/********************************************************* * asty.org * * * * Copyright (C) 1999-2005 Chris Allegretta * * * * Welcome to the 5th major redesign of my homepage! * *********************************************************/
2007.07.13 - The Helio Ocean - turns out it's useless!
Well, anyone out there looking for a new handheld smartphone with SSH, you can give up on the Helio Ocean. You would think a phone with 3G, a full qwerty KB and a minimum $60/mo service fee would probably be a potential dream tool for your average sysadmin geek. I emailed helio about the possibilty of getting an SSH client on the device last week. After the usual initial 'we don't know what you're talking about' email, I politely asked again about whether they would either consider creating one or allowing a 3rd party developer to do so:
...As a potential customer, one of many potential customers looking for a qwerty-enabled, SSH-capable 3g device, I do need to know quite specifically if any SSH applications are planned or already under development for the Ocean. Could you find out for me?
Regarding 3rd-party development, I'm quite happily employed actually, does your reponse mean only employees and no third party developers can write applicattions for the device, if no 1st party SSH client is planned?
The last sentence was because the original reply said I could consider applying to the company in order to write an app. No, thanks for the thought. The response back to this email was even more disappointing than the first one:
Hello from Helio, this is Randy, Thank you for your inquiry.
Chris, Secure Shell is only security programming, since Helio doesn't allow you to access certain personal information such as bank sites and online shopping. There really is no need for the SSH client. Although, we may still be coming out with updates for this service, please continue to check www.helio.com and clicking the sign up for updates tab. Also, in regards to third party development some third party applications will not work with our services. Thank you and have a wonderful day.
Now is it me or did he just say that the device is basically useless? You have a great network like 3G but you cant even check your bank balance? Is your device REALLY that underpowered that SSL encryption is beyond your capability? Wow, thanks for saving me the time and money from even considering your device!
2007.05.25 - I really dont have any nice way to say this, so I'm
just going to say it straight on:
YOU FAILED US
and we will not forget it
Friends of mine who may support this war and President, I may disagree with what you say, but etc. etc. You are entitled to your opinion, and I would never take it away from you. Enough is simply enough for me.
Surely the only injustice greater than silence is continued silence. I will be silent no longer, and I only hope others do the same.
2007.05.01 - Much good to report, let me focus on the good part first. We finally sold our house in Albany, got moved out of our awful apartment in Waltham, and work is going very well.
Now for the bad news. My dear cat Pico passed away last week (Liver problems...I would have suspected the bad pet food problem, but Zelda doesn't seem sick and we only feed our cats dry food...) Personally I haven't been able to deal with it yet, think Im still in denial. Perhaps when I pick up her ashes tomorrow and we scatter them, I can start to deal with it.
Rest In Peace
Pico "Boo" Allegretta
1996 - 2007
2006.12.18 - Ok, my blog will probably be going away soon, I simply don't post enough to warrant keeping it, plus it sure seems like the importance of each post must at best vary inversely by the number of posts you make, and if not my life simply isn't that exciting anyway :-)
Updates, updates. Well, our house still has not sold, not for lack of price drops though. Haven't been able to sell the Impala yet, either, but for good reason (read on). The girls are sick, I'm sick and have been out of work for 3 days and counting. But the worst part is that Joseph has been hospitalized since Thursday due to Bronchiolitis (complication from RSV which apparently we all have, and during his stay managed to get a UTI/urine reflux problem as well...here's a pic for ya, from before all this crap.
It's the J man!
The positive of all this is that we have good health insurance and otherwise Joseph has been a very happy and healthy baby, and I'm very grateful for that. Hopefully he will come home Tuesday or Wednesday (and since I take forever between updates, just assume if you don't see anything else that that's what happened :-).
Most significant stuff out of the way, let's turn something a little more light-hearted...music. Yeah being an STP fan I'm excited to get the new Army of Anyone album, the VR album was ok too, I guess nothing will ever be the as good to me as STP was back in their heyday. But likely it doesn't matter, because with the exception of the new Weird Al album this fall, I listen to about 95% Radiohead nowadays.
I don't know if this was a common thing for people to first listen to OK computer and work their way backwards, and then much later suddenly 'getting' and then becoming obsessed with Kid A (better than OKC IMO)... HTTT is pretty awesome as well, Amnesiac is growing on me. But an ayway, that's how it happened for me. It's like a one way door, once you start liking that stuff you realize how insanely awesome Radiohead is, and then other 'rock' just doesn't sound right anymore...I guess knowing people with much better taste/appreciation for music than me like Mr Rafi and Miss TheCroccy it was bound to happen, but yes, you were right, the later Radiohead stuff is awesome ok! :-)
I should update the HackerKey Guide as well, perhaps this weekend, assuming the 'J man' gets home soon anyway. That's certainly enough for now!
2006.10.30 - Here is is, ahead of schedule even!
Joseph Howard Xavier Allegretta
Born 10/29/2006 at 08:42AM.
6 lbs. 15 oz.
2006.09.15 - Ok, well between work, taking care of two kids, preparing for the third, and trying to sell our house, I haven't had much time to even think, but may as well update here. I don't think I quite have said how wonderful my job is. So to remedy this, here is a little piece I like to call
You'll notice that this is not in a numbered list. This is because no one item is more important than another. They are all part of a cohesive whole that is a good work experience.
Now of course no company is completely perfect, if I were to say so, I would either be lying or simply not looking very hard for possible improvements.
Anyway, I think the fact that I felt the need to say how great my job is speaks louder than the words I use to describe it, so if this sounds like the place to work, apply, you don't even have to mention this self-admitted bombast as a reason for doing so!
2006.08.04 - Wow, that's quite a long pause between updates. Oh,
where to start...
2006.03.16 - I have been putting off mentioning it for far too long, but yesterday was my last day as an employee of GE Global Research. I worked for there for almost four years between my time as a contractor and an employee, and like any job there were good times, bad times, times where I thought I was going crazy and times where I thought I was the only one who was sane. Overall I liked it a lot, but we picked Albany because it was conveniently half-way between my family's, Amy's family's, and Boston. Now with Dave and Erika starting their own families, it made sense for us to live near those in a similar stage of life.
Incidentally, if anyone I know did want to apply for my old job (one sentence job description would be: working in albany area to manage high performance unix/linux clusters and be able to tolerate working with excel and powerpoint as needed) just send me an email and I can get in touch with my former coworkers and put in a good word. The full job description should be Here
As for me, I will be working for ITA Software out of Cambridge. MA. Not yet sure where we're going to be living out there but we're looking at the Watertown area at present. Time will tell how this is going to work out for us, but now that my last day at GE is over I am finally getting excited about this latest life change (we've certainly had enough of them recently! ;-).
2006.03.09 - Have you, by chance, ever seen this error before?
If you've seen this, you probably are trying to pay your Federal Direct Loan on-line, since it comes up almost every single time! Please allow me to translate this error for you:
Translation: We're sorry, we're a bunch of incompetent federal employees who can't design a remotely reliable payment processing site! Sorry, electronically sending us your student loan payment is something we're not remotely capable of doing properly! Please don't bother contacting the Webmaster via the Contact Us link as you will just get a useless vague response.
The Direct Loans servicing site has to be the most embarassingly awful website I have ever had to use. It makes me ashamed to be an IT worker in the US knowing that this POS site is a product of the US government.
Yes, I'm bitter. If this were not the 7th or 8th time I've gotten this error when trying to make my monthly student loan payment, maybe I wouldn't have bothered putting up this rant.
2005.12.24 - Well here we are, another Solstice/Hanukkah/XMas season and I still can't remember to even do basic things like remember good friend's birthdays and to actually call pretty much everyone else once in awhile. I'm sorry, don't take it personally folks, Im not forgetting to call just you, I'm forgetting to call everyone!!
Some interesting news to those who know me at all: I'm apparently no longer lactose intolerant!! How does one suddenly become not lactose intolerant? Maybe it was all that lactase I was adding in my body via pills, maybe its a gland thing, who knows?! I seemed to get it suddenly, so why shouldn't it go away suddenly?
In nano news, I've finally turned the copyright over to David Lawrence Ramsey, the person who has been carrying the development for years. He definitely deserves it, getting rid of most of my um, eccentric coding :-)
Anyway, here's a pic of the family, man Amy and I are getting old ;-) Big 3.0e1 coming up soon. Oh well, Happy Holidays!
2005.10.19 - Okay, things are slightly better. Thanks to the magic of eBay and $60 my PSP is back in working order. Kids were sick earlier in the week but they're back to normal now, which is definitely good. UnixShell is having some minor lag issues, but I'm overall happy with what I get for my $. Ttfn!
2005.09.20 - Well, if you didn't notice in the title bar for the past few weeks, I've again changed hosting companies to UnixShell. I really wanted to see what a xen-hosted VPS is like, and Linode is not yet ready to put their xen solution into production AFAIK. Let me tell you, xen is FAST!
In personal news, things haven't been going the greatest...my PSP is now a pretty black paperweight due to a cracked LCD, and today my tongue ring broke off a piece of my tooth. Hence the tongue piercing episode ends a mere 8 months after it began. There are people much worse off than me, so I'm not getting particularly down about it. Bree and Moniquey are happy and healthy, so I'm counting my blessings...
2005.08.25 - Settling in now with 2 children, whew! I did
manage to buy (well, finance anyway ;-) an
Aspire 5002WLMI which is affectionately named 'overkill'. It is
drasticly bigger than the old T20... And although it is a 'Turion64'
system, Im still running ia32 Debian GNU/Linux on it. Anyway, here's
the info for anyone
thinking of putting Linux on it:
Brielle Susanne Allegretta
More information as we get our lives back in order :-)
2005.05.29 - Well although I think the Hacker Key is great, people who aren't obsessed with computers may be more interested in the OmniCode. It contains a lot more non-geeky information about someone, like their height, weight, latitude & longitude, etc. Here is my OmniCode key:
---------------------- OmniCode 0.1.6 ----------------------- sxy cm183 kg99 skd39363 ha382720 ey6195b5 esO sp= Ag1976 anE hdd Lo42,51N-73,57W ZoP RlM PeC FHg UFGreg IN2.Cable AdI PrC(6)^(8) ----------- Omnicode http://www.gadgeteer.net/omnicode/ -----------
2005.03.17 - After collecting some recent feedback about the Hacker Key, I have released version 2. Go take a look!.
2005.03.10 - Also, forgot to mention I'm now running full 64-bit FreeBSD on my desktop system, an HP 736N. here is the config file for a custom kernel including sound for this setup. YAY FreeBSD!
2005.03.05 - Ahh, another struggle to get a quasi-usable palmtop. Here you see
a seeming rarity: a working NetBSD 2.0 installation on an IBM z50!
Anyway, apparently there is an issue with interrupt handling on the hpcmips platform. After reading this post, I decided to contact the poster and see if he had any copies of the kernel which included the fix mentioned. He did, and agreed I could host copies of them here as well! So to all you z50 owners getting "TLB out of universe" errors during your install, or random crashes with NetBSD 2.0/hpcmips if you do manage to make it through an install, here are some kernels more likely to work for you:
Many many thanks to Matt Dainty for providing these files.
2005.02.12 - In an effort to get that annoying pic of my tongue piercing further down the page, I'll post some stuff here. I seem to have caught the head cold that is going around at my job, so I feel like dirt this weekend.
In other (better) news, Monique and mommy haven't caught my ailment yet, both are doing well, and it turns out the government owes us some tax money. Hurrah.
I also went to the Capital District BSD User's Group Meeting a week or two ago, pretty neat. Anyway need to try and get some more sleep. Oh, and I bought some new tongue jewelry. Got to have a PowerPuff girls tongue stud if you want to be in vogue.
2005.01.23 - Yep, I did it! Hahaha, and it feels awesome. Here are some pics:
2005.01.06 - It's back!
888 Welcome to... 888 888 888 888 888 88888b. 888 8888b. 888 888 .d88b. 888d888.d88b. 888 888 88888b. .d88888 888 "88b 888 "88b 888 888 d88P"88b 888P" d88""88b888 888 888 "88bd88" 888 888 888 888 .d888888 888 888 888 888 888 888 888888 888 888 888888 888 888 d88P 888 888 888 Y88b 888 Y88b 888 888 Y88..88PY88b 888 888 888Y88b 888 88888P" 888 "Y888888 "Y88888 "Y88888 888 "Y88P" "Y88888 888 888 "Y88888 888 888 888 888 Y8b d88P Y8b d88P @================@ 888 "Y88P" "Y88P" | pgtoo.org 2060 | 888 @================@ @==================@ 888 | A 24-hour chat | 88888888 .d88b. .d88b. | program based on | 888 d88""88b d88""88b | EW-too by | 888 888 888 888 888 | Simon Marsh | Y88b. Y88..88P Y88..88P d8b d8b d8b @==================@ "Y888 "Y88P" "Y88P" Y8P Y8P Y8P
Why not log in and say hi :-)
Anyway, after a very hectic New Year that I'd rather not get into details about, we return home. Nice to be back.
(c) 2000 Chris Allegretta. All right reserved.