Archive for the 'General' Category

Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam

Saturday, October 2nd, 2004

The Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam…so you too can monitor hot, real live magma action!!!

This is not what you want to see on your way home from work

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004


There goes my plans about getting a sedan like car.

So, Tuesday evening, I was blissfully unaware of the horrendous flooding, the tornado which struck a few miles (if that) from my office, and the rain. My 12 minute commute with the Wilmington traffic took over an hour. Actually I wasn’t blissfully unaware, but I was unaware that the road going to my house would look like that (and I didn’t find out about the tornado until after I arrived home). The numerous people I saw parked on the side of the road freaking out on their cell phones should have given me a clue.

The worst part about yesterday was finding the flooded out road and then trying the back way home. Thank god there was a back way. However, when I was taking the back way, I ran into yet another stream 20 feet across or so roaring across the road. This time there was a monster Ford F-150 parked in front of the stream, with a man standing outside in the stream figuring out that at it’s deepest point the stream was to his knees. So, I watched him get back to his truck, and drive across. Then another SUV came from the opposite direction and was able to make it. So, just panicked at the thought that if I didn’t cross then, the local flooding would get worse, and I wouldn’t see my daughter that night, I said a prayer and drove across.

Thankfully I made it, I got to see my daughter and the worst part about last night was that the DSL went out. I know other folks who didn’t get home or their cars were flooded.

Elkins, et al. v. Microsoft Corp.

Monday, September 27th, 2004

Has any other past or present Vermonter gotten a notice in the mail of this class action lawsuit? I recieved mine last weekend and after taking a cursory lookover, it appears that a couple of Vermonters filed a class action lawsuit versus Microsoft alleging violations of the Vermont Consumer Fraud Act.

Anyway, it appears that in order to get a voucher from Microsoft (a whopping $12 for each license of Windows 95/98/98 SE or $5.00 for each purchase of DOS, Windows 1.0-3.2, Windows for workgroups, Windows NT/2000/2000 Professional or Word, Excel and Office - up to Office 2000) You have to supply a serial number if claiming 6 or more copies. Then, after getting your voucher, you’ll need to go to the Settlement Administrator to get reimbursed up to the face value of the voucher for purchasing Qualifying Hardware or Software. One could get reimbursed for purchasing a Mac, desktop, laptop or even a Tablet PC.

There are more fine print details in the accompanying paperwork, including the fact that if less than $9,700,000 in vouchers are claimed, then Microsoft will issue vouchers to schools in which 50% or more of the students get free or reduced price meals. Of course the value of the vouchers issued to these schools will only be 50% of the difference between the vouchers claimed by class members and the 9.7 million settlement amount.
Suffice it to say, I highly doubt that there are enough class members to hit that 9.7 million mark, so basically, we’re going to see Microsoft only pay a fraction of the settlement money in the end.

The only information I found about this lawsuit online were some older Vermont Supreme Court arguements (scroll down) whose audio links are borked. It is amusing though that the audio links are in .wma format. And a press release at

15-inch PowerBook G4 Display Repair Extension Program

Monday, September 27th, 2004

FAQ found here. And yup, my PowerBook has had a white spot ever since I got it, and today with a darkened desktop I noticed that there are a few more developing white spots.

My 1GHZ is covered by the program, but I dread sending it to Apple for repairs.

Comment Moderation Now In effect

Friday, September 17th, 2004

You can thank the guy behind the script using hijacked IPs,, and

unapologetic nerdery

Sunday, September 12th, 2004

Rate My Network Diagram

Just because Wired’s shift key is stuck

Tuesday, August 17th, 2004

does not mean we all have to follow.

In other words, on my blog, the words Internet, Web and Net will still be capitalized in postings. Those nouns, to me, do not represent a mere publishing system, but they denote places. Places where *I* exist. Places where I have existed for the last decade. And in proper English place names are capitalized.

However, I will note that isn’t it interesting that a Web magazine is declaring that the Internet, Web and Net are “another medium for delivering and receiving information”. Well duh…for Wired is the electronic version vastly different than the paper version? Not really — for Wired, it’s all about delivering content to consumers.

What were they thinking?

Friday, August 13th, 2004

For some reason, I don’t think it was the smartest move in the world for the Google founders to give an interview in Playboy. Not merely because the publication could taint their IPO, but what about branding?

National Hurricane Center NOAA Atlantic storm feeds

Friday, August 13th, 2004

I have been following Charley’s forecast via NOAA, when I discovered that the National Hurricane Center NOAA offers RSS feeds for their Atlantic and Pacific storm forecasts. Pretty cool.

Atlantic storms
Atlantic storms (SP)
Pacific storms

Stupid Ebay Phishing scam

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004

You know, my first thought when recieving this sad example of an Ebay phishing scam wasn’t “Oh wow, someone is trying to rip me off!”, instead it was “oh how terribly stupid this non-obfuscated tripod based URL looks”.

From Tue Aug 10 04:13:10 2004
Return-path: my mailserver
Envelope-to: my email
Delivery-date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 04:09:46 -0400
Received: from my mailserver with local-bsmtp (Exim 4.34)
id 1BuRhQ-0000Dg-45
for my email; Tue, 10 Aug 2004 04:09:44 -0400
Received: from [] (
by my mailserver with esmtp (Exim 4.34)
id 1BuRhP-0000DZ-BJ
for my email; Tue, 10 Aug 2004 04:09:35 -0400
Received: from SRWEBW201 ( []) by with SMTP (Microsoft Exchange Internet Mail Service Version 5.5.2448.0)
id NNKG38CC; Tue, 10 Aug 2004 09:54:55 +0200
X-Mailer: DevMailer v1.5 (c) 2000
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 10:04:03 +0200
To: my email
Subject: Ebay Account Updates! DB0ZZL
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
( on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 at 10:04:01
Dear Ebay Member,
We at Ebay are sorry to inform you that we are having problems with the
billing information of your account. We would appreciate it if you would
visit our website
and fill out the proper information that we are needing to keep you as an
Ebay member.
If you think you have received this email as an error, please visit our
and fill out the neccesary information. That way we can make
sure that everything is up to date! Again here is the link to
our website. Ebay Billing Center

Joe Watson
Ebay Billing Center
Rep ID. 32A
Thank you for your business.
The Ebay Staff. X9N9WD

I’m not a regular Ebay user, but I did report this to the Ebay folks at Surprisingly enough, Ebay has a simple tutorial on how to spot spoof emails. I was impressed.


Monday, August 9th, 2004

Yes, I know the blog looks like crap. I was in the middle of changing the tagged ul and li markup to div, however, I just discovered to my chagrin that wordpress apparently generates archive and category links with li tags.

I have to look up and see if this behavior is mentioned in the support documentation. bah.

UPDATE: I “routed around” the elements having automatically generated li tags by adding “list-style-type: none;” to my CSS. Ugh.

Traveling Logistics

Thursday, August 5th, 2004

I recently returned from a birthday trip to South Florida. I have to say that I had a great time and surprisingly enough, I do believe it was hotter in Pennsylvania while I was gone than in South Florida.

Since my last trip down there, Southwest Airlines started service between Philly and Ft. Lauderdale and all I have to say is that they just won over a life long customer. I *heart* Southwest Airlines. Thank you for coming to Philly Southwest Airlines. Not only did both of my flights arrive early, but the employees actually made flying pleasurable. (Yes, I do like cheery flight attendants and ground crew who get on the PA system and wish you a good flight.) And I think the best part was when I arrived home at PHL on Tuesday night, my bag made it to baggage claim faster than the time it took me to walk from the gate to baggage claim. How about that for service?

I only wish my car rental experience was as good. It wasn’t the company, which was Hertz (20% discount for AAA members), it was the car. I have two words of advice. Do not rent a “sporty” KIA. Do not rent a sporty KIA when you will be driving in South Florida during the rainy season and you hear the local weather people mention “urban flooding”. South Florida roads apparently do not have good drainage. I learned that the hard way.