Archive for May, 2008

Kids in the Hall

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So Ian is staying with Jackie’s mom this weekend. Jackie left to drop him off about 10am friday morning with the intent of being back in Troy to pick me up around 6pm. Around 3pm one of the guys I work with walked into the room and began a conversation like this:

[matt] Anyone want tickets to see Kids in the Hall?
[me] How much?
[matt] Free.
[me] ooh, I’ll take them!

The show was 7:30 that night- enough time for Jackie to get back, grab a quick bite to eat, and go. The venue was only about 15 minutes away and there were plenty of fast places to eat between work and there. It was unbelievable timing. So the next time Jackie calls I let her know what’s going on. She wasn’t real excited (“I’m neutral”), but that was mainly because she had been driving for 2+ hours already and was ready to vegitate on the couch.

We hit a National Coney Island and then the show. Another friend pointed out that the show should be called “Old Guys in the Hall” now since it’s been 20 years since their show started airing, but I gotta tell you, it was still some funny shit. You could tell Kevin McDonald and and Dave Foley still have great chemistry- Two great scenes come to mind.

The first was a drunk scene between Kevin and Dave. A minute or so in, Kevin’s ear-mic
became sweaty and fell off. He wasn’t able to get it to stay back on (even with dave quickly trying to help), and had to say his lines while pressing the mic to his cheek with one finger. Dave jumped in and started doing the same thing (as if drunk and mocking him). Kevin was barely able to finish the skit (from laughing at the absurdity of it).

The second scene involved Kevin having an affair with Dave’s imaginary girlfriend. The amusing part was kevin was wearing a silk robe that looked like it should have went down to his knees, but only got about halfway. When he sat down, he did something that involved him grabbing the sides of his folding chair and dry humping the air in front of him. Apparently the black spandex trunks he was wearing showed the front row his balls. Dave gave him a look and Kevin became very self conscious and tried to fold the robe up to cover his boys, but the stage direction had him moving all over so he kept trying to cover himself. After a few attempts he grabbed the front flaps of the robe and crammed them down the front of the shorts giving him a giant codpiece. Dave started to lose it and took off the trenchcoat he was wearing and had Kevin put it on backwards, which in reality gave him about as much coverage as the robe.

Two great lines spawned from this scene:
“My trench coat isn’t going to cover your balls forever.”
“I’m pretty sure the stage direction didn’t say ‘show the audience your balls’!”

I would definitely recommend seeing them if you get the chance… unless you don’t want your head crushed.

Shutup Shutup Shutup!

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die you wretched pc speaker beep that is so loud when I use the find bar in firefox or tab complete in the cli and nothing is found!

  rmmod pcspkr
  echo blacklist pcspkr >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

aaah, glorious silence.

What’s on QA…

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Had an amusing conversation with a developer at work that had the feeling of an abbot and costello bit. I’m leaving his name out of this to protect him, but he’s read this site before and will know instantly that it’s him. The conversation revolves around our new continuous integration system, and how the terminology has changed.

BTW, QA=Quality Assurance, UAT= User Acceptance Testing (staging)

(10:50:50 AM) morgajel: ok, so after talking to mick, it looks like my suspicions were correct
(10:50:54 AM) morgajel: there is no QA
(10:51:04 AM) morgajel: the name QA is misleading.
(10:51:16 AM) DeveloperX: hmmm
(10:51:25 AM) morgajel: trunk is for development, release is for qa, uat and prod
(10:51:26 AM) DeveloperX: what do u mean
(10:52:47 AM) DeveloperX: i have a release branch…
(10:52:50 AM) morgajel: think about it- anything going to QA is being marked as a release.
(10:53:12 AM) morgajel: so so release gets deployed to QA, then if it passes it goes on up the chain to production
(10:53:52 AM) DeveloperX: this is how the system currentlyis
(10:54:23 AM) DeveloperX: it seems to make snese to me? assueming nothing makes it ti UAT unlees it goes through QA
(10:54:36 AM) morgajel: that’s the way it should be.
(10:54:49 AM) DeveloperX: i think thats how it is
(10:54:57 AM) morgajel: the difference between this and the old system is, rather than labelling it projectX[QA], they’re now calling projectX_release_
(10:55:07 AM) DeveloperX: no? i only have a trunk and a release
(10:55:11 AM) morgajel: that’s the main difference for you
(10:55:20 AM) DeveloperX: which means the only thing goingto UAT will be from the release
(10:55:51 AM) morgajel: correct- the only thing going to qa or uat or prod will be from the release.
(10:56:12 AM) DeveloperX: so why can’t we still call it QA?
(10:56:42 AM) morgajel: because it’s *more* that QA- QA was a bad name for it from a organizational perspective
(10:57:32 AM) DeveloperX: is his only going to affect me, or is this the new approach for everyone?
(10:57:40 AM) morgajel: for everyone
(10:58:27 AM) DeveloperX: so your saying there is no pointin multiple srevers?
(10:58:33 AM) morgajel: no
(10:59:04 AM) morgajel: I’m saying whatever we put on UAT should be the EXACT same thing as QA
(10:59:13 AM) DeveloperX: so we will still push from trunkto release to UAT?
(10:59:20 AM) morgajel: and whatever we put in prod should be the EXACT same thing as both of them.
(10:59:24 AM) DeveloperX: it is
(10:59:28 AM) DeveloperX: currenlty
(10:59:29 AM) morgajel: well, from your side, here’s what happens
(10:59:37 AM) DeveloperX: at least for anything i;ve worked on
(10:59:44 AM) morgajel: you guys develop in trunk, and when you’re ready to release, you mark it as release.
(10:59:53 AM) DeveloperX: k
(10:59:55 AM) morgajel: then the QA people will check out release to the QA servers
(11:00:04 AM) DeveloperX: k
(11:00:10 AM) morgajel: once they give it a go, we will check it out to UAT,
(11:00:22 AM) DeveloperX: k
(11:00:24 AM) morgajel: once that’s good, it will be checked out from release toprod,
(11:00:54 AM) DeveloperX: put the code that is working it’s way up is exacly the same in each instance
(11:01:12 AM) morgajel: correct- as it should be.
(11:01:18 AM) DeveloperX: it is jsut being push multiple times, to make sure everything will work when we finally hit orid
(11:01:20 AM) DeveloperX: prod
(11:01:27 AM) morgajel: correct
(11:02:06 AM) morgajel:
now, I’m not sure what the exact mechanism will be for pushing to uat
and prod- we may check it out directly from svn, but more likely than
not, we won’t.
(11:02:33 AM) DeveloperX: ya, i would guess not
(11:02:37 AM) morgajel: the important thing is we can say “release 11234234 of projectX” and can match it up with a specific commit in subversion.
(11:03:50 AM) DeveloperX: i gotcha there…we used to havesomethiing like that, but it completely maintianed by me
(11:04:16 AM) DeveloperX: i have a new release branch for every deployment i make to projectX
(11:04:34 AM) DeveloperX: so I code in theory go back to 3deployments ago
(11:04:46 AM) DeveloperX: but you guys should have access to this…not just me
(11:05:35 AM) DeveloperX: make sense?
(11:08:09 AM) morgajel: you’re close
(11:08:23 AM) morgajel: I’m presuming you’re talking about http://buildserver/svn/projectX/branches/, correct?
(11:08:32 AM) morgajel: each of those listed is a different release branch, correct?
(11:09:01 AM) morgajel: what they’re doing is instead of creating a folder for each release, they’re creating a single folder
(11:09:17 AM) morgajel: and making note of the commit version when they commit acode to it
(11:10:14 AM) morgajel: hence when subversion says “committed version #1123223”,you’d call it “release 1123223” in your notes
(11:10:30 AM) morgajel: I think that’s what brandon is trying to aim for, but we’ll have to have him verify.
(11:11:00 AM) DeveloperX: ok, i think i gocha

Think about it.

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I see this one come up quite often, so I thought I’d share it.

The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten. The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten. The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to. -Chuang Tzu

AT&T disappoints yet again.

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So my father in law has been going on for years about how great Ameritech/ SBC/ AT&T’s new broadband service is gonna be once it was activated. I personally like the idea of having fiber to the curb, so I’ve been looking forward to it for a while.

A few months back they sent a rep out to let us know they were offering ‘U-verse’ in our area. I wasn’t home at the time, so Jackie got information and said I’d get back to them. I didn’t bother since we’re looking for a house. I figure I can look them up after we find a house.

Well, they came back Wednesday. They had already been by when I got home, and Jackie told them to come back later. I hadn’t been in the door more than 20 minutes when they knocked again. I then listened to them go through their spiel about how they were going to save me money by charging me more per month than I was paying already. ($30 phone+ $30 DSL + $15 static IP < $59 TV + $30 fiber) I managed to get them to understand that I didn't want the TV or telephone service- just the internet connection. I also asked them one question that proved to be their undoing: "How much will a static IP cost?" I asked that question 10 minutes into the 2 hour conversation- most of the time was spent with the rep on hold with AT&T's customer support, who gave the following responses: * What's an IP? * What's a static IP? * You mean dynamic IP? * Yes, we have those, it's an extra $15/mo for DSL * We don't have those. * You can change the setting in your router so your computer has the same address. * We don't have those in Michigan. The first five we receive several times, the 6th I was told by one of their "technicians" who didn't get that I wanted the router's external ip to be static so I could host this site. Finally the rep called a friend of his who was a "technology director" and found out they didn't offer them in Michigan. I told them that was a dealbreaker and bid them farewell. Two hours later, they came back- apparently he called someone else and was told that U-verse does in fact have static IPs, and they're $15/mo. That would bring the total price to $45/mo (once I cancelled the TV portion), where as now I'm paying $45/mo + $30/mo for a phoneline I don't use. Quite a deal, right? Sign me up. He tells me that the form he has doesn't cover the static IP and I'll have to call in the morning to have them append that to my order. So the next day I call to have this set up- and guess what? After 3 hours standing outside talking and now 30 minutes on the phone, they decide they do not in fact have static IPs available for U-verse customers. I ask the phone lady to call the rep I talked to and figure out who's right. after another 5 minutes on hold, she says his source was mistaken, and he will correct whoever he talked to. So I cancel the service I just signed up for because it didn't provide the only feature I requested. I'm not sure what's more disappointing:

  • The fact that NO ONE seemed to know what a static IP was
  • The sales rep was given the run around just like us customers
  • They apparently don’t offer this very simple service
  • The fact that most of the support people couldn’t find this information
  • They charge $15/mo whereas Jasnet charged a one-time $15 fee
  • That the sales rep probably misled me to get the sale so he could get a comission
  • So, if anyone knows of an ISP in Madison Heights, MI that offers a static IP, decent upload speed, no blocked ports all at a decent price, please let me know.

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