Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Linux Recruting

I get a LOT of emails from headhunters, many asking me to come work for them doing every-damn-thing for no money as a “consultant” on (only) a 6 month contract πŸ™‚ I am sure all tech people do. Occasionally I get email from a recruiter who is actually asking me for help looking for a decent Linux person. I got one of those this afternoon. In summary, the email went like this:

I am looking for (Linux Admin) and you probably aren’t looking but I am having a hard time and could you help point me somewhere I can find one?

I always respond to those emails, and, for posterity and for any recruiters watching, here’s the answer:

Not necessarily true. I am always looking πŸ˜‰
I get a lot of requests and offers and I’ll tell you what turns me off and that may help you find someone. Linux guys with any experience are in really short supply and they are a unique breed of techie. Most are driven to Linux by the premise of free software and/or open source ideals, and as such they do not necessarily have (current) windows skills and are even more likely to not be interested in using any that they do have. I fit into that category. Also, not every Linux guy is a java programmer/desktop technician/helpdesk/printer mechanic/insert other required skill set jumble here. I see a lot of those. “We need a Linux guy that will fix our windows desktop, program new device drivers, fix our mainframe and telephone system, sweep floors and wash cars” kind of things. Those kind of people do not exist πŸ™‚ Lastly is the compensation. Most companies have dealt with the influx of paper certed, dime a dozen MCSE’s for their technical needs and they truly believe that anyone out of grade school can “do tech” for them. It has greatly devalued the industry as a whole. They do not understand the real high skilled people are rare and expensive and can *easily* find work, which is why most Linux/Unix people have not been effected by the technical recession.

So I guess in short,
Linux guys are almost always staunch Linux guys (and if they are not, be suspicious).
Be specific in what you need but remember that These kinds of tech guys are quick at catching on to related technologies so try and be general where you can. For example, there are a bunch of scripting languages and all of them are capable of getting the job done, so say you need a scripter instead of you need a perl scripter.
Be prepared to offer more compensation for a rarer Linux tech than you would an unemployed Windows tech.
Advertise in the right circles. When I get offers, I often send them out to some of the mailing lists of Linux techs I am on, and there are some great Linux groups on Facebook and Google Plus. There are also websites like Linuxquestions.org where Linux geeks hang out.
Lastly, if all else fails, try a few less experienced Linux guys.

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

HTML 5 Unleashed

HTML 5 Unleashed

HTML 5 Unleashed

This has been a hard review on me in a lot of ways. The first being I found it very difficult recently just to get the time to put into this, and secondly, and more importantly, I just plain suck at Javascript πŸ™‚

This is not the first book on HTML 5 I have reviewed for Pearson, I reviewed the HTML5 Developer’s Cookbook previously, and I hope to be able to review more, because I am just not very savvy with this yet. Thankfully, this really has nothing to do with the book itself though. The book is layed out very well, like all the rest of their “Unleashed” series and I particularly appreciate their orange chapter tabs on the sides of the pages. This helped me a lot as I was flipping back and fourth trying to figure out what I was messing up this time.

The author, Simon Sarris, does a really great job of laying the book out in a sensical manner by first explaining the new stuff in HTML 5 and conceptualizing things a bit before moving into the easy things like working with the new layout and tags on to adding new audio and video goodies and then, where they leave me in the dust, working with canvasing, geolocation and other more advanced APIs.

This book gives really good examples and color illustrations and exercises to follow along with. Just exactly what I need in my HTML 5 learning quest, without being overly wordy, long and over complicated, or too technical. I found it helpful and, with some further practice, I can make better use of it than I do now. For a paltry $45 (retail) you’ll certainly get your monies worth.

And since I mentioned practicing this, it bears mentioning that Pearsons InformIT has just released a flagship new product called a “Learning Kit” which is “a self-paced electronic course that integrates text, graphics, video screencasts, and interactive quizzes into one complete tutorial.” Delivered in zip format it’ll run in any HTML 5 compatible web browser. And to top that off, they are letting me play with the one that goes with this subject, “Sams Teach Yourself HTML5 Mobile Application Development in 24 Hours (Learning Kit)“, which is freaking awesome, because I surely need it.

This stuff is the distance learning wave of the suture my friends and my only hope is they keep remembering me when they need a review πŸ™‚ Thanks again, Pearson!

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Boo

ghost
OK, so it’s October and once again there is an onslaught of spooky movies and ghost hunting shows all over the digital media outlets. Although I have LONG been a fan of such things, I have a few questions to pose to the ghost hunters out there. Leave it to me to go interjecting logic into all this, but some questions just scream for an answer.

Why is it that all ghosts are presumed to be telling the truth? So assuming that you actually get to talk to a ghost that has been harassing you or your family by haunting and scaring the crap out of you, WHY do you believe a word they say? I mean, I hardly believe anyone living I meet in person, let alone some dead guy that has been hiding for 100 years in my closet.

Speaking of closets, why do all ghosts seem to live in the closet, attic or basement? Presumably, while alive, most people live in their living room, at work, etc.. Why such a change? I mean if you are invisible and stuff, what’s to stop you from hanging on the couch and watching Oprah? What is the allure of the closet? And what the heck are they *doing* in there all day? I assume they don’t need to sleep?

What’s the deal with the dark? You will see countless paranormal investigators tell you that “spirits require a lot of energy to manifest”, but in the same breath, they turn off all the power. Do they *not* want to find them? I also notice that normal people see these ghosts during the day, or while watching tv or doing laundry (again in the basement). So why not follow the scientific method and try and duplicate that and do wash with the lights on instead of bump into walls in the dark while trying to “see” something?

If you have a haunted house and you are terrified enough to seek help. WHY go to a paranormal group? These groups come into your house, declare it haunted and then leave, leaving you with the problem (at least the ones on tv do). I mean, don’t you already know your house is haunted in the first place?

Paranormal groups that use psychics? Seriously? Why not use two psychics, have them write down their impressions independently and then compare notes. Otherwise you have 1 that says whatever they want with no verification, or two at the same time that just agree with each other. And how come they all head straight for the basement, closet or attic πŸ™‚

Cleansing your haunted house with burning weeds. This I do not understand other than the fact that it probably smells up your house. I mean if that makes ghosts go away then great, but what happens when you plug the air fresheners back in? Go and get some *actual* clergy and not some emo chick ringing a bell and throwing rock salt on your floor.

Are there “good” ghosts? Time and time again, I see these paranormal groups saying “there is nothing here to worry about”, “they won’t harm you” or even “the ghost of your -insert relative here- is here to protect you from -insert evil ghost-“. EXCUSE ME?! If there is some invisible person making noises rummaging around in my basement or playing with my dishes and “manifesting” themselves in front of me when I am waking to the bathroom to pee, THAT is not harmless. It is trying to frighten you to death. People actually do get scared to death you know, not to mention the stress that kind of thing could put a person or family through.

Exactly what are they saying? This is probably one of my biggest beefs. Aside from believing whatever unverified malarkey your resident psy”chick” tells you, your options are some kind of one sided conversation like light this light for “yes” kinda thing (what if they want to light it for no?), or EVPs, which to me mostly sound like overdubbed intestinal gas recorded on an 8-track player.

I am sure there is more but I will stop here and leave room for what I hope is the barrage of interesting comments!

Haunt ya later!

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Who is that masked man?

Probably you have either listened to me or read my thoughts or both for several years now, but it occurred to me today that someone out there might be interested in seeing what actually drives the LincGeek.

I currently live in Pennsylvania, but I was born and raised in Upstate NY, with a brief stint in Washington state. New Yorkers and hillbillies are my people and I understand them. Washington is some of the most beautiful country I ever spent time in and I hope to at least visit out there again someday.

Well, first and foremost, computers and Linux are my personal crack. I started on a life long obsession with computers back in 1983 with my first Vic=20 (Thank you William Shatner). I learned to program in BASIC and from there it was all over until I met Linux in the 90s, then that added into the mix.

I like the fastest computers I can get my hands on. I like Apple computers (more for their quality and aesthetics than OS – they do tend to run Linux very well). I love my Kindle, my Android phone and my Asus TF300T Linux Mint is probably the nicest version of Linux I have ever run and I use that almost exclusively as my desktop OS of choice. I am RedHat certified and use RHEL and CentOS for the vast majority of my enterprise and personal server needs, because, IMHO, it’s better than the rest.

I am a music lover. I dig 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, Big Band, Jazz, Funk, Disco, Bluegrass and Classical music. I was a hardcore low brass musician and vocalist in my school years, even making it into “Who’s Who In Music” in my senior year in high school, and those are some of my most cherished and fondest memories. Rap is *NOT* music, by the way.

I have been married once, to my college sweetheart, for almost 20 years now and have an adult (she thinks so at least) daughter, currently in college. I am a Conservative Libertarian, politically, and a proud Christian.

Although I am now diabetic and stick mostly to various forms of Chicken and veggies, I LOVE good food. my favorites are good Irish cooking like my Grandma used to make. Corned Beef and Cabbage. And she made a monster macaroni and cheese too. I would literally hurt someone for some of that again. I strongly believe that vegetables are what food eats.

I like my coffee with (nonfat) milk and sweet-n-low. Buy it from Wawa because Starbucks coffee is overpriced and bitter yuppie coffie IMHO. I like an occasional good cigar (Acid Blondie) and enjoy them most when I can smoke them and hang out with my friends. (Edit, I am a confirmed Vaper now – RY4 absolutely ROCKS!)

I am not a drinker. If and when I do imbibe, I do so with Scotch or Whiskey as I believe beer must be what urine tastes like.

As you can probably surmise, I am highly opinionated, and as I have a monster sized guilty conscience and I am not at all politically correct, so if you ask my opinion, you are liable to actually get it.

I still think the occasional fart joke is funny. I hate unproductive meetings and long phone conversations. I try very hard to be honest, forthright, fair and maintain integrity.

I am a pet guy and love small furry mammals of all kinds. I have and have had cats, dogs, rabbits, mice, rats, ferrets and even a smattering of budgies and small lizards.

And now you know all about me!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Stay Tuned!

Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook

Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook

I have been asked to review the “Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook” by Packt Publishing. It’s supposed to be coming in a couple days, so here’s your teaser to stay tuned! Packt Pub vs. Curmudgeonly SyaAdmin, a dead tree death match, only here at lincgeek.org/blog.

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Diagnosis: Paranoia


You know, there are just some things you do not need first thing on a Monday morning. This was one of them…

I came and and started reviewing my reports and was looking at an access report, which is basically a “last | grep $TheDateIWant” from over the weekend. I keep a pretty tight ship and want to know who is accessing what servers and when (and sometimes why). What I saw was monstrously suspicious! I saw MYSELF logged in to 3 different servers 3 times each around 5am on Sunday morning – while I was sleeping.

This is the kind of thing to throw you into an immediate panic first thing on a Monday morning, but I decided to give myself 10 minutes to investigate before completely freaking out.

The first thing I noticed was that the access/login times looked suspiciously like the same times I ran my daily reports on the machines, however, the previous week I had changed the user that runs those reports and this was still saying it was me. I double, triple and quadruple checked and searched all the report programs to make absolutely sure there was no indication that they were still using my personal account (which was probably bad practice to begin with btw). Then I scoured all the cron logs to see what was actually running at those times, and oddly enough, it was just those reports.

I looked through the command line history on those machines and checked again the “last | head” to see who was logging on those machines. Nothing out of place BUT with the “last| head” I was NOT listed as being on the machine on that date! So I ran the entire report command again “last | grep $TheDateIWant” and there I was again, listed right under the logins of the report user.

Anyone catching this yet?

What I had stumbled upon were a few machines that are used so infrequently that the wtmp file, which is what the “last” command uses for data, had over 1 year of entries. My search of “last | grep ‘Oct 31′” was returning not only this year, but my own logins from last year as well.

WHEW!

Moral of the story? Mondays stink – Just stay home!

Monday, November 1st, 2010

I am a man!

razor
Oh yeah, I have been busy, but I promised myself I would post some stuff as soon as I got a chance. One of the things I wanted to mention was my recent purchase of a straight razor. I bought this shave set from Amazon a few weeks ago and have finally learned how to shave with it without slitting my throat. Really, though, the reason I bought this was I have freakishly sensitive skin and get horrible razor burn just walking past the razor display in a store. The only decent shave I ever had was when I went to a barber and he shaved me with a straight razor. Combine that with Allan bragging about his wickedly cool badger hair shave brush and I was all of the sudden buying a straight razor.

Once I received the razor, I hit youtube for a couple straight razor shaving tutorials (hey I am not stupid), I put in a brand new blade and I was off to the proverbial races. Although I did nick myself a couple times (the worst was on the second shave) this really is not at all difficult and you get fantastic shaves. I highly advocate at least trying this, you will like it, and I can see no easier and inexpensive way to start than with the set I bought. Check it out!

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

My Web Workers Toolkit

Ahh, it’s been far too long since I have had anything to say here. I have to say that I have been *legitimately* busy this time. As many of you know, we have come to a close on the first season of The LinuxLink TechShow. That’s 365 (about) 2 hour long episodes over the course of the last 6 years. We are due to start our next 365 at the Ohio Linux Fest in a month. This leaves an enormous amount of prep work and a fair bit of reorganization to keep things exciting and help us start out with a bang.

One of the *surprises* in store brings me to my current topic at hand, my web workers toolkit.

People all have differing opinions about what you really need to do decent web work. As an old commandline jockey, I thought I would share my own.

1) Vim.
Quite possibly the best text editor in the world, I use vim for darn near everything. As a system administrator, it’s indispensable (for scripting) and I find it similarly necessary for web work. Vim has a fantastic (imho) syntax highlighting system which does quite well for html and php highlighting. The only caveat is to make sure to set “set background=dark” in your .vimrc file, unless, of course, you are one of those wierdos who uses a light background in your terminal.

2) tidy or the w3c validator.
I DEFY you to write good code without one of these. There is NOTHING as nice as standards compliant code and without a good validator, you will have nothing like standards compliant code. The reason I listed both of these is that tidy is a program you can use locally to check your code and the w3c validator will check any pages that are accessible via the web.

3) Many different browsers.
Unfortunately, all browsers are not made equal. You can be sure that all mozilla based browsers like Firefox, etc., will display things very similarly, and maybe even throw Google Chrome into that mix, but you may really want to check your code with Safari and IE to be sure things still look the way you had intended, and let’s not forget about a text browser like lynx or w3m to make sure your pages are readable and navigable that way too.

4) Lastly, for me, some good reference material.
One can hardly be expected to remember everything and having some reference material handy for those odd css commands and perhaps php/perl/python/someotherprogramminglanguage could really save you some time and frustration. Never underestimate keeping your old code around for example and never ever underestimate the power of the power of the Google Search!

In a nutshell, that’s generally what keeps me cranking out websites and webpages. What kinds of things do you use? What am I missing out on? Send a long a comment and let us all know what works for you! ( Unless, of course, you use emacs πŸ˜€ )

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Excessive?

laptops

laptops


How many is too many? Is this excessive or have I just been watching too many episodes of Hoarders?

  • Top – Dell Inspiron 15 – My “desktop” machine.
  • Far left – Macbook 5,2 – Use when I am relaxing in bed with my feet propped up. Pisses me off that I cannot get Linux shoehorned on this properly yet.
  • 2nd left – Acer Aspire One – netbook I use for TLLTS work.
  • Bottom middle – Acer Aspire 3680 – my main livingroom machine – always tethered to the power cord because I have had it so long the battery only lasts 11 seconds.
  • 2nd right – HP Mini 110 – new netbook and daily carry.
  • Far right – Thinkpad X31 – dev/test/slush box.

And, of course, these are not *all* my computers. I also have a couple ESXi boxes which run a few virtual servers and an old G3 (upgraded to G4) Blue and White that mostly is a nightstand.

So, what computers do you all have kicking around?

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Server Names

It has certainly been a while since I last posted, so I thought I would find something either interesting or funny to get things going here again. This happens to be funny (I think). I came across this tidbit of information I wrote at work some time ago and thought I would share.

Retired Server Names
Much like sports jersey numbers, some server names are never to be used again… Mostly because they appear to be secretly cursed.

Trinity
I am not sure if there is some sort of bad mojo associated with naming a server with some kind of Godly connotation, but this VMWare GSX server would crash violently almost once an hour at its peak. As far as I know, nobody ever found out what the problem was, and after the name was changed it started working admirably.

Kashmir (pronounced “Cash-mere”)
This was an old RHEL 3.9 or AS 2.1 server that would crash almost as fast as you could start it back up again. We called this server “Crashmere”. The reason I am not sure of the OS level is it was hard to keep it running long enough to check. In it’s defense, I believe it had bad HDD’s before it was finally decommissioned, however, we were too paranoid to try reusing the hardware whether or not we attempted to fix it first.

Odessa
Odessa was, for the most part, our entire early implementation of an Identity Management System. It was based on an out of date and buggy Opensource LDAP and some poorly written custom code from some interns. Consequently it quickly became widely used and relied upon, and never updated as a result. Literally, this was the *beast* the infrastructure team worked to keep fed and happy. Eventually, we moved to a different IDM environment and Odessa was retired, the name never to be used again because we never want to see another single machine gain that much power over anyone again. Odessa is surely the precursor to Skynet.

Guarulhos
This is obvious – Just try and say the name. This is the reason one member of our team is never EVER allowed to pick server names again. We spent over a month trying to pronounce this in conversation until we finally gave up and changed the name outright.

Those are all the good ones I have right now but I am eager to hear any that any of you may have to contribute. Perhaps we could start some master list somewhere and save ourselves and others the tragedy of stumbling upon the reuse of one of these cursed names. πŸ™‚

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010