LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
Your manager wants to be referred to as "Yoda, Galactic Master of Paper Work".
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
10 computers sharing a 56K modem.
I've been in Asia for most of the last month. It was time for a break, and Asia was about as far away as one could get. 23 days of no computers, no deadlines, no worries. I was specifically shunning technology, taking only a note pad and a simple 35 mm camera. I had even decaffeinated myself because I figured it was going to be hard to find a Diet Coke in countries where by and large people are skinny.
To my surprise, what I found in Asia was a lot of cyber cafes. These had never really taken off in the U.S. of A. because computers are so cheap for us. But in many parts of Asia a computer is expensive, and the cyber cafe makes sense.
So I decided to use the cyber cafes every couple days to tell people about the adventures I was having. The trouble was, having not planned this, I didn't take email addresses with me. Having no real skill in remembering abstract codes, I couldn't remember most people's addresses. When I'm home, I just type their real name and Eudora matches that to the email address.
A million years ago when I started using email, no one had a username more than eight characters long. Figuring out an address was usually simple. Today, there are people with 32 character numeric addresses in this world, and domains that look like run-on sentences. If you can actually remember these addresses, you're probably Rain Man.
Things would not have been much better if I had taken my laptop. Sending email on the road has become quite a challenge because of the Spammers. Again, a million years ago, the Mail Transport Applications (MTA) like SendMail were all open for use and freely address able on the net. Even if you left your home network, you would probably be able to get to your SMTP server, and it would do work for you. Today the landscape is very different.
MTAs are now heavily protected from Spammers. They tend to be hidden behind firewalls, and even then, some are so locked down, they can only be used if you are logged into the machine itself. Sys Admins who don't take these precautions, get flame-mail from people who have been spammed, and they find their servers listed in the Realtime Blackhole List. A collection of addresses that are easily exploited by Spammers. Many MTAs are able to filter any mail straight to /dev/null if the machine it was sent from is on the Blackhole List. So taking your laptop on the road only works if you use web-based mail or if you have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which allows you to tunnel past your home network's firewall.
As I traveled, I decided that the best of all worlds is to use the cyber cafe because you don't lug around your computer, which is just dead weight, and a theft risk, but one needs to have a repository of email addresses available remotely. You could just write down the addresses on paper and type them every time, or you could build a address book on one of the free web-based email services.
I've decided to build a mailing list. Having access to a server with a list processing program allows me to build a private list where I don't have to reveal all of the addresses to all recipients. It also means I only have to remember one address to send chronicles of my future adventures. Although, I don't think I'll be using it anytime soon. After this long vacation, I have negative 20 PTO hours. I'm not going anywhere for a long time.
I was in Asia on Cinco de Mayo. Geez, you would think that these people had never seen a drunk fat white guy not wearing a shirt, toting a bottle of taquila, singing the Frito-Bandito song before! They got into it though when I told them it was about oppressed people kicking the French army's butt.
Star Wars Shocker!!!
Bush says, "Clone wars a result of Stem cell research!"
Let's play, "Who said this?"
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"Dude, my alone time. Go downstairs and lay down in the fetal position."
"It was my evil twin!"
"You ARE the evil twin!"
"We Xeroxed your electronic ticket for Star Wars about 500 times. I think the theater is going to be full!"
"I like the cheap stuff!"
I must go see if my film is ready.
(The Last Honest Geek)
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