Still the one... ((computers, linux, geek))

Last Friday when I had an interview for a possible department change at work, the question was asked "What is your favorite operating system?" My answer without hesitation was Ubuntu Linux. Even on this new computer which was pre-installed with Windows 7, I have a separate partition running Ubuntu Linux 10.04, and am doing this blog post in the Linux partition. Why would I do that?

I do very little gaming (the gaming I do is with a console) and don't need the processing power to do video or image editing. Plus, except for one device, I can do everything in Linux I would normally do in Windows. That one device is the iPhone, and thankfully with AT&T coming out with Android phones, that might not be an issue much longer. Eh, what can I say, I'm a person who likes open-source.

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Bringing back the oldies...

With the upcoming remake of The Rockford Files, I got to wondering if maybe NBC shouldn't revive another mystery series from the 70's. The NBC Mystery Movie was a showcase for three different shows, and with television dramas being as expensive as they are, showing three 60-minute mystery shows in rotation would help. Instead of gambling on one show and having to produce 20+ episodes, three shows could be produced with 9 episodes each. If one or more doesn't do well, then another show can take its place the following season. Heck, give me 9 episodes of William Petersen as Quincy,M.E.!

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On decisiveness

From the first chapter of the Hagakure:

   When one's own attitude on courage is fixed in his heart, and when his resolution is devoid of doubt, then when the time comes he will of necessity be able to choose the right move. This will be manifested by one's conduct and speech according to the occasion. One's word is especially important. It is not for exposing the depths of one's heart. This is something that people will know by one's everyday affairs.

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The Next British Invasion

Today's British general elections promise to be interesting since instead of the usual "big two" parties of Labour and Conservative, there is a third major player in the game. Liberal Democrats have become a factor in these elections, to the point that we might be looking at the first hung parliament since the general elections of February 1974.

While on the surface, this election doesn't directly affect the United States, except maybe with a hung parliament in terms of economics and foreign policy. No, the bigger factor is how the Liberal Democrats do in this election. With the recent move by Charlie Crist to run as an independent candidate in the Florida senate election and the "Tea Party" seeming to cause a fracture in the Republican Party, a good showing by the Liberal Democrats might give things the push they need.

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Technically, the A-Team are also freelancers...

My plan for the upcoming week is to start working on a linkedin profile.  While I update my resume and am always trying to better myself at my current job or one I want in the future, I have come to realize something. My career is mine alone. Gone are the days of putting in 20 years at the same company while moving vertically or finding a better job. There are still true freelancers, but I think we have all become freelancers in some way. Needing to be flexible and constantly evolving at your job is how this next decade is going to play out. Sure, there are secure fields, but even those will need to be monitored and updated as the job market and the markets as a whole change and shift instantly.

Since I mentioned it in the title...

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Power to the people!

Yesterday, the Russian subway was bombed in a terrorist attack. As soon as it happened, the United States increased security in the New York subway system. One has to wonder why this was done when there has been historic evidence of tensions between Russian and the North Caucasus, even Putin made reference to it in a speech today. I always say to never take the news for face value. The internet, specifically things like Wikipedia and Google allows one to get all the information they need and draw their own conclusions. Remember what I said in my last post about people not educating themselves on things they are not aware of? Here is an example. But please, if the idea of doing a bit of research troubles you and bites into your time, I respect that. Just don't expect me to have a meaningful conversation about what is going on.

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To further expound on my point...

On Facebook earlier today, I made a comment in regards to this post. Looking at the comments afterwards, I realize that the format and nature of something like Facebook does not allow one to really go into any depth on something as complicated as this. In the next paragraph, I will correct this.

Oddly enough, I do not oppose prayer in schools. While our constitution was designed to keep the church from being run by the government, and the government from being run by the church, it still allowed one to freely practice ones religion. My issue is that the school prayer was done during time set aside for classes and study, while also using the school P.A. system. I feel that schools, especially public ones that receive funding from the state and federal government, should be neutral ground where children can be taught without any political or religious doctrine being foisted upon them. If these students wish to have a prayer group, then do it somewhere like the library or football field sometime right before or right after school.

Again, I restate: I do not oppose prayer in schools, but when a school is doing morning prayer during homeroom over the P.A. system, what does that tell the kids about the freedoms they are learning in that very same classroom?

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Guess there is a use for this internet after all...

As I sit here sipping a 50/50 mix of regular and chocolate milk, I got to thinking about the health care reform bill being voted on in the House. No, I'm not going to get political here, but the bill itself shows how technology (and to a narrower extent, the internet) is making things more accessible for everyone. Go back to about 15 years ago, I bet that it would have been difficult to get a copy of this bill, if not because of the paperwork, just the idea of 1000+ pages being sent in the mail. Today, it's just a quick trip to Google, and here is a copy of the bill in an open, .pdf format, which can be read by just about any computer with the right software (I personally use Foxit Reader, not as bloated as Adobe). So now, the public can become more well informed on issues such as this. Mind you, the beg hurdle to that is motivating the public, but that is another blog post.

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Distance (both ways) and perspective with the passing of people

Recently, I went to two visitations in a week. The first was for a co-worker who died at age 37 from cancer. The second was the father of a friend who died at the age of 82 from complications resulting from a fall. Funny thing is, these funerals didn't make me question or dread my mortality. My studies and embracing of Eastern philosophies (specifically Zen Buddhism), have me accepting death wherever and whenever it comes. No, these two passing's gave me a different bit of perspective, which didn't really come together until last night when myself, my niece, and my wife were celebrating her birthday. When the check was brought out, my niece made the comment "The waiter probably didn't ask about separate checks thinking I'm the daughter."

Years ago I came to a decision that I could never be a good father, so I did not want to have children. Even my niece's comment doesn't make me regret it. What it does though is make clearer how I need to forge new relationships and work on existing ones. The folds in nicely with my post about gaining a new friend Monday. In my past, I embraced being a bit of a loner and social outcast. The present has given me opportunities to work on relationships of all levels, and with work and effort, the future will enrich me with friends and family.

No, I'll never be a good father. But I do plan on being a good uncle. Thanks for that bit of perspective Torrey.

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Fight for the career future

As I sit here in a Starbuck's having a cup of coffee on my netbook, I seem to get a thought about how this affects jobs in the 21st century.

We are still seeming to look at jobs in the 20th century perspective. We get out of college (if we went that route), find a job, and stay at said job for 20-30 years, then retire to the house you bought and see your children and grandchildren grow up. It's not that way now. Jobs seem to be more mobile and agile. To get a job and to get somewhere in it, we must adapt a bit of the gypsy in us. Travelling from place to place, seeking jobs in other states or even countries as technology and the needs of the consumer and industry change ever quickly.

With the exception of a few infrastructures (hospitals, fire/police, and grocery stores come to mind), I think the 21st century worker has to come to realize that whatever their place of residence was while they were growing up, it might become a place to visit rather than a place to stay.

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