October 10, 2009

239 CDs

We’re moving! The wife has been talking about a bigger house for 3+ years now, so with the housing prices at rock bottom and interest rates really great (for buyers, at least) we finally got off our butts and bought a new home on the other side of Louisville.

This weekend is packing packing packing. As a full-time software developer telecommuter, I have accumulated oodles of random IT equipment over the years (hey, you never know when you’re going to need spare parts!). I was packing up my office today — including The Parts Closet. It was like a trip into the past. Here’s a fun partial list of things that I found in TPC:

  • A surprising number of Palm Products:
    • 7 palm styluses
    • A full pack (minus 1) of palm m100 protector stickers
    • Palm m100
    • Palm Treo
    • Palm Clie
    • Palm 1MB RAM (yes, megabyte) upgrade
  • 239 CDs (yes way!!):
    • Many Windows XP
    • Many Microsoft Works
    • Many Dell reinstall CDs
    • 1 copy of Windows Millenium
    • 4 AOL CDs (some as old as AOL 5.0)
    • Oodles of drivers and “you just bought some IT equipment, so we feel compelled to give you a CD with other random stuff on it” CDs
  • A USB smartcard reader (circa 2001)
  • A 10mb nic with a BNC connector
  • 3 laptop floppy drives
  • 13 floppy disks
  • A microtape answering machine
  • 3 different DSL modems
  • 15 IDE hard drives that I haven’t yet erased and am therefore too paranoid to throw away:
    • The smallest was 9.2GB
    • The largest was 60GB
    • 5 were unmarked; I don’t know what size they were
  • 3 analog phones
  • 5 parallel printer cables (one extra long)
  • 3 PS2 keyboards
  • 14 conference/trade show bags (an I distinctly remember throwing/giving away at least a dozen or so a few years ago — man, those things just creep up on you!)

Ah… good times.

(Oh, and I found a whole box of pictures from undergrad/grad school. Some of you should be afraid. Be very afraid.)

September 15, 2009

4 minutes

That’s how long it took to renew my driver’s license this morning. The friendly and helpful staff moved me through the line and out the door in 4 minutes.

Kudos to the Bowman Field, Louisville, KY driver’s license center!

September 13, 2009

Spammy spam spam

I do all my personal email via Google mail (gmail). They do a really great job of catching spam. This is pretty important to me because I’ve had my same personal email address for 10 years! (squyres.com turns 10 this Wednesday) Hence, that address turns up on lots of spammers’ lists.

One of the things Gmail does is maintain a rolling 30-day window on your spam. That is, when Gmail identifies spam, they move it to your spam folder. When that spam is 30 days old, it’s automatically deleted. Simple.

Just because I’m a curious guy, I periodically like to calculate my “spams per hour” rate (sph) — an average of how many spams I received every hour for the past 30 days. The calculation is simple: number of spams in my Gmail spam folder divided by 24 divided by 30. Or, for the mathematically inclined, “x / (24 * 30)”.

My sph sometimes varies wildly; I have seen it as low as 2 and as high as 12. Today, my sph is 3.71. Just a few days ago it was over 6.

Consider that to make a change from 6 to 3.71 reflects a fairly large difference in the total number of spams:

  • 6 sph = 4,230 spams
  • 3.71 sph = 2,671 spams

Seeing large fluctuations like this usually means that some kind of “spam event” has occurred within the last 30 days. For example, I have a decrease of ~1,500 spams compared to earlier this week; it’s possible that some spammer got knocked off the net (or filtered) or otherwise stopped sending. It’s also possible that my address fell the spammer lists that were active over the last 30 days.

But the optimist in me prefers to think it was the former. ;-)

When my sph reached 12 a few months ago (8,640 spams in my folder), it was a fairly dramatic ramp-up — the spammers must have been redoubling their efforts to send out huge volumes of mails and/or figured out some clever trick to avoid server-side blocking. The fall off was equally dramatic; IIRC, within the span of 1-2 days, my sph fell to 2 or 3.

September 6, 2009

Purple snausages

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. It’s partially because I’m devoting blogging time to my professional blog.

In recent news on the home front…

  • My Blackberry Bold spontaneously reboots at least once a week. It’s a little annoying. On my way home from a trip recently, I turned my BB off like a good boy while on a flight. When I got to the destination airport, I turned my Bold back on and it refused to turn on wifi. Very strange. I had to take-the-battery-out-reboot to make wifi work again. I’m still pretty happy with my Bold, but these kinds of things are a little annoying.
  • KK recently started kindergarten. They seem to be adapting well.
  • Notre Dame had their first football game yesterday vs. Nevada and they properly stomped them. Crushed. Squashed. Flattened. It was nice. Hopefully, the Irish can keep up this level of performance throughout the season.
  • Combining the two above items, on Saturday morning before the ND game, I had the following conversation with my daughters:
    • Me: “Do you girls know what’s on TV today?”
    • KK: <mysterious looks>
    • Me: “Notre Dame football is on today! It’s the first game of the season!”
    • Kaitlyn: “I hope Notre Dame loses”
    • Me: “What?!”
    • Tracy (from the next room): “What did your daughter just say?!”
    • Kathryn: “I hope Louisville wins!”
    • Kaitlyn: “Go Cards!”
    • Tracy and I commit seppaku (while we blame this outburst on going to Kindergarten with many other Louisville natives/fans, clearly we have failed as Fightin’ Irish parents. We will need to kick up the propaganda several notches).

May 6, 2009

48th in litercy

I sent this to the Fail Blog, but they didn’t post it.

This is the admission wrist strap to the posh dining room where Tracy and I watched the Kentucky Oaks race last Friday. Gotta love it.

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