Blog Archive for April 2005
Not Total B$
Today I found a fun little thing to waste my time on - it's called BlogShares.
I haven't yet figured it all out, but it's a fantasy stock market based on blogs. In this market, who links to you and who you link to have some bearing on your net worth, but also the selling and buying of stock in other's blogs is a major part of it.
Thanks to some random guy, I'm off to a good start. And it's kinda fun to be rollin' in the imaginary dough. Plus, I get to "support" my favorite blogs. (Sorry, it seems that Xanga is not mentioned anywhere on there, although I suppose you could try.)
I saw this on a number of other person's sites, so I had to try it:
Your Inner European is Irish!Spirited and boisterous!You drink everyone under the table.
Well, it's not really true. I enjoy a good drink, but I don't ever drink everyone under the table. It's mostly the rest of Ireland.
Just for the record, I think it's amazing how a five-question poll can make such a statement. And although I have been to Ireland and to no other European country, I'm surprised that's what it came up with.
Surprises Lurk in Satellite Snaps
These are intersting. In case you didn't notice, now if you go to maps.google.com you can see a satellite as well as a really nice map. I know I've looked around my area and have found interesting things.
For example, the parking lot at the Mall of America when they took the map is empty. I mean empty. And the Ikea to the north isn't finished yet, so that makes it sometime in early 2004. Yet, just a couple blocks, the shot of my high school has a full parking lot. Must be early in the morning.
In this Wired article, they talk about these interesting and timely anomalies. Google maps has captured festivals, full stadiums, and even the tsunami in Asia.
What I Do For Free Software
Sometimes I wish I had the money. Installing this Linux on this old IBM Aptiva is a royal pain in the ass. It didn't work at all this weekend but now it is working. I don't think the CD drive is working that well anymore, for it doesn't like to read Linux CDs, at least not most of the time. I have about 20 burned CDs that I've tried to feed the thing scattered all over my desk. Plus, if I do get into the install, it starts giving random errors. It seems nice enough and all, but it's managing to be pretty complicated.
EDIT: It seems my problem was my CDs. I'm burning a new set at 4x speed and they seem to be reading better.
ANOTHER EDIT/UPDATE: So I did get it installed but I missed about half the packages. I might just reinstall it all, because I can't seem to access my CD-ROM now and I didn't get any Windowing thingies installed. But, it's almost 3am, so I'm not doing it tonight.
This morning I biked downtown. It was fun biking down there, becuase I got to go downhill most of the way and along the river so it looked nice. The green's starting to come back too, so it was looking pretty good.
The reason I went down was for the Metropolitan Council hearing on proposed MetroTransit fare and service changes. I guess it's kinda the first of my community activism career, even though I didn't do or say anything. They had a short presentation to outline the changes, which include cutting weekend and evening service on many bus routes here in the Twin Cities, plus raising the fares 25¢ across the board.
It was then followed by over two hours of people giving their opinion on the changes. Naturally, most of the community is against the changes. There were many people there, mostly disabled persons, who gave concrete examples of how the changes will significantly impair their life. It was also refreshing to see some professional businesspeople (non-disabled) complaining about the cuts, mostly becuase I believe that bus transit is for more people than just the disabled.
Unfortunately, there's not much that the Metropolitan Council can do about it. What needs to happen is that Governor Pawlenty and the State Legislature needs to know that we need better transit. I think that right now we should not be cutting back, but be overspending on mass transit in order to make a world-class system. It's amazing to me that some well-reputed sources can claim Minneapolis one of the best places in the world to live when you have to drive your car almost everywhere. I think we need to spend lots of money on transit to make a system with bus and rail integrated and covering more. Too bad the frickin' politicans in office just like all the traffic.
Some of the facts presented by citizens were questionable, but one sounded interesting. They claimed that the most subsidized form of transit is your car or truck. I believe it. If Detroit had their way, there'd be no public transit and just lots and lots of highways. Fifty years ago, Minnapolis/St. Paul had a world-class streetcar system, but the automobile industry managed to somehow put them out of business. Only now are we recovering from that. I fear that if we don't do something about Minnesota's transit, it'll be another fifty years of medocre transit. I hope that doesn't happen.
The bike ride back was a bit more hectic, but I liked it. I had to bike through downtown and decided to go up the big hill, but I made it pretty well. Plus, I like workin' out.
I got the computer back! After a couple days of playing around and trying things, I got everything to work. It only cost me $29.95 for some software and some careful work with the Windows Registry. Much thanks to the System Restore program, although it's not the smartest program.
So now I'm completely back and workin' just fine. I'm so happy.
Well, I managed to find something to take up my free time.
When you need something to do, just screw up your computer! It worked for me!
Yeah, well, there's a decent chance that I might lose all the data I worked on in the last couple months, but that's not the end of the world. In the meantime, though, I'm learning alot about fixing computers and recovering data from a hard drive that I screwed partitions and boot records on.
Probably the coolest thing I've found is Bart's PE Builder and it's companion, UBCD4Win. Basically, it's a CD you can create to load Windows off the CD and includes a whole bunch of diagnostic tools, file recovery tools, anti-virus, anti-spyware, and can even repair a broken Windows install in some cases. I think I'm gonna keep this just in case somebody asks me to revive their screwed up computer. It's the perfect companion for a computer support person. Plus, it doesn't seem to hard to customize so I could build in some of my own tools in the future.
My next project? Install and play around with Slackware Linus. I've got the CD set of 10.1 built and I'm gonna install it on an old computer and play around with it really soon.
The only thing I wish I had the mondy for right now was a nice 4-system KVM switch like this one. Then I wouldn't have to fool around with cables when switching between computers. Of course, Bjorn thinks I should get this one instead because then I can run all of 'em in Dual Monitors if I like. ;-)
Why Can't The World Be Simpler?
I've realized a very important thing about this whole job search.
One of my problems is that I'm not very good at selling myself. And I'm not sure... I might like it that way. I'm pretty sick of telling everyone I'm the perfect man for the job when everybody knows I'm not.
It seems that interviewing for the website design/development jobs are easiest because they know what I'm talking about when I've done stuff before. When talking about general programming, not many have heard of PHP. More have heard of MySQL, but it's not used in many large businesses. So most of them don't know what I'm talking about at all.
What can't we just all say it like it is? People have given me comments that I go into an interview looking for what the company's gonna give me and not what I'm gonna give the company. Of course, I'm a rather inexperienced guy just out of college! You're interviewing me for an entry-level position! I don't have much to offer right now, but if you give me the chance, I'll show you.
I guess I just need somebody to give me a chance.
Hmmmm..... one of my friends wants to know if I want to do an interview with Copeland, a band that's coming to town this weekend.
I don't know about my interview skills, but I think I might just try....
Plus, it gives me an excuse to buy a Griffin iTalk for my iPod so that I can record the conversation... and I'd probably get free concert tickets.
Ohhh, The Conflict!
On one hand, I may have a job soon. I'm really dying for a job... I'm getting burned out on the working on my own thing. I long for hanging out with some people.
On the other hand, a number of people are knocking on my door asking for me to do their website. I guess that's a good thing, because it means that if I don't have a job in the near future I'll have some money coming in.
The conflict is that I'd rather not start a website project on my own if I am getting hired pretty soon. It means working full-time and then some, and adjusting to full-time work will be bad enough. (Technically, I haven't worked full-time since summer 2003, unless you could school and part-time work, which I don't think I do.)
I'm just burnt out on being in my lonesome, sitting in this room day after day in front of my computer. And besides, if I was going to work on websites over and above a full-time job, I'd like to work on cMusicWeb.com, because that could use a bunch of work but it won't get done very well when I'm trying to make money off of other projects.