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Merry Christmas! [Jul. 4th, 2008|11:03 pm]
[Current Location |38.55 N, 121.74 W]
[mood |stressedstressed]
[music |explosions]

Wait, what? It's not Christmas you say? Bugger. You'll have to excuse me, as the neighbor breeders screaming infant has been interrupting my sleep for about the last SIX WEEKS so you'll understand if I should sound slightly ... out of whack. Of course, it could be the scotch talking.

Speaking of which, yesterday was the closest I have ever come to driving drunk. Just before I left work, I fixed this horrible "no one can login" error with some LDAP jujitsu, a stick of RAM, and a couple prayers. [It was Novell NetWare, so prayer was required]. When I got home, I treated myself to a fancy dinner of garlic lemon pasta and a nice Chianti [no fava beans].

Halfway through my third glass, the SMS page arrives: power failure. I sigh in relief when the "power restored" message comes through three minutse later, and pour myself another glass. Of course, scant minutes later, another power failure message comes in. S H I T.

I call people, and VPN into work, trying to shutdown the ancient AS/400 [TIMI based RS64 "Apache", c. 1997] cleanly before the server servicing my remote connection auto-shutdowns. No dice, seconds after the password database loads [because, who remembers the password to an ancient piece of shit like an IBM AS/400?], the connection is terminated. I curse, and make more phone calls. It is clear that the only guy nearby is me, with the closest backup in a) Lake Tahoe, b) Monterey, and c) Lava Beds National Monument [basically Oregon]. F U C K.

Tahoe guy and I proceed to work as most of the servers shutdown, and I pray that someone more deserving occupies the attention of the California Highway Patrol while I am in transit. I am rewarded as a reckless driver is pulled over in front of me. Tahoe guy and I reach the computer room at essentially the same time; five minutes after power is restored. Boring routine "turn shit back on" follow, and all is well thereafter.

Happy 4th!
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Yak shaving [Sep. 1st, 2007|07:20 pm]
[mood |amusedamused]

My cellphone died. Unlike some people (searat, I'm looking at you), I managed to keep my list of contacts, and get them transferred to my new phone, a refurbished[1] Samsung Blackjack running Windows Mobile 5. WM6 will be released in a few weeks. (9/17!!)

As is always the case when you get a new phone, you find ... issues with the defaults. The key backlight is too short. The phone doesn't ring if you're in messaging, but does if you're in calendaring.

This leads directly to a stupendous yak shaving[2] incident:

Goal: Sync email to phone.

Okay, I need to set up an association, so I download & install ActiveSync...
Hmm, ActiveSync wants Outlook ... I can install that from school...
Hmm, school updated their vpn client, need to install that first...
Hmm, password rejected, need to resync my account certs...
Hmm, my certs went to my phone and freaked it out...
Hmm, well, there's a new firmware I wanted to try anyway..
Hmm, need to install Samsung modem drivers...

So, here I am, changing registry settings to get the modem driver to load to update the firmware to fix the certs to download outlook to sync my email.

[1] By "refurbished" I mean "returned because this damn thing is too complex"

[2] yak shaving
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[1985-2007] RIP, Joanne Daniels Voice [Aug. 29th, 2007|11:39 am]
[mood |sadsad]

I always knew that Ma Bell was a cheating profiteering monopoly, but the latest invocation of it (AT&T) is like that coal company that was in the news, starting up a dangerous mine to suck a little more money out of the ground. But at what cost?

At the end of September, the time lady will be no more. After years of resetting clocks after power outages, 767-2676 will return "This number has been disconnected, or is no longer in service"

LA Times article

My best memory of her was on January 31st, 1999. She rolled over just fine, as did the world.

If you'll excuse me, I'll be sitting shiva.
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Memtastic! [Aug. 27th, 2007|08:58 pm]
[mood |anxiousanxious]

In high school...Collapse )
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Fsckups [Jul. 20th, 2007|05:04 pm]
[Current Location |95618]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I broke my laptop two days ago.

I mentioned to a friend he could try out the new ubuntu release, so I thought to myself; "hey! I should try it out too!" So, I rebooted from xp into ubuntu to update it to the latest version.

I apparently forgot my root password :(

No biggie! I'll just boot into xp, delete the linux partitions, and install the fresh new ubuntu!

I did so, and began bittorrenting the new ubuntu to my laptop, who eventually ran out of battery and auto-hibernated.

The next morning, I wanted to check my email, forgetting all about the excitement of the previous night. I quickly ascertain the lack of juice, plug lappy into the wall, and hit the power button.

Sadly, this lack of linux confused grub to no end, leading to the dreaded loading stage 1.5 ... error 17 issue, since its config was on the recently deleted linux partition.

So what! I can just boot off a xp cd, choose the recovery console, type in fixmbr, and Linus Torvalds is your uncle!

Well, I didn't have an xp disk handy, but I did have a year old version of BartPE on a USB flash drive. I knew it had diskpart on there, and I figured there must be some way to rewrite the MBR, so I was in a curious mood whilst dicking about with diskpart. NEVER BE IN A CURIOUS MOOD WHILST DICKING ABOUT WITH DISKPART.


DISKPART> select disk 0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> clean ?

The arguments you specified for this command are not valid.

DISKPART> clean

DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

DISKPART> FUCK. Fuckity fuck fuck!!!one11eleven.


So, at this point I have NO partitions, a USB flash drive with BartPE on it, and a really pissed off attitude. I google "free partition recovery" on another PC to see if there are any decent options out there. It is at this point I wholeheartedly recommend TestDisk from CGSecurity. Allow me to quote from their blurb: "It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting your Partition Table)."

Best of all, it was a standalone directory that could be copied to a flash drive and run under BartPE! So, here I am, documenting my happiness at not having to reinstall everything.

Most interestingly, after the partitions were detected, recreated, the MBR was repaired (TestDisk did that too), the computer came out of hibernate when switched on. Now that's awesomeness.
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An Expedient Update! [Jul. 10th, 2007|03:45 pm]
[mood |chipperchipper]

1) The leader is away[0], the coworker is reassigned, and I represent the sole ruler in the operations group. Servers go down when I say they go down, dammit. Interns, Ho!

2) I'm going on vacation(!!!1!one!1!eleven) next month, to one of the few remaining locales in North America under the triple digit mark, the PACIFIC NORTHWEST.

3) With a boy! Yes, the unmentioned[1] Nicholas[2] and I shall be taking the quintessential American vacation, the road trip.[3]

[0] in reference to this comment, so far this week we've had two hard drive failures, an email loop, and ~3000 missing files.
[1] ...until now, 241 days after first meeting the hottie.
[2] hi babe!
[3] there will be no cocaine in the trunk. I say again, NO COCAINE IN THE TRUNK.
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(no subject) [Jun. 25th, 2007|10:56 am]








NOC outage
NOC temperature
Things always fail on the weekend.

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Technological scares through history [May. 28th, 2007|12:03 pm]
  • 2000s - Wireless 802.11x internet radiation.

  • 1990s - Cellphone radiation.

  • 1980s - Cordless telephone radiation.

  • 1970s - Electromagnetic radiation from high voltage power lines.

  • 1960s - TV radiation from "sitting too close."

  • 1950s - Color television airwaves radiation.

  • 1940s - Television airwaves radiation.

  • 1930s - Radio radiation.

  • 1920s - Telephone radiation.

  • 1910s - Telegraph radiation.

  • 1900s - Electricity.


Goddammit people, it's all the same stuff! Gah!

For more information plz to be visiting http://www.badscience.net/?p=418
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Meh vs. Feh: Round 1 ... FIGHT! [Feb. 8th, 2007|09:01 pm]
Who wins in a battle of the ?eh; meh or feh? Start each contestant at 0 and add/subtract as apropos:

Meh:
- .com .net .org taken: +3
- 11.9 million google results: +12
- meh.com - domain squatter: -5
- meh is derived from the simpsons: +5
...the simpsons after 2000: -3
- meh has a t-shirt: +3
- meh is a word the cheat says: +3

Meh total: 18

Feh:
- .com .net .org taken: +3
- 2.88 million google results: +3
- feh.com - crazy circle dude: +2
- feh is an open source image viewer: +3
- feh is derived from yiddish: +2
- feh is used in the life in hell comics: +1
- feh is a german paper towel brand: +3
- feh is the flood estimation handbook from the uk: -2
- feh is said by the anime character Inuyasha: +2

Feh total: 17

The Mehs have it.
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Gah! The Bogons! AGGGHH!!! [Feb. 5th, 2007|05:17 pm]
You may remember an earlier entry along these lines here.
Reason #2 to not use the low bidder Reason #2 to not use the low bidder

Ahem.

-Our wiring standard is TIA/EIA-568-B-2001, not crapnet.
-please maintain pair twist to termination point
-pvc jacketing should be flush with jack
-label cables
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