^dRkRaVN has kicked you from #alabama

Ah, that line. What sweet memories it brings back.

^dRkRaVN was our eggdrop bot on the EFNet channel #alabama back in the late 80’s, early 90’s. I think I have the timeline right. Anyway, we ruled that channel with an iron fist, one that you often found crammed up your virtual backside if you didn’t fit into our clique’.

Our clique’ was mean, evil and downright hilarious. The hours upon hours of endless fun with people I would meet later in life helped me get through one of the worst times of my life. I was going through a midlife crisis in my early twenties and without these folks, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have survived.

At the time I worked at one of the local TV stations. So when we decided to have a get together in RL for a LAN party, it made the local news. Part of it was that our most remote channel member, Booter (from Sweden) made the trek from Europe to north Alabama just to meet us. What a guy.

On the list server that we’ve maintained since those years to keep in touch, the chatter has been alive with memories. One of those memories was preserved… the news report from the station I worked at. Yes, they did a news report on us… and believe it or not (I certainly can’t believe it!) I’m going to post it here for you to enjoy now.

Yes, that’s yours truly in there with the long hair and the thinning on top. Yes, that’s Quake II you see us playing in the background.

Ah, lovely, sweet memories.

And if we can convince anyone that pressing ALT-F4 will get you channel operator status again, life will get sweeter still.

That one never got old.

The Oscars

So I finally get to sit and watch what amounts to the last half of the Oscars. It seems like I didn’t miss much. I was trying to watch it live on the net, but my son was forcing me to play Super Mario Party 8 on the Wii while he ate dinner (a regular ritual around here).

Now I’ve picked it up and started watching. I really thought Ellen Page was going to win for Juno, even though I have yet to see it.

I’ll just keep updating this post as the show moves on, so keep hitting refresh. I dunno why my feed won’t update when I update the post, but I sure don’t feel like hacking around to figure it out right now.

Update: okie, well, there wasn’t much in the way of updating to do because my spawn of Hell 3-year-old won’t give me enough time to focus on anything but the missing tires on his Lego ambulance.

It seems that No Country for Old Men winning for Best Director and Best Picture is a bit of an upset. I saw this film and while it’s a fantastic (and unusual) film, I’m not sure I agree that it was Best Picture material. I suppose I need to see it again. I will own it, I know this much – it’s a Coen Brothers film after all. But the first impression of this film left me quite uncomfortable. Of course, one could argue that it means the film was effective. You’d probably be right.

But I think that most people expected There Will Be Blood to win. I suppose I’m a little surprised myself. Frances McDormand looked all worlds of happy in the audience, so I’m sure one of the Coens will be getting laid tonight for sure. Good on ’em.

When You’re Trying to Learn

It’s pretty amazing how far behind I’ve gotten in web creation technology.  I’ve been spending some time with Adobe CS3 and I’m finding out just how much of this thing has passed me by.  I’d say… quite a bit has passed me by.  I guess I’ve had my head down working on server stuff for so long now that I’ve not had a chance to really step back and work on web pages like I used to.

Of course, I do have much less time than I used to have.  Having two kids and a wife with a job and responsibilities tends to make you focus (or defocus, as the case may be) a little bit more. I’ve got to get refocused back on these items though, because this is what I’d rather be doing.

Can anyone out there in lalaland recommend some good approaches to learning CS3?  I’m not just talking about the apps themselves, but the workflows from site inception to finish, etc.

I’m especially interested in picking up Flash, too.

iTWire – From Windows to Linux – and back again

iTWire – From Windows to Linux – and back again

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… the battle for the corporate desktop is fought at home. Microsoft has known this for a long time – Apple knows it too. That’s why Apple is sneaking up on Microsoft and they’re just not paying attention. They’re too busy mucking around in other businesses that they don’t belong in instead of focusing on the real business (operating systems, servers and Office).

The be-everything-to-everyone will kill you, Microsoft.

While we’re there, let’s raise a glass to them over the Yahoo purchase. When did Yahoo start making a competing operating system? Oh, that’s right, they don’t. This plays into Microsoft’s search and advertising obsession. Or, as one might call it, the slay Google obsession. Yeah, silly me. The more they diversify, the weaker the products get. When it affects your core business (like it has with Vista), you’re really sliding down the slippery slope.

Oh yeah… and hello, how are ya? Thought you might like a helping of opinion to start your Wednesday.

The New Setup

I’m really enjoying the new setup – especially the part where I get to blow money on stuff like a USB headset mic… printers… bleh, stuff like that. This has been a good setup. This Mac Pro screams. It’s by far the most elegant computer I’ve ever come into contact with.

I’m starting to get a little disappointed in the Canon PIXMA MX700 though. For some odd reason, it keeps thinking the genuine Canon magenta cartridge is not recognizable and refuses to print anything. Okie, why have a printer if it won’t print anything? It’s starting to get on my nerves. I see some people have the same problem, so I’m trying some web solutions.

In other news, I almost bought a Logitech Quickcam 9000, but I wanted to make sure it was fully working under OS X with all of the little fun proggies that come with it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look that way, so I’m holding off until Apple releases an updated camera of some kind. They should, right?

Also I’m not so sure I’m getting used to how small this wireless keyboard is… when you take my prodigious tummy and sit in front of it, trying to work around my rotund figure to meet the dimensions of the little, thin wireless board to type on starts to become a challenge…

Quiet because I’m in awe

I’m in awe of the raw processing power of this Mac Pro. Really. I’m even going to see how it handles Vista.

Apple Mail 10.5.2 Update Messin Witcha

I updated to 10.5.2 pretty excitedly and for once, I finally experienced a problem with the update.

Namely, two problems.

– Apple Mail won’t quit. I’ve had to do a force quit every time since 10.5.2. Horsing around in the discussion groups at Apple shows that a few users have the same issue, but it seems to revolve around To-Do’s and/or Notes. I tried to add a new To-Do in Mail and sure enough, Mr. Beach Ball comes a knockin’. I took the user’s advice and wiped ~/Library/Mail and it seems to have resolved my issue. I’ll let you know after it finishes downloading my tons of megabytes of IMAP mail. Oh yeah, be careful about that – you get to redownload all your mail if you’re on IMAP. I’m not sure what happens with POP3 since I don’t ever, ever use POP3, but I’d imagine you lose the messages. Beware.

– Multiple displays are ganked up. When I come in to the office, I park my little Macbook Pro in a nice, cozy spot on my desk where the cables are waiting to attach to him. The cables are attached – and this includes a 23″ monitor. What I usually do is attach the cables, open the lid, then start it up. Once the login screen comes up, I close the lid and let the MBP sleep. Then I wake ‘er up and use only the 23″ monitor for the day.

Not anymore. Now if I do that, she wakes up and almost immediately plays the narcolepsy card and falls back to sleep. I can’t get it to stay running with just the large monitor.

A local Mac tech here suggested a permission repair… no dice. Hmm, I’ll have to deal with this more later.

Oh well… now I’m hearing my son has pink eye (lovely). Guess I need to pack up and head home in a bit.

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Important Entourage 2004 fix released

A pretty important Entourage 2004 fix was RTW’d last night.

KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948056

Look in there and you’ll see:

Stability is improved for users of Exchange Server accounts.
This update fixes an issue that could cause loss of e-mail messages, calendar events, or contacts, for users of accounts on a server that is running Exchange Server.

You will want to download this pretty quick and get it into your QA process. It’s version 11.4.0. This will fix a data loss issue when using Entourage 2004 against an Exchange server.

The bug occurs due to a bad logic assumption. Entourage 2004 treats its local database as authoritative to the mail stored in your mailbox. As such, if the Exchange server happens to be virus-scanning your mailbox when you synchronize your mail, Exchange will refuse to allow Entourage access to the items being scanned. Since Entourage receives no information on the existence of those items, it will mark them for deletion in its local database.

On the next sync, you lose all of those items in the mailbox too. In cases we noted, users were losing large swaths of email at once (on the order of 2-3 weeks’ worth all at once).

If you have a deleted-item retention policy on Exchange, it’s not that bad. You can actually retrieve the mail by going to Outlook Web Access and going to Options/Recover Deleted Items. You can also do this in Outlook 2003 or 2007 against the same mailbox.

If you do not realize the mail is missing and it goes past your deleted item retention period, you get to hit the backup tapes.

This bug was a really, really hard one to track down and eradicate, but I’m much more comforted in knowing the public will soon have the fruits of the debugging labor.

Incidentally, Entourage 2008 (Office 2008) contains this fix and you should not experience the same issue on the newest Office release.

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It’s Leopard 10.5.2

Surprise! It’s Leopard 10.5.2. That’s soup indeed. It’s only 180mb after all, not the storied 300-400mb that some rumors were boasting. I’ll be pulling it down now and checking it out, since I have a feeling Apple plans to sit on this release for a little while unless there are show stoppers.

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We Could be In For It

Here in the South where the blood flows… uhh… bloody red.. with uhh… little white stars and stri… oh nevermind. Here the blood flows red around the neck, yeah that’s it.

Living here for so long you get a real sixth sense of when Mother Nature has some serious shit up her sleeve. You smell it coming in the wind.

You definitely smell it when it’s the top of February and 70’F in the evening with a blustery wind ahead of a really big punk-ass cold front.

We could be in for an ass-whoopin’ tomorrow, Dixie-titty-twister style. Batten down your trailer parks, Dorothy’s leavin’ town again.