Saturday, February 25, 2006

Idling along

Several times over the last few weeks I've noticed billboards advertising the straight-to-DVD "Bambi II".

What can they do to follow up the original? Call it "Bambi II - Bambi Gets Even" and have Bambi take out the hunters who killed Mama?

Just wondering.

On another note, potty training is all but over - his accident at school yesterday was the first in a couple of weeks. As soon as the pull-ups are gone in another month or so, we will be letting him sleep in underwear as well (he still wears a pull-up at night). We will also go shopping for a booster seat soon to replace the old, cumbersome car seats. He's old enough and big enough.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Don't Ph3ar a Mac Trojan

Word is out today that someone has concocted a Mac OS X Trojan that is a PPC executable named "latestpics.tgz". If run, it will infect the user account and try to spread via iChat. It's really no big deal, though - Mac users have to do the following things to run it:

- Download via browser of choice (probably Safari), which will warn you that it is potentially executable;
- Decompress the malware with your decompressor of choice;
- Double-click the malware file to run it, and then;
- Enter your admin password to allow it to execute.

Sounds dangerous, huh? Mac OS X malware is possible to create, but this isn't exactly it. I think that over the next year or so, you'll see a few more attacks on the platform, but overall it's a much harder target to crack open, and the relative lack of Mac malware is more a reflection of that increased security than it is of Mac market share.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Why I'm not really a writer

There are a couple of caveats here: I have been published professionally in both print and web media, I've written a lot of newsletter articles, newspaper letters, and little drips of humor, and I've been keeping this blog for the better part of five years now. So I do write. And I've even been told by some that I have a talent for it. But this line in a Boston Alterna-Paper (the Weekly Dig, to be exact) is everything I wish I could write, but just cant:

(from a brief review of a techno dance album)
"If you've ever wondered what these UltraDance comps sound like, imagine someone spraying an entire can of Axe body spray directly into your ear and then date-raping you."

Harsh words, but absolutely brilliant in the images it conjures up. I read that line and I could see in my head exactly the type of person who buys and enjoys the music, the clubs they go to, the cars they drive, and everything else about them. And I just can't create a picture that vivid, however hard I try. So I shall always remain a writer wannabe.

Fortunately, writing doesn't even pay the bills for most writers, and I'm pretty good at this computer stuff...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Today is devoted to nerd topics. My project of the day was to reflash my Treo 650 from Cingular 1.17 firmware to Unlocked GSM 1.20 (Cingular unlocked my 650 several months ago, so it's functionally identical to the Unlocked model). Well, there's two issues in doing so - first of all, Palm's update checker doesn't allow cross-grading. So I'm not supposed to be doing this. And then, besides that, Palm has yet to release a Mac version of the updater.

So I went and found a version of the updater that was posted via the forums (customized to strip out Versamail, Real player, and some other junk) in a format that was compatible with SD cards. I downloaded it, put the update in a folder called "PALM" on my handy spare SD card, and after a backup of the Treo, I popped it in and the whole reflash proceeded without problems. There were a few minor glitches in the restore process (I had to reinstall the JVM instead of restoring it), but all in all it was pretty much trouble-free and now I've got the latest code.

Yesterday's project was to install Kerio MailServer 6.1 on my Tiger server box at the office (I'm installing it in several customer sites over the next few weeks, so I figured I should dogfood it first). The move was pretty much seamless, except I haven't quite got the directory services integration working yet. I installed the schema extensions and even kerberized the server, but all else is OK and fairly easy to manage, especially compared to a run-of-the-mill Exchange box.

I worked on virtually nothing Sunday, though - I just hung out at home (after a walk to the grocery store for the newspaper) and watched the snow fall. Nice way to spend the day.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Travelin' Man

Monday was spent mainly in the area. Then it got weird. I started Tuesday with some repair work in Beverly. Then I drove out to Burlington to pick up some Apple gear I was delivering to Newburyport - only to be called midway through the drive up north with news of an Internet outage in Boston. I made the dropoff, dealt with some minor issues there (I'm going back tomorrow afternoon to wrap up), and drove into Boston to deal with things. Turned out the customer's ISP had rerouted their netblock via the Mars Global Surveyor - or something similar. Once I got to the bottom of it making them fix it was easy.

Wednesday I got to stay pretty much in the area - even got to visit my office for a few minutes. Cool. But today was a big driving day - starting out with a Chamber of Commerce function in Beverly at 8, driving down to Hanover for work at an account there (gotta love ACLs - they're a brute-force answer to permission issues in the world of AFP), and then a trip back to Beverly to take care of work at one more home customer. After which I returned to the office, picked up a cranky toddler (no nap today - he was in a uniquely pissy mood tonight and went to bed early), and went home. The bright spot was that with David's going to bed before 8 I got a lot of quality reading time. Bonus.

Tomorrow is a decent amount of driving, barring crisis, but manageable. But the billables are worth it.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Superbowl. Whoopee.

Saw it. No big whoop. However, we did have a good time party-hopping, and on the drive back from New Hampshire we had a lovely time trying to explain natural selection in three-year-old-friendly terms.

Quite the challenge, and I won't even get into why it came up. More interesting posts later this week, if all goes well.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Meanwhile, on the Western Front...

Potty training seems to have finally turned the corner - most days now are accident-free. And last night, he got us up at about 4 AM to get help going potty. A week ago he just would have whizzed in his pull-up.

A lot of new business has come my way in the last few weeks. I'm really happy about it, but it does bring the expansion question right back to the fore. I had a person I was hoping to have start pulling hours for me back at the beginning of January, but he's holding out right now in the hopes (for now) that he'll get one of the full-time gigs he's up for first. I kinda hope that, too - I can't give him the kind of hours he'd need to pull down big bank at the moment, though I expect that will change rapidly.

So I'm working on a couple of "plan b" options in that regard. There are a handful of folks with the skills and personality for me to allow them to work for a company bearing my name (I'm sort of a quality fanatic and control freak, and I'm very picky), but for the most part the people best suited to it for me are people who I wouldn't ask to take the risk of jumping off a cliff to join a venture like mine that isn't quite "there" yet. The upside is great, but if it didn't work out I'd have asked someone to trash a steady job for something that fizzled.

I'm absolutely certain now that this won't fizzle out for myself - but I'm not quite 100% sure it'll provide for more than one person. And if I'm having a bad month, it's no big deal for me to not pay myself for a few weeks. I can't ask that of an employee.

So basically I have to be real careful about it, even though expansion is a must. I've been careful about almost everything else so far, so what's one more thing?