azurelunatic: Computer with a wind-up key captioned "Which version of STUPID are you running?" (tech support)
I'm calling Madman's hard drive officially dead as of tonight. I did look up operating system pricing, and fortunately I'm no longer on *exactly* a broke college student budget. So once things settle down, I'll get myself some Windows 7 and a nice new hard drive to put it on. Maybe also one of those electronics vacuums, as that case collects dust like all get-out.
azurelunatic: Teddybear that contains ethernet switch.  (teddyborg)
XP is verily installed on the new HD. The installation + drive combo has been named Mnemosyne, which is potentially one of my read-only words, given that the only MN word I can reliably pronounce is "mnemonic".

...why, yes. Most of my Saturday afternoon was taken up with Finding Mnemo...

She's to be Mnemosyne no matter what machine she's actually in. So I may wind up wandering around with either Gemini-the-lappy or Allegra running Mnemosyne.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
There is a fair explosion of the good stuff over at [livejournal.com profile] bujold_fic.

I suppose it makes sense, to get high school students used to locking down their online activities from their high schools, if they're going to have to do it with their employers later in life. But "inappropriate" makes me nervous; I wouldn't want my child's blog policed for behavior that the school district found "inappropriate"; one's online life is an extracurricular activity so far as I'm concerned. If a sixteen-year-old Little Fayoumis wanted to draw and post pictures of naked ladies being very naked, I have no doubt that a school district would disapprove, but I would be encouraging his interest in art. (I'd also be attempting to make sure he knew the importance of taking all the appropriate precautions in his research.)

Slash fandom poll about second fandoms.

"Well, I like my money to be chilled." The rule of Barrayaran politics is: don't get caught. Maybe there should be a fan-made game show about politicians most likely to be kicked off Barrayar, and why.

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/007577.html -- screaming asshole scare tactics sometimes work for a while. Then people get pissed off.

Via [livejournal.com profile] metaquotes: [livejournal.com profile] scleroti_rings has an open letter to a really vile customer.

How to protect your children from the internet. No, really. This is how we had to do it when we were kids: have the computer in a family room. It is not particularly more intrusive than having the phone in a public place. If you really feel the need to lurk over your child's shoulder every bloody minute, you have probably got a problem (either with yourself or with the situation with the child) but kids will feel far less free to go to bits of the net they're not supposed to be in when they are in a room with other people who may bust them for it around.

I do like the suggestion in the comments about VNC/similar apps. If you really need to know what your kid is doing on the internet, ask first, but if you suspect something shady is going on, you can watch. (Though it's a dead giveaway with the mouse moving on its own, for the record. Do not touch the mouse when you're connected.)

I do consider it a breach of trust to spy through a kid's private writings. So far as I know, Mama and Dad never looked through my journals, and I know I kept my journal files on the computer locked tight. Dad could not have resisted the temptation to make reference to something that he'd only read, and not heard. If you're going to be using VNC on a computer, you're going to be telling the kid you will be doing that from time to time, especially if they're chatting, just the way you do keep a weather ear out for trouble when you're on the phone.

An offline computer in a private room is also a good idea. Makes for better writing opportunity. Though to this day, I have trouble writing when absolutely alone. I need noise and people around me to write properly, unless I've gotten started and I'm really on a tearing writing kick.
azurelunatic: "Where's the goddamn NERF BAT when you *really* need it?" Animated cartoon tech support loses her cool.  (nerf bat)
Monday: Beltane. Stayed in, caused kittens to tremble in terror at the almighty bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, and hung out on IRC. Blue, a long-lost Support volunteer who I didn't recognize, came in and talked about the glee associated with starting working out and getting quite fit indeed. I decided that why yes, I should run on down to the fitness center and hit the funky steppermachine for a bit.

Tuesday: Work. I came in to a disaster scene, and monitored a lot. Lots of people absent. Hit the funky steppermachine after work.

Wednesday: writers. I was disgruntled, profoundly so, after an interlude with the office wherein they were not grasping the idea that just because I *can* use the laundry room does not mean that it is not *profoundly inconvenient* to do so. It disarranges my lifestyle on a regular basis, in fact, and their proposal that I get up at eight the fuck o'clock in the morning before work is approximately like suggesting to someone with a normal schedule that they get up at 3 or 4 in the morning. No stairsteppermachine for me; did give plasma and do the writers thing. After that, I went Power Shopping, where there was more Power than Shopping, and the main point of the event was to get some groceries, some replacement underwear, and an hour of motion.

Thursday: Work again. Lo, there was commentary. Snarky Trainer (same lady, same snark, just no longer quite in her previous incarnations as Monitor or Supervisor) pulled me from my duties after the bulk of my monitoring was complete (after that point it would have been little bits of things that everyone can fill in for) and told me that we need a new training program for $ISSUE_SIDE_JOB, and that I got to draft the first edition of it, since I was running it, monitoring it, and on the phones for it from time to time.

I had discovered about ten poor monitor reports on Tuesday. Snarky Trainer felt better that she was not the only one who was coming back and feeling that she had to hand out poor reports. I mentioned that part of it was because I was coming back to monitoring more regularly after being away with other duties for so long, and I was taking a long hard look what with the n00bs and all and doing some serious self-calibration. She also mentioned that 'net access in the monitor rooms was about to disappear, thanks to some ... individual ... complaining that the PC was broken because it would not connect to some site that was dreadfully off-topic for work.

Wound up working out after work. Strangely addictive.

Friday, I ran $ISSUE_SIDE_JOB and OMG BUSY. Didn't get home until after the fitness center closed.

Today, I monitored in the morning, then wound up going and starting work on the new training presentation draft. Forgot to go on break for a while. Oh, and worked out too.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to get some more work on that in (enough that I'd feel proud handing it over to Snarky Lady to start debating over for revamping the training) as well as everything else, then hit the end of LepreCon.
azurelunatic: Pretty black-haired cartoon woman in a white tank top.  (pretty)
The thing with the time divided up between us is working beautifully so far. The one woman still makes me edgy. Someone new came in. Posted the latest installment of Circle of Fire to beta filter, for those who are following along; will take off the backdate when it all gets posted.

Tried to install NIC on Allegra last night. Stayed up late working on it, but failed to make it work. Did get the drivers onto the machine with the whole floppy disk thing. Will read up on how to get the machine to boot from the network, and things like that.

Dad always thought that you should have one machine for development and one machine for use, and I have to say that I agree with him on that one.

Having a bit of a tension headache. Tension and dehydration. Need more water. Yay water. Gave plasma earlier. Have killed most of my bottle of water.
azurelunatic: Teddybear that contains ethernet switch.  (teddyborg)
"After Blak & Dirt, we're going to have Smut!" --M (Her ginseng beverage smells like the dirt component of BPAL's Rose Red.)

*bright idea* Hmm, I wonder if I could set up my own remote ISP, especially if calls between home phone and cellphone are free. (Are they?) Keep a box on at home, connected to Ye Olde Broadband. Set up the box at home to accept incoming calls & share network connection. Set the laptop up to talk to the cellphone.

It would tie up the phone line something fierce, but it would give me connectivity anywhere within the Qwest network.

(This, apropos of trying to get [livejournal.com profile] meacu1pa's laptop connected via mine.)

Vampire games -> I vant to suck your BLaK -> blood of the master

Cat sound effect. (mrrr?) Chicken sound effect. (Bgerrrk!) Dog sound effect. (Aroo?)

A female is still a master. Transgendered vampire crossover craziness.

"You're somewhere weird with sushi and vampire penises. You squicked the slash writer."

"Blog of shadows."

Ack, allergies. Sneezing brains out is not a good thing.
azurelunatic: "Where's the goddamn NERF BAT when you *really* need it?" Animated cartoon tech support loses her cool.  (work)
The prank that's being concocted at work involves sensitive computer equipment. I've never crashed the dialer before, mostly because I do not, as a rule, touch the dialer.

We remote in to the machine in the server room that runs the dialer. I am working up two (or more) desktop wallpapers.

One is the background color of the server in question, with a telnet window open to a dialer crash -- and the taskbar showing an open telnet window.
The other will be a remote desktop window on top of the usual wallpaper of the computer in question, complete with taskbar, with a shot of said faked dialer crash cunningly pasted in.

Add wallpaper, set taskbar to auto-hide.

Instant fake dialer crash.

Goodness, I love screenshots.
Goodness, I love the fact that standard operating procedure is to take a screenshot and send it out with the incident report every time the dialer crashes.

This is one that's good for a second's shocker, followed by relieved laughter.
azurelunatic: "Where's the goddamn NERF BAT when you *really* need it?" Animated cartoon tech support loses her cool.  (work)
I had a bad, bad day with the computers today, from a tech support standpoint. No one around here tells me anything. I seem to be one of the few people who knows what some of these errors mean. )

The computers around here take a lot of abuse, like the thing with the power button being accidentally sabotaged. )

I bitched at some length about the sheer amount of special it took to do that to a computer, and the Obso1337 Supervisor brought forth some of the latest workplace gems. It seems that the Plaid Geek (the one who I ran into when I was doing the interminable disc project) was cracking the cases on some of the non-working items brought in to him, and he found things inside.

Gum foil. Lollipop sticks. Soda bottle wrapper. All of these things are things that the call center supervisors see jammed in machines with more or less regularity, so we were impressed by the Plaid Geek's touching faith in the integrity and garbage collection abilities of the average phone goon (evidenced by his outrage that some of these unspoken Rules of Computing were broken). I started wondering how long it would take before the other shoe dropped for him; Obso1337 Super indicated that it already had.

"It's a surprise that some of these machines were still running," was Darkside's take on the matter, when I recounted the Tale of Woe (or "This is what I did at work today, honey!") to him.

"Mind you, these were the ones brought in for repair," I said. "Like the one he found with the underwear in it."

"UNDERWEAR?!?"

Yes. Underwear.

All discussions of that PC seem to have short-circuited at about that point, with the usual newspaper barrage of questions like Who? Why? How long ago? Wouldn't someone notice? Was it theirs? Were they ... you know ... used? Boxers/briefs/panties/G-string? and other such frivolities. Such is the zen of employment at this call center that the old-timers have found that it is safest to not even begin to ask most of these.

Though if we knew the Why? we would probably know the Who?, and likewise. No one who works with me (except for the IT guy, who is new) thought to ask the question Who in their right mind stuffs underwear inside the case of a computer? because we all know that no one who works there is actually sane.

This may well be a final farewell from the One Man Bald Nudity Crusade. Who else would pick such a charmingly literal way to tell the computer, "Eat my shorts!"
azurelunatic: Cordless phone showing a heart.  (phone)
The mere fact of the door wedge is going to irk me for days. Wasn't hard to do given the position. But OMG WTF.
azurelunatic: Log book entry from Adm. Hopper's command: "Relay #70 Panel F (moth) in relay. First actual case of bug being found" (bug)
I was working cheerily away at my work computer Saturday night when things started getting unaccountably sluggish. I was annoyed. Then the dread Blue Screen and memory dump!

When I powered the box back on, there was an uncomfortable clunking noise. All attempts to boot ended in waiting for DHCP to respond, then having a problem with a non-system disk or disk error. Helpdesk, in response to my e-mail (from another, inferior, box in the bullpen) thought that the hard drive died, and the soonest they'd look at it for repair would be Monday.

I shan't be back until Tuesday.

Comic Pirate Super thinks the check-ins should have a more powerful computer. I happen to agree. That would be nice.

The thing had been rebuilt just recently. I am annoyed that it has to be messed with again so soon. Fortunately all my important files are on the network. It's tedious to set up everything just so and then have to do it again.

Evening shift was down by two supervisors tonight -- Practical Joker Supervisor was out, and Homie G called in last night to put in for a month's leave, due to a death in the family, and the necessity of an extended visit to Grandma across the border. Then Quiet Geek Super left due to an urgent lack of BBQ at the workplace. Trendy Chick was pissed. She and I were sharing a desk, as almost all the other computers in the bullpen are stacked two to a desk. The one she was at has a sucky mouse. The two on the other side of the bullpen are tacitly reserved for Rev. Not-So-Nice Super and company. The one at the far end is the timesheet computer and is only slightly speedier than a cosmic turtle at a few degrees above absolute zero. The desk opposite the check-in desk is tacitly reserved for the senior supervisor below the Shift Ops Super.

If the computer is still out on Tuesday when I'm next due in, I wonder if I could get away with bringing in Thalia to work from while things get repaired. I can't deal with the lack of desk space to do all my check-in stuff. Things fall over messily and to great effect. (I wound up taking a bow for the benefit of the amused Area 9 when a clipboard clattered down from the top of the monitor.) The network jack needs a new box anyway. Damn, forgot to put that on the booth out e-mail.

I came in Friday to find that I couldn't access the network. Turned out that the cable was disconnected from the jack-in-the-box that is installed at foot level by the desk. I attempted to twitch the plug back home, but no such luck. I dropped to the floor in the familiar geek push-up position, prone on eye level with the equipment of interest. I found that the jack was pushed so far back inside the box that plugging it in was impossible.

There had been geeks in Area 10 and around, so I went and flagged one (the contractor who'd been looking for the switch in the bullpen some weeks ago) down, telling him that I needed IT help or a screwdriver. I explained in brief, using correct terminology. The contractor came back with me, repeated the geek push-up, and headed off to get a screwdriver. The jack is naked right now, so I scavanged a black plastic supply bin and shoved that in place to protect my precious network connection from stray feet, the same stray feet that doubtless disconnected it in the first place.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
So yesterday I first slept in, then got caught up on the doings on the internet, then ran out to go get a blasted microphone for the computer, since it was clear that the built-in one was nonfunctional. So. I have that.

I also have a little bit of hardware who wanted to be named after a guest at [livejournal.com profile] elance and [livejournal.com profile] wibbble's wedding, but when I refused, would have settled to be named Red, but jumped at the chance to be named Lake. (Is it going to go after the gory news stories and hurt/comfort fic?)

I stopped by Trader Joe's, and experimented a little more with the chicken. The addition of chopped carrots to the chicken and actual orange juice concentrate to the sauce made it palatable, but not extraordinary.

Today may well be a nuttily busy day. I'm trying to get out the door, but not before eating breakfast, reading e-mail, and getting Lake set up on Thalia.

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azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz - bolt of blue - infovore)

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