May 18, 2005
Truth 1, Neocons 0
The past few seasons have been a bit rough for the home team due to the Neocons' enormous payroll and the fact that they own all the umpires. But occasionally the Truth is able to pull out a win, and today was such a day. From George Galloway's Senate testimony:
And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies. I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims, did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to Al Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11, 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.
Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong. And 100,000 people have paid with their lives, 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.
If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to President Chirac, who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we're in today.
Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth. Have a look at the real oil- for-food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months, when $8.8 billion of Iraq's wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Halliburton and the other American corporations that stole Iraq's money, but the money of the American taxpayer. Have a look at the oil that you didn't even meter that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where. Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting it or weighing it. Have a look at the real scandal, breaking in the newspapers today. Revealed in the (INAUDIBLE) testimony in this committee, that the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French politicians; the real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own government.
He is absolutely right, but it won't make a lick of difference because the "liberal" news media is too busy reporting on the Newsweek "scandal" and Michael Jackson. And the majority of Americans will continue on secure in the belief that Dubya is keeping them safe from the marriage-destroying homos and freedom-hating turrists.
It's going to be a long season.
May 9, 2005
Ode to KNOPPIX
We've got an in-house server (Windows 2003) running PeachTree, ACT and a couple other apps that we rely on for our day-to-day processes. When I first started working here, there was no regular backup process in place... it was more of a seat-of-the pants approach. Having been bitten in the ass by that type of thing before, we decided we weren't about to let things stay that way. So we implemented a couple batch jobs to automate the process every night so that everything would be backed up to a special folder. The next step was to automate backups onto another machine. But with the launch of our new web site, that fell by the wayside. And it bit us in the ass.
When Windows won't start in safe mode, you know you have problems. The server would get caught in a permanent reboot cycle; a few seconds after the initial windows screen appeared, there would be a BFOD (Blue Flicker of Death — just like a BSOD, only not enough time to read the error message) and with that the server would restart. Running CHKDSK under the recovery console didn't point out any obvious errors, but my money was on a corrupted system file.
But how did that happen in the first place? It turns out one of the drives in the RAID array wasn't plugged in and another one was incomplete. That'll pretty much make all that hardware useless. So we patched things up there, but Windows still wouldn't boot. I wasn't about to do a repair install, seeing as there was no simple way to first back up the data.
Enter KNOPPIX. KNOPPIX is a Debian-based Linux distro that runs off of a single bootable CD-ROM. Just pop it in the drive, turn on the computer, and you are running Linux—it doesn't install anything on your hard disk, nor does it care what OS you normally (try to) run. Being a Linux enthusiast, I suppose I can't be completely objective in saying this, but it's so simple that even a total Microphile could use it with ease.
And just like that, we were able to quickly pull all of the backups off of the dead server and move them over to the new one.
In the end, we were able to do a repair install and get things back to normal, but KNOPPIX definitely added to my peace of mind and helped speed up the recovery process. Klaus Knopper, you are my hero.
May 3, 2005
Another season of Ultimate frisbee is upon us again. If you live in Utah County and have never had the privilege of watching league Ultimate frisbee, head on over to the fields by the Orem Community Hospital (400 N 400 W) on Thursday nights and watch a game or two.