Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

8/31/2004

Learning to Hate Bootloaders!

Filed under: Career Archive,Fun Work,Geek Work,Linux,News and Current Events,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 9:57 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Too much of a good thing!

I have installed, played with, and uninstalled way too much Linux in the past month. We’re still having “fun” with the ZENWorks imaging boot disk. Now, we’ve moved on to other machines and discovered that there aren’t any drivers compiled for the particular kernel that Novell uses for the boot cd. Okay, that’s not quite true. There has been an update to the boot iso which actually fixed at least two problems. But, not, I’m afraid the one that is currently kicking my ass. Namely, the SCSI drivers for a Dell Precision 650. So, we’re going to have to find the right kernel version and complie these bad boys ourselves. Oh, God, save me!
So, if you downloaded my USB boot iso, it’s obsolete now. The newest, non-beta, non-6.5 boot iso from Novell Forge is correct. Use it!

8/27/2004

Pictures => Text

Filed under: Art,Fun,Linux — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:58 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Okay, I’m not totally sure why…

But, it’s still cool. My darling wife mentioned an interesting website in her blog yesterday: TextImage.Com It let’s you take images and convert them to text, html, or “Matrix”. So, if you want an old-style, gigantic sig file, convert a favorite graphic to text and include it in all your e-mails! Or, for an interesting effect on a webpage, ditto, only to html. And, well, I don’t think I’d ever actually use the “Convert to Matrix-style”, but it’s still cool.

So, what the heck, it’s Friday, go check it out!

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8/25/2004

They want what?

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:05 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

“Liberals Want Their Own Network”, the headline read.

Uh, I don’t get it. The Liberals seem to think they don’t have a “network”? Uh, I’ll take, “What is ABC, NBC and CBS News? for $100, Alex”. I mean, c’mon, I’m Conservative, sure, but not really *that* conservative and even I can see the massive Liberal bias in the media. So, what in the name of all that is holy and unholy do they really want? Oh, I’d say they want to cram their nutty, fringey wacked-out ideas down our throats. But, that’s just a guess.

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8/24/2004

“Well, he doesn’t drink like a girl.”

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Fun Work,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 8:42 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Okay, that sounds a lot more charming and witty in a Scottish brogue.

So, we’re having the monthly “Birthday Celebration” for the department today and the VP/CIO introduces me to everyone for something like the third time. And, again, the jokes about how they keep me locked up in Storage Room B or, as the CIO likes to call it “The Bat Cave”, are all trotted out to make their appearances. That leads to a number of jokes about how no one knows who am I or what I do. Then, suddenly, Alex, who is a great bear of a Scot lets off with “Well, he doesn’t drink like a girl, I can tell you that much!” And the room erupts with shocked laughter. Personally, I took it as high praise coming from a Scottish ex-pat who used to work in a foundry. If anyone is a fair judge of drinking “talent” it would be he.
Okay, now at this point you may be asking yourself what that’s all about. No, I am not a big drinker, though I have been in the past. And, while I do enjoy a good Scotch whiskey now and again, I do not have a great tolerance for alchohol. But, I also don’t go around bragging about how I can drink any man under the table, either. See, we have a co-worker, Mike, who was absent today, that does just that, but is a bit of a light-weight. So, now, they make fun of the poor guy.
Later, I thanked Alex for the complient and someone said that the only thing was it would have been better if Mike were there to hear it! Everyone laughed and Alex said that he’d tell him. Better yet, he’d e-mail him about it!

So, while I may be many things, some desirable and some not, at least I don’t drink like a girl.

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8/20/2004

Make Your Own Stamps

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:12 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

No, really, you can make your own stamps.

And even use them to send mail. Real, regular, normal, “snail” mail. According to this article on Wired News, the U.S. Postal Service is testing out a personalized stamp program that will let you use your own digital photographs or logos to make stamps that have your own message on them. Hmm, I wonder what they’ll censor? And, I wonder how quickly someone will try to make something “naughty”? (Oh, get your mind out of the gutter! I meant something anti-American, you pervert!)

Anyway, it’s Friday, so go have fun with it. Clean fun!

8/19/2004

My Generic USB Linux Boot CD

Filed under: Geek Work,Linux,Novell,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:56 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Er, well, actually, it’s specific to ZENWorks.

I’ve been yapping about all the ZENWorks desktop imaging stuff that I’ve been doing lately and, apparently, a couple of you have been listening because you’ve asked for the CD. Well, I’m pleased to provide it for you.
A couple of notes, though…
1) You’ll have to edit the ISO to update the “settings.txt” file to reflect your own default server.
2) If you choose “Automatic” from the first menu, you’ll get an error because this shell script has been modified to TFTP a menu to the local server. (This link let’s you grab an example.)
3) The script that pulls the menu tries to hit ZFD1, so you either have to change that or add a DNS entry for it.

I think that’s it, but I’m not going to support this, ya’ hear? Y’all are on your own! I spent the better part of a month working this bit out and I know that it’s not perfect, but it works for us.
Oh, yeah, here’s a link to the ISO. (Be warned, it’s about 10meg. It didn’t shrink when I ZIPed it, so I just uploaded the ISO straight.)

Good luck!

8/17/2004

Passing

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 8:31 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

A friend of mine died last week.

I’d worked with him back in ’98 and for a couple of years. Then, I lost touch with him for almost two years. About 6 weeks ago, I helped him get a job at the last place I worked. In fact, he told me at the time that it was going to save him. He’d been at Reliant Energy and got caught in a layoff, then been out of work for more than a year.
Friday, I got a call from the headhunter who placed him, and me as well, at that job. She wanted to know if I’d heard from him because he hadn’t shown up to work for the past three days. Well, that was very, very unusual for him, so I said that I’d try to get in touch with him. I called a couple of times and tried e-mail, but never got a response. Then, yesterday before lunch, that poor headhunter had to call and tell me that his body had been found last week. Apparently, he’d been shot and killed. The police, I’m told, suspect foul play.
Based on a couple of things that he’d told me, I’m afraid that it may have been his wife. So, now, not only are his three daughters going to grow up without a father, they’re most likely not going to have a mother, either. And, what’s worse, they quite likely will have to deal with the fact that their mother killed their father.
So, it’s been a rather rough week.

I can’t really go to the funeral, but I sent flowers. His family won’t even know who I am, really, since I was just a guy who worked with him. I guess it’s hitting me hard due to the fact that he was about my age and he’s leaving behind those girls. It’s just such a tragedy. He was just getting things turned around and now, now….
Well, it’s done and there’s nothing left for me to do but pray for him. I hope he finds more peace where ever he’s gone than he seemed to find in life.

8/13/2004

Novell Training Cruises!

Filed under: Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,Novell,PERL — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

It’s like a GeekCruise, but just for Novell Geeks!

A co-worker told me about Gioffre Consulting, who run training classes for Novell products on cruise ships. It’s just like the infamous “PERL Whirl” which I’ve seen advertised in the PERL Journal before, but with really cool Novell classes instead. And, get this, they’re just as expensive as a regular Novell class! Well, okay, you might have to pay some extra airfare to get to New York, but still, the rest is the same. How cool would that be!?! A Novell cruise…. Ah, heaven…..

Ah, well, it may be Friday, but I’m still stuck at the office! Maybe next year!

8/12/2004

Keyword Searches

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 8:14 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Okay, now this is funny to me.

Last month, according to my webhost stats, my top four key phrase seaches were “Strom Thurman”, “linux resume”, “babydoll”, and “title generator”. This apparently goes back to when I mentioned that Strom Thurman had passed on, but, for some reason, this still shows up as a big “hit” for me. I wonder why “Freemason” isn’t bigger in that list? After both he and I are, or were in Strom’s case, Freemasons. The only other one that is a bit confusing is “babydoll”, but that’s just because you don’t know my wife.
So far this month, my top key phrases are “javascript encryption”, “slavemarket”, “babydoll blog“, and “free cisco book”. Okay, now, this is even more mystifying to me… I don’t remember the last time I mentioned javascript based encryption, but it was a long, long time ago. (In fact, according to this post it was back in January!) I don’t ever remember talking about a slavemarket. Hmm, maybe it was my wife…. And, of course, the others make perfect sense. Man, people search on the craziest things!

Anyway, I thought it was interesting. Yeah, I think I need to get more rest, too.

8/11/2004

Sustainable Fish Consumption

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

This is a bit of a personal issue, really.

Okay, so I write about science-fiction and read about it and, well, think about it a lot. And, I’m afraid that, sometimes, our future as a species just doesn’t look so bright. We tend to consume resources until they’re just gone. That is a pretty big problem with fish, for instance. So, I’m always on the lookout for things to help me make better choices in that regard. And, I’ve found a tool to help me maintain good seafood consumption, namely, Seafood Watch at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. It’s a list, or series of lists, of safe, sustainable seafood reccomendations. There are several pocket “cards” here in PDF format that you can print out and take with you to restraunts and shopping. Each card has three categories: Safe, Warning, and Danger. And each has an explanation of why the various fish were put in their categories.
The population is growing at such an amazing rate that I think we, as an entire race, need to look at how we manage our resources. Toward that end, farming fish and being carefull to consume sustainable fish just plain makes sense. It may end up being the world’s last, best, source of protien.

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