Archive for May, 2010

iPad unhipster

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

The ipad/ipod auto-suggest feature doesn’t know the word barista? Wow, and neither does the firefox spell checker.

How un-hipster of them both.

setting up NFS

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

I so love setting up NFS.  One entry in /etc/exports,

/path_to_export   *(rw,root_squash,sync)

one entry in /etc/fstab,

nfs-server-name:/path_to_export /path_to_mount   nfs  soft,nfsvers=2   0   0

and a quick “mount -a”, and it’s all working like magic.

OK, there’s some pre-work to make sure uid’s match up, or you’ve got NIS mapping in place, but overall a pretty easy setup.

Oscar Meyer Weinermobile

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Oscar Meyer Weinermobile

Originally uploaded by Xymon

What an odd day yesterday. Saw this guy on the way back from lunch, and then again on the highway, on my way home from work. Funny how it can bring such a smile to my face, even though I can’t remember the last time I ate anything from O-M, much less one of their hot dogs. I usually go for a spicy sausage these days =p

vCenter Lab Manager – limited value

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

The idea behind VMWare’s vCenter Lab Manager is reasonable.  Make one big virtual vm-host, that dynamically configures itself under the covers, so the same hardware can be used by lots of people, eliminating wasted resources, and the wasted time of people building the same configurations over and over again.  Who knows, maybe in some places, the reality matches the dream.

Where I work, it’s been a big ole pain in my butt.  They massively under-budgeted for usage, even though they knew exactly how much physical hardware they were replacing, and instead of adding more capacity to meet the needs of now, much less the needs of the future, they spent months begging people to use the system less.  Frankly, I’m amazed enough people can even get to the server to put a load on it.  Out of 3 machines and 6 browsers, only 1 works reliably with the remote console plug-in.  There’s zero support info for it available from VMWare, making me wonder why we bothered with the supposedly supported ‘paid’ product.  Seems like we would have been better off using the free server, in terms of worker productivity.  Most annoyingly, the product, even when working, seems missing the most basic of features, like mounting a local drive or ISO.  It must be nice to live in a world where IT is always instantaneously available for trivial tasks like adding CD’s to the media library….seriously, I have to make an internal support call if I want to load something brand new into the system.   So much for saving time.

Mostly, I’m just pissed-in-the-moment, because I have an urgent task that has to be completed by friday at noon, and the ‘upgrade’ of our vCenter that was supposed to be done with by last monday morning, is still miles away from being in a usable state.  It wouldn’t be half as frustrating if IT would at least give us some sort of feedback on what they are doing to fix the problems.  Do they have a root cause? Any ETA?  Are they waiting for support from VMware to get back to them?

Missed Opportunity

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

I’m watching Y&R, and they have a scene in a book store.  In the background behind one of the characters, they had a book cover prominently displayed, for “Bumpy the Camel”.  I’ve never been more disapointed in not being advertised to.  OK, that’s a little hyperbolic, but still, I can’t believe no one has written a book with that title yet.  Maybe I will.

One day there was a camel.  A camel named Bumpy.

“I’m not bumpy

I am humpy” he cried, whenever someone called him “Bumpy”.  So naturally, all the animals called him Bumpy.


Killer iPad Accessory to-be

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Please oh please, let someone build a set of stereo bluetooth headphones that are:

a) waterproof enough to go lake kayaking with.  no significant immersion, just occasional splashes…and I guess roll-overs for newbies =p

b) comfortable for someone wearing glasses and a hat.  I found a non-waterproof pair of headphones; they sound nice, but crush my glasses into my ears in a way that discourages usage.  They still look more comfortable that the only other option on sale.  I’m hopeful that the magic Chinese gods of consumer goods will come thru sooner than later.

Asker vs Guesser in action

Monday, May 17th, 2010

“Do you have a couch I can crash on for a night or two?”

“I guess so…so, how long do you need a place?”

“Until I make enough money to get home.”


Fisheye Fun

Monday, May 17th, 2010


Originally uploaded by Xymon

Here I tested out the depth of field, when using the fish-eye adapter. Does better than expected again. Sure, I can see the shadows on the inside of the hood, but that’s a croppable issue.

Testing the Macro ring

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Testing the Macro ring

Originally uploaded by Xymon

Bought a couple of cheap toys to go with my camera. First up is the macro ring portion of the fisheye adapter. Will have to compare to the reversing ring once I’m sure what’s the best lens to match with both.

AT&T’s sneaky ways at work?

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

So I’ve been curious about what the catch would be to AT&T’s supposedly unlimited 3G plan for the iPad.  No-contract, no hassle, straightforward pricing, these are all phrases I don’t associate with AT&T.  Pain, suffering, and waste…those are AT&T phrases.

Well, now that I have my 3G iPad, the truth behind their tricksy ways is becoming clear.  You can’t download app updates over 20mb in size, and several apps turn off their basic functionality in the presence of 3G.  Interestingly, not every app has trashed themselves in AT&T’s favor.  While ABC and The Guardian are content to suck AT&T’s dick at the expense of the users that actually pay them money, Netflix stood up for their customers and supports watching over 3G.  I’m curious why some apps are doing this, and some aren’t.  The guardian’s ipad app claims it doesn’t support 3G out of consideration for the “user experience”, which seems like a total crock since you can just go to the regular website and download the same friggin pictures…not to mention, it’s a single static picture a day, how much bandwidth would you really have saved AT&T if I was too stupid to use a web-browser instead of an app?

I’m the kind of guy who takes such hurdles as a challenge, a challenge to find the most costly (to AT&T’s 3G network) app I can leave running all day.  Congratulation to the ‘genius’ at AT&T who thought to cut costs by cutting service, you will have cost your employer more than if you just hadn’t shown up to work at all.