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My thoughts on acts of violence

For each person who has lived on our soil and gone on to commit an act of violence, be it Timothy McVeigh or the 9/11 hijackers or the Columbine kids or any of the others, each one of those represents a failing on us as a society to not embrace them, to make them one of us, and let them see the American Dream and our way of life as great enough to put aside their wish to do harm and to feel welcome and loved enough to put down their arms. Step out of your homes, hug your neighbors, wave at a stranger (with more than your middle finger), let that person merge in traffic, accept one another, quit labeling and name calling, resist the media and politicians’ efforts to divide us with fear and hate, and generally practice being nice.

Together we stand; divided we fall. Let love overcome!

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More cord cutting

I did it. I committed to being a Comcast customer for the next 2 years. $109.95 per month set in stone. 50Mbps down/ 10Mpbs up. Unlimited. $200 installation fee; $150 rebate. And yes, if I terminate in less than 24 months, I’m on the hook for 75% of the remainder. So if 6 months remain when I cancel, I’d owe $495.

Negatives? No television whatsoever. Positives? No more data cap.

My overage charges alone in July were $110.

Now, saying, “I’m going to pay $2638.80 for two years of Internet connectivity” sounds ludicrous. Add in Netflix roughly $20 a month. $3118.80 and Hulu ($7.99/mth) $3310.56. And now add cellphone service: $12,358,56. So, if my family wanted to cut out all entertainment and phone services, in two years, I could take them on one of the cheaper Disney vacations. Or, we could skip Disney and stay current with The Walking Dead.

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Inside the life of a programmer

Some days require the environment be just right for productivity. Today, I need a darkened room, incense burning, attire that doesn’t include button down anything, bare feet, herbal tea, and very, very loud cyberpunk music. Instead, I am in Cubeville. Florescent lights burn through my eyes searing my brain. The glare is so harsh. A din of conversations float over cube walls as ambient noise but not soothing as white noise, oceans, or rain. Interruptions are imminent. Such is the live of a programmer.

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Goodbye Ultimate Boot CD

Throughout the years of helping people fix their computers, one of the handiest tools in my armory was the Ultimate Boot CD. Not this one, although I did use that version often, but this one. I had an huge number of other tools EBCD, hacker tools, some websites common Joe has no reason to know exist, knowledge and experience, and an impressive Internet searching ability (a little understanding of boolean logic goes a long way). Them: "I don’t know my administrative password." Me: "No problem." Well, perhaps a 30 second delay. Anyhow, I’ve decided to upgrade my last functioning Windows box (Windows 7) to Windows 10. See, all those Linux boxes, and Windows boxes (at one time I had 5 physical machines under my desk, several dual booted to different OSes, and virtual machines on the Linux box…I even had a laptop that I could boot to Windows 3.1, wait a min, I still have that.) have been scraped and sent to e-waste as my home has become a shrine to Steve Jobs as we became fully indoctrinated into the Cult of Mac. As the Windows 10 installer inspects my Windows 7 machine, it discovers UBDC4Win 3.60 and declares that it MUST be removed as incompatible for the installation to continue. With some sadness, not dissimilar to when your goldfish dies, I approved the uninstall. (I still have the iso of the last UBCD I built so I haven’t completely crippled myself.)

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Drug Store Magic – Chapter 1: (1) Wine to Water

Fill a small pitcher full of water and dissolve a small amount of ferric ammonium sulfate in the water. Then make up a small amount of sodium salicylate solution. Get two wine glasses, and in the first wine glass do not put anything; in the second wine glass put a few drops of sodium salicylate solution. Then you pour some water from the pitcher into your first wine glass. It will remain clear, but when you pour from the pitcher into the second wine glass it will take on the color of wine.

Ingredients required: