Hilton Giesenow's Jumbled Mind

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

"Nerd" vs "Geek"

So now there is a GeekDinner.com as well.

This reminded me of an argument I once had regarding "nerd" vs "geek" definitions. Dictionary.com actually seems to support part of the conclusion we arrived at. Nerd is more derogatory and relates to one who is "foolish, inept, or unattractive". More importantly, certainly with relation to our dinners, it adds "socially inept"!

The "geek" definition though, is quite off. Dictionary.com lists the same definitions as nerd, but adds "A carnival performer whose show consists of bizarre acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken." Definitely waaaay off (I'm sure ThinkGeek would agree). At least this one has something to do with food though...

What we came up with all those months ago was that a nerd is more "inept" whereas a geek is more of an aficionado, as in computer geek. Anyway, that's my humble opinion.

Whatever your view, come and join us for some dinner.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

A Scoble mention...

I saw that Robert Scoble is into the geek dinner thing as well, so I asked him if he had any tips to get us started. He most certainly did and I even got a personal mention!

Thanks again Robert for the great info and I extend an open invite any time for you to join us.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Broadband at last??

I once had a colleague who had a t-shirt that read "Will work for Bandwidth". I think that sums up the South African I.T. industry!

Anyways, I may finally be getting ADSL, albeit a slow and cranky one. There are four desktops and I notebook with wireless that will want to share the connection though, so I was thinking of a wireless / 4 port ethernet ADSL router. That is, it is a 4-port ethernet hub / wireless access point / ADSL router. I can get hold of a D-Link or an SMC one. Has anyone tried these out? What have you found?

Top 10 Reasons .NET is better than COM

Nick Landry has released a highly entertaining list of reasons why, well, .NET is better than COM.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Cape Town Nerd Dinner - Founding Meeting

(Inspired by Rory Blyth and Scott Hanselman)

The Nerd Dinner is a dinner event where a bunch of I.T. nerds get together, um, over dinner, to chat and discuss all things IT-related.

This entry on Rory's blog pointed me to the right place, and I thought this would be a great idea for here in Cape Town. I visited the site only to discover that Jo'berg and Durban have one already! It is high time then that we had one in C.T.

I've registered the Cape Town one. I was provisionally thinking of putting one together for Wednesday, October 20 and have a few people interested. Anyone that would like to join the fun, reply to this post or email me directly at hiltatwork AT giesenow DOT com.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Arrgg, a JPEG! Run for your life!!

So now they have discovered an exploit in JPEG files that can enable one of our happy hacking friends to create a new barrage of viruses.

This is not exactly unparalled though. Last year they found an exploit in bmp files in I.E., if I recall. There was another one for png's that I wasn't even aware of. It seems that even something as simple as an image can be exploited. Theoretically these exploits mean that soon what appears to be a very basic website could actually be a hacking platform. A hacker could post the nefarious image as a banner on a big site and cause havoc. Fun and games in I.T. security, as always.

Of course, a patch does exist (just visit WindowsUpdate, as usual). I have made it a habit of visiting the site about once a week or so, but I am interested how many tech-savvy people do / don't do this?

Monday, September 13, 2004

LEGO Mindstorm .NET project

It appears some guys from Potsdam university are now working on bringing .NET to the LEGO Mindstorm project. That could be verrry interesting. I'm sure I can think of something for my old space LEGO guys to do automatically. They are a little small to vacuum even my place though :-). Check out this link for more.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Developer-Architect joint project

I've been hanging out at our local corner INETA user group (SA Developer.net) quite a bit recently, and I recently joined SA Architect.net as well. To my great surprise and delight, they recently decided to do a joint venture to "bridge the gap" between these two great fields. Now, architecture is something I have been giving quite a bit of thought lately, especially after reading a great article on moving from developer to architect (still looking for the link, will post it soon) and this posting (My highfalutin career advice) on Rocky Lohtka's blog, so this idea was just up my bowling alley!

Well, last night was our first meeting, and I must admit I'm really excited about the idea. The plan is to get some sort of real-world project and then to get volunteers from the user groups to jointly develop it, but to continually publish all of our work related to it, ultimately with the goal of everyone learning from one another, improving all of our skills, and contributing significantly to the local brewery and the GDP of some small coffee-producing country.

We have so far decided on our Mission and are now looking for projects. Personally I am for doing something for a non-profit org who would struggle to purchase a solution of this kind, but there are some other really great suggestions coming in, and I think either way it will be reach its goals. I'm looking forward to learning some awesome stuff from some brilliant people!

To Tina and Ruari, if you're reading this, keep up the brilliant work!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

"Where has all the [MEMORY] gone... long time paaaasssssing"

Sorry, arbitrary songs are floating around in my "Jumbled Mind" as I wait for my p.c. to boot. Why does it take soooo long. Well, perhaps that has to do with my GripeForTheDayTM.

WHERE DOES ALL MY RAM GO?!?!? Now, I know that people have been asking this question since Noah ran out of space on the ark, but seriously! My machine has been up for a few minutes now, and I have Outlook and a single browser window actually open, and I am using 274 mb. Of course, if I look in task manager, the running processes don't nearly add up to the total. I sometimes feel like an Enron employee! Was the guy who wrote this module from Arthur Andersen, perhaps?

One Cool Tool I did find though is Security Task Manager. It lets you get more detailed info about your running processes and "the price is right" with a free version.

(By the way, the reason I am upset about the memory is because my machine has only 512 mb, which I pass VERY quickly. VS, Outlook and the aspnet worker process basically push me over. Anyone who wants to donate some excess ram are more than welcome :-). Come to think of it, any donations will be more than welcome :->>)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Catastrophic Failure ... Not

I've been quite busy lately as the end of our project approaches. Doing some code Q.A. and final bug fixes, etc. Anyway, I was updating a web reference earlier when I received the following error:

Visual Studio .Net 2003 - Catastrophic Failure Error Message


I was wondering if anyone had received the same. What is more curious is that everything was actually fine and I was able to continue quite happily. I re-tried the Update Web Reference and everything worked. It also go me thinking about error messages in general. Has anyone received anything interesting or humourous that they would care to share? I'd love to hear about them.