, 2000
November 21, 2000
Well, I was reading the label on a medication containing acetaminophen and it states [paraphrased]: "If you consume 3 more more alcoholic beverages per day, please consult a doctor before taking this medication. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage." As I read it, I laughed out loud. You would think that someone concerned with possible liver damage wouldn't be taking three pops a day and that the pain medicine they need the next morning would likely not be as dangerous as the poison from the night before.
Interested in finding out what drives this, I found this article concerning the effect it can have on your liver. Shoot, after reading that article, I don't think I'll be using Tylenol any time soon. But the label still strikes me funny as hell.
November 17, 2000
.stupid, .stupider, .dumbasarock, .dumberthanthat, .political, .morepolitical, and...... .BIZ [to confuse everyone looking for COMPANY.COM].
Why couldn't ICANN have given us something useful? Instead, they've dumped stupid new domain names on us like .pro and .name!?!?! Who's going to set up a web site as rich.gautier.name or rich.gautier.mcse.pro? Why couldn't ICANN have adopted useful toplevel domains like .SEX or .SEARCH? .SEX would be great for fracturing the net into the side I don't want to see and the side I do...[no comment on which is which]. .SEARCH would be great for all the different search engines to set up on...like RUG.SEARCH if that's what I'm looking for, or SITE.SEARCH or HOUSE.SEARCH...
Forgive me...I can't think straight, I am so utterly baffled by why they would take .coop amd .aero!! Those domain names are going to be hot sellers ---- NOT!
November 16, 2000
The Internet is both a godsend and a curse. With the new house, I've tried ordering stuff online. One thing we ordered was a rug from Rugs USA. The image onscreen looked white and black, and the color of the actual rug when I received it was a yellowish off-white. It wasn't REALLY their fault. Even the picture on the label included with the rug was misleading, and they probably scanned the label for the web picture. Even so, before ordering stuff online where the color matters, give them a ring first, eh?
On the other hand, if you are going to buy something expensive in the store, like sheets from Veratex, you should check prices online! I found the same sheet set online for $40 less than it sells in stores. We have a California King size bed, so we are used to jumping on a chance to buy nice sheet sets. I'm glad I checked before jumping on this purchase.
November 06, 2000
We're moved in, of course, and unpacked. We've begun decorating (black and white zebra stripes on the main level, Pokemon in the kids room, etc..) and have bought blinds and drapes and all sorts of other stuff (like new plates, silverware and other household items). Moving is certainly one way to start spending money. The costs you can mount in just a month are amazing. It's a good thing we kept a reserve of cash to do all this stuff.
The alarm people were in the neighborhood selling monitoring service this past week. Considering that the telephone lines come right out of the ground and up the side of the house, I decided not to go with them. I'll put in some of my own sensors and a siren along with some window stickers to scare anyone away. A professional thief certainly isn't going to be scared by a 'monitored by' sign, and a casual thief isn't stupid enough to hang around a really loud horn. What we really need for a monitoring service is a neighborhood watch.
Halloween was fun. My son went as 'Licensed Character' and got enough candy to last him the rest of the year [at the rate I let him eat it]. My feet hurt from THAT night. The wife and I went out to a local club party, and I had my picture taken in a coffin. Of course, THAT happens to be on the roll of film they can't find, eugh!
Last week, got a flat tire, and a free rubbing from someone else's car [in a parking lot]. It hasn't been a good week for the car. I had to drive 30 minutes to my wife's job and change her tire for her...
Probably even more stuff happened, but I can't remember it all right now. Talk later.
October 14, 2000
The movers did a pretty good job. Only two things got damaged (my computer desk and a rip in my sofa vinyl). I think I can repair them both, but we'll see what their insurance covers (if anything.) They took a lot of care, but nothing can ever be perfect. I understand, stuff happens to everyone. My phone line is in, but my cable isn't going to be installed until the end of October.
Owning a house is great. I've got a nice sized side yard, that I'm thinking of turning into a gnarly graveyard this year for halloween. Couldn't do that in a condo (which I've owned before), and couldn't do that in the past rental. Before last year, we didn't celebrate the holidays due to a religious choice. But, we've come past that now..
Of course, now that I'm finally done moving stuff, I'm sick. My son must have given me this wonderful virus. I figured with all the ammonia I've sniffed in the past two days that the bugs invading my body would have died, but no luck.
My computer desk right now is a cardboard box flattened out on top of another box, but I'll survive. We have some custom cabinet people coming to give us a quote to build a whole 'office' center thing,
I bought some new shoes, leather casuals, and promptly got paint on the leather...ugh. I ruined a pair of black jeans by getting down on my hands and knees with all these cleaners.
One cleaning agent I worked with is called "Simple Green". We used it undiluted, and it works great for getting up grease and other stains on your counters and kitchen appliances. It's also biodegradeable and supposedly not harmful to the environment.
One thing I'd like to know is just how many coats of paint DOES it take to cover up a three-year olds wall scribblings? My son did it years ago, but I still wanted to call him on the carpet today when I had to figure out how to clean it off and paint it.
October 13, 2000
October 03, 2000
Had a couple of stuck services and one problem caused by some corporate changes (that YET AGAIN we weren't notified of in advance, despite promises to the contrary). I had known about this particular change from something else that occured (and broke) last week, so I was able to fix this problem quickly. Networking is very inter-dependent that way.
Learned a bunch about safety today, thanks to a minor accident in the office, and prepared safety training for my victims (I mean, employees), also looking to corporate for help. They promised me some support, and I hope they deliver well.
Came home, and the wife is overworked, the kid over-zealous, and the house a disaster (due to the move). I can't wait for this all to be finished. I'll be able to tie up a lot of loose ends tomorrow (like mail forwarding and getting some finished painting done). Oh, thanks go out to several people today. Like, The Post Office for allowing me to pick up my keys 15 minutes after they closed. And Xerox, who contacted US about a dangerous aspect of their product, a color printer that COULD possibly catch on fire. They called us and came out and repaired it. Firestone could learn something from them, I think.
October 02, 2000
Also had my first cub scout den meeting on Sunday. That went pretty well too! Cub Scouts is just bound to be a heap of fun, and I think we're going to get a big kick out of it. I need to better organize the den records and have a better system for collecting money (dues, patch money, etc) and tracking expenses. The scouts had fun and made a medicine bag. In it, they put slips of paper with kind words. And we did an ethics exercise as well. I've got to make sure that we work on the achievements for each of the boys too. Supposed to meet with the other den leader tonight to go over next weeks plan.
Bought a US flag too. I want to mount that on the house, but I'm still not sure where, on the garage or the main door frame. I'll look around the neighborhood for suggestions and see where other people put theirs.
September 29, 2000
Man, if I had the money right now, I'd....probably buy something else...but if I had LOTS of money, I'd buy this. I LOVES gadgets.
September 27, 2000
Think about that. Close your eyes, and imagine the anguish of knowing that something we have done to the environment has caused this catastrophe. Rather than waxing poetic about it, I'll just let you stew on how deep a meaning that could have, and how it could happen to any of us.
September 24, 2000
September 23, 2000
My kid has a cold (and now a fever). Kids can be so miserable when they are sick. The poor guy wants to go outside and play but now that he has a fever, he's been put on restriction. With half of the cable channels gone, I'm really in a pinch, because he's still an extremely active kid and that means I have to be too. Gotta run.
September 21, 2000
The one difference between my Sprynet webspace and Tripod is support. We have had a problem blogging to Tripod recently, and there's no one I can call for support. I've left several emails for the support team without response. So, with cheap [or free] services, you get a lack of support services. This is important to remember as you utilize services in the new economy. It's not so new a concept, you know, getting what you pay for.
September 20, 2000
Here is a VERY cool article about: Coating Isolates Nuclear Waste. This article talks about a new coating called EKOR that will possibly enable us to stop nuclear radiation from contaminating the environment. For those of you who may not have learned in high school, radiation emissions from radioactive materials only diminishes with time. There is no known way to neutralize their radioactivity. Storing and transporting highly radioactive items is dangerous because the radioactive material breaks up as it diminishes. Flakes and dust that break off from the items are hazardous just as the original material is. These flakes and dust particles enter the surrounding environment (such as the water table) and pose severe bio-hazards. Shielding of radioactive materials is very difficult because the materials used to shield it are affected by the radiation itself and either become radioactive or break down completely. This new coating has stood up to a several month test where it is showing no such effects from its application to the most poisonous place on the planet - the Chernobyl nuclear reactor #4!
This has VAST importance! If this stuff works, it could allow us to possibly encapsulate nuclear waste, and maybe even eventually make it fairly safe to be handled, transported and stored with little or no effect on the surrounding biology.
September 19, 2000
The interesting thing about this is that it's touted as being 'news' that someone can be held liable for an illegal act. "Hello?!" This shouldn't be news. If you do something illegal, like copying music or programs, and you don't have at least an inkling that you COULD indeed be prosecuted for it, then your parents didn't do their job.
Ugh! I am so upset that this is such a big deal for everyone.
September 18, 2000
September 17, 2000
I don't think we who weblog do it for the same reasons that struck him, although some might. Myself, I began this only as an exercise of the mind. Not only the weblog but the creation of the surrounding web page is what excited me and interested me for the first few months (of which I am approaching rapidly). Maybe even some of my readership is no longer there. I can certainly see by my hitcount that I am not a universally subscribed to web log. And my repeat visitors is few and far between. So, this diary amounts to talking to myself. I wonder, does this equate me with the man walking down the street in animated conversation. Am I one of the first crazy men of cyberspace?
Isn't it interesting how when we begin to wax philosophically we end up just throwing out supposition and question, and never really get anywhere? Our train of thought is quickly lost in a rambling line of ideas that just streams nonsencially from our mind. As I was saying, I began this web log as an exercise for my mind. I wished to extend my abilities back into the realm of written ideas to better prepare me for exercises in the real world where I would need these skills. I don't know whether or not I've grown as a writer from my first weblogs, but I've learned a great deal about HTML in the meantime, and have enjoyed discussing my life with, well, myself.
If you happen to be a reader of my web log, please know that I appreciate your taking the time out to share a little part of my life with me. As I can only offer you a virtual cup of tea, I would like to do so. One lump, or two?
September 15, 2000
What I hope the judge can see is that Napster is NOT an MP3 ripper application. It is a file sharing application. An application that made no beefs about being able to share copyrighted music, an application that was developed without contacting the RIAA or anyone else to develop any form of copy protection (such as VCRs have built into them), and that the recordings they are 'time-shifting' is not live content at all. Isn't a CD already adequately time-shifted?
Sorry, just have to say it again. Napster was a short-sighted enterprise. It got the technology out there to promote a use of the Internet that will eventually re-invent the Internet. But trying to make a company out of it, and trying to convince the US Judicial system that they are in the right....that's just plain wrong.
September 14, 2000
I haven't rambled on for a bit on here. Thought I'd write what's going on.
We've started packing up the house. Boy is that going to be a chore. But our other choice is to let the movers pack it for about $1200. No way. We've got a few weeks, so a box or two a day, or even 5-10 each weekend should get us done. Just have to remember everything else going on in our life. We signed up our kid for the Cub Scouts. I remember Cub Scouts, and the friends I made, the sense of achievement when I earned badges and stuff. I figure it will be good for him, and hopefully keep him with the right types of friends. Who knows, if I foster it well, he may aspire to become an Eagle Scout some day.
Speaking of Eagle Scouts, I've been looking for an old friend named Eric Klein. I went to High School with him in South Brunswick, NJ (class of 1984) and I haven't been able to find him online at all. It seems strange to me how few people are online these days, considering how many people ARE online. Ooops, wrong track.. Anyways. If you know a 34 year old guy named Eric Klein, contact me at once, PLEASE.
By the way, I've started receiving the subscription to Wired Magazine that Enews.com gave me for free. You see, if you signed up at WonderClick.Com, you got a free one-year magazine subscription. It's started coming, and my favorite tree-killer too, Wired. This magazine is ON TOP of things in a way noone else is. If you don't already read Wired, then you're just not a news hound at all.
Well, ta ta for now...off to some other distraction. I'll be back with you all later, I guess.
September 12, 2000
September 08, 2000
By default, when you enter in a keyword, it will notify you the next 3 times that keyword appears in any media they are tracking. When you set up a password, you can up that notification count to 10, and you can continue to up the count as you get closer to 0 in order to keep it active. Additionally, you can then select which types of programming to ignore. If you're looking for the word "Dallas" and you mean the TV show, you can turn off Sports programming, or vice-versa.
Try this out, really cool!
September 07, 2000
I saw an article where Bill Gates was speaking about privacy on the net, and he made a wonderful point. How many places in the world can you walk out of a store and tell the store-owner, "Forget I was here, and what aisles I browsed. Don't look at which direction I came from. Don't discuss what I did in here with anyone. Don't remember what I bought or how many times I bought it. Don't remember how much I spent or if I used any coupons. All of this is private information and you have no right to it."
I read that [NOT word-for-word....I believe it was in this months Business 2.0 somewhere] and I thought, "He's SO right. He's hit the nail on the head". If I own a business (a web site) and I decide to hire a marketing company to help me expand my business, I'm going to share all kinds of information with the marketing company. I'll tell them all about my customers habits. The only thing I would consider private information is the name and address information I have for them [example, a pharmacy]. I'll tell them everything I can about my customer base, provided that the data doesn't include identity information.
And if the FBI comes by and asks me if Mr. Pipe-Bomb-Builder came in and bought 15 gallons of Clorox, I'm going to tell them that information, probably without even a warrant, because I want to cooperate with them. I would consider that type of information "shared information".
The information in a web-bug is no different from the information I get when the user requests a web page from me. In fact, you can get so much more information about the user than is mentioned in this article. The identifying information is only identifying in specific instances of dedicated IP addresses, which are usually businesses, not private dial-ins. And many businesses do their best to hide even that identification from the outside world through proxies and NAT.
Let me give you an example. You see the web-counter on this page? It garners all of that information in that article. I happen to know that some of the users who hit this page came from AOL. I also happen to know that they found me with search words containing pornographic references. I don't know WHO they are. Without a search warrant I doubt I could find out. But I do know now how certain search engines see my site. This is important information to me, and it doesn't 'belong' to those users. It belongs to the search engine that sent them to me AND that user. That search engine decided to pass on those parameters in the URL. That means they pass it on to me. I pass it on to my marketing company.
Bruno drives up to my store from the South-bound exit off I-44. I see him come in this way, and I log it. 10 more people come in the same exit. You think I shouldn't be allowed to know where they're coming from? How am I supposed to know where to put my billboard? If the FBI comes in and asks me did I see some guy in a pinstripe suit drive in off the southbound exit, can't I tell them? Now how about if Vinny calls me and tells me he's sending Bruno over to get some black powder. Bruno comes over and I don't deal in nblack powder. Now the FBI comes in again...wants to know why Bruno was here. Who's the slimeball now? Me or Vinny? If Vinny was smart he wouldn't go telling me why he's sending Bruno my way. He'd let me work that out with Bruno himself. Now howabout that? Bruno comes in from the South Exit, walks in and ASKS me for black powder straight out. This is different. Should I go sharing that information with my marketing guy? Sure! Maybe he'll tell me that in the past year, I've got 15 guys asking for it. Maybe I should consider selling it. Or maybe I should contact the FBI and have them tap into my store cameras so they can catch these dirtballs named Bruno.
I think there's a degree of privacy that you do give up when you get online. But I think you have the same problem with real life in general. As a webmaster, it's my responsibility to use what info I have to market my publication. If AOL wants to share that info with me, I'll use it. If you as a user don't like it, complain to the people that pass it on. Complain to AOL, Yahoo, Google, Hotbot, etc. Ask them to hide your search strings when they return your search results. But you can't expect people to throw away information you give them, that is unless you want Benjamin Franklin to stay behind to make sure I forget why you was in my store....
I gave 'book banning' a whole new thought last night as I ruminated on both sides of the discussions. On one hand, a library is a place where a child can gain unfettered access to knowledge. On the other hand, there is certain types of knowledge that we attempt to protect our children from. I firmly believe that it is a parent's responsibility to act in the raising of a child and let them know what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The child will help you with making sense of this, with their question of "Why?" when you tell them something is unacceptable. Banning a book from a public library does not absolve the parent from their responsibility. This particular book is probably so pervasive that your child could obtain it from any number of friends if you haven't made it clear that they are not to be reading it.
You know, there are certainly publications that the public library does not maintain, and that is a fine line that a librarian must consider. A lot of good books have been banned over the years, for countless reasons. But I don't think that any of the reasons are worthy of pushing your morals or judgements on others.
Perhaps these people are shocked to know what concepts their children are ready to understand. Perhaps people are shocked at what tender age their children can comprehend things such as sexuality, religion, paranormal concepts and superstition. The problem is not with society at large. The problem is with the denial that they may be feeling. If a child can understand the concepts they are exposed to, then perhaps it is time for that 'talk you've been meaning to have'. Perhaps instead of focusing your time and effort on banning books, you should be using that time to sit down and have an important discussion with the child as to what is appropriate and why you feel that way. No one said it was going to be easy to teach your children, but you should not and can not expect to be able to control what other people do for your own ease.
You know, this is exactly the type of thing that gets me rambling because there is so much to say on the subject. I'm not saying we should be carrying 'Playboy' magazine in the local library. There are laws that control certain publications from distribution to minors. And unless a library can put into place the necessary controls to control the distribution of such publications, it has no legal right to carry them IMHO [in my honest opinion]. However, should those controls be in place, and should the library see it within their charter to carry it, and their funding agents agree with their decisions, I don't see why there should be any beef. Of course, I've just introduced a new twist. Do the taxpayers have the right to control what their tax money supports. Can book banning from a library be considered an act of a funding agent who is unhappy with how their funds are spent? Do we not have elections and elected representatives to drive this? Does our form of government NOT work here?
Historically, what do we see? A vocal minority complains to the school board [elected officials?] that they are unhappy with decisions made in the local school library. Book is banned. An incensed and even more vocal majority complain and get the decision reversed. You would think someone would learn from history. As the official, you should have the capability to come to a consensus agreement on the matter without resorting to the extreme of banning a book outright. Politicians are paid to be mediators and agreement makers, are they not?
I don't claim to have the solution to fit all the sides I have mentioned. I only claim to have an opinion. And you know what, now that I've given you at least most of it, I realize also that you're entitled to your own opinion too.
September 06, 2000
September 05, 2000
"The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Home Page - an online resource for information on: Missing Children and Child Sexual Exploitation. This resource includes: disappear, runaway, kidnap, kidnapping kidnaping throwaway, abduct, abduction, abducting, lost, find, recover, child custody, missing child, homeless child, posters, stranger abduction, luring, stolen baby, school abduction, child protection, neglect, child, charity, charities, charitable, hague treaty, hague convention, hage treaty, hage convention, awareness, family welfare, vulnerable parenting publication, child resource, child stats, child statistics, donate, donation, child advocate, child advocacy, treatment, community notification, megan's law, victim's rights, victim, protect, sex offender, molest, child safety, online, child abuse, online, safety tips, internet, internet safety, stranger, exploit, internet, web, www, computer, kid, enticement, luring, cybercrime, safesurf, pedophile, pedophilia, paedophile, paedophilia, recividism, abuse, sex offender, child-sex tourism, sex tourism, lolita, tipline, tipsline, child exploitation, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, child abuse, Internet safety, child crimes disappear, runaway, kidnap, kidnapping kidnaping throwaway, abduct, abduction, abducting"
The second tape I rented this weekend was Boiler Room. I've been wanting to see this movie since it was in the theater. I put the DVD on and I watched the whole thing. Hrmmm. eh... Well, at least I can claim I've seen it. I was very unimpressed with this film, just about every aspect of it. I mean, it did what it said it would do in the ads, scaring me away from ever buying investments over the phone. But it did even this poorly. I can't say stay away from this film, though. Even though the delivery was bad, and even though the movie leaves an unfinished taste in your mouth, the movie is worth seeing for the lessons and exposure that it offers. The exposure to a life you will likely never see first hand. Don't buy this movie and don't pay too much to rent it. Heck, maybe wait for the TV version. But if you have a chance to see it once, you should.
September 04, 2000
Well, I got a bit off track, there...but back to the point...read Business 2.0...good rag...
While I was there, I bought Mille Bornes [,the french] Card Game, and another game called "The Scooby Doo Card Game". It's sometimes difficult to convince my son to just sit and read, and I figured it would be nice to get him involved in a strategy game where he has to read. I mean, besides Pokemon, (alright no laughing in the balcony!). Well, Mille Bornes is a classic, and I got the whole family to play, so that was a hit. But this Scooby Doo card game was a bust. The rules were too complex for him to quickly grasp at 7 years old, and the game aspects were difficult as well. Either they didn't playtest this game, or they have do-do's for marketing folks. By the time the game mechanics are interesting to him, he'll have outgrown Scooby Doo and moved on to other things. So, my recommendation on that is, skip it. It took too long to play, besides...even if he was interested, I don't see him sitting in one place for more than an hour even if he IS having fun.
What, surprised I didn't talk about computers?
September 01, 2000
August 31, 2000
Yet another development that will fire off the next salvo of virus/fix cycles.
August 30, 2000
A new set of words I've heard bantied about is 'viral marketing'. I believe that it implies a product that has the tools necessary for recommending itself built right into the product. So that users of the product can easily forward it on to friends and family without having to go outside of the product to do so. I think it's just another 'hype term' myself, and think that marketing folks should just concentrate on the basics instead of trying to find the 'Holy Grail' of marketing. Word of mouth advertising has always been a valuable tool, and viral marketing doesn't seem to be much different than 'word-of-mouth' except that its fast becoming an annoying phrase. It bugs me about as much as the word 'switch', when the darn thing is just a 'multi-port bridge'. And 'level 3 switch', when the old term was 'brouter'. Inventing new words is just a way for someone to sell you something you already know about it, and the Internet is just great for repackaging and selling old product. Just look at the rebirth of so many scams on the Internet. Scams you wouldn't fall for over the phone or in person. But that's another topic. I guess I'm just sick of buzzwords.
Another thought hit me tonight. I have a lot of technical capability and I often wonder if I might be able to apply it to doing some good for the world. It might be nice to start up a non-profit organization to do some good, while still being able to support myself. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know what you think. I'd love to hear input either about ideas or pitfalls.
Let's see, I've set up a birthday party for my son and have to send out invites this week....laser tag at the nearest LaserQuest center. Two 20 minute games should wear the brats out enough....or enough to wear me out. Fun game, LaserQuest.
At work, I have servers to order, people to interview, stuff to make sure is happening right. Someone else is going on vacation and I'm going to be doing some of his duties as well for the next 2 weeks...and I still have all this moving stuff to think about. I'm going to need a few weeks vacation myself just to relax. Too bad I don't have that much left....ARRRRGH!
We watched a movie last night....Brazil, a Terry Gilliam movie. A few problems with this one. First off, we received Disk 3 of the set (which has a cut down version of the movie on it.) This is a problem of renting from Netflix. Their shipping methods only allow them to ship you one DVD. When a release is multiple disks, you only get the one they've picked out. And without understanding Terry Gilliam, they've chosen the wrong bloody DVD. I'll complain about it, but Netflix is still a good deal. I think we've seen 10 movies this month, and for $16.00, that's $1.60 per rental, which inludes shipping both ways. Well, anyways...the sound on this cut was terrible. I couldn't hear the dialogue well enough, and the oddity of the movie made it even harder to watch. So, don't waste your time.
We've seen some really good flicks this past week, though, including The Green Mile and The Negotiator. The Green Mile was a fantastic drama, and a superb performance by everyone involved. Tom Hanks shone as the star, and the supporting actors were all fantastic. The Negotiator was a good action flick, with a semi-surprise ending. Everyone we thought 'did it' ended up not being who actually 'did it'. The action, plot and story flow were good, and it's well worth seeing. Another movie, The Rock , was a good movie except for one thing...too much cursing. While I can understand the type of language that people use under stress, this may have been just a tad overdone. The rest of the movie was good though, and well worth watching.
Well, that's it for now. I've got paperwork to do, and a server to research.
August 28, 2000
Sorry I don't have much 'thinking-man' content today...been too busy.
August 24, 2000
Stupid numerical analysis follows here
I was also surprised that Rich didn't pick 5 or 6. He got first pick of the number set and cornered himself into the high end from the get-go by picking 7. And then Kelly didn't pick 6 to counter him! She picked three!, evening the odds on Rich by giving him the number 6 and tie-ing on 5. I'll bet she'll feel stupid about that if she thinks about it. With a pick of 6, she gets 60% of the range. With her pick, she gets 1-2-3-4 and half of 5, giving Rich 55% of the number set. You know, after 39 days maybe your brain just isn't as sharp, but this is a gimme problem from grade school. Given the chance to pick first, you should pick 5 or 6 when two people are picking. Picking 5 gives you 1-5, and 6 gives you 6-10. If the other player wants a piece of the lower number set after you pick 5, it costs him 10% of the range to pick 4. Otherwise he should be happy with the high range at 6. If (s)he doesn't understand the odds, you get free numbers when (s)he picks something besides 6.
end of numerical analysis
Of course, that just looks at the numerics. Jim (a friend) just told me that 7 is the most picked number by people when asked. Perhaps that factored into Rich's decision. Perhaps he was just 'going with his gut'. We'd have to ask him to know for sure.
Then there's the question of what rules he was imposing in his own mind, whether the loser became the contest winner, etc..the psychological analysis can get pretty deep.
Well, enough ranting about that for now...more interesting stuff later on.
August 23, 2000
I get two answers from the people as far as move dates, so I'm trying to nail them down to giving me a more firm date. If you've got any advice, let me know..I could use it.
August 21, 2000
Then, I went back to my office and noticed this article in Government Computer News. The article is entitled "Agencies see signs that IPv4 is running out of room". That's right! Someone in DoD went to get a block of addresses, and the cookie jar was empty. Never mind that the network admins have been crying wolf for years...Now they're deciding to set up a test IPv6 pilot network of about 5 sites, according the article, BY YEARS END! Oh my...
One of the things that disturbs me so much is not that they're going to do be doing this, but the manpower required for ensuring that all the current Internet equipment eventually gets transitioned over. And the expense, and the time...and the fact that I think these switches I just put in aren't IPv6 compatible, at least in the management software. Of course, they'll have to run IPv6 networks and IPv4 side by side for QUITE a while...but it's still going to be a hassle. If you work with computer networks, I wish you luck.
As for me, I think I'm going to go back to work at McDonald's. They give their employees money towards education, I hear, and without making them sign commitment letters either. Tech companies now are ensuring that their employees don't take advantage of training opportunities by dissuading them with letters of commitment. And they're implementing it quite poorly, with no distinction between 'required' and 'non-applicable' training. So, using my education benefits to get a degree in basket-weaving or to go to a training class on Windows 2000 holds the same commitment of 1 year. And with employers holding on to that last paycheck to make sure they get paid back, the employee will have to spend the money to sue if they feel it isn't right. AIEEE! Help, I'm being repressed!
August 20, 2000
Saturday Night Live again did NOT have the Computer Guy sketch...what a ripoff. The show was ok...fairly funny...but I really wanted to see the computer guy sketch.
From Netflix this weekend, we received and watched a variety of DVDs..the best being The Music Man. A long movie, but well worth it. They just don't make movies like this anymore! Music and color all over the place. Who needs all that electronic whizbang special effects when you have good music, raw talent, fantastic dancing and choreography (sp?!) and a fantastic screenplay? Maybe I still harbor something for Shirley Jones? After all, Mrs. Partridge is not easily forgettable!
Wow, what a day on Sunday. I went shopping for four simple things this morning, and ended up with a WHOLE lot more. For example, they had Cherry Coke 12-packs on sale for $2.00 each. I bought 10 of the diet version. And then, Land-O-Lakes has come out with a new mac and cheese that has 50% of your daily vitamin requirements in Vit A, D, E, B6, B12, and a few more. Most mac and cheese is pretty vitamin-free, so I wanted to scarf these up at $0.45 a box. Considering I pay $0.33 for the store brand, I think its a bargain if I can get some real value out of eating that junk. I mean, as long as I'm overweight, I may as well make sure I don't die from vitamin deficiencies.
Then, we went to a birthday party for one of my son's friends. And after that, back to said friends house for a pinata. It was interesting, because the pinata was of Pikachu. I commented that perhaps the parent might want to take a whack or two themselves at that particular icon. Amazingly noone found this as funny as I did.
Then we went out to eat. It's my sister-in-law's last day before she returns to South Korea. After that, I stopped by Blockbuster, and obtained some pre-played video games for $7 a pop. I couldn't resist, considering they'd cost $20 each new and with Nintendo games, there isn't much wear and tear that will break the cartridges. I got Pokemon Snap, Zelda and one other where the name escapes me. It was another adventure game like Zelda, and ends in 64. They were all rated E.
Well, chat at ya later. Bye for now.
August 19, 2000
August 18, 2000
August 17, 2000
I found that I wasn't nervous once I got up and began speaking, and I believe that I kept most of the people's interest through the briefing. They asked some good questions at the end, which I had ready answers to, being technically knowledgeable, and knowledgeable about our business areas. I think that we may be rated rather well and may end up bidding on proposed work coming down the pike.
August 16, 2000
August 15, 2000
August 14, 2000
Well, we got that white paper out today to NMIMC. I hope they are really serious about looking for companies to do web work for them. DRC is just PERFECT for the work they're doing, and it would be nice to have an even broader range of customers where we could strut our stuff. I hope the paper I put together shows them how qualified we are.
I rented a game from Blockbuster yesterday, a Playstation game. I got it home and even though the disk seemed to load fine, I couldn't start a new game due to scratches on the disk. The game freezes up during the opening sequence, and there's no bypass capability. Blockbuster is sure to refund my rental fee, but I'm pretty angry at the programmer for not coding enough error detection into the game. After all, the error is just during the display of a cinematic sequence that I could do without. The wonderful thing about analog media is the forgiving nature of the media, whereas in digital media, improper error detection can cause these glitches to stop a whole process. There's something to be said for imperfection, after all...
Good night....don't let the bed bugs bite....I'm going to go read my Premium This Is True.
August 13, 2000
I watched Saturday Night Live last night, now in its 25th season. There's a new sketch they've been doing, which people are raving about and I've caught once. The computer help-desk sketch. The help desk technician makes fun of the other employees, berating and belittling them for not knowing anything about computers. The sketch wasn't on last night, darn it! The terrible thing about good satire is how true to life it can seem. I try to teach our junior personnel that the customer should be their focus, not the technology. I hope I get that across enough. I've had my share of temporarily brain-dead users. But no matter how much someone lacks the ability to apply common sense when sitting in front of the keyboard, I don't think that it's right to treat them with discourtesy. Especially not in our business.
August 12, 2000
I'm looking for a counter for this page, and I might even put a cookie (this link is DECIDEDLY on the paranoid side but it's VERY good informative stuff about cookies) on the page to identify unique visitors...if you see a cookie in the near future (if you even watch for them), the cookie won't be dangerous or unique...it'll just identify you as having been here, I promise...If I ever do collect any info on your browsing habits, I'd let you know and give the chance to decline.
Rich...over and out.
Anyway, it's late..I'm off to bed...talk later.
August 11, 2000
OK, let's organize those thoughts. Usenet is used for threaded discussion between groups of people. The Web was meant for delivery of information with hyperlinks to follow "information trains" (poetic license, me). Then that takes me off the hook for providing two-way communication in this forum...if I want to do that, I'd create alt.people.rich.gautier or some such and ask you all to participate in a discussion of my life. Of course, if I did that, either noone would participate, or I'd be too busy discussing the intracacies of my life to actually LIVE it. OK, what about the 'information trains' I mentioned? Should I include websites devoted to Information Security, King's Dominion (or outings in general), books I've read, or people who can't read a satellite image correctly?
This web site is decidedly shallow. If I spent my life creating all of those web pages, my wife would leave me and I'd probably lose my job. Instead, what I offer is simply a shallow opinion, with hyperlinks to web pages I feel can give you better specific information. And the web is great for providing expert sites on all sorts of information. My links will decidedly sway the way you see things. For example, for Usenet, I chose to link to DEJA.COM because it's a free service and provides beginner info. I could have linked to www.usenet.com. Don't go there...they're trying to sell you something. So you see, there is some inherent value in my weblog.
Then, there is another side of the coin. Writing to my audience. If I just go on about my life, I'll bore you. If you're bored, you won't come back. Not that that's any loss to me, but I do actually have something to offer; my opinion. He had a point. As this site evolves, and I understand my writing style more and more, I'll offer more specific opinions on topics of interest in order to keep YOU interested. It may also help me to ensure I have cohesive opinions instead of just jumbled thoughts.
I'll write later, maybe about how I felt about the roller coasters at King's Dominion, or about my new favorite acid reduction medicine which I'm sure I'll need. And when I finish that book, I'll be sure to let you know how it ends. :-)
We're planning on going to King's Dominion this wekend. We had planned to go last week on Sunday, and it ended up raining. I caught hell from the wife because I depended on the weather channel and told her Sunday would be nicer than Saturday. Well, they were wrong, and I was in the doghouse for a day.
Well, enough about programming..back to the salt mines.
August 10, 2000
I'm writing a white paper on DRC's capabilities re: web development and maintenance and it is taking up all my spare time. That, and we have house guests (my niece and sister-in-law from Korea). I'd like to say that I've never been busier, but of course, I have been.
Last night we watched Air Force One on DVD. If you haven't seen this movie....go out and rent it, or buy it. That is, if you like action, edge-of-your-seat suspense and Harrison Ford. If you don't like any of those, forget the movie. We were all excited watching it. I ate a whole lot of snack food during the tense parts.
The other night we watched another suspense movie that was very entertaining. The Long Kiss Goodnight on DVD. There's a bit more bad language in this one, along with some adult situations. If you're conservative, I'd rule out watching this movie. But apart from that, it was very entertaining. The humor in the movie was very adult in nature, but it was also very funny. It certainly was not immature humour or a teenager movie. The movie was extremely tense as well, and very action packed. It was also an interesting premise that I personally had never seen before.
Well, I'll write later...talk later...
August 04, 2000
I'm reading Cybershock by Winn Schwartau . He's fairly famous in the Information Warfare arena for providing balanced commentary on the state of information security. He dips his feat in both waters, so to speak. It's a good book, and a must read for anyone who cares about the state of Information Security today.
Well, more later when I have more to say...C ya
July 28, 2000
First off ... Swish ... A VERY cool beginner's Flash creation tool. Create Flash animations quickly and easily. This tool is made for text effects, and has some very cool effects built into the program. With it, you can quickly make professional-quality animations for use on your website. Check it out at www.swishzone.com. I chalked up the $30 and made some neat stuff. Like, take a gander at this: members.tripod.com/rgautier/wma.html Pretty neat stuff, eh?
Let's see, what else was there?
Oh yeah, Napster is closed down by judge's order...and the point is? Don't flaunt your obvious felonies in public?
Found some really neat fonts at larabiefonts.com.
I had some other stuff to say, but my impression with Swish is just so overwhelming that I forgot what else to say!
July 17, 2000
I finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It was a good book, and got more and more exciting the deeper you got into it. Now I just can't wait for books 5, 6 and 7! A friend of mine has introduced their daughter to the series, and she's nuts about it. I think it's great to get kids interested in reading. My son gets interested, but he's not a voracious reader. I wonder if that's good or bad because I see a lot more socialite in him than I saw in myself as a child. Still, he reads well, and understands when he wants to put forth the effort; I've just got to get him to slow down long enough to do so.
I've found something I like now...beef jerky. Not that I'm turning into a survivalist or some kind of macho hunter. It's a great snack. You have to put so much energy into actually eating it that the calories are practically gone before you've swallowed it, and it's certainly much better than a box of Pringles(tm) to be chewing on. Teriyaki beef jerky is the flavor I've hooked myself on. The only problem with this new habit is the price....$5.99 for 4 oz. of snack, while it lasts a while, seems excessive. I think I've found me some better deals on eBay, but we'll see if they live up to the promise.
Out for now...Rich