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Microsoft

Journal: I may soon be a Microsoft contractor 3

Journal by ces

I just got an offer on a contract Linux sysadmin position with Bing! travel I'd interviewed for last week. I've got a couple of other positions that may come back with offers this week, but I'm inclined to take this one at the moment.

Linux Business

Journal: IT Certifications? 7

Journal by ces

Are any of them worth a bucket of warm spit?

More to the point are there any more likely to make you call a candidate in for an interview if you spot the certification on a resume?

Television

Journal: Home Theater 22

Journal by ces

Well I just spent way more than I originally intended to on some speakers and an A/V reciever. But the sale was way too good to pass up.

What I got:
4 x AV123 Onix Reference 1 Monitor Loudspeaker in piano rosewood
1 x AV123 Onix Reference 100 Center Channel Loudspeaker in piano rosewood
1 x AV123 Rocket ULW-10 Subwoofer in satin rosewood
4 x x-series / Reference 1 Speaker Stand
1 x Wood Technology MU-C Center Speaker Stand
1 x Denon AVR-3808CI Reciever

They threw in a free pair of their x-s speakers (new unreleased model) which are supposedly similar to these. I'll probably end up using them with my computer or at work.

I also have:
Vizio VX37L - 37" LCD HDTV

For the price the Vizio is an excellent display. At some point I'll probably upgrade to a Panasonic TH-42PZ700U, but not any time soon.

I still need to get a progressive scan, upscaling, DVD/SACD/CD player. I'm punting on the whole Blu-Ray vs. DVD-HD thing until the prices on combo players are a little more reasonable or the format war appears to be going one way or another.

I also haven't decided if I will get Comcast, DirecTV, or Dish yet (or at all since the housemate and I mostly watch DVDs). Supposedly Dish has the best DVR at the moment and the most HD content. (though HBO HD and Universal HD are all I really care about).

The Courts

Journal: Fuck the Police! 37

Journal by ces

Early Tuesday morning just prior to a scheduled maintenance our NYC sysadmin was arrested outside our Lower Manhattan data center and his car impounded. For purposes of this story lets call him "Bill".

The problem? Apparently the NYPD thought Bill's New Jersey drivers license was expired (it wasn't) and they wanted to hold him for "identification". Bill spent 30 hours in jail.

Now mind you Bill is a very well dressed man, every time I've seen him in person I've thought he looks like an investment banker or a lawyer. He also drives a fairly new BMW.

Bill spent four years serving our country in the US Army and he has a Bachelors degree in Information Technology from a well-regarded public university.

Bill is very well spoken, polite, and respectful of authority figures.

Bill also happens to be black.

While I wasn't there and only have Bill's side of the story, somehow I doubt Bill would have been arrested had he been white. Heck I wonder if Bill would have even been stopped had he been white.

Yep, DWB Driving While Black.

At 1 AM in Lower Manhattan Bill was just another nigger.

Television

Journal: Ask Slashdot: Home Theater and HDTV? 13

Journal by ces

I'm wanting to take the plunge into home theater and HDTV but I have not the foggiest idea of what to buy.

Actually I lie, I know exactly what I would get if I had $5000+ to spend. However my budget is more the $1500-$2500 for the whole thing.

Note that I need in addition to the TV itself at least: a DVD player, A/V receiver, and speakers. None of the components I currently have (old DVD player and crappy stereo) are worth recycling really and I'd want to replace any I kept even on an interim basis.

I do know I don't want a tube TV or rear projector. I also want the best sound and video quality I can get for the money.

So what would you recommend?

United States

Journal: We hold these truths to be self-evident 2

Journal by ces

A brief reminder of what today is about.

Wikipedia has as good overview of the significance and history of The Declaration of Independence.

Declaration of Independence

[Adopted in Congress 4 July 1776]
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. -- Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

        He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

        He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

        He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

        He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

        He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

        He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

        He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

        He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

        He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

        He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

        He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

        He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

        He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

        For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

        For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

        For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

        For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

        For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

        For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

        For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

        For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

        For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

        He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

        He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

        He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the head of a civilized nation.

        He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

        He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levey war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
Matthew Thornton

Handhelds

Journal: Ask Slashdot: Smartphones for AT&T Wireless 2

Journal by ces

So the time has come to get a new phone. The phones I'm considering in no particular order are:

Some features I'm looking for are: battery life, call quality, decent text messsage/email interface, way of syncing over the network with work Outlook, access to AIM IM network, decent mp3 player.

Any experiences or reccomendations anyone would care to relate?

Businesses

Journal: Ask Slashdot: Favorite Ergonomic Chair? 6

Journal by ces

Like many of you I spend a lot of time every day sitting on my rear in front of a computer screen. I'm looking for a comfy chair to make this activity easier on my back.

I've used both a HermanMiller Aeron and a Humanscale Liberty. I've not used any of the others though.

The chairs I'm considering are:
HermanMiller Aeron
HermanMiller Mirra
Humanscale Freedom
Humanscale Liberty
Steelcase Leap

Any experiences with these chairs you'd care to share? Any suggestions or comments?

Sci-Fi

Journal: Well this sucks 11

Journal by ces

Crap, the guy who's job I'm supposed to learn announced he is quitting the company effective 2 weeks from today.

So I've got 2 weeks to try to get up to speed on a bunch of in-house crap with absolutely no documentation.

I think this qualifies as a "trial-by-fire".

I guess I'll either learn it or go postal during the process.
 

The Internet

Journal: Is it just me? 11

Journal by ces

Or does a bunch of stuff seem to be flaking out on da intraweb today?

First Amazon was timing out for about an hour this morning.

Then I get to work and find one of our backends barfed bad (ooo, cool! Oracle bug!). Not that I could be of much help as it is only my third day.

Now Multiply doesn't seem to be working.

Spam

Journal: Thrill of the Grill 10

Journal by ces

Fired up the grill for the first time this year.

Some comments/lessons learned:

Mesquite charcoal burns much faster than the regular stuff. Stick with the regular stuff if you need/want a long fire. I'll use the mesquite if I'm doing steaks and otherwise use regular charcoal.

While grilling oysters is kind of cool, you can get the same effect in a hot oven. Save it for when I am using a gas grill or when I want to impress guests.

The salmon went over well and the lemon slices, dill sprigs, and tarragon sprigs worked out better than I expected. Next time I have to cut the salmon fillet to be only slightly bigger than my largest metal spatula as the large fillets were unwieldy. Also need to oil the grill before putting the salmon down.

The asparagus went over very well.

The pineapple didn't work as well as last time I tried it. The coals had gotten low and it ended up cooking through rather than just searing on the outside.

Wine

Journal: Last Days 3

Journal by ces

Today is my last day at $old_job I start $new_job in a week.

I've been finding it particularly hard since I gave notice to give a damn. Particularly today. I've got a project document to finish up before I leave today that I just can't seem to focus on.

Oh well, so it goes.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27

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