23. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Environment, Hybrid

Alice and I just completed a coast-to-coast (almost) trip in my gen1, 2001 Prius.

This trip totalled over 5500 miles from Raleigh, North Carolina to Redlands, California, where our daughter and her family live. Much of the trip was through mountains and desert and the air-conditioner was on over 80% of the time. As you can see by the picture below, our mileage for 5526 miles was 41.7 MPG. Pretty darn great for a 12-year old hybrid.

Mileage data for our trip to California from Raleigh, NC

Mileage data for our trip to California from Raleigh, NC

 

So here we are, December 22, 2012, the day after the world was supposed to end according to—no, not the Mayans—the morons.

The Mayans did not predict the end of the world. They created a calendar. The calendar ended yesterday.

Look at the calendar on your wall. It probably ends on December 31, 2012. Does that mean that the world will come to an end at midnight December 31, just because there is not another page to turn?

Of course not. Neither did the end of the Mayan calendar mean the end of the world. If you think so, then send me your contact information as I have a useless survival kit to sell you.

What the Mayan calendar does mean is that the Mayans were very smart. They created a calendar that could be used for millennia and which was accurate to boot. That implies a serious knowledge of astronomy and mathematics.

I can’t wait to see who is going to be next to declare the end of the world, and how it will occur.

I voted early, today.

Have you voted yet? If not, and your state has early voting, you should do so now.

“Those who refuse to participate in politics are destined to be governed by their inferiors.” — Plato

The advanced class I have been working on for over a year is nearly ready. This unique class, entitled, Linux Servers and Advanced System Administration covers a wide range of advanced topics in a manner never seen in other courses.

The topics covered in this course (still subject to change) will be:

 Administrative Tools  WordPress and MySQL
 IPTables  MailMan
BIND DNS  VNC
DHCP  NFS
Network Configuration  SAMBA
SSH  NTP
SendMail  CUPS
SpamAssassin  SELinux
MIMEDefang  Building RPMs
Apache Web Server

But it is how the class is structured as much as the specific subjects covered that makes it unique. Most classes that cover these subjects do not cover all of them, and they do not treat them as a part of an integrated whole system. The Linux Servers and Advanced System Administration class treats these as parts of a unified whole

By the end of the class each student will have a fully working Linux system with a firewall; a name server with forward and reverse zones; a DHCP server; an email server with integrated anti-spam; two working web sites with one a static HTML site and the other a complete WordPress site with a MySQL back end; A MailMan mailing list server; A VNC server; NFS and Samba shares. The student will also learn to build RPM packages.

In addition, students will learn advanced aspects of some of the system commands covered in my Theory and Practice of Linux System Administration course, as well as some interesting new commands that can be used for advanced system administration tasks and problem determination.

I expect this course to be ready for a test class in December of 2012. It will be held in my Raleigh, NC, training facility. The exact date is still a bit uncertain but, at this time, I expect it to be the first week of December.

The class will normally cost $2995. There will be discounts available for that session because it will be a test class. As always, the additional $500 discount for TriLUG members will apply. Please contact Millennium Technology Consulting LLC for details.

I just purchased a pair of New Balance shoes that were made in the U.S.A.

I went to SRI Shoe Warehouse here in Raleigh to look for a new pair as my old ones were worn through the soles. I like New Balance so I went to that section and found at least five different models that are made in the U.S.A. Fortunately one of those was what I needed and they had a pair that fit.

Note that not all New Balance shoes are made in the U.S. They do have five factories producing American Made shoes. The ones made in the U.S. have a tag that says “Committed to American Workers.”

28. June 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Commentary, Health Care, Politics

How ironic that the conservative Supreme Court Justice Roberts, former darling of the Teapublicans, should be the deciding vote to declare Obamacare to be Constitutional.

And how quickly the ideological right can turn on its own in a self-righteous temper-tantrum when they don’t get their way. Even before the ruling was completely read and understood, the right wing talking heads had declared Roberts a traitor.

Yet Roberts truly did return a very conservative decision—much to the chagrin of the pseudo-conservatives. He said it himself when he wrote “it is not our job to save the people from the consequences of their political choices,” thus refusing to take a political stance and doing his job by making a strictly Constitutional decision. He also wrote: “The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. … The federal government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance,” even correcting the government’s oral argument for upholding the law from one under the Commerce clause of the Constitution to one under the ability of Congress to levy taxes.

Update: The government did provide a number of written briefs to the court based upon the Congressional ability to levy taxes.

The reason that this is a truly conservative decision, despite the Teapublican protests to the contrary, is that Justice Roberts ruled on strictly Constitutional grounds rather than political ones. And that has the right calling him a traitor.

I guess that they are too politicized to understand what a true conservative really is.

To be fair, I certainly do not agree with all of the decisions made by Justice Roberts or the Supreme court as a whole. And yet another irony is that, while I agree with this particular decision for various reasons, I think the liberal Justices were not incorrect in their reasoning as they would have used the Commerce clause of the Constitution to uphold the law. Justice Ginsburg wrote, “Unlike the market for almost any other product or service, the market for medical care is one in which all individuals inevitably participate. … Virtually every person residing in the United States, sooner or later, will visit a doctor or other health care professional.”

Regardless of which Constitutional clause is used as the foundation for the argument to uphold Obamacare, the United States of America is a better place today because more of our citizens have access to affordable health care—including the Teapublicans.

26. June 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Linux, Training

I have rescheduled the session of my Theory and Practice of Linux System Administration class for the new dates of July 9 through 13, 2012. This class will be run at my class room in Raleigh, NC.

The cost is $2495 for this highly reviewed class. There is a $500 discount for members of TriLUG (Triangle Linux User Group); you must present your membership card or ID to take advantage of this offer.

Please contact me to sign up now.

Yes, my blog does have another new look. I like playing with new themes for WordPress so here is one a bit more flexible.

I like the simplicity of this theme and its subtle colors. Still a bit blue/gray, but brighter than the last.

On the subject of Amendment One, proposed for inclusion in our state’s Constitution, a pastoral letter signed by all three Episcopal bishops in North Carolina concludes with these passages:

Whether we agree or disagree with same sex marriage, civil unions or unmarried couples cohabiting, we can agree as people of faith that, as the book of Genesis says, all human beings are “created in the image of God.” That means that all persons are to be treated with the love, respect and dignity that befit a child of God. Therefore we do not believe that the Bible or the Constitutions of our state and nation should be used to oppress, harm or restrict the human rights and dignity of any human being. On the contrary, Jesus has taught us that the greatest and most important of all the commandments of God are to love God and to love our neighbor.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.“ On these two laws hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)

Amendment One falls dangerously short of that standard.

Your Brothers in Christ,
Michael B. Curry
Clifton Daniel
III
G. Porter Taylor

04. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Opinion, Rants

It is about the most pitiful apology I have ever heard. My mother would never have let me get away with it nor would I have let my children get away with it.

I am talking—of course—about the non-apology apology. Specifically the alleged apology made by Rush “the slut” Limbaugh to Sandra Fluke, who was just trying to testify to Congress; to a bunch of men only; about women’s issues; and who did not want to hear what she had to say. At least the Democrats invited her back to speak to them despite the fact that the Republicans still do not want to hear her.

Rush apologized. But not for calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” No, he apologized only for selecting those specific words.

So Rush, what words would you have used to call Ms. Fluke those things? Would that have made it any better? Would it have been different in any way? Perhaps, if you had used different words your sponsors would not be pulling out. Is that what you are sorry for? The loss of income? Would using different words have enabled you to call her a “slut” and a “prostitute” while keeping your sponsors?

And this does not even begin to cover Rush and the other morons telling women to put aspirin between their knees to prevent pregnancy. Why don’t we just cut off your penis instead—if it can be found?

Rush’s comments are disgusting, reprehensible, filthy, slanderous (I would sue if I were Ms. Fluke), and so far out of the realm of reasonable discourse that he should be taken off the air permanently. At the very least he and the network and every station that carries his show should be fined. This venomous attack is so much more obscene than the occasional language on TV or even the “wardrobe malfunctions” that leave folks thinking they might have seen something, that it deserves significant punishment.

Are you there, FCC?

If you want to help prevent this monster from airing more malignant sewage, here are a couple web sites that tell which companies sponsor him so that you can boycott them write them letters.

Stand up to the morons.

On February 7, the Raleigh, NC, City Council passed an Open Source Government Resolution that promotes the use of open source software and open data.

By placing Free Open Source Software (FOSS) on the same footing as commercial, proprietary software in the purchasing process, the City Council has taken a step forward to ensure that the best software for any purpose is available. Whether Open Source or Proprietary software is used, the citizens of Raleigh will know that their interests are best served.

With only a few exceptions, there is Open Source Software available to meet nearly any need of city government. From straightforward desktop applications to medical applications and emergency services, there is FOSS available—in many cases, free for the download.

What is FOSS?

I love this analogy and stole it from the article, How to get your city to pass an open government policy  at OpenSource.com.

FOSS, Free Open Source Software, is like chocolate chip cookies. Would you rather have a cookie, or the recipe so you can bake more yourself? Of course you would rather have the recipe. At least I would. But then I can bake cookies.

With the recipe I can bake them exactly like my mother did without changing the recipe. If I want, however, I can add nuts, or use whole wheat flour, or add oatmeal, or make any one of a number of other changes.

The same is true of Free Open Source Software. By using FOSS I can download applications I want and make as many copies as I want. If I don’t like how some aspect of the program I have downloaded works, or just think I can make it better, I can download the source code (recipe) and add or change a few lines of code (change the recipe) and recompile (bake) it. Now the code will be more suited to my own needs (taste better).

The only thing left to do is to share the new recipe with the rest of the world, which is one of the great things about Open Source. Everyone can benefit from the changes I have made.

You don’t need to be a baker to enjoy great chocolate chip cookies. Neither do you need to be a programmer to be able to use great Open Source Software. But if you are a baker or programmer, you can make changes as you desire and your skills allow. I could not create a chocolate chip cookie recipe from scratch, but I can take someone else’s recipe and make a few minor changes to it. So that is what I do—with chocolate chip cookies and with some software.

We march THIS SATURDAY FEB. 11.

MEET in front of the Progress Energy Center. See the link for information about the Progress Energy Center and directions.

TIME between 9:15 and 9:30. LOOK FOR a tall sign “People of Faith AGAINST Amendment  One”

We will go from there to the start and then get more instructions. Wear good shoes, and your  ’Vote Against’ t-shirt if you have one. We will march behind our new banner and (if the buttons come in Thursday) they will be available for $1.00 each.

Parking is an issue so car pool if possible.

This website will participate tomorrow, January 18, 2012, in protest of the SOPA law. That law would restrict the Internet freedoms of everyone for the somewhat questionable  financial benefit of a few media companies. In order to restrict alleged piracy, they would restrict the entire Internet. Web sites could be closed without any warning or even proof that they were in violation of any law—except the laws of greed.

Read about SOPA and the protest.

This bill will break the Internet as we know it.

Well, actually it was Bain Capital which fired me, but Mitt was largely responsible for many of the actions of Bain.

I started working for Interpath Communications, Inc., a local ISP/ASP here in RTP, North Carolina, in October, 1999. Interpath was a subsidiary of Carolina Power and Light, which is now Progress Energy.

In about May of 2000, Bain Capital purchased an equity share of Interpath from Progress Energy. I knew we were in trouble when we heard that a capital company out of Boston purchased such a large equity share. It was a common subject of discussion around Interpath in those days to speculate on when the first layoffs would be.

On the morning of August 11 of 2000, we came in to work and each found a sealed envelope on our desk. We were locked out of our computers and there were armed guards at the entrances to the computer room.

Interpath Layoff Letter

Interpath Layoff Letter. Click to view enlarged.

After opening and reading the contents of our envelopes, about 80 of us went into one meeting room and the rest went into another. I was in the group of 80 that were being “laid off,” “restructured,” “downsized,” “rightsized,” “released,” “let go,” “terminated,” or any of the other words used to say you were fired.

No one even had the common decency—or guts—to sign the letter.

Yes, Mitt does like to fire people. He fired me and eighty others in one day at one company!

It took only two years to dismantle a perfectly good company. Here is a link to a 2002 story about the divestiture of most of Interpath’s then remaining assets, As Interpath Fades, Employees Offered Severance or Move to Maryland.

________________________________________________

Disclosure: I still own shares of Progress Energy, most of which were purchased through the Employee Stock Ownership Plan while I worked at Interpath.

My Company, Millennium Technology Consulting LLC, has set its Linux training schedule for the First Quarter of 2012. We will be presenting one session of our highly acclaimed “Theory and Practice of Linux System Administration” class each month.

Classes are set for the following dates:

  • January 23-27, 2012
  • February 13-17, 2012
  • March 12-16, 2012

Please refer to the Millennium Technology Consulting LLC Training Page for complete schedules and prices.