Monthly Archives: June 2004

good job dave

Like I told some friends at lunch the other day, “I ran out of work on the way to gas the other day”. And that’s about the whole of it. For three days in a row, I was thinking about other things when I left work or home. That caused the explorer to get further and further into E.

So I ran out of gas on Friday. Good job Dave. 😛

internet fixed!

I finally figured out what the problem was with my internet connection dropping constantly. My ISP wasn’t blocking TCP ports 137, 139 or 1025 at their gateway to the internet and worms were having their vile ways with computers in my ISP’s network.

To exacerbate the problem, they had the switch I’m connected to misconfigured so that it forwarded on unknown traffic. Thus, the worm traffic for the whole network was being broadcast over the segment that I’m connected to.

Turns out, microwave internet isn’t that bad after all. Fairnet Wireless isn’t so bad. Their phone support really tried to help me. I don’t know why they didn’t have their stuff configured properly before, but at least it’s fixed now. Preston and Phil were both pretty helpful too, so props to them.

The only thing that really annoyed me was that I’ve spent around 15-20 hours diagnosing this problem, making sure that I’d done *all* my homework on it, etc. I didn’t want to blame them for something that could have possibly been my fault. Then, once I’d done that, I had to diagnose the problem on their end, since they couldn’t seem to. Once it was all done, and I asked if they were going to give me any sort of discount for my troubles, they gave me one month free. A month is nice and all, but I suspect that I just saved them several hundred dollars a month in electricity (it takes power to transmit all that worm traffic constantly), let alone saved them future customer complaints and improved their network reliability.

Oh well. One free month of service, and service that finally works is worth it, I spose. It _is_ annoying being limited to a single broadband service out here in the sticks. I’m just thankful that they are responsive.

spiderman’s secret racial heritage

Little did we know, spiderman is really Indian. (link via Ars)

daoc gateway IP

for my own reference, 206.112.64.6 is the IP for mythic’s gateway to the daoc servers, according to this answer.

(although supposedly their servers actually reside at 208.254.16.0 / 24…)

have to look into this more.

news flash

cellulite plus tattoo = more gross than should be visible in a public eatery.

That is all.

More commercial pirating

Melissa and I were at the Mall in Lafayette last night. One of the booths in the aisle between stores was selling a really interesting product. Where by interesting, I mean illegal. It was a controller that was shaped just like an N64. It plugged into a wall transformer for power and had RCA connectors on it for audio/video data to the TV. I had about 150 games built into it.

The really suprising this was that the games built into it were things like Super Mario Brothers 1, Contra 1 and 2, Marble Madness, etc. As far as I could tell, these were copies of the original, not knock-offs.

So, being curious, I asked him some questions about it. One of the questions I asked was whether nintendo endorsed the product. He assured me that they did. The box for the product (cheap cardboard box with clear plastic areas to see the device) didn’t have any company logo or information on it at all, let alone a nintendo endorsement. The booth didn’t bear a company name of any sort. The product didn’t even have a name. It was just boxed.

The guy was able to answer all the technical questions that I had about it to my satisfaction, which leads me to believe that he was not just a salesman for the product. Not sure if he helped design it, but I wouldn’t be suprised.

Just now I called the police in Lafayette and filed a report. It took the telephone clerk a while to figure out what sort of activity I was trying to report. It’s not your normal sort of crime I suppose. Unlike the last bootleg activity I last blogged about though, I was actually witness to this activity. Someone tried to sell *me* the copyrighted material, instead of just me hearing about this activity. That’s why I reported it this time, and did not report it last time.

As for the Nintendo endorsement, I think we can all agree that Nintendo would never agree to sell 150+ of their most popular NES titles for such a low price on a system that they’re making no profit from. Worse yet, it’s directly competing with GBA titles that Nintendo is selling for $30 per game. Lastly, I suspect Nintendo doesn’t directly control the IP for each of those games. Third parties like Konami and Capcom own a good deal of those games.

I had no idea that commercial bootleg ventures were this rampant… I’ve run into two of them in the last two weeks. Is it just strange coincidence, or is it really this bad?

gamefest 2004 recap

Gamefest was a hit this year, as always. Having it at Jerry’s house was a nice change. Dorm rooms are crowded, and apartments are too. We’ve always been grateful for the space we had to have gamefest in, but this year was best spacewise thus far.

Another first this year was a minimization of the amount of time we spent installing/configuring games and computers. Several factors led to this. The first was that Kevin actually came up with some really cool scripts to install games over the network, which helped a lot. I think it also helped that most everyone is familiar with networking their PC, so it wasn’t a big deal to just setup a 12-15 PC network and go to it. (:

We played Quake 3 Arena, Warcraft 3, Raven Shield, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Azure Turret Defense (runs in war3, but it’s almost another game/genre). Several people also played some America’s Army. Saturday afternoon, seven of us attempted to commit suicide by Ultimate Frisbee. My legs are still sore. (:

It was great to see everyone together for a time. I know that as time goes by, fewer people from the original core will be able to go along. It’s the way of things. It’s nice that we can still pull together right now though. I’m interested to see if gamefest survives time.

In the end, it makes me long for eternity all the more though. Video games have nothing to do with it. Friends have everything to do with it. Saying goodbye hurts. It especially hurt to send Mikey and Nate on their way after the weekend was done.

Foos had two very nice pictures of the event up.

Action item for next year: Find more ways to help the wives hate gamefest less. (:

priorities

So there are two things of note going on at work right now. The first is an all-encompassing project that demands a redesign of more than half of our product line in order to meet new government regulations that come into effect at the end of 2004. This project has been going on for almost a year now and is extremely active right now. The other thing is a wellness program that boils down to the company trying to educate employees about their health.

Now aside from particular issues that I personally have with the wellness program, get this: The wellness program is going to be using the engineering conference room for the next week. This means that if we want to schedule meetings, we need to ask first, which is the policy anyway. That’s fine. The all-encompassing project has a weekly meeting in that conference room though. It’s had a weekly meeting for the whole of this year.

The wellness program is pre-empting the program status meeting. Priorities? I suppose so. I suppose that the design of products that comprise the lion’s share of our corporate income are secondary to an attempt to save a few thousand dollars on health care, right? Heh. Whatever.

Squishy?

I got a spam today for mortgage refinance. The text it used to try to fool my spam filter was “squishy,through any crack!,squishy,through any crack!,squishy,through any crack!.squishy,through any crack!,squishy,through any crack!.”

I chuckled.

donut != pastry?

Grabbed a donut on the way to work this morning. I needed gas anyway, so I just stopped at the station on the way to work, filled up and grabbed a delightful breakfast treat. I grabbed two, actually, since they are two for ninety-nine cents. One was a frosted cinnamon roll, the other was some sort of glazed donut.

Imagine my suprise when I couldn’t get the two for 99 cents! No, they charged me 69 cents for single donut, and 89 cents for a “pastry”. So fine, cinnamon rolls don’t count as donuts. It would have been nice for them to let me know that beforehand, but whatever.

Isn’t it a little bit of a stretch to try to differentiate between two things like that by calling one a doughnut and one a pastry? It’s a bit like charging me 69 cents for a square, then 89 cents for a rectangle…

Ok, I’m done wasting your time with this inanity… Promise. (: