Diary of a Network Geek

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

12/28/2018

Random Resolutions for 2019

Filed under: Fun,Fun and Games,Marginalia and Notes from the Editor,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:20 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Another new year and another chance to break promises to yourself!

I never bother with New Year’s Resolutions any more, personally. I’ve tried “turning over a new leaf” in January so many times that I’m in danger of becoming a walking cliche. At least I know that I’m no different than most people, which is why gyms and churches are both bursting at the seams in January, but thin out by April. Still it’s traditional, so I’ll share, again, my own little solution to the New Year’s Resolution “problem”.
Back in the day, when I still had delusions that I could make myself into a decent programmer, I whipped up a New Year’s Resolution Generator. I based it, in part, on some ideas from the Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Holidays, but I have to admit, I threw in some of my own warped sense of humor. And, I weighted things a little more toward heavier drinking and looser morals because I figured those were the resolutions that would be easier to keep. Also, I figured they’d be funnier.

In any case, it was apparently funny enough that Comedy Central Insider linked it in their blog back when I first released it. Which is pretty cool, no matter how long ago that was. Besides, can completely random “advice” from a website really be any worse than the suggestions you got from family over the holidays? In today’s world of chaos and unreality, it honestly doesn’t seem as bad an idea as it used to! So, why not give it a shot yourself? You don’t even have to share about it publicly. No one will know but us!

And try to have a good year, no matter what happens. Make time to love your loved ones, do good work and add something positive to the world. Or one of the random resolutions. Whichever seems likelier to produce good results.

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words!

7/6/2018

Industrial Accident Game

Filed under: Art,Fun — 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 a Third Quarter Moon

Industrial accidents are no joke, but they can be a fun theme for a game.

At least, I recently played a game on the web about an industrial accident that was, in fact fun.
The game was called, not surprisingly, Industrial Accident. The setting is an automated factory, where you play an artificial intelligence worker who experiences a little difficulty. And, it’s best if I don’t say any more, because it might spoil the fun. Seriously, I know it just seems like I’m being a lazy blogger during a holiday week, but knowing no more than what I’ve told you will make the game a bit more fun.
Also, keep in mind that it’s free and a pretty short game, so, even if you have a lot of work due to the short week, you have more than enough time to play.

Enjoy! And, help keep the workplace safe from malfunctioning AI!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words!

4/6/2018

Blast Radius

Filed under: About The Author,Fun,News and Current Events — 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 Gibbous

This may stretch the limits of what even I consider “fun”.

Ever since I was in junior high, I’ve been a little too interested in nuclear war. Personally, I blame the Cold War and movies like The Day After. It looks kind of cheesy now, but back in the day, we were all terrified that this was our future. We were quite sure that Russia was going to launch missiles at us any moment and we would have to know how to survive. Or, maybe that was just the crazed group of boys I hung out with who all read science fiction pulps. I’ll allow that’s possible not everyone was as obsessed with the subject as we were.
But, the thing is, I don’t think it would have mattered. For one thing, I grew up not far from a pretty important Naval Air Station, and also not far from a major financial center. I’m pretty sure that where I lived would have been pretty quickly reduced to melted glass if World War Three had broken out. But, that seems to be a topic popping up again. And, it’s fresh enough that someone has created a new Nuclear Bomb Blast Simulator. I’ve shared these before but this one is, well, prettier than the others. It shows in pretty graphic terms just how large an area would be effected. Also, it seems to have better geolocation than the others that I’ve shared. And, if you, like me, have a dark sense of humor, you can always use your worst enemy’s location as the epicenter of the blast. That would be a kind of “fun”, right?

And, if you’re truly concerned, you can get the book I studied for weeks at the library, Nuclear War Survival Skills, for free, in PDF format. It claims to have been updated in 1987, but I’m quite certain it must have only to correct spelling errors because this is precisely how I remember it from all those years ago. And, I’m quite certain I had a copy in hand well before 1987, which was after I had graduated from high school.

So, um, enjoy!? And try not to think about it too much.

This post first appeared on Use Your Words.

6/10/2016

Lunch Read

Filed under: Fun,Marginalia and Notes from the Editor,The Infinite Library — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

More self-education at lunch.

This is a little less work oriented than last week and certainly less technical, but it’s still the same idea. It’s an email newsletter, which seem to be gaining a bit in popularity again.  In this case, it’s a curated email, sent weekly, filled with content that the site owners claim will broaden your perspective called The Lunch Read.  I don’t know about that, but it does have videos, articles and music that you might not have heard yet, all sent to you, regularly.  You can read more about it at About: The Lunch Read.  And, if you’re not quite sold yet, even though it’s free, you can see recent past newsletters they’ve sent out at The Lunch Read Leftovers.  Judging from that content, it’s not a bad newsletter.

Besides, it’s Friday, and if  you’re reading this, you’re not working anyway.  Might as well sign up and see what it’s all about!

This post originally appeared at Use Your Words.

5/20/2016

Science Fiction Short Films

Filed under: Art,Fun,Movies — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Also, they’re free.

In 2015, Sploid, a sub-site of Gizmodo, had a short film festival. Just to be clear, that’s a festival of short films. There were 21 films, many of which include some actors you may recognize. All the films were creative and, frankly, pretty amazing.
And, let’s face it, it’s Friday and you’re reading this blog, which means you weren’t doing any actual work anyway, so you might as well head over to YouTube and watch all of them. They are, after all, short films, so it won’t take too terribly long.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you this week, because I’ve been a bit sick and didn’t have a chance to get anything better together.
But, I think this will be good enough.
Enjoy, and I’ll see you back here next week!

This post originally appeared at Use Your Words.

6/12/2015

Modern Art

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Okay, it’s been awhile since I’ve shared something that’s just fun to look at. Time to fix that.

So, I titled this “Modern Art”, but I really mean “Art made with contemporary tools and media”.  Not necessarily what people typically think of as “modern art”.  Not, as I recently heard someone describe it “Murals made by nailing up trash out of someone’s dumpster”.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all, even though I probably wouldn’t hang something like that…
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1/31/2014

Photography Props

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

I’ve talked a lot about writing this month, so this week, I thought I’d throw in some more photography stuff.

I’ve actually had these links for some time, but I have never gotten around to either sharing them or even actually trying them myself.  Still, I’ve never let a lack of personal experience with something stop me from recommending it to others, so I don’t see why I should keep me from sharing these two links.

First, there’s a tutorial on how…
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3/23/2012

NASA Models

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:45 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I love design from the 60’s.

I’m also, oddly enough, a fan of architectural models, too.
There’s something weirdly science-fictional about the conjunction of those two things, too, that I really enjoy.  The kind of retro-future that they were trying to manufacture in the 60’s is just so, well, so quaint.  It’s not that they’re actually what I think the future would look like, but there’s something appealing about them in any case.  Something about clean lines and the long, smooth, “swoopy” feel to so much of the design just makes me long for that future that never was and never can be.  It’s a shame, really, that most of that world never actually existed.
Well, the best of those designs, combined with the possibility of an actual future that, well, actually did happen can be found at this site; NASA’s Most Adorable Model Spaceships.
They really are adorable, and, yes, the very finest that conceptual artists could put together at the height of our national pride and the space race.  They’re fantastic examples of the actual design that, as it turns out, very well may have created our future.

Besides, it’s Friday and if you had something better to do, you wouldn’t be reading my post about twee models of actual spacecraft, so you might as well click that link and look at them!

8/5/2011

On-Line EXIF Viewer

Filed under: Art,Fun,PERL — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Another one for the photography geeks.

Some of you may have guessed that I enjoy photography just a little bit.  You may have deduced that from all the photography related links I share on Fridays.  Or possibly because I tell you am obsessed by it virtually every chance I get.  Either way, it’s true.  I find myself staring into portraits of people in magazines trying to figure out the lighting setup based on the reflections in their eyes.  When I see a photo I like on Flickr, I usually check the EXIF data, if it’s available, to get some idea about how the photographer made it.  The EXIF data is far from the whole story, but, at least, it gives me some idea how the photographer was setting the camera to get the light and depth-of-field that they did.

Well, recently, I was reading an entry on Chase Jarvis’ blog challenging his readers to reverse engineer one of his photos.
I kind of love those sorts of things, to be honest.  But, what was cool about this one was that someone in the comments pointed to a website that automagically pulled the EXIF information from the photo!  How cool is that!?
The site is called Jeffrey’s EXIF Viewer.  And you can use it to pull EXIF information from either a photo on your hard drive or that you find on-line somewhere.  I haven’t actually tried it on Flickr for people who don’t upload the EXIF data, but I’m sure I will be in the near future.  In any case, it’s free, outside of some advertising, and it’s pretty cool.  (Also, for the hard-core tech geeks like me, I’ll note that it looks like it was programmed in Perl, which is my favorite programming language.)

So, go forth, find photos and check them against the EXIF data to see if you can guess the photographer’s settings!
And, enjoy your Friday!

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!

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