Tag - freedom

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Wednesday, July 8 2009, 03:30 am

Just Say No

... to Government healthcare. I should not have to even take this time to write a post about this subject, but leave it to the powers of Government wanting more power to force my hand. If I dare write another sentence (positive or negative) it will just fortify and aid the power grab of the 2008-2012 American Government. Do yourself a favor and write your congressman, senator, and the President of the United States and tell them you are a voter and you will not re-elect them if they pass a healthcare bill.

P.S. I'm a healthcare software programmer by trade. I have an eye inside of the system.

Saturday, February 28 2009, 07:45 pm

Chug, chug, chug, chug...

How on earth does the world use Vista? Yes, Microsoft Windows Vista. Backstory: I received a new laptop two days ago. An ASUS N80Vn-X5. It came with Vista Home Premium 64-bit. This is my first copy of Vista as I run Linux on all my machines. I did have a copy of XP but I stopped using that a few years ago. Why did I stop using XP? Because I wanted something more out of my computer. XP is fine and all, but I can accomplish more with Linux - not just because it is free.

Unpacking:
I unpack it from its box and I plug in the AC adapter and boot the thing. Vista starts to load - and load - and load. 10 minutes later I get to the desktop. Why on earth did it take that long to get to my desktop? Wait a minute... the hard drive is still chugging. Why?

Configuring:
The first thing I do is kill the hideous sidebar that takes an extra 5 minutes to load on startup. Gone. The second thing I do is disable automatic updates. Now, I realize some readers will think better of themselves and call me an idiot, but I rarely use Windows and I know how to update it so I'm quite OK running updates when I should instead of having Windows do it for me.

Updating:
It came with SP1 so I figured it should be pretty harmless. Where to update this thing? Hm, I don't see anything. Ah, I'll just use IE's "Windows Update" link. Oh what's this? There's an update to Windows Update. Oh! It requires a reboot. *Reboot* Ah, that was a nice 10 minute reboot. Windows update has about 30 updates for me. Fine. Downloading/updating takes about 15 minutes thanks to the attrociously large 100 meg .NET update. I'm on 20 megabit Internet mind you. Rebooting again. Seems that I'm up to date now, or am I?

Playing:
The only thing loaded on this thing is about 5 ASUS utilities for the fingerprint reader, webcam, and some software that looks like it encrypts files. Grand total of hard disk space in use? 20 gigabytes. That alone is enough for me to be offended permenently because what does that 20 gigabytes net me? A video player, picture viewer, a web browser, and a movie maker. The features don't match the disk space requirements. It's also using 1 gig of RAM with no programs running. Yes, I uninstalled the Office 2007 trial.

Why would I be offended? Example: My default Fedora install cost me 4.5gigs. What did I get besides the stuff already in Vista? Full office suite, photo manipulation, SELinux, bittorent, GPS mapping, SIP phone, Pidgin, GCC, and a few other of my programming utilities, not to mention Wine, which will allow me to run Windows apps.

Time to reboot just to see that reboot time again. *clicks Restart* "Configuring updates stage 2 of 3..." What's this? WHAT'S THIS? I have updates turned *OFF* and Windows is installing updates. Stealth updates - w00t. The little trust I had with Microsoft is completely gone at this point.

I let it reboot and go back into Vista just to find that after I log in the hard drive is chugging - and chugging - and chugging. 10 minutes later it finally quiets down and I decide to reboot to get into Fedora. *Clicks Restart* "Configuring updates stage 2 of 3..." Yeah. I'm done with Microsoft.

Saturday, January 17 2009, 09:43 pm

Recreational Programming

Usually the best products come about when someone is fed up with the current process of operation. Something like that happened when I was fed up using the command line interface for "uvcdynctrl," which is a tool to manipulate the settings for my Logitech QuickCam 9000 Pro. Fortunately Logitech was kind enough to provide a developer for building an open source library called "libwebcam" that would allow me to build my own interface using GTK+2. Here's the result:

Download: uvcdynctrl-gtk-0.1

I used the git source code management tool for this project so you can grab the latest source (LGPL'd) from my gitweb interface. You will need libwebcam, GTK+2, and gstreamer development libraries and headers to build it.

Please feel free to add any feedback. I also have RPM spec files for Fedora to build libwebcam and my program if you want them. Thanks should really be given to the GTK, gstreamer, and Logitech folks for making this possible.

Wednesday, November 5 2008, 02:36 am

Presidents are for Suckers

Aye, another election passes and it's quite decisive instead of controversial this time around. While I liked neither Hussein Obama or McCain, Obama seems to want to turn our country into one big handout. With his win today, and all of his democratic party winning control of the House and Senate, he, and his party, will have complete reign to do whatever they wish. With all this free money coming from the government soon, what will happen to the national debt? What will the value of the dollar do?

How did BO win? It seems ACORN was a deciding factor. They pushed registration in areas Republicans did not. Voters turned up to vote blue, possibly twice, and that's how it's done. Hopefully the next four years are quiet, smooth, and successful for us, but somehow I fear that will not come to pass.

Tuesday, July 8 2008, 02:47 pm

Standardized Smanderdized, Tests are Obsolete


Being bored can make you think just about anything. With that in mind, I discovered a solution to one of my pet peeves: standardized testing. During my educational career I grew from straight A ace to meager B bum to a little C camper. Testing my academic knowledge through a series of set questions became redundent, but it's the only way, right? We've been reinforced with that idea ever since academics were around. I feel a need for change. Yes, there still needs to be a point of measure for knowledge, but the "how" is all that needs adjusting.

Evals, evaluations I should say, need to be introduced as a replacement. Their structure? Think of it more like an IQ test for a specific academic field. Of course, there will need to be a check against subjectivity, or political correctness, as we know it today. If testing was overhauled, I suspect the satisfaction level of all people of all ages would improve several times over. Heck, I may even go back and finish college. There, I finally finished this blog post.

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