And the yearly journal entry for 2011 is....*ta-daaa*...well, nothing much. Still drive a truck, albeit for an oilfield contractor. More money, more uncertainty about hours, blah. I need to find an occupation which is such a commodity that I'll never have to worry about unemployment.
And it's that time of year again. The time where, despite it being the busy season in my particular line of work, my employer insists on farming out work that I could be doing to a series of subcontractors, temp agencies, and novice employees. I might point out here that my job requires certain knowledge that it's difficult to gain without actually doing it for awhile, and in some cases, unfamiliarity can cause damage to the (leased) equipment.
I know what I'm doing, I have no incidents whatsoever, I'm on time and punctual, I don't make a fuss but instead just do it, and I'm sitting at home. Over the past 3 weeks my paychecks have dropped on the order of $300-400, and the budgetary strain is unpleasant to say the least. Time to start the search yet again.
It's more than a little amusing to watch the proliferation of simplified or one click root solutions for assorted Android devices. Has the geek world become entirely populated with devotees of the WIMP interface? Are we now seeing a rash of "geeks" who don't understand a *nix command prompt (choice of shell aside)? Every rooting method I've seen has involved uploading, then executing, an exploit binary, changing a few strategic permissions, and uploading some needed tools. This is exceedingly elementary to accomplish using ADB, and if you can't grok that, or more to the point, how the Android system itself functions, do you really have the chops to tinker with your device's operating system so cavalierly?
The doors are that way, your geek cards will be collected on your way out.
I just unearthed my old Cingular 8125 (a HTC Wizard G3 by any other name), and thought "hey I haven't seen this in awhile". Spent a few minutes CID-unlocking it, and flashing it with the 2.26 T-Mobile branded ROM. Not that I use T-Mobile... Their service is nearly nonexistant in the CDMA-heavy semi rural area I live in. In fact, I don't have a SIM in it at all.
In keeping with my recent trend of one journal entry per year, here it is for 2007.
I now live 250 miles away from the last place. I drive a tractor trailer for a living, and build/ride motorcycles for fun. I own my home, have a nice car, and make a tolerable wage for the area. My son is now 17 months old and interested in EVERYTHING, especially of a mechanical or electronic nature. I'm a single parent...my wife has abandoned both of us and the divorce is in the works.
I'm still very much a computer geek, but my focus shifts as my career does...right now I'm fiddling around with free software for over-the-road truckers to keep their logs with. What lovely reading, those FMCSA regs are. Lots of truckers have a laptop, so portability is key...must work on Windows, Mac and Linux equally (pretty much spells out J-A-V-A doesn't it?).
This is a token journal entry. There is no informative or useful commentary to be found here. With a month-old son, a 60+ hour/week job, and the associated responsibilities, I haven't the time to do much else.
I'm SOOO ready for summer! After a long day at work, I get home and the inside of my house is 40 deg. F!!! This is a very bad sign, when it's 6F and windy outside, as plumbing can freeze and make a huge mess.
Well, to make a long story short, some plumbing DID freeze/crack/leak (a radiator in an un-insulated portion of my old house), and the oil line to my boiler keeps freezing up or congealing the oil to the point that the pump can no longer pull it.
It's gonna be a great day, and can only get better from here, with a forecast of +5F to 0F and windy for tonight.
It's been a VERY long time since I posted here, and a lot's happened. Just a quick run-down...I got married, quit working at a motorcycle shop and now work as a printmaker/IT guy. The daily grind involves lots and lots of Photoshop use, prepping images for optimum print output on our Epson 9K-series printers (color and b/w).
I don't post much at all, never have, but I think this journal may start to see more activity, since I need a place to randomly blather on to nobody in particular. If a geek blogs in a forest of slashdot user journals, does anyone read it?
I think cars are a nice meatspace analogue to open source software. Mine is getting a new kernel (motor, transmission, ECU) compiled/installed right now. It will work with all my existing stuff, with only slight interface changes (a few wires here, a bracket there, and minor adjustments to the exhaust). If I don't like something, anything, I can change how it works, or remove it and replace with something totally different. The factory ECU is closed-source, but I can replace that with a totally programmable aftermarket one.
The only glitch in this analogy is money, though perhaps it's not such a glitch. On the car, any modification which requires me to buy a part costs money (I don't have the equipment to build my own parts at the moment). In the open-source world, any modification requires code and time, usually lots. Time == money, so perhaps the analogy isn't as skewed as I first thought.
Well, finally my new case and P/S have arrived, my KT7A-raid with its 850mhz Duron and 1GB of RAM is up and running, and things are great. Fresh install of Slack 8.0 that I'm in the middle of tweaking, with the obligatory W98 partition for Half-life/Counterstrike et al. Next computing task is tackling server upgrades...the server box is due for more diskspace, RAM (if I can find 5v ECC DIMMs anywhere), and its DAT drive needs to be hooked up and tested.
I am severely annoyed...I've just found that an antique air gun I bought online is unusable in present condition. At first I thought it was because the pump's plunger seal had detached from the plunger...so I fished it out with a bit of wire. Still, it would build pressure halfway through the stroke, and then PFFT, it would escape. Further inspection revealed a small dent in the cylinder (from the outside), which was deforming the plunger seal and releasing the pressure. Now I have to figure out how to fix it, and I have a sneaking feeling it won't be easy.
Lately I've been riding to work on my CR250, which is street-legal and fitted with smaller wheels and sticky sport bike tires. I would not be doing this normally, but my main road bike is off the road for repairs, and I haven't yet gotten a new insurance card for my other road bike, despite having gone to the agent and given them cash to renew for another year. GRRR. So here I am, riding along on this buzzy smoky 2-stroke, wheelying at every rail crossing... It's not the most comfortable thing, but it is after all transportation.
I still have not managed to put together a computer using the motherboard I got for Christmas. I'm waiting for the new case/power supply to get here...someone told me that AMD Durons like to have 300w to play with, and my old p/s toasted itself anyhow. Perhaps it will be here next week, then I can play Half-life again! Rah rah!
w00t!! My Sharp Zaurus SL-5000 arrived today, after being delivered to the wrong house, and subsequently opened by the unintended recipient. Oh well, I've got it now.
First impression....this thing is seriously nifty! I could see this thing having all manner of uses. Now if I could figure out how to get a screenshot...it does not use X. Has slots for SD/MMC cards as well as Compactflash, and works with Xircom LAN and modem cards, and a few other memory and 802.11b CF cards. It also runs a flavor of PersonalJava. I think I need to brush up on the Java coding now. One thing I did not see is a serial cable - the device comes with a USB cradle, but unless that works with a Linux development host, it won't be too useful.
This new acquisition will be useful. With a decent-size SD card, it can play MP3's. It has the standard PDA stuff like calendar, todo-list, and address-book. Best of all, I can recompile it's kernel!!:-) Do that with your PalmOS or WinCE box!
No progress whatsoever on the DMS, aside from some minor fiddling with HTML output. Downloaded and played with Redhat's Interchange ecommerce software...this has potential, if I can get it to play nicely with a database of over 400K parts. It's a possibility.
The new motor (JDM B16a) for my '89 Civic LX is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. Called up the shop and got their OK to show up with a car and a huge pile of parts. Ordered up a set of custom axles, which were incidentally cheaper than the '88 Integra axles that some people use for this swap. Now all I need is a new engine wiring harness, an exhaust header, and a new catalytic convertor.
Looked over the motor's ECU, and it does not appear to be ODB-anything. Bummer, cos there's some neat software to show and change parameters from one's palmpilot. Oh well.
Don't know how germaine to slashdot's general content this is, but it's my journal and I'll post what I like:-p
Somehow I managed to wrangle a half-day at work today, so I decided to go visit a new local motocross track. The founders had invited me to come take a spin and check it out. So, despite only having ridden on dirt roads before, I hopped on the CR250 and went to check it out.
There's a very tight, technical woods trail loop, that makes a circuit around the MX track, and would be tight for a mountain bike. And here I am on a CR250 with dropped gearing (good for 90mph on-road)...talk about clutch abuse. I didn't get out of first gear there at all. Did a couple laps of this, then waited till most of the people took a break from the MX track, and went out there. Wow, I still can't get out of first...damn street gearing! The jumps were cool...I've never jumped before, but I came out quite alright. I did skip the double...don't fancy coming up short and smacking into the second face! I have got to get new tires...my rear tire is worn to the point I have no grip with the bike upright, but when leaned over it grabs and shoots me in directions I'd rather not go.
Some things in the real world are better than anything I've ever done on a computer, and I think I've found another one. Wonder if I can still call myself a computer geek...I roadrace, ride motorcycles on and offroad, play soccer, volleyball, shoot things. Oh well, back to messing with outer joins in Postgresql....my arms are sore now.
Well, work on the DMS addons has pretty much stifled...workload has taken a sudden jump as a coworker has decided to just not show 3 Saturdays in a row, and now has not turned up Monday or today either. Now that's just bloody fantastic..grr.
Got tired of writing customer's return authorisations in a book, and started coding a replacement in PHP, stuffing the data in a Postgres table. Messed about some with sequences too...nifty feature, that. This would be something else to add to the DMS addons...especially if customers could fill in the form and request a return authorisation (with approval/denial by me/someone else of course). The whole object of this system is to save me work, of course, and the more typing the customers can do, the longer my hands will survive without carpal tunnel syndrome.
Talked to my manager about some of this stuff...I'm still trying to coax him to move our website to a colo'd Linux/BSD machine, rather than the shared LAME NT box it's currently on.
Been a while since I put something in here...and I'm bored....
I'm beginning to think that PHP is the greatest thing since...oh, Linux or something, especially in combination with PostgreSQL (Mysql fans go away!:-P). Due to limitations in our DMS (Dealer Management System, I work at a motorcycle dealer), I have been coding up some bits and pieces to do stuff, and am now to the point where I can begin tying some of them together.
I mainly deal with wholesale to businesses, who generally have part numbers, often request price/availability checks, quotes and the like. Since I'm the only one in my department (hell, I AM the department), anything that can make the client do stuff instead of me is good. Currently I am working on a PHP-based web interface to take orders, do quotes, return discontinued/superceded parts info, and request return authorisations. Now, I have to figure out how to transfer that information from a colocated box to our office LAN, and the DMS. Should be interesting.
How interesting...slashdot's features are expanding a la kuro5hin. Though I haven't been over there in months. Odd that I read this site daily and I hadn't noticed all the new functionality until now. Oh well, the big blue room has enough distractions, I can't absorb all the information in front of me.