Saturday, October 30, 2004


Compulsory blog update

I'm supposed to post here to let everyone know that, while shopping at Target, Tracey accidentally squirted lotion up her nose. She was trying to see what it smelled like. Everyone (including Tracey) says I have to post this on my blog so here it is.

Are you a supertaster? Take this test!

Friday, October 29, 2004


Sun Ultra 10s are so slow!

(How slow are they?)

They're so slow, they leave a slime trail on their way to their spot in your lab setup! Plus it took me two weeks to get one. In an exercise in absurdity, I'm compiling NetBSD on one. It should be done in about... three days or so. I could get at least two glasses of water out of the slow water filter thingy at work. Every once in a while, make time to work on a slow piece of shit. Chances are you've been taking years of computing speed advances for granted.

I thought it was funny that when I do anyhting to put data on the screen (for instance, an ls -l that's more than a page long), the computer stops all processing. It has the default Ultra Sparc 10 framebuffer, whatever that is. Anyway I'm a dork.



Retiring to a cruise ship!



That's what the doctor started me on on Wednesday, FYI.


New Pride of Aloha Review

Dear Ms. King,

Last month, I mentioned that one of our managers, Bill Lester, would be sailing on Norwegian's Pride of Aloha with his extended family and would provide a firsthand report regarding the ship's widely reported service shortcomings. The ship has received more negative press since its launch in July than any
other vessel I can remember. Bill just returned from his Hawaii cruise, and he had this to say:

"On the positive side, the crew was friendly, the food was good and freestyle dining was convenient. We ate in the main dining room and never waited more than 5 minutes for a table. On the negative side, the timing for our port calls in Kauai and Maui was changed by several hours from the schedule, but no announcement was ever made to inform guests. Word spread by word-of-mouth among the passengers, and we had to confirm the actual port times at the front desk on both occasions. Also, availability of the ship's shore excursions was very limited for those who had not booked in advance of sailing."

I asked Bill about service levels onboard, and he described them as "mediocre". He added, "There was nothing outstanding about the ship, the onboard activities or crew. Our room steward took care of our room but did not add any kind of personal touch or have a presence in the vicinity of our room that would earn an above-average service rating."

Nevertheless, Bill states that his entire group--parents, aunts, uncles, significant other--enjoyed themselves thoroughly. And in contrast to the widespread grumbling from passengers on
earlier sailings--with good cause, from what I understand--Bill heard no negative comments from other passengers except for those related to the changed port times.

"I would recommend the Pride of Aloha as an excellent way to see the Hawaiian islands in one convenient trip, especially for first-time visitors to Hawaii," he said.

I want to point out that Bill was booked as a regular, paying passenger and his affiliation with Vacations To Go was not known by anyone on the ship.

It would appear that Norwegian has overcome most of the problems that plagued the early sailings of the Pride of Aloha, when passengers suffered long lines at restaurants and shortages of everything from plates to waiters and cabin
stewards. Norwegian has blamed those problems on staffing complications related to the requirement that this unique, US-flagged ship must sail with an all-American crew. This meant that the line was not allowed to transfer experienced international crew members from other ships in their fleet for the launch, which is common in the industry. High crew attrition has also hurt customer service, and Norwegian has reportedly replaced more than half of the 750 crew members in the past three months. Fortunately, the ship now appears to be fully staffed and the crew is performing adequately, if not admirably. Certainly the number of negative comments we have received has fallen sharply over the last 45 days, and we have begun to receive positive comments from returning guests as well.

Now the challenge for Norwegian is to rise above mediocrity and capture the true Aloha spirit onboard, and do justice to the magnificent Hawaiian islands.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Photoblogging bonanza

Brought the camera to work today so I could do a little bit of photoblogging!

Here's Lucky and Colleen actually being friendly. Later, Lucky sniffed Colleen's back so she hit him in the FACE!

The outside of my office. Note that my officemate has some sort of HTML comment instead of a name. He's not here much but seems nice despite the horror stories I heard. Young Fred (as I have nicknamed him) is in to Nascar. That explains why he has a giant Jeff Gordon poster. At least you'd think so, unless you are a few offices down from me and claim that the "man poster" is evidence of "fruityness".

One angle of my desk. You can see the flat panel is sitting on the official work monitor stand. Oh, I just noticed that box under my desk! I meant to put it out. You'd think it would have obstructed my legs whenst using the laptop. I haven't used it a lot today, it's been busy.

Another angle of my desk. I have a pretty nice collection of systems here, all nice P4's except for that HP box to the left. It has a PA-RISC and runs HPUX 11.11. That's probably why it's turned off and unplugged. Just kidding. The monitor is not sitting on a computer, that's an ADIC VLS tape library. I think I asked my parents for an ADIC VLS tape library for christmas one year. That's a funny joke to everyone except my parents. Posted by Hello


Sager NP3790 card reader

This info doesn't seem to be anywhere on the Internet that's easily accessible. Sager's website for the 3790 doesn't list it either. The card reader supports MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, and SD. This public service announcement has been brought to you by the Internet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Cause of electronics/computer addiction

I just had an idea about the possible cause of my addiction to electronics and computers. Jeff should remember the now out of business New York retailer Crazy Eddie. When I was a kid I loved those commercials. I asked my Dad to take me there all the time. I don't think I ever told him how disappointed I was that Crazy Eddie wasn't at the store. I do think he decided or figured out that I didn't really like Crazy Eddie's because he didn't take me there all that often. I was pretty young at the time so I don't know if his prices really were insane. Anyway, just like everything else, there's a web page dedicated to Crazy Eddie. Hello (a tool that lets you, among other things, post pics to blogger) can be a real piece of crap sometimes so here's a picture about that.

Hello :( Posted by Hello

Friday, October 22, 2004


Mail call


Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 23:48:49 +0800
From: "emma qaz" <>

dan horst


Virtual cat

Here, have a virtual cat!

Thursday, October 21, 2004


America, fuck yeah!

Saw Team America: World Police this weekend. It's a great movie. They really made it funny on so many levels. For instance, the puppets - the limited, awkward motion and poor details were pretty damn hilarious (and intentionally so... like a Thunderbirds/MST3K demon love child of some sort.) I wish there was more of Sarah and INTELLIGENCE though. Anyway, go see it if you can (fuck yeah).

In other news, the new job partied like it was 1999 today (you know, before the tech bubble burst). Happy hour, a tradition the department I now work in apparently celebrates fairly frequently, involves beer, ice cream, and partying for free during working hours. Crrrrrrrrazy! No pictures, but continuing the 1990's theme take a look at my web cam. The Nascar stuff isn't mine - I'm sharing the office with Young Fred the Intern. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Deep thoughts by Tracey

"I used to think Puerto Rico was near New York. You know, because of all the Puerto Ricans in New York."

After listening to the comedian's CD and discovering that the jokes he told didn't REALLY happen in Miami, Florida as he claimed, in a disgusted voice: "I thought he was telling the truth!"



I'm supposed to be all scared and stuff and quaking in my shoes because Jamie was gonna TELL ON ME for being stupid or something.....HAHAHAHAHAHA. :p

Friday, October 15, 2004



Tracey just told me on the phone that I'm a pain to wake up in the morning! She couldn't get out of bed this morning because it was supposedly too cold. hahaha Posted by Hello


Child's play 2004

I don't think Penny Arcade is a good comic, but they're good people. Support Child's Play if you can:

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Gmail drive

I installed Gmail drive today. It's pretty buggy. Plus, I feel guilty messing with it. Google has to have anticipated a certain percentage of users stealing their space and bandwidth for storing their MP3s or valuable Excel spreadsheets or pictures of their dog. I don't know if they realized how easy it would be. This bypasses their revenue stream and maybe is a little rougher on their systems than your average Gmail user - Gmail drive users may use more bandwidth and the messages that compose the file system are probably not as compressable as real email. It will be interesting to see if Google decides to address this, and how they go about that. One thing to think about - let's say this was Microsoft or Yahoo with the 1GB email drive and someone created Yahoo drive. How would they respond? Consider the amount of advertising on Hotmail and Yahoo mail. I'd venture to guess they have more to lose.


Google desktop search

Google released their desktop search, easily beating Microsoft to market. It looks like a real winner, with a well defined privacy policy and a fair breadth of supported filetypes. Notably absent are support for indexing Firefox history and PDF files. If this beta progresses like Gmail, they'll add it in soon enough. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


New laptop

Sexy notebook action shot

Got a new laptop - it's a Sager 3790 from It's really nice. Mike opened his WoW beta account with it and the framerates are really good. It's a lot snappier than the Dell D800 it's replacing - think that's because it doesn't have all that spyware on it? (Just kiddin'!) Now I'm beginning the maddening task of reinstalling it. All told it will probably take over 12 hours to get it to where the D800 is. SighPosted by Hello

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Thoughts on World of Warcraft hype

I was in the World of Warcraft stress test. This was the beginning of my infatuation with this game. The game is changing too much to pin down specific things that are good and bad. It is worth mentioning, though, that the developers design philosophies have been very encouraging.

A lot of MMOG/MUD veterans know that MMOGs are a treadmill. This is a term coined to describe the repetitive nature of so many things you do in MMOGs, whether that is killing, improving your skills, or improving your reputation with different game factions. Warcraft has a level treadmill, yes. It's not a god mode type game. A recent post by Blizzard developer Eno illustrated this as follows:
There is a saying "the sweet is not as sweet without the sour". Game rules are neccessary for the long-term success of the game. If everything is easy and loot drops like candy while everyone is in god mode, then the game itself loses meaning. We, of course, realize that players would love instant travel, god weapons and a free money making tool, but ultimately this would lead to a less satisfying experience over time.

This really shows what Blizzard is fighting to balance. Yes, they have to balance the abilities of one class over another, and one faction over another, and risk vs. reward and so forth, but that's not their main focus. Their main focus is making the game fun at any given moment. If they succeed, they will certainly be the first.

There's more about their fascinating philosophies in this developer diary (an excellent read). From the second paragraph (emphasis mine):
We knew from the beginning that players had an expectation going into World of Warcraft for a good raid game. Early on in development, we planned out everything that we felt would make for good raid content. We really tried to go top-heavy with it, to make these raid encounters truly spectacular, because we knew we weren't going to put in a steep leveling curve. We aren't going to bog people down in the normal leveling process, so we expect that there will be a lot of people at maximum level and they'll be anticipating some truly epic challenges.

So, here I am again, falling for the hype. I am so excited about this game it's not funny. Please don't let me down, Blizzard! Posted by Hello

Monday, October 11, 2004


I'll sell millions...

Note to self:

Honey Bunches of Paint Chips (and Oats)


Thank you

Thanks Capt_Morgan's Red Skunk Tracker for The Imperial Booey March! Now I can haunt everyone else with the song that's been stuck in my head.

Ba ba ba, ba boo boo, ba boo boo...

Sunday, October 10, 2004


The first debate Bush conspiracy

This is a little hard to find due to the difficulty in picking out search terms. Here's a link to a reprint of one of the best articles summarizing the "Bush was wearing a wire/earpiece during the first debate" theory:,14779,1323334,00.html

(Incidentally, turns out the best terms are "bush debate bulge". Heh) Posted by Hello

Friday, October 08, 2004


Teeny tiny

Wow, that's a small motherboard!
When almost your whole motherboard can be cooled by a single spanning heatsink, I'd say you've just opened up a whole new world for case modders and home theater nuts. The Nano-ITX board on display, the Epia-N, uses an 800MHz Nehemiah processor—certainly enough to play back movies and browse the web.

(from GizmodoPosted by Hello


Crummy day

Crap day

Moto MPx220 tickled my fancy. Here's the scoop near as I can figure. The phone is exclusive in the USA with Cingular and Best Buy right now. BB is carrying them, and they're probably unlocked too. They are 500 w/o service, 350 w/service and some breaks for 1 and 2 yr contracts. There are some big problems with these phones. Low battery life, bad RF, cheap feeling, volume problems, terrible cam w/useless "flash"... Moto hasn't put out a good phone in a while and this isn't bucking the trends. The 6620 still looks nice but it's big and expensive. Guess I'll hang on to the SL56 for a while, since it's working and all. The merger needs to happen soon, it seems like Cingular is actually getting sets before ATT (that never used to happen).

Not that today hasn't been without good news. WoW open beta looks to be right around the corner. I bet signups will start early next week.

Thursday, October 07, 2004



I like the satellite radio. I've been an XM subscriber for almost a year now. I think it's pretty swell. Comedy is probably my home channel - Sonny Fox has to be the hardest working DJ in the business. I swear that guy is up all day and night. I wonder how much of his stuff is pre-recorded - it must be a lot. I doubt he works 18 hour days. The comedy channel is pretty awesome - very few repeats, a good mix of stuff.

I listen to a handful of other channels. U-pop is good when they play non-US stuff. I used to listen to Discovery but if you listen for about a month you've heard everything (probably 3 or 4 times) and they hardly ever update. Decades, occationally. Cinemagic is pretty awesome. So, there's a lot of kind of esoteric programming that I listen to, as well as the uncensored comedy channel - I certainly get my money's worth with the amount of time I spend in the car.

My other radio habits include Stern, though. With yesterday's announcement, I bought 100 shares of SIRI. I'm not ready to pick up the equipment yet. The 2.5 generation stuff is what's out for Christmas and none of it is bowling me over. The PnP receivers are pretty blah. The only thing remotely interesting is "Sirius Connect", the Sirius version of XM's "XM Direct". I don't know if either XM Direct or Sirius Connect will work with the Prius, but I suspect both will in the end. Either way, I'm definately not getting XM Direct now.

Sirius Connect is a possibility. If the Sirius PnP receivers aren't any better by say... Mid 2005, I'll look into it. XM's Delphi Skyfi2 is setting the bar right now. XM seems to be the innovator in hardware and pricing as well - not looking forward to a $3+ increase in subscription fees. Let's hope the PnP receivers get better. I need a pause button for phone calls.



Slick client! I like. On a related note, why is it so hard to find blogger clients? Blogger doesn't keep even an incomplete list in their help files, linking only to their API. Searching for windows blogger client doesn't return w.bloggar in the first couple of pages. Same for windows blogger api client. Hmm...

I bet I'm the only one who doesn't have this link: w.bloggar

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


Creature of...

Look, I'll be honest with you... I want this out in the open from the start. You deserve to know: I'm not a virgin. This isn't my first blog.

Let's just take this slow, OK? No promises, no commitments. It's just for fun. I'll come visit you when I have something to say to the world at large. If you need me, look me up. Everyone needs an outlet. It's not good to bottle it in.

Anyway, you're sexy. Your look, your features... Who knows? Maybe one day we'll get serious. No promises - old habits die hard. For now, let's just keep things casual.

Thinking of you,

Casual blogger

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