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Journal: Chimps/Children whatever

Journal by DissidentHere
I'd like to admit that I have an extreme dislike for children. That should explain my only partially tongue in cheek comments to this article.

All the same, 'go chimps'

For a 'deeper' thought from me, go here
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Journal: The airport security joke

Journal by DissidentHere

Well, I have some ranting to do, so /. seems like the best place.....

I've been traveling a lot lately, and aside from other rants about children on planes I think airport security is funny. Not ha ha funny, but funny disturbing. I'll probably end up on some kind of watch list for this, but oh well.

I recently walked right through security with items that while not weapons, could very easily have been. Here's the story, I was on my way home on a business trip and going through the security routine (become quite an expert now). Took out my computers, everything from my pockets, shoes off, etc, etc and walked through security. Only later did I realize what I forgot; my (stainless steel) fountain pen and brass collar points.

Now, at first this didn't seem like a big deal, but when I thought about it..... My collar points are thick brass, pointed, kinda look like a miniature sword (its OK for nerds to attempt style when visiting customers). My pen, full sized, metal tube. I started to think that someone bad could easily turn these small items in to a sharp knife. With all this metal on me, shoes and belt off, I didn't even set off the metal detector.

My only conclusion is that airport security is an unfunny joke. I can walk through it with collar stiffeners that could just as easily be sharp and a 6 inch metal shaft to attach them to, and people have nail clippers taken away.

Obviously, I would never do anything nefarious on a flight. I just want to get where I'm going and get home. But the thought that I can walk right through security with what could easily be blades in my collar makes me wonder. One time I did set the alarm off (forgot my phone in my pocket). I asked the security worker about my collar points before I realized my phone was still in my pocket and he said 'no, don't worry.' They could easily be two inch blades instead of harmless collar stiffeners.

So, I'm happy to go through security, take off my shoes and belt, even though I'm just a guy travelling on business. I've got no problem with it. But I'd feel a lot more secure if the TSA picked up on some of the things I might forget, like my metal pen and metal collar points.

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Journal: Dumb little software features Vol I

Journal by DissidentHere

So I was working along and came up with a little feature I'd love to see in more software. Since I couldn't think of a better place to write it down, I'm writing it down here.

I use Lotus Notes for work, and overall I really like it. Lots of great features, and _far_ better than Outlook. I was writing an email to one of my software developers in India and spellcheck flagged her name. I then noticed that this happens with last names a lot too. Would it be too hard to dynamically 'auto-add' names from my address book to the dictionary? Its not a big deal, and I could add the names to the dictionary manually the first time I use them, but it seems like it would such a simple little thing.

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Journal: On gas mileage...

Journal by DissidentHere
I had to write something in response to this article, but chose to mod and put it here where no one will notice.

EPA designations are empirical, people. They put a car on a dyno and simulate steady state conditions. You will never see _exactly_ what is on the sticker. And, by the way, its a government agency, they're going to fuck something up. Well, its the manufacturer following EPA guidelines. (I am a bit surprised that some EPA honcho didn't get some rule that all automakers send him a car so he could test it 'properly')

YMMV - Yup, it all depends on how you drive and how you maintain your vehicle. You could probably push a Hummer all the way down to 3 gallons per mile if driven correctly. But seriously, I notice a difference based in driving habits. For example, the 4 - 6 weeks after I get a ticket I take it easy on the acceleration, speed within 10 - 15 MPH of the limit, and get pretty good milage (I'm in that state now). In a few weeks I'll be hitting 95 at the end of the on ramp.

Simply put, if you accelerate hard and drive fast, your mileage will be lower, if you drive moderately and maintain your vehicle, you should be near or better than the sticker.

So far I've avoided the rant, but fuck SUVs, over size trucks and Hummers (super SUVs?). If you want to get a truck to haul stuff, then do so. If you want to one up the neighbors, get a Porshe, at least that has some class.
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Journal: Yes dear, update 1

Journal by DissidentHere
OK, just an update to anyone who might care, but the wife's ass who I saved with Linux is no longer my wife. Irreconcilable differences, and really, its not my fault. But, being a man, I still get F'ed, believe me its a cluster. Its rare for a man to initiate a divorce, but even then he still gets in an uncomfortable place, like the back of a Volkswagon.
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Journal: Yes dear, Linux saved your *ss

Journal by DissidentHere
OK, that's it - Linux absolutely does rock. I will now become a full fledged Linux zealot and go through whatever strange rights of passage I must.

My wife locked herself out of her XP laptop. I proceded to lock myself out of my account on that machine (I don't use it - I've got a Mac!), and couldn't remember the Admin password (I know it was a strong password).

Linux bootable to the rescue! I downloaded an image here and proceded to reset the accounts and all is marvelous (I still hate XP though).

It was so quick and easy I've burned discs for all my friends (3 CDs is not gonna kill me).

Go Linux and OSS! Thank you once again.
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Journal: Switching to Mac

Journal by DissidentHere
I had to write this (on my G4) in response to this article (Making Things Easy...).

I work for a Windows shop, so I code in VB6 and .NET, but most of what I do is database programming for MS SQL Server and Oracle, and I'll take Oracle any day - anyone seen the error handling in T-SQL? Just short of non-existant.

Anyway, on switching to Mac, I had/have a box running Gentoo, and I saw a G4 PowerBook running OS X, I had to get one. I love using my G4, my Dell laptop for work is just for that, work. Every chance I get, I use my G4; when I have to write a Word doc or Excel sheet for work, I do it on the Mac.

I liken it to the difference between driving a Ford Escort and my BMW, Windows is annoying, but gets you where you need to go, and its Fix Or Repair Daily. Mac OS X is like BMW, lots of luxury and features, but there are a solid 6 cylinders under the hood, you can access the power when you need it, and keep 'er in good shape, she'll run forever.

Just my thoughts, but what if the Mac GUI was ported to Linux, it'll never happen, but as John Lennon said, 'Imagine'

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan

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