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Journal Journal: [w00t] RHCSA cert 3

I took the RHCSA exam this morning, and managed to pass it on the first try.

And the villagers rejoiced.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [Music] This about sums it up 1

If every day goes like this, how do we survive?
We're working late on the night shift to get peace of mind.

Eric Prydz, "Every Day"

I can relate to this one all too well, especially of late...

User Journal

Journal Journal: [misc] Still here 4

It has been close to a year since I have bothered to post anything on here. I still read almost daily, and once in a great while I find something on here that entices me to comment though it's rare. Anymore the room is quiet, with the occasional political post or the intermittent technical post.

I am not really sure why I have stayed. I guess part of me is comfortable here and just cannot get motivated to move on, even though there isn't too much holding me here. At one time I had a good number of friends here (a few of whom I actually met in person), but I have slowly and steadily lost connection with almost all of them. I know it's my fault.

So why am I posting now? I am not really sure, to be honest. I think I am just reminiscing about times past, friends that have sailed for bluer waters and a portion of my life that has slipped through my fingers. *shrug*

User Journal

Journal Journal: [query] Looking for a new email provider 3

I know it has been a looong time since I have posted anything. I still read here though, and today I have a question.

I have an email provider that does spam filtering above my local box. That is, I get filtered results with no opportunity to see what has been filtered out. The problem there is that sometimes it filters out emails I actually want and there's no way to get them at all.

I need a new email provider. My needs are simple - I need POP/SMTP access, I do NOT need web access, and I want absolutely no spam filtering at all. I'll filter out spam locally. I do not care if it's a paid service or free.

Any suggestions?

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Good Slashkeeping Seal of Approval

Coined this today. Sounds like a winner - an award for the coolest application of technology. Doesn't have to be useful, just very, very cool.


Journal Journal: Even Caffeine Is Failing Me Now 1

Who wants post caffeine withdrawals? Not me. So I drink watered down coffee. It only takes a small amount of caffeine to kick-start someone, anything after that is wasted and makes coming down off it that much more regrettable. I also like to sleep at night, not twitch and throw all my covers on the floor.

I'm tired. Bone tired. Caffeine can't do anything about that. Need to hit the hay earlier. Stop eating junk, too.

Gonna be a challenge though. Got an Android tablet today. Want to try all sorts of fun stuff. Install Apache and PHP on it. See if I can make it wireless server. That'd be killer fun.

Ah. But need sleep.

Decisions. Decisions.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [misc] Underachievement 1

Saw the following statement regarding underachievement and it made me laugh out loud:

Underachievement: The tallest blade of grass is the first to be cut by the lawnmower.

Why does this make me think of Slashdot?

User Journal

Journal Journal: [/.] This is progress? 3

I thought progress was supposed to go from "old and busted" to "new hotness", not "old mediocrity" to "new and busted"...

Amazingly, /. renders better under Opera than MSIE, though FireFox seems to be supported best. I can't find half my stuff, everything is left-justified and fonts are ugly. Another nail in the coffin, I guess.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [geek + query] Looking for HTML component for Delphi/C++ Builder 4

I know I am asking this to the wrong crowd - Delphi is a Windows product and this is a mostly Unix/Linux/Mac kind of place. Nervertheless, I have a project I'm fiddling with and I need to be able to render HTML. I had planned on wxWidgets as my platform but I cannot get it to compile properly anymore for some odd-ball reason. So... My fallback is that I have the latest and greatest version of Delphi on my Windows partition, and I am willing to go that route to get down to it. The problem is that I need a VCL component (window, panel, whatever) that can handle rendering the HTML for me. My budget for such a component is around $100.

Anyone know of one that they would recommend?

I suppose I could use the OCX control for IE, but I need something faster. The Gecko engine is out of the question as there is no guarantee that any given machine will have FireFox or Mozilla.

JE open to anyone other than AC.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [geek] Windows Console App vs. DOS 32-bit app 8

Ok, not the most glamorous topic to kick off the new year but you get what you pay for. This is the first JE I have posted in several months, not because of ill will or dissatisfaction here, but simply because I do not have the time I once had to post.

Anyway... I decided to conduct a small experiment with one of my C++ compilers. I have a 32-bit application that has a benchmark test embedded in it and I have been recompiling the app over and over to isolate the optimal set of parameters for the compiler and linker to get the best performance. So far I have found that compiling for the i686 chipset with full compiler-provided optimization and stdcall linkage yields the very best performance. I am not sure why stdcall is best, to be honest, but that stems from my ignorance on the different linkage strategies. Also, the performance gain with stdcall is not large but it's noticeable. Once I got the application tuned as tightly as I could with the compile, I got curious - how would a DOS32 app compare against a Windows console application?

In a nutshell, the DOS32 application performed dreadfully. Where the Windows console application benchmarked around 1550 ms on average, the DOS32 application benchmarked just over 2000 ms. I assume this is a penalty relating to the translation layer of the DOS extender.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [misc] Mining the past can be poisonous 2

The deeper you delve into the distant past, the richer the pain and sorrow you may find. Sometimes, the truth is best left unknown - knowing may bring healing, but it can also crush you with unbelievable weight.

Ask yourself - do you really want to know? How badly? Is it worth it?

User Journal

Journal Journal: [misc] Sadness 3

A word of advice for my friends.

You can spend decades searching and searching for people from the past. When you finally find them, be ready for the memories to flood back and be ready to accept that their recollection of you may very well be the last thing you'd expect.

That is all.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [food] A new development

I have not had time to do a lot with baking in some time now, so when I get to make a loaf of bread for my family it's a treat for everyone, including me. Today, however, I was approached and was told, "I want to pay you to bake for me." The person was serious too.

Suddenly, I am feeling encouraged.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [geek] Ubuntu: First contact 7

A coworker of mine gave to me his laptop, wanting me to configure it for wireless access to the Internet. After handing it to me, he asked me "Can you install Ubuntu for me?" Um, ok, I can do that, but I am not an Ubuntu wizard so I expected this to be unfamiliar territory, to some extent.

I installed it, and it barfed. I am not sure why. I tried to install it again and it went just fine the second time around. I am not sure what went wrong the first time, so I have no idea what I can do to avoid the issue when/if I install it again later. Regardless, the goal was to get it up and running on my coworker's laptop.

My very first observation - sexy GUI! It is clear that the Ubuntu team has put a great deal of time and effort into making the GUI smooth, sleek and pretty. It makes the typical GNOME or KDE interface look kinda unpolished, even though both of those workspaces are attractive enough.

Working in the Red Hat world, I have gotten very used to the distinction between user accounts and root. I have never been a big fan of using sudo, and I expected Ubuntu's methodology of eliminating root logins to be cumbersome. What I did not expect was all of the utilities I need as root on Red Hat to be in the path for the user account and seem to work properly (so using sudo would not be a common occurrence for me). That is, I don't need to look in /sbin for administrator utilities on this system. 'ifconfig' is a prime example of a tool that is not in the default path of the average user on Red Hat installations but it in a different location and IS in the path for Ubuntu boxes.

I didn't realize that Ubuntu is a small distro. I also did not realize that it's a Debian derivative.

My first real contact with Ubuntu hasn't been all that bad. However, I am not so sure I would switch to it. I think I prefer Red Hat, at least for now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [geek] The final nail in the Windows coffin 6

I finally abandoned my email client last night. I have been using Pegasus, which is a very nice freeware client for Windows, and I have amassed a good store of emails in the database. It appeared to run fine under Wine, but I was wrong. Wine unceremoniously shuts it down every time I send a new message. Can't have that.

I looked at several replacement clients and finally settled on Evolution. It is not ideal, but it works well enough. I tried Sylpheed at the suggestion of jawtheshark but it's a little too minimalistic for my tastes.

The tether has been cut. Windows is still loaded on my other hard drive, but there's little motivation to go there now except when there are data files that I need to pull over, and that's happening less and less.

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