Darth Reed

Now that I have a place to put my quasi-technical babble over at MSDN, the space is reserved for me to spew my political bile and enjoy all things sci-fi. Heh.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Is your keyboard Sith-approved?

It is if your keyboard is one of these: ThinkGeek :: Das Keyboard. This has to be the manliest keyboard I've seen yet. (Until someone makes a keyboard that requires a minimum 6-pound trigger pull for each key...)

I must have one to go with my Pistol Mouse.

If you thought you were a touch typist then prove it!! Use a keyboard without the burden of key labels. Heh.

Strike back!

Sith approved!! Sith tested?

Maybe now that I am un-unemployed, I'll have the scratch to buy one of these beauties... Spiffy!

PistolMouse FPS -- Review by ExtremeTech

Of course, you could donate one to The Cause. Email me for a routing number to one of my Swiss bank accounts for the donation of your life savings.

Strike first!

Friday, June 24, 2005

I'm not a Christian, but...

I think the ACLU is in for some serious "heavy lifting" if they think that they can get all the crosses removed from government property... What do you think?

I think so!

[Apologies to the owner of the picture. The author has no idea from whence it came. -ed.]

Good bad attitude!

From the Developer Pipeline comes a surprisingly Sith-like (perhaps even Shadows-like, if you're a B5 fan) attitude: IT Professionals: Embrace Change or Perish. I approve. If Rob Preston keeps it up, I might nominate him to be an honorary Sith Lord! There's nothing better than beating anybody (especially outsourcers) at their own game. Originally being from a small town in Indiana, I think that I can definitely see myself becoming a rural sourcer in the next five to ten years... Heh.

Strike back!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Things that make you say, "Hmmm..."

Having recently made this leap myself into the consulting world (again), I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with the leftists @ CNN. Weird.

Comp sci grads turn away from tech
With U.S. jobs going away, consulting becomes popular
full article

Although, I have to admit that CNN made a good choice with Nancy Grace. Besides being cute, she can attract the ferocious soccer moms (and dads) who have been lured away to the "evil conservative side" since 9/11, especially with her "kill 'em all and don't bother sorting 'em out" attitude about sexual predators, but I digress...

I'm sure there are lots of folks in the tech space who have differing opinions... and plenty of angst to go around. I heartily recommend taking a proactive role in shaping the direction of your career, whether you're a geek or not. Make a plan. Make some decisions. Make some changes. Do it yourself or have it done to you!

Strike back!

Monday, June 20, 2005

[Belated] Happy Fathers' Day.

Since I was spending Fathers' Day with my male parental unit and my own nestlings, I was unable to properly blog yesterday. [Still looking for good Pocket PC blogware...]

However, in order to properly honor the occasion, I feel compelled to publicly thank my male parental unit for permitting me to live until reaching the species-appropriate age of majority and full adult maturity.

Thanx, Dad!!

Having many nestlings of my own now (three below the age-threshold of six!), I truly understand what an ordeal it must have been tolerating my very existence until my teen years passed into (merciful) oblivion.

Yes, some people put the apostrophe in a different place in the phrase "Fathers' Day." I don’t subscribe to those limited notions of punctuality. Get over it.

(Yes, I know that I used punctuality out of context and inappropriately in that sentence. I am a native 100kw speaker of American English. According to Chomsky et alia, if I say it, then ipso facto it must be correct. Deal with it. I happen to enjoy a little native speaker linguistic humor now and again. Ah, here come the people who are irritated because I insensitively referred to it as American English and not U.S. English... *draws lightsaber*)

Strike back!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Cliché warning: Much ado about nothing?

Having just been sent this link - Column from PC Magazine: Mac-Intel Aftermath - and many others just like it, I feel compelled to provide my uninformed commentary (for posterity's sake). This is, after all, the Michael Jackson trial-equivalent this month for technogeeks.

<begin blatant Mac-ignorant statement>
The only reason that Apple can do this now on X86 without a big effort is because OSX is nothing more than a pretty face sitting on top of a Linux kernel... This really isn't Jobs v. Gates anymore, except in marketing of the Apple brand to the allegedly faithful Mac Believers.This is really Torvalds v. Gates, IMO.
</begin blatant Mac-ignorant statement>

I base my blatant, Mac-ignorant statement on a few casual interactions, a date or three, with an iMac running OSX10.3 at my last place of entertainment. The UI was eerily KDE-like, but with a much "happier" twist. Unsettling to say the least. Ones' icons should most definitely NOT jiggle in response to ANY activity. Obviously the UI of choice for Dead Authors like Douglas Adams and Wacky Talk Show Hosts like Rush Limbaugh (besides being masochists, see if you can figure out what else they have in common)...

But just in case you thought the world was getting back to normal, Darth Reed is actively considering the purchase of a Mac mini. For testink purposes only. Honest.

Strike back!!

Of course nerds make better lovers!

Not to say I told you so (to all of those ignorant sl--, nevermind, in high school and college who missed out on MY opportunity), but survey sez, "I told you so." Heh. Besides, this little piece in the NYT is simple validation. Today, Darth Reed is no longer unemployed! I'll try not to gloat. Heh.

New York Daily News - Home - Nerds make better lovers
It's nice to be in demand for once... I've gotten some great offers from some really great companies in the past few weeks, and I've wanted to take them all. There seems to be some legal AND space-time continuum reasons why 9 out of 10 dentists agree that I can't do work for all of these companies at the same time... hence I had to pick just one job. C'est la guerre. (I'll shower later; speaking French always makes me feel like I need to.)

Later this week, probably tomorrow, I will announce the company I selected from among the forerunners of the pack: Microsoft, PRERS (Phoenix), Avanade, Liquid Frameworks, etc. I may not say why, but I do have to say that I truly liked ALL of the companies that made me an offer -- and it was difficult to choose among them.

As much I as I have enjoyed the brief hiatus, it feels good to get back to hunting Jedi and preventing them from screwing up more .NET enterprise implementations!!

Strike back!

Monday, June 13, 2005

DORK TOWER - Absolut Sith

As I've told many people, "This is so going into the blog."

DORK TOWER: Absolut Sith

I've got several upcoming posts that lament how misunderestimated (which was also the title of a good book about W, Misunderestimated) that we Sith are...

Strong Warning: This by no means suggests, implies or otherwise indicates that Sith support or oppose drinking alcohol, responsibly or otherwise. We're alcohol agnostic. It was just damn funny.

Things to do in Houston when you're unemployed...

Somebody had enough free time to port Lemmings into a browser-based game. Thank you, Anonymous Benefactor Person!! Talk about a stress reducer. Heh.

Any game that has a "nuke them all" button gets the Sith vote! Woohoo! Now that I'm ungainfully unemployed, perhaps I'll do the same with CyberEmpires or Xcom... Nah.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Lighter Side of the Web

Hans Bjordhal asked a good question about whether web comics will crush print comics. Here's my rambling, but brilliant (of course!) response:

There are three that I read daily (sometimes I have to check the slacker of the three several times because he’s always late - somebody wake up Kurtz!). These three by far replace any newsprint “comic”. The Darth Reed clan doesn’t even get a daily dead tree news source anymore; we haven’t for more than six years… When the Washtington Times and the Journal start selling RSS feeds, I’ll buy those.

http://www.dilbert.com/ (obviously)


http://www.pvponline.com/ (usually late, try again later ;-)

I’ve bought more than my fair share of their paraphernalia (collection books, comic books, t-shirts, etc) for myself and as gifts. I think they’re a totally different niche from Peanuts, obviously, and far less irritating than Doonesbury and the rest of the whiners… [Cathy did have a funny strip once… It was about REALTORS®, which was what made it funny — but tomorrow’s my last day writing software for REALTORS®, so it won’t be funny for much longer, I hope.] As for me and my family, we’d love to see somebody with Rush Limbaugh’s wit and politics take to the web comic scene. Heh!

There are two others that I read whenever the author is sober enough and can find the Wacom tablet with both hands:

http://www.bugbash.net/ (off to a good start weekly)

http://www.dorktower.com/ (highly irregular posting schedule and somewhat niche — even I don’t play paper-n-pencil RPGs anymore)

Checking up on my favorite web comics is just part of the daily stress-relief routine. Just like everything else, they miss more often than they hit, but I am REALLY, REALLY glad that y’all take the time out of your lives to share your humor with us!!

Long live the Empire.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Jumping out of perfectly good aircraft...

Two generations of the Reed Clan have taken a flying leap together... Yes, we got Darth Grandpa out of the plane, and his first jump was legendary!! Probably the highest first-time pull and longest first-time glide time in history. Ha-ha!! He maintains that it was the jumpmasters' fault, of course.

Since it'll be a few years before my progeny are of sufficient age to join multi-generational insanity, anybody care to join us for a teensy little 15,000-foot first step? We get a bigger discount if we have more jumpers; and it never hurts to have more storm troopers to cushion my fall. Heh. Especially after my last encounter with a nasty Rebel pine tree... but that's a story for another day.

We took the Advanced Free-Fall (AFF) course first so that we could skip the gay tandem jump stage (no offense to my GLBT friends and family but none of we Reed Men felt like having another man strapped to our arse :) and get right into pulling our own ripcords.

The AFF course is about six or eight hours long, so Jump 00001 is usually mid-afternoon on the same day. That leaves plenty of time, because you can't do just one!! Wahooooo! Then it's a mere twenty-four (24) more jumps to achieving civilian jump certification and the much coveted $10-apiece solo jumps all weekend, every weekend.

The ultimate goal, of course, is the Space Jump. One small step... at a time... and all that. The Space Jump is my ultimate hobby dream. Before Darth Reed turns the big five-oh, he will do the high speed, unassisted descent from orbit. Yeehaw!!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Is this good advice for a Sith Lord?

Gretchen the headhunter @ Microsoft sez, "Be yourself in an interview." This sounds like familiar advice that I’ve read somewhere else… I'm not sure that it is the advice that every dysfunctional, maladjusted future Emperor of All I See should take, but it's an entertaining read. Maybe Gretchen used to write for some dating advice column that I read in my life-before-marriage. Heh.

[Yes, Sith Lords can get married. It's the girly-man Jedi who "save themselves for the Force" or some silly religious crap like that. But marriage can be a two-edged light saber, ask Vader how badly his turned out!! Unfaithful wench. How many men would really slaughter thousands of Jedi and offer to conquer the known universe just to get a girl? Geez. Padme was an ingrate.]

Speaking of empires, anybody in need of an aspiring software development emperor? I'll be out of work soon...

I can tell you that it is true that the more desperate you are, the less likely you are to get lai-, er, land the job. Yeah, job. Heh. Shaddup and go read Gretchen's advice.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Now, if only I can remember this advice myself...

You wouldn't normally associate phrases like "exit gracefully" with yours truly, however... In the interests of universal peace, love and possibly not burning any bridges that may result in future monetary gain, I do not plan to comment upon the management, the business model or practices of the company before, after or during my exit interview (should I have one). Heh.

Yes, ladiez and gentz, it's time for Darth Reed to move on. I am leaving the Company Formerly Known As eRealty.com (aka Prudential Real Estate Services Company) after my sentence of five and a half years as Director of Product Development has been served. I am leaving for unspecified reasons and bound for unknown (but one certainly hopes greener) pastures. [This would be where I would normally say "because I just can't take it anymore" but I'm not saying that - honest!]. My last day will be Tuesday 07 June 2005... after which I will be a free man in pursuit of a place of entertainment which will permit me to leverage six years of real estate software development experience to produce the perfect real estate enterprise software package, soup to nuts, for a VOW/IDX/extranet solution which I will sell to the highest bidder.

If you or anyone you know is looking for the best agile development manager cum Sith Lord and/or .NET solutions architect that can be suborned by mere money then aim a checkbook in my direction. Especially if you or they are in the real estate space and in need of what eRealty.com could have been (should have been). Fabulous resume and impeccable references are available upon request.

But also take Christine's advice when you leave your current place of entertainment... in spite of your anger, your hatred and your desire for revenge! Your best revenge is that "they" still have to continue working in that awful place and you don't!! Ha-har!!! Read it: http://monster.typepad.com/monsterblog/2005/05/treat_your_exit.html

My empire will strike back.