Random Thoughts of Nothingness

Blog of Matthew Porter – Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, Geek, MS Warrior, and Ultramarathoner

Monster.com – Spamming Recruiters
  • June 6, 2007
  • 1 Comment

A few weeks back, we posted a job opening on Monster.com. We have found some truly great employees through the site. One of the worst parts of Monster.com is the recruiter spam. This would not be offensive if the spammer was actually applying for the right bloody job.

Below is an email we received to our Monster.com only resume address. This is from a random recruiter trying to sell her client. The only jobs we have posted on Monster.com (and thus have associated with this email address) are for Linux engineers.

Hi,

I am attaching the resume of Radha, Sr. .NET Consultant.

· Over 7 years experience in software design and development of n-tier business systems using various technologies.
Over 4 years experience in OOP with various .NET Technologies, C#, ASP.NET, ADO.NET, VB.NET, VB 6.0, and Web Services.
Expert in managing projects and exposure to all phases of SDLC.
Strong knowledge in Visual Basic 6.0, COM/DCOM, ASP, HTML, CSS, VBScript, JavaScript, XML, XSL, XSLT, DOM.
Excellent exposure to the following Domains: Finance, Telecom, Healthcare, Accounts Management, Retail Finance Management, Production management, Inventory/Material Management, Sales / Purchase Management.
Worked extensively on databases like Oracle 9i, MS SQL Server 2000, MS Access 2000.
Rich knowledge in writing stored procedures, triggers, functions, establishing ER Diagrams.
Extensive experience in generating reports using Crystal Reports, Data Reports.
Extensive experience in gathering the requirements from the clients with different kind of domains.
Strong knowledge on latest configuration management tools like Microsoft Visual Source Safe, CVS.
Experience of Object Oriented Design and Development using UML based tools (Visio).
She is available immediately and willing to relocate nationwide.

She is available at $65 per hour.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need further details.

Thanks,

Tina
Ph: 949-387-5667
Corous Corporation
[email protected]

Sorry Tina – but you are officially an idiot. Radha, you are represented by an idiot.

Missing Dog – Status Update
  • May 1, 2007

A number of people have asked about whether we found Ike and how the family is coping with the loss.

I am sad to report that we never found Ike. We contacted every organization and traveled to numerous shelters. There was never any sign of him. Some of our posters are still up along Caulks Hill road. Although, they are fading as time progresses – as are the children’s memories of Ike.

Since Ike’s microchip has never been scanned, we hope that someone found Ike and fell in love with him. As a memory, we keep a picture on the refrigerator of Ike.

Dr. Richard Stallman Talk @ UMSL
  • April 28, 2007

Monday night, I attended the RMS talk presented as part of the Spender & Spencer series at University of Missouri – Saint Louis. As expected, the talk was about the freedom of software and how proprietary software is “evil”.

It has been awhile since I have heard RMS speak. Maybe my memory is failing, but I don’t recall the numerous mentions of proprietary software being linked to terrorism. The core was by the mere statement that since proprietary software is not free as in freedom, it is terrorism. The second was a linking about how Microsoft Windows’ history with back doors. One back door exists as requested by NSA. Another backdoor never made it to Windows. This backdoor was supposedly being added unbeknownst to Microsoft by members of al-Queda. *

Let’s skip over the outrageous claim where proprietary software vendors threaten to rape people who use free software in countries like Argentina. * Yes, that “rape” not a metaphoric term for selling software at an outrageous price or requiring professional services to make that expensive software actually work.

What is interesting about RMS and the proclaim for freedom is the angle of where freedom requirement ends. For example, the FSF has a website, and I have no doubt that it is running on free, open source software. Yet, are the upstream routers, switches, and the remainder of the infrastructure running free open source? I would be willing to bet that are not. The proclamation that we should all use free software contradicts this. In reality, every user has limits on where free software can be required.

There was no mention of why the developers should not have their freedom to control their creations. On that topic, Stallman repeated his known opinion on how we are all force fed Linus Torvalds’s freedom by his stances on the GPL and lack of reference to GNU/Linux vs. Linux.

One point of fun was how RMS slammed UMSL at the midpoint of the talk. In front of the Chancellor, he stated that the university had banned free software, such as GNU/Linux (full titled just for RMS… this one time only).* No real elaboration on this, but it may honestly explain the overwhelming difficulty Contegix has faced in our goal to hire Linux talent.

My curiosity was peaked with the mention of how most Linux distributions are not composed solely of free software. RMS stated this phenomenon began in the mid-1990s. This was done to feed the needs of the consumer when a free alternative was not available. RMS argues that this impacted the free software movement as the inclusion became viral. Even when the non-free software was replaced with a free alternative, there was yet another unmet need and, thus, more proprietary software included. This begs a thesis study on whether Linux and thus GNU would have advanced as far as it has today if these needs were not met by the inclusion of the proprietary code.

Even when preaching to the choir, not everyone is a believer. It’s a shame that speech contains radicalness and a touch of bitterness about the GNU/Linux debate. Frankly, this turns people off and taints the message for many. A few people walked out at some point. Regardless of whether this was due to the radicalism, the true message is often lost.

Was it a good talk? Absolutely. Will I see Stallman again? Absolutely. Should people see Stallman talk? Absolutely! Do radical ideas from both sides of a debate help balance the world? Possibly. Will we be able to determine if/when Alzheimer’s hits Stallman and he starts speaking crazy? Hell, no.

* [References? Nah, those are for wusses and evil proprietary software vendors when they sell you their evilware. BTW, since Contegix uses RHEL and SLES, we are evil too!]

Crazies Calling Me at 1am
  • April 28, 2007
  • 1 Comment

Last week we rolled out a new phone system (something I will blog about shortly). We got a new block of DIDs to make our lives easier and the number easier to remember (314.621.8105 old vs 314.622.6200 new).

Well, thanks to my direct number, I received my first crazy voicemail. Enjoy!

SNL Skit – Maraka (Dora Ripoff) The Explorer
  • March 28, 2007

SNL did a skit about Maraka and her pet “Mittens”. As a parent who is forced to watch Dora repeatedly and wants that damn fox to steal Dora’s map, this made me laugh until I cried:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb7eLgaddI4

Sad Day – Missing Family Member (Lost Dog)
  • January 25, 2007
  • 4 Comments

Ike
It’s a relatively sad day for the Porter family. We have been searching for Ike since January 7th but are losing hope. It started when I let him out early that morning. Since then, Saint Louis has been plagued with exceptionally cold weather. Almost every night, Avery expresses her concerns and tells us how much she misses and loves Ike. It absolutely breaks our hearts.

Personally, I am beginning to believe someone has him and is keeping him. Our flyers and posters are “mysteriously” disappearing around the neighborhood.

Christmas Morning
  • December 25, 2006

Today marked a number of firsts for Christmas.  It was Owen’s first Christmas ever.  It was Gabe’s first Christmas where he understood what to do with presents.  His patent move was to unleash the fists of fury with wrapping paper being thrown over both shoulders.

For Avery, it was the first Christmas where she understood who Santa Claus is and that she gets presents.  She had prepared the entire family for what she wanted – a robe and Baby Alive.
It was a great time for us and our family.  Pictures are slowly being uploaded to the gallery.  Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

MacBook Pro Saga – Apple Support and From 15 to 17 In 8 Days
  • December 22, 2006
  • 2 Comments

Those who read the obituary of my PowerBook know that I recently acquired a new MacBook Pro 15″ with Intel Core2 Duo chip. For the most part, I was extremely happy with this machine. That was until Thanksgiving weekend.

On Thanksgiving evening, I was performing a little work and headed off to dinner. I closed the laptop lid as every Mac user does. Instead of seeing the pulsating light signalling that the laptop went to sleep, I heard the startup sound for the Mac. It had actually rebooted itself almost immediately after closing the lid. This was the first time it happened, and I figured it was just a fluke.

Well, it continued for a few more days and seemed to happen more often. The laptop itself also began to act sluggish with apps crashing and taking nearly forever to launch apps. By the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, the laptop was taking 45 minutes to restart and nothing else seemed to work. Off to the Apple Store….

The Apple Geniuses did some quick diagnostics, including trying to boot from a few firewire drives. Nothing seemed to work. The 35-day old laptop still did not boot in reasonable times or at all. Booting off the OSX install CD and running Disk Utility showed everything was normal. This stumped the Genius (hell, that’s just fun to say). The laptop was checked in with the plan to replace the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and hard drive with the parts being overnighted to Apple Store.

No parts on Thursday… No parts on Friday… No parts on Saturday… No parts on Sunday…

On Monday, I received the call for which I had been waiting. The parts had arrived and been placed in the laptop. Ready to pick up? Nope, the Apple Genius Andrew informed me that the laptop still suffered the same problem even after replacing the aforementioned parts and quite a few others. Apple had replaced nearly everything except for the case and display. (Did I mention that it always sounds sarcastic calling someone a “genius” even when I truly don’t intend it?)

Here is where it gets interesting. A call to Apple support informed me that it would take until December 18, 2006 – nearly 2+ weeks away – to ship my laptop. There was absolutely no way I could survive that long without a full functioning laptop. Even worse, the rumor mill was stating 15″ MBP were on delay as well due to screen delivery problems. What was Apple’s resolution? Enter Jess from Apple Support and Nancy M. from the local Apple Store.

Nancy and Jess graciously stated that they were committed to doing everything to get it right. Nancy offered me a 17″ MBP at no additional charge to pick up at the store anytime. It would have the 160 GB hard drive but not the 3 GB RAM. Jess ordered the additional RAM for installation at the Apple Store and sent me a spare 17″ MBP battery. Since I was on the fence about a 15″ or 17″ MBP, I took the offer as a sign of fate.

Since the replacement, the 17″ MBP has had its keyboard replaced once. The new keyboard had some problems, and the Apple store replaced the entire machine again. The employees at the Apple Store smiled and always remained committed to making me happy.

Yes, it sucks the laptop has been replaced twice. Yes, it sucks that I received the poor luck of getting 2 bad MBPs. However, the new MBP rocks, and I am ecstatic to have the 17″ (even got a new Clyde bag from AcmeMade.com). My kudos and appreciation to Nancy, Jess, and the Apple Geniuses (Joe and Andrew) for the unwaivering commitment to customer support.

Saturdays
  • November 18, 2006

I love Saturdays. Saturdays are my time to take a step back and realize what really is important in life. Saturday is the day Courtney heads to work, and I have all three kids from 8 am to 6 pm. Yes, ten hours of (usually) no “work” work. This is my personal private time with the children besides “Little Gym” time.

Today was one of those great Saturdays. Avery and Gabe played hard and had minimal television time. They did take a break to watch The Land Before Time despite Gabe having jammed peanut butter crackers in the VCR.

What about Owen? Well, his first tooth came in last night. It’s hard to believe that we will be celebrating his 6-month birthday on Monday.

iTunes: Pre-Ordering Albums
  • November 11, 2006

I just pre-ordered the new Jay-Z album “Kingdom Come” from iTunes. When I completed the pre-order, it allowed me to download the released single “Show Me What You Got” at no charge. I am not sure if this is new or not, but I love the fact that I do not feel as if I am wasting money when purchasing a pre-release single. Yet, it still serves the primary reason for the pre-release – stirring album sales.

As I typed this, CNet posted a rumor about Apple getting creative with their iTunes pricing. The rumor states that buyers will get credited for previously purchased singles when they buy the album.

Gotta love the digital world.