Microsoft up to no good … again.

It appears Microsoft is up to no good again. They are now saying that it is illegal to run Visual Fox Pro applications on Linux without the Linux workstation having a licensed copy of Visual Fox Pro. What angers the community about this is that the same requirement is not made for Windows workstations.

From my vantage point it appears Microsoft is, once again, leveraging its dominance in the desktop market to bolster sales of other products. When is the government going to stand up to this bullshit? Oh, I forgot, Microsoft has given our elected leaders about $4.5 million dollars so far this year.

I was having a conversation with my father a few weeks ago about this very concept. We actually found something we agreed on, considering the fact he’s a Republican and I’m … well I’m not sure what I am, but I’m not a Republican. There is not way on earth you can stand up and tell me that a company who gave you thousands (millions?) of dollars doesn’t hold precidence over those who didn’t pay to help you get into office.

Human Evolution Attributed to Laziness

How many times have you heard that someone is “driven”? I’ve been called that among many other things. What has bugged me about it is the fact that, even though many consider me driven, I consider myself one of the most lazy people on the planet.

Think about all of the great inventions in mankind. Let’s start with the wheel. Man was too lazy to carry around stuff so he created the wheel. In the middle ages man was so lazy someone created the guillotine because the executioner was too lazy to use a sword. In the last century we’ve created cars, computers, dish washers, and a slew of other devices. Why? Because we’re lazy.

All of this stems from a conversation I had today at my girlfriend’s grandparent’s house. Her mom asked if we needed an electric can opener. An electric can opener?!? How lazy is that? In fact there are enough people willing to pay upwards of $50.00 just so they can forego opening a can opener with a human powered one.

Many may argue that man has created all of these wonderful inventions in the name of efficiency. If this was the case then we wouldn’t be driving SUV’s and creating tons of waste (per person) each year.

One can take this a step further and say that the eventual evolution will, in fact, lead to The Matrix. In the movie humans are kept at rest in a computer generated world. I know a fair share of people who would love to live in such an environment as long as they had some control over it.

Am I any better being the cynic? No. I’ve spent hours upon hours writing the code that drives this website when in reality it saves me little time in posting entries to my blog. Now get off your lazy ass and go about making it possible to be lazy (recursion?).

Damn Sickness

It’s official, I have SARS. I say this with great sarcasm, because the media is portraying this as the apocolypse. In reality, SARS has officially killed 182 people. I don’t mean to sound like an ass, though some will argue I always sound like an ass, but 182 out of 5,000,000,000 (billion) seems like a molecule in the bucket (not even a drop!).

I hate it when the media gets hysterical over stuff like this. Nevermind the 40,000,000 (million) people who are infected with HIV/AIDS, 9 percent of which live in poverty in Africa. Also, don’t think about the 500,000 women who died globally of breast cancer in 1997 (the last year such data is available globally). And definitely don’t mention the 10 million people the World Health Organization estimates will die in the next 25 years from tobacco related deaths (70% of that number is made up of people living in developing countries).

My point here? My point is that CNN is more worried about covering the plight of 182 people than the harsh realities of the true epidemics that we face today. It seems even more stupid than the attack of “Africanized Bees” that “rocked” the news a few years ago. As a friend of mine says “Don’t hate the media, be the media!”

Virii Hoaxes

A person I know, who shall remain nameless, recently sent me an email regarding the jdbmgr.exe “virus”. This nast virus was reportedly not being picked up by any of the virus scanners on the market. The email told you how to find the file and then how to delete it (make sure not to open it!).

After reading the email I wasn’t really surprised to find that the email is a hoax. It was posted on Symantec’s website about a month ago. The funny part is the email I got from him is on the Symantec page *exactly* as he sent it. What’s even more impressive is the hoax appears in 10 different languages (3 different English versions).

Greek Awards Reception

As IFC President I only had one thing left to do before my term was officially over. Emily and I prepared the awards, scheduled the room, bought refreshments, and created an schedule. The only thing left for me to do was to write a welcome speech.

I did just that. Those who know me know that I tell it like it is. I often tell people I’m a realist. The truth is, the truth hurts. The truth this year was that fraternities weren’t up to par. Instead of acting like the men they promised to be when they joined their organizations they, instead, performed poorly in academics and had a high rate of risk management violations. In my speech I addressed all of these issues, bluntly. Here it is for historical purposes.

Welcome to the 2002-2003 Greek Awards Reception. For the men this year has been full of a few highs and many lows.

The highs include working with National Panhellenic Council to raise triple what was raised last year for Up ‘til Dawn as well as passing the progressive Greek Social Policy.

However, these highs were overshadowed by many lows: low grades, low numbers, and lower participation.

Men, the women have raised the bar. They have proven that recruiting without alcohol works. They have proven that high numbers can be sustained despite Eastern Michigan University being a commuter campus. And they have proven that responsible risk management does not hinder Greek Life.

It is now up to the men to respond to the challenge. I challenge the men to focus on grades rather than parties. I challenge you to choose recruitment over rush. I challenge you to learn the value of philanthropy and risk management.

It is not going to be easy, but IFC is here to help along the way. We have a newly elected Executive Board that is excited and eager to take the challenge and I have faith that the men will again see better days.

In other news I won Greek Man of the Year at Eastern Michigan University, which was a great honor.

New Site

I finally figured out what happened to the RAID array at work. As I had suspected a high I/O script was causing the array to barf. I turned off the script for now and plan on optimizing it in the near future (along with the bajillion other things I need to get done, but don’t have enough time in the day for).

With the site going up and down frequently over the last few days due to this rogue script we haven’t really been able to get a sense of whether the new site is working out well or not. We’ve taken a few orders and hopefully, after we mail our old customers about the new site, we will take a few more. The good news is that the people who are buy are buying laptops (our bread and butter at ACI). The bad news is that we need to do a lot of search engine optimization or we face losing a lot of search engine traffic.

One thing that I’ve really noticed since I started working at ACI is that being a sysadmin and being a programmer are very much TWO fulltime jobs. I’ve focused on launching the new site, which has meant ignoring my sysadmin duties for the last month or two, which means my sysadmin TODO is about as tall as me (I’m 6’5”). Since I’m graduating I’ll have plenty of free time to figure things out though.

Go Live! ….. Go Dead!

We took our new site live at work yesterday. The new site is a ton nicer than the old site. I was all happy that the new site was up and running until I went to check it at about midnite to find that it was down.

After some investigation I realized my worst nightmare had happend: the FILES were missing. Not a down DB server, not a runaway Apache thread, but actual data loss. This is any sysadmin’s worst nightmare, especially when all of your files sit on a central file system. We run nightly tape backups, but you can’t ever be sure of their integrity until you get onsite.

Upon further investigation this morning, after having turned off every server in a panic last night, we found that our RAID array went nuts. We rebooted the array, checked the drives, and rebooted the NFS server. All seems to be well now. The very first thing I did? Back up to tape.


I’m getting a little worried about the current blips coming out of Iraq concerning WMD. I truly think Saddam was, in limited form, producing WMD. The concern I have, however, is that the government announces “finds” before they have confirmed the validity of the data.

So far every “find” has turned out to be pesticides or stuff we already knew about. Of course there are minor retractions, but the damage, as far as public knowledge goes, has already been done.

Sony Clicker

As people know I own an Apple. Some also know that I own a Sony Ericsson T68i. I love the phone, for the most part. What I love most is the wide array of “wow” features that Sony managed to pack into such a small package. But what I love most is that, with a bluetooth adapter, I can sync my laptop and my phone wirelessly.

Well, as of today, this feature is officially on steroids! Thanks to Sony Ericsson Clicker I can do all sorts of things with my computer from my phone. This includes controlling iTunes, PowerPoint, Keynote, DVD Player, and a few other things. Possibly the coolest thing ever: “Clicker” has proximity detection and allows you to customize what actions it takes based on whether you leave your mac or come back to it.

So when I walk away from my computer the screensaver turns on and iTunes pauses and when I come back those actions are reversed. Not only that I can use it as a remote for DVD Player (good for when I’m in bed watching a movie), a wireless mouse (yes you can use it as a regular mouse), and to guide my PowerPoint presentations. By FAR the best $9.99 I’ve spent in the last year.


I had a good weekend this weekend. I got to spend a lot of time with Lauren. We went to a really nice dinner with Dana and his girlfriend, Gretchen. Definitely, have to thank her again for the discount. Friday night, after dinner, we had a few beers and played Taboo with a few other couples.

Saturday was Gino’s wedding. He married someone who appears to be made for him. Their personalities really seem to compliment each other. With everyone in the wedding spirit they felt the need to ask Lauren and I when our wedding plans will be coming to fruition. After dodging those questions we went home, ate dinner, and got in a healthy ten hours of sleep.

Today I closed a big chapter of my life. I went to my last fraternity meeting as a voting member. I used my last vote to vote in Andy Bergman as our VP for Programs. I’m pretty happy to see that Sig Tau is in a position to survive another ten years. I put a lot more work into STG than I have in school and I can honestly say it’s been more rewarding. As I told my family at Gino’s wedding: I’m proof a drunk frat boy who skips most of his classes can still get good grades. Or, as G. W. Bush put it, to those who get C’s hang in there life ain’t so bad.