August 2005


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Archive for August, 2005

The hunt begins again

Posted in Life on August 4th, 2005

It seems that I have another mandatory day off scheduled for this week – it was supposed to be tomorrow, but our kick-ass office manager managed to get a couple of appointments for me. This just means the day got pushed back though, since the boss is under the impression that he just can’t afford to pay more than 80 hours in a pay period right now, and this would be a 96-hour paycheck.

So. He’s already not paying me what I’m worth, he’s shorting my hours, and I don’t think he’s managing the business correctly. It’s time to start looking for work again.

To this end, I was traipsing through Craigslist when I ran across a killer job – it’s got all the perks, looks challenging, and it’s something well-suited to a JOAT like me. Wow, right? Wrong – it’s a damn contract position, three weeks duration. Nearest I can figure, their current guru is taking some time off and they need a stand-in. Bummer.

The good news is, there were a couple other cherries in the pile. Time to dust off the ol’ resumee…

Boing Boing: Microsoft Genuine Advantage bypass

Posted in Geekery on August 2nd, 2005

Boing Boing: Microsoft “Genuine Advantage” cracked in 24h: window.g_sDisableWGACheck=’all’

That was pretty quick!

Should you actually go straight in to the updates page, it will tell you to run the validation, and you might get some strange replies. I didn’t get a copy of the full text, but two machines I ran updates on today gave me the same notice. It went something like this:

You computer checks out as having a version of Windows purchased from an OEM manufacturer, but the computer hardware it reports seems to be different from what the intended hardware was. This is ok for now, but may be a problem later on.

WTF? What kind of hardware was it intended for? These were corporate-licensed copies, built on Intel processors. (Insert sound file here.) Were these copies intended for an Apple? A SPARC? Maybe an Atari?

What this means, folks, is that MS tracks which vendor bought which batch of license keys as a means to help them catch piraters. So, if you had an XP key installed on a Dell that was originally sold to HP, it would send up a flag to Redmond when you tried to validate it. It also seems to be tracking what the original hardware was intended to be, so changes you made to your system may be a problem down the road, if you happen to be an upgrader like myself.


2010: The Blog We Make Contact

Posted in Geekery on August 2nd, 2005

Here’s a milestone for you: last week, we tipped the scales at 2010 unique visits to this site. I think that’s more than the entire first year put together…

I was also the recipient of a fair amount of traffic from Google searches – I’d tell you what they were looking for, but unfortunately my host doesn’t include that part in the analysis page; I’d have to go digging through the raw logs. That’s just way too much work this late at night.

Waitaminute – when did I install a smoke screen?

Posted in Life on August 2nd, 2005

So, aside from minorly misleading directions from the website map, I managed to get new tires on the front of my car this morning with no real ado, and then proceeded out to Sandy for my day’s appointment.

Just about the time I was running out of things to do, the call came in to take a priority service call back downtown. I hop in The Beastie and am merrily blazing down the highway when I happen to notice large clouds of bluish-white smoke billowing out from my car. Crap! I pull to the side and look under the car to see vital fluids dribbling liberally onto the pavement.


My boss pulled through again and got me towed to a mechanic via his AAA card (I gotta get one one of these days) where I found that the oil pressure sensor had cracked, and was shooting oil straight onto the exhaust. Thankfully enough, it’s a cheap part, and the labor wasn’t that bad. All told, I got a new sensor installed and an oil & filter change for $85.

The upside is that now the car sounds great, and handles alot better with the new tires. Now I just have to save up the money to get the trans fixed.

Boltan Gets Appointed to U.N. Ambassador Post

Posted in Politics on August 1st, 2005

To answer the Republican response to the Democratic outrage resulting from this appointment (or why many of us feel Dubya screwed that poor pooch again.)

There are damn good reasons why the Democrats fought this particular appointment as long as they did, and feel pretty pissed that Bush snuck him in during recess. Here’s two, quoted from

Bolton spent Bush’s first term serving as undersecretary of state for arms control and disarmament. In confirmation hearings for his new job, witnesses accused him of trying to get intelligence analysts who disagreed with him transferred or fired.

Now, if I remember correctly, the proper thing to do in a situation like this is gather enough evidence to refute the opposition’s standpoint, not remove them from the discussion. Oh, wait – he’s following executive precedent here, considering how we waged the early stages of the war.

Carl Ford, the former chief of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, called Bolton “a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy” and a “serial abuser” of subordinates.

“Serial abuser” is a pretty serious allegation, and the American public (and the world too, for that matter) deserve to get to the bottom of that before anyone gets to be a poloitical appointee of any stature. This man will be working closely with the other members of the U.N. in regards to, among other things, the treatment of prisoners. Do we want an abusive personality in that position? Especially after these allegations have been made public – the other ambassadors won’t look favorably upon these allegations.

What it boils down to to me, though, is that the world at large hates the U.S. right now for the way we went to war and the results thereof. This means that anyone Bush appoints without Congress’s backing is going to be looked upon as scum, and will not be co-operated with, no matter how good his ideas are.

Add to all of that just how completely we are all fed up with Dubya’s rampant cronyism, and the total is not pretty. The Republicans have the majority, and have done nothing but fuck up at every turn, and the world has been watching. They will expect more of the same from Bolton.

Hmmm…getting a little thin there

Posted in Life on August 1st, 2005

For a long time at our shop, we have been comparing the wear on the hard drive of a computer to tread wear on your tires when it comes to doing routine backups. You know that as your hard drive ages, wear and tear will eventually cause it to fail. So, when we see a drive we think is on the way out, we will reccommend the customer do a full data backup and consider replacing the drive now, before they have a blowout and lose everything. “You wouldn’t drive on the freeway with bald tires would you?”

Hmmm…bald tires…Now that I think of it, it’s been a while since I put new rubber on the Little Black Beastie. I’d better go check…

Sure enough, the left front tire has belts poking through on about a third of its circumference. Yikes!

So, the car has an appointment tomorrow morning to get some new tread. Luckily, I was just about to turn in a mileage report worth almost the cost of new tires, so it works out rather nicely :)

Now all I have to do is find a transmission shop with messed-up computers willing to barter services…