Monthly Archives: December 2007

The Pop Culture Hacker Image is Deterimental to Real Security

You guys probably know my stance on the usage of the word hacker. You probably also know that the pop culture image of a hacker cultivated by Hollywood annoys the hell out of me. People think that hackers are some … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged | 4 Comments

What software do you install on a new machine?

I have touched upon this in the other thread but I figured that I can do better. So here is a more comprehensive list of applications that end up every new machine or after a clean install of windows. This … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged | 19 Comments

Microsoft Sidewinder Mouse

As you may know, I got the Microsoft Sidewinder Mouse for Christmas. Ever since I inherited Logitech VX Revolution at work I caught the fancy mouse bug. I figured that since I spend inordinate amounts of time at my computer, … Continue reading

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Blnking Dash Problem: The Non-Solution

I figured I should probably post my solution to the blinking dash problem. As you may know, few days ago I rebooted my machine only to be greeted a blank screen and a blinking dash in the upper left corner … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Infinite Loop BSOD (nv4_disp)

I love easily solvable problems. I call them instant hero issues – you can solve them in 5 minutes flat, and you instantly become a hero. I wish my problem that I was struggling with for the last two days … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged | 5 Comments

Blinking Dash Update And The Wisdom of Yahoo Answers

I did some more tinkering with my blinking dash issue and I found out the following things: FIXMBR + FIXBOOT did nothing. Fortunately it didn’t seem to hose my partition table so that’s good Booting from the WinXP SP2 CD … Continue reading

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Dreaded Blinking Dash

Oh boy… My home PC did a number on me once again. I’m currently confined to the laptop propped up on the nightstand next to my bed. Yeah, I can’t even sit at my desk, because I have a CRT … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged , | 11 Comments

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. First Impression

I’m currently playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. I only have few hours under my belt so I can’t really say much about the game but I figured I can jot down few first impressions. Before you accuse me of copying … Continue reading

Posted in video games | Tagged | 7 Comments

Merry Christmas!

If you celebrate it, Merry Christmas! If you don’t happy whatever you celebrate, be it Chanukah, Kwanza, Festivus, winter solstice or whatever! Btw, you should know where is the Robot Santa from. If you might be reading the wrong blog. … Continue reading

Posted in news & current events | 4 Comments

What happened to the review scores?

You might have noticed that I stopped using the hreview format, and the 5 star scoring system for my reviews. I don’t know if you miss that part, but I decided to drop them. Why? Well, part of the reason … Continue reading

Posted in meta | Tagged | 4 Comments


I saw Hostel yesterday so I figured I will subject you guys to a review of sorts. Yeah, I know, it’s an old movie (2005) but since I’m kinda short on material this is what you get for today. :P … Continue reading

Posted in movies | Tagged | 8 Comments

Lisp: Parse and Aggregate a CSV File

Yesterday I wrote about that little problem aggregating data in a big csv file. Just for shits and giggles, here is the lisp code to parse and aggregate a file like that. It assumes that we group the entries based … Continue reading

Posted in programming | Tagged | 19 Comments

In defense of office suite databases

Recently I asked you guys what was the point of office suite databases. Most people seemed to agree with me that they are practically useless – merely dumbed down, pseudo databases with bloated graphical interfaces. Jake made a very valid … Continue reading

Posted in technology | 4 Comments

So… Duke Nukem Forever?

Duke Nukem Forever is an iconic example of vaprware. In fact, it defines this term. Over ten years in making, and still nowhere near the completion. This is a sad lesson in how not to develop commercial software. Someone should … Continue reading

Posted in video games | 7 Comments

Anti Virus Apps and Performance

Please excuse me while I go on yet another pointless rant. But let’s start from the beggining. My brother was complaining that his rig was getting slow, so I decided to check out his machine. Turns out he was running … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Installing AUCTex with EmacsW32

Here is part two of my quest to make Emacs my default LaTex IDE on both windows and Linux. Installation and configuration of Emacs and the LaTex add-on AUCTex on Ubuntu was surprisingly easy and uneventful. On windows however I … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Redundant Facebook Apps Diluting Service Value?

Every day I get a bunch of application invitations on Facebook to join some new crazy little thing. There is a septillion of apps on facebook, and the funny thing is that half of them are the same exact thing, … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Showdown at Area 51

I was flipping channels yesterday, and all of a sudden something grabbed my attention. Hey, this girl looks familiar! As a matter of fact, I actually talked to her once, and I got her autograph! Yay for the 2002 NYC … Continue reading

Posted in entertainment | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Living in the Browser

If you read yesterday’s post, you know that at least one of my students thinks that the Internet is an operating system. It’s kinda funny, but it really got me thinking. I have been seeing these patterns emerging in the … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged | 7 Comments

On the 2007 Final Exams

The other day I gave one of my sections their final exam. The thing is mostly multiple choice but I do give them couple of optional open ended questions at the end of the test so that they can make … Continue reading

Posted in school and teaching | 8 Comments

Emacs with AUCTex as a LaTex IDE

My brand new goal in life is to get more proficient with teh Emacs so I can experience the juicy goodness of the elisp that people keep telling me about. So yes, this will be another Emacs post and there … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

Making Emacs More Firendly

I was messing around with Lisp the other day, and I started using Emacs (cause that just seemed like a right thing to do). This will probably offend the sensibilities of the die hard Emacs users, but when I set … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged | 10 Comments

Mechanical Dog Toys

Yesterday, as I often do I fell asleep with the TV on. I usually tune to Adult Swim in the evenings so I woke up to the morning block of Cartoon Network today. Since I usually stumble out of the … Continue reading

Posted in tv | 11 Comments

Windows XP SP2 Hibernation Issues

Personally, I believe that hibernation is for bears – I keep my machines on 24-7 and I like it this way. But some people do like to hibernate their laptops. From my email: I’ve been having another problem with my … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged | 2 Comments

Firefox Freezing up When Downloading Files

I noticed very odd Firefox behavior on my WinXP box recently. Whenever I would attempt to download a file, the whole browser would freeze up for few seconds. It has been getting progressively worse as the days went by. Today … Continue reading

Posted in technology | 7 Comments