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User Journal

Journal Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.

User Journal

Journal Journal: a return which is long overdue (plus achievements!) 17

I've lurked at /. without posting for ages, mostly because I just don't have the time to interact like I used to.

But I've been clicking through the old RSS feed more and more lately, and when I saw the PAX Plague thread today, I came over to comment, since I'm kind of affected by the whole damn thing. I thought I'd take a look around since I haven't been here in awhile, and I saw that there are freaking ACHIEVEMENTS associated with our accounts. It's silly, and I'm sure it's been here forever, but I thought it was awesome and I was delighted when I read it.

I didn't realize how much I missed Slashdot until I spent some time here today, and I bet that anyone who joined in the last 2 years doesn't even give a shit about my stupid comments or anything, but it felt good to come back here, and feel safely among my people again.


Journal Journal: Maundering 2

So, there really is a journal function?
It'd be more useful if this would dovetail with a blog like facebook. If someone is such a narcissist that they think people care about their opinions, might as well keep it to a minimum and focused?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Announcing the release of my new book 22

This feels like a mega-spam entry, and I'm very self conscious about posting it, but I'm excited about this and I wanted to share . . .

I just published my third book, The Happiest Days of Our Lives. I mention it here because it's all about growing up in the 70s, and coming of age in the 80s as part of the D&D/BBS/video game/Star Wars figures generation, and I think a lot of Slashdot readers will relate to the stories in it.

I published a few of the stories on my blog, including Blue Light Special. It's about the greatest challenge a ten year-old could face in 1982: save his allowance, or buy Star Wars figures?

After our corduroy pants and collared shirts and Trapper Keepers and economy packs of pencils and wide-ruled paper were piled up in our cart, our mom took our three year-old sister with her to the make-up department to get shampoo and whatever moms buy in the make-up department, and my brother and I were allowed to go to the toy department.

"Can I spend my allowance?" I said.

"If that's what you want to do," my mom said, another entry in a long string of unsuccessful passive/aggressive attempts to encourage me to save my money for . . . things you save money for, I guess. It was a concept that was entirely alien to me at nine years old.

"Keep an eye on Jeremy," she said.

"Okay," I said. As long as Jeremy stood right at my side and didn't bother me while I shopped, and as long as he didn't want to look at anything of his own, it wouldn't be a problem.

I held my brother's hand as we tried to walk, but ended up running, across the store, past a flashing blue light special, to the toy department. Once there, we wove our way past the bicycles and board games until we got to the best aisle in the world: the one with the Star Wars figures.

I'm really proud of this book, and the initial feedback on it has been overwhelmingly positive. I've been reluctant to mention it here, because of the spam issue, but I honestly do think my stories will appeal to Slashdotters.

After the disaster with O'Reilly on Just A Geek, I've decided to try this one entirely on my own, so I'm responsible for the publicity, the marketing, the shipping, and . . . well, everything. If this one fails, it will be because of me, not because a marketing department insisted on marketing it as something it's not.

Of course, I hope I can claim the same responsibility if (when?) it finds its audience . . . which would be awesome.


Journal Journal: i need a new computer - advice? 29

Simple tasks like switching between Firefox and Thunderbird are driving the load on my machine up over 4, and if I'm trying to run Amarok at the same time, it drives it up to 8. In fact, my machine frequently climbs up into the 7-9 range, bringing my apps to a crawl and frustrating the hell out of me.

So I've decided it's time to buy a new computer. I'm going to replace my aging Sony Vaio desktop machine (which runs Linux) with something newer that has more RAM, a faster processor, and a bigger hard drive.

The thing is, I'm not entirely sure where to start looking. A quick walk through Circuit City a month or so ago lead me to believe I can get a rather "big" computer for as low as five hundred bucks, which further leads me to believe that if I were to buy something online, I can get a huge pile of RAM, a fast processor, and a big honkin' hard drive for even less.

I run Kubuntu, and use KDE as my desktop (though I occasionally switch to Gnome when I get bored) and I mostly use Firefox, Thunderbird,, Amarok, and run PokerStars in wine. I'm looking for something that can do all of that without slowing my machine to a crawl.

Anyone have any suggestions on where to start looking?

Edit: I don't think I have the patience to build my own machine out of individual parts. I also don't have any real loyalty to any particular company or architecture. New Egg has lots of machines with AMD processors, and though I've always had Intel processors because more things seemed to run on x86, that's not as much of an issue as it once was, right?


Journal Journal: Oil Industry-sponsored FUD at Slashdot? 12

I am absolutely stunned that Slashdot's editors would give credibility to a completely false story, pushed by a paid industry PR professional. As Rugrat said,

The "article" is not an article, but a press release written by an employee of a public affairs company.

"Tom Harris is mechanical engineer and Ottawa Director of High Park Group, a public affairs and public policy company."

For a website that spends so much time and energy combating FUD from Microsoft, and the MPAA and RIAA, it is baffling that FUD that was paid for and is pushed by the oil industry would make the front page here.

Come on, Slashdot. You can do better.


Journal Journal: So, About Dapper . . . 24

For the last year or so, I've been happily using Debian, with a mixture of sources so I was stable, but current, just like nearly everyone who uses Debian.

Then I tried to upgrade or something insane like that, using aptitude, and the whole thing went tits up on me. No amount of cussing, kicking things, or actual tinkering with the software could save my machine.

I thought about asking for some advice in the Debian forums, or on one of the lists, until I ran out of fingers in my entire family tree to count the times someone said some variant of, "Shut up, noob! Your stoopid and not leet leik I am! Go back to Winblows! Ha! HA! HA!!!1"

Yeah. Guess I'm not venturing into those waters, so I figured I'd just have to grab my network install CD and start over (luckily, I set up /home on its own partition a long time ago, so if I fuck something up really bad, I don't lose all my porn very important data.

The day I planned to reinstall Debian, I read that Dapper Drake had been released, and everyone loved it so much, they totally wanted to marry it. A friend of mine, who is wise in the ways of science and the air speed velocity of unladen swallows has also been singing the praises of Ubuntu for a long, long time, so I grabbed a Live CD to see what all the fuss was about.

Holy shit. What an awesome bit of work it is! It's the first Linux distro to find every single bit of hardware on my old Sony Vaio desktop machine, including all the USB ports. It looked great, too, and was the most "Mac-like" Linux I've ever used.

I realize that a lot of you are mocking me right now, but listen for a second: I'm not interested in hacking on my kernel to make sure something is detected during boot, or modifying all sorts of settings in a text editor just so I can make the damn thing find my camera . . . and don't get me started about CUPS. I love technology, and I love and fully believe in "free" as in speech, and I'm grateful for free as in beer. But also really into "works," as in just does. And on my machine here, Dapper Drake just works, and it's awesome. This is the Linux distro that I can take to my parents, and to my friends who are drowning in a sea of FUD, and convince them that they don't really have to be part of the Borg if they don't want to.

And ultimately, I believe that has to be our goal if we're going to convince people to give Linux a real, serious try as an alternative to Windows. We need to be able to tell them, with confidence, "Put this CD in your machine, and give it a try. I think you'll like it, because it just works."


Journal Journal: play poker for a good cause on sunday july 17th 6

(Cross-posted to WWdN)

The final table of the 2005 World Series of Poker started at 4pm yesterday afternoon, and wasn't finished until just after 7am today. I'm not sure, but I think that's a record. I'd call Pauly to be sure, but something tells me he's crashed out until at least Sunday.

Two qualifiers from PokerStars made the final table, and one guy, who qualified using free play points, made it to the final two tables, finished in 13th place, and won $400,000. Not bad for a freeroll!

Speaking of Pauly and PokerStars, we're doing a charity tournament on Sunday in memory of Pauly's friend Charlie Tuttle:

Charlie is from Clarksville, Tennessee and he's a twenty-six year old music enthusiast who loves hanging out and playing poker with his friends. Charlie was dealt a bad hand in life when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, which he has been battling this past year. A couple of weekends ago, he was hospitalized because two tumors in his chest pressed up against his lungs, causing him breathing problems. I don't have to tell you how serious his condition was.

Felicia Lee, who is fighting her own battle with cancer, knows several top professional poker players, so she got several of her friends to call Charlie: John Juanda, Marcel Luske, Max Pescatori, and Barry Greenstein to name a few. In fact, when Barry Greenstein won his bracelet in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event, he dedicated it to Charlie.

As Pauly wrote:

Situations like this one make you reassess what's really important in life. Las Vegas is a city built on greed. Poker is a game that often attracts some of the lowest forms of life. However, in the past two weeks, there has been a small group of professional poker players who have earned my respect and admiration. Amidst all the darkness and debauchery, I have caught a few glimpses of the bright side of humanity. The hearts of some of the biggest sharks in Las Vegas are filled with compassion.

Thank you, Charlie, for inspiring us all. We'll never forget you.

Charlie passed away on June 22 and his friends have organized a charity poker tournament this Sunday at PokerStars. It's going to be a lot of fun, and I hope to see lots of WWdN readers there.


18:00 EDT (15:00 CDT)
Buy-in is $20 — all of it goes to charity.
"WPBT Charlie Tournament" under Tourneys -> Private tab in the lobby

The Internet

Journal Journal: a little help? 28

I'm sure this is just begging for vandalism (unless those douchebags have grown up and finally kissed a girl) . . . but there is an error on my Wikipedia page that needs to be corrected. I'd do it myself, but that's against Wikipedia editing policy.

I am not in Brother Bear. Willie Wheaton, Wil Wheaton, Jr., and Reginald Maudling (Mrs.) are all not me. I've tried to get this taken off imdb, but someone (well-intentioned, I'm sure) keeps putting it back, and Wikipedia editors (also well-intentioned) are putting Brother Bear back up . . . so we're in an infinite improbability loop, and my towel is getting dirty.

Would someone please correct that, and cite this journal entry so it doesn't get corrected back?

User Journal

Journal Journal: So, it should appear I'v been banned from posting... 1

And apparently the journal works. Welp, sent an e-mail to the moderator, no reply in a week and a half, so that means they don't care. More importantly, it means they ban anyone they don't happen to like without warning or explination. Which also means that slashdot isn't news and doesn't have a real community, it's purely a propaganda organization, and therefor, it's content is nothing better than advertising. I hate advertising.

Guess I might as well take it off the daily checks, give the moderators the preverbail textual single fingered salute, and move on.
User Journal

Journal Journal: MMMMmmm...Linux.,.... 1

I finally got around to doing it; I got a working linux install going. I downloaded and installed Mandrake 10.0. The install went smooth, everything is automatically configured thanks to going with Nvidia hardware (Nforce2 chipset w/ GF4 mx440) and nothing real special, KDE is a foreign but absolutely beautiful GUI. I know nothing of linux shell commands, but frankly, with this kind of setup I can really see myself moving over entirely to linux within a few weeks and ditching windows accept for games and mabye a few critical applications.

Now, if only I could figure out how to install Xchat and get it working...hrm...
User Journal

Journal Journal: Federal Reserve Bank a hoax?

I recently downloaded a 70 minute lecture by Ed Griffin, who made a lecture on his book, the creature from jekyl island;

(and if you could comment and tell me how to link, I'd be greatful)

Essentially, he talks about a conspiracy between bankers at the turn of the century. The conspiracy to setup the federal reserve bank as a way for congress to tax americans without their consent by essentially printing money as it was needed. You need 87 billion for war? Goto the federal reserve bank. It also allowed banks to make non-existant play money in loans, for which they only have to have 1/10 of the money actually in the bank (I can loan you $1,000 to buy a house, and only need $100 to make the loan by law) which americans then pay interest on; paying interest on nothing. It sounds illogical, but thanks to electronic banking, banking checks, and credit cards we don't know how much actual paper money is in circulation. Eventually, these banks get owned up by larger trusts, and the banks then are owned by a tree of people, all owned by a group of super rich megalomaniacs.

Then I read on northstars homepage, particularily his article on fema.

Now, he's talking about the american currency collapsing soon (too much money printed too often, with corporations defaulting on debt everywhere, equals a currency collapse, think about it). Atwhich point FEMA gets involved; all constitutional powers are revoked, as is the soverignty of the US and we become an UN nation under UN power. However, if there was a currency death right now in america, how many people would accept the rule of fema? Moreso, who would just decide to run off to the countryside to their friends/families farms and survive that way? The internet would be rife with conspiracy stuff. People would believe that their goverment is corrupt. So, the best way to handle the situation is to get the american people begging to be slaves by, dun dun dun daaaaa, demoralizing them. That means more attacks, more disgust with their goverment, and finally the american people deciding to go with the U.N. as an easy way out And since the goverment was run by so-called christians...


You know, I could probably build a case that could convert athiests...I think I might...then distribute it to churches around in my town and see what happens...hrm.

Now Bush's spend to bust programs make sense, why would he lower the taxes on the economic elite in the country, who are feverently skipping town with their property and as much gold/silver/plantinum/shiney things as possible, thereby increasing the taxes on the rest of us? Americans spent like mofo's in the 90's, then we had an economic bust, fallowed by massive debt. As the debt climbs, corporations go out of business, new startups are made, and the biguns get gigantic as they eat smaller corporations. Don't believe me? Ask yourself this; why would Bush try to spend nearly a trillion to put us on mars when the country is already 7 trillion in debt? Surely he realizes that is a bad idea...infact people are so used to politicians doing stupid things that they accept it, ignoring the warning signs. If the currency keeps devaluing at it's current rate, at some point it's going to plummet and the institutions of our society are going to begin falling like domino's.

I don't like the looks of that at all...
User Journal

Journal Journal: Stealing $5 gas is a crime on the scale of rape? 2

I was gassing up yesterday at my favorite masonic gas station (as if any of the others aren't), 7 11, and saw an anti-crime propaganda sticker on the gas pump;

"Pump and Run is a class 4 felony"

So, I steal $5 of gas, and I'm a felon. I can be thrown in jail for a year, and fined $10,000. I also have a felony conviction on my record.

For stealing gas...

I can be labeled by the state the same as rapists, murderers and pedophiles, the kinds of people I hate with a vengeance and really wouldn't mind hunting down and killing on site (or helping, as some of them are fucked up but want out) , for stealing gas. I can't get a decent job, since nobody wants to hire a felon.

The sticker was old too, maybe 2 or 3 years old. I could spend the time researching the law in Illinois, but I'm not going to. There are already too many laws, many of which are insane and I suppose thanks to the lobbying of entities such as the Corrections Corporation of America. After all, corporations are profit driven, and what better way to drive up profits than to take a crime as serious as stealing a box of twinkies and put it on the scale of stalking and attempting to screw little children? None other I think.

For whatever American is reading this, take heed. We're right back to where we started 300 years ago, 'cept we're knee deep in shit and the spout spewing it is right on top of us, and there's nowhere to run, no Indians kill and take their land.

Journal Journal: Starsky and Hutch 12

I just got back from Starsky and Hutch.

Surprisingly funny. I bet the DVD will be great.

Best part was how anyone in the theatre under 30 didn't get about 70% of the best jokes.

Now I'm hoping that they'll make a CHiPs movie. I wonder what other late 70s to early 80s TV shows would translate well into movies?

Oh, and if you're not watching TRIO every night, you're really missing out on some fantastic television.

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