Diary of a Network Geek

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

8/2/2013

Keep Track of Your Photography Gear

Filed under: Fun,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:46 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

If you’re a hardcore photography enthusiast, you’ve probably already seen what I’m about to share.

But, in case you haven’t seen it yet, I’m going to go ahead and share it again.
Theft of camera gear is on the rise.  And, not just from tourists, either!  There have been several articles in the past couple months about photojournalists getting hit, too.  In Russia, they’ll apparently steal the camera right off of you while you’re wearing it!  But, don’t think it’s just a…
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9/23/2011

Gadget Trak Really Works!

Filed under: Art,Fun,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Sheep which is mid-afternoon or 3:45 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Ever lost a camera?

And, by “lost”, I mean, has your camera ever been stolen?  Well, Gadget Trak can help.  And, now we know that it’s not an empty claim!
I’ve mentioned other camera tackers before, but Gadget Trak’s stolen camera finder has been verified by a photographer who used it to recover his camera.

The photographer is a pro by the name of John Heller who “lost” $9,000 worth of equipment he needs to pursue his livelihood while on assignment in California.  He used the tool to find other photos on the internet that had been taken with his stolen camera.  That led him to another pro who had unwittingly bought the stolen camera.  The L.A. Police are still investigating the people from whom the stolen camera was bought, but what really matters is that Mr. Heller has gotten his gear back!

And, yes, that is a free service they offer.  Because, hey, on a Friday am I going to try to sell you something?  Of course not!
Y’all have a great weekend!

12/9/2010

42nd Birthday of the Mouse

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Ooo, shiny... — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:29 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

It’s not quite the “birthday” of the mouse, but…

Today is the 42nd anniversary of the first time a mouse made its commercial debut, though the patent was actually granted just a few weeks earlier on November 17th. That’s right, the mouse, that marvel of modern technology that most of us use daily is just a little older than I am. Invented by Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, the original mouse was little more than a square, wooden box, but the little device would change the world. Engelbart showed how the mouse could let a user jump from text on one part of the screen randomly to another section without having to scroll through the text inbetween. Doesn’t sound too revolutionary to us today, does it? But, think about how you navigated to this page to read this little blurb, then try to imagine doing it without a mouse. Or, imagine trying to use Photoshop or any other graphic design program for that matter without the point-click-and-drag of a computer mouse. Yeah, pretty much everything cool you can do on a computer these days involves a mouse or similar pointer. Now, of course, to me, that’s the real genius of an invention like the mouse; it seems so obvious that we wonder why we didn’t think of it sooner!

So, happy demo day, little guy. Thanks for giving me a job and us a way to waste time at work.

12/9/2009

41st Birthday of the Mouse

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Ooo, shiny... — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:03 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

It’s not quite the “birthday” of the mouse, but…

Today is the 41st anniversary of the first time a mouse made its commercial debut, though the patent was actually granted just a few weeks earlier on November 17th. That’s right, the mouse, that marvel of modern technology that most of us use daily is just a little older than I am. Invented by Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, the original mouse was little more than a square, wooden box, but the little device would change the world. Engelbart showed how the mouse could let a user jump from text on one part of the screen randomly to another section without having to scroll through the text inbetween. Doesn’t sound too revolutionary to us today, does it? But, think about how you navigated to this page to read this little blurb, then try to imagine doing it without a mouse.  Or, imagine trying to use Photoshop or any other graphic design program for that matter without the point-click-and-drag of a computer mouse.  Yeah, pretty much everything cool you can do on a computer these days involves a mouse or similar pointer.  Now, of course, to me, that’s the real genius of an invention like the mouse; it seems so obvious that we wonder why we didn’t think of it sooner!

So, happy demo day, little guy. Thanks for giving me a job and us a way to waste time at work.

12/9/2008

Mouse’s 40th Birthday

Filed under: Fun,News and Current Events,Ooo, shiny...,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:13 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

It’s not quite the “birthday” of the mouse, but…

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first time a mouse made its commercial debut, though the patent was actually granted just a few weeks earlier on November 17th. That’s right, the mouse, that marvel of modern technology that most of us use daily is just a little older than I am. Invented by Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, the original mouse was little more than a square, wooden box, but the little device would change the world. Engelbart showed how the mouse could let a user jump from text on one part of the screen randomly to another section without having to scroll through the text inbetween. Doesn’t sound too revolutionary to us today, does it? But, think about how you navigated to this page to read this little blurb, then try to imagine doing it without a mouse.

So, happy demo day, little guy. Thanks for giving me a job and us a way to waste time at work.

4/15/2008

Review: Snow Crash

Filed under: Art,Fun,Review,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:04 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I finished Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson last night.

Okay, so let me front-load this review with all the bad things up front. The main character’s name is Hiro Protagonist. I mean, can you get any more gimmicky than that? And, as often seems to happen with Stephenson’s books, things come to an end very quickly. And, by that I mean, they build to a state of extreme tension over more than three-hundred pages and then end in less than twenty, often without much in the way of explanations or tying up of loose ends. Snow Crash is no different.

But, those things aside, it’s a damn fine bit of science-fiction.
The story follows Hiro, who’s a hacker that’s currently working for Uncle Enzo’s Cosa Nostra Pizza as a delivery driver. Hiro, however, runs afoul of Uncle Enzo after crashing his delivery car trying to get a late pizza delivered on time. He’s aided by a skateboard courier by the name of Y.T. She’s a little under-age, but she’s a great courier and, now, a friend of Uncle Enzo. That’s a good thing, considering that the Mafia is a nearly ubiquitous franchise in the world of Snow Crash. In fact, most franchises seem to be nearly ubiquitous and have managed to become their own little countries, as are the California suburbs, or “Burbclaves”, where most of the book’s action takes place.
So, when Hiro gets fired from his job at Uncle Enzo’s, he goes to his part-time job as a stringer for the Central Intelligence Corporation and starts selling them intelligence. While in the on-line world known as the Metaverse, which Hiro helped program, searching for some juicy intel, he watches one of his hacker friends get infected with a new computer virus called “snow crash”. Nothing new there, right? Well, not quite… There’s a new twist to snow crash. It seems that this virus not only infects your computer, but it does something to your mind, too. And, now, someone’s trying to infect Hiro with it.

So, that’s the basic premise. I won’t spoil the book by telling you how it all turns out. But, I will drop a few hints. There’s a bunch of religion involved. And ancient Sumerian artifacts and the Metaverse and one of Hiro’s ex-girlfriends and raft-riding refugees and more. It’s complicated, convoluted and entirely entertaining. In many places it seems so light and comical that it’s almost a farce, but, really, that just off-sets the intensity of the other, more philosophical passages.
If you haven’t read it yet, read Snow Crash.  It’s Neal Stephenson at his best and it’s great.

12/9/2007

Birthday of the Mouse

Filed under: Career Archive,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:18 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

It’s not quite the “birthday” of the mouse, but…

Today is the 39th anniversary of the first time a mouse made its commercial debut. That’s right, the mouse, that marvel of modern technology that most of us use daily is just a little older than I am. Invented by Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, the original mouse was little more than a square, wooden box, but the little device would change the world. Engelbart showed how the mouse could let a user jump from text on one part of the screen randomly to another section without having to scroll through the text inbetween. Doesn’t sound too revolutionary to us today, does it? But, think about how you navigated to this page to read this little blurb, then try to imagine doing it without a mouse.

So, happy demo day, little guy. Thanks for giving me a job and us a way to waste time at work.

12/12/2006

Getting Older

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:33 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

I’m 38 today.

Time marches on, with or without our consent, and so, much to my surprise, I find that I’ve survived another year. I think of my birthday as, well, just another day. It’s not like I’m suddenly a year older over night, after all. If I seem older this year, it’s due mainly to over-work and a head cold that decided to move South into my chest. Oh, I suppose my hair is a little grayer than it was last year and the eyes that meet mine in the mirror seem, perhaps, a little more world-weary, but, otherwise, I’m mostly the same as I’ve always been. I plan a low-key evening of bill-paying and an early bed-time, sleep having become the ultimate luxury in my life. I will, however, enjoy a glass of Cask Strength Macallan, as I did last year, before slipping off to the Land of Nod.

Historically, this has been an interesting day, the anniversary of my birth not withstanding. For instance, I share a birthday with such varied luminaries as Frank “Chairman of the Board” Sinatra, Bob Barker, Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, Edvard Munch, and Wells Fargo founder, Henry Wells. Not to mention, Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues, Tim Hauser of Manhattan Transfer, Dickey Betts of the Allman Bros, jazz musician Grover Washington Jr, and former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch.
Also, it was on this day, in 1901, that Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi succeeded in sending the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean. But, that’s not all! My birthday is also when, in 1925, Arthur Heinman coined term “motel”, and opened Motel Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. On this day, in 1964, shooting started for the “Star Trek” pilot, The Cage (which was later reused in Menagerie).
A year before I was born, in 1967, the US launched Pioneer 8 into solar orbit. And, on the actual day of my birth, in 1968, the US performed its first nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site. So, obviously, my birthday was, indeed, earth-shattering.

As I figured last year, it was, in fact, an interesting trip again. Try as I might to lead as boring a life as possible, the Universe sees fit to liven things up for me. Well, this year was a little quieter than last, at least in the legal arena, even if it was a little light in the relationship end of things. I still have no idea what the next year will bring, but, as per usual, I’m sure it will be something other than I expect! Remember what your Uncle Jim says, kids, after twenty-one, every year you survive is a victory, no matter how small it may seem at the time.
I’ve survived one more lap around the sun.
How many more before the race is done?


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
A real hero is someone who's afraid, but does the right thing anyway.

12/9/2006

Mouse Demo

Filed under: Apple,Deep Thoughts,Fun,GUI Center,Linux,MicroSoft,News and Current Events,Ooo, shiny... — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:48 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

It’s not quite the “birthday” of the mouse, but…

Today is the 38th anniversary of the first time a mouse made its commercial debut. That’s right, the mouse, that marvel of modern technology that most of us use daily is just a little older than I am. Invented by Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, the original mouse was little more than a square, wooden box, but the little device would change the world.  Engelbart showed how the mouse could let a user jump from text on one part of the screen randomly to another section without having to scroll through the text inbetween.  Doesn’t sound too revolutionary to us today, does it?  But, think about how you navigated to this page to read this little blurb, then try to imagine doing it without a mouse.

So, happy demo day, little guy.  Thanks for giving me a job and us a way to waste time at work.

12/12/2005

I’ve Cheated Death for Another Year

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:15 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I’ve survived one more lap around the sun.
How many more before the race is done?

I’m 37 today.
Yes, in spite of foolish mistakes and silly risks and all sorts of dark thoughts this year, I made it through another one. I used to think of my birthday as, well, just another day, but I’m trying to be more aware of celebratory events, so, I’ll celebrate this one, somehow. At the very least, I will enjoy a glass of Cask Strength Macallan, something I’ve been wanting to investigate for some time. Now that I’ve lost my greatest critic and dream-smasher, I feel free enough to do that.
Lots of things have happened, in history, on this day. For instance, I share a birthday with such varied luminaries as Frank “Chairman of the Board” Sinatra, Bob Barker, Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, Edvard Munch, and Wells Fargo founder, Henry Wells. Not to mention, Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues, Tim Hauser of Manhattan Transfer, Dickey Betts of the Allman Bros, jazz musician Grover Washington Jr, and former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch.
Also, it was on this day, in 1901, that Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi succeeds in sending the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean. But, that’s not all! My birthday is also when, in 1925, Arthur Heinman coins term “motel”, and opened Motel Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. On this day, in 1964, shooting started for the “Star Trek” pilot, The Cage (which was later reused in Menagerie).
A year before I was born, in 1967, the US launched Pioneer 8 into solar orbit. And, on the actual day of my birth, in 1968, the US performed its first nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site. So, obviously, my birthday was, indeed, earth-shattering.

As I hoped for last year, it was, in fact, an interesting trip. I’m still not sure what the next year will bring, but I’m looking forward to finding out! Hopefully, I won’t have as many close scrapes this time around the sun. Remember what your Uncle Jim says, kids, after twenty-one, every year you survive is a victory, no matter how small it may seem at the time.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
" Reasonable men adapt themselves to their environment; unreasonable men try to adapt their environment to themselves. Thus all progress is the result of the efforts of unreasonable men."
   --George Berbard Shaw

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