Diary of a Network Geek

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

11/26/2010

Create Your Own Debt Plan

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Deep Thoughts,Life Goals,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Been spending big on the holidays?

Today, the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally known as “Black Friday” because it’s when retailers get out of the “red” and start really turning profits for the year, is when a lot of people do their Christmas shopping.  But, today, I’m going to share something else with you, instead of the traditional Black Friday sales.
Gentle readers, I, too, have worshiped at the altar of plastic and run up huge debt.  Granted, my ex-wife helped me with that and so did my medical debt, but, still, the bulk of the responsibility is with me.  Today, I plan on not buying anything, but, rather, enjoying the things I have.  My Christmas shopping can wait another couple days, what I haven’t done already, that is.  And, yes, I’m trying to spend less and, more importantly, debt less, though, I admit I find it difficult to stop entirely.  It’s a bad habit, to be sure.   Of course, I do pretty well, so I’m impacted only a little by my huge debt.  And, it’s just me that’s effected these days.  I don’t have a family I’m weighing down with my remaining debt.

But, it’s not that way for everyone.  Some people have really big problems with debt.  Bigger than my problems.  For them, though, there is hop.  There are solutions.  And, today, as most of America wallows in the excess, that’s what I’m bringing to you.  It’s only one alternative, but, I hope it becomes a growing trend.
It’s a website called Creditable and it’s a site designed to help you get out of that crushing debt, anonymously and free.

And, either way, whether you need this or not, enjoy today and be thankful for what you have.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones."
   --Phillips Brooks

11/22/2010

Some Collected Advice for Network Admins

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Geek Work,Linux,MicroSoft — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:33 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

So, I promised you more technical stuff here, right?

Well, stop yer grinin’ and grab yer linen, ’cause here come a fist full of links with some great advice for network administrators, all from TechRepublic:
First, if you’re a real network admin, you’ve dealt with traffic issues on file servers.  Issues that have hidden sources.  Unknown processes that jam up your network connections until your users scream for your head.  So, how do you deal with that when you’re on a budget and don’t have a lot of tools?  Well, one way is to use “netstat” to look at what process is running on what port and sending what volume of data.  If you’re on Unix, you probably already know about this tool, but if you’re on Windows, check out “Netstat tips and tricks for Windows admins“.  It may save your bacon one day.

Second, you probably have wireless in your network now, too, right?  But, it may not always work quite the way you want.  Once again, users will scream bloody murder if they can’t read their blogs on their iPhone, so, how do you find out what’s jamming up your WIFI network so that no one can connect?  Read through “Troubleshooting for wireless connectivity issues” to get you started on running down the problem.

Thirdly, if you’re a REAL network administrator, you probably have at least one Linux box in your network.  Something that runs an open source network inventory or monitoring tool or, maybe even, an actual Linux file server.  In any case, sooner or later, even that sad, little, neglected Linux box will have disk space issues, so here are “10 things you can do when the drive on your Linux box is full“.

And, finally, my personal favorite.  You hear a lot of buzzwords floating around these days in IT shops, but “the cloud” is the most common magic cure for all ills.  Personally, I’m not so sure.  I worry about things like, oh, you know, security and auditing and connectivity issues and little details like that which seem like they might be an issue for the magic cloud computing panacea.  Turns out, I’m not the only one.  So, go see why Patrick Gray says “The cloud doesn’t matter“.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else."
   --Booker T. Washington

11/19/2010

LEGO Masters!

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:04 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I love LEGOs.

There, I said it and I’m not the least bit sorry, either.
If I had more time, and money, I’d waste as much of both as I could on LEGOs.  Seriously.  Why?  Because I’m a big kid at heart and to make really cool LEGO stuff takes a lot of bricks.  Don’t believe me?  Just look at this gallery on TechRepublic from a recent BrickCon, a big convention for LEGO enthusiasts.  No, seriously, go look.  You wouldn’t believe the things that people create with those modular bricks we played with as kids!  For real!
And, if that wasn’t enough, check out this IO9 story about a guy who made an entire space habitat from LEGOs!  No, not life-size, of course, but to scale.  Now, this was just the kind of thing I would have done as a kid, if I’d had more gray bricks.

Well, anyway, it’s Friday, so you might as well scour those links and dream of a misspent youth!
Enjoy!

11/12/2010

IKEA Cad

Filed under: Art,Fun,Fun Work,GUI Center,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

No, not a cad program by the flat-pack king.

Rather cad files of 21 of IKEA’s designs.  Yep, now you can suck those ubiquitous IKEA designs right into your high-end architect’s cad program and use them to design your house.  ‘Cause, you know, after paying for an architect in this economy, how much money are you going to have left over for fancy furniture?

No, seriously, I just thought it was fun that someone had made cad drawings of IKEA stuff in 3D so you can use it to lay out your house or apartment.  The files are actually in Google Sketchup format, for guys like me who are always trying to do more with less, especially less expensive software!

11/9/2010

OpenOffice Replacement

Filed under: Geek Work,GUI Center,MicroSoft,News and Current Events,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:38 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Speaking of free software…

Many of you know that I’ve long been a proponent of the spectacular free office suite, Open Office.  Well, there’ve been some shake-ups in the free software world and Oracle and the developers of Open Office have had a bit of a falling-out.  Nothing too serious, really, but enough of a difference of opinion about the future of Open Office that they forked the project.  Now, what that means to you and me is that they’ve taken the open source code to date and started their open development of it under a new name.  The new project is called “LibreOffice” and is being supported by the Document Foundation, who’s sole purpose seems to be continuing development of this fantastic office suite.
Follow that link and you can download the latest version to try for yourself.  I suggest you do because you may never buy another revision of Microsoft Office again.
Seriously.

11/5/2010

Gigabytes For Less

Filed under: Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:14 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I was going to share this right before Halloween, but something better came up, so consider this a “Halloween Chaser” to clear your palate.

If you’re like me, you have a lot of computer systems floating around and the one thing they all have in common is that they could use some more drive space.  So, again, if you’re like me, that means you end up buying all kinds of storage space, in one form or another, to meet that need.  Now, you can do it as economically as possible thanks to Gigs4Less.  No matter what kind of storage you need, from compact flash to hard drives, they list everything they can find on the web and sort it by price, price per megabyte, and any other way you can think of sorting it.
So stop wasting money and hit this site to find the biggest drive you can afford, for less!

And be safe out there trick or treating, okay, kids?


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