Learning Curve

Every time I build out a Linux box it gets easier (I’m not doing unformatted drives and so on, which is easier).

Yet – each time – I trip up on something obvious (httpd.conf or php.ini setting, for example).

On the plus side, getting easier to see where I f*d up.

New box working well; thanks.

Hot Stuff

Had takeout Thai food for dinner Friday.

And leftovers for same for brunch and dinner Saturday.

Hotter than hell stuff. I love hot food, but this was a little too hot – and, for red curry, didn’t have much of a curry flavor.

But – mainly – oh_my_god hot.

I’ll be farting thunderbolts for some time now…

Hasta La Vista?

Yep, Microsoft shot itself in the foot again today. I’m not a fan of Daniel Lyons, but this lede seem to capture the historical data no one else seemed to have:

The new version of Microsoft Windows, called Vista, has slipped again. It was originally going to ship in 2003. Then 2005. Then 2006. Now in early 2007. I’m not surprised, having seen a demo of Microsoft’s new programs at an “event” for tech buyers in New York last week.

Daniel Lyons, Forbes

Is the new version of Windoze dead? No, and MS isn’t crippled.

But it’s a very real indication that this company – with, what, $1000 zillion dollars and the same number of pretty smart people – is floundering.

I don’t know how else to paint it: Yeah, it’s a tough nut to crack, the new OS. But you have – essentially – unlimited capital and smarts, and the project is still being driven into the ditch. (Pardon the passive voice…)


Ford: Where Quality is Job No. 3,123,345…

Brokeback Mountain
Ang Lee (director)

This movie has gotten a lot of press (and launched a thousand jokes), and has been labelled a gay cowboy movie. Many dismiss this, but, at heart, it is a gay cowboy movie. Sorry, it is.

But it’s much more than that – it’s a great tale with tremendous performances and beautiful scenery and a story line that broaches hard questions without implicitly asking them.

At bottom, it’s a tragedy – a love story, a story of forbidden (at many levels) love. Forbidden by one’s mores, by society, but what one has been trained to do/not do say/not say.

All movies

Yeah, took my car into Ford the day before yesterday. Needed my front brakes relined. Turns out they had to replace rotors, as well – too thin to turn.

Since I have had my vehicle, I’ve had the front breaks brakes replaced twice, front rotors once, both front tie rods replaced and both rear coils replaced (they were cracked).

My vehicle? Some F250 pickup with 150,000 miles on it, used to haul cinderblocks up and down mountains?

No, an Escort with less than 45,000 miles. And – outside of an ocassional bag of black dirt or a computer table – what I haul is my ass, a briefcase and (grande) cup of Starbucks’.

Yeah, that should crack those coils.

I live in the burbs. I can see some issues with brakes, as it’s a lot of stop and go traffic – but the other crap?

If quality is Job No. 1 at Ford, they must have a lot of free time around the plants…

Stupid Is As Stupid Does…

I’ve never understood comments like this one, offered by IBM’s executive vice president of innovation and technology:

The fact is that innovation was a little different in the 20th century. It’s not easy (now) to come up with greater and different things.

…If you’re looking for the next big thing, stop looking. There’s no such thing as the next big thing.

Nicholas Donofrio

OK, if this was some yahoo (not Yahoo!) from a woodworking magazine or television repair shop, that’s one thing. But this guy is VP of innovation at IBM, a pretty savvy tech company.

Such statements are always proved incorrect (remember the DEC chief saying, essentially, who would want a computer in their home????). Why say something this asinine?

There is always a next big thing. Remember when the electron was discovered. Cool, but what of it?

Then came electricity, the whole world powered by electrical power.

Then transistors to turn electricity into logic.

Then integrated circuits, which smallified transistors beyond belief.

Nanotubes? Quantum cryptography?

Twenty years ago, the cell phone I have would have never even have appeared on Star Trek. Now, my five-year-old unit is an antique.

While the pace of innovation might slow until there is another disruptive technology – such as happened during the Industrial Revolution and Dot-Com Boom – but why say it’s dead?

Spring Fever

Good Night, and Good Luck
George Clooney (director)

An extremely well-made, well-paced and unbelievably well-filmed (B&W) film.

David Strathairn give a quiet, understated perfomance as Edward R. Murrow, who – with producer Fred Friendly (Clooney) – decided take on the reckless accusations of Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the 1950 communist paranoia.

I don’t know if this film would play as well in other years; the parallels to McCarthy and his communist vendeta and the current War on Terror resonate today – a decade from now, maybe not.

I found the atmosphere of the film its strongest point – B&W done as well as (or better than) Woody Allen, the sets, the constant smoking and scotch-drinking: It was the 1950s, and this is a great snapshot of same.

All movies

Yesterday we hit almost 70 degrees here in Chicago, and today – while more 50ish – is a pleasure for those of us with cabin fever. Come on warm weather!

Spend the first couple of hours today cleaning up the backyard; trimming back bushes and all that jazz.

Felt good to be outside doing something, but I am such a wuss: Couple of hours and I’m wiped.

I’ve spent too much time in front of a keyboard; the most exercise I get these days is reaching for the mouse or lifting a cup of coffee to my face. Wow, look at those biceps!

I’m Befuddled

There are a lot of things that I just don’t understand (often, I understand, but I just don’t understand. Understand?).

Here’s a short list of some of the inexplicable:

  • Microsoft’s Origami: (link) Too big to replace the Palm Pilot or smart phone; too underpowered to compete with a laptop or traditional tablet computer (whatever the hell that is). With no (current) battery life to speak of and weighing a couple of pounds, I just don’t get it. What is the market for this? What is Origami spoze to compete with/replace create a new niche in/for? I’m clueless (yes, a first….)
  • Amazon considers DVD download service: (link) Long rumored, not a surprise yet not yet a reality. OK, this a NYT (New York Times) story. The big hole – once Amazon gets past those pesky DRM issues – in the story is download time. Are they going to charge $10 (for example) for a heavily compressed (and thus – after decompression – a poorer picture) movie, or will they give a true download? In either case, what’s the download time? In HOURS, yes? You’d think the so-called journalists at the NYT would mention this wrinkle.
  • 1,000-calorie sandwich: (link) OK, promotion to get publicity (just worked here!) and draw some fans (or fat folks) in. But why is the American way of dining quickly turning into Supersize Me?
  • Iraq: (link; see graphic) According to a recent AP poll, only 48% of Americans polled believe a stable, democratic government will be established in Iraq. OK. However, 77% believe it’s likely that a civil war will break out in Iraq. So most believe civil war will happen, yet half still believe democracy will prevail. Does anyone really believe that a civil war in Iraq – which will certainly be a secular war – will result in democracy?

All I can say is what has already been said:

I have a slogan. Life, who needs it? I just don’t understand it; I don’t get it. I feel I don’t get along with this world. So many things seem ridiculous to me all the time.

  –Don Piraro, creator of the comic strip Bizarro

VERY Open Office

Google’s Gmail was, in some ways, a shot across the bow of the USS Microsoft, as was Google’s support of Firefox.

However, the purchase of Writely is huge.

Gmail = Outlook.

Writely = MS Word.

This is significant. This means Google is serious about Web apps, even if this is a “hey, let’s explore this option” type of purchase.

Redmond quakes.