12/27/2004

The fat lady has sung

Filed under: — menk @ 9:58 pm

So the 2004 Presidential elections is a closed book. It has been over for 8 weeks now but I still see cars with Kerry and Bush bumper stickers on them. What motivates these people?

For the Kerry folks is it a hope that somehow the world will go to hell and others will not hold them responsible? Perhaps some just can’t peel the sticker off that 1983 Chrysler K car since it is just on top of a Gore 2000 Sticker and a stack of liberal candidates dating back to Mondale/Ferraro in 1984. Get a life (and a new car) lose that sticker and rejoin America!

For the stubborn Bush 2004 sticker it probably is some guy that wants his fellow commuters to know “he made the popular choice” I say, “Who the hell cares? The election is done and the right guy won. Why rub it in?” Let’s get rid these divisive stickers and again become one America!

What do you think? How long is too long? I shed my W-2004 sticker the second day after the election. It had served it’s purpose and why bait folks who were feeling bad about the shellacking that Kerry and Edwards took at the polls?

12/23/2004

Freedom of Speech

Filed under: — menk @ 6:23 am

In the process of ridding my inbox of it’s daily dose of spam, I ran across a message that struck me. It began with “People in the armed forces are lazy!”. This pissed me off and although everything I know and hate about spam influenced me me not to click on the link to the article, I just had to know what sort of an idiot would have such an opinion.

The link took me to a site of a troubled and frankly downright stupid individual that refers to himself (often in the third person) as Toobis. I was amazed that this guy clearly of limited intellect had created what appeared to be a number of the most controversial and ill formed opinions in the world.

Sad as it is ‘Toobis is a prime example of free speech at work’. He lives in Canada with his Mom according to him and apparently worked at Walmart prior to being canned for spouting such incredibly moronic crap. In many countries in the world today Toobis would be jailed or worse for being a verbose idiot. But fortunately for him he lives in a time and a place where the very people he denigrates in his post about military personnel have committed themselves to an ideal and they are willing to lay down their lives to defend his right to express himself freely (cretin or not).

When you are reading material on the Internet or elsewhere that offends you or your sensiblities always keep in mind that “the ability for individuals to communicate their (well or ill informed) opinions freely in our society is protected by individuals willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect those freedoms.

God Bless our Military Personnel and their sacrifices!

12/20/2004

Is the Arab world asleep?

Filed under: — menk @ 11:53 am

This weekend more violence in Iraq. Thirty insurgents ambushed a car in Baghdad carrying five election officials and dragged them out to shot them in cold blood. The thing that baffles me is, ‘why is this acceptable to the rest of the arab world?’

Insurgents Kill Election Officials

Here are a bunch of cowards that attack unarmed civilians just because they are cooperating with the US to bring positive change to Iraq. They plant explosives by the roadside to try to kill and maim our brave soldiers and anyone associated with them.

Where were these scumbags when Saddam Hussain was killing thousands of Iraqi citizens? Were they showing up to fight back? No, they were off hiding somewhere hoping Saddam his regime would overlook them and kill other innocents perhaps women and children.

Frankly, the whole thing disgusts me. The fact this goes on with little or no negative feedback from the Arab community in the world is despicable.

12/16/2004

Pig Roast Revisited

Filed under: — menk @ 11:08 pm
Pooles at the Pig Roast

Earlier in the year I posted about the annual Miller Pig Roast. George and Marina Poole sent me some additional pictures of the event and they are now posted for your viewing pleasure.

Are you a Nut?

Filed under: — menk @ 4:37 pm

The Internet is a great place to expose yourself to differing viewpoints. With the myriad of sites and blogs you can read about a given subject or event from any number of perspective points of view.

This abundance of opinions allows adults and those with good judgement to gain insight on even the most radical of perspectives and ideas. The not so good news is that it becomes incumbent on all of us who are parents to make sure we understand what our kids might be reading. The fact that some of the most bizarre theories and opinions come disguised as facts in nicely put together websites can create an environment where without life experience to lean on children could be influenced in directions neither desiable for themselves of the remainder of society.

I ran across a conspiracy theory site that would be laughable if it were not so likely that the ‘crap’ they present could influence a young adult’s view of the world.

This site offers ‘proof’ of theories that:

1) The Government has long covered up UFO and Aliens 2) The administration actually ordered the 9/11 attacks 3) The Intelligence Community has been using Mind control on the US Public 4) The media (all Media) is controlled by shadowy people across the globe.

All in all the theories and ‘proof’ offered up are moronic to everyone but the most gullible or disturbed adults. The concern I have is that children and young adults often agree with the X-Files Mantra. “I want to believe”

12/13/2004

DVD Format Wars

Filed under: — menk @ 3:08 pm

So the DVD format wars are now in full swing. Sony with their Blu-Ray format versus Toshiba with HD DVD. All in all just a ‘crapload’ of bad news for consumers. These formats are incompatible and as a result will slow adoption of high density DVD formats and equipment to play them. If you as a consumer want to ‘fence sit’ it will likely cost you dearly to buy equipment that actually will play either.

I for one, am aggrevated with the industry for letting these vendors get away with this to the detriment of consumers. HD DVD will be deliverable sooner so I hope that in the future it ultimately wins out. Sony as a vendor is innately opposed with open standards anyway. (i.e. Sony’s innane proprietary ‘memory stick’ technology)

I will probably sit this one out. I can’t stomach the whole idea of spending my money on the ‘Betamax’ of the new millenium.

12/8/2004

Datacenter Managers in Denial

Filed under: — menk @ 3:51 pm

Recently the researchers at the Gartner Group a well respected IT analyst organization predicted that as many as 50% of the IT operational jobs in the U.S. could disappear over the next two decades because of improvements in data center technologies. Currently most datacenters manage all their servers (Unix, Linux and Windows) by hand with very little automation. This leads to two major issues high costs associated with labor and considerable quality issues since large numbers of personnel leads to inconsistency and numerous opportunities for errors.

The opportunity to increase quality and systems security while driving large savings by gaining efficiencies using automation is a natural direction these IT organizations must take or face extinction via outsourcing. However it still seems many in the IT industry are in denial.

In response to this prediction; Stevan Lewis, director of enterprise planning for BMO Financial Group, a 34,000-employee financial services company in Scarborough, Ontario said “Like most of the Gartner stuff, it’s sort of a Utopian state — we’re certainly not there yet” Since I work for one of the leading vendors in the IT Automation space (Opsware) I can tell you that in my opinion the Gartner Group is being conservative. We have seen improvements in personnel efficiency that are orders of magnitude through application of Opsware technology. The average server to system administrator ratio in IT organizations today is around 20-1 we have customers that have achieved 200 - 1 in some cases.

I can only say that if Stevan Lewis’ manager would like to achieve large personnel savings for BMO financial group he should start by giving Stevan the axe and getting someone hired to run the IT organization there that has some sense of vision. I’m sure that there are many organizations out there run by folks that have barely grasped the change in application architecture to adopt web-based technologies. The smart CEO and CFO will seek to determine quickly whether their key managers are among them and cull them from the workforce before their entire business is damaged as a result of short sighted IT approaches.

12/3/2004

Abandon Windoze for Christmas

Filed under: — menk @ 1:03 pm

With Christmas coming up, I know a large number of you are considering getting new computers for your home. I would like to suggest you abandon the security nightmare and total hack that is Microsoft Windows and acquire a Mac.

I am happy to offer my knowledge and assistance in helping interested individuals configure the ideal Mac systems for your specific use.

G5 iMac

At the high end no home is complete without the cutting edge beauty of an iMac G5. The wireless keyboard and mouse combined with the 20” flatpanel display (and ‘where’s the computer’ look) declares your tech saavy to create envy among all your friends and neighbors. To really observe this awesome system check out the Quicktime VR.

eMac

For those of you on a tighter budget consider the best bang for your buck available in any system on the planet and look at the eMac starting at under $800 “all in” including numerous applications and the infection and virus resistant Mac OS X operating system you will be off and running with digital music and editting digital photos & movies to your hearts content.

Powerbook 17"

For those of you ‘on the go’ check out the iBooks and Powerbooks and laugh as your friends and coworkers experience the frustration of constant crashes and restarts with their lame Intel based Windows laptops. While your ‘Unix’ based Mac Laptop just runs for weeks and months at a time with no need to restart. “It just works”

Of note is the recent evaluation of systems and support by Consumer Reports. In this thorough survey CU found Apple and their systems to stand above the others both in value and support.

“As for technical support, Apple had a score of 76 — the highest of any PC manufacturer. Consumer Reports subscribers who used Apple tech support gave a ‘better’ rating (the highest possible) in getting their problems solved, shortest time spent waiting on support phone calls, experienced and knowledgeable support staff, and best Web support.

No other PC company received a ‘better’ rating in any category. Dell was second, receiving a score of 57 and no better than an ‘average’ rating in any category.

Because of good reliability and tech support results, Apple portable and desktop PCs were recommended by CR as ‘best pick.’”

Please feel free to contact me for any assistance you may require.

Happy Holidays!

Menk

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