Archive for October, 2004

Thoughts on the 2004 US Election

October 22, 04 by kenrich

Recently, I have been following an election predictor that attempt to predict the outcome of the presidential election based on polls of
likely voters from each state. Earlier this week, the polls indicated a definite Kerry advantage and just in two days have switched to a Bush advantage.

Another story indicated that many undecided voters tend to vote for the underdog when it comes down to election day. This may explain why the voting has changed the way it has. But we still have 10 more days until election day and both candidates are in good position to take the election.

It amazes me that so many people would support Bush when he has
demonstrated time-and-time again that he only cares about helping rich people and big business (corporations). Not only has he done very little to help the poor and less fortunate (and yes, middle class this includes you), but amazingly, he has put into legislation, new laws that hurt the majority of the people. One example of this is the law he passed forbidding sick people to import medications from Canada. This harmful law was compounded by barring imports of flu shots from the Great White North.

And as for the “middle-class” moniker that Bush likes to throw around. In his eyes, you aren’t middle class unless you make at least 200K per year. Notice how he never even mentions the lower class in his speeches and how he stammers when asked if he would raise the minimum wage. It’s time for people to wake up and take back the country into their own hands.

Simple Windows Apps in Dot Net

October 12, 04 by kenrich

I have been writing some small windows applications in Dot Net (using the C# programming language.) I started working on a password manager that will live in the system tray and allow you to have a handy storage for all of your passwords in one place. Not exactly the most secure of applications but it gives me a good introduction to the file system classes and doing encryption and authentication.

My second project is to develop a “word search” puzzle generator that will generate simple word searches. This will simply generate a grid and randomly place words within the grid. Eventually, I will make it so that you can actually circle words and save puzzles. Of course I will also allow you to print out puzzles.

This second project was a good introduction to the drawing routines and event handlers. I needed to add a special event handler to draw the word search. The user may re-generate a word search simply by hitting a button on the top of the screen. Eventually, I will
create a dictionary of random words and probably store this in an XML file for easy manipulation. The word search can randomly pick words from this file to build a different puzzle every time.

I noticed that certain fonts take longer to render (most like True-Type fonts or maybe this is due to font smoothing). I will have to do a little research on this to get it working perfectly. If either of these programs ever gets to a stable state, I will be contributing them to the open-source community via SourceForge.

Starting to Learn Dot Net

October 10, 04 by kenrich

I have just started work on a dotNet project with the intention of helping myself to learn dotNet. Unlike my typical programming, this time I am programming a standard Windows application instead of a web application.

This is a very simple application that will allow you to store a
collection of usernames and passwords. Then by using one single password, you can access your password collection.

The password manager will always be available to you by placing an icon in the system tray (on the bottom right of the screen). So when you minimize or close the application it will go back to the tray. Opening the password manager will require you to login again.

Some of the technologies I am learning are: System I/O, array manipulation, forms programming, state management, encryption and authentication. Although I am only scratching the surface of these technologies, it is a good learning experience for dotNet. I hope to get certified by Microsoft as a dotNet developer very soon in the future.

Once the project is complete, I will probably release it into the public domain via SourceForge.net. It should be a good tool that many will find useful and should drive some traffic to my business site.

Is This Deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize?

October 08, 04 by kenrich

Today, I just found out that the Nobel Peace Prize went to an activist in Africa (female and black) who is on a mission to plant one million new trees to save the African forests. I had no idea that this is where the Nobel Peace Prize would be awarded. We hardly get any news from Aftrica on the national news here in America.

Most american news is all domestic issues and the middle east. It’s very rarely that Asia, Australia, South America or Africa are mentioned. I am studying dotNet developement where I can. My plan is to take the Microsoft certification exams for dotNet to help improve my carreer. So far I have just started out but it is proving to be interesting to study.

Work is busy as ever. Lately I have mastered a new technique for doing efficient searches of large amounts of data. The technique was developed by my former boss as a way to search the large player rosters and team contacts for sports teams. I am applying this to a couple of search scripts that I had written quite a while ago and the results have been promising. I just have a little bit more work to finish it up … so I better get back to work!

President Bush Should be Impeached

October 07, 04 by kenrich

I’m really glad that President Bush tells me the world is much safer. He insists in every speech that he gives that we should feel more secure and relax thanks to the hard work of George Bush.
It’s a good thing I don’t have to worry about kidnappings over in Iraq or how many americans get killed by road-side bombs and suicide attacks. And of course, I don’t have to worry about how many Americans get their heads chopped off or how many of our allies are kid-napped and murdered.

I can see how much safer the world is when I see scores of young children brutally murdered by our own attempts to kill a handfull of Iraqi insurgents by bombing entire buildings. Of course I agree that the insurgents need to be stopped.

I used to wonder why the Iraqi people were so mad at us after all that we did for them. But now I realize that we are just turning their entire country into a battleground. People are missing out on the basic needs that we take for granted. Their are drastic shortages of water, electricity and gasoline. Add to this, that their country has been robbed of their national treasures, parks and security. The insurgents are bread due to the pitiful conditions that they must continually endure.

At the beginning of the war, our fearless president talked about winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. And to that end, the president went about establishing a huge national police force. But he neglected to make sure that peoples basic everyday needs were being met. People are still lacking for food, water, electricity and homes.

George Bush says the world is a much safer place, but what he is really saying is that America is a much safer place. That is, until the world makes a collective decision that the world would be a safer place without America. George Bush has continued to alienate many countries throughout the world, even some of our closest allies have completely lost their respect for us. It is imperitive for our country to make a change and “make right” all of the wrongs we have done.

Configuring a New Dell Laptop

October 01, 04 by kenrich

Last night I had a problem with my laptop computer where it was freezing up when I tried to open an application or just browse the web. I thought my computer was toast because I had just installed a new notebook hard drive and everything had been working fine before.

At first I thought that the hard drive was bad, but then I noticed that some pixels on the screen would get discolored right before the crash. After thinking about it for a while, I thought maybe the video driver that I was using (the default one installed by windows can really mess you up.) I checked out the event viewer to see if there was any information on this error. Sure enough I found some errors from the video driver in there.

I carefully went to the Dell support Web site to download the latest
“Dell-supported” drivers for the NVidia GeForce Go 2. It was like walking on eggshells. I was afraid my laptop would crash any second. Luckily, I was able to download and install the drivers on the first try. My computer worked perfectly thereafter. This is a good lesson for those upgrading their own laptop.

Of course, it would have made things easier if I could have found the
original driver disks that came with my laptop originally. I almost
destroyed my new notebook hard drive when I tried to remove the adapter and I seriously torqued the two pins on the end of the connector. Thank God I was able to put it back and everything works perfectly well now.