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February 2009 Archives

February 1, 2009

Spa-geh-TEE-oes, Spa-gah-TOE-ees -- what's the difference?

Random quickies:

  • Wow did the weather suck this week. Huge ice storm in Kentucky/Louisville this past Wednesday which knocked out power to .25M households. We were one of the fortunate ones; we only lost power for about 12 hours. I know people who still don’t have power back yet. Lots of damage to trees, too.
  • This is the coolest OS X app.
  • Here’s another reason to hate my Windows Mobile cell phone: you cannot lock the keyboard. You can lock the device (meaning that it’ll go to a screen where you have to put in a password to do anything else), but the keyboard remains active. Today, my phone pocket dialed bogus passwords ten times, locking me out of the device. Who the heck thought that not being able to lock the keyboard was a good idea? It’s Feb 1. New cell phone coming soon.
  • The Super Bowl is tonight. Yes, I Tivo’ed it. Yes, we’re only going to watch the commercials (who’s playing, anyway?).
  • Being a quadruple Domer, this is 4x funny to me:

February 15, 2009

Yoda says: go team!

I was in San Jose, CA at Cisco.node0 all last week for an MPI Forum meeting, Open MPI engineering meeting, and general Cisco Stuff™.

It’s amusing to me that Californians generally don’t really know how to respond to the casual passing-on-the-street “Good morning” / “Good afternoon” / “Good evening” salutation. Most look at you kinda weird; some get visibly flustered while sputtering out an unintelligible reply. I had to admit that their reactions are so much of a guilty pleasure that I probably greet random strangers more than usual while I’m in California. It’s the little things in life, you know? ☺

Another thing I’ve noticed is that the number of people using laptops in the San Jose airport (SJC) is noticeably (and significantly) higher than in other airports. This makes sense; SJC is right in the heart of Silicon Valley, of course. Plus, SJC has free wifi (woot!). I’ve also noticed (very unscientifically) that among cell phones that people carry, I’m seeing more iPhones than not. My observations may be skewed as a by-product of the fact that I spend a good deal of time in the California bay area, but I’m pretty sure that I’m seeing a preponderance of iPhones everywhere.

UPDATE: Rich M. sent me an extremely amusing reply to the Californian part of this entry:

While certainly true in NORTHERN California, I’m not sure this is true of ALL of California. In LA they’d probably flip you the bird, but in San Diego you would likely get a “hi” back. ☺

"Verbs" is Greek for "wow, that's complicated"

Random tidbits:

  • We switched to reusable cloth groceries bags at Kroger (vs. paper or plastic bags); they’re awesome. They’re big; they’re strong; the handles are comfortable. Love ‘em.
  • My credit card info got stolen in late January via a data breach at Heartland Payment Systems. Yuck. I don’t even know what I bought that ended up getting processed through HPS — from my understanding, it’s one of those behind-the-scenes mega processing companies. My bank warned me about the theft last week — even before I had noticed a whole pile of bogus Craigslist charges on my card (totaling about $375). I would have noticed them because I update Quicken every weekend (sidenote: Quicken for Mac sucks; sigh — I have to use Windoze Quicken under Parallels). But the fact that my bank caught the bogusness first and a) immediately credited all the charges back to me, b) deactivated my current card, and c) sent me a new card makes me feel somewhat better. More specifically, I didn’t have to suffer through calling my bank and pleading my case, powerlessly hoping that they would understand and believe me. That part was done before I even knew that there was a problem. Yay good guys. Boo bad guys. But it is downright annoying that I now have to go update all the automated billing that uses my old credit card number. Ugh.

February 20, 2009

Firewire guppies

This week I got to attend a WebEx meeting (meaning: teleconference + simultaneously visiting a web site where the teleconference speaker was flipping through his slides) about how email and related services work behind the scenes at Cisco. It was actually pretty fascinating.

Everyone takes email for granted these days, but only a handful of tech geeks (relatively speaking) really understand how complicated email really is. Email is hard. Very hard. Especially when you have a single top-level domain (cisco.com) that has to span a world-wide organization. It takes some really well-thought out architecting to make it “just work” for the tens of thousands of Cisco employees around the world.

Here’s the white paper describing how Cisco does its messaging — fascinating stuff if you’re into such things:


In other random news, a missing comma in m4 code bedeviled me twice this week in various parts of the Open MPI build system. Gaah!

About February 2009

This page contains all entries posted to JeffJournal in February 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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