July 29, 2002

Just say No! to Vanilla Coke. Ok, viewers and readers - I'm going to save you a trip. A trip to your local grocery store to buy the new Coke flavor, Vanilla Coke. I just bought one, you see. As most of you probably already know, I'm a caffeine addict, tried and true America style, but I prefer sodas to coffee. I drink Pepsi, Cherry Coke, Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, Code Red, and a variety of other soft drinks. But NONE of these can compare with the horrid feeling of aftertaste that Vanilla Coke will leave you with. Drinking this concoction leads you down a false path of 'nothing wrong here' up until you stop your sipping. Then, and only then, the rush of actual Coke washes down your gullet only to leave behind the sticky and pervasive taste of vanilla. You know what? There's a reason that vanilla comes in those small little bottles. You're just NOT supposed to use that much of it. Ugh, what can I say? Yet another experiment gone sour, much like 'New Coke'...

July 24, 2002

Wanted: A broker that can respond to complex problems in market conditions. Must have Internet account management capability, and not have unwieldy requirements for small-time investors. Know of such a brokerage? Please, send me an email.

July 19, 2002

Finished the upgrade to RedHat 7.3 last night. The Anaconda upgrade script had bombed out when it got to the lilo/grub part probably because I didn't have a bootloader installed on the hard drive at all in 7.2. So, I copied over the new kernel and initrd code to my boot floppy and was good to go. For a window manager now, I use Xfce, which is a small footprint window manager kind of like KDE. It's only 3MB in size, and for my machine that has only 64MB RAM, it runs nice and fast. Last night I compiled my first 2 or 3 applications using the Gtk libraries to start learning how to develop X applications. With Mac OS X being based on Unix, and with Gtk having libraries available for the Microsoft platform(s), I should be good to go from a development standpoint. It's hard to program without a goal, though. So much software is already available for the Linux platform that I don't have any real goals as to what type of system I want to write, so it's gonig to be hard deciding what I want to write.

July 18, 2002

This article about how Yahoo edited email messages is just TOO funny for words. Not only did they edit folk's email messages without telling them, but they did a half-assed job of it. If the article is gone by the time you read this - here's the gist...

Yahoo mail replaced words that could be used by hackers to run email viruses on the HTML-enabled web-based email system that they offer for free. They changed words such as 'eval' to 'review'. But that's not the half of it. The bonus piece is that they didn't bother to do searches on full words..So, if you sent a message asking for something to be evaluated - it would be delivered with the word 'reviewuated' - YUCH! I'm sure there were other words too - searches on Google for 'reviewuated' and 'reviewuate' showed some interesting results - including the editing of some resume's of Educators...exactly the place you wouldn't want such gaffes.

Oh, and no more peeps out of North American Telephone Network...congratulations on getting it right finally!

July 15, 2002

Well, finally got through at 7:32 to Scott in Customer Service. He promised to add me to their do-not-call list. THEN, I got a call from a Katrina of NATN asking me about the voicemail that I had left in Mr. Wilkes mailbox (where I had not left a message, but I assume my number was recorded.) I was hunting down NATN's business number so that I could call them tomorrow during business hours if necessary, and Mr. Wilkes was the only name I had to punch into their automated dialer, so I did, but decided to wait until tomorrow to leave a message. Anyways, Katrina here knew about my foray into attempting to reach the CEO at home. Seems she wanted to make sure I had the phone number for his office. Yeah, I got it. Then she promised me no more calls from their sales team, and got Scott's name from me so she could follow up to make sure I was on the do-not-call list. She also mentioned that I couldn't possibly be receiving calls from their sales team since they all go home at 9PM. I don't know about her, but their sales team DEFINITELY called me last Thursday night well after 11PM, and there certainly sounded like a large number of employees in the background. That's a FACT. I told her this, and, robot employee that she likely is, she repeated her assertion. Sorry, brainwashing only goes as far as someone without the facts...I'll continue to blog the facts...it's a convenient place to put them.

Well, no more phone calls last night. Let's see if this keeps up.

Well, it's started up again. North American Telephone Network has once again started calling us on a regular schedule to attempt to get us to sign up with our service. We have told them numerous times to not call us, yet they persist. I could sue them for this hassling. I've spoken with them last Thursday two times, last Friday 3 times (my wife four times [I just asked her]), and now again today (6:55PM 15July for the record.) Now each call will be logged and recorded, perhaps in preparation for a lawsuit. I tried looking up their CEO and contacting him at his home. However, either I have the wrong number, or someone at his home (a woman) screens his calls for him. She told me that I need to 'find the right number' and call it. However, she didn't say he wasn't there. I don't want to bother her again (that's why I'm better than NATN is.) I'm now on 'permanent' hold with their customer service department. I've been on the phone with their automated attendant now for about 20 minutes. I wonder how they can afford to pay for this considering their low low rates and their free offers. The best part of this recording is the "Please continue to hold" that it requests every few minutes. Their dedication to customer service is wonderful.

In (past) thinking about this entry - I see what led me to being such a pain in the butt. You see, it was Friday night when I looked up Jack's telephone number at home. This was after bounced email to him at the web address [failed mail delivery for you non-geeks in the audience], and failure to be able to contact their company by any after-hour telephone number. It had me incensed because they had called me around 9:45 or so (PM) after 6 or 7(?) daytime calls. I just 'knew' they were going to call me at 10:45 (they never did...guess they went home early). When they didn't call, I figured that my last request to be removed from their call list was being honored. When they just called us again tonight, all I saw was red. And I still don't know that we won't get called tonight. They've promised, but until the night is out, I just don't know.

Wow, it's been a long time since I updated my blog - looks like about 2 months. I really should make some more time to do these things. It's interesting, now that I know who reads my blog, I find myself editing what I was going to say instead of just rambling. That is probably a bad effect of journaling in a public place. I think of all the people who have jobs or hobbies in the outside world that they might be ashamed of, and wonder whether they'd be doing these things if they knew their parents/friends/etc were watching them. Of course, there are folks that go on the Jerry Springer show who don't seem to have these qualms, so maybe I'm overestimating human nature. Of course, I'm only picking on Jerry because he's in the news so often. I don't necessarily have a problem with him. Ok, there I go rambling again. Look for more updates.