Thursday, February 24, 2005

I Remembered My Lunch Today

For some, remembering to take their lunch to work is second nature, for me, however, it is a monumental accomplishment. My wife makes the best dinners, and I often want to bring them to work for lunch, but there is a problem. More often than not, I forget to even make the lunch, adding to that is that once the lunch is made, I often forget it in the morning. Since I seem to always forget, I get discouraged from actually preparing the lunch in the first place. Even sometimes, when I remember to bring the lunch to work, I forget to eat it. That won’t be the case today; I have a nice container of crab soup in the refrigerator that I’ve been looking forward to all day. Amy made it for me last night and I actually remembered to grab it on the way out this morning.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Washington’s Birthday (Presidents Day)

Working on a Federal government contract has its benefits, as in being off on Federal holidays. Having no real plans for the day, I decided sometime this morning to take Alex on a little trip down to DC. I wasn’t sure of the weather, so, it may have ended up being a trip on the Metro to Union Station and back, but it was looking rather nice out, so I decided to stop at the Farragut North station on the way home and take the half mile walk to the White House with Alex, it is Presidents Day after all.

I snapped a few pictures, starting with Alex on the Metro:

Alex liked riding on the Metro Trains, on the trip down, he fell asleep, but all the excitement of trains at Union Station and a little coke, sure did wake him up.

Alex in front of the White House:

Alex's legs were getting a little tired by the time we got to the White House, he wanted to sit for a little bit. He wanted to get the squirrels that were inside the White House fence, I had to tell him to get down off the fence.

And Alex in front of a truck he really liked:

If you know Alex, he enjoyed being photographed in front of that truck a lot more than the one in front of the White House. The truck was part of a construction crew working on Pennsylvania Ave in front of the White House.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

First week on the job

The first week on the job went pretty well. On Tuesday I was able to help solve a major problem with a connection from our Microsoft Exchange system to another agencies Novel GroupWise system that is being migrated to our servers. Anyway, I’m not very familiar with GroupWise, so my troubleshooting probably took longer than it should have, that and the fact that it was my second day on the job. It turned out that a directory on the Novel server was missing, this happened to be the directory where the Exchange GroupWise connector dropped the messages.

Another problem at work is an extremely slow Exchange server, which happens to be the main mailbox server for the department. While it will eventually be replaced with some newer systems, that won’t be for a few months. Several times a day users will receive the “Outlook is Requesting Data” pop up box. Where I used to work, if that happened, it was a major issue. At the DOT, it has been going on so long that people are really starting to complain about it. I started really working on the issue on Friday, but couldn’t get very far, one of the main performance counters that I would look for in this situation, is disabled, the physical disk performance object. The problem does seem to be in the disk sub system, but I can’t say for sure without the counters. Added to that, the system is geoclustered, something that I’d never do for a mission critical system, but I guess I’m stuck with it. One of the links to the disks in the other building is down, this could be causing a problem with the synchronous mirroring and making the disks run slow, thus making the Exchange server slow.

The biggest change about my job is the commute; I’m back on the MARC train that makes the trip two hours door to door, compared to my old commute of about an hour in the car. It will work out in the end to cost me a little less, and, in the morning I get an extra hour or so of sleep on the way, but I’m sure it will get to me after a while. I’m glad I got the three weeks vacation, taking that time off will sure be nice.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

First Ebay Sale

I had a Microsoft Xbox that didn’t work right; it wouldn’t read the discs properly. I was looking into fixing it but it was going to cost $50 for a new DVD drive, and then my time or money to get it put in with no guarantee it would work. Amy bought me Knights of the Old Republic for my birthday and I really wanted to play it so I went out and bought a new Xbox. The question was, what to do with the old Xbox, so, I looked on Ebay, and saw Broken Xboxes going for anywhere from $50 to $75 or more. I put up a ten day auction for my broken Xbox and it sold for $91 with $10 shipping. I couldn’t believe it, I had set a buy it now price of $75, and it surpassed even that. Now, I have to ship the thing, it will probably have to wait until Saturday since I just started a new job and don’t have access to a post office.

Monday, February 14, 2005

First Day at New Job

Today is my first day at my new job. I’m on another federal government contract down in Washington DC. It has been a fairly unproductive day, as you might expect for one’s first day on the job. Most importantly, I don’t have admin rights on my computer yet. Its driving me a little crazy because it forces me to use IE instead of FireFox. I also can’t install any messengers, not even MSN. I can, however, access my blog, so I figured I would write this update.

Not unexpected, but still, rather disappointing, is the quality of the PC I was issued. It is a Gateway E Series, 2.4ghz with 512 megabytes of memory and a 17” CRT. The real problem for me is the CRT, it is a little on the small side, and doesn’t support resolutions above 1024x768. That is going to take some getting used to when working on those design diagrams, my last job I had two flat panel monitors running 1024x768 each, and at home, my two flat panels run 1600x1200 each.

The commute wasn’t so bad, I found that I can still fall asleep on the train in the morning. I’ll probably be bored out of my mind on the way home though. I should be catching the 5:10pm train that should put me home around 6:30 or so. I’ll have to see, it has been a while since I’ve taken the train in and out of DC.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Firefox Configuration

A co-worker sent me this in e-mail. Talk about helpful, about:config sure will save the manual modification of the .js files.

Run Firefox? Have broadband? Here's Speed Tips

Here's something for broadband people that will really speed up

1.Type "about:config" into the address bar and hit return.
Scroll down and look for the following entries:
Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

2. Alter the entries as follows:
Set "network.http.pipelining" to "true"
Set "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to "true"
Set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to some number like 30.
This means it will make 30 requests at once.

3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set its value to "0". This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives. If you're using a broadband connection you'll load pages MUCH faster now!

New Game : Madden NFL 2005

I started playing a new game on the Xbox recently, Madden NFL 2005. I didn’t think I’d get into it as much as I have. I bought it because it was only $20, but I’ve gotten hooked, especially since starting the franchise game as the Ravens. I was 2-2 in preseason, but so far, I’m 9-0 in the regular season. Even though some of the games have been too close for my liking, I’m hoping to go perfect, at least perfect in the AFC North. I whipped up on the Jets 65 to 14 in my last game. I’m ranked #1 in everything but rushing. Most of the defenses the CPU controls are really good at defending the run, or ate least I’m no good. Early on, play action would confuse me more than it would the CPU defense, but now I’ve got it figured out. Anyway, I’m really enjoying this game.