Top 10 Reasons I’d hire a SW programmer ahead of Albert Einstein

10.  What good does a theory do me?  I need algorithms and equations.

9.   Albert might have been a wiz at mathematics and physics – but could he do boolean algebra in his head?

8.  Paper notebooks vs. electronic revision control

7.  Chalkboard vs. Smartphone & Tablet

6. Albert doesn’t qualify: doesn’t have a degree in Computer Engineering or Computer Science.

5.  Theories published via Scientific Journal  vs. theories published via Wikipedia.

4.   If you say embedded device programming to Albert Einstein – he’d think you were mumbling about a ring you’d lost in the garden.

3.  There’s an APP for that…  and one of the millions of them will even calculate the theory of relativity – beat that Albert.

2.  Albert may have spoken multiple languages, but SQL, C# and Ada were not among them.

1.  Duh – Albert is dead.


Turn 10’s VIP status — FAIL

Turn 10 has a “VIP” status you can buy into for Forza Motorsport 4. Like in Forza 3, if you buy the “limited collectors edition”, you get it. But then in case you didn’t get it, they throw it up in the market place later and it costs less than paying the premium for the collectors edition. I pre-ordered my copy so early, back before there was such a thing as “limited collectors edition”, so obviously I was not a VIP. So I thought why not pay 1200 points to get the extras, because it gets me a 400 point discount on this new Porsche pack that comes out today. So I buy 1600 points from Amazon and go download the VIP “status”. Guess what? The VIP discounted download link for the Porsche expansion is broken. So if you play the game enough to have paid for the VIP status or collectors edition and want the expansions, you can pay full price or wait till they get around to fixing it. So Turn 10 didn’t learn anything from screwing around VIP’s from Forza 3, and still screw around the people who actually buy all the additional content… (Yet they spend how much on advertising?)

Thermal paste — or mayonnaise???


I’m getting ready to swap the board/processor/ram in my home server and realized I only have Artic Silver from about 10 years ago.  So being the detailed friend, Rev Pizzaguy sent me a nice chart: Thermal Compound Roundup. And it looks using mayonnaise does better or as good as most of the compounds! And for the price of some of these, I could stop in Sams and buy a 5 gallon bucket of mayonnaise, er, heat sink compound. Now I know why the stuff tastes so nasty…..

Harbor Freight Product Labeling

So, I happened to be at Harbor Freight this last weekend to pick up a couple items to help install the laminate floor I bought for our house. I had to browse the aisles while I was there and happened across this amazing product. Granted, most rechargeable 9v batteries aren’t actually 9v, more like 7.2 or even 8.4 if you are lucky, but 1.2 volts!?!?!? Really!?!?!?

MySQL Workbench….. Fail….


So I wanted to run a couple simple queries against MySQL data — and the editor doesn’t work???  Turns out it does — you just can’t see it… Notice in the screenshot I have no visible script, yet in the error pane you see that it did run what I typed…. Sometimes I like to think I am good at manipulating data, but I draw the line here: give me my editor back!!!!



Server Upgrade — What can go wrong?

I have an older server at work and the plan was to turn it into a storage box for backups.  I bought a Perc6i off fleabay and with the help of some new 1TB drives, I thought it should turn out nicely…

The aging box is a Supermicro 3U chassis with 8 hot-swap trays — and a Supermicro server board.  Sure it only has 4GB RAM and a Pentium D processor, but it’s all I need for some solid network I/O.  Well, I didn’t bother to check the board only has PCI-E x4 — and the Perc6i is PCI-E x8. Oops, strike 1.

After looking around, I stole an Asus board with a Core2Duo from a desktop machine I used for testing.  So I pulled the server board, dropped in the Asus desktop board — and the x16 slot doesn’t line up to the back of the case — there’s a cooling fan there…..  Strike 2.

So I took the bracket off the card and took the cooling fan out — and decided the card can sit there loose in the rack case.  Ok so time to cable this up.  But since it is a Supermicro case and a Supermicro board, it had a single ribbon cable for the front panel.  Amazingly the breakout cable showed up, but the bundle is so thick the front panel wouldn’t mount back.  After 30 minutes of saying “it can’t be this hard!” I ended up using a paperclip as a spacer to match the new cabling thickness.  Oh, and then the cable was too short to reach the connectors on the motherboard….Strike 3…

So who needs the front panel mounted anyway? It can just sit loose in the case and I’ll leave the 5.25″ bay covers out so a hand can reach it….  So after undoing the shimmed panel yet again, I hooked it up to the board and finished cabling the drives.  And guess what?  The Perc6i plus cable connectors is too tall for a 3U case… Strike 4…

So at this point, I put the server back the way it was and give up.  It can run some secondary tasks and remain unimportant.  I put the raid card in a newer machine and added the drives.  And what else can go wrong?  One DOA drive with cracked plastic by the jumpers and one drive that “works” but the plastic SATA data connector is broken off.  So with 2 out of 5 drives dead, I can’t build the array anyway.  Strike 5……

Sometimes upgrades don’t turn out so well, but I highly recommend avoiding the words that guarantee more problems: “What else can go wrong?”



I took the 3 remaining drives and setup a small RAID 5 just to make sure those 3 drives are ok.  Nope, 1 is bad.  3 out of 5 drives from Newegg are dead in less than 24 hours of unpacking them.  Strike 6…..


I got 2 more drives in and made a RAID 5 and the RAID manager is showing one of the other 2 original drives having 153 media failures already.  So 3 out of 5 bad, and one is flaky — leaving *one* good drive out of a batch of 5….



Philips LED Bulb Gets Price Cut For Earth Day

So, apparently, the Philips 60W equivalent LED light bulb that won a prize for lighting efficiency (even though it was the only entrant) is getting a price cut in honor of Earth Day from $60 down to an amazing $26 (on Amazon here)! According to the Philips website, this bulb is so amazing, it outputs 825 lumens while only using 12.5W and will last for 30,000 hours of use!

Now, let’s put that into perspective. A standard GE “Energy Smart” 60W equivalent CFL bulb (available from Amazon here, as well), outputs the exact same 825 lumens, while drawing (gasp!), a whole 13W (1/2 a watt more for those of you mathematically impaired). Now, you may ask, how long does it last, though? The life expectancy of one of these inferior bulbs is only 10,000 hours, a full third less than the amazing Philips LED bulb! You may have to buy 3 of these to match the lifetime of the Philips LED bulb. How much do you have to pay for such an inferior product? $1.05/each… I rest my case.

Apps are for smart-ass phones….

Noone can escape it.  Eventually you will have to listen to a friend rambling about the latest app they found for their smart-ass phone.  It puzzles me why another fart app would even get noticed these days  — and some things just don’t need high definition.

But it seems the world has forgotten an important app: the web browser.  You don’t have to install an app to listen to auto-tuned pop music on Pandora, order a new razor and tooth brush from Amazon, check the dirty laundry being aired on Facebook, or to look for junk on Ebay to refill the empty space from your last garage sale. It’s all available inside a web browser! And you can even bookmark anything you might want to view again later.

So why is it everyone is installing a new app for everything?  This would be unacceptable on a laptop.  Most people are too lazy to install anything on their computer — much less apply security updates.  Yet installing a few dozen apps is no problem for your average smart-ass phone user — even if the apps are useless or hold your interest for half the time it took to download and install it. And countless updates are OK?  I don’t get it…

And this mentality is why we don’t have better mobile sites.  As soon as someone picks up a smart-ass phone, they forget to search the web instead of the app store.  But please, can we go back to using web browsers instead of having separate applications for everything?  I don’t really like the deja vu feeling when it comes from from the days when 28.8 dialup was amazing…





Just Add Memory

You’d think that adding memory to a PC would be straight forward.

  • Power Off
  • Open the case
  • Pop out the old memory
  • Insert New
  • Close the case
  • Power on

And Bob’s your uncle.

But – it never turns out that way!

I figured I’d upgrade my 4 year old MSI mobos with some more memory,,, and for one – it won’t blasted detect both DIMMS now ( and yes I did check the MOBO manual which says you have to use DIMM slot 1&3 or 2 & 4 if you are not populating all DIMMs).

The other – bought at about the same time – I thought could take the one old DIMM add a new one and double it’s memory too – well I would never have guessed that it was using DDR not DDR2 like the other board.

At some point I’ll have to figure out what to do with:

a) why the PC won’t detect both  DIMMS

b) what to do with 2 1 GB DDR2 DIMMS  – I could try it in this MOBO – but if it won’t detect 2 DIMMS why would it work with 4?