Trying to think of something witty.

Location: Oregon, United States

Here is why I put my long(er) ramblings, well, at least the stuff I pretend the think about BEFORE posting. Here is my primary site.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Windows Server is easier to setup than Linux

The next person that proclaims that Windows Server is easier to setup than a Linux server, I will happily make the following proclamation to them:


The background for this proclamation is that we suffered a dead Active Directory/Exchange server. Backups would have worked, had the two hardware platforms been the same, however, the original machine was a MPS multi-processor system, and the new one was ACPI, along with other hardware issues. Therefore, the move an installation to different hardware didn't do us jack. Just to make sure, I even tried the change the HAL after installing a base server to match the old MPS HAL, and that worked a lot less than desired.

So what did I get to do, I got to install Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, and Exchange 2003, in one nice marathon session.

Do you want to know what is involved in installing that mess? Well, I got to find out the list the hard way, but here is the breakdown of it.

  1. Install Windows Server 2003

  2. This seems like a fairly simple one. Just put in the disc, format the drives, and let it run. Actually, this was probably the easiest step of the process.

  3. Install Support Tools

  4. This is form the Windows Server 2003 disc, under the \support\tools folder

  5. Install DNS

  6. Install WINS

  7. We have some non-windows machines on the network, so WINS is gonna be helpful here

  8. Install File Server

  9. If you are sharing anything from the machine, at least in a multi-person public way

  10. Install Print Server

  11. Mind you, if you aren't ready to install the printer software on the machine right now, wait until later, or make plans to install the printer first.

  12. Install IIS and ASP.NET

  13. This is absolutely necessary, even if you aren't planning to use Exchange's web-based interface

  14. Install SMTP and NNTP for IIS

  15. This is the requirement that boggled my mind the most. Here we are with Exchange, but it actually uses SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) from IIS to handle sending emails. If this isn't installed, Exchange won't install.

  16. Install Active Directory

  17. If you have a dead machine, don't even bother naming the new domain the same as the old one, it still won't work. Just choose a new domain and live with it.

  18. Start installing Exchange

  19. You would think this would be as simple as putting the disc in, then running the installer, answer some questions and watch it go. That would be thinking that they (Microsoft) actually cares about you, the technician. No, they care about managers and "decision-makers," you could go and fuck a goat for all they care.

    • Verify that all of the other tasks are done first manually, because Exchange's installer can't detect shit before it starts installing

    • Yep, it is probably one of the most stupid installation programs I have ever seen, hell even ./configure scripts with many Linux programs are easier to use than piece of shit

    • Run Forest Prep

    • Take a nap, or go out for dinner, you will be a little while

    • Run Domain Prep

    • You thought you have finished with the mind-numbingly boring parts with Forest Prep, naw, that was just the beginning.

    • Now start installing Exchange

    • Product Key Entry #3.

    Now, I get to start adding users to this mess. Let me say, that if you, for some insane reason, you named your domain something other than the @ name for your email addresses, get ready for extra steps.

    • Open Active Directory Users and Groups

    • Add a User

    • Don't even try to put their correct email address in

    • Open the user just created, and fix their email address, including SMTP information

    • If you don't fix this, it just won't work

Folks, this is the quickie version of the list. You can use Manage my Server for installing DNS, WINS, File, Print, Active Directory, and even the basic IIS stuff. However, you go into Add or Remove Programs -> Add/Remove Windows Components to install SMTP and NNTP. And please, for the love of all things holy, don't make a mistake. If you do, it will be easier to wipe and re-install than it would be to uninstall and re-install a component.

I can honestly say, that the amount of time that I took to learn and setup this mess, I have setup Linux based email servers. The only difference between the two? Well, in the same amount of time, I could have had a Linux server running the same basic items (IMAP, POP3, web-based email, File and Print sharing, DNS, WINS, User authentication) and would have included Spamassassin for filtering, Amavis for virus checking, Webmin for management, FTP, and SSH server for all of my remote login and uploading needs.

Yeah, Microsoft shit is just sooo much better and easier, my ass.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Love the sinner, hate the sin

Those words are debated as being an example of how Christians should live, and as an example of the watering down of Christianity. Simply performing a Google search on those words will easily provide both sides of the argument. Each side provides biblical passages to support their view. Each will argue the use of language and of the Hebrew and Greek words, and their definitions and context will be pointed out. Discussions of the interpretation of passages, and which has greater precedent abound.

If you look at those who proclaim the "love the sinner, hate the sin" mantra, they are often the "nice" Christian who wants to be the friend of the non-Christian so they may be a good witness for Christianity. On the other side of the isle, you often have the fundamentalist Christian. They hold that sinner and sin are one, and are to be shunned. Their belief is the only sinner that can be witnesses to, is the one who realizes they are in sin, and is looking for help.

Many would argue that there are vast differences between these two Christians. They will use arguments of Christ's love, or God's divine judgment. People will argue details of religious dogma, and the interpretation of scripture. However, the difference comes down primarily to one simple difference, at least a simple difference to the non-Christian.

The fundamentalist Christian is being honest.

The nice Christian who wants to be a friend to the non-christian, really thinks that the non-christian is damned and going to hell, but doesn't want to say so. Rather, they want to live as a good example for their friend to follow. However, in any friendship, there comes a time that the people involved has to do one simple thing; accept the other person for who they are. The non-christian happily accepts their Christian friend for who they are, a good person. The problem is, the Christian, can not accept their non-christian friend for who they are, because that involves accepting their sin.

Simply, if a Christian believes in sin, and that Christ has saved them from that sin, then there are other things that they also believe in, even if they haven't said so. They believe that sin exists, and that there are consequences to that sin. They also believe that the consequences are great enough to require the death and resurrection of Christ to overcome. Finally, only those who are saved, will not suffer those consequences.

Those consequences range from eternal death kind of hell, all the way to the fire and brimstone hell. Those who are saved are going to heaven. However, there can be only one way to heaven, there can not be multiple ways. Therefore, the non-christian is going to hell, end of story.

Now in the progression of any friendship, there are certain stages that we go through. One way of looking at that development is the social penetration theory. Even though this might not be perfect, it still provides a decent model to use. With any friendship, progression through the stages is inevitable. Somewhere in the Exploratory stage, people start to disclose beliefs and attitudes. With that disclosure, comes the expectation of acceptance.

Now, the nice Christian who has decided to be a friend to the non-christian faces a dilemma. As the friendship progresses to the point of sharing attitudes and values, what do they do if the non-christian refuses to accept their beliefs. The Christian has limited possibilities:

  • limit the friendship to the orientation stage only, therefore merely pretending to be a friend

  • not accept the person's values and beliefs, but pretend to be their friend anyways

  • end the friendship

The Christian who claims to have non-christian friends, under the guise of "love the sinner, hate the sin" is either lying to themselves, or their friends.

Personally, I prefer the fundamentalists. At least I know where I stand with them.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Brief History of the World, according to Christianity

The Beginning

There was God. Yep, that was about it. But seeing that God is omnipresent and omnipotent, there is always God. However, this situation was just God, nothing else.

Around 4000 BC:
God made light. First day done. The next four days he spent making heaven and earth; the land and seas; plants; the stars and planets; then the sun and moon; marine life; and birds. On the sixth day, he created the insects, land animals, and men and women.

We now get to chapter two of Genesis, where, either it is retelling part of chapter one, or God is now making Adam after he made men and women. Even if he had already made men and women, Adam was placed in the special garden God had made just for him. Now God told Adam that he can eat from every tree except for the tree of knowledge, if he eats from it, he will surely die. Then God decided that Adam was lonely, so he made the beasts of the garden to keep Adam company. Finally God made a woman for Adam, from Adam's rib.

Now, in early Hebrew texts, God made Adam and a woman named Lilith out of the dust of the ground at the same time, and they were equals. However, Adam got smarmy and tried to boss Lilith around and she told him to suck it and left. Then God made another woman for Adam, to be submissive to him.

Still around 4000 BC:
Now, there was this talking serpent with legs... no, really. This talking serpent convinced the woman that if she eats of the tree of knowledge, she won't really die, but become like God, knowing good and evil. She ate it, and gave some to Adam. Wouldn't you know it, they didn't die, but gained knowledge of good and evil.

Well God comes by looking for Adam and doesn't find him. Calls out for him, and has to ask him why he is hiding. Well, it seems that Mr. Omniscient isn't all that knowledgeable. God gets pissy, and announces a curse upon them all. Adam finally names the woman Eve because of all of this. Then, God mulls over the situation, and he is either talking to himself, or other gods, when he says that Adam and Eve have eaten the tree of knowledge and become like them. Well, God says that Adam and Eve can not be allowed to eat of the tree of life and become immortal, so he kicks them out of the garden.

Well, he we are, with God letting on that not only did he lie that they would die if they ate of the tree of knowledge, but that they were already mortal, but could gain immortality with the tree of life.

Now, this is what is normally referred to as the "Fall of Man." This fall of man incluced:

  • sorrow on women during child birth
  • women's sexual desire of men
  • man will have to till the ground for food and fight with thorns and thistles
  • men and women will die and return to dust

Well, I have some issues with this curse:

  • Doesn't every animal have pain during child birth? So humans were going to have it easy?
  • If women's sexual desire was going to be for men, does that mean that lesbians are not cursed by God?
  • Does the tilling the ground part mean that vegans are more cursed by God, while the meat eaters get to cheat the curse by eating other creatures that fight the thorns and thistles?
  • Wasn't man already mortal? Is keeping him mortal really a curse, or an attempt to dodge what God already setup?

So, Adam and Eve are kicked out of Eden and sent on their way. They have two boys, Cain the gardener and Abel the rancher. Part of the requirements of man to get back in God's good graces was to provide a sacrifice of their labors. Cain brought the fruit of the ground and Abel brought meat. Well, God liked Abel's offering and not Cain's. God then tells Cain that, basically, he hates vegans and they should start eating meat to be good God-followers.

What does Cain do? He goes and kills his brother. Did God see that coming? If so, why didn't he warn Abel, or admonish Cain about doing the right thing while he was talking to him just before this incident?
Around 3000 BC:
About a thousand years after the fall of man, we get to Noah. Noah is given the command to build an ark, and save a male and female of every kind of land animal. He does this, along with his three sons and their wives. That boat must have stank, and I am really wondering what kinds of animals were lost forever during that boat ride, because what was the carnivores eating? Finally, the flood recedes, Noah starts making wine, gets drunk, Ham comes in and sees him this way. Because Ham saw his naked father, Ham's son Canaan, and all of Canaan's descendents, was cursed to be servants.

Around 1000 BC:
Well, over the years, men continue to give sacrifices to appease God. God, finally announces that he will send his son to fix things, sometime over two thousand years after the flood, over three thousand years after the fall of man. Well, this was just the prophesy. The actual coming wasn't for another thousand years, or so.

Why did it take so long for God to get around to a permanent solution about the entire "people going to hell" thing? We are talking about 4000 years before this was taken care of. I don't know, maybe God was working on his TPS reports. Damn those new cover sheets.

Around 0 BC:
Finally, we are up to Jesus. Now, since this guy is supposed to be the savior for everyone, this should be a big deal. This birth announcement should be shouted from the mountaintops and across the heavens. Across all of the earth, all of the people that would be affected by this, who is it revealed to? Some shepherds from around Bethlehem, and three astrologers from North Africa. That's it folks.

Whoop-de-doo! One of my best friends just had a little boy, and I can tell you that way more people than that was told! This is supposed to be the salvation of all of mankind, and what, like a dozen people were told. Oh yeah, they told others, but wouldn't angels going througout all of Judea, hell, the whole world, do a better job, rather than some half-drunken shepherds? Don't forget the three astrologers who came to see the "King of the Jews." They weren't looking for their savior, but the savior of the Jews only. So, did they show up, give their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (which are all spiritually potents items), and went about their way to die unsaved?

Around 0 AD:
Jesus grows up, gets killed, and is raised from the dead. How many people are told about this significant event, something like a dozen. If this guy was supposed to be so damn important to all of humanity, why wasn't a little more effort taken to get the word out? Yeah, the followers were told to go an spread the news, but face it, some half-crazed (possibly even drunk) followers of Christ proclaiming that he died and was risen from the dead, is not going to do as good a job as angels proclaiming from on high.

Around 2000 AD:
Fast forward two thousand years, going through significant changes to the religion that sprouts up to worship Jesus, we get to the modern day. There are Christians of great charisma trying to live a life of love and devotion and be a good example to others. Then you have guys like Pat Roberts, Ted Haggard, Jack Chick, Jerry Falwell, and others like them who run about being douche-bags Christians, or stinky old bags of water pre-occupied with women's vaginas (with the exception of Haggard, et al, who seem to be more interested in where men are putting their dicks).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Today's Quote!

I know it's early, not even 8:30am here, and I have what i believe is a good quote for the day:

"How about I limit the number of ways I can screw up the server to a bare minimum?"

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Are you willing to give up your fries?

I have been a step dad for 9 1/2 years now (8 1/2 years officially) and a dad for almost 6 years. (Just for the record, no, there is no inherent difference.) Over the years, I have thought about what it means to be a dad.

Let's face it, as a dad, you will be confronted with many things, sometimes things that would normally disgust you, dirty diapers, spit-up, vomit. Then there is the lost sleep, the many hours of worry when they are sick, the fact that your responsability does not disappear when you are sick.

I have decided there are some tests to see if you are ready to be a dad or not? Don't worry if you are not sure of your answers right now.

Will you change dirty diapers?

This first test is the most basic. Will you change the dirty diapers. I have known some fathers who wouldn't, or couldn't do this. This is not just the "I don't know how," but the "I'm getting sick," situation. If you don't know how, learn. If you think you will be sick, I'm sorry, but this is part of the responsability of being a dad.

How will you react to being thrown up on?

As a dad, you will have children throw up in bed, in the bathroom (in sinks, in toilets, and/or on the floor), around you, and on you.

My little boy had been sick for a few days, but was starting to get better. Now remember, when a infant is "starting to get better" means that are not projectile vomiting as much, but some can still happen. I had just had a 16 hour day at work. I get home, and my little boy wants me to hold him, so I pick him up. He lays his head on my shoulder, and proceeds to throw-up all over my neck, shoulder, and chest, with a lot down the shirt for good measure.

What do you do in this situation? You keep calm. Remember, the little one is more scared and upset than you can ever be. I asked my wife to get some bath water ready, while I held the boy and tried to console him. As soon as there was water in the tub, he went in to get cleaned up first, and the shirt came off for a good rinsing then washing. After he was cleaned, I could then get cleaned up.

(as a side note; the shirt did not survive the ordeal)

Finally, here is one just recently, which prompted my writing this.

Are you willing to give up your fries?

My wife and I decided to get food for me and our boy from Wendy's, we called the girls and they wanted Arby's, which was just down the street. Since our son likes Arby's curly fries, we decided to skip the fries for him at Wendy's. So, once we have our food and are on the way to Arby's, we give him his nuggets, and he starts asking "please?" This means he wants some fries also. We tell him we are going to get him curly fries. Once we are finished at Arby's, we give him some curly fries. His pushes the curly fries away, and starts asking "please" again. This is no ordinary please, but like "help please' as said by Leeloo from the 5th Element. After a little of this, I reach into the bag, get my fries, and hand them to him.

This is what a dad does, he gives up his fries to his children.

Good luck to all of you fathers out there.

Friday, December 29, 2006


My best friend just had a little boy. Well, it was actually his wife, but he played a big part in it also.

Times like this make me miss not being closer.

It is hard to keep up with friends when they are 2,500 driving miles away. Then again, being just a dozen or so miles away might as well be across the country sometimes.

For a while before we moved, we had limited contact with our friends. Problem was that we had children, and one with autism, while all of our friends did not. That is a strain because our needs and abilities were not the same. If they wanted to go to the movies, they could decide to do so something like the day before, or even that day. We, however, needed at least half a week to schedule a baby-sitter, and even that was not always possible.

So we drifted apart. Limited time, limited options when the time was available, and lives moving in different directions took it's toll.

I miss them immensely. I wish I could be there with them. No matter what happens, they will always be my friends.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Supplemental Questions

When I first started applying for positions in Eugene, Oregon, I found that everyone has this weird practice of including what they called "Supplemental Questions." This is supposed to be the usual scenario questions to get your response, or to see what direct experience you've had.

Personally, these things freaked me out. On one hand, I wanted to provide enough detail and information, good and bad, to show the experience I actually had. However, I was concerned that they would look at them with the view that you were skewing the truth as much as possible, so if something looked great, it was just OK, and if something looked normal, then it must have been way screwed up.

Lately, I was looking at the supplemental questions for a position and I couldn't even begin figuring out what to write down. Finally, while riding the bus one morning, I started thinking of humorous responses. So, here they are.

1. Describe your experiences with and approach to installing software on high-performance computing systems.

First, start with a clean backup media, so go ahead and erase the most recent backup for an almost-like-new media.

Now you need to download the software you want. Stay away from source code, that stuff will hurt you. If you are using Linux, then go with RPM, even if you are not using an RPM-based distro, most come with a program to let you install RPM packages. If you are using Windows, then you can easily find an EXE installer from a warez site.

Next is the install, for Windows it is pretty easy, just install and go. For Linux, you may have to do some updating and whatnot. The only thing to remember is rpm -i –force –nodeps will make life go so much faster.

Now, you rm -rf any previous versions of the application, start your backup routine, and call it an early lunch.

2. What protocol would you follow handle a hardware problem on a computer system?

There are no hardware problems, it is all just lies spread by the liberal media.

3. Describe your experiences ordering software and hardware products.

I have exhaustive experience ordering software and hardware products. I have screamed at them, negotiated, begged, threatened, and cajoled. I have found that bribery works well, especially if you are bribing with 120V AC power. However, this only gets the system started, and does not guarantee that it will do what you want after that.

4. This position provides support for users of the ICONIC Grid. Describe experience that demonstrates your ability to communicate project status and progress effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

If you think a project will take a week, tell everyone it will be ready tomorrow, this gives them a sense of hope. Tomorrow, just come up with some elaborate reason why it isn't working. The next day, blame someone else, then blame the end user for not conveying their needs properly or for not understanding what is going on. Finally, when it is ready, you can boastfully tell everyone that “I told you so.”

5. Which computer systems and operating systems have you administered and for how long? In particular, describe your experience with Unix based systems.

I have never worked with eunuchs, and I don't plan on it. Those guys freak me out!

6. Describe your experience with storage systems. What types of storage systems (NAS, SAN, ...) are you capable of administering?

I can make amazing use of a four drawer filing cabinet.

7. List the different systems administration tools you have experience in using? What other tools do you know that will be useful in the position?

I like hammers and baseball bats. Pretty much anything that can provide blunt trauma to equipment is very helpful.

8. Describe your network administration experience.

In my time as a Network Administrator, I have found three truths;
1) user are whiney. I'm talking worse than Luke Skywalker whiney. They complain when the network is down, when their application won't run, when the server loses their emails, or even when I relay 120V AC to their chair through the phone to provide electric shocks whenever they dial user support.
2) equipment is expensive. Really, nothing sucks the life out of a budget faster than hardware. Therefore, any hardware purchases should be chosen based on what it gets the administrator. This can include freebies like iPods or trips.
3) software is expensive, and really good software is really expensive. Face it, the more expensive software is, the better it is. Windows 95 sold for less than $100, Windows 98 for a little more then $100, XP sold up around $200 and Vista is going to cost the same as a small car. See, each version was way better than the last, and the cost went up with it. Some people may talk about open source or free beer software, but face it, if the software was worth anything, it would cost money. Simply put, the best software would cost thousands per license, and would require a separate license for every key on the keyboard.