Friday, December 9, 2011

Using notepad as a log file - Automatic timestamp on open - Who Knew?

 I am an old school guy.  I like to write text in a plain text editor whenever possible.  It helps me focus on the text, instead of the font, spacing, italicizing, indenting etc. 

I have just enough ADHD that all those bells and whistles always pull me in.

I often use notepad when I am stuck on my corporate machine.  I take nearly all my notes with notepad.

I just stumbled across this little gem (Source)
Notepad can be used to log data manually. This adds the current date and time when you open the particular notepad log file..
Use the following instruction to create a log file:

  1. Open a new Notepad. (Start -> Program -> Accessories -> Notepad)
  2. Type .LOG in the first line and press ENTER.
  3. Save this file in the name of your choice.
  4. Now, whenever you open this file, the current system date and time will be appended to the bottom of the contents in the notepad.
It works REALLY nicely. Give it a try!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Herman Cain is a Koch Brother? Who knew...

Herman Cain's deep ties to Koch brothers key to campaign

By Associated Press, Published: October 16

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has cast himself as the outsider, the pizza magnate with real-world experience who will bring fresh ideas to the nation's capital. But Cain's economic ideas, support and organization have close ties to two billionaire brothers who bankroll right-leaning causes through their group Americans for Prosperity.
Cain's campaign manager and a number of aides have worked for Americans for Prosperity, or AFP, the advocacy group founded with support from billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, which lobbies for lower taxes and less government regulation and spending. Cain credits a businessman who served on an AFP advisory board with helping devise his "9-9-9" plan to rewrite the nation's tax code. And his years of speaking at AFP events have given the businessman and radio host a network of loyal grassroots fans.
The once little-known businessman's political activities are getting fresh scrutiny these days since he soared to the top of some national polls.
His links to the Koch brothers could undercut his outsider, non-political image among tea party fans who detest politics as usual and candidates connected with the party machine.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Yay! Instant Camera access on iOS 5.

From a locked screen,
Right there, bottom right, CAMERA!
And it starts fast too.


Blackberry | We are all missing the point...

 Blackberry is down and it is a big deal, but...

How is it we aren't talking about the fatal service and security flaw in their architecture?

Messaging and Browsing go through RIM?  Seriously?

"The messaging and browsing delays ... were caused by a core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure," it said. "As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service."

I'm not sure why anyone would think this is a good idea.

Read more:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm calling BS on this. | Federal Times biased?

 According to Federal Times:
"Federal employees are being increasingly concentrated into higher  paygrades without taking on greater responsibility, according to a  Federal Times analysis of government data."

Is this just sloppy work or a bias?

How, exactly, does Federal Times know that employees aren't taking on greater responsibility, unless they interviewed the employees?
They clearly haven't and state the same at the end of the article.

They talked to senior management? Because they are so aware of what is happening at the ground level?

What I see are GS staff doing more and more, as their co-workers have retired or left for better opportunities.  The climate is so bad now (no pay raises for 2 years, no support, no help, no new staff filling critical roles) that many are fleeing the federal ranks and most would not consider entering the federal workforce.

You can't fix the problem of the federal workforce by blaming the staff.

Friday, October 7, 2011

An ad I had not expected

I wonder if they get much business from this.

And...  now my mind is stuck on euphemisms.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Slanted article alert! Study: Contractors paid far more than feds for comparable work

 This article is misleading.  The article lumps the amount that is paid for a contractor's support and calls it all salary.  The amount the feds pay for an hour of a contractors time doesn't equate to the amount the contract worker takes home in his/her pay check. 

The Feds are paying for salary, benefits, overhead, and profit. They are also paying for corporate management and all the other processes that keep these organizations working.

Sure, some federal contractors earn more per hour than their federal employee counterparts, but remember most contract employees survive contract to contract. 

No contract=no work.

There is little certainty that their employer will win the next contract award and they are typically laid off, although they do exemplary work, because their employer lost  a low cost competition with companies that offer lower salaries, no benefits and less capable staff.

IMHO, if the federal government has long term work they will always save money by hiring staff.  They will also have to accept the risk of having excess staff if that work ends. 

I have spent ~ 12 years as a federal employee and ~11 as a federal contractor.  Contractors have their place  and most provide excellent support, often performing work that the federal government can;t accomplish in a timely, cost effective way.  Federal employees also have a huge role to play. Many are dedicated individuals who do good work, often at a pay rate lower than they could get on the open market.  They are dedicated to what they do and feel the work contributes in a positive way to the country as a whole.

We need to find the right balance between federal employees and contractor support.  Anyone who claims that one side is better than the other in all situations is a liar.

Full article here:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Network Solutions just got added to the "Bad list" a zillion times

 This email just came in to my corporate mail box.  It immediately got shoved to the Spam mailbox.  I wonder how many black lists NetSol just got added to...

Interested in .XXX domain names?
Pre-registration for General Availability
has arrived - get in line today!
Pre-registration for General Availability of .XXX domain names is open. All General Availability domain names are first come, first served, so be sure you get on the list today!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What a clean Debt Ceiling Bill looks like -

 This is what a clean Debt Ceiling bill should look like.  This example would increase the debt ceiling by $4.2B

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof 16,694,000,000,000.

This mimics the Debt Ceiling bills passed in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006,and 2007 under George W. Bush.
Republicans voted "Aye" more than 200 times in support of these 5 debt ceiling bills.
These five bills increased the Debt Ceiling by $3.865B.

And now we are at the brink of default because we MUST CUT SPENDING?


Why Now?
Bill Text:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rebublicans used to LOVE raising the Debt Ceiling -

 In fact, in January 2003 they did it with this bill.  They raised the debt ceiling by $984 billion.

This is the entire bill. 

All. Of. It.

One Hundred Eighth Congress
of the
United States of America
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,
the seventh day of January, two thousand and three
Joint Resolution
Increasing the statutory limit on the public debt.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof $7,384,000,000,000.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.
  • No spending cuts required.
  • No increased taxes required.
  • No threat of default.
So why is this time such a fight?     Oh yeah.

Because the goal is the Whitehouse, not governing...

Thanks GOP

You should read this:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Point & Counterpoint -

 Sometime my email stream is just plain confusing...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Actual green building in Washington, DC

 1275, 1st Street, Washington D.C.

The home of (some of) GSA and other federal agencies.

Yes, that is Grass. On the roof.


Friday, May 27, 2011

HD Timelapse Footage from the ESO VLT (Very Large Telescope)

 I haven't been to ESO, but spent a day at CTIO, which is close by.  I'm an IT Security dork, but this make me wish I had studied harder in physics class.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wait. I paid for this?

We have some in congress proposing drastic cuts or elimination of citizen services, and yet this type of BS 'training' is still being funded... Why?

TSA to train its federal security directors on 'ropes course' and more

During the planned two-day sessions at the ropes course, federal security directors will "walk tight-ropes; negotiate obstacles, climb, and pass teammates through an arrangement that involves physical and problem-solving challenges with low physical risk," explains a solicitation released by TSA on May 18. "Participants gradually expand their comfort zones (sometimes dramatically) and recognize fears that may block personal and professional achievement. Each challenge draws upon team members to actively support each other."
The Academy will also include two-day "Experiential Learning" sessions, which encourage the FSDs to engage in various roles that involve risk-taking, leadership, problem-solving and coaching, says the solicitation. "They shall be tailored to the specific challenges FSDs face in airport operations and hub-spoke relationships," says the document.  
The small business vendor's site must be located within 20 miles of TSA headquarters in Arlington. Similarly, the ropes course and experiential learning site must be located within 20 miles of the contractor's location. TSA also plans to take the FSDs on field trips to the Air and Space Museum, in Washington, DC; TSA headquarters in Arlington; and the Freedom Center, near Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

Where is the phone number for the Waste Fraud and Abuse hotline?
Oh, here it is: 1-800-323-8603.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Guiding words for these times -

Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.
True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish
The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.
Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.

Franklin D. Roosevelt,  First Inaugural Address ,Saturday, March 4, 1933 Link

Monday, February 14, 2011

HIMSS11 printable floorplan -

 I am attending #HIMSS11 this year, and I have been looking at the size of the show floor. My task at the show is to talk to nearly everyone on the exhibit floor.  So yeah, I need a map and a plan.

The Expo floor is massive.  Really massive.  I have been to the RSA Conference 3 times and it while that show is big, it is tiny compared to HIMSS11.

I attempted to print the floor plan from the conference website (pdf), but even spanned across 15 pages (11x17 paper in a 3x5 grid), I couldn't read the names on the small booths.

So I decided to crop down the floor plan to just the bare essentials (I don't really need the location of the dumpsters) and was able to make a usable printed map.  I ended up with 8 11x17 pages that I had to tape together, but at least I can read it...

Give it a shot.  (Please leave me a comment if this is helpful to you.)

Here is the cropped floor plan.

You will need a printer that can print 11x17.
Make sure and set your paper size to 11x17.

You should also set the 'Page Handling' Like this:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This is a must have tool for #HIMSS11

This site is meant for mobile users, but I found it helpful to select ALL the sessions I am interested in, then go back to my desktop browser and print all my selections. From that list I am making my choices from those that conflict. I am also identifying sessions that my coworkers might be able to cover. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Headed to #HIMSS11 -

 Any other IT Security types headed to the HIMSS11 Conference on Feb 20th? This is a down right HUGE Conference. Should be interesting.