Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The sucking electrical monopoly dance

Tombigbee Valley Electric Corp. supplies electricity to our area. During the last cycle of 34 days I reduced my electric bill to $55.00 and was proud of my efforts to turn off different items. I also installed a different AC unit and did not run it unless absolutely necessary. So when that bill arrived I felt like my switching off approach was working. Therefore, the switching off has continued. Needless to say my horror upon opening a bill for a period of 4 less days at a total of over $200.00 knocked me to the floor. I live in a very small house and am not here most of the day. I've never had a $200.00 electric bill. That's 4 times the last cycle and during the past few months weather has been extremely mild. I haven't called them for fear that I may become disgusted. Something has to be done and I may write a letter and demand a reply just to see if they even give a damn. Just wish that there was an alternative power source. This is beyond absurd.

Anyone have any ideas or advice?

"When angry, count four; when very angry, swear."
-Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Please pass the Starlight scope

We can't find that no good SOB Osama, but we can use technology to catch kids recording movies in theaters. Check BBC News, Entertainment to read further about this ridiculous waste of taxpayers money. Gee, golly, think this will put the major motion picture studios out of business? What a threat! Move over RIAA, Satan apparently has a new favorite.

Still opening attachments in email? If somethings looks the least bit suspicious email the sender and ask for verification before opening. Google search for the words 'email address spoofing' and read about exploits of the virus creeps. An alternative to the google search is reading Mike Healan's great article over at Spywareinfo. Now these stalwarts of evil can exploit jpeg files too. Pictures n' such. Check out Wired News.

"The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is not a problem of physics but of ethics. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil from the spirit of man."
-Albert Einstein

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Geek fun

Yes, Robin, I am serious about overclocking a toothbrush. It's an Oral B electric toothbrush that was purchased at Wal-mart; you know, the store where the evil children live and terrorize shoppers. I made a trip to Radio Shack and bought an "AA" battery holder that holds two batteries. The toothbrush only holds one "AA" battery. So I am soldering the dual battery holder to the leads in the toothbrush and then taping the new holder to the handle. Twice the power which equals a 100% overclock.

Kevin Rose actually performed this modification on The Screensavers last week. Before all y'all start up, sometimes you just have to take a few minutes out and have fun. It's required. Tried the brush this morning at regular speed and it's not too impressive. Will post my results when through.

Tomorrow will be a long day and I am going to bed early. A project HAS to be completed by tomorrow evening. Everyone stay casual.

"Dentists use radiation, in the form of X-rays, to determine which of our teeth are still real, so they can grind them into stumps and cover them with improved space-age materials costing thousands of dollars per ounce."
-Dave Barry

Monday, September 27, 2004

Oral B is most casual

Finishing the home theater system that has been prevelant for several months now. My networks rock and are always #1, but end of month obligations must be met. Also, overclocking my toothbrush (check out g4techtv). Need to take a shower and wash off drywall dust. Stay casual my fellow nerdlings.

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."
-Mark Twain

Sunday, September 26, 2004

More early morning browsing

Melancholy morning. Several friends are undergoing life experiences and I have spent time in prayer for them and myself. What do you pray for? Seriously. I pray to be a better man, have more patience - especially with those that think they know everything and haven't a clue as to what life is really about, gratitude for my many blessings, my family and friends, and forgiveness of my sins.

My Father passed away in 1998 and he is still with me. Been on my mind a lot lately. Want to emulate him as much as possible. He was truly one of the good guys. This has nothing to do with geekdom maybe...but then it may.

Enough already. I've become maudlin. Time to prepare for an afternoon of work! Everyone enjoy Sunday and please mention me if you pray.

"Deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie - I found that out."
-Mark Twain

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Early morning browsing

Like an example of why people shouldn't be influenced by rock stars, musicians, actors, and so forth? Of all places, try reading an article at Rolling Stone's site. Please remember this when going to the polls in November.

Is Google creating a browser that will compete with Internet Explorer and Mozilla? Check out BBC News. Will Microsoft keep upgrading Internet Explorer? Some think this is not a silly question. Then there are those that are LOL.

Up early to get the jump on a current job that requires field work to finish. Must await the light of dawn and head to it. Have a casual Saturday.

"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."
- Vincent Furnier (AKA Alice Cooper)

Friday, September 24, 2004

It's an antelope not a gnu

LION: It keeps coming up about my "seeing" strange and wonderous creatures during a wireless network install. BTW, range extenders rock! Dissenters and skeptics how about this?

See, there is a lion chasing an antelope in the entrance foyer.

WITCH: Tereeeeeeeeza Heinz Kerry (Rave on! America is listening to your hateful remarks)

WARDROBE: Make mine anything but 70s disco

Thoroughly confused? Read The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis and become enlightened. As a matter of fact, read them to your children or grandchildren.
"In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight."
-The Tokens

Thursday, September 23, 2004

My Dad liked the Duke

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them."
-John Wayne, from a movie adapted from John Bernard's book The Shootist

People curse you, call you names and you don't tolerate it. I find NOTHING wrong with this attitude. Can we have some input my fellow geeksters? Let me know how you feel.

"Cause even grown men need understanding."
-John Wayne as Marshall J.D. Cahill (Cahill, U.S. Marshall):

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Toolbar with spyware now has a melody in its wimpy, deceitful heart

Gator/Claria, AOL, Incredifind, CoolWWWSearch and the liberal jerks have a new friend. ZDNET has an interesting article about Yahoo entering the Music Wars. Wonder if they'll put spyware in their tunes or make you download that horrible toolbar and Yahoo Companion? This is quickly becoming one of my least favorite entities on the web. After some problems in the beginning with spyware they seemed to straighten up. Then TechTV busted them earlier this year because they had spyware hiding in their toolbar thangy. As far as I know it's still there. So, no interest here in their music download service. Anyone know of an alternative IM besides AIM and MSN? LisaPooh tells me Yahoo IM is not completely compatible with Mozilla. Something about not being able to change the avatar's clothes? Ahhhhh, the inhumanity of it all.

Contrary to what Alex and Kevin said on G4TechTV during The Screensavers Monday night, Sony's newest entry into the portable music player will play MP3s natively. Don't buy the current one (the woman in the blue dress singing a weird rendition of Aerosmith's Walk This Way commercial?). It uses Sony's ATRAC format. The newest version ships next month and is pricy. Read about it at The Register.

Time to get busy. Have casual Wednesday.

"Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest."
-Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Elected pests

Intel, Google, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, EarthLink, Verizon, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have combined forces to stop a bill in Congress that has been mentioned before several times here at Cybersouth. If you care anything about privacy please go read this article now ->Tech Groups Want Induce Hearings. This is about the Induce Act that was drummed up by that megalomaniac Oral Hatch, Republican Senator from Utah and his Democratic minion from Vermont, Leahy. Will the residents of Utah and Vermont please vote these people out of office? This is serious folks. When they take away your right to listen to music, view movies in your home, have an iPod or video camera then will that get your attention? Well that's what Oral (yes I know his name is Orrin) is trying to do with this bill. Pay attention! Contact your Congresspeople.

Time to go to work. Everyone have a great Sunday. The weather here is almost perfect! Instead of working I should be hammocking...

"Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms, and there is no known way to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons."
-Dave Barry

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Great Google Moogle

After using Gmail for several months, it is about to come out of beta test stage. It is hard to find anything wrong with this Google application. There are several plugins for this great web-based email service. One I use is Gmail Notifier. This sits quietly in your system tray and lets you know when new mail arrives. It even has a small window that opens and tell you the originator. Kewl, huh?

If anyone needs a gmail account I still have a few invitations left. Let's see, I use Blogger and Gmail. Both are owned by Google. Guess that makes me a Google-ite or a Google-ist. Anyway Google my Moogle, Noogle. Then we'll go somewhere and dance to the Booga-loogle. Must go, need rest. Think I shall snoogle in front of the TVoogle.

"A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow."
Charlotte Bronte

Friday, September 17, 2004

Fox and hound

Even though this may incite a minor cyber-riot amongst the Internet Explorer Nazis and the Mozilla & Company Nazis I think it interesting to see that Microsoft's neglect of customers this summer has impacted in a proper way. Take a look at Firefox in the IE Henhouse. If it makes you feel better to rant and rave in comments then go ahead. Damn it, Microsoft should have corrected their browser problems. I'll be the first to admit that using a product (Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.) that "belongs" to AOL makes me feel dirty. Right now it is the lesser of two evils. Nice to browse the web and know that no popups will attack. Even though Mozilla is a dot org and touted as opensource it bothers me a lot to know that AOL is involved. These jerks will find some way to screw up a good thing. Just look at their internet service provider. Ever try to get out of that mess and go to the real internet? It's like fighting a coon dog that's running from a possum!

How about putting a $100,000 bounty on spammers? Hattiesburg American has the story. Can we include the spyware buttheads in this group? That way we can take care of both problems. Why are these problems ignored? Spyware people are the absolute dregs of the earth and there may be a new level in hell for these creeps. Wonder how many billions they've cost the industry?

"Character is much easier kept than recovered."
-Thomas Paine

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Storm tracks

Ivan has come and gone in Northeast Mississippi barely skirting the area. God help those families suffering losses in the wake of this storm and those that will undergo the newest weather threat Jeanne. The Weather Channel is a good site for tracking climate changes, but I prefer Intellicast 10 day report. Sunshine is forecast for the next few days.

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Storms brewing live and techno

After watching the weather report and installing two Critical Updates from Microsoft on my Windows 2000 PC cruising the web took me to SouthernPhried and the post by Wampus about first hand experience in regards to the evacuation of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Luckily he got a jump on the massive northward migration. Check it out, nice post. It's the one with the Duke University avatar.

The latest incarnation of The Screensavers on G4TechTV has returned to doing live broadcasts 6:00-7:00pm CDT. Kevin Rose is still one of the anchors which is a plus plus and they've added a new co-host, Alex Albrecht (sp?). The ad that went out must have said, "Co-host needed for geek/nerd info show that goes to 50 million viewers daily. Must have a high pitched annoying voice, a personality that combines the lesser points of Screech and Shaggy, and be able to insult call-in viewers, members of the audience and fellow workers. Why? We are Comcast and we don't give a damn about public opinion." After a week of watching Alex it's safe to say they fulfilled their baboon dreams. C'mon Comcast. Patrick Norton and Leo Laporte blew this guy away. Put him in one of your other G4 type shows. He'll fit in nicely with the rest of your hosts. Why oh why did Paul Allen and company sell TechTV?

"In college, Yuppies major in business administration. If to meet certain requirements they have to take a liberal arts course, they take Business Poetry." -Dave Barry

Monday, September 13, 2004

Dinner, some movies, a song and archives

A movie that features the music of Jane Monheit, even if it is played during the end credits, will get my attention. Believe me this beautiful young lady sounds nothing like Pink or L'il Kim. This is stylized jazz at it's best. Whew! She's just awesome. Just click on her name and hear a sultry, smooth, sensuous voice. Wait, this is about a movie...

During my couch anchoring stint this past evening I watched a two hour special on George Lucas and Star Wars which is playing on A&E this month. Somewhere in between the aggravating weather announcements that chop up viewing and grilling a chicken beasty I did see a commercial for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. The original Star Wars Trilogy (episodes IV, V, VI) comes out on DVD tomorrow and Sky Captain premiers in theaters Friday. Major week for scifi geeks. Yes, I have seen all five Star Wars episodes at the theater. Actually sat thru the first one twice, back to back in May 1977. This was during my Purple Haze years. And yes, I have seen everyone of them multiple times at the theater. So, after reading reviews of Sky Captain and noticing that Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow are the female leading players, I'll probably wander into a theater this weekend and stay for the end credits.

Archives should be working now. At least they are at the moment. Will keep checking on it. In the meantime, may the port be with you...er, uh - may the force be with you.

"Music is the only sensual pleasure that has no vice"
-Samuel Johnson

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Digital cable and air conditioning rock!

Nice easy day today. My landline phone is on the blink and it is muggy outside. The battery is recharging on the cell phone and I am seriously considering grilling a chicken beast. Have to clean house and also make sure that the sofa doesn't float off by staying prone on it. Like to get more done, but the sofa worries me. May be Hamboni is playing tricks or the flashbacks they warned us about have actually happened. It's afternoon and there may be another pot of java in my immediate future. Think I'll have some awesome Odyssey coffee and light the charcoal.

Everyone please enjoy their afternoon of computing using XP, Win2K, OS10, 98SE, SuSe, FreeBSD, Mandrake, Red Hat, Debian, DOS, or any other operating system. Shoot! Happy computing even to the Windows ME users.

"Can't we just all get along?"
-Rodney King

Saturday, September 11, 2004

God Bless America and the President of the United States

Yesterday Tereeeeeeza Heinz Kerry called us all idiots. Yep, that's what we need in the White House; a first lady that is nothing more than a mouthing, rich flaming b--ch. Guess the Democrats are proud of her accomplishments concerning Mr. Waffle's campaign. You can read about it at Nealz Nuze.

Today is 9/11. Three years ago our nation was attacked and thousands of lives were lost. Nothing would suit me more than the liberal media have to broadcast that Osama Bin Laden had been found and shot repeatedly until dead. Our tolerance as a nation has led to infiltration of our country with ne'er do wells and the wretches of the earth. The muslim "leaders" can raise hell about prisoner treatment in Iraq and then act like they know nothing about the mass murder of children in Russia. Where does all this killing and madness stop?

I live in a country that was founded by Christians. Our Constitution is based on good will towards our fellow humans. What the hell gives these jerks the right to undermine that which is decent? Our Constitution also gives us the ability to defend that which is rightfully ours. If we elect Kerry our right to bear arms is in great jeopardy. It amazes me that anyone actually considers voting for this man. As for the terrorists and that worm of a human being Michael Moore, you can all go straight to hell.

"To err is nature, to rectify error is glory."
-George Washington

"There is but one man I trust to keep my family safe - safe from terrorists bent on destroying America. One man with the resolve to make up his mind and then stick with his decisions. ... One man who will keep on the offensive, never wavering, never wobbling, never weak in the knees."
-Democratic Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia introducing our President yesterday

Friday, September 10, 2004

Now where is my asbestos suit?

Let's set the record straight. Bill Gates is a dude I admire in many ways. It is my opinion that he saved the world from Steve Jobs. His ability to license product and get it distributed played a major part in the affordability of the home PC. If this had been left to Steve Jobs we'd all be working on $5000.00 Apples and technology would be 10 years behind. Hence, not many of us would own personal PCs and I would be involved in another line of work.

You can argue until you are blue in the face and I will still sit in front of this dual processor, 1 gig of RAM, SCSI drive PC with a 21" CRT and kickass Logitech speakers when I need to do something that requires stability. This machine runs Windows 2000 Pro and it is my choice of Windows operating systems. Just behind me is a Windows 2000 Server machine that is RAID 1 and has a Netserver cabinet RAID 5 array with 8 10,000 spin SCSI drives. Next to it is a PC running XP Pro. Also, there is a machine running XP Home and a Windows 98SE box on my workbench. I will NOT allow a Windows ME machine on my network. I also have a PC dedicated to Linux and one that is FreeBSD. Yes, this is serious business with me.

Bottom line? I don't especially care for XP. How many updates have they issued for this operating system? Okay, after finding that out how many updates have they issued for Windows 2000? Stability? Really? Hell, if I want stability I'll run Linux or FreeBSD. Restarting the PC? If you don't reboot your Windows PC no matter what flavor then you are asking for trouble. There is an exception. Windows 2000 Server rocks!

Also, there's the IE versus Mozilla issue. No, I am not endorsing doing away with Internet Explorer!!! And don't think for a second I will put very much trust in ANYTHING that is owned by AOL. Mozilla is an AOL property. Twist it however you want, but the fact remains that AOL is the funds behind the dot org at the end of Mozilla. Anyway, Microsoft went the the whole month of July in 2004 knowing there was a security flaw in Internet Explorer and basically told every Windows user in the world to take a flying leap and ignored the problem. Well, I jumped. I've looked at many browsers and decided to use Mozilla which is nothing more than a worked over Netscape application. I still use Internet Explorer on occasion and will probably gravitate back to it. If Mozilla did not have the connection with AOL I might have a different opinion.

So there it is in 'black and white'. I like Windows, Bill Gates, and the ability to choose that which suits my needs. I don't like security flaws, Steve Jobs and AOL. So do what you want with Service Pack 2 and run XP or use an Apple if that is your desire. My faith is in Windows 2000 Pro. Hopefully Longhorn will be a great improvement. We'll see, won't we?

"How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress."
-Niels Bohr

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Is XP Service Pack 2 really service? Depends on your definition of the word

Windows XP Service Pack 2 is still in the air, more ways than one. There's actually a way to preview this uberfix. Beware that this jewel is from Microsoft and the dude writing about it warns this is not a "supported" application (what does that really mean?).

Windows-help.net has an article for the ITs and sysadmins. You can intergrate SP2 into every new XP installation by using a process known as Slipstreaming. Interesting...

After much googling I finally found the Microsoft Knowledge Base article that lists the known applications that are 'fubared' by Service Pack 2 -> 842242. Amazing how things that are pertinent get buried when it comes to Microsoft snafus. Check this out if you have installed XP SP2 and are having problems. Good place to start anyway.

Beagle's wait and see attitude seems best after hearing all the horror stories about how this wonder of wonders really can't be un-installed. All I can say is come on FreeBSD and Linux! Razzle dazzle us with a way we can run our applications within your operating systems.

"How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

-Shakespeare, Othello

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Yes, I do read the comments and linked websites

Beagle commented Sunday in the "Zilla my snilla" post about XP Service Pack 2 and it's worth mentioning. It is running on my XP-Pro and XP-Home PCs. Please remember that Internet Explorer is NOT my main avenue to the internet nor is XP the main operating system on this network. Mozilla and Windows 2000 are used at the beach house mainmost machine. After using both flavors of XP and seeing it every day in the field I like to come home and use a stable operating system (flame on my lovelies). Windows 2000 Pro fits that requirement as does FreeBSD and several versions of Linux.

After some review, I agree with Beagle that some of security stuff in SP2 can be downright aggravating. The popup manager is frustrating (it's under the tools setting in the toolbar) and the constant brow beating about automatic updates is almost spyware like. Hell Microsoft, you think we can't figure out this is just another ploy to have our machines report?!?!?!? Should we all choose to do the updates manually? Beagle's wait and see approach is well advised, especially for newbies. Therefore, I recant.

Mississippi Marine is rebuilding their web site in order to provide easier access to their products and services. This revamp is interesting and fun to watch as new information surfaces. Well orchestrated and progressive moves. Lee and the gang, keep up the good work!

Everyone remember that Tuesday is a great day to dance.

"You can dance anywhere, even in your heart."
-Linda Kelly

Monday, September 06, 2004

Holiday decision

It's Labor Day, it's Labor Day! Get to finish mowing, work on the garage, tighten up the valve cover on the leadsled, clean up my trashed out dining room and bedroom floors that are littered with computer parts, spray Round-Up in the ditch to kill weeds, pressure wash the house or sit on my dead butt and eat. Hmmmmmmmm, motivation is a funny thing. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. You know things are pathetic when you make your own 'honeydo' lists. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday my fellow geeksters!
"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice."
-Wayne Dyer

Sunday, September 05, 2004

'Zilla my snilla

You can say what you want about Internet Explorer versus Mozilla, but the statistics speak -> browser poll. Let me once again mention I am NOT encouraging anyone to dump IE. Just update it and install ALL critical patches. If you are running XP it's time to look at Service Pack 2; there are major Internet Explorer changes in SP2. Please remember, Microsoft will only let you update from Internet Explorer. I am still favoring Mozilla and using Firefox to write this post. Firefox is slightly quicker, but has a tendency to do weird things like momentary lock ups, moving from page to page in a strange way, etc.

Mozilla more than doubled in user stats in the past year. Haven't used Opera since they charge for it. Deepnet Explorer constantly talks to someone (my firewall meter goes crazy when I have Deepnet open). So, I use Mozilla most of the time. I still check on IE updates every day. One of the coolest looking browsers, Firebird, is bundled with the Linux "flavor" Phlak. Very crisp text and images. It is also quick for a CD based browser. This OS is hacker oriented and free to download.

"When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature."
-Sigmund Freud

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Got college football blues early this year

After last year's record of just 2 wins it is great to see Mississippi State start out with an impressive win. But, it is almost unbelievable that Ole Miss lost to Memphis. My interest in football this year has dwindled to nothing with a lackluster Rebel performance. I hope we win 2 this year.

LSU squeaked by Oregon State in overtime. The only other SEC team to lose at least lost to another SEC team. We are going to really miss Eli. Go Dawgs and Cutcliffe use those other 3 quarterbacks!

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'"

-John Greenleaf Whittier

Thursday, September 02, 2004

O memory, wherefore art thou?

Put a call out over at Southernphried to see if anyone knows of a good piece of shareware/freeware that does static posts over a LAN. A client needs to make a list available to all the computers of current dispatches concerning their vehicles. It is updated every few minutes. Setup a dispatch sheet here on the server, but only one person can open it at a time. I've seen this done on several occasions and am drawing a blank. Please help my feeble mind.

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
-Albert Einstein

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

God help Granny Smith

Somehow I find it appropriate that Darth Jobs and his orchard stormtroopers choose to introduce their newest fruit in the cowardly, rude country France instead of the United States of America. Bad smells beget bad smells? Typical of his disregard of the consuming American Public. And people wonder why they only have a 3% market share? Hell, do they even deserve that much?! Related article at BBC News/Technology.

Here's the specs on this new wonder machine:


17-inch widescreen LCD with 1440-by-900 pixels
1.6 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor
256MB of 400 MHz DDR SDRAM
Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64MB video memory
Two FireWire 400, three USB 2.0, two USB 1.1 ports
10/100 BASE-T Ethernet networking, 56K V.92 modem
Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth
80GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm
Built-in stereo speakers and microphone

Let's see, last Dell workstation I installed had a 3 GHz CPU with 512 megs o' de RAM, 17" LCD, etc. It probably cost 1/2 the price too. Yesiree bobtail. That Steve Jobs is a marketing genius! And I am NOT real crazy about Michael Dell either.

"There is no traitor like him whose domestic treason plants the poniard within the breast that trusted to his truth."
-Lord Byron