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July 2005 Archives

July 13, 2005

I want to be very clear: I could give a damn.

Great TFTD quote:

“Picture the sun as the origin of two intersecting 6-dimensional hyperplanes from which we can deduce a certain transformational sequence which gives us the terminal velocity of a rubber duck …”

We just returned from a week long trip up to the northeast to see my family and attend my cousin’s wedding. Although tiring (I drove our rental minivan over 850 miles), it was a great trip. We got to see everyone, had some great food, and let the munchkins play in all new places and meet new people. They totally loved Wodin (Terry and Alan’s German Shephard); they were positively squealing with delight when playing with him. Luckily, we have that on video — I have a feeling that it may be used to help convince Tracy to get a dog someday…

Maggie’s wedding was great. Got to see some relatives we hadn’t seen in quite a while, and got to hang out in scenic Newport, RI. The wedding itself was beautiful (on the back lawn of a mansion overlooking the water, right before sunset), and the reception food was a good old fashioned New England clam bake. Yummy yummy yummy!


Open MPI is going along swimmingly. The code gets more stable every day. I have officially switched from beta testing back to active development (the beta code is done done done — we’re just waiting for the lawyers to finish wrangling so that we can release the thing), which is a good thing. Progress is being made on a bunch of different fronts — Red Storm, configure/build systems, the run-time environment, better bandwidth/latency for point-to-point operations, shared memory operations, etc. Yay us. :-)


Some quickies:

  • Kentucky is finally getting rain. My lawn was looking like a straw field. Now it has some semblance of green.
  • My XM radio (a Delphi MyFi) finally died. For months, I’ve had to jiggle the power connector to get a good connection, and the other day it finally refused to make a solid connection at all. Delphi is sending me a new one under warranty (yay!). It’ll take 6-10 days (bonk).
  • I got a trial subscription of IEEE’s Transactions on Software Engineering. Looks like pretty interesting stuff.
  • The Sharktank sends out daily e-mails with its newletter. Usually, the article is snipped and you have to click through to a web page to see the full text. Today (well, July 15th — I started this entry a few days ago), they sent out the full text of the article. Interesting.

July 15, 2005

Passing on the left!

Huge props go out to:

- Katie S for passing her Ph.D. proposal
- Jeremy S. for passing his Ph.D. defense

Woot!

July 18, 2005

The Tooth Fairy has dentures

I helped a friend this weekend who had a disk meltdown on his home PC (let’s not name vendors, but the company’s name rhymes with Pewlett Smackard). Basically, the disk went kaput — a mechanical failure. So we had to get a new disk. Naturally, we called the vendor (the machine is a few years old, and therefore out of warranty). Guess how much they were charging for a new 5400RPM 80GB drive?

$215.

Guess how much Best Buy charges for a new 7200RPM 160GB drive? (yes, a drive better in all ways)

$80 (after rebates)

Yeah, that was pretty much a no-brainer. Plus, if we ordered from the vendor, we would have had to wait [at least] 2 business days and send the old disk back. It amazes me that the vendor would charge that much — keep in mind that they were just going to ship the disk to him; he would still have had to install it himself. Hence, installing the Best-Buy-purchased disk was identical to installing an vendor-purchased drive.

We also saw 80GB 5400RPM disks at Best Buy for slightly less than that. Specifically, we saw 80GB 5400RPM disks from the same manufacturer as the vendor disk (read: the same disk) for about 1/3 the price.

That’s truly amazing. And they wonder why they’re losing money in their home computer sales.


I have been a Verizon Wireless customer for several years. They have a “new every 2” program where they give you a bunch of credit towards a new phone every 2 years so that they can keep everyone on new technology (which makes good sense for them).

I was near a Verizon store recently, and I know that my cell phone is over 2 years old. So I stopped in and had a look at the newest phones. After tooling around looking at all the display phones and literature, I came to the conclusion that I really don’t need a new cell phone, even if it’s free. It gets me absoultely nothing (excepting having to re-learn how to do everything, and move my entire phone book over to the new phone). Here’s the features on new phones that I really do not need:

  • internet access (why on earth would you want internet access on a 2”×4” screen?)
  • color screen (ya, that’s handy, but it’s a friggen’ phone ferpetessake)
  • camera (I do not understand the latest craze of cell phone mailing people pictures)
  • the latest text message gadgets (I have enough electronic communication gizmos — mail, IM, and, wait — I’ve got a cell phone where you can call me!)
  • downloadable ring tones (I don’t understand this craze, either — I like phones have that “ringing” like sounds, not lame, off-key renditions of classic symphonies)

Maybe I’m just too cynical. But I guess my old phone is just fine. ☺

July 22, 2005

Shark Tank

I love the Shark Tank — it’s a weekdaily newsletter of true tales of IT.

I spent 10 minutes today looking for my all-time favorite Shark Tank, so I’m putting it here in my journal so that I can find it easier again: haunted / possessed music-on-hold system.

Here’s another one of my favorites: before and after.

About July 2005

This page contains all entries posted to JeffJournal in July 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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