Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Information Overload

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

It is an interesting phenomenon which poses a catch-22 situation. Lemme ‘splain.

We are told that “Knowledge is Power.” If you know something about anything, it shows a level of education, even more so if that particular bit of knowledge is not common. In a world with ~6.5 billion people in it, events take place every second. Someone dies. Someone lives. He was arrested. They discovered that. It’s shinny. You name it, it’s happening right now. I mean now! So with all these little things happening on this sphere in space, how are we to keep up with it all?

Enter the media. Instead of me going to ‘X’ country to learn about ‘Y’ event, I watch someone else tell me about it. And it’s not just me watching, it’s thousands, even millions of my fellow sphere inhabitants watching that same event. Now we all know about it, except of course those who did not watch it. But what if I missed said news report? I am behind my fellow neighbor who does know. What does it matter to me if this event didn’t affect me in the slightest? Only that John & Jane Doe know something I don’t.

Enter the pride machine. Not wanting to be one-upped, I seek to discover this new information. And not only that but I seek out other events so that I may have the upper hand. Take that John & Jane. Naturally I will have a tendency towards information that is of interest to me. In so doing I make definitions in my social circle. I talk to her cause she knows the same things I know. Don’t talk to him. Before I know it, I have a set of friends and acquaintances with their own events in their lives that I must keep up with. Email is a quick and easy way to do this, so I do. Social network, set.

How do I contribute to my social network? By letting them in on information that I discover, and they likewise do the same for me. I get my information for a variety of sources: TV, newspapers, online news sites, RSS feeds, word of mouth, scrawling on napkins, etc. I got information coming at me from every direction. Have I got a prayer of keeping track of all this? No. Glorious.

So hundreds-of-emails-a-day and ad-infinitum-news-sources later I am confronted with Information Overload. The pandemic sweeping this sphere for which there is no nice cure. I say “no nice cure” because the only solution is for everyone to stop, just stop, driving their fellow sphere dwellers to the brink of madness in attempts to learn everything there is to learn. Don’t look to the information outlets to change, they aren’t going anywhere.

So what is my point? For you to make your own decision on who you view information. How do you view those less influxed with information? Here’s a novel idea, accept them. Accept them for where they are at, not how much they know. I say “Acceptance is Power.” We are compelled to learn and become knowledgeable, as such knowledge becomes a crutch, a weakness. But we shall always have the power to accept someone regardless of their privileges in life. Think on that one for a bit.

Windows XP Woes

Friday, March 26th, 2004

If I had a dollar for every time Windows shot itself in the foot, I would be richer than Bill Gates – as would many other people.

Where to begin… Wensday, I was doing some routine disk maintance. The “Disk Cleanup Wizard” presented a new option to “Remove Windows 98/ME Installation Files”, telling me that lest I should decide to go back to that version of Windows I should delete these files. So I hand Windows the meat cleaver and within 30 minutes I have 6 Windows File Protection alert boxes telling me that critical files to the operation of Windows have gone AWOL. But didn’t I tell it to delete said files? Thought so. For the record, don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever (don’t think I got enough “evers” in there) delete these files. The updated OS still needs these files.

I was getting tired so I left this task till the morning. I began trying to copy these needed files from a working Windows XP in an attempt to avoid disaster. That is assuming the shell stays stable, which it didn’t. Reboot. Hal.dll is missing (for those who don’t know, this is a bad thing). Can’t even get a command prompt now. I start a new search for bootdisk solutions that have NTFS support. My goal: attempt to back up my files and wipe the slate clean.

Three hours and 8 tools later I come apon BartPE. This tool is genius. So very fleible. And most important, native NTFS support. I make my back ups and then go to finish the job that Disk Cleanup Wizrd started.

Slowly I am recovering from the loss of 4+ years of customizations. Quickly I am developing a psychosis at the hand of Microsoft.

Mac Killed My Inner Child

Sunday, March 21st, 2004

Via my brother, Mac Killed My Inner Child. Simply brilliant (and hilarious) piece about this one guys strugles with the Mac OS.

Close to Home

Thursday, March 11th, 2004

And I don’t mean the comic strip. I mean this thread hit close to home. To those of my friends and family whom I have aided in the past, please do not take this as a slant against you.

But I must say that at times I am truly amazed at what destructive activities some people can accomplish with their computers. Back in high school I had a class which was a position in the school’s Help Desk (cheap labor ;)). I have lived the life of a computer technician at the beck and call of a working group. Reading threads and rants and articles of this nature is relaxing and a humorous pasttime. I also like to share these with people to let them see my side of my work. I do take pride in the fact that I have a skill set that many stuggle to grasp. And with that I love to help. Us IT guys are funny people and we live in our own little world. Sometimes we must be handled with care. But we are people, just like you.

The Gender Genie

Sunday, February 29th, 2004

Via clagnut, find out what gender you write as, or anyone else for that matter, through The Gender Genie. I threw a couple samples of my writing at and much to my relief, I write like a male.

According to the scientific writeup by Koppel and Argamon, the engine uses the assumption that males use more noun specifiers than females, and that females use more pronouns than males. I’ve only skimmed the artical so far but it seems like a very interesting read.

On Saving The Internet

Thursday, January 1st, 2004

Via Wired, 101 Ways to Save the Internet. Paul Boutin hits on some major issues the lie within todays Internet. From stupid laws (i.e. DMCA) to stupid people. My favorite of the lot would have to be #64 which is aimed at Microsoft:

Simplify for security Fewer features means fewer bugs.

Now I may not think the Internet is that bad off, but I do not like some of the trends that are developing, namely the rampage the government has been blindly pushing forward. If they would only listen to just a few people that know what they are talking about when it comes to technology, then our law makers might actually write up some decent laws regarding technology.

At least our nations founding fathers saw it fit to let people voice their opinions without fear. No telling where I’d be without that one.

Fun With GnuPG

Sunday, September 28th, 2003

For my new job I am having to familiarize myself with various encryption techniques. One of them is PGP. The tool I have chosen to use for this is GnuPG. This, along with a graphical interface, makes for quite the desktop encryption setup. Being new to the whole PGP thing I still have to build my “web of trust”. So here is my first call out to the blogging community to help build my web of trust. Please find my public key and sign it. In turn I will return the favor.

I am really enjoying this PGP stuff, albeit a little new.

New Dell Axim X5

Thursday, May 1st, 2003

Last Monday, I recieved my Dell Axim X5. I ordered it whilest on vacation in Florida so I could get their limited 15% off deal. So far I am very impressed with it’s overall performance. For one, it’s just a good looking PDA with an equally stylish docking cradle. It has at its disposal a 400MHz processor, 64MB of RAM and 48MB of Flash ROM. As I adjust to its behavior, I am taking it easy on what software I load onto it. Just on the outside chance that there is a conflict. My only lament is that it came with more on-board software. No worries, it is for that reason that it was priced at just over US$300. Not a bad buy in my book.

Glasshaus Is No More

Saturday, March 15th, 2003

Glasshaus, and web design and development publishing company has recently gone under finnacially. I guess it is a sign of the times when a UK(United Kingdom) based publishing house can be dramitically impacted by the affairs of this world and its’ ever changing economy. Glasshaus was devoted to promoting web standards and keeping web developers up to date on the latest web techologies. They will surely be missed.

When Laptop Users Go Bad

Sunday, March 9th, 2003

Have you ever hated your computer so much you just wanted to break it, thus sparing you further frustration? One man in Lafayette, Co. did last week. In fact he became so ticked off at his laptop that he shot it while still at work! He ended up doing some time in jail but I gather nothing to serious. My only guess is that he was running Windows ME. Even I would want to shot something after working with an OS like that.