September 2006 Archives

I've talked about the perils associated with under-represented youth in technical areas of study.

It is difficult for me to fathom that our children simply do not want to excel. Certainly there are issues of access, mentorship, and socio-economics. Nonetheless, I would assert that the problem is much broader than we are led to believe.

My beloved alma mater, BTHS is mentioned in the artile below, and I am certain that most of the students who gain entrance to the the elite NYC specialized HS are indeed interested in achievment.

It also appears that in at least one case there is foul play afoot, relative to funding AP exams.

Taking the point a step further, one could point to elementary education as the beginning of the problem. I recently picked up the Final Call and the title read "Escaping the Killing Fields", very unfortunate depiction of public schools.

What does the future hold for our children? As a product of public education, I refuse to believe that public schools have zero value. I'm clear that vouchers aren't the panacea for all concerned..

The article below requires priviledged access. If anyone can point me to a cached article, let me know.

In Elite N.Y. Schools, a Dip in Blacks and Hispanics - New York Times

Yet another New England trip

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Found my way to Manchester,NH. Another jobe assignment. I politely asked for a blue yankee at a local eatery, oddly nobody was willing to help me.. I kid b/c I care. Go Bx Bombers.

Mattoon swoon

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Spent yesterday on assignment for the jobe. Visited a lighting facility and the hotel had the most perfect view of a cornfield. Gotta love the midwest. As it turns out this facility was third largest employer in the town. Guess who was the first? A local university. How funny is that? Can you say bum fuck ?

High price real estate

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Got a chance to visit Rhode Island and spent time in Conn. too. While in R.I visited an exquisite mansion owned by the late Vanderbilt's. Yep same people whom gave their name to Vanderbilt U. in Tenn. I'll post a few pics later.

links for 2006-09-08

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spinrite 6.0 flameout

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Tried out the spinrite hard disk data recovery pkg. It's produced by of Steve Gibson fame. I was attempting reclaim data on a failed notebook drive, for another client. Ordinarily, I'd simply try using knoppix, but I figured I'd play with spinrite.

For whatever reason, the BIOS would not recognize the drive.
Apparently, there was a problem with boot sector of the disk. Nonetheless, I figured that spinrite was worthy adversary. However, it wasn't able to either diagnose a problem or recognize the disk either. In all fairness maybe sp6.0 isn't invincible.

Last days of free text

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Well I should've known that it wouldn't last. It seems that Sprint/Nextel will begin charging its customers for the use of SMS or text messaging. Yeah, I know that some of you have already been paying for this service, and your hearts probably bleed for me.

I noticed the following on my monthly statement:

Effective Oct. 1, 2006, Sprint will charge $0.15 per message for casual domestic and international text messages sent or received. Sprint will charge $0.03/KB for casual data usage.

Per their own terms and conditions:

If we change a material term of the Agreement and that change has a material adverse effect on you, you may terminate the Agreement without an early termination fee by calling 1-888-211-4727 within 30 days afterthe invoice date of the first invoice you receive after the changes go into effect.

So, I suppose that I could opt out and terminate my contract, as they have clearly violated their own terms.

Nonetheless, it's ridiculous to charge for a service that costs the provider very little to deliver. I would imagine that the text msg servers use the existing hardware infrastructure and via Economies of Scale, the service could continue to be offered for free. It seems that it is basically greed rearing its ugly head. They probably believe that they are somehow losing out by not monetizing a popular communication medium. I also find it hard to believe that SMS would consume an inordinate amount of bandwidth.

I'm surprised that they opted to charge a per-instance fee, and not their standard $5.00/month added feature cost. Time to execute the power of the consumer.

Importance of Loopback Device

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As is typical, I found myself helping out a friend with their Debian box. For whatever, reason (which would become apparent later) he was not able to access the server from his network. I was clear that Samba was running and that once the windows clients were authenticated to the network using the same username and passwd... Accessing the Linux server resources would be trivial.

After perusing /var/log/samba, I discovered the following error:
open_oplock_ipc: Failed to get local UDP socket for address

Hmmm. The failure didn't immediately jump out, so off to trusty google.
It seems that there is use for the loopback device after all. Actually, I had not given it much thought. I always thought of the loopback device as a 'virtual' device, that simply is required to handle localhost. It seems that samba cannot function without enabling the network loopback device.

A simple 'ifconfig -a' revealed that loopback wasn't enabled. Easy enough to fix.
Running as root '/sbin/ifconfig lo up' resolved that matter.
However, the next step was to make sure that the device remained active.

So I next modified /etc/init.d/networking', and added 'ifup lo eth0' and assigned loopback device to first (only) ethernet device.

Next, I made a few modifications to /etc/smb.conf
Made sure that I synced passwd b/t windows and linux.

Once I completed the modifications, I ran 'testparm' and 'smbclient -L hostname' to dump the current samba configuration and active shares to stdout.

The output was as expected, hence problem resolved.

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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