And now a word from our sponsors

The following message just came in from one of my teams’ sponsors, Special Ops Paintball (Spec Ops).  This company has done a lot for paintball in general, and huge amounts for the sport in Utah.

Several months ago, Spec Ops bought land in Tooele County that it
planned to use as a commercial paintball field. The Spec Ops property
is over seven hundred (700) acres, and Spec Ops is exploring the
possibility of developing a destination paintball field that would be
the finest scenario paintball field west of the Mississippi.
Unfortunately, the neighbors have petitioned Tooele County to ban ALL
paintball fields unless they are located in commercially zoned areas.
If the proposed amendment passes, not only will it scuttle Spec Ops
plans for the existing land, but it might just keep all paintball
fields out of Tooele County.

The Tooele County Commission is holding a public hearing on the
proposed amendment to limit paintball in Tooele County. The public
hearing will be held on August 21, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. in the City of
Tooele at 47 South Main Street. This is your chance to be heard by the
Tooele County Commissioners, the very people that will vote on whether
or not to limit your access to paintball. Since it is a public hearing,
anyone can attend the meeting and tell the Tooele County Commission
just what they think about limited access to paintball fields. So if
you’d like to keep paintball thriving here in Utah, we suggest that
you turn up at the public hearing and voice your support.

We hope to see you there!

Special Ops Paintball

This news is just scary.  A similar thing happened a couple of years ago in Saratoga Springs, when city commissioners rezoned the land just to shut down Showdown, Pegleg paintball’s field.  With that action they forced a up-and-coming business to give up major assets, and they also shut down Utah Valley’s only paintball field.   Will Tooele join with other cities such as Draper to shut down paintball, either simply as recreation, or as a business?  Face it people, paintball is now the second largest “extreme” sport in the nation, it’s big business.  The only reason I’ve ever been to Tooele is for paintball. I’ve seen mock-ups of some of the plans for the Tooele field, and believe me, they are telling the truth about it being the finest scenario field around.  Given the chance to build this field, people truly will come not only from across the state, but absolutely the country, just to play this field.  Don’t be idiots Tooele, this would be a huge boon to your city and county.  Don’t mess this up.

Serenity

Oh crap, there goes my month.  On Aug. 21 apparently there is a new 2-disk version of Serenity coming out.  Now I gotta buy it again.  If you don’t know what Serenity is, well, do yourself a favor, and watch Firefly, then the movie Serenity. Anybody want to buy a used copy of the excellent regular version?


Pirate Utah?

Thanks to Levi for this link from ars technicha today.  The link tells of people believing they can get the Pirate Party, started in the US, beginning with Utah of all places. 

The founder of the original Swedish Pirate Party spoke at OSCON this year (link) which explained very well the basic premise of the party, and made several very valid points.  I think he was pretty straightforward about the fact that even if they didn’t win, they at least caused other parties to assume their copyright stance, or evaluate what they had.

Now frankly I see the chances of the Pirate Party in the US as basically nil.  Besides the mental and now largely legal lock in to two parties (there’s a big soapbox to get on), the whole “Pirate” theme for a political party would be shunned by so many clueless folks.  With that said, I do hope it can help get the message out.  Who knows, maybe old Orrin Hatch could pay attention, he’s got plenty to learn 🙂  Wonder how long until we get this discussed on the PLUG list.

Utah Pirate Party

Data Management

So apparently the Ingres company is using salesforce.com.  How do I know?  I just received an email from salesforce, that is apparently sent out to their salespeople, telling the agent they have a new lead to follow up on.  The email includes some of my information (from their booth at OSCON), nothing special really.  My favorite part was the instructions:

Please contact this lead within the next  business days and be sure to
log all activities.  Change the lead status to IN PROGRESS, etc. once
you have acted on the lead.

So I have instructions to call myself now.  I wonder if they’ll find out their error?  If I do get a call I know I’ll have to ask them if they’ve changed my lead status yet, and if they are logging all activities.  I wonder what activities I should tell them to write down :-p

Anyways, this brief bit of humor is funniest to me because Ingres is of course a database company, so getting their data mixed up just tickled the geeky funny bone.  So beware, I guess those salesforce.com data uploads can be tricky.

Rolling it Old School II

old school thumb.jpgI can’t believe I’ve forgotten so repeatedly to post about this game.  This Saturday Team DesertEdge is presenting our second annual “Rolling it Old School” game.  Basically, while many people on our team while we love the high intensity tournaments, and massive scenario games, we often long for the good old days when everybody had low end pump guns.  A few people crawling in the brush with tubes of paint.

Well, this is the game where we bring out the pump lovers from across the state.  This is a two-team scenario game for pump and pistol class markers only.  Test your “paintball skills” against some of the friendliest good players, without all the fear of repeated hits, or whiny kids with big guns.  This is a great game if you are just getting into things, or if you want a more relaxed atmosphere.

If you do not have equipment, there will be pumps available for rental for $5, and you can also use any other weapon in ‘single-ball’ mode. (eg you put in one paintball, by hand, each time).

This is a great way to play, and you can really stick it to a lot of folks if you are smart.  Come play for your best chance to hit me 🙂

Information available at: DesertEdge Rolling it Old School II

Recruiters

So this post serves two purposes.  One is to remind folks that tonight (Wednesday the 8th of September) is the Plug meeting, Mid-Career Development.  Robert Merril, local recruiter for SOS Technical will be presenting on various tips and tricks for making yourself be a desired asset.

What he is also pushing, is for feedback on why geeks like me tend to hate recruiters, and what can be fixed.  So here goes some of my notes.

The average recruiter to me seems like most used car salesmen.  They are willing to say, or do, anything to meet what they want.  What’s worse than the average car salesman is that they are negotiating with two separate parties.  Most talks with recruiters to me seem to be cold contacts, with stories that I can see through in moments, and leave me feeling like I need to seek out a public clinic.  There are exceptions of course, and I’d like to point out some of the things that I feel stand out.

Continue reading »

Server Errors and Reporting

So, for the third time, in two weeks, I’ve been reporting a server error hitting an API.  The remote API in question is in .Net/asp, and of course running on a windows machine.  Trouble enough on its own.  Upon notifying the programming/admin on the remote end I keep getting the same response.

“Can you send me a screenshot of the error?”.

ARRRGGHHH…   This is an API, I’m hitting it with a script.  You have logs on your server for reasons such as this, especially when I get a 500 server error, and no message.

No, a screenshot will not help.

Visor

Thanks to lifehacker for linking to the Visor app today.  This is an excellent app, Linux users might already be familiar with yakuake for KDE, which serves the same purpse.  Basically it’s a terminal emulator that can drop down/windowshade just like the terminal functions in popular FPS games like quake.

This is an extremely handy tool for people like me that always just want a terminal handy for a large number of tasks done during the day.  I normally keep a virtual desktop tasked to this, with the handy iTerm with tabs open, I like having a quick tool available when I’m in another desktop, just for the tasks not worth switching for.  A quick hot key and a real terminal.app session slides down for easy use.

Visor accomplishes this via the SIMBL tool, which allows you to plugin extension code into cocoa based applications.

Aliens in the Rockies VIII

Aliens VIII is coming up at the end of this month folks.  And what is it? Why Aliens in the Rockies is the longest running, and largest scenario paintball game in Utah.  Scenario Paintball is the big game with several hundred players competing in a large story based adventure.  If you are interested in big games, learning, this is the one for you.
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Aliens in the Rockies has a storyline based off fusing the popular Aliens, Predator, and Terminator movies.  There are goals for the whole team, as well as individuals and squads.  Every person can be an important piece of the puzzle, and enjoy various styles of play.

This year, Team DesertEdge is going to be the generals for the “Mercenaries” team, so you can sign up to play with a semi-pro team (and others), instead of having to be afraid of fighting against us.  This is the type of game where you can shine even if it’s your first time playing, and you have a great chance to learn with some of the best players in Utah, and surrounding states. Also, by signing up early, you can discuss with us overall plans before arriving at the field.

Hit me up with questions, but plan on coming, this is a major game, and a great chance to play alongside a lot of friends.  Come alone, or bring friends, and the teams will work with you in the largest game you can experience in Utah.

Pictures from Aliens VII
Aliens FAQ

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Perl Hacks

Ok, I’ll admit, I haven’t actually finished this book yet, but am well on my way.  You see, the time right after OSCON is very tough, not only do I have a weeks worth of missed work to catch up on, but there are so many new things learned at OSCON that I have to try and digest, or follow up with.

This book is one of those things.  I finally bought my copy of Perl Hacks during the Perl Foundation Auction, and had to debate if I would read this, or the new Mastering Perl book first.  Other books could wait in line. I started this one first, figuring I could read one of the first hacks, just to get a taste.  Since this is one of the Hacks series by O’Reilly, I knew I could read it in small bursts pretty easily, and that the first ones would be the easiest to start with.

Well, the first ones are easy, but in the first section I already learned several small features of Perl that I didn’t know, and several helpful tips.  I’ll admit, I didn’t know the powerful perldoc tool had a built in webserver mode for local HTML browsing of your perldocs.

In the last few days I’ve cruised though the Productivity, and User Interaction sections, then jumped forward, skimming interesting bits from Debugging and Developer Tricks.  Yes, this is a very useful book.  There are many tips I’ve already read that I wish I had when I was first learning Perl, and will always reference now to people just learning.  There are some I read last night that I will be rereading because of the depth of what they introduced.  This book covers the full range, and will give you tools that can add immediate productivity, and also enhance your overall coding day to day.

Stars: 5 so far, even if I haven’t finished
Please go get it if you even touch perl, besides, as a Hack book it’s one of the cheaper ones.
And no, you can’t have mine!