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Torvalds Takes Issue With De Icaza's Linux Desktop Claims

Penguin Follower Re:Re-inventing the wheel (616 comments)

Seriously, 20 years later and you are STILL fixed width with no direct copy/past? WTF?

Are you kidding? I've been doing copy/paste from the Windows command line (cmd.exe) since Windows NT 4.0. (Not to mention setting the width and the scroll back buffer size among many other options.) And all of that is available in PowerShell as well.

If you right-click anywhere in the title bar, you'll get a context menu, and at the bottom of that menu is properties. In there you'll find, on the options tab, a box labeled Edit Options that contains two check boxes: Insert Mode and QuickEdit Mode. These two check boxes are essential for doing copy/paste operations in cmd and PowerShell. Now if you go over to the Layout tab, you'll find you can tweak the height, width, and under "Screen Buffer Size", the "Height" setting there actually the scroll back buffer length. All very handy stuff. :)

Now once you have everything setup correctly, pasting into the terminal is done by right-clicking in the window and choosing paste. Now copying from the terminal is a little different. Generally, you just highlight what you want to copy with the mouse, then just right-click on top of the selected text. Your highlighting will disappear, but the text was put on your clipboard. If you paste into Notepad (or other app) you should get whatever you copied from the terminal.

more than 2 years ago

Ongoing Attacks Target Defense, Aerospace Industries

Penguin Follower Re:Here is what I would consider the major problem (77 comments)

The Gov't and a lot of corporations run their networks like a home network. Flash, sure you can have that because you might want on YouTube and that is a good use of tax payer funds. Acrobat, yah here you go, never mind there are pdf viewers out there that are more secure. Whitelists and blacklists, nah, our users can sit around and watch porn all day, that is an even better use of taxpayer funds. Word docs and spreadsheets, yah you can send and receive those without worrying. We only scan your email for anything you say reguarding our CEO of the company or President of the US, but send and receive those viruses all day long as we have not figured out good perimeter security. Speaking of perimeter security, just email everything you want back and forth that is secure right, or download it to your laptop if you work for the VA.

Well, I don't know which Gov't agencies you've dealt with, but this is not how it works at military installations. You can have Acrobat and Flash, but you don't get anywhere on the Internet that can do real damage save for Facebook and YouTube. You most certainly won't get to any porn sites. The web is heavily filtered at the AF base I work at.

more than 2 years ago

Feds Seize Korean Movie Download Portals

Penguin Follower Re:It is only a matter of time... (215 comments)

Exactly what I was thinking... I don't have mod points unfortunately.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Do I Give IT a Login On Our Dept. Server?

Penguin Follower Re:I dunno (1307 comments)

I heard such stories about hospitals over and over again.

Essentially what it boils down to is that hospital IT departments have almost no chance of establishing good environments, because every doctor that has 5 seconds of free time feels like they have both the authority and obligation to directly interfere with how IT does things.

Situations can vary from either the I've-been-working-for-50-years-without-a-computer-and-I'm-not-gonna-learn-how-to-use-one-now to what we have here where someone know how to make things better by themselves and simply bypasses the whole system with an application that is not supported or endorsed by the IT. And for sure does not integrate with other data-flow activities that are going on in the hospital.

In the end IT guys run for cover anytime when some local "god" decides that their way is best and things will run how they seem fit, because they just bought a new iPhone and want to have EVERYTHING interact with it. Screw the company-issued smartphones!

You just described exactly what I experienced in my short time working for IT in a hospital. I'm glad to be out of there, and I don't intend to ever take another position in IT in medical again (if I can help it).

more than 3 years ago

Mozilla To Release Firefox 4 Next Month

Penguin Follower Re:This version removes Gopher support (266 comments)

Well I know of one example... the Synchronet BBS software package uses gopher for it's "web interface".

about 4 years ago

Careful What You Post, the FBI Has More of These

Penguin Follower Re:get a lawsuit (761 comments)

Battery and related cables are usually close to the top of the engine compartment.. they will need long arms! (not saying it's impossible though..) And you are right, if they disturb the cables by disconnecting them and putting this inline you're bound to noticed something wrong. Even just losing your programmed station memory on your radio (say on an older one without theft protection.)

more than 4 years ago

US Pirate Movie Site DNS Seizure Fail

Penguin Follower Re:Other countries should start policing Internet (343 comments)

Yesterday I watched a woman in front of me run over the curb trying to make a right-turn out of a Wendy's while she was talking on the phone. Couldn't even handle a right-turn...... (and drove a BMW SUV by the way so apparently also more money than brains too).

more than 4 years ago

The "King of All Computer Mice" Finally Ships

Penguin Follower Re:Trackball (207 comments)

I use a Logitech G8 - its not a center ball but is definitely ergonomic (with adjustable weight :)

more than 4 years ago

Corporate IT Just Won't Let IE6 Die

Penguin Follower Re:My plate is pretty full right now... (479 comments)

With SCCM 2007 and PXE boot you can re-image 100+ desktops in relative easy once you've developed your image and tested the push works correct. I helped migrate a hospital with 1,500 desktops. We did one department per day. We put a day's time between departments so we could mop up any issues before the next migration.

This was migrating all of those PCs from Windows 2000 in a Novell environment to Windows XP in an AD environment.

more than 4 years ago

Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 — Gaming On Six Panels

Penguin Follower Bezel comments (111 comments)

"PC Perspective found FPS games were basically unplayable because of the bezel through the middle of their vision..."

So just do 3x1 monitors and you won't have a bezel going through the center of your view.... You can just by 3 big monitors instead.

more than 4 years ago

DynDNS.com Acquires EveryDNS

Penguin Follower Re:Easy answer (125 comments)

I use the DynDNS update client to avoid such messages. It updates everything for me. I use the Mac client and they even have a dashboard widget to go with it. :)

about 5 years ago

Why Everyone Has High Hopes For Apple Tablet

Penguin Follower Re:FIRST!!!! well almost (596 comments)

+5 insightful
I run into the same problems all the time where people I support are confused by multiple mouse buttons. It gets worse though when the person on the other end of the phone is left handed and therefore using a left handed mouse with the mouse buttons reversed...

about 5 years ago

No Dedicated Servers For CoD: Modern Warfare 2

Penguin Follower Re:Hell hath no fury (313 comments)

Everyone in my clan has changed their minds on this purchase. We can't run our own dedicated servers now. We run 2 CoD4 servers (one FFA & other one TDM). Long before I joined the clan I played on these two because of the good ping I got, and because I like the regulars on there + the admins were cool. It's this sort of community that is being shattered by this move. I'll stick with MW and WaW for now.

more than 5 years ago

Why Users Drop Open Source Apps For Proprietary Alternatives

Penguin Follower Re:Difficulty In Using (891 comments)

I so wish I had modpoints for you, but I don't. Instead I'll just say thanks and I agree.

more than 5 years ago



Intel Handing Out Samples of Experimental 48-Core

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Penguin Follower writes "Hot Hardware has an article up about a new 48-core chip from Intel Labs:

Just when you thought your 6-core chip was the baddest processor on the planet, Intel goes and announces plans to ship PCs equipped with an experimental 48-core CPU to a handful of lucky researchers sometime by the end of the second quarter.


Link to Original Source



Snow Leopard Upgrade part 2

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 5 years ago

So far I've only had an issue with one program (or rather, a couple versions of the same program) in Snow Leopard. I do 3D renders in DAZ 3D's Carrara Pro 7. The first time I launched it, I had no text in the application. And I mean everywhere. No text on the menus, tabs... you name it. I also had Carrara 6 still on my system, so I launched it - same deal. Appears to be a font issue. So I went searching the DAZ 3D forums for topics about this issue and found a workaround.

The fix:

  1. Go to your home folder Library/Preferences/DAZ\ 3D/Carrara\ 7/Preferences.txt
  2. Open the file Preferences.txt search for: FONT ""
  3. replace it with: FONT "Times"

Other fonts may work but I know Times does.

Here is a link to the page where I got this wonderful tip.


Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Wow... honestly I can't believe the speed boost in everyday things that Snow Leopard gave to my 2.5 yr old Mac Pro today. Seriously, it feels like a new machine again. I bought the upgrade only because it was so cheap pre-ordering it for $29... I really wasn't expecting much of a difference. All of the re-written apps leap on screen the moment I've clicked on the dock I swear. Of course, they did not re-write iTunes, so it's still slow to load up (ok slow for this machine... not really that slow in the world of computers ;)

Also, Grand Central Station really does work! :) I've got a ton of apps running right now and previously when I would do this just to see how the machine would take it, it would only stress one or two cores (of 4 total) unless I fired up Carrara 3D. Now, when just massively multitasking I can actually see all 4 cores doing something instead of just one or two cores getting spiked for a bit. Nice :) The system is just nicely responsive no matter what.

All of this is purely subjective of course - no hard benchmarks for you here. All I can say is I've already got my $29 worth. ;) So far I haven't run into any show stoppers (like I did with Leopard at first). But, I have only been using it for about 8 hours so far.


Sweet eBay deal :)

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Won an auction the other night on eBay. Paid $1100 (used) for hardware that costs right now about $2100 new. Parts were pulled from a 1 year old system (someone needed money bad to take a loss like that). And holy crap is this thing fast (and power hungry! O_O). I'm going to need a bigger PSU before I connect the rest of my hard drives!

Items that I received:

  • Dual Intel Xeon X5355 Processors (details)
  • Asus DSEB-D16/SAS Motherboard (details)
  • Qty:4 of Kingston 2GB ECC DDR2 667 FB-DIMM CL5 modules
  • ASMB3-SOL Server Management Board SO-DIMM IPMI (details)

The motherboard has a built in SAS controller (LSI Logic) that is supported by VMware ESX server - a plus since I intend to use this for virtualization. The max RAM capacity is more than I'll need (64GB). Additionally, there are 6 SATA ports, quad Gig-E NIC ports, and two full PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots and one x8 slot. There is also a single PCI-X slot at the front of the motherboard which is intended to be used with the optional Zero-Channel RAID adapter. It converts the built-in SAS controller to RAID.

Now I need to sell my two old servers. Both are old P4 based dual Xeon systems that were not 64-bit capable, hence the reason I went in search of this new monster.


Life is peachy :)

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  about 6 years ago Not sure how many people still read my journal from when I was whining about my job, but that job is now over. Long story short, my old employer had taken a contract that placed me at a childrens' hospital for what was originally a 2 month deal (Aug & Sept). There were two one month extensions, and during that time frame the hospital approached my employer about hiring me. I have loved working there on contract for the last 4 months, and now I am an employee as of Monday. New year, new job, and a hell of a pay raise! Life is good! :)


Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 6 years ago I honestly thought it would be a close race, and that in the end it would be McCain going to the White House... but I was wrong. Not only did Obama win, but he did it by the biggest margin we've had in awhile in a Presidential race. Wow, history in the making! I just hope that he can pull it off. Long night - time for some sleep! Whew! :D


My first "international" trip

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Just a quick entry (so I can look back on it one day if nothing else) to say that I've had to leave the States for my job for the first time. After 8 1/2 hours of driving yesterday, I made it to Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. This was an extremely long and BORING drive. Holy crap, there is like nothing to look at while traveling the 401 from Windsor to Oshawa. Well except for the Toronto skyline as I zipped past it. Really nothing to look at though.

By the way, if you want to come up here doing work, don't tell that to the border guards. They will turn you around and send you home. I was tipped off about that and so I didn't make that mistake. ;) You're OK if you're coming up here to a "meeting", but if you're getting paid to do something up here the Canadian Gov't doesn't want you here... OTOH, if you're coming up here to spend money (i.e. a vacation) then by all means - c'mon in!

Cheers, ~ Steve


OS X 10.5.2 update + core graphics update = Yay! :D

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Finally! I can use Leopard. I bought it back when Apple released it. The one and only thing that kept me from using Leopard up until now was a problem with the system freezing randomly. It appeared to be something that involved my ATI X1900XT that came in my Mac Pro from the factory. Well, now that 10.5.2 was out and I also noticed a core graphics update had been released, I decided to try Leopard on my system again. Even did an upgrade this time (after backing up of course!) instead of a clean install. Guess what..... ZERO PROBLEMS! :D

Needless to say I am very happy.


This week's adventures in travel

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 6 years ago Today we're going to talk about northwest Indiana (as in Chicago suburbs - I'm like 10 miles from the Illinois border). Anyway, I'm going to talk about weather, but mainly in contrast to what I've known most of my life (Ohio). So the phrase I'd like to use in reference to what I encountered last night on my way back to the hotel from the bar is.... Holy Fucking Shit, Batman!

When we talk about a white out in a snow storm in Ohio, it holds no candle to what the wind can do up here near Chicago. It was so cold with the wind chill... no words to describe it. And it was so much of a white out, that I couldn't see two cars ahead of me in traffic - even while sitting still at the red light (of which there are many). It took me nearly 40 minutes to go from Crown Point to Schererville (in contrast to before the storm I got there in 20).

So, there you have it! Only visit this place in the summer. ;)


Good find on eBay

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  about 7 years ago I'm grinning from ear to ear on this deal I got on eBay. Found a Toshiba Satellite P105 series laptop for half the price of a new one, and it is only 13 months old. (With proof - the original receipt was in the box the seller shipped it in!). The original owner paid $1894 + S&H in December 2006 from Amazon.com. I got it for $830 + S&H. Most of the used ones on eBay like it were still selling for $1,200+.

So anyway, I mainly bought it to take with me as I travel (those who read my entries know I am on the road 75% of the time). I used to be an active gamer, but don't do it that often due to travel (when I get home on the weekends, I'm just usually not into sitting in front of the computer.) I bought this one so I can game on the road. So what kind of gaming can you do on a $830 laptop? Well in this case - pretty good. It is a 17" widescreen laptop w/ full keyboard, and is equipped with an nvidia 7900GS discrete graphics "card" (with it's own 256MB of memory). And to round it out, it has an Intel "Centrino" Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz, 2GB of RAM, and a 200GB hard disk. The owner left 3Dmark03 on it, so I ran it. It gets in excess of 14,000 marks. I should try 3Dmark06 on it some time. It runs Call of Duty 4 acceptably, so that's all that really matters to me. Well that and Battlefield 2142 (which runs almost maxed out with no hangups).

So far my only dislikes about the laptop are the glossy screen and the 4,200rpm spindle speed of the hard drive. The glossy screen picks up too much reflection from bright lights. The slow spindle speed of the hard drive causes hangups in games when a lot of data needs to be loaded. The system will pause for a split second while the drive catches up with the rest of the system. I'm not going to complain too loudly, however. I got it for a raping-low price, so it's all good! :D

- Steve


Tomorrow's destination and travel in general

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Just got home earlier from one trip, and I've just finished packing for the next. I have a 6:00AM flight to New Hampshire out of Columbus (Ohio). Which means I need to get up at 2:30AM so I can leave by 3:20AM (I'm slow in the morning). This way I'll arrive at Port Columbus Int'l Airport about 4:30. That gives me an hour and a half to catch my flight. I could probably cut it closer, seeing as I usually have time to spare (CMH is not a particularly busy airport at 4:30-6:00 in the morning), but why push your luck, right?

I get back late Thursday night, and Friday I am taking the next core of the MCSA/MCSE (I will eventually go all the way to MCSE, but just need to get MCSA out of the way first. It's hard to work exams into my heavy travel schedule).

Oh and next week I head to Vermont for 4 days. That Friday I'll actually be on business in my home state (yay!).

One more note: New Hampshire and Vermont will be states number #16 and #17 respectively that I've been to in the last 11 months. Here is the breakdown of the states I've been to this year not including the one I live in (Ohio) and the number of times I've been there is in parenthesis.

In alphabetical order:

  • Alabama (1)
  • Florida (3)
  • Georgia (1)
  • Illinois (1)
  • Indiana (1)
  • Kentucky (1)
  • Maryland (1)
  • Michigan (2)
  • New Jersey (2)
  • New York (3)
  • Oklahoma (1)
  • Pennsylvania (4)
  • Tennessee (1)
  • Virginia (1)
  • Wisconsin (1)

As I said I will be adding Hew Hampshire and Vermont to that list in the next couple weeks. Also, I'll be incrementing the number next to Kentucky the week of Thanksgiving. When I get back from that trip, I'll be taking the last core of the MCSA the day before Thanksgiving.

~ Steve


Mac OS X 10.5 Server article on networkcomputing.com

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I stumbled upon a pretty decent article covering a review of Mac OS X 10.5 Server (Leopard).

On of my favorite parts of the article is a reminder about how all versions of OS X reside on the same disk. In fact, every installation is all things: Intel/PPC/32bit/64bit. From TFA:

The installation DVD contains 32- and 64-bit code for Intel and PowerPC Mac platforms. In fact, every in-place build of Leopard is 32/64 and Intel/PPC. To test Apple's claims, we built a server on a dual G5 server using an external Firewire drive as our boot partition. We then successfully booted and ran Leopard from the Firewire drive on a six-year-old dual G4 Xserve and a 13" Macbook (32-bit platforms) and Xeon and G5 Xserves for 64-bit goodness. All platforms had wildly different hardware configurations, yet the OS ran without a single issue on each box, all server functionality intact.

Anyone out there willing to try that with Windows 2003?

Muahahaha! :D I love that last comment. I only wish I could work with Apple stuff on a regular basis. While I have a Mac in my mix of hardware at home, everything I do at my current job centers around Microsoft solutions. :( Oh well. Go Apple, Go! :)


Job Update [Edited/Updated]

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 7 years ago Salary would be $40K
Standard benefits package
IRA after 6 months of up to 15% of your gross anually for you to do what you wish with.
2 Weeks vacation.

This is not as good as I had hoped for. I was hoping for $45k/year. At $40k/yr, it does take care of the cost of living increase (and a tad more), but I'm not entirely sure if it's worth moving that far away. Then again, my current employer knows something is up when I refused to sign the contract to get reimbursed for my exam fees. It would lock me in with them for another year. I want to keep my options open. If I break that contract I would owe them back for the exam fees at least. :(

What do you guys think?

I really don't think that $40k/yr is enough considering I have to leave friends and family behind. It's just barely more money than the cost of living increase. It would be like getting a $1500/yr raise, but things are slim now as it is for me in Dayton, so $1500/yr increase is not going to fix everything. At this point I think I should just play my cards right with my current employer until I see another job opening somewhere.


Upgraded to Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard"

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Well, I upgraded to Leopard. In fact I'm writing this journal entry on my freshly upgraded MacPro right now. I remember a comment on a forum ( I don't remember which site I was reading at the time ) where some people were afraid of Leopard running slower than Tiger. I remember one person say something along the lines of "every upgrade was faster for me from 10.0 through 10.3, but 10.4 was a slight downgrade in performance. I wonder how Leopard will run?". Well for me (and take note that I do have a system that is less than a year old) the upgrade has not resulted in a performance slowdown. Actually I think my system feels snappier than it did before - if that's even possible. It was already down right quick. For those who may have forgotten or don't know, I bought a MacPro quad core 2.66GHz with 2GB of RAM back in April.

I love spaces first off. I always liked having multiple desktops on *nix and finally OS X has this functionality. And Apple added their magic touch to it. I love being able to see a bird's eye view of the spaces and being able to drag'n'drop an application from one space to another. Sure, on some *nix window managers you could drag an application window to the edge of the screen to move it over to the next space, but on most WMs you used a menu on the title bar to select which virtual desktop you wanted to send the window to.

I find Apple's additions to the Mail program interesting. It looks as though Apple is slowly adding features to both Mail and iCal that replicate the functionality of Microsoft Outlook. Only I like it better than Outlook (which I do have to use everyday at work unfortunately).

The shiny new reflective dock is intersting as well. The one thing that isn't so great about it is being able to tell which applications are running. It used to put a little black triangle under the icon of running applications. Now it is a little blue, oval-shaped light that is not bold enough to see clearly. Apple should make it brighter or try a different color.

While we're on the dock meme I might as well mention Stacks. I do like stacks. I already had a folder I called "Downloads" in my home directory, and I had an icon for it on my dock. So I was already basically the same thing, but when I used my shortcut, Finder would open the folder in a window, whereas I can click on the stack, choose my file, and the stack collapses. It saves me clicking the close button on the finder window (ok, so I'm lazy). The really cool part was that my having a folder already called downloads didn't mess anything up when I upgraded. Upon first boot I found my downloads stack sitting there, and when I clicked on it, my files fanned out like they were supposed to. I like it when things just work. :)

I've just began to scratch the surface of the new features, but I decided I would write about what I've used so far. So far I am a happy camper with Leopard. I can't say the same about Windows Vista on my PC. :(


What to do? A job offer far from home...

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I had a conversation today with a buddy of mine that used to work with me at my current employer. He was more or less a system administrator for us, and to our clients he was the person that came in to assess the situation and report back to HQ, so that sales could pitch a solution ("total package") to the client.

He is someone that I respect a great deal. He always valued my input on a situation (he wasn't really my supervisor, but would often be the project lead on a project I was assigned). He's also yet to steer me wrong. He also always thanked me for a job well done. And, I'll also add that he's one of those people that is technically proficient in the IT consulting world, and yet has excellent social skills as well. Liked by almost everyone. It goes a long way for him at times. I am not as socially adept, but I wish I was.

That said, he currently lives in Florida and works for a financial backer (one of the things they do is loans to small businesses). It's a stable company, with a CEO who is open to new technologies. In fact, I'm told the CEO wants to investigate using Linux in the server room (CEO hates paying MS all those licensing fees). Of course, I am a huge fan of Linux, and I have had some experience maintaining mail and web servers running Linux for a previous employer (not my current employer - they are in bed with MS). So, my contact (as I'll refer to him) is the sole systems administrator at this company and he's swamped with work these days - and the company plans to expand soon.

Getting to the point, I was griping about my current job and he said, "why not come down here and work with me?" He's got more work than he can efficiently get to these days, and he's not versed enough in Linux to offer up those Linux solutions that CEO wants to see. So, I have things to bring to the table. I am generally versed enough in Linux to support Linux on the back end (so long as it does not involve doing any programming), and I am an MCSA, and I have Cisco knowledge as well - I've just never taken the CCNA exam.

I've been told I will have some "freedom of creativity" in playing with technologies to see what may be beneficial to the company. In other words, I get to "geek around" on the job instead of at home trying out new things in a lab setting. And to top it all off, the salary offer is more than enough to offset the increase in the cost of living in moving from where I'm at (Ohio) to where he is (Florida).

"So what's holding you back?" you may be asking. Family. And friends. All of the people I care about the most are here in Dayton. I have no family in Florida. I have some relatives in Georgia, but not close to where I'd be in Florida. So I will be alone, in new territory. Not that I don't do this regularly lately. If you read my last post you'll know that I'm on the road in a new place every week as part of the current project that I'm assigned to. But I get to come home on the weekends. I have family and friends nearby. I have no significant other or kids to move with me. So unlike my weekly travels where I get to come home, this will be leaving for good. And I am just not sure I can uproot and move. :( And it's sad because the job description as it has been relayed to me is extremely enticing. [sigh]

Choices, choices...


Starting to dislike my job...

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I work for a smallish company - currently somewhere between 250 and 275 people (I know we haven't hit the 300 mark yet). I've been employed for about a year and a half with them (started in May '06). And this company is a young one at 6 years of age. We seem to move at the speed of light compared to most businesses. In the year and a half I've been with the company we've outright bought one company and merged another under our brand name. And lastly we are a privately held company in the Dayton, OH area.

So I was originally hired in as the first person of a helpdesk. Only I've really never done that job for them. A helpdesk person is chained to a phone in a cubicle all day and takes calls. In the beginning, I'd take a call, and then I would have to head to the client's location and take care of the problem(s). And on top of that I'd get random paper shuffling jobs that I guess everyone else was too busy to do, so they just decided to give it to me. Fast forward to today, we do have a helpdesk these days (which has gone from myself to about 10 people), but I'm not really apart of it. No, indeed I'm pretty much still what I would term a field technician.

The company accepted a contract from a client that was to last 18 months. It's actually been shortened to 13 months, and thankfully that is up at the end of December. So for the last 11 months I have been doing what I said I would not do when I hired in (i.e. during my interviews). I would travel up to 25%. No more than that. Well from March through July I was put on a two week on the road, one week at the office rotation. OK we're up to 2/3rd travel... Then in August, the client and my employer struck up a special addon to the original client that was to last from August to the end of the original contract. Myself and 3 other poor souls/coworkers (who also had no option not to be put on this assignment) are now travelling 100% (except holidays of course) Mondays through Fridays until the end of the year.

I see my home 2 days a week: Saturday and Sunday. I have enough time to catch up on snail mail, make sure all the bills are covered, do laundry, and pack for the next round of travel. Somewhere in there I have to do some "paperwork" (its all electronic/database stored) before I leave on Monday mornings as well. I've been in 6 cities in 5 days at one point in time. I stopped counting the number of cities I've been to since I started this project after I counted fifty. And the number of states that I've been to (one of which I've been to 4 times) is up to 14. Next week I'll be heading to Illinois (15). And after that New Hampshire (16).

So what's the point? Well my salary still reflects what I did prior to this project. The closest match I could find to what I do on (looking on Salary.com) was "Field Service Engineer I". Namely, that I travel to places, install equipment (PCs, servers, and network equip), train personnel, troubleshoot broken equipment and get replacements on the way. That pretty much sums up my job description. Salary.com's profile says that the mean salary for a Field Service Engineer I based in the Dayton area is around $42,000/year. And that the low side is $36,500. Well, imagine my shock at reading that when all I get to bring home is $32k/yr. Talk about underpaid.

And it's somewhat funny (not really) at the same time. I think we just saw on Slashdot, in the not too distant past, a reference to an article about tech jobs exceeding other job sectors in compensation/benefits/whathaveyou.

Well, I'm not seeing it.....

I'd leave Ohio if it weren't for the fact that I would be leaving some really good friends behind, and the only family that I care about. I've seen some nice jobs posted OUTSIDE of Ohio.

The real kicker is that my employer is now "fishing" for a Systems Administrator. We have an IT Director whose been doing that role as well, but now that we're expanding again (significantly this time) they want to hire an SA. I applied for it, but haven't been given a definite on whether I'm going to get it or not. If I get the promotion, it would mean less travel. I'd only have to travel down to Blue Ash every now and then.

If anyone out there cares - cross your fingers for me. Then again, I'd be managing Windows servers... :/


Places I've been to thanks to the job I started last year...

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I have to go to Philadelphia in a week. I've been to quite a few places in Pennsylvania, but not to Philly specifically, so this should be interesting. I've done a decent bit of traveling since I started my new job. In the last year I've been to...

  • Indiana (twice... two different cities. Auburn and Angola).
  • New Jersey (Newark)
  • Pennsylvania (Washington, Somerset, Carlisle, Mount Joy, Morgantown, & Allentown).
  • Tennessee (Nashville and Chattanooga)
  • Alabama (Mobile)
  • Georgia (Savannah)
  • Florida (Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Jacksonville, Titusville, Fort Pierce, Orlando, and Palm Beach)

...and also next week I'll be in Delaware a couple days after I do some stuff in Philly.




Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Well, it has arrived. Wow. This Mac is a monster (both in size AND computing power). It is amazing just how fast this thing flies around OS X. I've yet to install anything other than Firefox and run software update, so I have four cores that aren't getting much exercise at the moment. (That comes very soon!).

One of the first things I am going to grab next is the MacFUSE package.

Oh and having a whole bunch of windows/apps open simultaneously without anything skipping a beat is sweet. I mean not even a hesitation. :) I've got Mail, Firefox(quite a few tabs), Dashboard (of course), iDVD (got George Carlin in the bottom superdrive), and a few other things running and this Mac hasn't even noticed its doing any work yet!

OK, I guess that's enough geeking out for now... ;)


"Going Mac" (or: "Dodging the Vista Bullet")

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I finally did it. I've ordered a new Mac with the intention of switching the majority of my computing tasks to a Mac...

I've played with Macintosh computers off and on since 2001. And even prior to that in middle school - the first computer I ever touched was in fact a Macintosh (I don't remember which model - but it was black & white only I do remember that!). Through friends and in high school however, I was introduced to the "intel-compatible PC" (Mac is part of that crowd now... heh). I became fascinated with DOS and Windows 3.1 after taking computer literacy classes in highschool. And somewhere around the end of my junior year I was introduced to Red Hat Linux 5. My fascination with Windows wore off around the time Windows XP was released. And as I've reinvestigated the Mac, I find that with the newer OS X (and classic but a memory) I like Macs this time around.

Of course, the last straw that pushed me over the edge is Vista. I can't avoid getting to know that OS completely, I realize. My job won't allow that. I *will* be doing support for Vista soon I am sure. However, I can limit my Windows exposure at home. It will be here just to keep up with the Microsoft world and not much more (hooray for Parallels). I've pretty much given up on gaming anyway - the games are getting lame/stagnant (or I'm just not interested anymore?). I did option out my Mac Pro with an ATI X1900XT 512MB just in case I decid to pick up a Mac port of a game I like sometime down the road though.

So, I opted for a Mac Pro tower. The specs of which are:

  • Two dual-core Xeons @ 2.66GHz
  • 2GB RAM (for now)
  • A single 250GB hard drive (for now)
  • And an ATI X1900XT 512MB 16x PCI-E graphics adapter

I think that'll do for a while. :)


Widescreen in Linux: Revisited

Penguin Follower Penguin Follower writes  |  more than 8 years ago

With all the travelling I've had to do for work lately, I hadn't had the time to try out the LCD with my linux box properly. While I still haven't bothered tweaking the console yet, I did play with X tonight. For whatever reason, I could not get the "nv" driver that ships with X to run the LCD correctly. I tried modelines after just setting "1680x1050" did no good. Eventually what I ended up doing was emerge the nvidia-drivers package and getting the binary driver from Nvidia going. :( Upon installing Nvidia's driver, just setting "1680x1050" worked magically (no modeline needed).

It should be noted, BTW, that the linux box is attached to a KVM that the widescreen is attached to via the regular SVGA cable. I have three systems on the KVM. The DVI cable goes to my desktop system with the SLI setup in it. Of course I can only use one input at a time, which is fine. I use the keyboard and mouse portion of the KVM cable for the 4th port on the KVM to my desktop system. I don't use the video portion and instead use the DVI link.

Anywho, back to the linux box... Well since I don't use any 3D on this box (it's a server) I'd rather use the nv driver since I've had the occasional lockup when pushing the nvidia driver playing games. And if you're asking yourself "if it's a server then why do you have X running?" it's mostly there in case I need X + a web browser for an emergency lookup. I use Window Maker for the window manager (lightning fast startup even on this old dual PIII 600MHz) and I run a few xterms + firefox (not really slow either). That's it for the GUI. No - I don't like using links (or lynx). :P

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