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User Journal

Journal Journal: I am an American aquarium drinker

Ahhhhh, Wilco. If you haven't heard Yankee Hotel Foxtrot yet, you really, really need to. It's just about the greatest album ever, after OK Computer. The album's name comes from a shortwave transmission recording from The CONET Project. There's a sound sample at the end of track 10, "Poor Places". The clip is just so great that I had to find it. After much searching, I found the entire 4-disc set of recordings available on MP3 right here.

The Yankee Hotel Foxtrot clip is just called "phonetic alphabet nato", so it took me a while to find.
So, why would I care? I spent several hours avoiding homework to find this because I was just getting bored of my old voice mail notification and needed a change. After a little cleanup, it sounds great, and colleague and co-worker alike wonder what the heck that noise is. :-)

Journal Journal: Selling out 2

A buddy of mine said that a band I like is selling out. I happen to still like them, but he claims that since they were signed a few years ago their music has gotten too market-friendly, whatever that is supposed to mean.

So what is selling out? Is it a bunch of guys who're tired of living out of a shitty van they bought from the drummer's parents for 9 months out of the year, then coming home to realize that they're still flat-ass broke and have to pick up the night shift at the 7-11, so they decide to make a few more "Market friendly" songs while attempting to keep the spirit of their music alive? If that's selling out, then what else? Maybe selling out is going to college and getting good grades. Maybe selling out is trading in your Doc's and hoody for loafers and business casual. Or maybe it's the quiet desperation you feel when you're a middle-aged middle-manager stuck in gridlock on your way home to your middle-income home in suburbia and you realize that you've never really accomplished anything worthwhile in your entire life... Or maybe I'm just talking out my ass.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Subject line irrelevant

Don't really have much to say, but I feel like writing, so I'll subject anybody who happens upon this journal with some ramblywords.

I didn't get into my English class this semester. I procrastinated too long, and by the time I finally signed up, the class was full. So it's just the advanced C++ for engineers and MIS class this semester. Don't ask me why it's programming for engineers, or why it's supposed to be so advanced. Object oriented crap with some logic concepts and we get to learn UML. Yay.
The MIS class is even more thrilling. It's mostly a rehash of intro to MS Office and basic information systems concepts. I could have, should have challenged, but it's too late now.
At this rate, I'll be roughly 300 years old by the time I graduate. With all the recent advances in medicine, I might even make it.
I guess it's not all bad. This gives me a chance to work on some more certifications. I keep planning on just going and doing my CCNA, but the local testing center shut down, and the closest one to my town is a 90 minute drive, and it's only open Mon - Fri, so it'd be a whole day lost to go do it, and it's just not that big a deal for my current job.

Good news though is that I may have a new job! I have an interview for a network security position at a mid-size research firm nearby next week. I meet the requirements, but there are a lot of other applicants trying for this job, as well. I feel good that they're at least interviewing me, though. Makes me feel like I've got a chance. Finger crossing time.
User Journal

Journal Journal: If I had a million dollars... 3

"What about you, Peter man? What would you do with a million dollars?"

"Besides two chicks at the same time?"

"Well, yeah..."

After giving much thought, I've decided that I would convince my friend Rob to come with me and become the first live-action porno band. Most pornos seem to come with cheesy 70's disco tracks, except for the ones with the word "Asian" anywhere in the title. It's easy enough to pull off oldskool 70's riffs. I'd play the guitar, Rob would play the bass, and I guess we'd have to find some nerd who plays keyboard, too.
The general premise behind a live-action porno band is simple, yet revolutionary. We are on the set while the humping is going on, and we just play whatever seems right at the time. Kind of like a Fugazi concert, except it would be all disco, and the people humping would be getting paid.
So you just keep up with the body tempo, throw in some chords, when the girl gets fifth-based or the money shot comes up, you throw in a few bendy things on the bass, and you're set!
Yeah, I know even crappy pornos are often done in multiple shots, but don't ruin my fantasy, here. Truth is, I just want to be involved with pornos really. I can't imagine being in a porno; me and my wiener are a little camera shy. Being in a live-action porno band is about the next best thing.

I wonder what my high school guidance counselor would have to say about that?

Journal Journal: Why "Learn C++ in 21 days!" Doesn't work

OMG, like, I was totally looking through _Production code_, when I found this little gem. I'm not even a particularly good coder, but please. This is a piece of production code! If this isn't the worst code I've ever read, I'm not sure what is. Somebody fell asleep in class when they were learning about recursion and functions.


// INFCopy.cpp : Defines the entry point for the application.

#include "stdafx.h"

int APIENTRY WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance,
                     HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,
                     LPSTR     lpCmdLine,
                     int       nCmdShow)
     // TODO: Place code here.
    WIN32_FIND_DATA        FileName;
    HANDLE                hFind[20]; //Handle for Directory Find Data. Each array segment is one subdir
    CHAR                szDestinationDir[MAX_PATH]; // c:\windows\inf
    CHAR                szSourceDir[MAX_PATH]; // Set to c:\windows\options\cabs\windows\inf
    CHAR                szCopyFile[MAX_PATH];
    CHAR                szCompareFile[MAX_PATH];
    CHAR                szRootDest[MAX_PATH];
    CHAR                szNewDir[MAX_PATH];
    CHAR                SubDirsSource[20][MAX_PATH]; //This keeps track of all upper level dirs in Source
    CHAR                SubDirsDest[20][MAX_PATH]; //This keeps track of all upper level dirs in Destination
    UINT                DirLevel;  // Array counter for SubDirs and hFind functions

    DirLevel = 0;

    hFind[DirLevel] = FindFirstFile("*.*", &FileName);

    while(DirLevel >= 0) // If DirLevel is at 0, program should break, but just in case...
        if(FileName.dwFileAttributes == 16) // If this is a directory?
            if(((strcmp(FileName.cFileName, ".")) == 0)||((strcmp(FileName.cFileName,"..")) == 0))
                if(!FindNextFile(hFind[DirLevel], &FileName)) break; //break if it's . or ..
                else continue;

            sprintf(SubDirsSource[DirLevel], FileName.cFileName);
            sprintf(szNewDir,"%s\\%s\\", szDestinationDir,FileName.cFileName);
            CreateDirectory(szNewDir,0); //Creating the Dir is just so much easier
            printf("Copying %s\n",FileName.cFileName); //Hey man, what're ya doing?
            sprintf(SubDirsDest[DirLevel], FileName.cFileName);
            sprintf(szDestinationDir,"%s", szNewDir);
            if((hFind[DirLevel] = FindFirstFile("*.*", &FileName)) == INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE)
                //If there are no files in the directory...
                FindClose(hFind[DirLevel]); //Close the find handle
                DirLevel--;    //backtrack to previous array
                SetCurrentDirectory(SubDirsSource[DirLevel]); //set the directory to previous array dir
                sprintf(szDestinationDir, "%s",SubDirsDest[DirLevel]); //set destination " "
                FindNextFile(hFind[DirLevel], &FileName); //Find the next file in previous dir
            else continue;

        }//This ends the dir copy function if statement.

            /* If it's not a Dir, then it's a file, and we like copying files, don't we Bobby?*/
            sprintf(szCopyFile,"%s\\%s", szDestinationDir, FileName.cFileName); //sets szCopyFile to correct Dir and file name
            CopyFile(FileName.cFileName, szCopyFile, false);
            printf("Copying %s\n",FileName.cFileName);
            FindNextFile(hFind[DirLevel], &FileName);
            if(strcmp(FileName.cFileName, szCompareFile) == 0)
                if(DirLevel == 0) break;
                sprintf(szDestinationDir, "%s\\",SubDirsDest[DirLevel]);
                FindNextFile(hFind[DirLevel], &FileName);



    } //This ends Topmost While statement

    printf("Finished copying files");
    return 0;

Journal Journal: moderation again 4

I swear I wrote this already, but it's not in my journal now. I musta hit the wrong button or I forgot to save.

I've got moderator points again. Exactly one month after the last time I was a moderator. I had thought moderator points were a little harder to come by, although judging from all the crap out there that gets modded up (and down, I suppose), maybe it's not so far off.
Anybody care to share how often they get mod points?

Journal Journal: In the immortal words of Ice Cube... 2

I'd have to say it was a good day.

I guess I finally hit Excellent Karma yesterday, but I didn't notice it till this morning. I'm really a little too excited about this. And it's pretty irrational, really. Anybody who posts semi-intelligently enough times without posting too many idiocies will get there sooner or later. It took me a lot longer than most probably, because --other than a few initial inane posts-- I only post when I feel there's something useful to be said. I've been posting since June, but there's been less than 40 times I've felt the need to post anything.
This brings up an interesting question: I usually surf at +2, and most likely a good percentage of other people do, too. So my messages are now available by default to a lot more people than before. Now, is it really fair for me to just post at a higher level because I think that what I have to say is useful? Should I just allow Mob Rule, ie the moderators, to decide whether what I write is worth elevation? I guess that's what the "No bonus" option is for. That's handy. I didn't realize that was a feature. On the other hand, it often seems that many moderators surf at +2, as well...
Not really OAN, but we'll say it is, anyway. In an effort to be able to surf at +3 and glean everything pertinent from /., I've been experimenting with elevating points for different things. Insightful, interesting or informative posts all get a +1, and my friends all get a +2. The moderation of mod categories doesn't work terribly reliably, since a post may get +2 interesting, then -1 overrated, and it falls under my radar. My friends list isn't very long yet, since I just started this plan. I pick friends by checking previous posts and journals of users who posted something really good. If I like what I read in their profile, I add them. It's a slow process, but hopefully it will yield good results.

Journal Journal: Windows scriptability 2

Somebody posted a comment in a discussion about MS' plan to create a new command shell that really got to me.

Leave it to Windows "sysadmins" to get their MCSEs and then not bother to look at the single most important aspect of Windows 2k: Scriptability. Windows 2000 is almost 100% scriptable, the IIS metabase is 100% scriptable. The Active Directory is 100% scriptable.
No, VBScript isn't quite as easy as creating a batch script in bash, since it is object oriented and requires creating the objects before manipulating them, but it's really incredibly simple if you've even taken some fairly basic programming.
I work with these products every day. I write scripts for dumbass sysadmins on a regular basis. One of them came to me and asked me to stop writing scripts. He's worried that if they keep automating processes, they won't need him around anymore. Well, we've got 350 servers and 15 admins. He may be right.

Journal Journal: SlashBots! 2

So I've had this plan brewing for a while.

I intend to write a bot to post to slashdot. This bot will use regular expression filtering to look at the post and try to ascertain what it means. Possibly it will use the categories to decide how to respond. It will also process the article linked in the post. I'll try to make sure it gets the correct link by telling it to ignore sendto:'s and links to just the home directory of a site, unless that's the only link provided for that site.

Now, the bot will not actually post any original messages. It will only respond to messages rated +2 or better or messages asking something like "But how fast is it?" or "Does anybody have a picture of this guy?" which will be processed from the article and posted with a "RTFA" appended to the message line, or search google for the specific question, process the resulting page and post a "I found this here" message. It will also keep a cached copy of the page to post in text format should the page get slashdotted.

The real problem will be to make it "self-learning". Maybe it will look at short, highly moderated responses to other posts, and restate those posts in some way when a similar question is asked, but I'm not sure how I'll pull that off. It would be tricky to categorize it correctly.

Now, it will require some doing, and I'll have to make sure it only posts once every 10 minutes or so, or once every few minutes, but only at certain times of the day, to look as much like a real poster as possible. Who knows, it might even improve the signal-to-noise ratio I'm always bitching about. I'll be curious to see how quickly it either gets to Totally Excellent Karma, or gets modded down to oblivion.

Journal Journal: Drinking


Just further proof that delayed negative reinforcement doesn't work.

Journal Journal: Everything in moderation

Including moderation...
I've been a moderator a few times now. I'm a moderator again today. Sadly, I often have trouble using my entire meager allowance of 5 mod points. Why? well, since you ask:

1. I don't like to mod up a post that's already at +4. Unless it really blows me away, I hesitate to mod up a post that's even +3. I just feel that there should be a more even distribution of points between posts.

2. I refuse to moderate anything funny, as my sig attests. Slashdot is about technology and nerdy news, not comedy. That, and I don't find the run-of-the-mill "imagine a beowulf cluster of these" and "step 3: Profit" jokes humorous. If you want played out jokes reused again and again, take it to FARK or SomethingAwful.

3. I generally ignore ACs, unless the comment is particularly meritable. At the +0 level I have to skim a lot, and some posts which might otherwise receive a point instead get glossed over because the poster is an AC.

4. That brings me to my last point, touched upon in reason #3. There's just too much crap getting posted. In one article, I saw 4 "1st Post!" messages, and probably thirty other stupid posts out of a total of maybe 40 messages. That figure is generally about accurate: About 1 in 10 posts has anything interesting to say.

This time, I've gotten close. I only have two mod points left, and I'm hoping to actually use them.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Schroedinger's cat 1

I was brushing my teeth this morning and thought of something funny.

Found: Schroedinger's cat. Half dead...
Yeah, that sounded a lot funnier when it was still in my head....
User Journal

Journal Journal: Windows Admins...

Microsoft-based sysadmins are the single most under-knowledgeable, over-egoed bunch of wankers in the known world. Outside of Union pipe-fitters. Actually, any union worker who makes $60k a year to smoke weed and do a job that a kid in Junior High could do (which actually describes quite a few admins pretty well too, except for the Union part...) generally falls into that group.
The way I see it, sysadmins either don't go to college, or they get some useless degree like Botany or Management Information Systems ("Let's learn how to do a cost-benefit analysis" As if they'd ever make management!). Rather than get a useful degree like CS or EE so they could be designing networks or, better yet, the new network protocols, they merely shop around for a 14-day MCSE course and get a job as a certified sysadmin for $50,000 a year. Yay.
What's really dangerous is when some of these sysadmins decide that they're smarter than they are, get together with "Learn to program C++ in 21 days" and a few RFCs, and create their own new security protocol. I'm convinced that this is how WEP came into being.

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