2008-04-18 21:30:50

IronMan vs Linux ... the loser is Paramount!

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a comic book fan. Regardless, that doesn't preclude any enjoyment to be had from an afternoon spent at the movie theatre, enjoying the latest efforts based on those indelible icons of Americana.

That being said, one must wonder what Marvel and Paramount Pictures were thinking when they let Matt Fraction, writer for the new "Invincible Iron Man" comic from Marvel, open his mouth regarding the new comic book, prior to the movie premier!

"[Tony Stark, aka IronMan, the Hero]'s the future's pioneer, the Chuck Yeager of human evolution. He's at the forefront of what comes next."

"[Ezekiel Stane, the Villian] has absolutely no loyalty to any sort of law, creed, or credo. He doesn't want to beat Tony Stark, he wants to make him obsolete. Windows wants to be on every computer desktop in the world, but Linux and Stane want to destroy the desktop. He's the open source to Stark's closed source oppressiveness."

Is he intentionally attempting to alienate part of his fan base, or is he just an idiot?

I can honestly say that it is the first time I’ve heard "closed source oppressiveness" described as "the forefront of what comes next". Not to mention "Linux ... want[s] to destroy the desktop".

Whatever. That's a pair of $9.75 tickets and a $30 blu-ray sale lost.

Tags:   personal     |    Perm Link:   IronMan vs Linux ... the loser is Paramount!

2008-04-14 22:52:30

401k Retirement Calculator for Excel

Since I've been promoted, I decided to review my 401k contributions. There are some nice online calculators out there, like Bloomberg's, but I prefer being able to see the exact nature of the calculations, which most online calculators obscure.

Enter the 401k Excel Calculator from Vertex42. It's got all the features of the online calculators, but also lets you see behind the curtains. One nice feature is the ability to randomize the returns per year, allowing a slightly more realistic earnings curve, rather than the exponential curve created by an unchanging return rate.

As good as the Vertex42 calculator is, it does make one critical mistake (which it warns you about, but curiously doesn't prevent): It can contribute more than the legal amount in its calculations. The legal amount changes by age (ie, if you're 50 or older, you can contribute 20,500, otherwise you can only contribute 15,500).

So what I've done is modify the original Vertex42 Excel file, and added a few IF statements which limit the contribution amounts to the legal values. If you'd like to download it, here it is: Modified version of the Vertex42 calculator. Just make sure to visit Vertex42 and give them some love!

Tags:   personal     |    Perm Link:   401k Retirement Calculator for Excel

2008-04-06 22:27:35


While I was in London a couple weeks ago, I was given a letter and a handshake. I've been promoted to "Director" grade in dunnhumby, with an official title of "Principle Engineer".

So, what does that mean? Essentially, I have Linux, Fibre and Storage strategy and standardization, Disaster Recovery, Information Lifecycle Management, and blueprint designs for new environments.

All in all, it's a fun gig.

Tags:   personal     |    Perm Link:   Promotion!

2007-09-30 14:02:53


Apparently I was at KillaCon and didn't even know it.

Tags:   personal, humor     |    Perm Link:   KillaCon!

2007-08-28 22:42:30

New network speeds ...

After transferring from the Time Warner Cable network to Adelphia, my speeds have basically doubled. Yay!

Tags:   personal     |    Perm Link:   New network speeds ...

2007-08-24 11:07:30

A new home ...

Building your first home is a fairly stressful process. Finding flaws in your design, errors in the site engineer's reports, contractors who don't follow the blueprints, and so forth. But when the home you're building is also your first home ever, that becomes a little terrifying. Now add into that mix the fact that the mortgage company we've been dealing with since January, CountryWide, has recently announced all sorts of financial troubles and has had to borrow money from banks in order to prevent going bankrupt.

Excited? Yeah.

Terrified? HELL YES!

We've been over the house with a critical eye several times, but our first "formal" going over was on Monday. For the most part, things went well and most of the items to be fixed were small (except for the damaged hardwood floors) or cosmetic (our site manager, Kyle, was very patient as we noted every little paint drip and white spot throughout the house).

Last night we did the post-pre-walkthrough inspection, and there were still a few things that hadn't yet been finished (delays in materials), but nothing that throws a wrench in the works, so we're still good to go for today. In 2 hours, Meredith and I will be the proud (and still terrified, most likely) owners of a new home! We hope ...

Tags:   personal     |    Perm Link:   A new home ...

James Conner