The Galactic Patrol

Saving the Universe from Boskone and Bugs

August, 2003

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    I hate cancer

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    I’m not sure how useful it is to hate a genetic flaw – but I found out recently that my mom has cancer.  Earlier this year I found out that my cousin Ben does too.   It really leaves me breathless, and asking myself those...
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    Athens PC and my phone

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    At the recent WinHEC conference, a prototype PC dubbed 'Athens' was unveiled.  One of its features is an attached phone; the computer is supposedly smart enough to mute its other sound output when the phone is in use. This seems very backward...
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    home ownership, sprinkler systems, and money

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    Here is an interesting story about home ownership; and perhaps, about responsibility, or cost-benefit analysis.  I can’t really say it has got a great moral – but it *is* funny.  Enjoy: http://www.unitedheroes.net/blogs/jr...
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    EverQuest: It's not just an adventure - it's a job

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    Here is a guy who ‘professionally’ makes real money off of virtual artifacts – apparently a good living!  Wow.

    http://www.juliandibbell.com/playmoney/ 

    ...
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    What is 6% of $250,000?

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     I read this blog entry from Chris Sells recently, describing his thoughts about real estate agent fees.  Having just sold one house and purchased another, I am completely sympathetic.  6% just seems like too high a vig to pay, just...
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    on vacation...

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    Starting today, I am on vacation, going to that * fabulous * vacation destination – West Virgina.  Maybe I can get a tour of the coal mines.  <grin>  Seriously, you can expect the blogging output to decline over the next...
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    stupid credit card tricks

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    In the link below, John Hargrave goes to great lengths in an attempt to get his credit card receipt signature rejected.  Unfortunately, he is unsuccessful; but the many and varied attempts sure crack me up!  I particularly liked this line...
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    Tech blogs, hosting, and personal expression

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    I was reading this link , about a guy who has an ASP.NET blog (i.e., hosted at http://weblogs.asp.net ), and he was concerned that his blog wasn’t in some sense technical enough for that forum.  I’ve thought a bit about that too; since...
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    Its a girl!

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     Gina and I went to Evergreen Hospital today for our week 20 ultrasound – you know, the one with legs and arms and toes.  * She * is quite an active little tyke, rolling around in her comfortable little cubby!  Yes, that’s...
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    The Learning Lifestyle

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    I just read Eric Sink’s ‘Career Calculus’ post that is making rounds on the blogs I frequent.  I’ll admit that when I first read it, I felt quite smug.  I thought to myself, “I’m always learning new stuff...
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    Howard Dean blog - revisited

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    The shine on the Howard Dean blog is wearing off for me.  Most of the posts aren’t by Dean himself, and seem pretty much boiler-plate rah-rah stuff.  (This seemed exciting at first, but is now getting a little old.)  The ones that...
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    fun with consumer electronics (and the perils of the super-remote)

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    So, I’m on vacation here at my in-laws, and I’m blogging of course.  It seems to be my new morning ritual, instead of reading the newspaper.  Anyway, there are hordes of kids running around everywhere, so to keep them entertained...
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    my bank account as an RSS feed?

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    You know, logically, the following idea has so many flaws – security, privacy, is it even really useful… and yet, I find it mysteriously alluring.  To watch in real-time the ebb and flow of my finances; to see how long it takes the...
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    characteristics of testing

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    A new PM just joined my team, and he scheduled time to come talk to me about the role of testing in our product development.  While thinking about what I would tell him, the following (possibly unrelated) question popped into my head: "What...
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    My laptop is *so* *slow*

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    Fairly frequently these days, my laptop just slows down to an unendurable crawl.  Everything slows, even screen refreshes.  It is a Toshiba Techra 8200. Per helpdesk guidance I chkdsk'ed and defrag'ed; but it still happens.  My current...
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    With neighbors like these...

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    An incredibly funny story about some incredibly undesirable new neighbors:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20021015131654/http:/www.knology.net/~carlos/redneck.htm

    (This is not my story, thank goodness.)

    ...
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    Easy-to-use component stereo?

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    With WiFi and Howl , would it be possible to have a component stereo system without any cables at all?  (Except the power cables, of course.)  Each device could detect the others and intelligently hook up via wireless.  Sure, quality...
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    BBC: "Microsoft has announced that new versions of its mouse will be fitted with wheels that tilt as well as roll."

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    BBC: "Microsoft has announced that new versions of its mouse will be fitted with wheels that tilt as well as roll." Seems like the mouse is more and more turning into some kind of generic “hand tool” – someday it will become...
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    "By Design" a desirable resolution?

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    Keith Stobie (a test architect on my team) made a comment recently, along the lines of: "If testers aren't getting some bugs marked 'by design' and 'no repro', then they are probably being too conservative in their bug filing." This intuitively...
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    some older posts...

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     I have a few older posts from my internal blog that I’m going to copy out here to my public blog; so if you see some dated references (like to tax season), that’s why.

    ...
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    480Mb/s (wireless) - a dream or a promise?

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     I really hope that UWB moves quickly from vaporware to reality, as described in this article.  It seems like just the thing to connect the wireless stereo components that I dreamed about earlier on my blog.

    ...
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    Baby born with cell phone in hand!

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    This seems strange, but I suppose it is inevitable in our ever-more interconnected, ‘wired’, world: “Half a million kids in the UK under the age of ten will have a mobile phone by the end of next year, according to research published...
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    Wiki is very cool (but not perfect)

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    The more I play with this Wiki thing, the more cool it seems.  The ability to let people build and enhance on each other’s work is nifty. The editing environment, though, could use a bit of work.  Using cheesy markup to do italics...
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    Back in time

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    If you went back in time to the 1800s – what one thing from the present would you bring with you?

    How about 400 BC?

    3000 AD?

    ...
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    Hosting visitors to Microsoft

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     I ran across this interesting post: “This upcoming week is shaping up to be one the most memorable in my young life. I'm taking a trip to geek mecca: Microsoft HQ. I get to meet Scott Guthrie, Rob Howard, Don Box, et al. And if that weren...
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