Monday, October 31, 2005

Lame duck

Well, no big suprise, but noone showed up for our party... Almost noone. Mel showed up. Drove like an hour. After some Zombies Ate My Neighbors, we wound up watching StarWars Episode 3.

An astonishing 12 kids came by... and we couldn't give the candy away fast enough.

Guess we shoulda just gone to Salem... Dealt with the massive throngs of people. Put up will all the crap...

Happy Shamain

Happy Shamain!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Comics?

I know, I know... It's a little late, but I have totally missed to boat on web comics. Oh, I've known about them. I'd heared about them several years ago. Even read about them in Wired several years ago. But I still missed the boat.

All that ended a couple of weeks ago, when a classmate of mine introduced me to Punks & Nerds and now I'm addicted.

I've been reading P&N for the last couple weeks, and I've since picked up on Ctrl+Alt+Del & RealLife.

I've started at the beginning of each, and am slowly working my way through.


What comics do you read? What would you recommend?

Party Tomorrow

Just a last minute update.

Looks like the movie selection's gunna include Saw and Army of Darkness at the least!

There's also the rumor of possible chili.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Party Update

Just to make sure everyone's gotten all the info:

If you need our address, let me know

We're on the 2nd floor. Parking is on-street, and will probably be a premium. There *may* be room to park in the driveway on the left side of the house, but this is only a maybe. If you need a ride to/from the train station, chances are pretty good that someone can help out. Gloucester is small, and I think we're only a few dollars away by cab should everyone pass out drunk before you need a ride...

Anyone who gets drunk will not be allowed to drive. I won't be responsible for anyone's stupidity.

Sleeping space is on a first-fall basis. We've got hard wood floors, so if you plan on crashing here, I suggest bringing something (or someone) soft to fall on.

Here's what we've got now:

  • a lot of cheesy decorations
  • an asston of candy (about $40 worth)
  • Liquer: A bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey, a bottle of Capt. Morgan Spiced Rum, and a small bottle of Blavad vodka.
  • Beer: 12 (maybe not by the time you get here) miller light, cans
  • Sodas: 2-liter Coke, Orange Soda, and Ginger Ale
  • Homeade sweet tea, homade ginger tea

We don't plan on serving any food. There's just too many people...

What to bring:

  • Food/beer/liquer/money
  • Yourself
  • Costume
  • If you plan on sleeping here, stuff for that
  • Gag gift

If you decide that you can/will bring something, let me know so that I can let everyone else know. I'd also like to get an idea of how many people are showing up...

I still need music/movie suggestions!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Revolution Thoughts...

Revolution a complete failure if it sells less than the GameCube; a global launch set for April or later in 2006

My thoughts...

Isn't this the kind of thing Sega said about the dreamcast?
And look where it got them
Exactly the last thing Nintendo needs to publicly state. I'm losing hope already.
When a company starts publicising the death of their system months before its release, it tends to scare developers...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Evil Genious or Sock Monger?

Everyone's favorite villain, Dr. Steve (from everyone's favorite radio program, The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, of course) took time from his life of crime to respond to my post about the show.

If you haven't listened to the show yet, shame on you. SHAME! SHAME!!! Especially if I emailed you weeks ago telling you how cool it was *cough* Drew!

Anyway, I think its really great that the people who make the show took the time to comment, and in character no less.

Nice to know that some people go the extra mile!


You can read my original post [here].

Sunday, October 23, 2005

National Semiconductor History 1970

From the NS website:

1976
National announces additions to its watch and calculator lines and introduces its Adversary TV add-on video game series. Cebu, Philippines, discrete manufacturing facility built. National forms partnership with Itel to build IBM compatible mainframe computers.

RESTRICTED SITE: Access Denied by VSEA

Access Denied by VSEA


The following error was encountered:

  • Access Denied by VSEA: Forbidden, this page (http://search.ebay.com/adversary) is categorized as: Auction.

Access control configuration prevents your request from being allowed at this time. Please contact the IT Support Center at x2700 or place an online TrackIT ticket if you feel this is incorrect.

The computer systems are provided for business purposes. No individual should use the systems for offensive, unlawful and/or malicious intent or purpose. Abuse of the Internet access provided by VSEA will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Please contact the IT Support HelpDesk if you feel this is incorrect and you need to access this site.


Generated Sun, 23 Oct 2005 10:00:55 GMT by vus-glprx-01.vsea.com (squid/2.5.STABLE6)

Homer Simpson Quotes of Wisdom

God : Thou hast forsaken My Church! Homer : Uh, kind-of ... b-but ... God : But what Homer : I'm not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell? God : [pause] Hmm ... You've got a point there."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

RESTRICTED SITE: Access Denied by VSEA

This is getting ridiculous.

Now I can't even read my wife's blog.

Access Denied by VSEA


The following error was encountered:

  • Access Denied by VSEA: Forbidden, this page (http://www.myspace.com/shaysplace) is categorized as: Dating/Personals.

Access control configuration prevents your request from being allowed at this time. Please contact the IT Support Center at x2700 or place an online TrackIT ticket if you feel this is incorrect.

The computer systems are provided for business purposes. No individual should use the systems for offensive, unlawful and/or malicious intent or purpose. Abuse of the Internet access provided by VSEA will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Please contact the IT Support HelpDesk if you feel this is incorrect and you need to access this site.


Generated Sat, 22 Oct 2005 10:07:36 GMT by vus-glprx-01.vsea.com (squid/2.5.STABLE6)

Flickr

I've posted some new pics. Late as usual...

Squirrely

RESTRICTED SITE: Access Denied by VSEA

Can't view wired. Corporate proxy thinks the external CSS is web ads. Now, I don't mind not being able to view web ads. But how do you confuse CSS with web ads?

Access Denied by VSEA


The following error was encountered:

  • Access Denied by VSEA: Forbidden, this page (http://ly.lygo.com/ly/wired/news/v/20020914/css/cs5/wnScreen.css) is categorized as: Web Ads .

Access control configuration prevents your request from being allowed at this time. Please contact the IT Support Center at x2700 or place an online TrackIT ticket if you feel this is incorrect.

The computer systems are provided for business purposes. No individual should use the systems for offensive, unlawful and/or malicious intent or purpose. Abuse of the Internet access provided by VSEA will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Please contact the IT Support HelpDesk if you feel this is incorrect and you need to access this site.


Generated Sat, 22 Oct 2005 07:06:40 GMT by vus-glprx-01.vsea.com (squid/2.5.STABLE6)

WTF?!

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian authorities have apologized to the family of an elderly man who was given a parking ticket while he lay dead in his car in a suburban shopping center.

A day in the life...

Rolling stone on Justin Frankel. The guy who invented Winamp. And shoutcast. And sold out to AOL. And then invented gnutella after selling out, thereby maintaining his coolnes...

Read all about it, because--honestly--everyone remembers Winamp.

Friday, October 21, 2005

RESTRICTED SITE: Access Denied by VSEA

I can no longer read Joystiq at work!!!

Access Denied by VSEA


The following error was encountered:

  • Access Denied by VSEA: Forbidden, this page (http://www.joystiq.com/) is categorized as: Games .

Access control configuration prevents your request from being allowed at this time. Please contact the IT Support Center at x2700 or place an online TrackIT ticket if you feel this is incorrect.

The computer systems are provided for business purposes. No individual should use the systems for offensive, unlawful and/or malicious intent or purpose. Abuse of the Internet access provided by VSEA will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Please contact the IT Support HelpDesk if you feel this is incorrect and you need to access this site.



Generated Sat, 22 Oct 2005 05:50:42 GMT by vus-glprx-01.vsea.com (squid/2.5.STABLE6)

Work

I am getting really sick of some of the shit that goes on here. Like people accepting a machine that isn't complete. For instance, I've yet to see a machine that was actually complete be passed into Final Test. We spend waste so much time doing work that should already be done before the machine gets to us. And this is the status quo.

For once, can't we get a machine that's actually been built properly & is ready to test?

Wait... if that happened on a regular basis, they probably wouldn't need us to go behind everyone & clean up...

Great. My job depends on other people being fuckups.

Work news

With the increased threats of worms, viruses, and spyware which can negatively impact the integrity of VSEA's electronic data, we have implemented a program which will block all file transfers using external Instant Messaging packages, such as AOL, Yahoo or MSN. VSEA discourages the use of Instant Messaging packages outside of the corporate standard Lotus Notes Instant Messenger package, and any file transfers using these nonstandard Instant Messaging packages are not secure. While there may be limited business needs for these messaging applications, any file transfers to external partners must be performed using the corporate Lotus Notes E-mail program (for messages under 5 MB in size) or corporate approved file transfer packages for larger files. File transfer attempts using Instant Messaging packages will be blocked and logged to our network logging system. If you have questions regarding this policy, or need assistance in transferring files, please open a Track-IT ticket using the "Data/File Access" category.

Hot off the proverbial wire. Seems ridiculous to me, but that's because I've used the LN IM client, and it leaves a lot to be desired... Is this kind of policy the corporate world-standard? I'm still new to this whole big corp environment.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Math1 Thursdays

Math008

It all started with a simple stick-figure drawing lesson... Everything went down hill from there, as you can plainly see in blue & red.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Concepts, ideas, & thoughts.

I keep making vague references to the things that I wanna do. I'm afraid someone will rip me off. As far as I know, most of the ideas I have are original. There is one concept that's an inspired variation on a theme, but I'm pretty sure the rest are just as odd as I.

The concepts I am working on now are 3 "community" sites, a couple of games, and a few services that I could offer.

The communities, to remain vague and general, relate to stories, cars, and blogs.

My concept for stories is in part inspired by my friend Trevor's short story site, and partly because I can't write for shit. That's all I have to say about that.

The cars concept stems from recent personal experiances.

I am working on (so far only in planning stages) a blog application. Mostly for fun/practice, but inspired by the things in blogger that I either like or hate. I've started working on the database that could possibly support this.

I am also conceptualizing a couple of games. The first has been very neatly planned out on paper. If only I could find those napkins... The other has been discussed and tossed about and is a direct retaliation at Urban Dead.

Selling out

I am currently planning on releasing them all under this domain (not their own sites). I plan on selling discrete advertising, along with memberships. I'm thinking of several very adaptave, not to mention cheap pricing schemes. I know how it is to miss out on something otherwise cool because I can't afford it. Not only that, and I don't want to scare people away from some no-name guy who's charging outrageous fees to view his hobby...

If I wasn't looking to spend several thousand dollars on equipment for this hobby, I'd probably not charge anything. But then I'd just be stuck with a real job. But that's another rant.

The point

If you're a frequent reader, stick around. If you've stumbled across this page whilest bored surfing, bookmark it & check back later. There's good things afoot... If only I can stay on my feet...

Projects... Erh, a life rant

Projects

There are several projects that I have been tossing around in my head for quite some time. Things that I want to do with my website. Things that I can do to create traffic. Things that I can do to make money.

Yes. Make money. I want you netziens to pay me to do what I like doing. Web development. Not because I'm greedy, but because I need money to get these things done. My primary comptuer is a very outdated Mac G4. I either need to upgrade or buy a new computer. I also need to seriously look at changing web hosts.

Don't get me wrong, I like my current host... Well, let me explain:

A buddy of mine who's a professional web designer has a server that he gives me space on. Its a windows box with CF server & MSSQL. Everything I need. The problem is that I haven't had access to my DB in several months, making it hard for me to start working on all these grand ideas.

What it really boils down to is I can't complain because I'm already getting a lot for not much anything, and I can't afford the cost of moving my site elsewhere. Not yet.

What I would like to see happen is to get some of these ideas on the web. To get beta versions of a few of the things I wanna do up so people can see what I've got going on is more than a blog & a "under construction" page. But I find it very hard to code without a database to test against. Fellow web programmers probably know what I mean here, I only feel comfortable going so far without having a firm knowledge of the database I am coding for, lest I leave out some major detail.

A means to an end

Ultimately, I'd like to do web design for a living. I'd like to have a small firm of my own, maintain a few sites/apps & do design & hosting for small businesses.

There is no way I could afford to make the jump now. I have way too many bills, and not anywhere enough money.

Enough whining, where are the concepts?

See my next post.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

BACK ONLINE

Bustikated.net is back on line!

I'd like to thank Travis for getting the ftp issues fixed. I've been waiting rather impatiently for the last few days, and its nice to again be able to mess around with my measly corner of the web.

You'll notice a few posts that have been time-shifted back to when they would've posted had the FTP server been running. There is no need to adjust your tv.

Expect new things to be happening around here, especially if I can get ahold of my database.

Until next time!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Halloween Party

Sharon & I are throwing a halloween party @ our apartment.
Here's what you need to know:
Monday Oct 31 (duh!) 6pm - Whenever
If you don't wear a costume, be prepared to be humiliated in front of everone else.
Don't show up empty handed!!! Bring food, alcohol, or money.
If you're interested, let us know so we can plan accordingly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Six Months

Happy 6month birthday to ME!

As of today, the blog is six months old!!!

This Just In!!!

Apple commemorates our lil milestone by announcing the video iPod today. Kick ass!

Its been up & down, but I'm still here. Still posting. Thanks to everyone who reads regularly (the few, the dedicated!)

Hope to see you around in another 6 months.

Old News & A LOT of bitching!

I'd actually wanted to post about this a while ago. Quite a while, in fact. But I'm lazy, and haven't been keeping up with the blog the way I had been. Shame on me.

Part of the reason I haven't posted in a while is my host moved the server last week, so stuff has been down. Should be up by now. If you're reading this, I would assume all is back to normal.

The Old News


John Gilis

The first blurb is about the IT department at work. My buddy took his laptop in because he can't get on the wireless network. The problem is that the WiFi is WPA protected, and no one knows the keys except IT. The IT guy, John Gilis (sp?)--some 40+ guy with long curly black hair (spooky) messes with it for about 5 minutes. Says it should be connecting (the network shows up in the available list) but it won't connect because my buddy had installed Yahoo! Messenger. His actual words were "You have unauthorized software on your corporate machine. It won't connect because Yahoo! is an unauthorized program. And its sucking the wireless signal from your card & preventing you from getting on the network."

So, either this guy is a dick, or he's the biggest moron ever.


The Bitching

Work Bitching

What's with people turning over half finished crap as being done? Saturday night, there was an upgrade that was supposedly completed on the day shift. When I got there, the machine was still torn apart. I took a look around, and didn't really think that anything had been started, much less finished. After about an hour of getting the run around from my own shift supervisiors, someone else finally realized that the work wasn't done, or if it was, it wasn't right.

6 hours later, when it was finally finsihed, it was obvious that the people who'd supposedly completed the upgrade had gotten everything installed, but did such a great job that none of it was installed properly and none of it worked.

Not only that, but when the day shift supervisor got in Sunday morning, he started bitching about work that we hadn't done that night. Stuff that he'd emailed ONE friggin guy about (not the lead or supervisor, another tech, and NOT the guy actually working on the machine--that was me)! First off, he left us a shitty machine that wasn't ready (like he'd told our supers it was) and didn't leave complete instructions. And he was mad at us about it.

Then, Sunday night, the first things in the passdown notes were complaints about how our shift turned over the machine with some busted cables & a pump problem. That really pissed me off, because the day shift replaced that pump the day before, as part of the upgrade, and had obviously fucked that up too, but were trying to blame us for not fixing it for them. On top of that, they once again walked away in the middle of a procedure with very little notes as to what they'd done, & what needed to be done


Lotus Notes

More work bitching. LN was down this weekend. No one could find a hard copy of the procedures for test. So we were pretty much flying blind the last half shift Saturday night/Sunday morning & again all night Sunday.

The confusion was only complicated more by the poor passdown of information regarding some specialized testing going on. Not that the tests were that special or difficult or whatever, but that it was different from the norm. And very poorly documented.

It wouldn't be so bad if this was a once in a while occurance, but its rampant. The technical doucmentation is very lacking, all across the board. We're constantly using inconsistent procedures with out of date and/or just plain inacurate schematics.

There's no easy way to track common problems & their solutions. When I suggested one several months ago, I was laughed off by my supervisors boss & told that "we don't need such a thing." There's no record of normal values. No "normal operating ranges" beyond personal experiance. Now, thats fine for the poor bastards that have been in Final Test for 20 years, but I'm pretty much shit out of luck.

But, I digress. The issue was that one system went down, and EVERYONE, presumably world wide, was prevented from accessing the maintenance & assembly procedures, logs, etc for EVERY machine. And no one could come up with paper copies.

One question is why there's only one system. Why aren't there redundant backups of that system?

I also want to know why they use LN for this system. A cluster of webservers could host the procedures & logs as HTML pages or a PHP/CF/ASP application. This would enable several servers worldwide to split the dataload. Not to mention, provide a backup.

No matter the case, if it was a HD problem, they should've had an immediate solution for replacing or restoring the bad drive/drives & moving on. If it was a system problem, shut the damn thing off, pull the drives out, and put them in a machine that works... Not that there aren't litteraly tons of DELL Inspiron (or whatever) servers in that building. I mean, come on, we were winging it for over 24 hours. Not safe when you're working on multimillion dollar machines with High Voltage, toxic chemicals, and lots and lots of moving parts.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Elysium

While boredsurfing at work (I was doing uptime) I came across this site. Worth the read, I think. Later!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd.

I heard about this show while listening to the Podfinder podcast by Adam Curry [iTMS]
He played a sample & that was it. I subscribed & downloaded every episode.

The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd tracks a brilliant scientist & his protege & their robot through space as they attempt to recover a stolen Time & Space Travel Device from Dr. Steve & his sidekick Fidgert.

They style is very reminicsent of Jay Ward, creator of Rocky & Bullwinkle. But it is very original, if stereotypical.

I played an episode for Sharon yesterday, and she's hooked to. We actually listened to the entire first season last night.

You can find the show's site [here], if you use iTunes, click [here].

Monday, October 03, 2005

Cell Phone. Woes. Part III

The continuing story of my long lost cellphone

Something great happened today.

I went to the local Verizon Wireless store, to try & finagle a deal on just buying a new phone out-right & avoiding all that insurance bullshit headache than I've had to deal with the past few days.

He asked me if I had a phone, and if I had one, would I be happy waiting for the 8100 to come in. Then he handed me a Samsung A670 & told me to bring it back when I got my phone.

Within 15 minutes, I was on my way. With a phone. Not a great phone, but a phone. And I still get the upgraded 8100. I just hope that the bluetooth & the miniSD slot are enough to distract me from the looks & size of the 8100.

Geez, I'm almost satisfied!

If only someone had mentioned this option earlier, like when I was asking if there was anything they could do...

I guess my satisfaction level with Verizon has gone back up, a bit.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Thoughts for today...

Nintendo will continue to make money hand over fist. While sony & ms sell millions of units @ a loss. The Rev's games will probably continue the bad image/great game that most of the GC/DS games have had. MS & Sony will each have a handfull of amazing games that you can't play anywhere else. I'm holding out until all 3 are released before I drop any money, but for now, I plan on getting a Rev. But thats just me, and I play my atari2600 more than anything eles...

Cell Phone. Woes. Part II

9:00 AM: Asurion

You may or may not [remember], but somewhere a long the line a few weeks ago, my cellphone & I were seperated, never to find each other again. At the time, I wasn't too too worried. I have phone insurance. I held out for 3 weeks without my phone, hoping someone @ work would turn it in to the security office. But now I'm pretty sure its gone forever.

So, Saturday, after work, I called up Asurion [website], the company that handles insurance for Verizon Wireless. Thats when the fun started...

9:15 AM The Fun

Well, after hanging up to file a police report, and calling back & waiting on hold again. For a while. I was connected to this guy who was super polite & extremely... Well, polite. He said "sir" soooooo much it was <CENSORED> fuck </CENSORED>ing annoying. I even made a comment to Sharon about the guy; and how I'd never had a complaint about how polite a customer service rep was.

I should've known right then & there that something wasn't right.

After taking down all my info & waiting a while for them to "verify" what I'd told them. Why do they even ask you anything, if they just call Verizon & get all your information from them anyway? They kindly offered to replace my LGVX8000 with the awe -inspriring LGVX3100.

The most awe-inspiring feature of the 3100 model is that it hasn't been manufactured for several years. I mean, holy crap, my phone was less than 6 months old. 1.3 mp camera. EVDO. HUGE frigging screen. And they wanted to replace it with. Dare I say it? Dave's phone.

So I asked him to repeat the model number a few times. After he did, and I told him what I thought about the 3100. He asked me, "So, you want me to set this up for you?"

10:00 AM, Melissa

Yes, thats her real name. Yes, it took almost 15 minutes of my life waiting for the <CENSORED> bitch </CENSORED> to pick up the phone, only to tell me that once a phone had been "offered", all I could do was accept or cancel my claim. When I tried to reason with this woman, she told me, "You don't like it, call Verizon."

10:15 AM Verizon Wireless

On hold. For so long that they offered to call me back. Finaly got a supervisor. Turns out the nice lady that de-activated my phone, in addition to screwing up my bill, changed my esn to that of a much older phone. (Note: when your phone gets stolen, they put a bogus ESN on your account, so that your phone doesn't actually get calls & you don't get charged an early termination fee) So it was causing a problem with the insurance. Because they WERE ONLY GOING OFF OF THE INFORMATION THAT VERIZON WAS PROVIDING THEM. Not the police report they MADE me file. Not what I told them.

11:00 AM Asurion take 2
or
That <CENSORED> bitch </CENSORED> Melissa strikes again... Doesn't ANYONE else work at this place?!?!?

As soon as this woman picks up the phone, I'm convinced that I've been had. I can't belive the luck. Why her? I am convinced that she answered the call ON PURPOSE. After quite a while of back & forth, run around style bullshit, she finaly offered to replace my LGVX8000 with an LGVX8100.

Now, don't get me wrong, the 8100 is nice. Its kinda-sorta the same as the 8000. But it has Bluetooth. And a MiniSD slot. Its also a LOT frickin smaller. (one of the things I loved about the 8000). The problem now was they don't have any 8100s in stock. Nor do they know when they'll get one. So its take the 3100 or wait an indefinate period for the 8100.

I've already been without a phone since September 12. They're asking me to wait up to 10 weeks???? to recive a replacement. I was shocked & or appalled. I tried to work something out, like picking up a replacement at the nearest Verizon store or something, anything to not have to wait THAT frigging long.

Melissa, being as helpful as she was earlier, told me that it wasn't her problem. Told me that all I was entitled to was a comparable replcaement. Told me that if I didn't want to wait, there was always the 3100.

I told her to <CENSORED> fuck </CENSORED> off.

11:45 AM Verizon Wireless

Waited on hold. Again. For another supervisor. Took a while. Glad its Saturday, all these calls are FREE. Finaly, a person! I relate my life story (or at least the past several hours of it) to her, and she listens, politely, and then tells me that Verizon can't/won't do anything, and that I've gotta call the insurance company.

So I try to work something out with her. I try to get them to at least call Asurion on my behalf. Get something done. Talk to someone. Cummon, I can't wait several weeks to get a phone, thats crazy!!. She stonewalled me. By this time its noon and I'm really VERY upset. So I let her have it. I threaten to go to the BBB. She tells me, "Get a lawyer."

I went off on this woman. The yelling. It was pretty harsh. It'd all been building up for several hours & she got it all.

Then I went on the BBB website & filed complaints. Against Asurion the full of shit insurance co & against that bitch Melissa, and against Verizon Wireless. I felt obligated to document each and every issue I've had with Verizon, all the billing problems (even though I haven't even been a member 6 months) as well as the recent issues. I've even thought about getting a lawyer.

12:45 AM

I couldn't go on. I was furious. I called Asurion & Verizon back to inform them of the complaints, then I went to bed.