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Saturday, September 29, 2001

[12:00 AM]
Howdy do...

Doing some browsing here and read about AT&T and Comcast signing an agreement that could lead to Comcast acquiring AT&T Broadband. Interesting to say the least. I sure wish these folks, or someone else, would get some broadband put into our little town of Exeter. My good old 56K modem works fine for e-mail and some surfing but I sure would like to be able to go out and buy a router and some wireless cards for home! Come on folks let's make the internet real. To do that even those of us that live in the sticks need high speed internet. Yep I'm a hick-from-the-sticks but I want my broadband! I sent an e-mail to GTE, Verizon, or whatever the heck they're called. Here's their reply.

Thank you for your message to Verizon. Your message has been forwarded to the appropriate department for review. For customer service issues, you'll hear back from us soon.

Some inquiries require research on our part to answer your question. In future correspondence with us on this matter, please refer to the tracking number that appears in the subject line of this e-mail. When replying back to us via e-mail, please use your mail program's reply function to maintain this tracking number in the subject line.

Did you know that Verizon has an online self-service tool? Visit for immediate answers to frequently asked billing, repair, account and calling features questions.

Basically what they're saying is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We don't care about you and your little town of 8000. That really sucks!

I'm holding out hope that Charter Communications can actually pull a rabbit outta their collective hats and get us high speed cable SOON. I'm not going to hold my breath. I've heard they're going to have to rebuild the entire system. Darn...

I'm tired it's time for bed, good night all...

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Friday, September 28, 2001

[9:40 AM]
Good Mornin'...

Don't you just hate it when you gotta get your car worked on? Well not really worked on. I have to get it smoged. The state of California requires smog checks every two years. In typical Rob fashion I've waited 'til the very last possible minute to have it done. Hopefully they won't have to fix anything or I'm in trouble. Doh!

Since I'm having the truck smoged I'm working from home today. I live in a town called Exeter and keep an office in Visalia. No car, no drive to office. Sigh.

Scoble got me, and my friends, all setup with a trial of Manila. Woo-Hoo! Robert, we'll be installing it A.S.A.P. This is a very exciting piece of software. I haven't run across anything that's excited me this much in a long time. Isn't it strange how some things excite people and others just don't give a darn? Even those of us that work in the computing field are excited by different stuff. A lot of people don't understand my excitement over blogging, hi hon, but I'm VERY excited by this stuff. Why? Well I'm not a very good writer. My hope is to become one. I figure the more I write the better I'll get. Plain and simple, just like I like it. We'll see, I've been doing this for a year now and I think I've gotten a bit better? You be the judge.

The build wasn't broken this morning; I'm a happy camper... :-)
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Thursday, September 27, 2001

[9:40 AM]
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly...

The Good
Last night I was able to hang out with some terrific guys and get my new server strapped up. Yee-Haw! We had a horrible time of it at first. The box is an Intel Netstructure 1010 server appliance. It ships with Linux by default but this box was used, purchased on eBay. We followed the directions to the letter. Press the power switch, watch the status window, and..... nothing? Ok nothing happened. It didn't boot like it was supposed to. So Richard recommends we plug in the keyboard, monitor, and mouse. NO Richard we say because the directions explicitly say NOT to do that. Fine. Think, think, think... think some more. Finally we were able to hook a serial cable up to it and watch it post from a terminal window on a Win98 box. Turns out the box had been wiped of its OS. Ok now we're getting somewhere. So we finally decided that Richard is actually a pretty smart feller and plugged in the keyboard, monitor (that was a nightmare in and of itself!), and mouse. We popped in a CD, Daved checked to see if the box could boot from the CD and we were off! I had to bail at around 9:00PM to go pick up my daughter from her youth group. They guys baby sat the box until Windows 2000 Advanced Server finished its installation. It's happily humming along waiting for Manila to be installed. :-)

The Bad
This morning I got up to go jogging. My jogging buddy is having back problems so we decided to wait another day to see how his back feels before he pounds the pavement. So I headed back home and decided that since my Visio builds take about an hour and forty-five minutes to complete I'd start building at home while everyone prepared for the day. I popped in the phone line, dialed in, synchronized my source, and logged out. No problem, all the source is now refreshed. I started the build and went about my morning routine. Just prior to leaving the house I opened up my laptop and saw the "build complete" message showing on my display. That can't be right, it's only been an hour since I started this thing? So I check the build log. Sure enough someone forgot to add a new file to our source control system! I hate it when someone breaks the !@$^&*@@! build! It just slows everyone down. This should NEVER happen to a team working on a semi-large system! Now I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs until the code is properly checked in. Great.

The Ugly
This is not going to come as a surprise to anyone. I'm sick and tired of idiots writing viruses to attack IIS. Granted it has more leaks than a sieve, but the morons that keep breaking into it should be flogged in public. We as a company need to focus more and more effort on these sorts of problems if we want to be the enterprise software company. Stability and reliability should be our #1 priority. Forget new features people! If it's a security risk all the new features in the world just won't matter! It's my understanding we have a wonderful security team. My guess is they were put together after the fact. Now they have to untangle the mess. Good luck guys. You must fix these problems at all cost!

Back to coding, the file has just been checked in...
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Wednesday, September 26, 2001

[10:14 AM]
Yee Haw!

My new server arrived yesterday! :-) Now the guys and I can get our new venture off the ground. Tonight we're going to unwrap that shiny new box and install it in the rack with the rest of the servers. I'm very excited! Now all we need to do is collect all of our pennies together and purchase Manila. I think we'll start off with a 30 day trial so we can scrape up the cash but it's a start!

The folks I ordered it from sent me the UPS tracking number so I could see how it was making its way across the country. That's the first time I've ever used it and it's really sweet! That leads me to think that these guys should expose an XML-RPC, or SOAP, interface so we could ask from anywhere how our package(s) are doing! Wouldn't that be completely cool!

They could do something like upsTrack.GetTrackingInformation that takes an array of tracking numbers and returns an array of structs containing all the information they display on their web page, or more if they wanted! Ahhh the possibilities!

Last week I asked for new features from folks and the only replies I've gotten have been from one Cass McNutt! Yep he sent me another list of stuff he'd like to see in Visio. That's what we NEED! Big lists of things users NEED! It makes the product better because the design is influenced by the people that use it everyday. :-) Thanks again Cass!

P.S. You need a weblog Cass, point your browser here and get started with a free BlogSpot account! Either that or you could wait for Bloghouse to come online and get a blog started there! :-)

Have a great day!
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Tuesday, September 25, 2001

[9:48 AM]
Good Morning...

My brain is dead this morning. I don't think any amount of caffeine is going to wake it up. I've had my quad mocha and I'm already hitting the Pepsi hard and heavy! My heart is beginning to pound, whoops. I had a rough night last night. My dreams are filled with the Taliban. All night long I was trying to work out a deal with them. I woke up a couple of times in a panic. I hate that. It was like being sick. I'm talking about how you dream when your body is trying to kick a fever. That's what it was like all night. I'm sure I kept my wife awake. The only cool thing about waking was hearing the storm we had last night. The wind was blowing hard and our wind chimes were making wonderful, peaceful, music.

Have a wonderful day folks...
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Monday, September 24, 2001

[11:56 AM]

Is it just me or does the Taliban sound like the Afghani equivalent of the Bloods, or Crips? The more I read the more it sounds like they're a bunch of teeny-boppers attempting to run a country. Don't go messin' with my turf or I'm gonna come after ya. What a bunch of morons, dangerous morons.

I hate to say it but this is going to get messy. Really darned messy. There's no telling how many sleepers they already have in this country that are just waiting for us to settle back into our routines, get laxed, then POW! We must now be ever vigilant. That sucks.

As usual I have so much I want to say and just can't spit it out.

Here's something EVERYONE should read and remember.

That's all for now.
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[10:07 AM]
Mornin' Y'All...

Autumn is here. Over the past couple of weeks I started noticing the transition from summer to autumn. The air is a little crisper in the morning and the sun's position is changing. This is truly my favorite time of the year. The trees will start changing color soon, the holidays are about to arrive, and our house makes a transition to its autumn attire. :-) I'm now burning my pumpkin spice candle. It makes me think of Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I'm starting day #3 on my transition to Windows XP. Friday I installed my Linksys router and was finally able to connect to work by late in the afternoon. Today I have to get my applications up and running so I can actually work. What a pain in the keister. It would have been a lot easier if I'd just waited 'til XP Server shipped but I just couldn't wait any longer. This is a very sweet release of NT. I like it!

Last night I was finally able to work a bit on my XML-RPC implementation for Blogger. I know, I know, it's taking me way to long to get this stinkin' thing completed. I've finally decided since I'm writing this as a portable set of interfaces (NOT COM based!) that it would be ok to make use of MSXML components to take care of the HTTP requests and subsequent parsing of return results. It's should be MUCH easier to parse the results now. I have blogger.newPost working using MSXML. Didn't take too long to complete. Tonight I'll hopefully get some time to work on it a bit more, once everyone's gone off to bed. :-)

The weekend was full of all kinds of repair fun around the house. I had to replace our garbage disposal unit! GRRRRR! Figures the stinking thing would break less than a month away from moving out! Do you have dogs that like to chew on things? We do! I had to patch our main garden hose back together because Tucker, our lab, loves to chew on it! I'm about ready to have all his teeth removed. :-) These two things, along with the ever present yard care chores, kept me from going to Festival con Dios with my oldest daughter. Major bummer! She had a great time however.

Back to installing software, oh joy...
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