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Hobbies

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Speed Test TWC

Internets

I’m looking into leaving Time Warner for our Cable internet, and decided to check on my speeds over at speedtest.net. Turns out not to have sucked too much, really.  Faster than 72% of the US using “Road Runner Turbo” is okay.  I’d like to be in the 90th percentile, though.

CrosshairV
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Meet DESTROYER, my not-at-all absurdly-named computer

Hardware

It’s January 2012, and that seems like a really good time to upgrade my workstation.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a real overhaul on my computer system.  Although I did replace my video cards about 6 months ago, the rest of the system has been plugging along for a year and a half or more.  Because of some end-of-the-year corporate spending requirements, I found myself looking at computer components on the 29th of December, and a few days later some boxes showed up at my door. Destroyer, my new Computer Go figure.

Anyway, what follows is a list of hardware because last time I wrote a post like this it was supremely helpful in terms of remembering what was in the box that sits next to me all day long when I needed to download drivers, troubleshoot problems or generally do something useful.   Sometimes posts like this are purely for me, and for that, I apologize. Tombstone, my old system, is still mostly running, although in a semi-gutted state, waiting to be re-purposed as something awesome, either a system in Andrew’s growing empire or the hub of my still-theoretical porn empire. Dunno which yet. Maybe something yet different from that.

Anyway, after the break you’ll find the components, names and some reasoning behind each piece of the puzzle.

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I got in a Twitter fight

Internets

This comes under the heading of embarrassing, but funny enough to post.  Back at the beginning of October, I got in a fight on Twitter with this dumb bitch who took issue with me calling out Chick-Fil-A for being a company run by hateful asshats.  I posted this to twitter:

innocent enough

I’m not into politics, really, but I do think it’s a shame when companies use their fat wads of cash to screw over regular folks (through buying legislation or supporting hate groups or whatever else – it’s all the same to me).  So I mentioned it.    Chick-Fil-A had just opened a Hollywood location and I wanted to try their food again (it was probably 1994 last time I ate there).  No big deal.  I mean, plenty of people still shop at Target, right?

Anyway, on the morning of the 2nd, after coming out of Bootie, I saw that someone had replied to my Chick-Fil-A post.  Below is the whole stupid story.  I don’t even want to write any more till you’ve read it.

Fuck You, Eagles!
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Pathetic

Eagles Football

Fuck You, Eagles!

I don’t know why I continue to be a fan of this ridiculous, talentless, gutless, classless, shameless excuse for a football team.

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I fixed the search

Internets

You may not have known it was broken, but the broken search was something that had been bothering me for a long time. For awhile it had been co-opted by the forum, but then it was just broken.  Now it’s fixed, in that when you search for something, you get results.  Or you get results if you search for something I’ve written about.

That is all.  Show day today in hot-ass Athens.

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technology is my nemesis!

Hardware

Despite what I just tweeted, I don’t think my inability to grasp a few simple tech concepts is a symptom of getting old, although maybe, upon reflection, it is.

No More AVG
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Say goodbye to AVG!

Hardware

No More AVGFor years, AVG has been my antivirus scanner of choice – it was fast, didn’t bother you, and didn’t bother my computer.

Cables
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throwing away cable

Hardware

CablesJust a stupid little note to show a picture of a small box of cables that I threw away yesterday while going through my computer cable box.

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Jobbin’

Internets

I’ve been working, believe it or not.

With my impending departure for South America with Bon Jovi looming, I’m looking at a foreshortened timeline and thinking about how I can get work completed for MWS before I go. It’s a short-ish timeline, given the back-and-forth that has to happen, but still, it’s doable.  Then, through Priscilla, I booked a gig working on the practically-abandoned non-profit website CAN-DO.org.

The founders live across the yard at the moment, and Eric just left for Haiti, so it’s a time crunch to get everything updated and working.  The site isn’t a CMS, but instead was written in Dreamweaver (I can only assume) and the pages that I have are all a disaster.  Totally unnecessary nested tables within more and more tables, no real patterns (each box is slightly different from the rest, or boxes within sections have different problems), and almost no CSS.  Each page has some random CSS generated by Dreamweaver at the top, and the stylesheet is an amalgam of overlapping styles and mess.

Long story short, I now have more work than I can handle.  Or almost more work than I can handle.  I’m writing this blog post, for example, while I await replies to two emails and rest my eyes from staring at the code, wondering why the site works so radically differently on IE than on Firefox (and, indeed, everything else).  At least I’m building karma on this one, right?  My rate is slashed and I’ll be able to claim some tax advantage at the end of the year, supposedly.

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My Houses

Internets
Google has changed their underlying code for maps so many times that this no longer even remotely worked, sadly.  Remember, kids, ALL CONTENT YOU DON’T HOST YOURSELF WILL ALWAYS GO AWAY.  ALL OF IT. ALWAYS.
(…MO 2016_0810)
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apt-get install ubuntu

Hardware

I’m not quite ready to ditch Win7 (but I’d like to!) on my main computer yet, but I’ve been having really good luck with Ubuntu, both as the only installation on my laptop and as a VM on my workstation.

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the Woot/Amazon thing

Internets

So Woot got bought by Amazon.

What’s the business end of this deal? I’ve read the Blog Post, I’ve seen the video, and I’m still a little confused, or at least in the dark, about how something like this works.  Like, who gets what?  Presumably, Amazon paid something for Woot.  They weren’t a public company, so it didn’t happen by stock purchses, right?  No.  So they just put up a certain amount of money and, boom, they now get the profits?  Everyone gets the same salary and job description as before, just the ownership changed hands?

I guess, if I owned Woot and Amazon came along and gave me, in cash, the value of the profit I expected to make over the next three years (ten years?) and let me stay on as CEO with the same salary, etc., then I might do it, too.  Especially if I had another idea that I wanted to exploit.  Hmm.

Anyway, anyone who has a real clue about how this sort of thing goes down, I’d be interested in your take.

Palm Pre
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Palm Pre woes

Hardware

Palm PreJust performed an applications reset on my Pre because there was some weird issue where there was a blank application that was keeping my phone from updating some of the programs that needed upgrading.

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Gawker just lost its place in my Reader

Internets

Over the last week or so, there’s been a change in the way my reader looks – all Gawker Media sites changed their full-text feeds to partial-text, AKA click-to-our-site-so-we-can-make-money-off-you feeds.

Not likely.

There are other options out there, and/or the info I get from them isn’t that important.  I can drop Giz and only read Engadget.  I barely skim Jalopnik anyway, and the porn blog?  Pure tourism – no loss to lose it, really.  Fewer tits in my day probably means more productivity.  Besides, there’s always Tumblr.  So I’m on the hunt for new places to read on a regular basis if you’re in the mood to recommend.

Ironically, at the same time (conspiracy?!), Slashdot just expanded their feed offering to show me selected comments – amazing.  I’m not sure I even need all that information (and they provided a link to change the feed back that I haven’t explored yet), but it’s nice that they offer it.

Now, I’m not a particularly “valuable” reader from a demographics standpoint.  I’m over 30, basically ad-blind to the ads that I don’t automatically block and I rarely comment.  So they don’t care about losing me.  But if they feel that way about everyone who’s just like me (and anecdotal evidence suggests that we are legion), Gawker Media is losing a big chunk of their readership.  Ah well.

Thanks to Mike Masnick at Techdirt for the article that pointed this out and prompted me to act.

edit: I *am* sad about losing Lifehacker, but a stand’s a stand, and i’m sure I can find other places to read.

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I quit MySpace

Internets

This is not news in any way, but I just wanted to mention that I’m no longer on myspace, officially.  I’d sort of like to focus my presence online, and I think by removing my MySpace (and LinkedIn, probably) profiles, I’ll have a little less online baggage.  These were sites that tried, and succeeded, to a certain extent, but for me, at least, they’ve passed their expiration dates.

Two PCW gigs tomorrow – one with Bon Jovi and one with a video production unit in LA.   Fun times.  Gotta keep that bandwagon going, as the MWS bandwagon is coasting to a halt.  I’d like to jumpstart that one to keep it going, too, but honestly, it’s been dying for a year.  Lots of little things (no more invitations to NYC, the hiring of multiple overlapping consultants, etc.) have been happening, so I just need to do the best I can with what I’ve got and maybe that’ll be enough.  Maybe it won’t, but I’ll do what I can.

Also, I’m tired.

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the internet has an erection

Internets

As I sit here alone at Dragonfish, a swank sushi joint across from my hotel, I wonder how i’ll act on my next visit. The fact that i’m thinking about it outside of the weird, geeky confines of my “internet time” definitely means that the site has hit a nerve – I certainly never think “this will be great on Facebook” and rarely think to update my twitter profile except when i’m bored (a fact made abundantly clear by my updates, i’m sure), but this one is different. It’s got human-style interaction, sort of. It’s got that anonymity that brings us back to the old days of the pre-commerce web. It’s got erections.
Shitloads of erections.

enough bullshit – if you don’t already know what i’m talking about, you should. The site in question is ChatRoulette, and it’s amazing.

The thing about ChatRoulette is that it’s weird. Really weird.  There are quite a few erections on it, but that’s not all there is. There’s an amazing variety of people on here, probably averaging 25,000 at any given time.  Tonight, I’ve seen military guys, couples, tons of asians, groups of people sitting around, parties, lots of creepy guys (I’m probably one of those, given that I’m old and alone on here), and even a few girls.  The thing about it is that you can be anyone you want (like what you told yourself before you went off to college, only in 3-second bursts) – and people really are.  Apparently, a lot of them want to be watched as they jack off.  How are these folks so on top of things?  Like, they’re just waiting for new ways to expose themselves, and get the memo before the normal people do, somehow.  Anyway, it doesn’t matter, because you, too, can masturbate for strangers’ amusement, too.  You can also practice your one-liners, your funny faces or voices, your crazy lies – whatever you want, because you can’t find those people again and they can’t find you.  Yet.  Also, you’ve gotta do it quick, because the denizens of CR are fucking FAST on the “Next” button.

This post has already taken three sittings and two days to complete, partially because ChatRoulette is so ineffable.  The other part is because I’ve been at work, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.  Anyway, check it out.

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tablets

Hardware

A tablet should be a PDA.

Like a PDA used to be, before we added a phone to it and forgot everything else that it could do.  I want my tablet to have three cameras (two on the back for stereo range finding and one in front for the things that front-facing cameras are used for), multiple radios for connectivity everywhere (I want 3G, 4G, cell, wifi, am/fm, weather band, who knows what else?), and amazing voice input.  It needs to be able to not only respond to commands, but to input text accurately.  The voice recognition software has to learn the way I speak and it has to speak back to me in natural cadences that it picks up from listening to the way people around me actually speak.  I want to be able to point it at something (a building, a field), and ask for information about it.  The new work that’s being done in augmented reality is pretty awesome, and calling that up via a voice command (especially if there’s a rangefinder on the app) would be nice, but it also has to be able to relay to me aurally the information that I’m requesting – verbal commands and output are very big for me.

This is an absurd, ranting list, and it wasn’t meant to be.  I’m sorry for that.  I just saw a piece on my reader (just found the link – it’s from Derek Kerton at Techdirt – here) about how a killer feature for the iSlate would be a dual-mode screen (e-ink and traditional). Geh.

I want so much more than that.  First and foremost would be parallel connectivity options so I can be getting the same information from the same places on multiple connections at once – think bit torrent, but for bridging (wifi, 3G, 4G, maybe traditional EDGE or whatever?) connections.  a pair of wifi radios along with 3G & 4G radios aren’t that expensive or battery-hogging, and would go a long way towards making sure my tablet never goes out of range of something.

Anyway, I’m sorry if you read all of this.  I’ll try to be more cogent in the future.

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RAID 5 issues

Hardware

I have an Asus M3A79-T Deluxe motherboard on which I’m using RAID 5. Sounds simple enough, right?  Well, it ain’t.

The fucker breaks RAID almost as soon as I fix it.  The first time it happened, I didn’t think much of it because I rarely restart my computer, because I couldn’t see a non-functioning drive in Windows and because I wasn’t getting any other sorts of errors, so it was no big deal. Eventually, I changed my mind and tried to fix it.  Eventually, I fixed it.  Shortly, it was broken again.  Both times, it’s drive2 that’s “critical” and the BIOS-based editor is totally friggin’ useless.

So this morning, since the Eagles aren’t on till later, I decided to fix it again.  I’d done it once, right?  The problem is that I have no idea now how I fixed it then.  I remember pain.  So I search and I search.  There’s some Intel program (doesn’t work with AMD Phenom chips – fuck), there’s some nVidia program (doesn’t work with anything but low-level integrated nVidia chipsets – what?  And who trusts a video card company with their disk management anyway?), and then I found RAIDXpert.  That’s a download link, in case you care – it was a pain in the ass to find.  RAIDXpert is some browser based thing that seems to be working on my array right now as I type.  I just logged in (logged in? You’ll need admin/admin as the username and password to log into the browser-based program that points to Localhost, FYI), mucked around, and eventually started rebuilding the array.  it’s at 15%.

I’m going to go away and come back, just to see what happens.  I have a laptop with Ubuntu to fix anyway.

It seemed to have worked, so I’ll restart and then update to let you know.

And it seems to have worked. The BIOS is reporting a RAID5 array in perfect working order and there were no issues with windows or my data.  So it’s RAIDXpert FTW.

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Don’t forget the Media Server!

Hardware

It’s the holiday season and you should be listening to Christmas music at work. The best way to do that is to go to http://media.clapboard.org and navigate to the Christmas folder.  I have modern Christmas crap, classic Christmas crap, mashup Christmas crap… you name it!

That’s all.  For now.

update: I’ve done a complete backup of the server so I’m safe while I’m away, and I’ve updated the server software to run the newest and best code.  Now listing out 88GB of music spread over 17,000 songs takes as little time as it can (even though it’s still not super fast).  Let me know if you somehow don’t have an account but want one.

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Nerdiness

Internets

Action CupcakeIn case any of you were wondering why Clapboard no longer loads like the tubes from the servers are steeped in syrup, it’s because we’re finally on a VPS.