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January 2004

Oracle Sets Sights on Microsoft

eWeek reports that Oracle is Setting its Sights on Microsoft

Referring to SQL Server, Phillips announced that pricing for the Windows version of Oracle 10g will debut at "the same list price per processor as Microsoft."

This is a big deal. In the same article they also say that the Windows version of Oracle 10g will be available within 30 days.

Of course at work we are still using 8i, so we are a little behind the times. But it is one of my big goals to upgrade out database to 9i within the next 6 months. I would like to skip directly to 10g but alas, our third party vendor is now just officially supporting 9i, so I don't think that 10g is in the cards any time soon.

Oh, and I assume you know the 'i' in 8i and 9i stands for 'Internet,' but what the heck does the 'g' stand for in 10g? Grid, grid computing which is one of the new trends in computing. So now you know, but you probably didn't want to know anyway.

Scott Granneman Gets A Visit from the FBI

Scott Granneman had a FBI Agent visit his class and accounts the experience in his column. This is one of the more interesting tidbits for all you Mac people out there:

Dave had some surprises up his sleeve as well. You'll remember that I said he was using a ThinkPad (running Windows!). I asked him about that, and he told us that many of the computer security folks back at FBI HQ use Macs running OS X, since those machines can do just about anything: run software for Mac, Unix, or Windows, using either a GUI or the command line. And they're secure out of the box. In the field, however, they don't have as much money to spend, so they have to stretch their dollars by buying WinTel-based hardware. Are you listening, Apple? The FBI wants to buy your stuff. Talk to them!

I have also heard rumblings that the Government is interested in possibly building its own supercomputer using Apple machines.

I too Would like to be part of Orkut

Well it worked for Mike Zornek, a fellow Mac user, and a fellow Philadelphian, so I thought I would post on here begging and pleading for somoene to invite me to join Orkut.

You won't regret it, I promise. I am cool, hip, swell at parlour games, and I play a mean dulcimer.

UPDATE: Tom Bridge, of Mac Slash fame has invited me to join Orkut! They like me, they really like me!

Actually, I left a comment on one of his posting and he was nice enough to take pity on me and invite me into Orkut.

Of course whenever I try to sign up, I submit the form and nothing happens. It still is in beta though, so I will try again and report back

UPDATE 2: I am now registered with Orkut, if you are a member, check out My Profile. If you want to be a member, ask and ye shall receive. Perhaps :)

High Priced Basics in Rittenhouse Square

The Rittenhouse Review

I just received my latest electric bill from the local utility, Peco Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Exelon Corp., and a company formerly known by the less high-falutin’ name, Philadelphia Electric Co.


And I thought my $90 bill was high! I am in the same area as the Rittenhouse Review, and if I wasn't so cheap I think my electric bill would be closer to his. I leave the heat off during the day and turn it down low when I sleep, so it is never 'warm' in my apartment. Of course, I should note that I prefer a chill in the air, so I don't mind at all.

Google seems like a cool company

CNET reports that Google has taken Orkut offline. What is Orkut?

And I quote:

Orkut is the independent project of one of Google's engineers, Orkut Buyukkokten, who works on user interface design for the search giant. Buyukkokten created in the past several months by working on it about one day a week--an amount that Google asks all of its engineers to devote to personal projects. Still, Google owns the technology developed by its employees.

What that quote doesn't tell you, but the rest of the article does is that Orkut is a social network like Friendster, but you can only join if you are invited by someone who is already a member. Memberships are already being sold on eBay.

That isn't what I find so interesting about this article, the best part is that Google encourages people to work on personal projects one day a week. That is a fifth of the time spent at work, devoted to a personal project. Granted Google owns all the rights to anything that is created, but it is still a very cool thing.

I bet those Google programmers are happy little code monkeys.

Late to work, again

I have come to the conclusion that I must strive to be on time to work every day.

It wasn't a problem when my supervisor was here early every day, since she could handle anything that might happen. Dave and I were free to stroll in a little late. But now Pam has moved on, and Dave and I are still coming in a little late.

Nothing has happened, yet. But I just know something will, and I will be greeted with. 'Why weren't you here earlier? The server wasn't working so we unplugged it, covered it with chocolate syrup, sprinkled some nuts on it and prayed to Thor for guidance. It still isn't working.'

And if there is anything I hate, it is asking Nordic gods for help with Windows 2000 servers. Everyone knows they are Linux freaks. The Roman gods, now they like Microsoft. Mars is especially good with Active Directory.

The Powerbook has landed

I wish I had more money. Or to be precise, it isn't the money that I want, but the stuff. If Apple would be so kind as to send me every one of their new products, I would be the happiest geek on the planet (the Lovely Elisa makes me very happy, but come on, how could she measure but to the latest gear from Apple gratis? Not even Jesus himself could inspire more awe in me than a pile of Powerbooks free for my taking. Of course that says more about me than anything else, but I ramble).

Recently, the warranty on my Titanium Powerbook was going to run out. Being the person that I am I put off getting a few small things on my Powerbook fixed. However, with the prospect of having to pay for the repairs, I thought I would get cracking and call Apple and get my Powerbook back in tip top shape.

After speaking with someone at Apple, detailing my woes (small as they were) and I was informed about the Powerbook G4 Trade in Program, which basically means Apple gives me a credit of $700 for a new Powerbook. After I had the details, and figured out it would cost me $1100 for a brand new computer that was faster than both of my current computers combined, I signed up.

Apple sent me a box for my old Powerbook and the waiting game began. I sent my old Powerbook off on Jan. 4th and I received my new Powerbook today (in fact I am typing my entry on it right now).

One word review, awesome. A little more in depth review, very awesome.

More on this, later.

Pilot who buzzed area was drunk

Philadelphia Daily News | 01/17/2004 | Authorities: Pilot who buzzed area was drunk

The pilot who terrorized the airways with his erratic flying for four hours Thursday night - circling the Limerick nuclear plant and buzzing Philadelphia International Airport - was drunk, authorities said yesterday.

When he emerged from his single-engine plane, he was staggering, his eyes were bloodshot, and his pants were unbuttoned and unzipped, authorities said.

Trying to Install Access 97 on Windows XP?

If you are trying to install Access 97 on Windows XP, and you are getting an error about there not being a license on the machine when you try and start Access 97 up, take a look at this article at Microsoft: 141373 - ACC: "There Is No License" Error Message Starting Microsoft Access.

Renaming the font hatten.ttf to and reinstalling Access worked for me (don't forget to change the name of hatten back though!).


I posted about Soybo awhile ago on my dear, departed Diaryland journal (at least I think I did) but it has been brought to my attention again, so I am writing about it again.

I am writing about it now though, because since I have a Tungsten C, I can use that little device to control my Cube over IP/TCP, which is pretty darned neat.