The Programmers Never Forget

I know it’s not personal and no one at any of these places even knows today is my birthday, but I still appreciate the annual deluge of auto-generated birthday wish emails. I think about all of the programmers building this feature into all of these web forums, CRM systems and email marketing platforms, telling themselves “this will be a cool thing, customers will appreciate this.” I know so many engineers that love to make the world better with their work… thanks, all of you!

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OpenOffice looks good.

Been awhile since i’ve written a “real” entry. The wireless thing is so easy, and i’m so lazy… well, you do the math. 😉

An interesting article on the front page of the Seattle Weekly this week, Jeff Reifman’s take on micro$oft’s past, present and future from his perspective as an 8-year insider and a recent MacOSX convert. A long scrolling read but good; i especially like his last words of summary. He motivated me to go download OpenOffice, a free open-source alternative to m$ office. So far it looks waaaay better, in as much as the full install only requires 164mb, compared to what the redmond option demands (a couple gigs, a dna sample, $100/yr for the rest of eternity, your left ear and the promise of your firstborn delivered to bill’s doorstep).

If you want to feel sad about nice things being wasted (or maybe laugh at some stupid rich people) check out There’s some pretty unpleasant Ferrari, Lambo, and even 300ZX shots. I think the Skyline ones are some of the most disturbing, considering how difficult those are to find. Also, the wrecked DeLoreans… very sad. Check out the weird/funny section, those are slightly less depressing. Anyway, that should cheer you up just in time to go get behind the wheel at lunch. Makes me drive more carefully, how about you? Although at the same time I can’t completely stifle the glee of seeing my car on a list of “exotics.” 🙂

Bitwise IM client

So i found this really great new IM client, better than all the other silly ones. Called BitWise, it’s better than other IM for several reasons. Of course, it’s totally cross-platform – Mac, Linux, windoze – even when it comes to file transfers and other add-ons, more than i can say for any of the others i’ve tried. The interface is simple and easy, the network is reliable. No spam-chat like ICQ. Best of all – and this is the big one – all communications are encrypted and secure, so your boss, creepy internet trolls, bored war drivers, the CIA and wayward Homeland Security agents are all unable to stroll thru your private conversations. There’s no ads, no spyware, no selling of your info to everybody and their dog. You can download it right here and come look for me (my user name is “schuss” – shocker). The owner/creator of BitWise, Kevin, stopped by to say hi today and seems like a cool guy. He uses phpbb for the BitWise Forums and obviously feels strongly about personal privacy and internet security, so that pretty much says it all right there. 🙂

Anyway, go download it, recruit your friends, and start chatting where big brother can’t eavesdrop. And don’t be surprised if you don’t see me online in the other clients as much… I, for one, value my privacy!

And now a word from the yesterday-was-my-birthday department: People keep asking me how my birthday was, so i’m just gonna spill it and save all the quizzing – i’m starting to feel like i just tried to cross the Canadian border with a bag full of ganja! Anyway, it was very nice to not work all day, i slept in – started the day off right! Kim bought me coffee, then Danielle bought me lunch, then Christian bought me a beer on a harbor cruise. Steph picked us up and we put the top down and got some sunshine as we drove around Alki beach. Then a 5-course italian meal at Luigi’s involving bottomless red wine and espresso-chocolate sauce. Ian and Jenn gave me a funny (and slightly sarcastic) book and Adam and Lindsey hooked me up with an iTunes gift certificate – thanx, peeps! Mom and Dad sent me a totally sweet *personalized* Mariners jersey – has my name on the back and everything! – that i wore all day, feeling like the rockstar that i should be. Then Eric bought dinner and drinks last nite after we worked on his car in the sunshine all evening, and Patrick bought coffee…. overall i pretty much paid for nothing and hung out with my friends for two days straight, not a bad way to spend a birthday! And tomorrow we’re spending all day on the boat – the party continues! 🙂

Jazz and Jello

It’s a good thing there’s jazz and jello, or i’d be tempted to be in a bad mood today. Don’t get me wrong, most of the day was great. I met Cara from Loyola for lunch – it was a perfect day for clam chowder on the peir, what with the wind blowing thru the city streets and the clouds threatening to rain all day. We caught up and talked shop a bit, i hadn’t seen her since a chance meeting at a madison park starbucks. And most of the day at work was pretty pleasant, visiting with my office staff and appreciating the Max’s efficient heater (and lamenting that i took the good windshield wiper blades off!).

Stupid micro$oft had to go and ruin my day, tho, with their lousy software. As if the last time wasn’t fun enough, there’s another security hole, another patch, and another headache for everyone in my line of work. In an effort to avoid the madness that ensued last time, we’re actually applying the fix before a new virus is released exploiting it (i know – a proactive IT dept, wonders never cease). Kevin asked me to update my 12 corporate office servers at minimum, but as i’m not interested in any more chaos i voluntarily bumped that goal to include all 120-ish machines in my offices. Now i know what you’re thinking – how can i complain about work i’ve piled on myself? Well let’s just remember that this is the sort of work that shouldn’t have to be done if things were done right in the first place. Or if john l scott had some sort of update procedure or plan for this sort of thing, but now i’m just daydreaming… Anyway, so i have two laptops spread across the kitchen table (my work one, which is a junky dell with a demon-possessed trackpad, and the lovely powerbook i’m using to talk at you all), some good techno mixes on shuffle, and i’m logging into a zillion stupid windows computers all over the state to give them their stupid update since stupid micro$oft can’t get their code right the first time. I’d also like to point out that while there have been over 50,000 worms and viruses for windoze and dos, only about 40 known such viruses exist for MacOS, and most of those are for the pre-OSX systems. Expert programmers have been launching heavy artillery against BSD for years and have made it a rock-solid core for MacOSX. I don’t even have virus software on this powerbook, and never have – eat that micro$oft!

Okay, i’m done ranting. The point is, i’m listening to some nice jazz now, and eating the last bit of jello and cool whip (isn’t cool whip great?) that Mom made while she was here, and slowly but surely feeling much better about everything.

Or standing in line at the county administration building…

Got an email from Mom today saying she’d like to see a new entry… parents can be so demanding! 😉

DJ and i ordered a bunch of tuning parts for our mini RC cars, and they arrived yesterday, so i spent my evening working on a 2″ car (for a change). It’s so fast now! I have a bunch of pics i’ll throw up this weekend, if i get a chance. I’m really behind on the pic posting, apologies for that.

Picked up John at the naval station in everett yesterday morning, he appears to have survived his tour at sea, despite the general incompetence of a large number of his shipmates. Welcome back, man, and thanx for breakfast! He has a few weeks at home before it’s back-on-the-boat, so we’re going to try and make the most of it. Translation: we’re going to do some stuff to his car. 😉

I’m not in the habit of quoting someone else’s content, but i though this was funny and annoyingly true:

    The NEW open-source software business model:

      1) Write free stuff.

      2) ???

      3) Sell tech support to your family.

      4) Profit!

    As opposed to the previous open-source business model:

      1) Write free stuff.

      2) ???

      3) Get supported by your family.

      4) Profit!

So does this mean i’m adapting to the times? 😉 Speaking of the times, i’m finally going to join the world of high-tech mobile phone users… ordered a new wireless handset yesterday, a nokia 7210. At last, ringtones that i choose and a model series that hasn’t been discontinued! I’m feeling very high-tech and geekish, super excited for that to get here.

Working late tonite on a side project with a woman at work, a web site for the ceo. I get paid overtime for it, so i don’t mind doing it, but it has been a bit disorganized and that frustrates me, plus i’m just not very artistically inspired to make a website about someone else’s high school class reunion. I’ve been struggling with visual content, that and it’s supposed to talk with an access database and i royally despise micro$oft access in all its forms, not real jacked about getting that to work. Ugh. But i get paid for it. And i guess there’s about a million worse things i could be doing for money. (Ahem. Adjusting insurance claims!)