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Zidane demands an update

March 23, 2008, 5:36 PM EDT, Sutherland Global Services, Syracuse Galleries
Weather: 0 C, Windy again
Subtitle: Where were we again?
So here ya go kiddies. Let’s see how I should start this. Okay, how about from when I last left off. Last thing I did was the Final Fantasy XI Fanfest. After that and getting home I just basically waited for the grueling editing process to hit. Here are the threads containing the webcasts we made:
Day 1
Day 2

Subtitle: What do you do again?
By now most of you know about my job as the database engineer. But a few weeks after the trip I got another job and now I work for So what is this Well, we’re a third party fee-based technical support company for Windows NT 5.1 or later computers (for those who don’t know the version numbers, its Windows XP or Vista, we do not support Macintosh or Linux). What we do is basically remote access support to customers. In other words, we lead a customer to a bouncing ball, then they sit back and we fix their computer from halfway across the country. Great idea? Sure as hell it is. Of course, I have some major complaints about customers in this service system that I just have to say.
Number 1: Our service is NOT FREE.
This is a big “duh”, but apparently some people can’t listen to the recording when people call up involving that our service is for a fee. We do not do services on behalf of any client for free.
Number 2: We are not <Insert Company name>.
Another big “duh”. By the time I collect someone’s name, is mentioned four times. We act independently on behalf of SupportSoft and SGS only.
Number 3: Network Magic is ultra fail.
If you call up saying your network has stopped working and you use or used network magic, there’s your problem right there. Network magic has a bad habit of “bricking” networks. If you call us up after going through the “troubleshooting” steps provided by network magic, all we’re going to do is pull it out and set it up by hand because it’s a horrific program and a horrid idea. You pay, Pure Networks owns your home network that doesn’t have any more functionality. You stop paying, your internet goes off. Wonderful scam in my opinion. As for why our number is on there, I don’t know the specifics, but we’re not supposed to be there.
Number 4: Listening to the technician.
If the technician tells you to do something, don’t question him/her or do something else. Most of us have years of experience backing up our repair skills so unless you have a Doctorate in Computer Science and ten years of repair experience, shut the hell up, listen and we’ll get done sooner.
Number 5: Be complete.
When I say that, usually I get half an error message when a customer gets one and I never get the information I need. In addition, some customers are quick to jump to conclusions, like most customers think that problems are caused by malicious software. Nine times out of ten, that’s horribly incorrect. In my case, a slow computer can be caused by malicious software, but more often than not it’s caused by people downloading software that clogs their startup.
Number 6: Want service? Show me the money!
Don’t try to get service if you don’t want to pay. We usually don’t talk after offering a service and you say no.
Number 7: We can’t help with passwords.
We cannot be legally liable for helping someone break into a computer. There is no way we can prove you’re the owner of the computer you are on. Don’t ask. Most of us know how to fix this problem, but we have tied hands for fixing it.
Number 8: If you have dial-up internet, don’t call us.
Two reasons for this. One, no matter what the problem is, you get the $129.99 service. Two, it takes FOREVER to get anything done through remote assist. You’re better off buying high speed internet then coming back.
Number 9: If you use any of the following operating systems, don’t call us.
This list includes ANY version of the Macintosh operating system, DOS, Windows 1, 2, 3.1, 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT4.0, 2000, Server 2003, Server 2008 or any flavor of Linux. Our software does not work or causes issues with these systems. Technical details: 2000 destroys the login system thereby bricking the computer, server 2003 fails and wreaks havoc on active directory, we assume 2008 will do the same. Also, finding a Mac and Windows technician that will work at what we get paid? Not likely.
Number 10: We don’t have any reps that speak <Insert Language other than English>.
Save for one guy on the day crew that speaks Puerto Rico style Spanish and one guy on the night crew who speaks Ukrainian, we’re without anyone who speaks languages other than English. We consist of about fourty people in total, ten of which are never really on the phone, so odds are we’re not adding another language division.
Number 11: Do not use a registry cleaner.
Registry cleaners do not work. They don’t fix hard drive errors, they don’t speed up your system and plain and simple they just don’t help. Whenever used they have a larger chance of causing problems than fixing them. Example, some registry cleaners have been known to completely blank the control panel and add/remove programs list. To be honest, the reason why this ends up this way is because registry cleaners are computer programs that work on a set of rules that are not right for every situation and can cause problems. Best advice: Avoid.
Number 12: The search bar is not the address bar.
This should be obvious, but some people can’t grasp the concept. Google does not give you a way to go directly to a site. If we say “put this in your address bar”, it will not work if you put it in the search bar.

Now that that’s out of the way, want to know how to beat the system? Here are some insider tips.
Number 1: Have credit card at hand.
See numbers 1 and 6 above. The faster you pay us, the sooner your problem can be worked on and eventually fixed.
Number 2: Be complete.
See number 5 above. To us, if you say “I have a virus”, we have to start asking questions as to why you think that. If you say, “I think I have a virus and I think it is causing all these popups and strange messages saying my computer is not secure…” then we can work with it.
Number 3: $129.99 is where the buck stops (For one computer).
Our prices do not go any higher. However, we do charge sales tax in Texas and Connecticut. The services that go over the $129.99 are Google Apps installation and Migration as well as a network setup that covers four or more computers, both of which are extremely uncommon.
Number 4: We charge by incident, not by time.
Meaning, if it takes us a week to fix your problem, it’s still a flat fee. Related to the above bullet is if you have more than one issue, it’s going to incur multiple charges. Say, you have a virus and we clean it out, then you want your network set up. That’s $99.99 for the Anti-Virus and $89.99 for the Networking. That’s just how we work.
Number 5: The QuickFix
This is the service we don’t advertise. According to regulations, this is a service at $49.99 (no discounts can be applied to this) and basically says after we pin a CPR (The $129.99 service) and collect the payment, a clock starts. If we do fix the problem within probably ten to twenty minutes and we like you (meaning you’re pleasant to work with), we offer the discounted price. Also, don’t ask for the QuickFix since if you mention it you probably won’t get it. We have to say it.
Number 6: “And how did you hear about us today?”
Mention how you heard about the company. Depending on how you answer, that may incur a discount for yourself. If it doesn’t, it helps the marketing department determine where our marketing systems are working or not. Internal Jokes involving SUSO run rampant here though.
Number 7: Be civil.
We’re human just like you. Treat us well and we’ll be done faster. Most of us are trained to talk on the same level as you, but some of us prefer to talk up by overusing honorable terms (sir, mam).
Number 8: Yes, we speak USA style English.
While we get a blend of how it sounds, we do all speak incredibly strong English. If you do the same, it will help out greatly.
Number 9: If you try to fix it yourself, let us know what you have done to it.
This can help us troubleshoot the problem if we know what you’ve done. If you don’t say what you did, we’re probably bound to repeat the same step.
Number 10: Humor us.
We are trained to not overlook the obvious. If it’s not plugged in, there’s your problem. If we ask you to check a wire, make sure you do.
Number 11: Hours
We’re open every day, including holidays, from 8AM EDT to 2AM EDT the next day. Not a 24 hour operation, but it is pretty close.
Number 12: You’re talking to a technician.
There are no receptionists, no level II techs, nobody over us. As you call up, that’s it. That’s all you get.
Number 13: Put your kids on the phone.
If you have kids that use the computer more than you, as long as you give permission, we can work with them instead. Since most of the current generation’s teenagers know computers better than their adult counterparts, we can usually get done faster.
Number 14: The verbal terms and conditions we blow by explained.
I say these extremely fast because it’s so boring, not because I want to make you agree to something you don’t understand.
14.1: You must be 18 years of age or older.
Since this is a legally binding agreement, we can’t do anything with someone under 18. However, if you give someone who’s 13 years of age or older (COPPA controls that number) consent, we can work with them in your place. Also, we take a credit card for payment, so being over 18 is almost required.
14.2: If I connect to your computer you consent to us taking remote control of your computer.
Because this is how we fix computers, we just need this agreement so we have the authorization to control your machine.
14.3: You are responsible for backing up your data and software.
Some things we do can cause you to loose data. This is to save ourselves from being liable for something that may have been out of our control.
14.4: We will refund your money if we are unable to resolve this issue.
What makes us special. We don’t charge diagnostic fees (upwards of $150.00 at some stores) since we do it over the phone in ten minutes. Also, if after an amount of time and after exhausting at least the “pod” we still can’t figure out a resolution, we give you the money back.
14.5: You also have a 5 day window to call back at no charge for follow up on the same problem we resolved.
Two things related to this. One, if we mark the issue resolved and you call back saying the same thing is happening again we can help you for free. If you call back with a completely different problem and neither you nor the technician can put the two issues together, we won’t help you without another charge.
14.6: We do not sell or trade your personal information to third parties for marketing.
Duh. This would be bad if we just handed out everything we collected about you to another company in the name of profit.
Number 15: Keep your CDs.
Often times we might require the use of your original Windows CDs or Driver Disks. When you buy a new computer, a new media player, printer, whatever save every disk it came with. This makes the issue much easier to resolve and deal with.

However, there is one major complaint I have about this job. I don’t do sales. My job is not to sell you a service, it’s to fix your computer. I’m a technician, not a salesman. There are some people in this group that would unfortunately rather try to force a service on someone who doesn’t want it. I don’t do that sort of thing. If I offer a service and you say no, I cut the call. I don’t object or anything. If you say yes, give me your information and let’s be on our way. Okay, that was long. Hell. It could have been it’s own post. Oh well.

Subtitle: I think my DVD rack fell on me.
I’ve been purchasing a lot of anime lately. I’ve also been keeping track of it on and have come to the realization that I’ve spent over two months of my lifetime watching anime. Wow. Anyway, I’m still in dire need of cleaning my apartment and putting my next DVD rack together (yes, the original one is full) so I’ll save the list for another post. However, I did claim victory recently. I’ll tell you a story.

Once upon a time, there were eleven friends. The first five named two, three, four, five and six came home one day and looked at each other. Comfortable but confused, they asked, where were the others? Seven arrived in his own box. A special home for himself. In the months that would come, one more friend would be added into seven’s box every three weeks. But after twelve arrived, there was an awkward silence among them. Not only did two through six resent not having the box, but they all asked, where was number one? Contents of packages seven and ten were worn many times, but the others were unused. Two years they waited then someone came home. A package outside the door. A victory was achieved after two long years of searching. A box containing a box containing number one with room for five more and a sampling of audio. The friends were overjoyed.

The one that came home was one. With a home for two through six. They all now knew that they would be used for something else other than clothes.

Okay, enough with the lame story. Anyway, I completed Gundam SEED Destiny as the above story mentions. I’m probably going to watch it soon, but I have tons of anime to plow through, so it might be a while. As for a picture of the rack? I should take another one.

Subtitle: I’m branching out, not converting.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I purchased an Xbox 360 Elite Falcon edition. The gigantic black box seems to complement the white Wii well. The 360 provides an excellent list of features that I have a lot of fun with. First up is Dynasty Warriors: Gundam and damn is it fun. It’s a simple hack and slash game with a Gundam theme and it is very well polished and fun to play, despite a huge lack of balance with mobile weapons. As an example, why in bloody hell is God Gundam available? It’s main attacks are punches consisting of range that is so short it’s not worth talking about. Now let’s put this into contrast with something like Epyon (also available) which has range from hell and very beautiful SP attacks. I also got a nice taste of storylines not released in the US yet like Turn A Gundam and Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam. Overall the game is fun, but a bit repetitive. I also picked up an obligatory copy of Halo 3, beat the living snot out of it and put it away. Halo 3 unfortunately is a “more of the same” game of Halo 2 that looks prettier and concludes the storyline. I played Xbox live for a while, but only play with friends now since the online play is boring now. I have a few more games for it, but those are all that are worth mentioning.

Subtitle: The joy of computing
Recently I purchased some components for the aging V2.1 box. It’s not up to crazy snuff, but it is potent again and can handle operations without complaint. I also really had to replace a dying hard drive. I mean, the hard drive caused the CPU to run at 100% burn to be read off of or written to. Obviously something was failing in the drive. I don’t know what, but I replaced it and am wondering what I can do about a replacement. The drive hasn’t hit it’s age yet and has pretty much all it’s data off, so I care little about how it ends up, but I wouldn’t mind having a spare 250GB around. I also upgraded the video card which was a massive disappointment. I went from a Connect3D 9200se to a Sapphire Radeon X1650 PRO and after a week went back to the 9200se. Why? The X1650 blinks whenever trying to invoke DirectDraw, meaning whenever I try to play a video the card blinks rabidly and makes my eyes hurt. I’m returning that one because it just seems to be made of fail.

I also purchased myself a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional. I figure I’m going to need something like this for work eventually anyway so I should have it. It is serving me well, however, I cannot use XNA with it yet. Speaking of XNA though, I am really getting into that. Sofar I’ve created a side scrolling shooter game based off of Freespace: The Great War which is turning into a really fun project and when I’m happy with an alpha version I’ll put it on this site to play. Speaking of Freespace though, I’m playing that a lot again too. For some reason I just feel reinvigorated to play such a fun game. The open source project turned the game from the most awesome space flight simulator ever and somehow made it better. Featuring graphical enhancements, a nebula that still gives people headaches and generally smoother gameplay it feels like a great new game all over again. I also got to finish the original Great War campaign with the project because I had such issues playing the original game on my laptop.

Speaking of my laptop, I’m about to strike up some controversy here. About one month ago I purchased a copy of Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit edition for my ASUS G2P. Originally, my laptop came loaded with Windows XP Media Center edition, meaning that my computer really wasn’t using the full force of my CPU and had huge problems with stability. Now that it has a 64-bit OS, this thing is turning into a raging road rocket. But why Vista? Well, I’ll ask a better question. Why not? Seriously, what is so horrible about this operating system? I think the most criticism come from people who don’t use it and just look at the outside. Sure, it has steep system requirements. But I’m happy the system requirements are so high. Not because I want people to buy new computers, but it shows that hardware manufactures really need to get in the game and churn out heavy duty equipment and advance forward with hardware manufacturing as opposed to the process they are taking now. I have yet to have a real problem with Vista sofar. Aero is nothing short of wonderful eye candy, feels faster than XP and works well with all my software. In fact, it plays so well, that my Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars game actually plays now! This is odd, since on Media Center it wouldn’t play without crashing and the box with the system requirements explicitly says it’s not compatible with a 64-bit installation of Vista. But it works. I’m willing to file this one under oversight by EA or just not knowing what the hell they’re talking about. Then again, the system also said a Radeon 9200 wouldn’t work with the game, but that was part of the only way I could get it to work. Meh. Whatever. It looks great and with Kane’s Wrath coming out this week I’ll be prepared for ass kicking.

The only comment I have sofar is user account control or UAC. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with Vista, this is the control that makes the entire screen darken and gives you the dialogue box asking you if you want to continue. Most people find this annoying. Personally, I’m on the fence. One, this is not an original Microsoft idea. In fact, it’s a great idea to prevent malware and stolen from a UNIX clone. Unfortunately it suffers from two critical flaws and they are the userbase hates it and when invoked it can really mess up some 3D games. As I said to someone it’s a fantastic idea and a great implementation to really stop things from doing suspicious actions. Also, if you do or do not notice, there isn’t a back door to this which is good if something tries to disguise itself as something legitimate, UAC will still catch it. I have yet to turn it off. Probably because I’m not bothered by it.

After this month or so trial of Vista, I have not found a significant enough reason to go back to XP. I am hooked.

Subtitle: *Drumroll* Live from Vana’diel…
Yes, I finally got my moment of fame for Limit Break Radio. My own personal White Mage show. Check it out here. I don’t really have much to say about it other than it was fun.

Subtitle: Round 3, FIGHT!
A rather recent event, Super Smash Brothers Brawl has hit store shelves and my Wii. A fun game again and definitely a lot different than the previous two. The general speed of the game seems somewhere between the original and melee with some characters that are heavyweights actually attacking at a somewhat related pace. As an example, Ike, who wields a large bastard sword, is rather slow with some attacks. Unfortunately my character from melee does not make any sort of appearance in Brawl, but Ike plays so much like Roy anyway, he’s an acceptable replacement. In fact, all but Pichu and Dr. Mario (who were really just clones anyway) have replacements in Brawl, Ike for Roy, Toon Link for Young Link and Lucario for Mewtwo. Some characters got quite a drastic change in Brawl too, some for the better, some just make you raise an eyebrow, see Mario and why F.L.U.D.D. was included as a replacement Down+B move. Oh, on that note, I play with the old GameCube controller, which was a great idea to include being able to do that since I’m so incredibly used to it. Overall I can see why the acclaim of this game is so high and I’m quite happy to play it. With so much to do and so many friends who play too, it’s just a dream.

Subtitle: One more to go.
Three weeks ago I finished all but one of my courses at the institute. It feels strange. Almost feels like yesterday I walked into Operating Systems with Mr. Sweeny and in ten more weeks I’m about to walk out with a college degree. Sofar it’s going to be a total drag with the company I have in my capstone project, but once I churn that baby out I can finally say bye to some people at the school and get on with life. I’m not optimistic that the project will turn out like I want it to, but I’m just doing this one for a grade, not to show people that I’m the greatest thing to hit the programming world since William Henry Gates III KBE (Don’t ask why I memorized his official title).

Subtitle: You didn’t mention that yet!
Well, do you ever think I would leave something like that out? Would I? Well? Okay, of course not. I am always one to include this sort of thing. I’ve been playing off and on. My new job is constricting my play time, but I still find the ability to rock and roll every so often. First up, I have gotten my Scholar to 37 and can now effectively use it as a subjob for my White Mage and what a fine subjob it is. I have the feeling this thing has trumped summoner as a fantastic subjob, providing more useful spells and abilities than the commonly used Auto-Refresh trait. I have also been working on my Dancer. At 32, it is looking like a fun job to play to 75. It reminds me a lot of my White Mage, but I usually don’t get to fill the healing role that well with Dancer. While some of my enfeebling steps are fun, the job doesn’t seem all that fantastic, at least so far. Going back to my White Mage, I finally got my Reverend Mail, so that’s one less piece of melee gear I need to complete my set. All I need now to finish is a Goliard Saio and maybe whatever else I can think of. I got myself the new transportation spells for my jobs too and I feel a little more complete with them. Campaign Battle is okay now, but it requires a more coordinated effort to really do some damage, like pulling mobs away. As for Wings of the Goddess content, I’m not seeing the best stuff yet I think, but I hope it only gets better. I wish I had more time to play XI.

Subtitle: Am I done?
Not really. I just don’t know what else to write about today. See ya.

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My life is boring

I just really noticed something. After reading my brother’s blog/book thingy, I just took a look at my own life and realized something.

It’s really boring.

Here’s what a day looks like: I lie in bed for half an hour after I get up. I finally crawl out of bed. Most of the days I don’t even shower. I figure, I’m not going anywhere, nobody ever comes here, why present myself? Sometimes I just leave my PJ pants still on. I throw on a random “junk” (AKA those useless Boilermaker shirts) tee to complement it just so I don’t seem so naked. I plop myself in my command station’s chair that’s broken because my father is too cheap to buy a chair that won’t break after a year’s use and I won’t buy another one. My vision comes to light. I say three choice words to turn my computers back to life from an idle state to monitors on at full power. I check my IMs (usually none show when I’m sleeping) My Yahoo!, my Yahoo mail account, my website mail and Slashdot. I check the usual forums of BlueGartrLS and Limit Break Radio. Nothing happened as usual. Turn on Final Fantasy XI and sit idle waiting for some shout to come by for something I want to do. I never usually get one. I look at some jobs at my usual career sites and fill out countless applications, but always get rejected because of going to school or something of the like. Check the forums again. Check my personals. Oogle a bit over some women who I know would think I’m too weird to date. Close the window and dismiss it. Start cooking my only meal for the day, which is only one of five things. Browse some image boards. Get the urge to code something massive, start it, get barely done writing the algorithm and stop again. Start eating the cooked meal. Fire up the TV to play a video game of some sort that isn’t XI. Put the game down and play some XI. Go back to the other game. Turn off the game and fire up some anime I really need to watch that hasn’t been watched. Pause it every five seconds to do something else. Code. Complain to myself about the decaying state of my dirty apartment. Pick up a couple things. Plop back at the command station. Watch more of that anime. Check my bank account balance. Pay my bills if they exist. Play XI some more. Finally finish the meal 8 hours later. Wind down to the end of the day with an aggressive game. Watch some hentai and get off to it. Clean up the mess. Change back into my sleeping clothes. Restlessly toss and turn in bed thinking about the idea of no girl is in it with me until I pass out.


Offbeat things:
Sunday and Thursday 6PM-11PM: Dynamis (XI event)
Thursday 8AM-8:30AM: Shower
Thursday 9AM-1:30PM and Friday 6PM-8PM: College.

Am I complaining? No. I have a good time with this and wouldn’t trade it for much. Though, I just had to examine what I do during a day. I kinda wish I had more people I identified very well with that I could talk to regularly, didn’t have to go to bed alone and could have normal conversation without swearing or bringing up something perverted.

Oh. One more thing in the offbeat section.

Saturday to Wednesday 5PM-2AM: My new job. I’m sure a lot of folks would be proud right about now.

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Before the convention

Lately I have been doing a lot of work and pay jobs.  Been very busy with myself and what goes on. I have taken a well needed break from Final Fantasy XI to relax and do other things, mainly, watch my massive backlog of anime. I’ve got tons of it and not as much time as I’d like to watch it. I plowed though some Moon Phase and Hellsing Ultimate lately, but that’s about it. I helped out a friend of mine (Kagome) by tutoring her in math for five hours a couple weeks ago so she could pass her exam, but she dissapeared the day of the exam and showed up two weeks later to tell me she passed. I felt good about myself knowing I could once again teach like I used to.

I got my folks to go to the National Technical Honor Society cerimony. Unfortunately my sister, having a total lack of the concept of time, made us show up absurdly late and I was damned mad because of it. It’s not just her too, my father sabatoged my car some time ago. Why? Hell if I know. That really pissed me off and now I want even less to do with him.

But let’s get off the subject of how much my family sucks and get back onto something more interesting. Anime of course. I’ve finished Escaflowne and Moon Phase, now I’m working on finishing up Girls Bravo just so it’s done. I’ve also purchased the following: Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (got only first two disks, rest are inbound at release), the rest of Ai Yori Aoshi (including Enishi), Hanaukyo Maid Team La Verite, Hand Maid May, Serial Experiments Lain, Mahormatic (including Something More Beautiful), Maburaho, the rest of Gundam SEED Destiny and the limited edition box set of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. How much did I spend on all of the above? $200. Damn I love good deals. But this is hardly where it ends. In two days is the spectical of the summer. I of course am talking about Otakon 2007. This year looks promising to be a very good time. I’m going with a girl, going to have a lot of time this year (won’t have to leave early Sunday), meeting a bunch of other folks (Mostly from the Limit Break Radio crew) and hopefuly get something snazzy from the dealers’ room. I’m looking foward to a good time. Expect daily updates from me.

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Return to Utica for the same job, part three.

Yup, I’m back in the good ol’ (read: hell hole) Mohawk Valley for yet another stay filling in for someone’s vacation at an undisclosed location (rhyme unintended). But I am doing better about this. I brought my laptop this time. It’s not helped me in the immense sense, but it has helped me as a notepad to find people and things, as well as work with trouble tickets. I can say that I’m at a help desk right now and somewhat bored, so once again I resort to writing in my blog that I only seem to update once a month. I’ve been too busy with other things such as school and work to really get a chance to sit down and speak my mind.

On the subject of school, I think I have a 4.0 GPA yet again. Looking forward a moment, this quarter, due to the number of test outs I’ve taken, I was originally supposed to have two classes. Well, I decided to take another test out to Composition I (GE 117) because if I took that I’d have three more classes available for me to take. Well, the three classes are all of the general education type, so it means they are commonly offered at night as well. My Java I course is on Saturday, so I figure, this may be the gate to a possible full time job if I play my cards right (as in 9-5 schedule). So I have class Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 untill 9:30 then on Saturday from 9 to 1:30. This should be good for me.

Now back on the subject of work, I have an internship (as he put it) for a technology company in Syracuse. Most of it sofar is web coding and heavy HTML. Now as I probably have said, I can do it, but I’m not good at design and am really better at things like PHP and SQL relations, which is my other job for…them. It’s been rough going, some things I stare at all confused and really don’t know what’s being asked of me. But then there are sometimes where I see code so atrocious it makes me want to puke all over the original coder. So I spent hours upon hours upon hours recoding the thing from scratch to get a similar look that wasn’t as buggy as the previous. It is a nightmare to look at some of the code, because it seems to fly everywhere. Most HTML and whatnot follows a logical order. In this site’s case, it didn’t at all. I managed to cut the average file in half with my changes. But I’ve got more to do for this guy and less time to do it.

Back on the subject of where I am now, I got to have great fun in the cafeteria during lunch break. I sat against a wall, plugged in my laptop and fired up Unreal Tournament 2004. It was the greatest lunch break of my life. Seriously, I cranked it up loud so people could hear the announcers praise my greatness. Double Kill, Multi Kill, Mega Kill, Ultra Kill, Monster Kill, HOLY SHIT!!! Seriously, I had a couple girls stare at the vending machines while I was playing and to break the silence these two girls had was: “WICKED SICK!!!” they go dead quiet, look at each other and walk away. It was so pretty. My friend is the instagib rifle. I had way too much fun with that. Though, I now feel incredibly tired as in sleepy. I hope I don’t pass out while working today.

So the guys I’m working for again are having a blood drive. Granted, I don’t quite remember when my last donation was (I hope I can give again), I’m here to figure that out. I think it’s important to not be part of the group that never gives twice. It’s a two day span for this, so if not today, maybe tomorrow? I think I’m going to go over in my break though, it’s already 12:24PM and my break ends in six minutes. Oh well, if I go over it’s just a small pay dock. I could probably stay later to make it up.

Or just don’t go. My time isn’t up yet. I have exactly eight more days until I can give blood again. I’ll look up a drive in the area or something to give to. Tonight is dinner with my Mom for the second week straight (really odd considering I’m at college). By the looks of things though, this person I’m “replacing” is taking a longer vacation than I was told. By the looks of things I will be here longer than I expected and that may hurt my attempts to get my other job I have the internship for. Well, I need the money, so I’m working this job for now and if it goes longer than it’s probably a good thing. I got my Verizon bill and basically said, I really have to cut down on my phone use. I hardly know where it goes, but now they’ve docked the rate for overtime all the way up to $.45/minute, which is ridiculous. I don’t really use my phone that much to begin with, what the hell happened here? Speaking of my phone, during this weekend escapade, I forgot my cell phone charger at my apartment, so my phone is dead. (If you’ve been trying to call, this is why.) So many things I have to do this week and school starts tomorrow night. Oh well, here we go.

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A new job?

So I’m sitting in the car of a place called Dakota’s Brickhouse Grill, waiting for an interview with a company. I find it kinda suspicious they picked a place like this instead of their office, but I’m not one to complain that much. The problem I had was that I got here way early (11:10, the interview is at 11:30) and apparently the restaurant isn’t even open yet. There’s no WiFi here, so no dynamic updating for now, just me typing up in notepad. I have the strange hunch that there is more to this interview. The man mentioned something about a meeting he had to go to today. Am I doing some sort of interview at the same time? Only time will tell. My laptop is way too big for this car or something. I have it between the steering wheel and my body with the seat all the way back and I have to suck it in to use it. Not to mention the typing position is way less than ideal. He seemed to like my credentials, so I think if I can ace this interview I’ll be all set for the job. I think he just pulled in. Here I go.

Ok. I’m in. Apparently there is a meeting going on here. Some sort of business organization where they share information, people and whatnot. It’s an interesting concept and I’m wondering how much fun this meeting will be. I wonder what I’m going to talk about. As a random note, my underwear keeps trying to ride me or something. I think that’s because it’s not broken in, I’ve only been wearing them for a bit over an hour.

So the interview went well, I think I’ll have the job after the internship. But I did do one blunder which wasn’t the best move. The meeting was over and for the meeting my lid was shut. I open it up and floating up the screen is this image (Warning: Not safe for work by any means.) I go for the touch pad instantly to try to get the image to disappear, but it was already too late. The person who interviewed me said “Well that was the first time I’ve seen anime porn before.” I wasn’t really sure what to say in response to that. Heh. I got some work from him to do the next day and I’m enjoying it. Why? Well, I haven’t gotten out of my pajamas in days. Work from home, in my bed or at my desk. No need to get up and go somewhere, just work from the comfort of the apartment.

If you couldn’t already tell from me already, I finally got my laptop. It’s an ASUS G2P, a gaming hardware laptop. Loaded to the brim with a Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 Gigs of 677 DDR2 RAM, 160Gigs of hard drive (I will put another one in it), a built-in camera and above all else, an ATI Radeon X1700 video card, quite a sweet package for just under $1,900. The only gripe or anything I have about it is the included program “D3DChecker”, which constantly takes up CPU time to see if D3D is running so the laptop’s sides and touchpad light up all flashy. But it’s super fast and quite punchy. I play some of my old games and notice a serious difference in performance. It has an upgrade program to Vista Ultimate, which I will take advantage of for a Dual Boot system. One of the other fun things is when I turn up the volume and then turn the computer on. It sounds like a bomb going off. Heh.

I also have a couple Final Fantasy XI related notes. First up is the update. Personaly, there isn’t really going to be much for the update I care about. Extra HP recovered while healing and more EXP in smaller parties is cool, but other than that, I can’t find much I care about in this update. Though, there are some Rare/EX items that have been added to the game to reduce real money trading, which I haven’t a clue how much this will affect me or the economy. Though, it seems there is now a Rare/EX version of the Kraken club, which I know tons of people are going to go after because people will want to Dual Wield kraken clubs, even though you can’t really go over eight attacks a round. Though, with this update that may have been changed. Another thing of note which I may notice some ninjas or others bitching about is the change to Raptor Mazurka. This, when used on a full party is a great provoke substitute, but not anymore because the produced enmity when it’s used has been drastically reduced. Maybe SquareEnix wasn’t happy about /BRD as much as we thought when they gave Bards Raptor Mazurka. Dark Knight has been getting a lot of love lately. Now they have two new spells to play with, Drain II and Dread Spikes. I really wish Black Mage got these spells or give something unique to Paladin to balance it out. I’m still waiting on my White Mage love SquareEnix…

The other XI related note is my Dynamis linkshell We Can’t Win. Lately I’ve been receiving a good number of complaints from some members of the forum that two members avatars are pushing too far on my site. I am compelled to agree with them in that they violate my Rule Number 5 (or Mr. Lampson’s Rule Number 11). The first was a girl doing some sort of dance in her underwear. I wasn’t having a problem with this one, but apparently others didn’t feel my sentiments. The second one, which really offended me, I overlooked for a while. It’s a picture of classic He-Man with a rather rainbowish background doing what looks like pelvic thrusts (you can only see his head) and then cut to another live action scene where something gets sprayed on someone (you’re supposed to draw a conclusion from this). After telling them both to remove it they openly defy me, citing their own egos. I then take it into my hand and remove it. So then the one with the He-Man avatar puts it in his sig. I give him a warning and get in a removal war with him, but he continues to put it in there, so I ban him. Then everyone else starts posting useless flames on the board. I shut it off to add some water. I don’t know if I will attend dynamis tonight because of it.

Seriously. I’d expect a leader to be a bit more mature than that. He hadn’t even come forth to talk to me at all about it. He kept defying me, thinking he was invincible or something. If you have a problem with me and ignore me, it won’t get better. *Sigh* I’m going to get to bed soon. I feel overly stressed about this.

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Haven’t excactly been in the mood to write

But I’ll grind something out. The question is where to start.

Let’s try my recent employment status. I call up that Monday to make sure things are going to be all happy happy. Yeah. They aparently filled my training class because I didn’t get back to them fast enough. They called me at 4:00 PM the Friday to tell me about the whole change that I’m going to interview and do a different job. Let’s be honest people. That is not reasonable enough time to do what they ask. So, in a nutshell, they interviewed me, offered me a position, did something retarded and then retracted their offer. Great. Went to ITT, talked it over with them and we’re figuring it out from there. I think I have an idea on my next job though, but I said to myself that if I can’t get a job by the end of the month I’m going back to working for FedEX untill something better comes along.

Next is school. For the next three or four weeks I think I’m going to be the only person in my C++ class while someone takes some time in the mental hospital and the other one just…well…hasn’t shown up in a while. If I’m lucky, one on one time with the instructor could yield me learning a great deal of extra stuff (get your head out of the gutter mate, that’s not what I meant). My grades are PHENOMENAL this quarter. Seriously good stuff.

For the hell of it, let me comment on my sister. Last Monday she quit her job, citing not getting enough hours as a manager and now seems to be accelerating plans to move away from Utica; to Syracuse no less. Damnit Dee, first rule about work. Don’t quit the job you have untill you have another one lined up. Second, don’t just go out and quit your job when you’re in serious debt. Finaly, don’t go chasing another boyfriend and move all the way out here for him. I know your track record. This won’t work.

I recently bought a new shelving unit for the apartment. I really needed the space for my now growing anime collection. It’s gawking how big it is now. Recent purchases include Girls Bravo 3-6, Ai Yori Aoshi, Chobits, Nadesico (all of it), Negima 1-4, Digi Charat, Perfect Blue, Moon Phase 1-2, Elfen Lied and to top it off all 18 disks of Cardcaptor Sakura. I’ll post a photo when I get a camera sometime.

I played and finished Twilight Princess for the Wii. One thing I loved about it was the fact that you used the remote for aiming projectiles. This allowed for run and gun strategies to suceed more often where Z targeting was not an option. The control style was incredibly slick. Using the remote and nunchuck to do the work was genius. Though, I really wanted to see the usual left-handed link, I still say I enjoyed the game. The story was good, controls were beautiful, gameplay was fun and exciting and a lot of situations really made me think. That being said, the epiologe was the only thing that kinda bothered me. The game just kinda…stops. No real after information about certain characters and where they go from there, only a few clips of random places that seem back in order. Though, I will say a couple things, one being Princess Zelda. Sure, Wii may not have the graphics of the PS3 (which I still think is a piece of propriatary junk, I’m using it for comparison here), but HOT DAMN she’s a pretty girl. If you’ve got Wii hardware and can convey that image so well, it truely means that the seventh-generation console war is not about image quality, but the games. Also on this note, Wii sports is damned addicting. I play it at least one half-hour a day, sometimes more. Good exersize, promotes a steady hand, timing skills and above all else, physical health. Boxing will make you sweat. Tennis will test your endurance in the higher levels. Golf will teach not to overkill. Overall, this is a great console.

Speaking of Video Games, anyone heard of a place called FFXIclopedia? If you read this blog, this may end up being a yes. But anyway, for some retarded reason, someone named Merin decided to tear open an old wound and attempt to once again disprove (to no avail in my or anyone I know’s mind). Yeah. And Ganiman decided to get in on the fight. Why? He hates me. No reason other than that. He, and many others, act like children behind my back. Why? I have different thoughts about the game than he does. I like to play the game my way. He thinks it’s wrong. So he goes ahead and bans me from editing and from accessing the forums like a baby. Someone call the Whammbulance. Please. It’s a damned video game. So what were we fighting about? Maat again. Beaten by Melee by me yet these people don’t belive it worth shit. Probably because they can’t duplicate what I did. Or something. I really don’t have an answer to that. But with some help, I should be able to block image access so FFXIclopedia can’t show my Avy or Sig anymore.

I think this apartment complex has a serious sex problem. My old next-door neighboor kept me up at all hours with arguing and moaning. Now the guy upstairs is doing someone and he’s fucking loud. Granted, I am used to a woman’s moan and cry, I watch enough Hentai that I’d be damned used to it by now, but a man just creeps me the hell out. I had a hard time sleeping the other night because of this. “I’m gonna cum!” Where’s a knife? I want to cut out my ear drums so I never have to hear another man yell that.

I think I’ll top this off finaly with the big bad news. V2’s motherboard is shot. As in blown capacitors shot. Crusty liquid on the tops, freezing problems, failure to start, everything. *Sniff* I took out the board, packaged it up and sent it back for replacement. I can’t keep going without my bigger toy. On a somewhat related note, the Dual 450MHz machine I have finaly is dualing. Before it would just recognize both CPUs but only ever use one. The performance increase is hard to notice offhand, but it’s certainly there. In a realistic example, the PlayOnline client, which usualy requires a 800MHz CPU to run normaly doesn’t seem to have an issue running on this machine. Granted I can’t play FFXI with it (It’s an 11GBs game, there’s not enough HD space left on the machine, plus I think it would lag badly), but I can at least check my mail and do messaging with XI players who don’t use IM clients.

Whew. I guess I had a lot to say this time around. Well, onto my next project.

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I can’t eat this…

This has been happening a lot lately. And it’s worrying me. So here’s today’s story:

This morning I wake up at the usual time to the usual music (12:00PM, Westwood Studios – Hell March) and go sit at my desk, check my cell. 12 missed calls, last one from area code 845, I figure it’s the office with some menial problem. I look at the list. They called me 12 times since 9 AM. Go to my voicemail. Four messages. I play about ten seconds of the first one. The phones don’t work. I throw my clothes on, tie my hair up, gulp down a glass of water to wake me up, jump in the car and got to work by 12:30. I race into the switch room. I put my hands in the back of the router and press the wires in.


Lights on. Phones come back to life. I droop my head at how retarded that was. Nobody could figure it out. It was a loose wire that must of came undone yesterday. Yesterday the VP of Sales (Isreal Besser) brings more computers in for me. I spent five hours in the office just getting two up to my code. I finished the other two today. While I was bringing them up, I figured now would be a great time to proceed with my load balancing plan. Basicly, we have two switches. Instaid of forcing a signifigant ammount of load onto one and just a few machines on the other, I split the workload by putting all the computers on one switch and all the phones on another. I think in the process I might of knocked a wire loose in the router. But everything checked out when I left, so that didn’t make a lick of sense.

As you probably haven’t noticed, I haven’t had anything to eat up untill now. So I’m sitting there, jawwing with the HR manager like I do when I’ve got nothing to do and she notices that I’m not all up and myself. I’m not a cheerfuly perky guy, everyone knows that by now, but I’m always energetic. I mean, I can chug, chug and chug some more, but today, ha. I felt so drained that after I got in and fixed the problem I was about up for going home and crawling back into bed. But anyway, after fixing the problem, starting the other two machines and bringing them to standard, I found myself incredibly hungry. Sometime after feeling this I went to the HR girl (Ok, that’s hardly accurate, she’s signifigantly older than me) and then the conversation started. She offered me some soup or some chocolate and then kinda just gave me the Kit-Kat bar.

Then a light bulb went off. Wait, the trainees ordered pizza for lunch two hours ago, they’re gone now, does that mean? I casualy walk into the break room and open the box. Three slices left. I scarf them down like hell and drink my tea to wash it down. Now, I have an incredibly fast metabolic system. The second it hits my stomach I feel much better. Completely energized? Nah. It was cold. More myself? Certainly. So I stayed in the office really late to make sure the trainees were ready to go tommorow. I have to “neaten up the networking job” in the room by Friday (I think I can do it, just get me about 50 zip ties) and I think that’s all I’ve got to do in terms of work. I really need to be a better judge of distance though.

Anyway, I get home, get into XI and start doing a few random quests to clear my quest log while I have my flag up. I get a party (hell, I’m still in it as I’m writing this) and then start feeling hungry. I mean, I ate the pizza earlier, but I guess that wet my appitie for the stuff. Not wanting to order out, I grab a frozen one from the freezer and throw it in the oven. Bake it up all nice, put it on a plae, put that next to my keyboard on my desk, pour myself a tall glass of pepsi, sit down again and then say: I’m not hungry. I had this craving for pizza and a lot of it. But once I cook and I sit down to it then just can’t eat it. I don’t waste food though. So I cut it up, ate a slice, covered it with plastic wrap and threw it in the fridge. I think I’ll eat it tommorow. For now, I want to cap out my Regen merits for XI and have a good sleep. I’ve earned it.

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Strawberry Pepsi?

Yeah. I saw it in a Moutain Dew raid and thought: “I’d try anything once.”

Ok, so this doesn’t really taste like strawberries, Pepsi or strawberry Pepsi for that matter. It’s like a foamy mess of who knows what and it tastes terrible. So I’m on the last glass of the stuff and I’ve come to the conclusion it’s terrible tasting.

Now onto something relavant. This morning I took care of some bills then looked at my Time Warner bill, at my TV, at the ugly cable box and thought, “When was the last time I watched television?” I decided it was time to get rid of the box and my TV service. A few months ago I always checked to see if there was something new on The Anime Network: In Demand, but sometime ago they got rid of it. I think it was then I stopped watching TV. So I’m going to have a slightly smaller bill and a little extra cash every month. Though, I wonder what I’m going to do when the new season of 24 comes on. Oh well. I’ll figure it out later.

Over the past two days at work things have been…weird. I am the Systems Administrator for the company I work for (and we’re still in business, so that’s good) but over the past two days I’ve done little work that’s IT related. I’ve assembled a large cubicle and put together a wooden filing cabinet. I also spent some time trying to fix the lighting in the building. So what should my title be now? Systems Administrator/Handyman/Carpenter/Electrician? Good hell. I really don’t mind the extra work to do because to be honest I never find enough to do at work anyway because things that are in my control don’t break. I have done research for new equipment, but that’s really all the IT stuff I’ve done.

Finals are comming up. I’m ready to get out of Linux because it seems like a bore to me. My Math II course should be a breeze to blow by and my VB.NET 1 class I already have a 50 for my Final. So I think I have two more weeks and this quarter ends.

I finished Shadow the Hedgehog. To be perfectly honest, the game was good, but I wasn’t…well…satisfied. I don’t feel the need to get all 316 endings. I beat the final boss when all was said and done, but that’s all I felt like doing. All the levels seem the same and none of them are really interesting or challenging. It was good for $15, but I was hoping for more.

I’m ready for a hopefuly relaxing weekend. Tommorow I have to go fix a Mac, but other than that I’m open and hope to have some fun or get some sleep.

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I’m worried about my day job.

Yes, I’m sincerily worried about this job that I’ve had for…oh…a month. Is it because of something I’ve done? Oh hell no. My office manager is stuck dealing with stupid people. Namely, the CEO of the company, Michael Adelberg. You’re probably asking, “What’s this got to do with Zero?” Well, it’s simple. The CEO is a figurehead. He’s got hardly any idea what goes on in his company and the process of being the office manager. The office manager gives me my small jobs (Clean the computer for extra speed) and orders while the COO (not to be confused with CEO, they’re not the same person, Ryan Santiago) gives me the big jobs, such as “Deploy Firefox on all machines.” Generaly, the said office manager is quite pleasing, good to talk to and generaly prevents me from being bored when I’ve got no work to do. The CEO generaly makes desicions and choices that are more of a detrament to the office than a help. For example, we’re now outsourcing our work force to Kelly Services (Piro might know these guys.) instaid of having the office manager hand pick personel which are probably much better. And the list goes on, but I can’t think of any more right now.

So, she’s resigning. Not only her, but she started a snowball effect. Half the office is quitting now. As of this morning we had ten employees (Office Manager, CEO, SYSADMIN (That’s me) and seven “Funding Specialists” who make the calls) and we’re now down to 5 (CEO, SYSADMIN, Three Specialists). Oh, the COO is in the NYC office along with a team from there. This is why I’m worried, if this company can not bounce back, I’m without a day job. I will be going back to the career services person at ITT to see if I can get out of this and into a new job. And this line may not make any sense, but:

Thank you Cassey. You will surely be missed.


Edit, about 5:15PM: So I went to ITT. They already have a job lined up for me if this falls through the planks. It’s making me feel better, but it’s not perfect. Basicly the CSR said: Don’t let it ruin your weekend. And I won’t.