Friday, July 27, 2007

Me^2 Tagged

Looking up...from my z-list position on the blog food chain ... I realized that I am one of the last bloggers to get tagged with this meme. (See below) This means two things as far as my participation goes... 1.) I am ecstatic to have actually been tagged. And 2.) all of the people who I have a clue about in the blogosphere were tagged with this meme weeks ago. So there is no one that I can tag...

This meme has hit the bottom of the blogosphere.

The meme stops here.

In nomine Patris virtualis, et Filii virtualis, et Spiritus Sancti virtualis.

Gospel 2.0: Jesuits move into Second Life

Meme Tagged

My good friend Steven Hudson at Winextra 'tagged' me with this meme...

Initially I was a bit uneasy - then I started looking in the dark corners of my sordid life ... turns out I remembered stuff that even I didn't know. :) Well, most of it is true...

Eight things you might not know about me...

  1. As a mini-kid I spent a summer on Kodiak Island, AK with family friends while my parents worked a halibut trawler, The Yukon. (Which was prominently 'featured' in a picture of the great earthquake - in the middle of the street, downtown Anchorage (I think.))

  2. Learned FORTRAN 4 (1970-71) - Wrote a Tic-Tac-Toe program that could not be beaten - best you could hope for was a tie. A special subroutine was called so that 'turns' could be entered in the washing machine sized 'keyboard' interface of the IBM 360 (instead of having to re-run the punch card deck with the new turn.)

  3. Junior Achievement "President of the Year" 1970-71 (Lansing Michigan) - Heady times when rules were made to be bent... Leading was just the willingness to take one more step than the folks standing next to you. (Object lesson: There are no friends in business and there should be no business among friends.)

  4. Summered in Guadalajara Mexico

    1972: Worked with Don Pablo Muños, "El Quetero" (The Rocketman") - Speaking Spanish faster than any person I have ever heard Don Pablo showed me the ins and outs of making firework displays, Castillos.

    1973: Set up a darkroom in the hotel bathroom. At night processed B&W film and printed pictures. During the day of took photographs of 'Street People' - gritty, grainy, high contrast images of real people making their way in daily life.

  5. Attended the Saturday, January 20, 1973 Counter-Inaugural March in Washington D.C. - No More War! - Caused traffic tie-ups by claiming the van I was driving was stalled at intersections.

  6. Summer of 1975 - Ran away to the Circus Kirk - Three Rings Under The Big Top - World's Largest Brass Band - weeks on end of 18+ hour days, wet tired hungry and very sleepy - and then ran away from the circus

  7. Evening Announcer for WKLA AM & FM in Ludington MI. 'The Captain' offered a late night array of low rumbling 'Barry White' intros to some of the coolest and hottest Jazz ever heard in north west Michigan.

  8. Last and certainly not least, there is a roman numeral after my son's name ... VIII ... which of course means the roman numeral after my name is VII, my father was VI, his father was V, etc.

...from this point on this is a self-appointing meme. If you like the premise please feel free to self-tag and post your 8 things list.

System Administrator Appreciation Day

July 27th, 2007 (Last Friday Of July)
th Annual
System Administrator Appreciation Day

If you can read this, thank your sysadmin

Advice to employees on the proper use of the System Administrator's valuable time

(In following examples, we will substitute the name "Ted" as the System Administrator)

Here are a few that I 'never' get... :)

  • Never write down error messages. Just click OK, or restart your computer. Ted likes to guess what the error message was.
  • When Ted says he coming right over, log out and go for coffee. It's no problem for him to remember your password.
  • Send urgent email ALL IN UPPERCASE. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.
  • When the photocopier doesn't work, call Ted. There's electronics in it, so it should be right up his alley.
  • Feel perfectly free to say things like "I don't know nothing about that boneheaded computer crap." It never bothers Ted to hear his area of professional expertise referred to as boneheaded crap.
  • When you send that 500-page document to the printer, don't bother to check if the printer has enough paper. That's Ted's job.
  • When Ted calls you 30 minutes later and tells you that the printer printed 24 pages of your 500-page document before it ran out of paper, and there are now nine other jobs in the queue behind yours, ask him why he didn't bother to add more paper.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

78's, 45's, LP's, 8-Tracks, Cassettes...

T. Colin Dodd in his article ODF: The inevitable format makes two very important observations...

The original data had been misplaced, and when the huge magnetic tapes
that stored the data were found, they were “in a format so old that the
programmers who knew it had died.”


The tragic sense that would have accompanied the loss of this knowledge is echoed in accounts of the destruction of the Library at Alexandria, and probably why book-burnings are seen as a sure sign that a society is unhealthy

While the title of this post is a bit absurd it points to everyday examples of the same problem. Here are a few more that I have encountered ...

  • photographic 'slides' - processed film positives (as opposed to negatives) mounted between two pieces of thin glass, bound with black cloth tape. I don't know of anyone who still has a slide projector let alone one that is robust enough to handle these.

  • Reel-to-reel recordings. The old Wollensak hasn't been seen in ages.

  • Super-8 films - both the editor and the projector are in the same place as the Wollensak

  • Opened a box and discovered ... Punch Cards

  • 3.5" Floppies (1.44M - There are still a large number of these drives around. But...)

  • 5.25" Floppies

  • RLL/MFM Hard disks

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Kudzu excuse me for a moment?

Usually I slip, stumble and twist in your calculated cultivated vines.

Today I have been slapped straight and slid onto a sizzling griddle to be served up pink in the middle rare

Life is soooooo good

. . .