September 2005


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Archive for September, 2005

As if two weren’t bad enough

Posted in Geekery on September 11th, 2005

This post tells us that there will be 6 (count ’em, six!) versions of Microsoft’s new Vista Operating System to contend with.

Good frelling Gods of Computing!

This is the definition of Bad Software Design, and the elimination of upgrade-ability. The distinctions between these six versions aren’t really all that clear yet (MS is splitting some hairs pretty fine), but my take is that the consumer isn’t going to know one way or the other what they really need or want, and are going to end up paying the premium to get extra functionality they don’t need, just on the off chance that they may need it eventually. Why will they do that? Because MS sure as shit won’t make those extra functions as something you can add later – you’ll have to do a whole-hog upgrade re-install.

They have now taken their approach of wraping everything into the OS to it’s utter extreme of idiocy, and the world will suffer for this.

On the other hand, since Linux doesn’t bend you over a barrel like this, it may just end up being better press for us. This should be fun to watch.

Ew…job hunting spam

Posted in Life on September 9th, 2005

Excerpt from an email I received today:

I am contacting you today via your on-line resume and I was wondering if you would be interested in an opportunity to work with Brand-X Insurance and Financial Services by building your own Brand-X Agency. I am looking for a few business minded individuals who have the desire for personal growth, career fulfillment and financial success blah blah blah blah

Dear Salesfeeb-
I appreciate the fact that it took nearly every neuron you posess to find the email address on my resume, but I really have to ask how it could possibly have occurred to you that a techie such as myself would be even the slightest bit interested in devolving into a lower life form by becoming an insurance salesperson?

Since I have no interest in becoming a sales person, you sending me this email with no invitation to do so or any prior business between us classifies the email as SPAM. Not only is it the bane of my existence, but in some regions it is illegal and punishable by severe fines. In others, we will simply hunt you down and publicly flog you, because this kind of stupidity really needs to be more painful.

Please refrain from sending these “opportunities” to me or any other IT person in the future. It is a waste of bandwidth, a waste of my time, and a waste of your time as well.


Posted in Life on September 8th, 2005

I just got done reading the Engadget “historical” post Greyduck linked to, and all of the comments – most of which were kids saying “wow! 2 years before I was born!”

Hmm. I was 13 in 1985, attending 8th grade and learning to program in BASIC on a Commodore Vic20. Growing up in the hick town that I did, it wasn’t until 1991 when I moved to Portland the first time that I heard the term ‘BBS’. I used a Commodore 128 with a 1200 baud modem to log into that first SCA BBS as ‘Cyberwolfe’.

Yes, child, 1200 baud was once considered high speed.

And now I bitch about how slow DSL is.

Devil’s Panties – Sunday, February 3, 2002

Posted in Humor on September 8th, 2005

Devil’s Panties – Sunday, February 3, 2002

‘Nuff said.

spammy update

Posted in Geekery on September 7th, 2005

Well, SpamAssassin seems to have it’s sights set fairly well right out of the gate, but I have had to teach it a few things. Me being lazy, I developed the following script to automate the process of telling SA to read each of my three inboxes and the Spam folder to catalog the collection.

# SpamAssassin Teacher

echo "Reading SPAM folder..."
sa-learn --spam --dir /home/your-username-here/Mail/Spam/cur

echo "Reading Inbox1..."
sa-learn --ham --dir /home/your-username-here/Mail/inbox/cur

echo "Reading Inbox2..."
sa-learn --ham --dir /home/your-username-here/Mail/inbox2/cur

echo "Reading Inbox3..."
sa-learn --ham --dir /home/your-username-here/Mail/inbox3/cur

echo "Done!"


To use the script, save it to your home directory as You will then need to set it as an executable file with this command:chmod 777, and call it using ./ in a terminal window.

I really love it when I get a chance to do a script, since it’s very close to the programming I learned waaaaay back in high school (DOS-based stuff and Pascal). Unfortunately, I don’t do many repetitive tasks that would benefit from being scripted.

Of course, if I did, I’d end up going whole hog and becomming a programmer again. I don’t need that kind of workaholicism :)

spam spam spam spam spam

Posted in Geekery on September 5th, 2005

You’ve heard me bitch recently about the sudden increase in 419 scam emails I have been receiving, and I finally got tired of deleting them by hand. Definitely time to give a spamkiller of some sort a try.

30 seconds of Googling later for “kmail+spam” gives me the idea that the best method for stemming the tide would be to install SpamAssassin (SA). Since I’m running a version of apt-get designed to work with SuSE, this was simply running Synaptic package manager and clicking a box.

The question then was, how do I get this thing working?

Read on to find out. Read the rest of this entry »

New School

Posted in Life on September 1st, 2005

Tonight we had an orientation pot-luck dinner down at Peninsula Park for my daughter’s new school. Having given up completely on the regular public schools’ ability to teach anyone anything, we have enrolled the Pookster at Trillium, a magnate school here in Portland that takes education more seriously. The school is smaller, so each child gets more personal attention from the teachers, allowing them to actually learn something.

The other parents there fit a fairly narrow typeset, in that they are almost 100% Urban Yippies – Yuppies who are trying to be hip, cool, with-it or whatever they call it these days. The kind of people who really want to be like the cool kids in Hawthorne, but can’t give up the Volvo. They don’t eat American food (everyone knows all the good food came from somewhere else), and most of them ascribe to one form or another of herbivorism.

Which means, of course, that there wasn’t a shred of red meat within a three-block radius. Hell, the only meat-like substance I could recognize was a tuna casserole. And just what exactly is in ‘vegan wheat-free pumpkin bread’? I so wish I had had the cash, I would have run down to 7-11 and cleaned out the hot-dog stand just to watch ’em twitch.

Urban Yippie: Those are tofu dogs, right?
Me: Help yourself!
UY: Wait, this doesn’t taste like tofu…is that meat? Oh My God! I have eaten a poor cow!! Aaauuugghh! the horror!
Me: Muahahahaaa!

I understand idealistic people, but don’t have much in common with them, and it’s amazing how differently we see things. Case in point: when it came time for everyone to sort themselves out by grade level (and we’re talking about the parents here), instead of just pointing off to one side and saying “K through 2nd grade please gather over here”, they told us all to make a siren noise, while the 3rd-5ths were to make an “ahem” noise and so forth, and we were supposed to sort out the din and gather by sound.

Yep. Idiocy at it’s finest.

Warning signs that you are dealing with an Urban Yippie:

The man you are talking to is…
Carrying the youngest child of the brood in a front-mounted sling-type whatsihoosits,
Goes on about this great quiche he made the other morning, smiling in that “I’m whipped and I love it!” way,
Is not wearing a beard, but still hasn’t shaved in at least 4 days.

The woman you are talking to…
Has either rimless or black-framed glasses,
Is wearing baggy clothes that look like they may have come from the Gap or L.L. Bean,
Isn’t wearing a bra.

Toss into this mess myself, the EMC and her husband TS. The EMC fits in, as long as you don’t look too closely at her piercings and tats – she wishes they had a Volvo. TS, however, is a tech support geek and a solid introvert. Then there’s me – the guy who’s looking around for a proper branch to use to spit one of these idiots and toss ’em onto a fire.

Hey – the herbivores eat the vegetables and then the carnivores eat the herbivores. It’s the Circle of Life. Deal.

While walking out to the cars to get Pook’s backpack, TS says to me “whenever we come to these things, I always want to put ‘Hi! I’m TS. I’m a Xenophobe.’ on my nametag. Then when they say ‘what’s a xenophobe?’ I can say ‘it means I want to fucking kill you’ and smile at them in that really-I-was-joking…-or-was-I? kind of way.”

Thank DoC the EMC is the one who has to deal with them the most.