Monday, February 26, 2007

Analytics Don't Lie

Based on my Analytics reports for the last several weeks, I am forced to one conclusion, PayPal has got a lot of issues.

This makes me think that that site may be on to something. If you are interested in being a part of the solution just stop buying things on eBay. Stop telling your parents about it, stop telling your neighbor, and friends about the good “deals” you think you got. You don’t need the junk, work on paying off the credit cards and stop buying stuff.

It amazes me that a post that I put up several weeks ago drives traffic to this blog better than anything I ever put up on my project blog, and I was making something there.

Friday, February 23, 2007

No new toys for the It Monkey :(

So Jealous right now, I was reading my openmoko feed, and what pops in but someone putting out pictures of not only the FIC NEO1973, but the lucky bastard also has an OLPC in the shot.

God who do you have to sleep with to get included into some of the cool technology conversations of the world?  Please let it be Leah Culver, please please please...

Originally uploaded by tantek.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

PayPal is working .. today

I figured it had been a while since I tried to logon to PayPal to check my balance, and with no small amount of trepidation typed my credentials .... lo and behold, successful logon on the first go. Not too exciting though what with the $.01 balance, but none the less maybe the worst of PayPals terrible service is behind me. In the months since I wrote these posts, I have vowed to not buy anything from eBay, and not pay anything using PayPal. Sad really, because as much as I want to help out, as long as the only option is PayPal, no dice. Around the same time I was looking at my PayPal Balance, I also thought to look and my only real funding option for that account, My Adsense account, and I had to wonder why Google would continue to support a rival company, on that has blocked their vaguely similar product Google Checkout. I am very curious to know why (other than for money) eBay doesn't want people to pay for auctions with Google Checkout?

My conclusion is that they know all to well the precarious nature of their business model, and the importance of not giving anybody a foothold in to their business model, looking no farther than PayPal for a reason why. eBay purchased PayPal in 2002, and I am very sure that they have not forgotten the 1.5 billion dollar lesson of how small ideas on the internet can quickly become 800lbs gorillas to be bought out or dealt with. I am guessing that because of the money they laid out for a company that they initially ignored eBay won't ever be caught napping again. Look at how they have a 25% stake in free, vaguely similar competitor

I suppose my point is why can't I use my Adsense dollars with Google Checkout, or at the very least as credit to buy Advertising with My theory is that Google is having a hard time getting internal units to buy in and communicate with other units. Careful Google, we have seen what happens when companies spread themselves out too far.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Is WOW all there is?

I guess I would have to admit that when I first heard about World of Warcraft a few years ago, I was rather excited about the company that made some of my favorite lan and single player games was going to make a MMORPG or me to play, and I will admit that I had thought about being in on the release. I had just started into the real world of work and decided that I probably shouldn't sell my soul, and get absorbed in the whole playing of games while I was working on establishing my career and getting married, so it was few years later when I fist toyed with the idea of playing.

My brother (younger) played all the time, and when he moved in I figured it wouldn't be too bad, as I would have someone to play with at least, (really more of a solo player normally) so I made the leap and bought the game. I will admit that for about the first month it was fine and good to get a quest, kill a beast, return for prize, rinse, repeat. Now sure there are other things that could be fun, you can fish, or make clothes or leather, make guns, or poison. But ultimately what I think is supposed to be the charm (simple set of rules to success) really came to be a drag.

How many quests did you go on that you arrived and had to wait for the "Boss" to respawn, and group with a few people so you all didn't have to wait for him to respawn? For me it was nearly every quest, and maybe it was my fault for joining a "new" server, but ultimately the experience was not fun. Still I soldiered on and played all the way up to level 40 before I just decided that I had too much left to accomplish in life to play an open ended, monotonous waste of life. Needless to say, I suspended my account.

Several months pass and My brother still plays nearly every day, and my wife (for reason's unknown to me) decides that she wants to give this World of Warcraft a try. I reactivate my account, and purchase the Burning Crusade, (thankfully the brother unit had the disks, as the download would have taken forever) and started the updates. God bless the woman, but she got frustrated before the updates where even done and doesn't want to play at all leaving me with $50 out of my pocket playing a game that well, doesn't really do it for me.

I really am just more of a Console person, mmm Wii Sports .

Hopefully world of Starcraft will come out and be nearly as cool as the original Starcraft.

Ha ha Zergling rush bitches.

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Portable iTunes on a Stick


I have had partial success on this. Results here.


So I was reading the Lifehacker post about a soldier that was going to be deployed to iRaq (sic) and wanted to take iTunes with him. Actually I am kind of surprised that a solution for this has not come already given the recent explosion of storage devices and the rapid growth of their capacity.

At work I have been using some Memorex storage devices that have the U3 technology that I was less than excited about at first. U3 when you plug in your drive creates a virtual cd drive and then auto plays what looks like a flash application that runs in the tray and gives you several options to view files or run apps. They have several customized applications that you can purchase and they land in your installed application menu, this menu is only present when you plug in the drive and leaves when you leave.

Applications for this include Firefox and some readers but nothing exciting. If they could get apple on board with this, I really think that they could have a goldmine from people that roam with their music, but cannot install apps like iTunes. The largest technological hurdle, is that iTunes like most applications probably makes use of the windows registry (windows centric especially since the military doesn't have time for any smarmy "I only use mac's" crap). In vista there is an elegant solution for the least privileged user scenario with the profile base extended registry(see link). This would let the app on startup put in place any reg settings needed (copied from the portable drive) and everything would be set.

I don't see this working for XP or 2kpro, but I bet that we see some 64gig iTunes portable library devices for Vista....

Hey does the time stamp on this post count for documentation for my Patent application?

To try this I am going to try and create a setup program for U3 and follow this guide for making portable applications

Friday, February 09, 2007

Damn you Hardware Revision

So for a Friday with the boss out on vacation, I figured it was a good day to prep for my busy Presidents day weekend project. I will be replacing all of the switches in one part of the building and installing some cable management to wrangle the rats nest in my network closet. I finished configuring the switches and while putting on the rack ears it dawns on me, one of the Cisco 2970 switches is different, and not just a little. One of the switches is nearly 2x's as thick as the others; so different that there is no way that the rack ears, that work on all of the other switches, will work.


Boss is out so I have to ask a Director to approve a Purchase Request for this piece without getting a quote on it first. I am trying to get a quote, but its Friday and even CDW tries to leave early on Friday. In fact my account manager is out all day and his sales staff is being slow to answer the phone, and it is 4:30 local time..

Crap they are on the East Coast I think so now I am praying some poor soul is still sitting at their desk to help me. Why is this important? I don't know, but damn it those 4 switches were all bought at the same time, how the hell did they get an odd one? Worse yet, why are the ears not in the box?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Long Road

For the last few months I have been examining and scheming with my Manager about the future, and when you sketch out your long term plans it seems so reasonable and doable, but man when you look down the road at all the work you just agreed to do sometimes it makes me just want to put my head down on my desk and cry.

I am starting all of this off with a license audit, port documentation, and switch upgrade. Not too hard right?


Damn Microsoft has to to and make my life challenging with licensing. So far I get with SQL you license per processor for unlimited use or you purchase CALs (Client Access Licenses), sort of makes sense, but didn't I buy the software why isn't access built into the purchase price? Now if I want to use it for anything I have to pay you for every person that accesses SQL? That seems a little out there, but ok cost of doing business I guess. Up next Desktop Licensing, pretty straight forward, I need a license for every physical machine. Got it, what about virtual machines? Ok I need a licesnse for every one of those that I run. Wow (Caveat being that you could run in a testing environment with an MSDN subscription or run the as demo's that expire every 30days). Not too bad mostly makes sense.

Move to servers, I have to buy the os for the server, but say I use it as a File Server how does that work? I have to buy CALs for each client that accesses it for a File Server. OK, what about if the print server also lives on that server? Do I have to buy a CAL for each access of the File Server and one for each access of the Print Server? I would if I had the print server on a different machine right? Does that mean that consolidated would have to have 2 CALs for every client? It seemed so easy at first, but doesn't scale well for the complex scenarios. What abut a Print Server/File Server/ AV Server? What about if that sever also hosts a Intranet site?

I am not trying to muddy the waters, but does having a piece of software running on a server that utilizes a website how do you license that? Isn't the burden on the software developer to keep track of how many people are accessing the software, so I know how many CALs I need? Are CALs concurrent licenses or do I have to have one for each client?

Any how I find it annoying that they employ such complicated licensing that I have to call someone to tell me if I am following the rules.