Wednesday, July 23, 2003

TTDPatch - OH YEA! I got Transport Tycoon Deluxe working last night on XP with the patch. I'm so excited. I love that game. I wish I could write software the inspired stuff like this - The frequently-holy Church of Transport Tycoon
Aunt Janet was having problems with Windows Messenger Service dialogs. UGH! I can't believe M$ doesn't turn that off by default in XP, at least home addition. There is no reason for it to be on. I turned mine off at the office 2 years ago because it was anoying. The email:

I can take a guess that these are dialogs from the Messenger service. (Not MS Messenger chat program - this is a different "messenger".)

Go to the control panel. (Start Menu -> Settings -> Control Panel)
Open Administrative Tools
Open Services
Find the service Messenger in the list. Double click on it.

If Startup Type: is not disabled, change it to disabled and click OK.

That will turn of the messenger service. This service was used historically to allow network administrators to send messages to users like "I'm going to reboot the server in 10 minutes". Lately spammers and other hackers are using it on computers that are on the internet with no firewall to cause problems.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Today was the kind of day at work that makes me want to just come home and play Return to Castle Wolfenstein with a Martini with extra olives. Fun.

I continue my project to dispose of the old concrete block wall. Tomorrow is garbage day. I'm able to dispose about a wheelbarrow's worth of broken blocks each week. I estimate I have about 30 more weeks to go before it's all gone. I'm too cheep to hire a dumpster.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

I did some more work on the archive. The biggest visual difference is the new cow folder. I thought that would be cute. I also made several internal changes including the most significant, adding code to only update HTML pages when they need to be. It's kinda a poor method, but it works. I generate all the pages as before, but prior to writing them to the file, I load the old file and do a comparison. The comparison checks to see if the file and the generated output is identical --- except it ignores the first 160 characters which include the date of generation, and ignores the final 240 characters which includes the "last updated" content. This seems to work.

Tod has official taken over his folder through the use of the client program. I wrote a FAQ on this and other topics.

I'm working on compiling a DVD of Emma video and also adding more Emma video to the site. Lots to do here. We're using the iMac, but I think iMovie isn't going to cut it. We're looking into Final Cut Express.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Sent out the Famous Family Archive client software to Tod and Jonathan last night. They both tried to get it working, but no luck. Both had user error issues. Hopefully they will get that working and we can start having family members send their own photos to the Famous Family Archives.

I worked on some Eclipse & Java programming on the iMac tonight. Eclipse runs pretty well. I was playing around with building an Ant script and integrating that into Eclipse. I was not able to get the class path working properly. I also realized that I didn't know how to run an Ant script from the command line on the Mac under OS X. I did get cruise control installed and running with log4j source running. My plan is to try to figure out how log4j decides what to log when running cruise control.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I had my birthday lunch today. We had lunch with the "guys" from the office. Emma and Jen joined me. I got metal skewers from Emma for cooking bacon wrapped shrimp on the grill. Jen gave me a cat toy I took back to the office. (She got cat toy's for her birthday last year.)

I bought a new video card today. A AIT Radeon 9600 Pro. It worked pretty good on a game I had. The old card overheated. Avoid Gain video cards at all costs --- although it was just a spec Nvidia ti 4200. I don't think I'll Nvidia anytime soon.

I guess I'm getting pulled back into the Stewardship Committee at church. I enjoy that work, but I had not been involved most of the year. They have already thought out a lot of the campaign for this year. I guess I'll help out the best I can.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

So I'm refinancing our car through E*Trade Bank. 4.40%. Yea!
Why does Great West suck - let me recount some more ways.

In June, they decided to stop offerring a few choices for their 401k plan and change them to another fund. This is great, except for their inability to explain to me how they converted my old shares of the old fund into the new one. I looked at a report they sent me in the mail. It lists the amount of money for sell of the old fund, but does not list the shares or the sales price. ARG! I went into Quicken and looked up the number of shares I had of the old fund. According to what I'm seeing, there is something wrong because the number of shares I had, at the last known price, doesn't match the amount of money they list as them selling for. ARG! I went to their web site, but there is no report of account activity. They list account contributions, but that does not list other activity like this transfer. I am able to pull up account balances (the only report that actually lists the number of shares) by date. This means I could view the balance on June 2 and June 3, and try to deduce what they did. When I did that, the number of shares still don't match. Now I'm going to have to sit on the phone with them next week and try to figure out if they are screwing my or not. I hate Great West 401k.
So, the Aspen Fire is about over.

We had a thunderstorm this afternoon. It was kinda bad because the wind was really going and there is a lot of dust and ash in the air. Even though the fire is over, there is going to be a lasting impact on the weather. It also smells outside. I smells like damp, burnt things. Yuck.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

We went an saw Howard Dean speak at a rally in Tucson today. We all had a good time. Emma didn't like all the noise, but I liked what he had to say. I couldn't find anything that he said that I didn't agree with. There was a lot of Bush bashing, but it's not too hard to bash Bush. I also liked how Dean added how he contrasted with Bush instead of just bashing him the whole time. I agreed with Dean's stand on Iraq, his ideas about taking the $600.00 check and using it to support programs that really matter. Best line was about some guy who went up to him in Vermont and said he would gladly return his $600.00 check if he could get the $60,000.00 he's lost in his 401k. True point. I also agree with his point that the U.S. need to join with the world community. We can't be a leader through force only and not also be a leader in the world community. He might have my vote.
Howard Dean

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Cool. A web site that will setup a letter to all three of my federal representatives at the same sitting. This should come in handy.
Consumers Union

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

It's 8:00pm, dark and 96 degress outside. UGH! Too hot to do anything. This is delaying my progress on the wall. I deleted the old photos web site tonight. The Famous Family Archives replaced all that a while ago. Hope there aren't any links still out there.

I got my review today at work. Pretty good. There are no raises this year so it really doesn't matter. I also handed out 4 reviews to other people. Reviews are often such a waste of time. I hope the good comments at least gave people a little boost, but since there are no raises and nothing else to celebrate, I imagine they were just filed away. I also had a "management" meeting with HR. I ranted a little bit. The biggest problem with our company is that we have a bunch of managers who think they are good managers, but they really suck really bad at management. There are also a bunch of people promoted into management who have no idea what they are doing. A number of people from both of those categories are on our senior management team that needs a lot of work. Oh well, I don't even know if you can train someone to be a good manager.

The problem is that many people look at management as top down thing. They act like a father of a toddler. They are never wrong. They ask for things to happen. I think a good manager does hardly any of those things. A good manager works to make sure their people are productive and motivated, happy and empowered. The trouble is the worst managers don't know it and think they are just doing a great job. It's depressing.

We meet with the lawyer tomorrow to setup our estate plan. That should be fun.

Monday, July 07, 2003

I updated my page. Boy it was old. Removed a few dead things. Updates some links. Hopefully that will hold for the next couple years. I should update the home projects page. Maybe later.
Wall project update: I bought some caps today and more concrete to fill the wall sections where the rebar is. I also checked out a rental of a jack hammer to tear up the old foundation of the wall I removed. That should make some good photographs.

E*TRADE Financial - Home

This is where I do our banking. They have been pretty good. My only complaint would be their banking web site redesign, but v2 is getting a little better. I like their bill pay options and the ease of transfering between brokerage and bank accounts.
E*TRADE Financial - Home
Working on the Famous Family Archive client piece tonight. The purpose of this is to allow another family member to use the client against their My Pictures folder and have all of their content uploaded to the Famous Family archives automatically. I'm still working on it, but it works. I did a lot of refactoring tonight. I still need to work on the move functionality. If the family member moves a photo, I don't want to have them re-upload it, especially if they are on dial up. This should be ready shortly. I still need to do more testing with Tod and Janet's machine.
I do all of the programming and development for the Famous Family archives using Java and Eclipse. Eclipse has been a great tool for developing Java applications. Main Page
Hi. This is my blog's first post.