Patch, patch, patch!

» 11 October 2006

Microsoft has released a record number of patches many of which are of the most critical variety. Please, please, please! Update your system(s) now! Don’t get bitten.

Fall is here!

» 09 October 2006

When I walked out of the garage this morning, and felt the cool, dry air around me, I knew that fall was finally here. The sun was just coming up, and everything around me was still and quiet. Mornings like this make me want to spend the whole day outside. The quiet makes me remember how blessed I am to no longer live in a miserable apartment in the city.

Influence the Universe

» 06 October 2006

In an attempt to alter our reality, we’ve taken to writing the opposite of habitual computer problems on the whiteboard in my office. It is our hope that, through the power of positive thinking, we’ll make them come true.



» 04 October 2006

The paper shredders are here today, and they park their truck right outside my office window. Now, I don’t mind that they’ve parked their truck in a way that obscures my view nearly as much as I mind the rumble and noise that accompanies said truck. Woe is me.

» 02 October 2006

We needed offsite backup at the dayjob, and after some research, I went with Their support is above and beyond what I expected. I had a small problem with their payment form, and they responded very quickly to my email and even set up the account anyway while they worked on the payment issue. These guys get it and are great to work with. They also provide very easy and secure access in several ways including ssh,ftp and dav. Ssh means you can do some really cool things. For example, using the magic of FUSE, I’ve set up an encrypted filesystem over sshfs. Performance is surprisingly good, and I can use rsync via the local mount point while still having the benefits of encryption. If you need offsite backup, you really should check these guys out.

King Billswag the Mighty

» 29 September 2006

I’ve noticed that I’m becoming much more critical of writing. In the last few years, books that I thought were brilliantly written have lost some of their lustre and are now only mediocre. Books I’d loved and re-read dozens of times are now nearly unreadable. I used to like almost everything I read. Now, I find some books embarrassingly bad, and just can’t finish them. I’m not sure if I’m getting a better grip on what makes writing good, or if I’m just becoming grumpy and cynical.

One thing that I keep seeing is “Proper Noun Syndrome.” It may have been Ken Levine of Irrational Games (he was at Looking Glass at the time, I think) who coined that phrase in an essay about writing for the once great game mag Computer Games Strategy Plus. I may have misquoted it, because Google can’t find it, but the essay was a brilliant rant about the lack of quality writing in games.

Anyway, you may not know it by that phrase, but you probably know the problem, which I will now demonstrate with a delightful demonstrative example.

Read more »

VML patch out

» 27 September 2006

Get the VML patch at WIndows/Microsoft update now. Don’t wait. Do it now. (NOTE: if you unregistered vgx.dll, be sure to register it again before applying the patch.)


» 26 September 2006

For some reason, I’ve been feeling the urge to give World of Warcraft another try. As I still have the game installed on the Windows PC, it tempts me from time to time.

I’ve quit twice after playing a short time each instance. I just couldn’t get into it. But with Jerry Pournelle mentioning it all the time, and that damned icon on the gaming machine, it is just so tempting.

Oh well. It only costs 15 dollars to see if anything has changed that will capture my fancy. Now that I’ve finished justifying it to myself, I guess I’ll reactivate my account. ;)

Oh and by the way, did I mention I got a nice new MacBook? I was offered one for a price I couldn’t refuse. I guess I’ll be sending back the Dell that replaced my iBook for a few days. It wasn’t a bad machine, but I sure missed OS X.

Long day

» 26 September 2006

Monday. Oh, how I hate thee. Rotten to the crunchy center art thou. For some reason, I feel like I didn’t get any sleep last night. I know I did though. I even had some bizarre dreams. I don’t usually get those on weekdays. My theory is that I don’t sleep long enough to allow REM sleep on weekdays. My subconscious refuses to be ignored even in those cases. I get all the wacky dreams come the weekend. Saturday morning is always wacky and adventure filled. I wonder if this is common for folks who don’t get enough sleep during the week. Once, I dreamed that I was dreaming that I was dreaming. I woke up twice into a complete reality that was my own, only it wasn’t. In that way that only dreams can. I’ve only had that happen once, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. It may be the oddest and most lucid dream I’ve had thus far. In geeky news, I discovered over the weekend. We’ve been looking for offsite backup at the dayjob, and this looks to be a good fit. The price is a bargain, and I get to use rsync. Together with one of the FUSE encrypted filesystems, I should be able to use all the power of rsync and have a nice safe encrypted offsite backup.

IE vulnerability

» 26 September 2006

The bug is old news, but folks have started to actively exploit it. You really should unregister that DLL or switch to Opera or Firefox. Or just get a Mac. :) It isn’t panic time yet, but this could get really nasty.