Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Well done IBM

Apologies to my Mac friends but I grow tired of the unearned superiority complex Steve Jobs' followers seem to generate from non-accomplishments such as the Macbook Air.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

This is absofruitly fantastic!!

It is like photoshop for music recordings! I honestly didn't know that music software was at this level of sophistication. Well the video explains it... but imagine taking a complex symphony orchestra recording and deciding that the 2nd trumpet part just didn't do it for you. They should have played triplets instead of straight 8ths... or maybe instead of the first violin part jumping up by a 5th you think it would sound better as a 4th. This software can isolate individual notes from individual instruments and you can move them, copy and paste them, change the rhythm or pitch... it is just incredible!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What I learned yesterday...

My boss gave a few of us in IT a project management crash course to prepare for a year+ long integration of a large acquisition. I will be involved with the networking team but this was a more general course so we'd all understand the big picture and process. I learned what a CRP is first of all. Conference Room Pilot: basically the stage where you are doing everything in a test environment to ensure it is perfect before moving forward to implementation. It is more of a process because you end up having several CRP meetings with a final CRP which must be signed off on by the top level steering committee.

Also I learned about the Triple Constraint Law of project management. Basically it says there are three general aspects to any project plan: Time, Cost and Quality/Scope. These goals can be stated in plain English: Fast, Cheap and Good. The law goes on to state that only two of the three of these goals can be met in any project.

In other words if you decide you want the project results to be good and you want the project done fast... it will NOT be cheap. If you want the project results to be good and you want the project to be cheap, then it will NOT be fast. Lastly, if you try to do the project fast and cheap... you guessed it; it will not be GOOD!

It was a surprisingly interesting subject to me. Perhaps one of these days I will go to night school and get a MBA. After all, I don't imagine I will want to have to learn the latest Networking technology when I am 60 years old... with a MBA I can just move on up to management and boss other people and let them learn the ins and outs of IP version 8.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Working on Saturday is fun...

Fun being a relative term of course. This is much more fun for example than a root canal. I've never had a root canal but just from hearing the accounts of others I believe that I can safely come to the conclusion that I would rather be working right now on this cold Saturday morning than experiencing a root canal or the after effects thereof.

Other things that are not as fun as this? Ummm... I think this is more fun that the time I awoke in the middle of the night unable to breath because due to some really bad acid reflux, I had actually inhaled some stuff that decided to check out what it would be like to exit my stomach through the esophagus. That was definitely NOT as much fun as this... and since I totally freaked my wife out I think she'd agree on my behalf.

Oh yeah! There was the time a while ago when I got out of bed to discover my back didn't like me standing up and I was forced to the ground by excruciating back spasms and I then stayed in bed for the next 4 days. This is SOOOOOOO much more fun than that.

So as you can see I am completely enjoying myself in a very relative sense.

OK so I am just trying to write an entertaining blog. I get 1.5 x overtime so really I have nothing to complain about whatsoever... except for the fact that I'm not really having any fun.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nintendo music heals the soul

For those of you who grew up with a Nintendo (or you are like me and grew up with an Atari 2600 but later realized that Atari music blew chunks when compared with the sweet sounds of the NES symphony orchestra), you may proceed to wax nostalgic... but only after following these steps:

1. Install Winamp - http://www.winamp.com/player
(This is a great little free media player if you don't already have it)

2. Download this NES music plugin for Winamp - HERE (If you can't open the file then you need WinRar - free as well)

- To install the plugin, open the RAR file (it should open in WinRAR or WinZIP). Click on the 'in_NotSoFatso.dll' file and then click the "EXTRACT TO" button in WinRAR and then browse to c:\program files\winamp\plugins and hit the OK button.

3. Now go HERE and download your favorite NES game music file. They will also open in WinRAR. Instead of extracting them you can just open them up by double clicking. Windows will ask what program you want to use... choose that you want to select the program from a list and then choose Winamp (if you don't see winamp on the list then you can opt to browse to the c:\program files\winamp directory and then select winamp.exe and hit OK.) There should also be a check box that says 'always use this program'. Check it and from now on Winamp will automatically open the NSFE files.

ENJOY all you NES audiophiles... what? There are no NES audiophiles out there? Well at least I know how to do it now.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A photo history - place your bits, place your bits

Gizmodo ran a little story on the history of computer data storage... interesting.

[click pic]

An amazing catch...

Almost as amazing as discovering that your company has not been backing up their 1,300 Domino e-mail server users' individual mail stores... for WEEKS! This is not to brag because technically it is now my responsibility but I just got to the point where I had time to turn my full attention to the backup procedures and scrutinize each backup job. I gave my boss heartburn but he was grateful that I caught it. So last night I put a temporary backup procedure in place and today I will try to get the normal backup job fixed so that it will be protecting mailboxes in the future. The problem was that while the company purchased a license for the Open File manager that works with our backup software, it had never actually been installed so the demo version had expired and ceased functioning, hence the mailbox files were not backed up with everything else. I wonder what else I will discover as I continue to apply the microscope to my new territory. Time will tell.

Monday, April 7, 2008


It has just occured to me that I have a blog about NOTHING! I have achieved Seinfeldenaity!

Troubleshooting at its worst...

Over the weekend, Saturday afternoon I believe it was, I started noticing the faint but slightly nauseating smell of dog poo in my basement while I was sitting at my computer desk.

We have a puppy that still has the occassional indoors accident but we keep the basement blocked with a baby barrier. The whiff was really faint but I knew I didn't imagine it so I got down on the floor looking under the desk... the whiff vanished. I saw nothing. I got up and about midway up the whiff was there again! I looked around... I stood up; the whiff once again vanished. Puzzled, I left the mystery. Later that evening as I was sitting on the upstairs couch once again I caught the whiff! Now this is the room in which the puppy spends the most time... I was sure He had made a mess somewhere... I searched but to no avail. There was no poo to be seen. Now I am just thinking that our house stinks. My wife needs to break out the carpet shampoo machine and get busy!

Now it is Sunday afternoon and I am working on my wife's computer in the home office and AGAIN I smell the poo! It is only at THIS point that I begin to think through the possibilities logically. The three times I smelled the poo I was sitting down... hmmm... a thought occurs to me... I look down... remove my shoes and examine them. POO ON MY SHOE!!!!!!!!! And it only took me about 24 hours to figure it out. Saturday morning I was out in the back yard cleaning out the gutters and I must have hit a land mine. My only consolation was that it was fairly old and dry so that I wasn't tracking poo all over the house. Argggg I hate dog poo!