Wednesday, December 31, 2008

If you like lolcats

Then you have to go check this out.

Very nice creations!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blagojevich is right until...

There have been nasty allegations against Blagojevich and while apparently leaked - alleged recordings. I've not heard an actual audio of his voice but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. In the current state of the political world he is probably tainted, but certainly not the only one.

From the Drudgereport on 12-30-2008

I admire his tenacity and going forward with his plans in the face of adversity. Were it that serious maybe he should have been arrested or maybe a swat team should have busted into his house as if he were poor.

Until then the job he was elected for continues.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Main Stream Media of Today and Yesterday

There are often negative blogs written about the current state of the Main Stream Media (MSM) about their lack of objective journalism and reporting. I would have to agree with this general observation commented on by so many on the Internet.

It is said there was a time in the history of radio and television news that the broadcasters were much more objective and factual in reporting the news. It seemed a simple one or two person show that presented the days news absent the "stay tuned through this much too loud and obnoxious commercial" break to hear the rest of this important story.
The important story most likely being an Alert or Breaking News which now seems incessant no matter how long or important a story has been in either state in reality. George Orwell (1984) is probably laughing and crying as this is happening today, or maybe he was more insightful about the history of mass media news, its end purpose, and was only being pragmatic in his novel.

So I wondered about the MSM of the 19th century and early 20th century, the non radio and television sources being the state of the art of the day. Newspapers carrying both local stories and telegraphed or word of mouth information for politics and national information.
One of the first things I learned was that 19th century newspapers were very political and biased toward or against political parties very openly. One case in point is the New York Tribune (1864) which spoke for the Republican Party.

Later in time, William Hearst's The New York Journal published a hard approach to the U.S.S. Maine sinking. Later in 1900 the same newspaper was devoted to supporting the Democrats in the election of 1900.
The Hearst dynasty was of course a very wealthy and influential entity and to lots of people has had a very dubious impact on certain freedoms.

The Federalists, Republicans, Democrats and other political parties all used the MSM to spread and influence the populace with their own ideas and propoganda since the dawn of America and the 1st Amendment. There is no constitutional demand that MSM be unbiased and accurate - in fact the MSM is free to slant political opinion in any way they wish from a legal point of view I suppose.
For some reason the MSM seems to obscure that fact and present themselves as unbiased, presumably thinking it is lending more credibility to their propaganda.

Thankfully the Internet has become an important avenue for differing sources of news and information. I hope the world will be very vigilant in keeping it that way.

I also hope the Internet continues to keep more people away from the MSM strategists, experts, analysts, and that ilk who invariably work for institutes, foundations, lobbyists, and others like them who have a strong interest in the status quo.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What Sun Microsystems Should Do

It has been awhile since I was familiar with Sun Microsystem products on a daily and developmental basis. These comments reflect what I believe Sun should do now and this same opinion has stayed with me since 2003 and earlier when I was a Sun employee.

Sun has had excellent hardware as well as as solid operating systems (SunOS & Solaris) through the years. They played a large role to pioneer the networking of desktops in a corporate environment. In the large telecommunications company I worked for prior to Sun this allowed a large improvement over the mainframe model of software development for telephone communication systems environment.
Corporations gained a huge benefit in their use of Sun products and services.

Great for corporations - what about home, school, very small businesses?

What I thought then as well as now is that Sun should attempt to gain access to the desktop world - the home, the school, the small to very small business...a smaller environment desktop world. No doubt it would be a slow evolving process and probably more difficult now than in the past with the growth of various linux desktops that have been gaining in favor. Many hardware vendors are placing more emphasis on drivers for linux operating systems thus making using linux much easier to accept and use for smaller environment computing needs.

Certainly the competition there is Microsoft - but as I see the world Microsoft has taken a huge hit with the impact of Vista with users and businesses being both unhappy or reluctant to place trust in Vista. Frankly, some business legacy products and applications come with an implied plea to stay with XP.
The obligatory 'not to mention the improved security of a unix/linux based Operating System' inserted here.

One reason given to me when I voiced this opinion while working at Sun was that it would cost too much money to support individual users. (now the only person that gave me that opinion was someone of low influence).
Again though, it would be an evolving process and could be ramped up if successful.

When one imagines the number of accessories and peripherals that attach to the home PC and small business environment it would be a huge number of users. This will change even more should Wall Street diminish in terms of employees and the number of data centers (consolidation of banks for example) while Main Street grows. Another topic...

It sure would be hard now though with the various linux varieties rapidly expanding in use and popularity. Although Sun hardware is the best in my opinion - the Intel and AMD platforms can be just as good if one spends the money for the better quality motherboards and other hardware.

So JAVA, OpenOffice, SQL, Solaris - lots of software is there and hardware, excellent hardware, is available for purchase. Maybe it is simply a question of marketing to a potentially large new customer base.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ron Paul on the Bailout

Ron Paul speaking the truth about the bailout.

read more | digg story

Monday, September 22, 2008

Into The Mystic

This is such a nice cover of the Van "The Man" Morrison song Into The Mystic.

Bonnaroo 2008 - I should have been there.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The One And Only ... Jerry Garcia

"If mercy's in business I wish it for you."

Jerry Garcia & Mickey Hart perform 'Fire On The Mountain' with Baba Olatunji, Carlos Santana, Hamza el-Din, Bobby Vega, Sikiru Adepoju, and others in Petaluma, CA , February 15, 1987.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Personal Efficiency (1923)

Welcome to the Lasalle Extension University September 1923 guide on The Principles of Efficiency.
To help promote the book, here is the carrot.

O VALUABLE is "The Twelve Principles of Efficiency" - so full of inspiration and practical suggestions - so rich in its fund of successful human experience - that small wonder is it that many men, taking front rank among the world's producers, make it a habit to re-read it, from cover to cover, at periodic intervals, getting something new out of it every time they read it. Thousands of these men regard it as the one indispensable book in their library, and do not hesitate to ascribe to it a large part of their success. If you do not already possess it, get your copy now. You will ever prize it. It will open up vast new possibilities to you - in yourself, and in your coworkers.

The ladies were invited to help in 1923. Here is a questionnaire and reported suggestions on how a husband can be helped.

For those interested in the cost of the latest technology of the era, we have this advertisement on the back inside cover, only $3 down. The ladies that needed to type for their husbands from step 4 above needed the below instrument in which the advertisement was conveniently placed near their recommended instructions.

By The LaSalle Problem Method

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Can See You Are The Expert

You came sauntering into my shop area inquiring about a thing to hook up to a laptop which you can then get on the internet with over the air.

I had just finished loading up another PC and the conversation turned from his question to various anti-virus applications and the ones that are of no value in his opinion as he looked at the desktop screen of that PC.

He admitted he didn't know about megabits and gigabytes and computers and all but I had a feeling he knew everything else.

I could immediately tell by the cowboy boots, large belt buckle, large gut and the dirty cowboy hat that read "Budweiser" on it that he was certainly an expert in all things and I was about to learn stuff.

I explained that he could go with either a USB or PCMCIA card with respect to wireless to connect to various places that offer free Wi Fi. There was b,g, and n wireless....

It stopped there and to my amazement the most profound thing happened in front of me! He was an immediate expert in Wi Fi! I was most humbled he came into my place of business and showed to me how these things are done. To think I slowly advanced my knowledge of computing over many years, and here was something that happened within minutes. Amazing. Right in front of me!

It was a humble experience - no glow in the Budweiser letters, no aura, just pure knowledge combined with a 6 or more decibel level in his voice as he testified about wireless.

Something I will never forget.

He would get back with me about a purchase - would I be that lucky? What might I learn then?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Vista ... Calling Microsoft!

Here is an interesting article on the Computerworld site talking about the point of view that Windows is collapsing.

I see that (Apple) OS X is mentioned in the context of iPhone and where Vista may be too large of a source base for mobile devices.

I don't see any mention of any of the Linux distributions, maybe because it is not a commercial product?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Gordon Kahl - Patriot or Outlaw?

It seems to me that I first heard about Gordon Kahl in the mid 1980's on a local radio station. Further down the road the movie In The Line of Duty: Manhunt In The Dakotas (1991) was made and Rod Steiger played the role of Gordon Kahl.

For my taste I thought that Rod Steiger did an excellent acting job. Later in the early 21st century I had the pleasure of hearing some interviews with Joan Kahl, the wife of Gordon Kahl, on the American Freedom Network radio station out of Johnstown, CO. It was her impression that the movie did not do justice to Gordon.

Later in life I was able to visit Gordon's Grave near Heaton, North Dakota. I had never visited North Dakota before and found it to actually be a wonderful state with many things to see of importance and beauty.

After stopping in Medina and traveling north from Medina I believe this view may be the place and the view just before Gordon and his family were ambushed in February of 1983.

From an alleged typed note by Gordon Kahl written that very day.
As we came over one of the hills just north of Medina, I saw on the top of the next hill what looked like two cars parked on it. About this time they turned on their red lights, and I knew the attack was under way.
Later, in June of 1983 Gordon was killed in a shootout with federal authorities in Lawrence County, AR. A local sheriff by the name of Gene Matthews was also killed, some say by a bullet into his back.

The cemetery where Gordon rests has two markers. One of the markers represents both Gordon and his wife Joan, at the bottom of this stone reads "He Loved His Country".

The other stone is a military marker representing his service in WWII.

A few links to read further about Gordon are at the end of this blog as I cannot do better than what those pages have to say.

What I can say is that Gordon was a tax protester and had deep concerns about the direction of where the government was taking us. He had concerns about the individual farmers and small towns that were disappearing before his eyes.

What I can tell you about Heaton, North Dakota that I visited in the summer of 2004 was that it is a virtual ghost town with no apparent prosperity of any individual farmer or store evident.

There are also the infamous tax protesters of The Boston Tea Party and most of us know the phrase Taxation Without Representation.

So, was Gordon a patriot or outlaw? Certainly he was an example that was made to be either a Patriot or Outlaw.

His resting place represents history now much in the same fashion of George Washington, Patrick Henry, Doc Holiday, William Bent, maybe even the James Gang Brothers and Billy The Kid.

Gordon was not advocating for the rich or for the companies - just for people he had empathy for.

A Social Networking Site - WeShreddit.Fast

(A Parody)
Many months or so ago I discovered a social networking site that allows one to register for free and submit articles of interest for others to examine. Based upon the communities tastes the submitted article could be given a goody or a nogoody nod from other users and processes.

There was one additional attribute bestowed on a user over time that was calculated based upon a highly guarded algorithm...the revered number referred to as a vibe. Many sought after the valued vibe and wondered why they never seemed to obtain any. Others wondered why their vibe count would dramatically drop. Then, vibe whores appeared more frequently, maybe testing the system!

Some thought predestination of unknown forces may be at hand while others seemed sure. Others with high numbers of
vibe and consistent goody points recommend to the unhappy contributers to just keep submitting.

The submissions by many would continue to disappear as fast as they submitted them.

So it appeared that the nogoody plague was continuing and eventually what was discovered below was agreed on by many users.

A Hopeful User Submits A URL

A Monkeyish Process Intervenes

The Grease Has Been Applied

And Here Lies The Horrible Results Of Many

And so ends the dreams and aspirations of many submitters who simply wanted a vibe or two.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Civilization and Woodpeckers

From a .signature while reading a newsgroup in the 1980's:

If architects and engineers designed and built buildings like software engineers wrote and tested software the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Homebrew Apple II+ Diagnostic Tool

Rummaging around in a stuffed drawer one day I came across a computing project from the past for an Apple II+...

My first personal computer was a built from a kit, the Heathkit H-8. That one was based on an 8080A CPU, 4KB of static RAM and a front panel monitor based in octal. Well, after the solder smoke cleared there was a fully functional computer in front of me with a cassette player to load and save data. Programs were created with either a BASIC interpreter or a far less used FOCAL language and even less via the front panel I/O capability.
Later I obtained a breadboard and with some BASIC peeks and pokes was able to actually have the terminal inform me that lights were either on of off in the room. The future was finally here!

A couple of years later I purchased an Apple II+ with 16KB of dynamic RAM, later upgraded to 64KB. This was of course a much more useful PC application and program learning wise than the H-8 mainly due to the variety of applications available as well as UCSD Pascal.
I subscribed to magazines both Apple specific and computing in general. In one of these magazines an article described a home brew project along a schematic to build a diagnostic device to examine the address and data states on an Apple II+ bus.

This diagnostic board had 16 red leds representing the address bus and 8 red leds representing the data bus. The led being lit indicating a binary 1 and a binary 0 for an unlit led. In the upper left there were 3 green leds which represented the Ready, Write, and Sync CPU indicators for the 6502 CPU.

There were 3 control switches in the upper right. The first being a toggle switch which would place the CPU in either Halt or Run mode.
The second 2 switches were momentary switches with one being to execute a Single CPU Cycle and the other to execute a single CPU Instruction.

The card was made with IC sockets and wire-wrapped on the backside. The logic consisted of the 7400 variety of integrated circuits which ranged from de-bouncing the mechanical switches to driving the leds through current limiting resistors. The usual +5VDC noise eliminating capacitors were wired across various points in the power supply runs.

Below is a close up of the LS373 tristate latches which were the direct interface to the address and data bus signals. The '1's and '0's on the bus were latched onto and displayed on the led indicators depending on the directives of the switches.

Although it was actually never used to diagnose a problem it was a good learning tool, especially when used with ORCA/M (Object Relocatable Code Assembler for Microcomputers), which was a very nice code assembler for the 6502 CPU and Apple.

Note that time takes a toll, a 9 volt battery was used to illuminate the leds for the purpose of these images.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Observations on wars

There are many definitions of war and causes for a war. No matter the source for an exact definition, or a definition that one accepts it can generally be understood that war is a condition of human existence that is best avoided.

The wars briefly discussed in this blog shall be limited to wars that began and continue to occur in my lifetime. These wars have many traits in common as well. Most had their genesis prior to the birth of most of the people reading this. Many if not most started with a well intentioned government to improve the quality of American Life during the industrial revolution and the population increases of the early 20th century.

What happened along the way?

  • The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was a well intentioned act that provided clearly labeled drugs and food and other products in this time when products were undergoing more durable packaging and transport to further reaches of the country - as well as keeping dubious sellers from selling inferior and counterfeit or tainted products.
  • The Harrison Narcotic Tax Act 1914 a form of control of opium and coca in their various forms and thus possibly provided the beginning of legislative control of what Physicians could provide for their patients.
  • Prohibition of Alcohol 1920-1933 Much of this drive came from religious ideology (temperance).
  • Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 Maybe the most recognizable Act of the 1930's
The sum of these and many more historical steps led President Nixon to officially use the term War On Drugs in 1972.

Another noble idea that most people would agree on would be to eliminate poverty. So, in the State Of The Union Address given by President Johnson on January 8th 1964, he was to declare a War On Poverty.

As legislative evolution does, these ideas, laws, enforcers and the forces of warriors refine and get tougher when wars are not won in a reasonable amount of time. Soon more agencies are established, think tanks and religion adopt the cause and Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition songs are written. Although from a different kind of war this was an actual song from World War II.

When the word war has such a negative connotation one wonders why there cannot be other words to use for these ideas - after all it is the American People and lots of collateral damage and national treasure has not reversed the trend.

How has the War On Drugs gone? Any end in sight?
How has the War On Poverty gone? Any end in sight?
How will the War On Terror go? 100 years?

The war on terror has been with us for some time now and what would be one's next guess as to a war on something?

As an aside, all of the wars mentioned here seem to occur in nations other than America in the same time frame - not always, but enough that it seems odd.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

POTUS 2009 - Where is our salvation?


Hillary dodges bullets in Bosnia and will 'provide' everyone with health care (business as usual)

McCain will follow Bin Laden to the Gates of Hell and save America (business as usual)

Obama will heal and bring America together (business as usual)

A Patriot SOBS at the ( Same Old Bull Shit )


America needs a group of people that stand for what the Founding Fathers created. So that we may have an American Class that stands above 'World Class'. The below video is 65 minutes long but if one is serious about the future of this country -please give it a view.

If you don't have the time - just read about Ron Paul here.

Why does it have to do a damn fsck ?!?!?

In the very large Unix computing company I worked for some years ago there was this power failure that lasted maybe 30 minutes or so one afternoon...

If you have worked in the computing industry you no doubt have run across this type. A middle aged balding, maybe just a bit cross-eyed person that makes more than you do. This is the guy that is more than slightly odoriferous with perpetual microwave popcorn oil on his hands holding a 32 ounce plastic cup which he just filled up from the community coffeepot.

In his office the bookshelf is lined with many books in pristine condition, purchased on the company dime of course. In this case I would have bet that every Java book that was published at the time by O'Reilly was present and accounted for on his bookshelf. It was pretty to see them all lined up so neat and graceful on that shelf. The microwave popcorn oil never made it to the books.

At times this person had anger management issues no doubt caused by the economic turmoil and downfall of stock option value of which he no doubt had a vast fortune.

So the storm passed that afternoon and the power was returned and people started trudging back to their offices to get back to their tasks. This developer turned on his workstation, turned red with an angry look on his face and uttered "Why can't they make it so it doesn't have to do a a damn fsck!!!"

Just to put the proper perspective on this true tale - he was a developer in the network storage group.