ttyl

April 28, 2005 under Computers, Software

I can’t recall how it happened, but I ended up being part of a conversation regarding BBSs. As far as computer dorks go, I’m a late-bloomer; I didn’t even learn how to use a computer until I was seventeen years-old. But I did get in on the BBS scene in Timmins before the Internet boom hit in 1995.

That conversation caused me to remember the good times of that scene, even though much of it seems hard to recall. First I tried to remember the places I frequented. The Timmins Area BBS (aka: T.A.B.) was operated by Gary Lapierre and its free access accounts were a tad restrictive. Stephen Zielinksi operated CyberSpace I; one of the nicer-looking BBSs, although I can’t remember which BBS software he used. I remember having a good upload/download ratio at Michael Ottoson’s Mulberry Street. There was a great game on Mount Olympus (running on an Amiga computer) that I used to play and try to keep high score on but I forgot what it was called; Kurt Christ was the Sysop. I bought my second computer (a vanilla Pentium 100) from Mike and Joe Robertson who ran the PorcupinePC BBS on the Wildcat software. And then there was an elite BBS (shhh…don’t tell Johnny Law) running Spitfire but I forgot the nervous Sysop’s name. I even briefly ran a BBS using Spitfire, setup a bunch of door apps and everything.

At the Hollinger Golf Course after work, Sean Claire and I also hacked a credit card verifier to get access to Delphi Internet in Boston (no Web browsers yet, folks) in the hunt for more Doom and RotT WADs.

I did all of this on my 486SX 25MHz computer on a 2400 baud modem. I later upgraded to a 14.4 baud modem that I bought in Sudbury. It was the first PC component that I ever installed and I recall being scared shitless, fearing that I’d break something. Good times 🙂

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microsoft wants you

April 26, 2005 under Computers, Programming, Software

I was perusing the stats for my website; the location of visitors to my site, the browser they use, where on my site they visited, etc. One feature of many Web stats apps is the ability to show which search terms people have entered into search engines, like Google and Yahoo!, that led them to your website. I noticed a search from an engine that I’m not familiar with; AllTheWeb. After runing a traceroute on the originating IP, it turned out to belong to Microsoft. Assuming it wasn’t a bot, somebody at Microsoft appears to have downloaded the PDF version of my resume on April 20.

This is the query string that they used:

resume AND (C++ AND C#) AND objective AND education AND experience AND (title:resume OR url:resume) AND NOT title:tips AND NOT title:interview AND NOT title:service AND NOT title:sample AND NOT title:example AND NOT title:download AND NOT title:job AND NOT title:tips AND NOT title:guidelines AND NOT title:submit

Here’s the search’s URL. TinyURL, anyone? 😉 My resume ends up being the 61st on the list.

And no, I haven’t received any job offers from Microsoft yet. Perhaps my “Get Firefox” button takes me out of the running. Or maybe it’s the fact that I am, as my dad would say, no Gretzky or Lushman. I’d like to believe it’s the former, but it’s probably the latter. Hey, I praised ADO fairly well, didn’t I? 😉

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[bleep] that [bleep]

April 25, 2005 under Computers, Life

This weekend, Dena and I rented What The Bleep Do We Know?, based on a recommendation on an episode of Attack of the Show. Needless to say, G4 and Attack of the Show now suck immensly and cannot compare to their glory days of an independant TechTV and The Screensavers (Kevin Rose is the only redeeming factor left), but now I’m off topic. Dena and I thought this would be a good movie but the moment Dena heard “quantum physics”, she fell asleep. Being a fan of the sciences and having survived grade 12 and OAC Physics, I felt I was up for it.

The film makes you think. IMO, that’s the only good quality about the film. There were many members of the scientific/physics community used as experts, yet they all seemed a bit too wishy-washy. It was as if they turned science into a sort of pop culture entity full of metaphysical discussion that could satisfy the laziest of talk show fans and pothead philosophers. “Create your own day”, “thoughts affect our physiology” and stuff like that…yuk. The suggested idea that reality is created in our minds doesn’t work on me. Maybe because Computer Science is the science of a world created by humans and I’m stuck in that way of thinking (probably not since I’ve sat through many a Chemistry and Biology class). Or maybe I just trust my senses and brain to interpret my environment in a way that makes sense to me. And perhaps that applies to babies, plants, micro organisms and animals that don’t subscribe to the film’s thinking mode as well 😛 One point that I did agree with in the film was the notion that the idea of God in organized religions that praise a creator god is far too limiting. But for the most part, the film was light on the science and far too new-age-y for my tastes. Rent What The Bleep Do We Know? and judge for yourself.

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take a dive

April 23, 2005 under Life

It looks like Chico has taken the plunge and got himself engaged to Melanie. I guess he’ll be the next one to join me in the ball-n-chain club. Despite what TV sitcoms and traditional marriage anecdotes would lead you to believe, it’s not bad at all 😉 Congrats!!!

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smokes, let's go…now

April 18, 2005 under TV

Finally! The new season of Trailer Park Boys started last night 🙂

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past familiarity and present weirdness collide

April 16, 2005 under Life

Have you ever had one of those moments where past familiarity and present weirdness collide? For myself, one of those moments happened last night…

Dena and I went out with some of her work friends and those friends’ friends. I should set the scene by first mentioning that for the night, I limited myself to two pints of Moosehead since it was decided that I’d be the designated driver/responsible one (a frequent designation, I might add). I’m also the youngest one here; Dena, being a mere 33 days older than me, is a close second 😉 I won’t get into all of the details, but here are some observations to illustrate my point. Now I haven’t seen someone pull a whitey since…well, I can’t immediately recall so let’s just say ‘since a long time ago’. But I did see that last night. BTW, if you don’t know what “pulling a whitey” means, don’t ask. Anyway, being the driver for the evening, I offered to take said whitey-puller home. Our car again smells faintly like vomit in much the same area as it did on this night. I think the vomit scents maybe genetically similar, if you catch my drift. I return to the pub to find Dena and the gang preparing to settle the tab. Prior to leaving, I get caught up in a conversation about XTC, The Pixies and The Undertones with one of the lawyers in Dena’s office and some guy named Nick from England who I had just met at that moment. I don’t get the opportunity to engage in face-to-face conversations about topics like this often anymore, so I thought it was kewl. But shortly after the conversation begain, the tab was settled and it was decided that we’re going hot tubbin’. Hot tubbin’, WTF?!? But first, I had to follow someone else home to make sure they made it. Dena and I then return for hot tub fun. I’ve had a long day at work, ate a big supper, drank enough beer to be relaxed (but very far from inebriation) and performed the duties of the designated responsible one. I’m tired and sitting in an outdoor hot tub will most defintely suck any remaining energy from me that I may need. So I hung out from the sidelines. By 4:30AM, after we’ve driven everyone else home, Dena and I finally make it home. And of course being the early riser that I am, here’s yours truly 😉

It was just a weird concoction of past familiarity and present weirdness.

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much ado about ado

April 15, 2005 under Computers, Programming

I’ve finished re-writing that VBS application that I made at work a while back as a C# DLL, and it was quite painless. The application uses ADO for some database stuff and I must say, I’m liking the ADO. Much ADO about ADO 🙂 Serioulsy, the difference in the ADO code between VBS and C# is negligable. It’s abstraction in the greatest sense. Again, you’ll rarely catch me praising Microsoft but ADO is a-ok in my books.

Dena has a cold, again. It seems like this is her millionth cold within the past several months (yes, that’s a bit of an exaggeration). I’ve been getting into loose-leaf Japanese green tea and getting away from the stale stuff found in tea bags. I like it, but Dena finds it a bit too bitter since she’s grown fond of this. I think some loose Jasmine mixed in there would suit her tastes, and get her back in the green tea kick.

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slow news day

April 11, 2005 under Life

Everybody has news except me. Pat‘s in Cuba. Chico‘s having woman-problems (but finally is able to log into his Blogger account). Barry‘s first day at his new job at Webcast.tv is today. Maybe I have something up my sleeve. Meh. Probably not.

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dena's court

April 7, 2005 under Life, Sports

Dena went to a Raptors game at the ACC last night but I don’t think that the Sportsnet cameras were ever pointed where she was sitting.

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tunnel troubles

April 5, 2005 under Computers, Internet

I wish I would’ve went to this. Last night, the IEEE chapter over at UW held a meeting titled “Security Flaws in Tunnel Mode IPsec”. They even brought in a guest speaker, Danny Patterson; a professor specializing in security from the University of London. I think it would’ve been intersting. I guess I’ve put some blind faith in IPsec. Of the VPN devices I’ve been part of purchasing and implementing, I’ve always considered IPsec the security method to use. At the meeting, they planned to disect all plain text from common IP datagrams, which sounds intersting. I wrote a server and a client app at work in Python which sends up-to-date HOSTS data from the server to any client, when it’s requested. We need this to allow complete LAN browsing ability over our VPN. When looking at Python‘s sockets module, I decided to go with traditional TCP packets instead of datagrams for whatever reason. Is this all related? Probably not 😉

Switching gears, Chico is having a bit of a spell with his girlfriend. Show him some support, folks.

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