A While

Posted by Thomas Fri, 25 Mar 2005 12:49:28 +0000

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so here we go.

First, I wanted to say that the reason that I was up so late a while ago (this post) was because I was working on a little pet project. I call it Firewire Debian. It’s a little bootable cd that essentially boots Linux on an Intel machine off of an external firewire or usb hard drive. It’s not so big a deal about usb booting, but moreso for booting off of firewire. Apple has had it for a while, as I understand, but not so much for Intel-type products. You can check out my preliminary documentation here. It could use some polishing, and it may be quite wordy, but, hey, all the info is there. If you really wanted to try and replicate what I did, then I believe that you could. I haven’t posted the ISO, but if anybody wants it, then I can upload it and post a link to it.

I worked a little bit in Houston yesterday (Monday) doing some simple tech support stuff for MUD71. The best part of that was probably getting to eat lunch and hang out with Josh Masterson. I had to drive down to Sugarland to get there, but it was worth it. (It’s weird to realize halfway through a thought that the person that you are talking about is going to read this later on today…) Then I drove back to CS, which was quite an adventure. I usually don’t have issues driving in traffic, but between not having a good deal of quarters to pay for tolls and not really knowing the best way to get back, I had issues for a while. I don’t know how many times I had to turn around, but it was WAY TOO MANY! I usually knew where approximately where I needed to be going but was having a hard time figuring out how to get from point A to point B, even though I could see point B. Traffic was heavy and fast, but that just meant that I got to have some fun while driving fast.

Well, after what has seemed like forever, I finally have gotten a few leads on jobs. And they all have come at once… (When it rains it pours.) So, I had a phone interview with Perot Systems on Wednesday. Just before the interview was supposed to happen, I got an email from Google, saying that they wanted to setup a phone interview, too. So, I have that one a little later on today. After the interview with Perot, they wanted a face to face interview, to I have a team interview with them on Monday in Plano. Man, I guess it was a good thing that I wasn’t planning on going home for Easter. I also had a lead with a Java job, but I think that I’m going to pursue these systems admin positions, as that’s really where I want to be heading, job wise.

Posted in General, Technology | 2 Comments

Up too late

Posted by Thomas Thu, 10 Mar 2005 14:56:04 +0000

You know that you are up too late when you are racing home to beat the sunrise, Kolache Rolf’s is open, and Copy Corner is closed.

Posted in General | 2 Comments

So you want to ask her out

Posted by Thomas Wed, 09 Mar 2005 17:52:46 +0000

Drew wrote this for his Lunch Bible Study. I couldn’t pass up posting it here. And now, for your reading enjoyment, “So you want to ask her out”.

♥ So you want to ask her out ♥

This document is a description of the Drew Gibson methodology for asking a female out on a date. This method has been rigorously researched and tested by Drew. Though it has had many successful implementations, your mileage may vary. This document does not describe how to make an initial pick-up of a woman (Are those moon pants? Because you’re butt is out of this world), but is instead for usage upon unsuspecting female friends or casual acquaintances.

The approach
When asking a girl out, I prefer to do it in person. Telephone is acceptable, however instant messenger or e-mail is just weak. Before the approach, make sure you are neatly groomed. For example, among other things, make sure your hair is not messed up and your fly is zipped up. Basically you don’t want to make it any harder for her than is has to be to say (possibly) yes. You don’t have to get all dressed up, just be your normal presentable self.
I prefer to do the actual asking out while you are both alone unless you want to make your humiliation or successful procurement of a date public. So get her alone and initiate conversation to butter her up. I prefer Country Crock. It shouldn’t be deep soul searching conversation, just chit-chat, perhaps about cool that Drew Gibson guy is.

Going in for the kill
After you have briefly chatted up your potential date, it is time to go in for the kill. There are a variety of ways to actually ask her out, but it is best to be direct about your intent. My preferred line is so “So anyway, I was wondering if you would like to go out on a date with me.” Saying things like, “Maybe we could catch a movie sometime,” or “Maybe we could get dinner some time,” may not get your point across. I feel it is best to say the word “date” somewhere in the supplication so she will know you intend it as one.
It is also best to avoid specifics when you ask her for a date. For instance:

You: “I was wondering if you would like to be my date to go see Wrestlemania this Saturday.”
Her: “Aww, I can’t. I’m going to see NASCAR up in Fort Worth this weekend.”

This is a malformed appeal because if she says no, then one cannot be certain what she was saying “no” to; your pathetic self or Wrestlemania. But in my experience, no woman can resist the siren call of Wrestlemania. Sure, if the girl is interested, she could say that she is free next weekend, but it is best to avoid specifics.

The response
If she says no, don’t take it to hard. You’re just an unattractive person who no one could ever love. There are plenty of other fish in the sea. Look on the bright side, instead of having to spend your Friday night paying for someone’s dinner and having awkward conversations with them, you can sit around in your underwear, eat chips, and play video games. Also, many people find sending a check to Drew in the amount they would have spent on a date very therapeutic.
If she says yes, then set down some specifics. You don’t necessarily have to nail down an itinerary, but try to set down a day. This is also a good time to get her phone number if you don’t know it already.

Posted in Women | 2 Comments

Job Hunt

Posted by laurie Tue, 08 Mar 2005 20:03:11 +0000

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Posted by Thomas Mon, 07 Mar 2005 21:44:34 +0000

Since there is that stuff going on between Syria and Lebanon, I figured that I could read up on some of the background history of the countries in the region. So, thanks to Wikipedia, I read up on the Lebanese Civil War, the Iranian Revolution, the Iran-Iraq War, and the Iran-Contra Affair. The CIA World Factbook was also a cool resource, especially for the maps.

I didn’t get a chance to work on the video for Crunchtime on Sunday, but that’s ok. Jeremy talked to Marc and I today about maybe some of where he wants it to go. I also finally got the pdf of the newsletter working. Carol emailed it everyone, so everybody can check out the newsletter in color. Also, I picked up the business cards that I had Kinkos print up. They didn’t quite turn out as well as I would have liked, but they’ll do.

Posted in General | 2 Comments

The top ten reasons why you should hire me

Posted by Thomas Mon, 07 Mar 2005 16:44:43 +0000

Here are the
Top Ten reasons why you should hire me as your next entry-level Linux System Administrator:

10. I have eaten breakfast from a vending machine.
9. I have used Debian GNU/Linux for over five years, starting my freshman year of college. I liked Debian before it was cool to like Debian. I’ve even made a few Debian converts. Yes, I may be a Debian zealot, but don’t let that scare you.
8. I have administered Debian GNU/Linux for that same timeframe, including setting up my own DNS, NFS, NIS, Samba, FTP, and Web services, just to name a few.
7. I work everyday on my own Debian GNU/Linux workstation. I am comfortable with, dare I say love, VIM, the command line, and editing flat config files.
6. I graduated in 4 years with a degree in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University.
5. I am a quick learner, a fast problem solver, and have a high attention to detail. I think that sys admin skills are sys admin skills. As such, it should be trivial to switch from one distro to another.
4. I can find just about anything on the internet, including finding solutions to problems other people can’t find and finding solutions to problems faster than most.
3. I eat, sleep, drink, and breathe Linux. I have literally found found bugs in my code in my sleep and have dreamed about kernel messages.
2. I make computers do what I tell them to do. They cower before my very presence. Many a friend has called on me to fix a problem that goes away as soon as I enter the room.
1. I am passionate about Linux and have an aptitude for its administration.

What I mean is that I think that I am a smart and hard worker and can do an awesome job. Somebody just needs to give me a chance. I know that I won’t let them down.

Posted in Technology | 3 Comments


Posted by Thomas Sat, 05 Mar 2005 23:46:09 +0000

Men’s Retreat was glorious. We stayed up last night ’til something like 3am debating about science and Christianity. I finally figured out that I’m not so sure that everybody really can think for themselves. Yeah, I’ll agree that in an ideal world, everybody should have a thorough thought process and reasoning behind their choices, actions, and decisions… but we’re not in an ideal world. So, I would say that there are a bunch of people who don’t care and even more that really can’t grasp all of the subtleties of certain concepts. Anyway, if you have some free time, I’m sure that Jeremy would love to argu^H^H^H^Hdiscuss it with you.

So, really what I was going to post were my accomplishments for the day. Primarily, I captured the second tape of video from Crunchtime, since I finally have space now to work with, since I setup the 250GB drive. I also figured out some stuff about aspect ratios, et. al. of the video, since the video that we took is in a 16:9 format. I had exported the slideshow in 4:3 without knowing it and now know how to export in 16:9 as it should be. I also cleaned up the Crunchtime Productions video, since the backwards part was generally crappy and choppy.

The job hunt still continues, but with no feedback. Although I did finally pick a business card layout that I liked and went to Kinkos to have them print them up. Tomorrow (after 7pm) we’ll see how that comes out.

Enough for now… I’m going to watch some West Wing.

Posted in General, Technology | 1 Comment

xfsdump and xfsrestore

Posted by Thomas Fri, 04 Mar 2005 15:05:16 +0000

xfsdump and xfsrestore to the rescue! I tried xfs_copy just before I left last night, but when I got back today and tried to mount it, the mount failed. So, I dug around some and found a couple of programs called xfsdump and xfsrestore. One apt-get command later, I had them both, as I didn’t have them before. I used xfsdump -J - / | xfsrestore -J - /new, as found on the xfsdump man page… 51 minutes later I have the data copied. Yay! And it mounts properly! And the best part is shown below:

[tlg1466@argento tlg1466]$ df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2             19998656   4253776  15744880  22% /
tmpfs                   257364         0    257364   0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda3            223074000  80541848 142532152  37% /home
/dev/sdb4            108998244  80562312  28435932  74% /mnt/sdb
[tlg1466@argento tlg1466]$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2              20G  4.1G   16G  22% /
tmpfs                 252M     0  252M   0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda3             213G   77G  136G  37% /home
/dev/sdb4             104G   77G   28G  74% /mnt/sdb4

I got my 12GB back! I’m so happy.

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Posted by Thomas Fri, 04 Mar 2005 15:03:24 +0000

I am officially posting that I am moving the blog over to chobas.com.

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New Hard Drive

Posted by Thomas Fri, 04 Mar 2005 02:14:00 +0000

My new Seagate 7200.8 250GB SATA drive came today! It took a trip home to grab a Molex to SATA power connector and four screws to get it properly installed. It took something like eight minutes to transfer the four Gigs of data from the old / to the new / partiton, and then another hour to transfer my data from the old /home to the new /home. It then took like four hours to figure out what exactly I needed to do to get lilo on the new drive properly. So, it’s working now (duh! from where do you think I am posting?), but I have one pretty big problem. I used the command time tar cflp - . | (cd /mnt/new_partition; tar xflp -) to copy the files. I found it some time ago from Usenet, before the bastardization of the interface by Google… :(. Anyway, check out the df:

Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2             19998656   4254016  15744640  22% /
tmpfs                   257364         0    257364   0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda3            223074000  93303252 129770748  42% /home
/dev/sdb4            108998244  80562312  28435932  74% /mnt/sdb4
[tlg1466@argento /]$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2              20G  4.1G   16G  22% /
tmpfs                 252M     0  252M   0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda3             213G   89G  124G  42% /home
/dev/sdb4             104G   77G   28G  74% /mnt/sdb4

Where the crap did those extra 12GB of data come from? This greatly disturbs me…
Just for kicks, I’ll give everybody the rest of the info about my drives:

[tlg1466@argento /]$ fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1         125     1004031   82  Linux swap
/dev/sda2             126        2616    20008957+  83  Linux
/dev/sda3            2617       30401   223183012+  83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdb: 122.9 GB, 122942324736 bytes
16 heads, 63 sectors/track, 238216 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 1008 * 512 = 516096 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1               1        2003     1009480+  82  Linux swap
/dev/sdb3            2004       21844     9999864   83  Linux
/dev/sdb4           21845      238216   109051488   83  Linux

[tlg1466@argento /]$ sudo xfs_info /dev/sda3
meta-data=/home                  isize=256    agcount=16, agsize=3487234 blks
         =                       sectsz=512
data     =                       bsize=4096   blocks=55795744, imaxpct=25
         =                       sunit=0      swidth=0 blks, unwritten=1
naming   =version 2              bsize=4096
log      =internal               bsize=4096   blocks=27244, version=1
         =                       sectsz=512   sunit=0 blks
realtime =none                   extsz=65536  blocks=0, rtextents=0
[tlg1466@argento /]$ sudo xfs_info /dev/sdb4
meta-data=/mnt/sdb4              isize=256    agcount=26, agsize=1048576 blks
         =                       sectsz=512
data     =                       bsize=4096   blocks=27262872, imaxpct=25
         =                       sunit=0      swidth=0 blks, unwritten=1
naming   =version 2              bsize=4096
log      =internal               bsize=4096   blocks=13311, version=1
         =                       sectsz=512   sunit=0 blks
realtime =none                   extsz=65536  blocks=0, rtextents=0

Posted in Technology | 1 Comment

Google and RSS

Posted by Thomas Thu, 03 Mar 2005 20:56:37 +0000

I wrote an email to a cool guy named Robert Cringely. Who knows if I’ll hear anything back from him. I bet that he receives a HUGE amount of email, and mine was pretty long and wordy… oh well, at least I tried to sound cool… :) Here it is:

Dear Mr. Cringely,

I am an avid reader of your weekly column and appreciate your insight into the bigger picture of the technology market. While I can only imagine the mountain of email that you must receive everyday, you are the only person that I thought might answer a weighty question that I have about that bigger picture: Why is it do you think that Google has as of yet to enter the RSS Reader market?

They already possess similar technology (their Groups and Gmail interfaces) that would allow them easy entry into this market, as well as their targeted advertising and their already large collection of RSS material. It seems to me that Google is missing out on this new way for people to interact with the internet. I cannot even speculate what Ask Jeeves will do next with Bloglines (my RSS reader of choice) or why Google might not have been interested in their acquiring their. I have never seen advertising from Bloglines but might guess that it is inevitable. I know that Google has a proven record providing relevant text ads and the ability to relate web sites to one another. This would not only provide a service to the user by providing good ads, but also by suggesting content similar for the user to read.

I honestly apologize for the length of this email, as it seems to have run away from me a bit. But, I hope that the length and wordiness have not undermined my little attempt at insight and relevance.

Thank you for your time,
Thomas Garner

Posted in Technology | 2 Comments

Penguin Computing

Posted by Thomas Wed, 02 Mar 2005 23:07:55 +0000

I applied with them today. They make awesome and cool Linux clusters. They’re in San Fran, CA, which isn’t the most ideal of things, but working for them would be awesome, I bet. Let’s see if I hear anything from them…

I wonder if I should apply with Google, too. They have some Junior to Intermediate Administrator job listings posted on their website. Those are also in Southern CA… :(

It seems to me that Southern California is looking like the place to be. Which maybe makes me wish that I hadn’t turned down that offer of relocation assistance to Southern CA.

Or maybe some federal-type job… but that would probably be on the other coast…

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MPEG2 vs DIVX DVD Burning Cost Analysis

Posted by Thomas Tue, 01 Mar 2005 23:35:58 +0000

Let’s see how huge of a nerd I am…

Here is a graph of the cost of burning X number of episodes.

Right around the 924th episode, it becomes cheaper to have bought a nice, new Philips DVP642 DivX-Certified Progressive-Scan DVD Player from Amazon.com for $69.99, than to have used your old DVD player and transcoded all of the episodes to MPEG2.

Say, for instance you like The West Wing. They are currently in the middle of their sixth season. You can either have 12 discs of awesome DIVX-ness, or 48 discs of MPEG2-ness, that amount to the same six seasons. Personally, I would prefer to have the 12 to the 48. Plus I would rather take the 1/2 hour per season burning the DIVX than the 13.5 hours transcoding and then burning the MPEG2.

Plus, you get the “just plain cool factor” of having a really sweet DVD player that plays DIVX.

Now, if only I had an awesome HD projector, Mac Mini, and 7.1 sound system for all my audio/visual needs…

Posted in Technology | 3 Comments