The bad news is my Internet was down most of the day. Storms tend to do that to DSL, but it turns out the line was just unplugged. Doh!

The good news is this thing somehow completely missed Orlando.. the strangest prediction route was actually the most accurate. But.. you know even if it had hit us, I still wouldn't have cared. It's not even a hurricane yet (it's supposed to strengthen and come back way north of us). I'm totally desensitized after the 2004 season. Charlie knocked out our power for a week, Francis for the better part of a day, and Jeanne actually did a complete loop in the Atlantic before nailing Orlando for the third time in six weeks. I just slept through that one. pfft.. don't even tell me unless it's a Category 4. Seriously.

8/12/2004 - Charlie

8/12/2004 - Charlie

8/12/2004 - Charlie

9/1/2004 - Francis

9/24/2004 - Jeanne

9/24/2004 - Jeanne

In other news, President Bush made a statement today that because of the diversity in America, all nations should be rooting for the US in the Olympics. "When we win, you all win!" (ok not really, but it would be amusing)

ps: I forgot that I had set the site slogan to "cones, cubes, spheres, and more!" from Cheesy Invaders. "It's the cheesiest!" I think it's funny though, so it's staying on my news feed.

1) I uploaded a lot of my California trip pictures. You can view them here:

Unfortunately its database is corrupt so a lot of pictures won't show. I decided the easiest way to fix it is to start over once Gallery 2.3 is released, so you'll have to wait a while. There's a number of reasons, but I won't bore you with details.

2) I had upgraded Cyrix with two 750 GB hard drives (RAID-1) with the intention of putting its two 500 GB drives in my computer. My existing drives were a disaster waiting to happen as they dated back to 2000 and I had no backups..

Anyway I just replaced the three IDE drives in my computer with one of the SATA drives. The other 500 GB drive is in an external enclosure I bought for $21 after rebates. This has several advantages:
a) My old drives combined were still smaller than 500, so I have more space.
b) My system is much quieter (two of the old drives were noisy)
c) My boot time is cut in half. Half. Stupid Grub.
d) There's less heat, and it uses less power (one drive instead of three = ~20W)
e) The disaster-waiting-to-happen has been averted - I have backups!
f) The SATA 1 port is a dedicated 150 MB/s link to the Northbridge - no longer do my three hard drives share the limited 133 MB/s PCI bandwidth with my 100 mbps full duplex network connection to Cyrix. This might improve performance under heavy load..
g) The drives themselves support SATA 2, so they are forward compatible with a newer Core 2 MB upgrade if I go that route (I considered this when I originally bought them for Cyrix)

Short version.. I updated my contact form to include an anonymous feedback mode that doesn't ask for your name/email:

Long version.. sardonic Facebook commentary. Read more if you want.

For those who didn't know, I went on a road trip in California last December. We took many pictures which I still mean to post (this doesn't count!!), so here's one I was just working on (ps my picture to the right on the home page was taken in Death Valley as part of this trip):


The problem was that my friend accidentally covered part of it. This was disappointing because it was the best version available, so here's the procedure I used to fix it.
(click the picture or keep reading to see the fixed version)

I love how something can be critically wrong with my website.. since June 7'th.. and no one notices. An update to the access control module hid all the content.. however the website likes me, so gave me full access and I never realized it was down. Apparently neither did anyone else. Anyway it's fixed now.

It's always nice to know that illegally exporting weapons to Sudan carries a similar sentence to running a bittorrent tracker. I mean it's unfortunate that the Janjaweed are committing genocide and have driven millions from their homes, but it would be simply intolerable if they also saw a bootleg copy of Star Wars that didn't cost the industry anything.

Search Warrants Uncover Two Illegal CDs and an iPod

FLORIDA, June 5, 2008 -- The U.S. Secret Service, assisted by the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) Florida Anti-Piracy Unit, executed two search and seizure warrants in Orlando and Gainesville in the break up of a massive counterfeit music operation. Approximately 2 recorded CD-Rs and an iPod containing "dozens" of songs were seized from both the Orlando and Gainesvill locations. The actions were taken on May 29, 2008.

Equipment seized from the Orlando location included a single 32-speed CD-R burner, one computer monitor, one computer, one inkjet printer, two trash cans, and a pen. The music genre seized was primarily Urban Contemporary, and included artists such as Santana and the Beatles.

"On behalf of our member companies and the artists they represent, I’d like to thank the U.S. Secret Service for the tremendous efforts they put forth to address this highly egregious operation," said Frank Creighton, Senior Vice President, RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit. "A seizure of this magnitude could not have been achieved without their timely and professional investigation and dedication of precious resources. For that, we are extremely grateful."

This illegal operation had the potential to produce almost 120000 illicit CD-Rs a year. The estimated yearly loss of revenue to the recording industry due to this operation would have been in excess of $ 1.8 million.

Charges are currently pending against the two students involved in the operation.

The MAFIAA is a trade association whose members steal, monopolize and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States. The Anti-Piracy division of the RIAA investigates any production and distribution of sound recordings that might not cost the music industry anything. Consumers, retailers and replicators can report suspected music piracy such as signing "Happy Birthday" in public to the RIAA by dialing a toll-free hotline, 1.800.BAD.BEAT, or sending email to or

The above is a parody of this, but those are realistic damages they'd claim for a single 32x cd burner. It's 4% of what they claimed for 102 8x cd burners. Assuming 1 drive burning 4 times faster and you get something like the figures I used. How a single illicit CD incurres a loss of over $60k is anyone's guess. Comments?


Before I begin, understand that it's illegal to break into computers without authorization. Laws vary by location, but it's at least a third degree felony in Florida, and it's a second degree felony if you cause harm. Don't do it. That said, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to reset a password, and the same approach can also be used for data recovery and making other configuration changes when normal access methods fail. I actually messed up my boot config yesterday and had to do something like this to fix it. Just don't be an idiot because you can lose data or worse - I'm not responsible for how you use this information.

You might recall that I restored my web mail form a few months ago. Unfortunately, even though it's a custom script used only on one other website, spammers will stop at nothing to ruin every communication feature on the Internet. The guy managing ACM's website added a CAPTCHA to theirs, so I thought it would be a good idea to do the same to mine after getting a few unwanted emails. Check it out:

It looks the same as the CAPTCHA used elsewhere on this site. Registered users won't see it because there's no need. I also enhanced the email confirmation page so you can't keep refreshing it to send multiple emails. It gives the same confirmation, but with a notice that the email was already sent. Hopefully these changes will prevent further abuse.

In other changes, I recently took over 1 KB off the main style sheet for this site. You shouldn't notice any speed changes, but it's more efficient and easier to maintain.

Alt title: "Little Me"
a poem about how I feel and my disgust at others apathy.

This poem is an attempt to convey how I feel about everything and has been inspired by my life so far. Everything in this is true, though edited for style. I got the idea about a year ago by writing a few lines, and the rest just kind of came together. It's been a work in progress since then. It could still use minor work, but I'm pretty proud of it. Enjoy!

Syndicate content