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User Journal

Journal Journal: Kludgy File sharing

I'm wondering why nobody has come forward with a SMB implementation that is open source... for the MacOS before Darwin.

So many headaches have been caused because the world seems to forget that this could cure a lot of Mac versus PC problems (at least in networking environments.) I've spent a large part of the day trying to share some files from my Pre OS X system and it's been a pain, even using FTP and VirtualPC. There's some unreliable connection issues in there and I don't know why the PWS setup stopped working. I used to be able to get files via port 80 and now I can't even log into it because it doesn't recognize ANY password even though I tell the OS what the new one should be.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Quick

It's been a while. Nowadays, I don't have my mind set on writing much besides work. In tech support and I do a lot of typing everyday, and maybe that explains why my JE's are so few. Besides the mental strain that IT puts on you, that is.

I got an old ATI videocard from eBay to get some real 2D/3D action. I was playing with it a bit but found that there are some glitches. The card is only twice as big as my Intel board, VideoRAM-wise, but it is very fast and has great resolutions and refresh rates. 200Hz for 1024!

Anyway, I upped the resolution to 1152x864 a while ago. I just realized that a couple gamer friends years ago used super high resolutions more as a side effect of 3D cards for their games, than as a standard of geekness. And yet, it is sad that 3 years after seeing 17 inch monitors with high res in the hands of gamers, computers do not come with much power by default. Integrated adapters are crap with 3D. They may render stuff, but they are NOT fast.

On another setting, I'm very busy these days. Learning a bit of infrastructure management for work, and also learning the art of Game Mastering. Life is good. Now, I need to find a way to cram all the information I have into my head. This will probably mean playing less with the computer and reading offline more.

There's a fad with a Massive Multiplayer game called Conquer Online. Do a search to see the site. Pretty addictive stuff, since it is very simple and you pretty much level up your characters and look around to see how high other people are. This is an endless circle, but in the past 2 months has taken over the social lives of my IT friends. I was in a freeze for 2 weekds and am beginning to play the character again.

Well, I have lots of stuff to do. Including going to bed. Darn, another day gone by. No wonder computer people have little time for girlfriends.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Windows 1

I have checked my computer and there are 45 protocols in my LSP winsock stack. What the heck? Is that supposed to happen or should I run winsockfix? The system slows down when reading the home network but even win95 shows no problem doing the same in less time.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Well well

Been a while since I last updated this. Yes, it's because of work. Besides the time constraint, it's that I know my friends are slashdotters and I don't want them identifying me here. Paranoia, no?

In these past few months I've been moved to use Adaware, Spybot and Pestpatrol because besides the normal users, other people at work, home and beyond (friends of relatives) are getting into the increasing malware trap that is IE. Even my tightly bound home system there were a few positives of scumware. I've cleaned a few in the family's computers and in less than 2 weeks I cleaned about 3 computers from relatives that had slowed down to unacceptable levels. I have also been using portable drives since people either don't have diskettes or the programs don't fit.

Another thing that I never thought possible was the addition of firewalls to all the home PCs, though they're already behind a router. This was handy when I brought an infected PC to the home network, though I did disconnect everything. Here's a cool thing: if you install Sygate personal firewall on the infected machine, it is even safer until you can wipe out the crap. I was unable to remove the adware that pinged, and even after lots of work, but I changed the hosts file and blocked them. Here's another thing: host files tend to be affected by processes that start even during safemode, so you have to be faster than the rate at which malware checks for "attrib -r" changes to rewrite its hostnames there. Fun eh?

Also learned about the virus-triggered destruction of winsock modules. I have seen a few systems where the address defaults to something other than 192.168, but is a microsoft dhcp default. Guess what, one of my afflicted systems had that problem after Adaware, and now I am cautious to take the post-Adaware fixer tool if the net connection goes out after rebooting for it to remove specific shell-extension malware that becomes essential for your system's functionality as a way of burying itself deep within your essential libraries.

Anyway, I have also done a lot of stuff on my free time or screwed around with the guys at work. Maybe since I can use the nerd bit more, I don't feel a strong urge to post here that much.

But I'll stay around here. If you have friends with broadband, do them a favor and download Sygate! My most challenging and scum-ridden system in may wasn't even in broadband, and the ISP was Netscape-based rather than IE, but it was evident that the user needed to calm down when downloading dialers and other obvious fake programs that screw up even a 56K computer as soon as they are online again.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Almost a month

Well, I'm still alive and kicking. Had a little anime night after work and chilled in the town for a couple hours. Saw some Haibane Renmei.

In other news, work is going well and I'm having fun with the people there. I've had a good time doing inter-office helpdesk, but most people complain about the nature of my job. I just got it and they're trying to reorganize my life and make me plan a career move. I don't want to move since I'm doing some soul searching to find the programmer in me, but HD is more satisfying than cursing at a computer screen while figuring out weird API's and bugs.

For now, I enjoy the frequent work humor, sharing knowledge and web links, and the interesting drive my coworkers have to find me an SO. I keep saying no, to this last matter, and they just want me to get hooked. Wonder how long it will be till they convice me, but I'm tough to crack when I'm not interested :)

Utilities (Apple)

Journal Journal: Help! OSS Floppy recovery tools 2

Does anyone know of an open source program to recover corrupted floppies? It seems that google only shows commercial programs that charge to detect. I've tried Sourceforge but the search tool there sucks.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Be ashamed!

Nobody helped me out with the DV issue. I figured something out, and I'm not happy. Windows XP has a video mixer program that you must download --it's new. And then with that, you can mix your streams and there's a DV format that works just like other file types, except for its humongous 4MB+ per second sizes. So even a 27GB drive only contains about half an hour of video.

That explains why I wasn't able to find small hard drives on sale anywhere. has 20GB ones but for 75% of the price of a 40GB that I bought at a regular store --150% x 1 year into the past. It still seems directly against the pricing rules in computing that follow Moore's law, and I can't believe a drive suddenly seems to have almost matched the price of one twice as good, 18 months later.

I've started with my new employer. We have various teams of techs, all small on different shifts. I quickly got beyond basic policy drills and into the good discussion issues like how such-and-such should be forced on a user. The kinda questions where we don't wanna let the user suffer in the future but it's hard to act subtly in the present and get away with a robust, durable fix. Result? My trainer is begining to say "you decide." So we're getting to the real things already and I won't be mothered for long.

I've been far from /. since about tuesday, and I've decided not visit from work. So I'll be out of touch. On the other hand, I've already found a linux crowd. How? They were running the Mobius ring screensaver... then another box had anime wallpaper, and at our exit time, a bunch of other people I hadn't seen all day were there mumbling something about "compilation." So it's all there. Cool. Too bad my hands are tied to Tech support level 2 tickets, which we know never stop coming in. But it's much quieter than the help desk call area


Journal Journal: Hmmm. Digital Video question

As usual, I have to bridge the gap between userland and computerland in painful ways. First, it was with webcams and webcam software; now, it's with the digital camcorder to VCR media.

Question: How do I take an DV tape, edit it and then save the changes in a new DV tape? or transfer it to the TV for general viewing? I have Pinnacle Studio 8 and Sony's MyDVD. And one of the computers runs XP, which I'm aware has some video addons.

User Journal

Journal Journal: More Hardware...

As if we didn't have enough trinkets, we got a Firewire card on wednesday. I just tested it and it did work. I captured about 20 seconds of DV into a monstrously big 50MB file. In avi format.

On another topic, I'm trying to find a cheap 20MB [oops! that should say 20GB!! :) ] hard drive. The guy at J&R says "they don't make'em" no more. I'm stuck with 40MB[ ^H^HGB] suckers. I just need something to boot but and maxtor and ebay (ugh, as if I'd ever buy an used HD!) don't have what I need. A mere 5200rpm drive of my small need for capacity still costs about $70 at What the heck happened? Hardware prices are staying so high! And I thought this was only an issue with TI calculators. I bought a 40GB drive 1.5 years ago for $70, and I can't buy anything at all at that price, including that same drive in some cases. Bleh.

Well, I'm looking for a sale on CD-R's as well. The cheapest I have found is 100pk/$24. I've seen 19 dollar rebates on *that* already low price. Will keep waiting for that kinda sale to happen again, or maybe I'll forget that it will ever occur again.

User Journal

Journal Journal: On fixing new comps: Broadband 2

Hi journal!

I've had a weird new type of issue lately: broadband troubleshooting for friends. Last weekend, first, and then today. Basically people with Cable or DSL who have wanted me to check out their connections because they can't connect or had some weird virus lately. Or a combination of both!

Cablevision and Verizon don't provide antivirus software. VZ does offer firewall software on the install CD but you to know what a firewall is to install it because it's optional. People know about viruses nowadays; they don't understand the relationship between a firewall and a fence against hackers that may result in virulent symptoms like speed loss

But back to my main point... I was unsuccessful with the Verizon computer in spite of being familiar with its setup thanks to XP. It required my disabling a running Worm that had the power to shut down the antivirus, regedit and msconfig, and relied on a respawning NT Service backing up the bot.exe process. I'm now getting the hang of XP's networking GUI.

Today, I setup up a firewall and router whose model I own at home. Also, I downloaded the Sygate firewall from and realized that I'll give this a try on my own system.

I've started to see more people getting broadband. In troubleshooting and malware control, Ad-aware is becoming a must-have because everyone seems to be using pop-up inducing P2P programs. To avoid popups, lacking a better choice, my friend does this: start computer, log on to AOL 9 to use the popup "safe" version of IE. He's conscious of tech friends and system flaws, but resisted my suggestion to use a non-IE browser. Too bad. Popups!

Anyway, this was a rambling post. I'm a bit wired. Have been reading articles, listening to a newly found "music/radio" via a friend, and rating the music on it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Job Lowdown: Hired! 2

Well, after waiting on that opportunity that I said should have produced a result by the end of last week (though I was quickly losing hope in the HR component of the hiring,) I got hired.

I got the hiring message today, and an extra one that is still halfway through the stage of convincing their management to hire me.

I'll be working a comfortable schedule, fulltime, providing inside support rather than direct user support. That is good. Staff members may tell you about deadlines and poor previous helpdesk performance, but they're calm, have accessible computers and always use bureaucracy rules of the workplace, which I appreciate.

So I'll start next week or probably earlier. I'll be busy on saturdays, but I have free mondays! Then again, most floating holidays won't affect me. But I'll be doing IT, which I love. Thank you all for your support in getting this position.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Happy Saturday!

Now, I don't do antivalentines, but that site has some funny thoughts. I don't do valentines' day either, so the site suggests claiming 'Happy Saturday.' Here's another one:

"Uprooted plant life
and sugar saturated
caffeinated fat blocks?

You shouldn't have."

User Journal

Journal Journal: Intuition or Cumulative Knowledge Databases?

For Intuitive Bug-less Software? I produced the following comment. Might as well share it here!

Intuition or Cumulative Knowledge Databases?

G4from128k (686170) said { I like the idea of intuitive programming, but suspect that computers are grounded in logic and that logic is not an intuitive concept. }

Slightly OT:
This is indeed hitting the nail on the head. My father and I have lots of disagreement on the issue of "common sense." We are both very smart, but tends to fall behind when it comes to explaining ... or rather, just ACCEPTING unknowns and their repercussion in logic. Say, If I withhold a fact in an argument but claim to be "right," he will say there is just NO way of winning the argument --and then I produce the "new evidence." He sometimes recoils thinking his logic models cannot be blown away by my (normal logic + hidden evidence).

Whenever he says that I should know something because it's intuitive, I bring up example after example of why he's mistaken to expect all logical conclusions to be == to his. We saw a lady in a TV contest who had to see words hidden behind her husband and make him guess the , through signs and gestures she made for him. She stumbled upon "otorrino," (this TV show is in spanish) which is short for otolaringologyst, and said that she didn't know the word. Well, I won't get into more complex translation details. Suffice to say that she didn't know what it was and had to skip to the next thing. My father was outraged:

  1. She speaks 7 languages.
  2. The word is pretty simple latin and her 7 languages MUST therefore encompass latin.
  3. Young children and thus, anyone raising them, should be familiar with this doctor because he deals with "ubiquitous" eye problems, ear infections and nose issues.
  4. Besides being familiar with the doctor, must know the exact name of the doctorate which is literally "ottorhinolaryngologyst."
  5. Her job in Europe is with a law firm TRANSLATING legal documents.
  6. Any hispanic woman speaking 7 languages must have gone through enough 'education' to have seen the word, if she cannot derive it from latin
  7. Only my father, by (5) can decide whether you should or shouldn't KNOW a word, concept or whatever, just based on your "expected" life experience

I asked my dad why he rationalizes which concepts she SHOULD know rather than why she just DIDN'T know what he's 100% sure she already grasps. Moreover, he's always too shocked to see through his own failure at accepting that common sense doesn't exist, and instead trying to verbally fix something that is has proven false before his own eyes. But some people think they already know what is and isn't IMPOSSIBLE.

I can list three other languages besides english and spanish that I can understand, so I speak 5 languages, right? No. This is an example of misinformation and generalization: If she says she speaks 7, it doesn't mean her job has made her command them all --even if you 'knew' as many languages as the Pope and had to work in New York City's linguistic melting pot, you will never exert more than 3 language roles in your official capacity, and your "other 4 languages" will be pet languages, specially if you're only 35. But sometimes dad waves off my facts as crazy talk of today's young and naive offspring. Too bad. Sometimes he's surprised at how lucky I am when my "wrong logic" can get him so many nice surprises when his ways should be the only solution to my "poor common sense." You can tell I deal with control freak parents eh?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Web 5

Catching up to a webcomic can be an interesting experience. You can read years worth of plotlines in just a few days, and see interesting things like the evolution of the internet from the point of view of older punchlines.

Kevin and Kell, which I briefly picked up years ago and re-encountered in a recent web cross over, is insightful. It's from back in 95 and you can see all kinds of internet things like 28k modems debuting, DSL broadband, the first few popups, references to flamewars gradually replaced by references to spam and indecent email... What was very nostalgic was profuse talk of forums in the comic and my reading about the humble Compuserve origins of Kevin and Kell --also, thanks for commenting on my last comic-related JE! I may not have been on the web back in 95 or more than a couple AOL 'forums,' but as I breezed through the archives and less and less forum jokes were made, I thought about the good things that sort of disappear, if I catch your drift, you elder slashdotters. It's good to feel that services like /. have more or less replaced them, but I don't feel safe lurking through today's newsgroups, which I'm not sure are related to the old style forums mentioned there: The only BBS's I did use were back in 1997 to download 2 or three files like win32's for Windows 3.1 to a 25Mhz laptop. Hmm, I would say I'm paranoid and feel a bit wary of posting this amount of detail here. [Or maybe it's about the upcoming ending of this pre-edited post being here for future coworkers reading slashdot with full knowledge of my online handle ;)]

I wonder what it will become of the web in the future and how many new things we'll see replacing our old conventions.

On another topic, I'm still waiting for the last job interview to florish. There's still a chance that I'll be hired by the end of the week, but it seems increasingly more true that when you push your resume through {a campus department visit|an immediate interview situation} the staff's unpreparedness to hire you or their pressure from HR people "upstairs" gives more false hope than real chances to land a job. Even more strikingly, yesterday's poll about most effective job hunting techniques, grants "networking" and "online job boards" the highest nonjoke ratings here, (as of 12pm 2/10/04... if I check for the current values I may split into yet another JE-lengtening topic --let's spare us of that) but I'm still cautious of employment networking on tech support (only relatives seem to be my real supporters) and have little trust in online boards.

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