Kyle's blog

What is it you want to know?

To my most recent guest, "Chicken Sh*t" (from the Ottawa, ON area -- you know who you are).....

So, ya decided to Google me, did ya? Heck, what do you want to know? I've never made any attempt to hide my identity (I did note that YOU posted here anonymously though).

I'll help you out a bit;

1) the 7/8 year old you find in the White/Yellow belt Karate tournament in BC -- not me (but my parents live about 20 miles from there, how weird is that?)

2) the address/business you find in Florida -- no longer at that address either (phone numbers are bad too)

3) the 'quote' you find as being credited to me (some guy uses it on eBay) -- not mine, but I have used it as I do like it (are you the one?)

4) thesafeguys.com -- yep, my site -- I am a Certified Master Safecracker

5) internet-locksmith.com -- nope, no longer mine -- and hence your "thief" comments, but we'll get to that in a minute

6) the stuff you find from dragonflycms.com, myndworx.com, xtremethemes.com and other such places -- yeah, I like to dabble in PHP programming every now and then

7) the reference to being a "Clearstar member from outside the USA" -- no longer a member (hey, I've got my own sites!) -- Wow! That was a while ago... still a Certified Journeyman Safecracker!

8) FireKing University and MBA references -- just some of the places I've been trained at

OK, so I just got home from work -- I'm hungry, and my dinner is far more important than replying to some guy (girl, kid -- whoever you happen to be) Googling me, quoting things they find in an attempt to make me look bad. I have simply 'unpublished' your comments for now, but will be more than happy to repost them here (in the proper place mind you, not thoughtlessly placed amidst a thread that has nothing to do with your comments) and will do so later this evening.

Stay tuned! (UPDATED -- read more -- this is VERY LONG, be forwarned!)

Out with the old, in with the new

Well, it's that time again -- time to upgrade the service vehicle. For those of you that have read some of my posts regarding my '03 Blazer, you'll know why I'm happy to get a new vehicle -- a 2007 Dodge Nitro.

I was going to say that I was happy to get rid of my Blazer, but that just didn't happen. You see, I put on a lot of kilometers with my job -- about 60K a year. So, my Blazer, after 3 years, had just over 180K -- which made it 'undesirable' by the dealership. They offered me $4,500 for a vehicle that I paid $30K for three years prior -- I'll keep it, thanks.

Again, for those of you that have been following my 85 Short-Box, Step-Side Restoration project -- you may have noticed that I also had an '86 that my dad drove. I sold the '86 yesterday and my dad moved into the Blazer. Hey, I still have the '85 to work on! (Which should be soon... damn, I wish it would warm up!)

The way I look at it is, my dad does very little driving -- pretty much city only. So, the Blazer will give him a little more comfort than the PU, not too mention the safety aspects of it. Plus, in two years, the vehicle will be worth the same as it is now simply because the kilometers will be allowed to 'catch up'. If he puts on 10K in the next two years, I'll be surprised. The goal is to keep in under 200K.

(As a side note, I still have to post about most of the problems I've had with my Blazer... just to keep you from going through the same thing.)

The FizzBuzz Test

I was stunned when I read that 199 out of 200 programmers can't program -- and I'm not speaking figuratively -- they can't write a single line of code.

This fact intrigued me, so I Google for more information on it. That is when I ran into the FizzBuzz Test. Basically, the test is as follows;

Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print "Fizz" instead of the number and for the multiples of five print "Buzz". For numbers which are multiples of both three and five print "FizzBuzz".

Here's mine, in PHP;

FizzBuzz();

function FizzBuzz()
{
for ($i = 1; $i <= 100; $i++)
{
$out = (($i % 3 == 0) && ($i % 5 == 0)) ? "FizzBuzz" : (($i % 3 == 0) ? "Fizz" : (($i % 5 == 0) ? "Buzz" : $i));

if ($i == 1)
{
echo '[a href="http://kylestubbins.com/node" alt="Return to KyleStubbins.com home" title="Return to KyleStubbins.com home"]KyleStubbins.com[/a][br /][br /]';
echo '[b]Fizz[/b] is divisible by 3[br /][b]Buzz[/b] is divisible by 5[br /][b]FizzBuzz[/b] is divisible by 3 AND 5[br /][br /]';
echo "Let's Begin![br /][br /]";
}

echo $out.'[br /]';
}
echo '[br /][br /]All Done![br /][br /]';
echo '[a href="http://kylestubbins.com/node" alt="Return to KyleStubbins.com home" title="Return to KyleStubbins.com home"]KyleStubbins.com[/a][br /][br /]';
}

Note: I have changed all < > brackets to [ ] bbcode style simply so they wouldn't parse in this post! Sorry, but the formatting won't hold for the post either! This really could be cut down to a couple of lines -- all of the "extra" stuff is to display the start and end, and to add a link to get you back here, but is not needed for the actual "test".

You can see the results here. Feel free to post yours! :)

The power of Linux

I have been an Ubuntu Desktop user for almost two months now, so let me update you a bit.

About a week ago, I made a HUGE mistake when running the command line as root (I can just imagine some of you grinning already). No, I was not using the rm command! That has to be the first line in every Linux book you read -- WARNING!!! Then an example of wiping out your system with the rm command.

The 'mistake' I made, was not actually done on purpose -- it was kind of a 'wrong place, wrong time' thing -- let me explain. I was in the middle of copying some files to a new, shared directory that I setup to share with my LAN. This is when I had to 'chown' (CHange OWNership) the copied files -- I started to type the command

sudo chown -R langroup:langroup /

when I was interrupted. Can you see it? The FULL command was going to be

sudo chown -R langroup:langroup /home/lan-shared

as I only wanted to change the ownership on that directory and it's recursive directories (hence the -R option). But I turned around, after my interruption, and hit the enter key without completing the command.

I still wasn't aware of what I did -- it took about 4 or 5 seconds before I looked at the screen and saw it. Then, I realized what I had done! I had, inadvertently, issued a command, as root (sudo) to change the ownership (chown) of directories and files, recursively (-R), to the 'langroup' user and group (langroup:langroup), starting from the ROOT directory (/). Obviously, this is NOT what I wanted. :(

I quickly escaped the command (Ctrl-c), but it was waaaaay too late. Almost every directory and file on my system was now owned by 'langroup' -- you can only imagine the havoc that wreaked.

It took quite a long time to get sorted out -- I actually gave up on trying to save the system, but I wanted my files! The short and sweet of the recovery process was to boot the LiveCD in another machine and look at the directory structure and, more importantly, the ownership of the directories/files. From there, boot the machine I was having problems with from the LiveCD and get into recovery mode (ie. the command line -- or 'shell'). There you are root and can start changing ownership to what they should be -- therein lies the time. Oh, my goal was simply to get network connectivity back so I could transfer my files. Or even get my CD writer back! Something to allow me to get my files. I ended up achieving network connectivity and was able to get my files.

I will now offer you a tip that would have saved my bacon, had I known it at the time. When installing Linux (any flavor) set yourself up a separate partition for your /home directory. Why? Simply because if you set it up in that manner, you save all your files to a separate partition on your hard drive. In the event of a serious problem, such as I have outlined above, you can simply reinstall the OS without touching (ie. without formatting) the /home partition. As an added bonus, you can install a newer version of the OS (say, for example, when Ubuntu Fiesty 7.x is released) as a clean install, and not an upgrade, if you so desire. The structure would be like so (keep in mind, this is for a single boot, Linux only machine -- do a Google search if you need dual boot instructions);

Example -- you have an 80G drive.

/ (root) ext3 -- 10G
/home ext3 -- 69G
/swap linux-swap -- 1G

10G is plenty for the OS, and the 1G swap can be altered to your needs (depending on the amount of memory you have, etc.), but is a good base. Assign the majority of your drive to your home directory, as this is where the majority of files will be stored. Now, if you ever have to reinstall, you can choose NOT to format the /home partition and your data will be intact upon completion of the install.

This problem actually worked out better for me, in the long run -- here's why;

I initially installed Ubuntu on a P3 machine, and not one of my better ones, simply because I was testing the OS and didn't know if I'd like it, or stick with it. I quickly found that I did like it, used it the most, and wished I had put it on a better machine. Part two of that is that I also wanted to install Beryl (a Linux Theme Manager -- all kinds of cool stuff that'll give any Vista user a run for their money!), but it just didn't like the older hardware (especially the ATI video card!) and wouldn't run.

Well, seeing that I now had to reinstall Ubuntu, now was the perfect time! Instead of reinstalling Ubuntu on that machine, I threw Window$ XP back on it as I still, unfortunately, need a Windows machine (no, I haven't tried 'Wine'... yet!). From there, I copied all the files over from my current XP machine and then installed Ubuntu on that machine -- a P4 3.2GHz dual core machine with 2G of ram, 2 x 200G SATA drives, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I'm happy to announce that Beryl installed without a hitch -- and man, IS IT SWEET! Do a search for 'Beryl' over at YouTube.com -- there are a bunch of videos there demonstrating Ubuntu & Beryl.

The moral to this post? The 'chown' command can be just as dangerous as the 'rm' command, if you're not careful! ;)

Blogger behind bars

Seattlepi.com;

An Egyptian blogger was convicted Thursday and sentenced to four years in prison for insulting Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and Egypt's president, sending a chill through fellow Internet writers who fear a government crackdown.[...]

Free-parking pass?

That's what some think.

  • There are about 500,000 temporary and permanent disabled parking permits currently in circulation in Ontario
  • Although there are only about 1,700 Ontarians who are 100 years or older, a staggering 4,400 disabled parking permits issued to centenarian drivers currently exist in the province.
  • Data obtained by the Toronto Star also shows almost 200 of these disabled permits are registered to people under the age of 16 who are, surprisingly-enough, listed as "licensed to drive".

How does someone not notice...

Ontario liquor law changed to protect patrons

As of tomorrow, patrons will be allowed to carry their drinks to the restroom -- if the establishment has applied for this "new" license, that is.

[Visit the AGCO Website for more info]
[More info here]

Why does it not surprise me, even though it's free, that this "new" license has to be "applied" for? Why can it not be simply amended to the Liquor License for current license holders?

I think it's a great step towards protecting, particularly women, from crimes such as date rape. I'm just curious as to the potential legal situations that could arise from potentially drunk patrons (hey, that is the whole point, isn't it?) walking around with glasses/bottles.

Anna Nicole Smith -- Dead?

It's 4:03pm EST. I'm sitting in my living room, watching the news channel, when I hear -- "Anna Nicole Smith has died in hospital!".

What??!!??

I jumped over to Google News and did a search. There are many links to stories of Anna Nicole collapsing at the Hard Rock Casino, in South Florida, and that she was rushed to the hospital -- but nothing that can confirm what I just heard on TV.

I'll update this post as soon as I can confirm this one way or the other.

UPDATE (4:09PM EST) - By the time I finished this post, I found that it has been confirmed by Newsday (AP).

Anna Nicole Smith, the former Playboy playmate whose bizarre life careened from marrying an octogenarian billionaire to the untimely death of her son, died Thursday after collapsing at a South Florida hotel, one of her lawyers said.

Wow -- I'm stunned.

Let's talk minimum wage

I was reading through a pamphlet ("NDP Volume 2, Issue 1") that I received in the mail yesterday, from Chris Charlton, of the NDP party, and would like to make a few comments regarding the subject.

"NDP Announces Federal Minimum Wage Bill"

Recently, Chris seconded a bill in the House of Commons that will re-establish a federal minimum wage and set it at $10 an hour.

[...]

Federal minimum wage was eliminated in 1996 under the Liberal government.

After thinking about it, I can't say I agree (I seem to be saying that a lot tonight!) with a federal minimum wage. All I can think about is the "snowball effect" it will create. Setting, or raising, a minimum wage effectively raises everything else it comes in contact with. All food, clothing, entertainment, etc., etc., etc. will simply cost more to make up for employers having to pay out more money.

Besides the effect it will have on everything around us, I don't believe that someone working in a minimum wage job necessarily "deserves" a set amount of money. A job that requires "technical" knowledge, regardless if it's a minimum wage job or not, should be paid more than one that does not require "technical" knowledge. Need an example? Someone who drives a "B Class" truck may be in a minimum wage job, but should definitely be paid more than a "burger flipper".

IMO, burger flipping is not worth $10 an hour. If you want $10 an hour job (or more), get yourself an education -- and then you can get yourself a job that pays want you want.

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