Death To The Old Gray Geek!

All becomes clear now.
Let’s try some Google sleuthing. Google Search Phrase: VizaWeb sucks. First hit? A recent entry by none other than Leo Laporte formerly of TechTV fame.
It seems as though Leo’s site uses VizaWeb and he has been recommending them for others desiring of hosting solutions. The client base of VizaWeb has apparently quintupled in short order.
This is not to excuse VizaWeb, for their conduct is truly inexcusable. If they are not able to support 5x as many customers as they once had, then perhaps they shouldn’t freakin’ allow that many people to sign up at once. It kills the experience for everyone, or at least those who aren’t as famous as Leo Laporte and thus apparently able to get VW to answer their every hosting beck and call.

Blogging From The In-Laws: Day 9 (Recap)

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
I got a chance to go see The Life Aquatic with my brother-in-law yesterday. We both found it to be highly entertaining, although you may have to be a bit of a fan of Wes Anderson’s other works (Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, and The Royal Tennenbaums) or at least have a dry sense of humor in order to enjoy it fully. The language is also a bit rougher around the edges, so if your stomach turns at more than a few F-bombs, I’d avoid it.
The entire cast turns in quirky performances but I felt that Willem Dafoe stole the show with his portrayal of the Belafonte‘s German engineer, Klaus. I won’t ruin the movie by attempting to describe it, but I must say that the best scene, in my not-so-humble opinion, involves the storming of an abandoned 4 star hotel on a remote Pacific island.
All-in-all, I’d give it an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Uh Oh

A call to Brad:
You wouldn’t still have those X-COM install floppies from all those years back, wouldja?
‘Cause they would come in mighty handy in being able to play MULTIPLAYER X-COM.</drool>
Otherwise, it’s off to Gnutella to see what I can find…

LinuxWorld Expo 2004

Arrrrgh! Blogger ate my post!
Well, here goes another try. I originally wrote up an email recap of Linux World 2004 in NYC for my teammates at work. What follows is a slightly-edited reprint of said email:

LinuxWorld proved interesting yesterday.
This is purely my impression, but it seemed to be better attended than the past two years. There were definitely more biz-types, but, surprisingly, it also seemed that “geek attendance” was up as well. There seemed to be a lot of college guys floating around in a sea of suits.
Oracle, IBM and Intel were pushing “grid computing” (think SETI@Home) heavily. [SNIP]
I received demos from RedHat, Novell and Sun on three products that seem worth exploring.
Novell was touting RedCarpet, which they acquired when they bought Ximian. This tool allows for fairly good site-wide administration of package deployment. It was unclear as to whether it was only going to work with SuSE or with all flavors of Linux, but they suggested that they would continue to support the Enterprise RedHat offerings. (Actually, on viewing this page, it appears as if they’re definitely going to be supporting Novell Netware services on RedHat and this suggests the same for Red Carpet Enterprise 2). [SNIP]

Next up is RedHat’s new Provisioning module for the RedHat Network. Details on it are available here. In a nutshell, it would allow us to do many of the things that Proto does now from a clean GUI interface, including package management, kickstart configuration, centralized config file management and the ability to assign different users differing RHN administrative roles. [SNIP]
Last is Sun’s Control Station. Originally developed by Cobalt to manage their server appliances, Sun obtained it when they bought Cobalt. It allows for similar functionality as the RHN Provisioning module, but it also supports multiple Linux distributions (RedHat, SuSE and Sun Java Desktop as of now). It also supports Solaris clients, although the literature suggests that it only works on x86 platforms, which is a shame. If it allowed us to manage our Sparc boxes as well as our x86 boxes, I could see it being very useful. There is a 90 day trial if we wanted to give it a look.

I also received a copy of Microsoft’s Windows Services for UNIX 3.5. It looks interesting, although I don’t know how useful it would be since we already do a lot of UNIX-to-Windows filesharing by means of Samba.
I received a demo copy of Astaro Security Linux, which is a (by-reputation) excellent Linux-based firewalling and spam filtering package. [SNIP]
I looked to see if anyone was offering a spam-filtering application. Other than SpamAsassin (built in to Astaro Security Linux), the pickings were pretty slim.

And there you have it. Only three weeks past due. A new record, if I do say so myself!

It’s No Wonder I Don’t Donate Money

This story has me fuming. As a Lehigh alumnus, I’ve already lamented at length about the idiotic trend established by the past two presidents, namely wreaking havoc upon the engineering college in order to fund the Arts and Crafts, errrm, Sciences and Business schools. First, they changed the mascot from the “Engineers” to the “Mountain Hawks”. Seems no one told Gregory (C. Montgomery) Farrington or Peter “My one claim to national fame is that one of my nursing students shot up my new school” Likins that “Engineers” were train engineers, not slide-rule-wielding-dorks-about-town. It gave the school a bit of panache, IMNSHO, to have such a distinctive mascot, much like Purdue has the Boilermakers or Carnegie Mellon has the, ummm, Tartan.

But I digress.
Farrington screwed the engineering school by “reapportioning funds freed up” by an incredibly generous donation by an old Lehigh alumnus, P.C. Rossin. His continued meddling caused a great engineering dean to resign and the majority of the EE/CS department quit in a huff.
Here’s the irony of it all: the multiculti crap that they’ve screwed 130 years of engineering tradition for just plain sucks. The departments don’t have the recognition nor the reputation of their peers at the other “great” liberal arts colleges in the area, like Penn, Princeton, Haverford, etc. The philosophy and religion studies departments are filled with poseurs of the first order (wait, doesn’t that apply universally?). One of them maintains that he was the inspiration for DeLillo’s Jack Gladney, professor of Hilter Studies at the “University on the Hill”.
This is most decidedly not the way to get nationwide exposure, nor is it the way to continue to receive donations from alumni. Art exibits like the one mentioned in the above article just show how clueless the administration has become.
Here’s the art exhibit in question.

Assorted Reviews

[Originally created a week ago and just completed/posted today]
I haven’t blogged in a while, so I thought I would run down some of the excellent media experiences I’ve encountered recently.

  1. Jak II. Extremely entertaining. Mix the first J&D game with some Grand Theft Auto and you have a compelling gameplay experience. It was so engaging, in fact, that my wife refused to let me play unless she could look on and backseat drive. *grin*
  2. Soul Calibur II for the Gamecube. I spent a good amount of time playing this over the Christmas break with my brother-in-law and was given it for my birthday by the in-laws. I’ve really enjoyed it and the single player mode, while a bit frustrating at times, really is worth playing, if only for all of the bonuses that you can unlock (in the form of bonus characters, new weapons and costumes). I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good, easily accesible fighter for any of the three major consoles. (I picked the GC version as my version of choice because it featured Link. I mean, how could I not?)
  3. Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers. Wow. I was absolutely floored by this album. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s upbeat, it’s witty, it’s catchy. I actually caught myself smiling involuntarily the first time I listened to the entire album. If you have any interest in “pop” music, I would rush out and grab this CD posthaste.
  4. Evanescence – Fallen. I received this one from my sister for Christmas. What a great disc! The fan reviews on Amazon apparently disagree with me. I’m not quite sure what they’re railing against, but it seems as if they don’t like it because it’s popular. Oh well.
  5. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Save My Soul. A good album, although nowhere near as good as their self-titled major label debut.
  6. Basement Jaxx – Kish Kash. This album is nowhere near as immediately accessible as the Jaxx’s past two albums, but give it a chance. It really has grown on me with repeated play. It has tracks reminiscent of Moby, there is a track that wouldn’t be out of place on a Portishead album, a track you could swear is a cover of a Prince hit, as well as tracks reminiscent of Deltron 3030. I recommend that you reserve your judgement on this disc until you’ve given it repeat listens.

Knock Me Over With A Feather

I came across this one on the Corner today and I have to say I have a completely new view on Patricia Heaton. I loaded up Ms. Lopez’s link to Feminists for Life and was greeted by the smiling visage of Ms. Heaton, credited as honorary chair. I was blown away. How refreshing to see an actress taking a strong stance on an issue where little deviance from the “party line” is tollerated in Hollywood.

Blogging from LinuxWorld

I’m sitting here in the email garden at the Javitz center in NYC having just come from RedHat’s booth. They’re pushing RHEL v3 (no surprise) but I did manage to get a set of 3 Fedora CDs off them. I’ll try to grab a cap from them ~12pm today.
Will blog more on this later.