November 30, 2004

Spammers Suck

What I've found in tech is that anywhere you want to go spammers will follow. I frequently get spammers leaving comments on my blog on all sorts of things from casinos to payday loans to mini motorbikes. Luckily I get the last word. Go get a real job and stop bothering people you spamming losers!

Posted by troutm8 at 10:52 AM | Comments (319)

U2 Download Complete!

Last night when I got home I saw that my download of the Complete U2 Collection is finally complete. The 446 songs take up about 2 Gb of hard drive space. What this really tells me is that my DSL connection is freakin' slow, but I promise I won't buy any more music for the rest of the year. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 10:04 AM | Comments (44)

November 28, 2004

4 Day Weekends Rock

4 day weekends rock and I wish that I could take more of them, especially without having to deal with the traffic of people leaving and coming back to the Bay Area. My weekend consisted of cooking a Thanksgiving Day Feast on Thursday that was comprised of Turkey, three different types of dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, yams, salad, halibut, cranberry sauce, and rolls. All in all I think the food turned out really well. On Wednesday we did a little shopping and Timber got me the float tube that she was planning on getting me for my birthday. The cool thing was that there was a 2 for 1 deal at a local sporting goods store so in the process of getting the float tube for me she got one for herself. So now she can go float tubing with me when I go. Also on Friday we decided to forgo eatling leftovers and had sushi instead. Also on Friday I bought the complete works of U2 from the iTunes store and began the long download of the 457 songs. I just checked on it a little while ago and I'm still downloading songs. The rest of the weekend was spent resting and relaxing and getting ready for work.

Posted by troutm8 at 08:28 PM | Comments (78)

November 23, 2004

How To Do An iPod Switch?

An interesting issue came up the other day and I wonder what other people would advise. A friend is getting rid of their PC and replacing it with a new iMac but their iPod is setup to work with their PC. So the question is how do they setup their iPod to work with their new iMac without losing the music they currently have on their iPod? Another caveat is that their PC that has all their music on it is gone and there is no way to get it back. Off the top of my head I think the way to fix this issue would be to first find software that will allow them to dump the music onto another PC that I let them borrow for this purpose, then reset all the settings on their iPod and then plug it into their iMac. Then FTP the music over to their iMac and import it back into iTunes and then sync it with their iPod. Am I missing anything here? Has anyone already run into this? I'll probably be looking into this problem on Thanksgiving.

Posted by troutm8 at 05:51 PM | Comments (637)

Got The New U2 Album

I got home at about 11 PM last night and found that the new U2 album was already on the iTunes music store so I decided to download it. I'm listening to it on my iPod today while I'm at work. So far I'd say the album is ok. It is typical of U2 in that some of their songs are really good while others are certified stinkers. But the good definitely outweighs the bad. So if you're a U2 fan you will probably like this album. If you are not then this album will probably not make you a fan.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:43 AM | Comments (224)

November 22, 2004

New Directions In Search

This article talks about companies that have come out with products or services in the search arena. I've conveniently listed them so you don't have to read the article. They are:

I've checked them all out and I think the first three are the best ones although they all have slightly different goals.

Posted by troutm8 at 03:40 PM | Comments (940)

November 21, 2004

Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner

We just finished our pre-Thanksgiving dinner a while ago. The Popeye's turkey went over quite well. Everyone had good things to say about it. I would definitely recommend it, although with the stipulation that the directions say that you should thaw the turkey in your refridgerator for two days before heating it up in your oven. We used the microwave to defrost it and then cooked it for about two hours. We are going to have a lot of leftovers. Turkey sandwiches here I come!

Posted by troutm8 at 01:34 AM | Comments (531)

November 19, 2004

Nelson Update

Timber and I spent some time thinking about Nelson and considering whether or not we wanted to move forward in adopting him. It was a really tough decision but in the end we decided to go ahead and try to adopt him. I called the lady that had arranged for us to meet him and found out that they found another person for Nelson that might be a better fit for him. It is a lady that already has a Tibetan Terrier, has a house with no stairs, and can spend more time at home with Nelson. Needless to say I was dissapointed to hear that, but it sounded like it will be a very good situation for Nelson which is what is most important. So if things go according to plan Nelson will get his eye surgery next week and will be adopted by someone else. I hope things work out well for him and I will still continue to follow his progress.

Posted by troutm8 at 02:22 PM | Comments (195)

November 17, 2004

Got To Visit Nelson

I was able to clear out my afternoon schedule and Timber and I were able to go up to Oakland to see Nelson. First, I don't think he likes the name Nelson, it was given to him by someone at the animal shelter. Not sure why they named him that, maybe after Nelson Mandela? Another thing is that he has really bad eyesight. When we went into a visiting room with him he kept walking around and bumping into things. It was pretty sad. He walked well on a leash and he let us pet him and handle him even though he was constantly pacing. He seemed to be really stressed out. All in all we got to spend 20 or 30 minutes with him and now we have to make the tough decision as to whether or not we should move forward with trying to adopt him.

Posted by troutm8 at 04:48 PM | Comments (379)

November 15, 2004

Free Nelson!

Nelson is the name that was given to this beautiful Tibetan Terrier by someone at the Oakland Animal Shelter. It is a long story how I found out about Nelson but Timber and I are going to go meet him tomorrow and if things work out he could become a part of our family. I'm hoping for the best.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:49 PM | Comments (53)

The Incredibles

I went to watch The Incredibles this weekend and I have to say that I liked the movie a lot. Apparently so did a lot of other people because they did $70.7 M worth of sales this past weekend alone. Obviously Pixar no longer needs Disney. If anything I think Disney needs Pixar. Who knows, maybe Pixar will one day displace Disney and we'll have PixarLand.

Posted by troutm8 at 02:40 PM | Comments (372)

November 12, 2004

Google/Yahoo/Microsoft Comparison

I only had time to run a few queries but what I did find didn't suprise me too much. Here are the results:
query: sour apples
Google -> .580 seconds, 377,000 results
Yahoo -> 1.579 sec, 308,000 results
Microsoft -> .107 sec, 734,847 results

query: san jose sharks
Google -> .200 seconds, 865,000 results
Yahoo -> 1.61 seconds, 739,000 results
Microsoft -> 1.266 seconds, 9 results

image query: sequoia national park
Google -> .985 seconds, 5920 results
Yahoo -> 1.71 seconds, 10,810 results
Microsoft -> 4.029 seconds, 382 results

image query: rainbow trout
Google -> 0.995 seconds, 15,200 results
Yahoo -> 3.077 seconds, 27,272 results
Microsoft -> 3.783 seconds, 2,173 results

Overall query time -> Google the winner
Overall query results -> Google and Yahoo are pretty close
Comment on Microsoft -> Most queries are slower and they usually have fewer results.

I'll take an in depth look at Microsft's search engine later. Time to go watch The Incredibles.

Posted by troutm8 at 06:41 PM | Comments (53)

November 11, 2004

Search Starting To Heat Up

I was just about to leave for the day (notice I don't work for EA) when I decided to scan through a few news headlines and then I realized that Microsoft was launching their search engine today. I know a guy that went to Microsoft to work on that so I wanted to check it out and see how they did. I'll post my evaluation later. I read this article about it and saw that Google just upped their index to 8 Billion pages. Microsoft's search currently have an index of 5 Billion pages. So based on what I'm seeing I think the search area is starting to heat up.

Posted by troutm8 at 06:10 PM | Comments (50)

EA Sweatshops

From this posting it sounds like EA (Electronic Arts) is running a sweatshop. I can understand where the writer is coming from since my significant other also works sweatshop-like hours quite often. I wonder how prevelant this is in the tech industry? I'm guessing it is fairly common. The thing I've always wondered is how people with kids can live like that. I'm pretty young so I can soak up the abuse without many problems but I feel bad for people that aren't as flexible. I guess I'm lucky that my employer does not work me day and night. I think my employer is pretty reasonable overall. But it should definitely set off warning flags when the managers are putting crazy hours into their project plans. You can't plan like that or you'll have a mutiny on your hands. When I plan my projects I make sure to plan for vacations and weekends off because not only do I want my people to be happy but I also think it is good business to do so.

Posted by troutm8 at 02:54 PM | Comments (52)

November 10, 2004

Kick Thanksgiving Up A Notch

J&R are having their Thanksgiving party again this year and I think I want to bring the turkey. Of course I'm not going to cook it myself, I had my fill of that last year. Instead I'd like to bring a Cajun turkey. I hope the group agrees to it because a Popeye's turkey would be da bomb.

Posted by troutm8 at 06:45 PM | Comments (392)

November 09, 2004

Sandwiches and Gambling

This weekend Timber and I went with J&R up to Sacramento to check out J's Brother's new restaurant Camille's. The cool thing about it was that we got to try out all sorts of different foods so that would normally take us quite a few visits to try. All small portions of course. :-) Overall I thought the food was good and I will visit Camille's again. After we were done with that we went to Thunder Valley (Indian Casino) to try to learn how to play craps, but they didn't have craps so I played blackjack instead.

Posted by troutm8 at 06:56 PM | Comments (60)

November 08, 2004

Totally Gross

A while back I mentioned people zombie-lap walking at work. It has sunk to a new low. I was just in the restroom and I saw a guy walking out of a stall with his opened up laptop in his hands. That is totally gross for two reasons. First, he probably did his duty in there and was touching his laptop without having washed his hands first. Second, when the toilet is flushed some of the stuff in the toilet gets airborne. See reference here. The toilets in our bathrooms do not have full covers so you can't close the lid and flush. Overall I thought it was pretty gross, almost as bad as people that don't wash their hands after using the bathroom.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:49 AM | Comments (75)

November 04, 2004

My First Patent

I submitted my first patent today. Within IBM we have a certain way of submitting patents, and I started that process today. Since I don't know too much about the process I'm not sure it my idea will make it all the way to patent status, but I know that once I get to know the process I will get at least one of my ideas patented at some point. You've got to start somewhere.

Posted by troutm8 at 07:27 PM | Comments (163)

Tutoring At Oak Grove

I finished jumping through all of the hoops so that I can start tutoring students at Oak Grove High School here in San Jose. As for the hoops that I had to jump through I had to get a Tuberculosis test and get fingerprinting done. For the Tuberculosis test, since I have Kaiser as my HMO I had to go the Kaiser hospital, get injected with something (not sure what that was) and then come back three days later to have them check to see if I passed the test or not. For the fingerprinting I had to go to the school district headquarters and have all of my fingers fingerprinted. The cool thing about that was that it was all computerized so I didn't get that black ink all over my hands. I'm going to start off tutoring for about an hour a week and see how it goes from there. I'm really looking forward to helping out the kids. Oak Grove High School has a student population of about 2700 students but the school was designed for only 1800 students. They have a wait list of 35 students for their tutoring program, so they can use all the tutors they can get. So if you live in San Jose and have at least an hour a week to spare during the work day they could really use your help.

Posted by troutm8 at 07:01 PM | Comments (44)

We're In Time!

Here is an article about my project in Time Magazine. I'm not going to comment on how accurate/inaccurate this article might be, mainly because I don't want to get in trouble. Blogging about work is a very touchy subject that is frequently mentioned in many of the blogs that I read. I know of several examples where people have been fired because they say too much about their work on their blogs. I am not going to be one of them. That's why I will not talk about who uses WebFountain and what they use it for. I can say that WebFountain can do some wicked cool stuff and direct you to lots of articles about what it can do. Maybe I'm playing it too safe, but I've got a mortgage to pay. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 02:33 PM | Comments (448)

November 03, 2004

What It All Means

Now that I know the outcome I can talk about what it means. First, it means that you'll have disgruntled democrats fleeing to Canada as referenced here. Just kidding. But seriously, there are two main areas, Domestic and International.
With a Republican House and Senate it looks like Dubya can pass the budgets that he wants and get the legislation that he wants. Domestically I suggest he work toward getting rid of the deficit. He should also explore changes that will need to be made to social security as well as work on a list of possible judges to appoint to the supreme court.
Take this oppurtunity to get more allied involvement in the war on terror. Concentrate on fixing Iraq.

Posted by troutm8 at 06:58 PM | Comments (61)

Bush Wins Second Term

It looks like the saga otherwise known as the 2004 Presidential Election is now just about over. Kerry called Bush to concede and should be speaking to his own supporters very soon. The election results around the country turned out largely the way I had hoped. The big ones for me were that Dubya won and Daschle lost in South Dakota. In California here are the results:
Barbara Boxer won
Prop 66 -> No
Prop 71 -> Yes
House District 16 -> Zoe Lofgren won over my guy McNea
1A -> Yes
Prop 59 -> Yes
Prop 60 -> Yes
Prop 60 A -> Yes
Prop 61 -> Yes
Prop 62 -> No
Prop 63 -> Yes
Prop 64 -> Yes
Prop 65 -> No
Prop 66 -> No
Prop 67 -> No
Prop 68 -> No
Prop 69 -> Yes
Prop 70 -> No
Prop 71 -> Yes
Prop 72 -> No (50.85 %)
Superior Courte Judge -> Griffin Bonini
Measure S -> Yes

Here's an interesting one, in San Francisco Measure N (Would make it city policy to urge the U.S. government to withdraw troops from Iraq.)
100% of precincts
Yes 147,533 63.4%
No 85,207 36.6%

Posted by troutm8 at 10:46 AM | Comments (82)

W Is For Victory

I'm not sure when the official word will come, but I believe if the results in New Mexico and Ohio hold up that will give Dubya 274 Electoral Votes which would be enough to win the presidency. As of right now it looks like Nevada and Iowa will also go to Dubya which should push his total to 288 while leaving Kerry with 252. Hopefully we'll know for sure tomorrow.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:03 AM | Comments (610)

November 02, 2004

Here's My Vote

I voted via touchscreen this morning. Here is how I voted:
President & VP -> Dubya mainly because I want to give him a chance to finish what he started in Iraq, also he is tough on terrorism and does not send mixed signals.
State Senator -> Zon Zellhoefer because I think he can work well with the Governator.
Member of The State Assembly -> Mark Patrosso because he is an Engineering Project Manager.
Morgan Hill Unified School Distict -> Peter Mandel because I've worked with him and I think he'll do a good job.
US Senator -> Bill Jones because I'd like to see Barbara Boxer out of office.
US Representative -> Douglas Adams McNea because I'm towing the party line here.
Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 7 -> Griffin Bonini because he is a Deputy District Attorney and knows how to do the job.
Gavilan Joint Community College District -> Mark Dover because he is the incumbent.
Measure 1A -> Yes because it ensures that local property tax and sales tax revenues remain with local government.
Measure 59 -> Yes because it allows the public more access to records and government meetings.
Measure 60 -> Yes because it makes changes to the general election ballot.
Measure 60A -> Yes because it requires the money that goes from sales of surplus state property to pay off state debt, which is bonds in this case.
Measure 61 -> Yes because it authorizes $750 million in bonds to help children's hospitals.
Measure 62 -> Yes because it opens up primaries to all voters.
Measure 63 -> Yes because it takes money from an extra tax on people that make over $1 million a year and puts it toward an expansion in mental health services. I'm not too worried about the people that make over $1 million.
Measure 64 -> Yes because it limits frivilous lawsuits.
Measure 65 -> Yes because it requires voter approval for reduction of local fee/tax revenues. I'm down with anything that gives voters more control.
Measure 66 -> Yes because it limits the "Three Strikes" law to violent and/or serious felonies. How did "Three Strikes" ever get from baseball to the law anyway? That is ridiculous.
Measure 67 -> Yes because it increases telephone surcharge and allocates other funds for emergency rooms. They are closing down a hospital locally and the emergency rooms can use all the help they can get.
Measure 68 -> No because I don't want gambling to expand in California.
Measure 69 -> Yes because it requires the collection of DNA samples from all felons.
Measure 70 -> No because it would limit how the state of California can negotiate with the tribes about gambling.
Measure 71 -> Yes because it establishes a "California Institutes for Regenerative Medecine" which means that it funds stem cell research.
Measure 72 -> Yes because it requires most companies to provide health care their employees. I don't know if it will work but it is time to try something. If it does not work we can always change it later.
Measure A -> Yes because it amends the county rates definitions.
Measure B -> No because it doesn't make sense.
Measure C -> No because it gives the Santa Clara County too much power in deciding disputes.
Measure S -> No because I don't think the libraries are being used as much as they used to and as a result don't need more funding.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:12 AM | Comments (1061)

Soccer Celebrity

I had a soccer game tonight, and my team lost 8-9. But after the game there was a buzz of people milling around and upon looking around I saw the reason was an ex professional soccer player gearing up to play in a game. That ex professional was Alexi Lalas. I remember seeing him in the '94 world cup with long hair but he looked a little bit different tonight. He was a little older and he wasn't as tall as I thought he was. But he was pretty good. The cool thing is that his team is in my division so I might get to play against him at some point. That will be fun.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:21 AM | Comments (452)

November 01, 2004

Election Tomorrow

Well the election is almost at hand. Tomorrow Americans will go to their polling places and cast their vote for President and a host of other offices that are having elections. There is no doubt that the stakes are high. The only way Kerry can win is in a close race, while Bush has a little more margin for error. If Bush were to win and the Republicans were to retain control of the House and Senate, the Democratic party could theoretically become marginalized and powerless. That wouldn't sit well with a lot of people. And there is no telling what will happen. Will there be a recount? Will there be a terrorist attack? Tune in tomorrow and for the next three months to find out. Tomorrow I'll post how I voted and why along with analysis of the returns and what it all means for America and the world.

Posted by troutm8 at 07:22 PM | Comments (85)

Halloween Without Snow

This Halloween we went to J&R's house to help them hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. I was surprised at all the kids that were running around their neighborhood. There were way more kids than I thought there would be. The kids also covered the full spectrum in age. There was a kid down the street that setup his own haunted house. We checked that out and I have to say that kid did a great job overall. His mother was telling us about how he lives for halloween and goes to garage sales throughout the year to find stuff for his haunted house. She also said that some of the people that went through the haunted house got really scared and they had to turn on the lights to show them that the people that were working in the haunted house were not going to hurt them. I guess that's what you deal with when you deal with the public.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:05 PM | Comments (1181)