Sunday, September 8, 2013
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
- Give lousy service--busy signals, disconnects, downtime, and ring no answers.
- Rely on outside vendors who let us down.
- Make internal procedures easy on us, even if it means negatively affecting or inconveniencing the customer.
- Joke about how dumb the customers are.
- Finger point at how other departments are not doing their jobs.
- Customers can't get immediate "live" help from sales or support.
- Poor coordination across departments.
- Show up at a demo, sales call, trade show, or meeting unprepared.
- Ignore the competition; they are far inferior to us.
- Miss deadlines that we commit to internally and externally.
- Make recruiting, hiring, and training a lower priority because we are too busy doing other tasks.
- Look for the next job assignment, instead of focusing on the current one.
- Office gossip, rumors, and politics.
- Rely on dissatisfied customers to be your service monitors.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Deceased YouTube link replaced with one directly to the Daily Show, 2014-07-08.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
- Why does Twitter need my location? They don't.
- Why does Twitter need access to my accounts (note plural)? They don't. Why would I want to hand this over to them? That would be simply stupid.
- Why would my contacts want me to hand their information over to Twitter? The naive ones may not to think to care, but most would likely prefer that I did not.
- Why does Twitter need access to my Google service configuration? They don't.
Additionally, there are some ads that are simply blatant phishing attempts:
This is from the tunein app, which provides searches for radio stations and radio programs to stream. It's a nice service. It's ad-supported. The ad above, just above the highlighted Related tab, says I have one new message. So if I click that, where does it take me? Not to a message, or, rather, not to a message from anyone I could imagine listening to. It's a phishing ploy.
Monday, June 10, 2013
A: The primary reasons for using procedures and functions is for
instability. A function is part of an expression and is used to
determine what the program must do. A procedure is a statement in
itself and the great thing about it is that any variable declared
within a procedure can be referred to from anywhere in the program.
Monday, June 3, 2013
This plays well in Firefox, but on my Linux system neither Opera nor Chrome can deal with it.
However, you can access the media stream directly at https://userpages.umbc.edu/~jmartens/media/2013-05-11_17-28-05.wav.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
LXDE was pretty solid, not annoying little bug after annoying little bug like Mate or Cinnamon. However, it was very primitive, and customization took effort, effort takes time, and I don't have much time for this stuff (so why am I writing this?).
XFCE also seems pretty solid, and customization is pretty straightforward. Often there is not a menu choice to make the change I want to make, but a little time in RTFM mode and things become straightforward. I'm going to stick with this for awhile.
In a sense being a Windows user is easier: the environment is terrible, Microsoft and other Windows application vendors bleed customers by 1000 cuts, but people put up with it because they don't know any better. Are the user environments any better on the Linux side? Maybe, maybe not. There has long been a strong "make it like windows" ethic among Linux developers, and Ubuntu has decided to make your desktop UI no better than a tablet. But at least there are choices, and XFCE and LXDE are sufficiently different from Gnome 3 and even from Mate that the choices are significant.
Yet again I find myself debugging Linux Mint 13. There's a tool, plymouth, that is supposed to provide splash screens on boot--who the heck cares about that? Well, I care, since well after boot plymouthd is still running, holding RAM, and eating CPU.
Googling reveals that others have had problems
The whole Ubuntu OS family is annoyingly buggy, and yet people are wasting time with things like splash screens and other useless bells and whistles rather than just fixing the crappy software base
- Last night I plugged in my Kindle, and Mate tells my I've plugged in a music player. WTF? I want it mounted as a thumb drive so I can use standard Unix tools.
- Recently I've had to wrestle with cameras on Mint insisting on being opened with special, clumsy apps rather than just being mounted as thumb drives--which is effectively what they are. Even if I can get a file browser in there, it has crippled functionality. And what the hell is the path of the mount point? Nope, I either have to waste time figuring this useless crap out, use the crappy, logically useless, camera software, or just copy my pictures to a Windows machine, and then copy them to my real computer.
- A friend used to have trouble with sound on Ubuntu. I just shrugged--computers have done sound for a couple decades. Now with my 64b Linux Mint 13 system, sound worked, then it stuttered continuously, and then it worked, and now it's completely dead. I don't have time to fritter away on this tripe.
Friday, May 17, 2013
[ Originally omitted; added 2013-06-09 ]:
Third, the file name must match the domain name, userpages.umbc.edu in this case.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
- When I save something, and then want to open something else, it starts over in my home directory rather than remembering the context I'm working in. If I just saved something in a directory, isn't it likely that the next thing I open will be nearby?
- If in the midst of a save-as, if I decide to change the file type, e.g., CSV or XLS to ODS, suddenly it makes me start over from square one choosing the directory to save in.
Friday, May 3, 2013
I have LC_COLLATE set to C, but look at this directory listing in Caja 1.6.1:
Under ASCII ordering, 15 should appear first since '1' is before '2'. This is a bug. See also https://martesmartes.blogspot.com/2013/05/locales-and-sort-order.html.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
- Dot should be before letter or digits.
- Upper case should precede lower case. They should not be intermingled.
- Digits should be treated as digits, not as numbers. E.g., 10 should appear before 5, since '1' appears before '5' in the collating sequence. The problem here is that someone is trying to predetermine how I name files or interpret file names.
[ Added 2013-05-02:
I've got a 64b Lubuntu 12.10/Mate 1.6.0 box that seems to sort files okay with this setting:
However Caja 1.6.1 still doesn't sort file names correctly.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Meanwhile, it appears that FX is preparing a cheap knock-off. I don't call it cheap in that the the budget will be lower, but it appear to be simply a rip-off of the original story line. Typical Hollywood--no new ideas.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
What a great idea. Some brits have built a light powered entirely by gravity. The goal is to replace kerosene lamps in Africa and India, and they initially looked at solar, but decided this was less expensive and more reliable. The target cost is $5 for third world end-users, and I suspect with some markup they could sell it elsewhere for emergency and niche use and fund their third world efforts.
In addition to providing a modest light source, it can power other small devices and (slowly) charge batteries.
Here's a link to the developers' appeal for funding, which succeeded. It includes video.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Letter of Resignation Sent By Bush to Rifle Association Published: May 11, 1995 Following is the letter of resignation sent last week by former President George Bush to the National Rifle Association: May 3, 1995
Dear Mr. Washington,
I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as "jack-booted thugs." To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as "wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms" wanting to "attack law abiding citizens" is a vicious slander on good people.
Al Whicher, who served on my [ United States Secret Service ] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country -- and serve it well he did.
In 1993, I attended the wake for A.T.F. agent Steve Willis, another dedicated officer who did his duty. I can assure you that this honorable man, killed by weird cultists, was no Nazi.
John Magaw, who used to head the U.S.S.S. and now heads A.T.F., is one of the most principled, decent men I have ever known. He would be the last to condone the kind of illegal behavior your ugly letter charges. The same is true for the F.B.I.'s able Director Louis Freeh. I appointed Mr. Freeh to the Federal Bench. His integrity and honor are beyond question.
Both John Magaw and Judge Freeh were in office when I was President. They both now serve in the current administration. They both have badges. Neither of them would ever give the government's "go ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law abiding citizens." (Your words)
I am a gun owner and an avid hunter. Over the years I have agreed with most of N.R.A.'s objectives, particularly your educational and training efforts, and your fundamental stance in favor of owning guns.
However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us.
You have not repudiated Mr. LaPierre's unwarranted attack. Therefore, I resign as a Life Member of N.R.A., said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name from your membership list. Sincerely, [ signed ] George Bush
Thursday, January 10, 2013
A second cautionary note: I've been here four days. I've mostly stayed away from Bourbon St. There are doubtless many fine establishments that I have not visited.
Cafe Beignet, 334-B Royal StreetNote: they also have a location on Bourbon St, which I never visited.
I ate breakfast here twice, and stopped in one afternoon for my obligatory beignet. Each breakfast I had the western omelette. This consists of a very good western omelette, grits, and two slices of french bread with butter. I had never before had grits, and they were fine, a good addition to the breakfast.
Cafe Pontalba, 546 Saint Peter StreetThis is a great location, and I tend to be suspicious of restaurants with great locations. It's across the street from Jackson Square, diagonally across from el Cabildo.
It was pretty quiet when I went in, with a couple people at the bar and four police officers at one table. My waiter may have been the manager or owner; he reminded me greatly of Ed from E.Joseph and the Phantom Heart (https://twitter.com/ejosephmusic). The food was good. I had the pasta jambalaya and enjoyed it. I had an Abita Amber, or three, which I had tried a couple nights before at the Chartres House Cafe. The waiter was attentive and friendly and I was happy there, and left happy. Stepping out of the restaurant and seeing Jackson Square, the Cabildo, the cathedral, and so forth is an experience not available in Baltimore, not by a long shot. Like I said, great location.
Chartres House Cafe, 601 Chartres St
Tequila Blues Mexicajun Catina[sic], 1200 Decatur St
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, 1104 Decatur St
Sunday, January 6, 2013
The reason I switched to Google from Amazon was that Amazon no longer supports Linux, and forces Linux customers to download songs one at a time. PITA for albums.
So I can purchase the MP3s from Amazon and then download them to my Android. I probably want them there anyhow, and, of course, backed up in the cloud. Then I can sftp them to my desktop machine. Amazon doesn't get in the way, and the Google bean counters don't get involved.
An issue that may have me reconsidering the above is that Google says they have Tal Ben Ari's Sheelá at 320 kb/s, whereas the Amazon MP3s vary from 203 kb/s to 230 kb/s.
Note to Android users: AndFTP is a wonderful app, allowing me to connect to my desktop at home and a server at work wirelessly.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Ubuntu Linux Googlers must ask to use Windows because “Windows is harder because it has 'special' security problems so it requires high-level permission before someone can use it.” In addition, “Windows tools tend to be heavy and inflexible.”
Pretty much what everyone knows anyway, or at least anyone with experience outside the Microsoft ghetto.