Archive for December, 2005

Running Out of Disk Space

December 30, 05 by kenrich

So tonight I was analyzing my wife’s computer because she kept seeing a notice indicating that she was running out of space on her computer. After poking around the filesystem for a while, I determined that there were a huge number of files stored in her “My Documents” folder. At first, I thought this was my old profile that had been stored on the computer, but that didn’t take up much storage.

As it turned out, it was her profile that held over a half of a million files. In all, they totalled more than 12GB, although after waiting for 30 minutes, windows explorer had not finished counting the number of files or the amount of storage used. I thought maybe it was some virus or spyware that was creating tons of useless files on her drive. And then I thought maybe it was the Internet Explorer cached files.

So I went to “Tools” and then “Internet Options” in the Internet Explorer browser. I then clicked on delete files and checked the “delete all offline content” button. More than three hours later and her computer is still deleting files. It has cleared out more than 12 GB of cached content. Yes, it’s safe to say that my wife does a lot of surfing on the Internet. What makes this more amazing is that the computer is not that slow, the hard drive is a Western Digital Raptor (SATA) and the CPU is a 2.6GHz Pentium IV with Hyper Threading.

Take a Tour of the Ninth Ward

December 29, 05 by kenrich

Last night on the evening news they did a piece on tourists who are going to Louisiana to view the devestation and destruction of homes and lives. It’s bad enough that a business would have the audacity to try to make money by running tours through these blighted neighborhoods. But it’s sadder still when tourists themselves spend their money to be entertained by other’s misery and suffering.

I think episodes like this illustrate what is truly wrong with America today. Our priorities are totally out of wack. Don’t spend your money to tour an area of devestation. Instead, give your money to a reputable charity (and I’m not referring to the Red Cross here) or else use your time to help clean up or rebuild the area.

FEMA and our fearless president have shown how ineffectual our government can be. Even three months later, little has been done to find people temporary housing or cleaning of the worst-affected areas. Instead, focus is giving to rebuilding large corporate offices, casinos and the downtown business district. You might not have a bed to sleep on, or a roof over your head, but you can go down to the local House of Blues and get stone-cold drunk if you want.

Christmas Holiday is Over for Me

December 28, 05 by kenrich

I hope that everybody had a wonderful Christmas holiday. I had a nice 5-day holiday break although I had to use two of my vacation days to do so. A lot of companies gave their employees an entire week off for Christmas, but our company thought only one day was necessary.

Based on the traffic I see coming into and leaving work, it appears that at least half of the businesses in my area are taking an entire week off. Perhaps they are in a different line of business where being there week-in and week-out is not so important. We have a ton of work here and it is good to think that I have some job security here.

I received a lot of nice gifts from my family this Christmas and so did my two little girls. But more important than that, it was just really nice to be together as a family and spend some quality time together. I hope that you and your family did the same.

Crazy Housewives

December 20, 05 by kenrich

Just recently, China began broadcasting Desperate Housewives. But in doing so, they changed the title to “Crazy Housewives” and then censored some of the more risque scenes in the series. And of course, they dubbed all of the dialogue into Mandarin Chinese. Some of the words were changed in the translation to further water down the content.

I think the reason they decided to allow this show is that it portrays American suburbia as mis-guided and immoral which really appeals to Chinese authorities. Either that or this is just an experiment to see if giving it’s citizens shows like these will help to make their society more peaceful and less rebelious.

Consumers Revolt

December 19, 05 by kenrich

This article indicates that companies who fail to keep their customer’s information private are being punished by their consumers. Nearly 20% of customers cancel their account immediately after hearing about a company’s failure.

Estimates are that the bigger companies lose as much as $15 million dollars for each infraction due to consumer revolt. This is one of the few ways consumers can take action against big companies. Thus, we see it is important for consumers to protect their privacy. It is in all of our best interests to only deal with companies that run a respectable and honest business.

Code Launch Hell

December 13, 05 by kenrich

Something that really irritates me about my current work environement is that our senior developer has a nasty habit of launching an entire site and causing massive problems on our production server. Because our code is constantly evolving, we should be launching changes as we go along.

Recently, management made the decision to create multiple versions of the software much like a boxed software product would be done. Each version can be developed in parallel. However, we have blurred the lines and don’t really have rigid definitions of what constitutes version 1.0 and what belongs in 2.0. Often times, code is copied into an older or newer version when it doesn’t really belong there.

This morning when I arrived at work, I noticed a lot of changes had been made to our web application. Lots of the pages just didn’t work and produced errors when I tried to load the page. Most of these errors were due to changes in a new version of our software. They were mostly bad arguments to stored procedures or unexpected results from procedures. I just wish the senior developer would take the time to check some of the code that gets launched. I would also like to see major code launches be done late at night when the site receives less traffic and customers and clients are less-likely to see how screwed up the site is. It’s mistakes like these that prevent our company from being more successful.

How Hard Should You Work?

December 07, 05 by kenrich

This recent blog post discusses the type of attitude you should have about how you are being compensated for your job. It emphasizes that you should work hard no matter if you feel you are underpaid or mis-treated. Of course, I had to add my thoughts on this matter.

You have to balance the amount of work piled on you with your personal sanity. It doesn’t make sense to kill yourself to keep pace with arbitrary deadlines. Do whatever you feel comfortable with and don’t push yourself too hard. Also, you need to recognize the implications of working overtime might have on your family, friends and personal life.

The company I work for could easily double it’s work force and still have tons of work for everybody. I have a ton of work on my plate and no end in sight. It’s not exactly the best situation, but I get paid okay. The problem is that management has no clue about how much work goes into my everyday job tasks. It’s hard to raise your salary without impressing upon your management about this.

Spam and Sober-Z Virus

December 05, 05 by kenrich

Lately, the Internet has been hit with a ton of spam. The culprit is a new work that is delivered via e-mail called “Sober-Z”. You have probably seen the e-mail before which reads something like:

You’re activity has been monitored
Stop visiting illegal web sites.

And the e-mail is usually sent from fbi.gov or cia.gov. Sent along with this e-mail is an attachment containing the worm. When opened, it will use your entire address book to send out spam to other users on the internet. Because the spam is being sent out from computer users and not a centralized server, the virus is that much harder to defeat.

With any luck, users will update their computers or install the latest virus scanner to block proliferation of this virus. I created Microsoft Outlook rules to filter out all of the garbage in my Inbox. I reject any e-mail that doesn’t contain my address in the To: box and also any e-mail that contains one of my “spam keywords” if it wasn’t sent to me from someone in my distribution list.

My New Work Computer Has Arrived

December 05, 05 by kenrich

I finally got a new computer here at work. It’s blazing fast compared to my outdated 1GHz pentium III box. I’ve been making good use of it to catch up on the mountain of bugs that are piled on my plate. I hope to get caught up sometime in 2006.

Business has been really good here. The end-of-the-year is a particular busy time for us here (but then, we always have plenty of work to do around here). With the addition of some new clients, we look to be really busy for the foreseeable future. Maybe soon, they will consider hiring on some new developers in order to catch up with all of the extra work (yeah probably not.)

This weekend I went out to eat with my family and had a very good time. The weather has gotten particularly cold in the past couple of weeks. Of course, it’s nothing compared to other parts of the country where they are knee-deep in snow. Sometimes, it gets so cold here that I can’t stand to wear shorts and a t-shirt when I go out at night.