Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

Don’t look behind the curtain!

July 8, 2008 Comments off

I spent the first couple days of this week at Microsoft’s campus working with a small group of folks doing a refresh of the certification exams for ISA Server 2004 and 2006 (70-350 and 351).  ISA stands for Internet Security and Acceleration – basically it’s Microsoft’s network firewall product that runs on top of a Windows server.  It’s a great too for publishing apps in a secure manner to the Internet, speed up web browsing for your users (by keeping a copy of commonly-accessed web content on the ISA server), and providing remote access to a network (VPN)

I’m under NDA so I can’t tell you a lot of details on what we did and discussed, but I can tell you that it was a really cool experience.  If you’ve ever taken a test and thought “these questions are stupid” I had a chance to avenge your experience (as long as your complaints were with either the 70-350 and 70-351 exams).  🙂

It was a blast to hang out with some wicked smart people and get into technical debates about best practices and firewall techniques.  Kudos to the whole group for, in my opinion, making some great progress on these exams!

The one part that bummed me out … well pissed me off really … was having 5 people who’ve been using the ISA product since it was called Proxy Server 8+ years ago all look at a test question, debate it, all arrive at an answer, find out we’re all wrong, and then learn that the people who have taken the exam in the last few months have gotten that question right about 90% of the time.  What the f…

Folks – don’t cheat.  Brain dumps are illegal (people go in to take an exam and steal the content and then post it online), and you’re not doing yourselves any favors.  The more people who pass exams by cheating the more diluted the pool of certified engineers becomes, and then you get to a point where having a certification doesn’t matter.  Effectively you’re screwing yourself over by making your certification useless, plus you’re lying to your employer (and yourself) in saying that you’re competent in a product or technology when you really aren’t.


Or, maybe you should just keep on doing it.  I know a PhD Psychometrician who’s an expert in Wii Boxing that’s gonna get ya!



Country hell

June 26, 2008 Comments off

My wife and I have pretty eclectic tastes in music: we’ll listen to just about anything.  However, neither Alicea or I listen to what I like to call “twangy” country music (some of the more rockin’ stuff isn’t half bad).  We spent 11/9 years (respectively) in the South … and we haven’t looked back.

Alicea’s working over at a certain global technology firm based in Redmond, WA these days as an admin, and her office mate loves country music.  Check out Alicea’s Twitter feed from this morning…

Alyleth: Got my smoothie – ready for work! Unfortunatly my officemate’s music of choice is country…. KILL ME NOW!

Alyleth: lyrics… no shoes, no shirt, no problem… WTF?!?!?

She just told me the chorus to the next song that came on, and I can’t make this up, shouted to the world (and Alicea’s office), “she thinks my tractor’s sexy.”

Wow.  And I thought “John Deere Green” was a lame song.

Categories: rants Tags: ,

Get a luggage cart…

June 24, 2008 Comments off

I just read in Engadget that there’s a new suitcase out on the market that has a battery and motor to assist you in hauling your treasures from place to place.  “The PA series of checked baggage features a 12V NiMH rechargeable battery pack supplying power to the wheels when the handle is gripped and the bag is tilted. The bags weighs 10.6kg (23-pounds) which is about 3kg (6.6-pounds) more than standard hard luggage, according to the manufacture.”

HOLY CRAP!!!  This is just really sad.  So let’s get this straight, not only am I giving up nearly HALF of my allowable luggage weight per bag (50 pounds … that I get to pay $15 for the first bag on some airlines) but I get to spend $1365 for the pleasure!?!

I get my luggage from Target, or Fred Meyer, or Costco.  I try not to spend more than $100 for a bag, because it’s going to get just as trashed by the airlines as the expensive stuff, so why bother?

So here’s the deal, why not just rent a luggage cart for $1 and buy a $100 suitcase?  Then you can have the other $1264 to pay for the too-narrow, too hard, no legroom, next to the engines, no free soda, middle seat in the back of the plane of your dreams.

Categories: rants Tags: ,

When progress bars let you down

January 8, 2008 Comments off

Backup estimate: 686 MB
Backup job so far: 48.5 GB


I love the wait…

Categories: rants, technology

You dope!

July 28, 2007 Comments off

I’m not ashamed to admit it, every July I turn in to a cycling fan.  I don’t really follow much of what’s going on throughout the year … hell I haven’t been on a bike in 3 or 4 years!  But I love watching the Tour de France.

All this doping stuff is getting really old, and I hope one day it all gets cleaned up.  Either that or, as my coworker says, just created an “unlimited class” and let them fry themselves with whatever they want to inject.  🙂

With all of the controversy at this year’s tour, in think this article written in April is just perfect: 2007 Tour De France Winner Stripped of Title.

“First and foremost,” said Patrice Clerc, President of Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the promoter of the Tour de France), “I want to be the first to congratulate whoever wins the 2007 Tour de France. You are truly a great champion, and ASO thanks you for making our business possible. While we do not yet know who will win the Tour, I feel it is vital we acknowledge that person as the pinnacle of strength, conditioning, and personal sacrifice he undoubtedly must be.”

“Next,” continued Clerc, “I’d like to take this opportunity to accuse the aforementioned winner of using unscrupulous and nefarious methods to obtain this prize, and hereby accuse him — whoever he is — of doping.”

Categories: rants, sports, Tour de France

Making up for lost words

July 11, 2007 Comments off

I’ve been a bit out of it lately.  Alicea and I spent a full week with a really bad sickness (won’t go into the details).  The there was the holiday week, and work is ramping up into another busy period for me.  Unfortunately blogging hasn’t been at the top of my to do list.

That being said, I just saw a diatribe from Keith Oberman from his MSNBC broadcast on July 3rd (here’s the link).  Keith more than makes up for my lack of words lately.

YouTube – Keith Olbermann – You have stabbed us in the back – RESIGN

Thanks Keith!

Categories: politics, rants

Really? I disagree.

June 27, 2007 1 comment

“Dallas is looking a lot like Seattle these days,” says Ed Stoddard of Reuters in this evening’s story about the flooding happening in Texas.

In Marble Falls near the state capital, Austin, several people were rescued from the tops of their vehicles and even from trees after nearly 20 inches of rain came down in a matter of hours in the latest downpour.

Yeah, so it doesn’t do that here.  If Seattle gets a heavy downpour like I was used to in the South people completely freak out.  In fact, according to the Seattle Mayor’s Office, 20 inches of rain is more than half of our annual rainfall (36.2 inches).  Chicago, Washington D.C., and NYC all get more annual rain than we do here.

Sure, we probably have more rainy days, but most of those are a gentle shower or heavy mist, and they sunny in the afternoon.

But if people keep thinking it rains all the time in Seattle, that’s fine with me.  They can stay away we those of us intrepid worshipers of the rain can enjoy our beautify views of the mountains on cloudless sunny afternoons!

Categories: rants, Seattle, weather

Why I don’t use MySpace

June 25, 2007 Comments off

I don’t use Facebook either at this time, but I have to say this post  from Download Squad definitely nails the reason I don’t use MySpace.  Most of the content on there is CRAP.  And the navigation is horrible.

It makes sense. Facebook started as a college and university only platform, which right off the bat adds a significant gap between the haves and have-nots. Add a pinch of irritation that users with an IQ above 80 feel when confronted with abhorent Myspace layouts and you have a recipe for the great unwashed to rally around Myspace, leaving the rest of us who can string a few words together as Facebook planted refugees from the ills and distaste of Myspace.

Categories: rants

Don’t want an iPhone

June 25, 2007 Comments off

Here’s a screen-grab from one of the iPhone ads, and it exemplifies why I don’t think Apple got it right.  Here in Western cultures we read left-right.  So WHY would you put the hang up button on the left – when a call comes in?  That’s the first button your eye sees, and EVERY OTHER PHONE OUT THERE puts the answer and disconnect buttons on the left and right, respectively.

iphone ringing

And how are you supposed to type on a screen with your finger when there’s no responsiveness to tell whether you’ve pressed a key?  The tactile response of where you are on the keyboard is important.

This should be interesting.

Categories: Apple, rants

Oh how true it is

June 19, 2007 Comments off

You should subscribe to Indexed if you already haven’t.  Here’s one from today.

Choose your battles carefully…

Categories: good read, rants