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Idiot of the week: The all knowing spammer

December 22nd, 2006 by Charles

Ok, I know I said I wouldn’t write again till January, but this one was too good to pass up.

I got a phone call today that challenged my ability to not bust out laughing on the phone.

Anywho, guy calls me and is SCREAMING. Like a banshee but more whiny.


At first I thought it was a joke, I’m sitting here putting the phone on mute so I can laugh, cause I don’t want to offend the guy if he wasn’t joking, but I can’t help but laugh.

“Sir, you know that even women get those emails right?  None of those adds are targeted, they just got your email address somehow and started sending you emails of what they want to sell, not what they think you need.”

I went ahead and turned on his email filter.

Reasons you are an idiot:


Fuck you,

See you next year.

December 20th, 2006 by Charles

I’m out till January, if you need me, write me at:

I’m awake, I’m awake!

December 18th, 2006 by Charles

Last week has been Hell, issue after issue.  Mail server not delivering email for 3 to 12 hours then grandpa going into hospital for kidney failure (we’ve known he is dieing for the last 2 weeks, we just didn’t expect this kind of jump) giving him roughly a week to live or less.

Relatives already fighting over an inheritance, yeah there isn’t anything like taking your cousin upstairs in a hospital and him begin to interrogate you on why your dad has power of attorney and the nature of the $5 - $6 million coal deal (Something Grandpa only discussed with me and grandma, my own dad didn’t know until I showed him the paper work and got him making phone calls.) that got made public at thanksgiving when grandma started talking to loud with me.

This week I’m helping move my ex-step-mom out of my dad’s house and into their new home that my dad pretty much paid cash for out of his retirement fund.  (He’s fucked on taxes this year).

Once all this stuff clears up I’m gonna have to start getting out more.  I haven’t been “out” in like 4 months, I’ve pretty much turned down 2 potentially great relationships due to lack of time and it’s getting old quick.

There has to be a light at the end of the tunnel…there has to be…

Old War stories: TDY to Germany.

December 16th, 2006 by Charles

By request of MsFreud:

Back when I was but a lowly private in the Army I was chosen to go take a class with 7 other people from my unit in Fort Hood Texas over a computer system that would be later yanked from production on the grounds that…well it sucked and was a waste of money.

The nice part about this is, we would have alot of time to go around and the staff sergeant in charge of us all had just came from Germany and had alot of contacts and places that we could all go see.

Fun to be had by all.

So 5 of us were walking through one of the local red light districts on our way from the parking lot to a place right outside of it when I stopped to lean down to tie my shoes. As I looked up a man grabbed one of the ladies in our group and pulled her up a side street. Pretty amazing how effecient he was, cloth over mouth and had carried her out of sight before I had time to react. If I hadn’t had to tie my shoe at that moment we wouldn’t have noticed her missing for a few minutes.

I yelled at the group and started to chase the guy down, caught up with him and tripped him up then wrestled him down and proceeded to beat the ever loving shit out of the guy.

The police could not speak English that saw me so they arrested both me and the guy I had unconscious by that point for fighting / public disturbance. Booked us both and decided to figure it out the next morning.

I spent a night in Jail before the embassy got involved and everyone was able to show that I had just defended my female friend.

oh and then I saved my entire unit, the united states and the world by defusing a Thermo-Nuclear-Big-He-Hawnking-Ma-Flag-E-Bobber and got the Medal of Honor issued to me on a TOP SECRET award form due to the sensitivity of the matter it was awarded upon. (Can’t have a war story without some lie in there.)


Mail Server Fix

December 16th, 2006 by Charles

On our mail server I’ve been going through a freaking LIST (2000+) user names of people who’s email accounts have not been deleted from our email server by our account maintenance software. Recently our server has been running slow and taking 3 hours to deliver email. So after some heavy investigation I found out why.

We have a crap load of people with 5000 emails in their inbox that no longer have an account with us that are recieving 25+ emails an hour.

Our server stores those emails as individual files in a directory and has to count them to check for quota size. Those of you that run Linux try and list a directory that has 5000 files in it and see how long it takes your computer to do it. Yeah now imagine a mail server doing this everytime an email comes in to one of these people that have full inboxes?

So I set about making this list and tried to automate the userinfo lookup by yanking names from this text file and pushing it through to my vuserinfo file which creates output like this:

name: [user name]
passwd: [Some long hash]
clear passwd: [actual password]
comment/gecos: “”
uid: 0
gid: 0
flags: 0
gecos: “”
limits: No user limits set.
dir: /home/vpopmail/domains/[our domain]/[username]
quota: 20000000S
usage: 0%
last auth: Thu Dec 14 02:20:26 2006
last auth ip: pop3

so I can triage the 90%+ users and delete their accounts since they are the problem children.

So I go and try:

cat deactivate.txt | ./vuserinfo > output.txt


it hates piping, I can’t even pipe single lines into it.

I tried a few other ways and nothing worked.

so I broke down and wrote a shell script.

# This takes a text file with usernames seperated out one per line and feeds it through
# ./vuserinfo and strips some of the useless output
if [ “$1″ = “” ]; then
echo “reading $filename and processing press ctrl-c to end”
rm output.txt
lines=`sed -n ‘$=’ $filename`
lines=`expr $lines - 1`
while ((i < = lines))
usernamer=`sed -n $readthisline $filename`
./vuserinfo $usernamer > Tempoutput.txt
grep name Tempoutput.txt >> output.txt
grep usage Tempoutput.txt >> output.txt
grep last Tempoutput.txt >> output.txt
grep account Tempoutput.txt >> output.txt
i=`expr $i + 1`
rm Tempoutput.txt
cp output.txt /root
echo “*********************************************”
echo “************* Work Completed ****************”
echo “*********************************************”


and it got the work done, so many problems that I ran into on the way since I haven’t written a shell script more then 3 lines line EVER before. This would have been solved if only the file allowed for simple piping.

Fast forward to today, server is running Metric FUCK-TONS (smaller then OMGWTF-TONS, but larger then SHIT-TONS) better, but we still have a crap load more to go.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the accounting software we had didn’t fuck up the inactive customer user name report and toss up error messages because that report became corrupt and I no longer have the install software nor does that vendor even sell the version we are using anymore. (We use Platypus by the way).

Lots of work done, lots more ahead.

What day is it?

December 15th, 2006 by Charles

I’m not kidding I thought it was Wednesday.

Been working on the server, grandpa probably not going to be living much longer, issues upon issues stacking up.  Sleep deprivation like no one’s business.

Still to post:  Screwed up stuff with the email server, old war stories (as requested by MsFreud)

Should have it out tonight if I don’t pass out.

Idiot of the week: Ms. YouStoleMyHD

December 11th, 2006 by Charles

!!!DOUBLE POST MONDAY!!! (actually the next one is pretty geeky, it’s about Linux and repairing a iMac, so if you come here for reasons other then the geekyness you can probably skip it.)

Fucking idiot.

We recently had a lady call and complain that we had stolen her hard drive out of her computer. She had it in the shop because her hard drive was broken in the first place so I’m not so quick to dismiss the claim since her HD would have been outside of her computer. I was even willing to work with her.

Till she started yelling, cussing, threatening legal action, without even waiting to see if I was willing to work with her to settle this issue. I’m an asshole, and I like making people look as stupid as they really are. Most people don’t know how stupid they are…it’s like they have these blinders over their own stupidity but can see plainly most other peoples stupidity. I enjoy removing those blinders, I live for it. I tend to be gentle but when others are assholes I’m all about anally raping their stupidity dry with 10 grit sandpaper as a condom with a small amount of icey hot rubbed in for full effect.

After being interupted for the 10th time during the conversation when I’m trying to get some basic information such as…oh name, and model of computer, size of HD, etc, she just stops me mid question. Finally I snap, “Look, either you’re going to let me talk or all communication is going to be in writing, I’m pretty confident that I could beat you in any courtroom in America but I’m willing to work with you, when I’m asking you a question that’s time for you to listen, your mother probably taught you this skill.”

Naturally she had none of it and only got half her reply out before I hung up, something along the lines of “maybe I will and maybe I won’t.”

The important part is I got enough information to look around my shop to see what was up. I found 3 HD’s that matched the system stats for her brand and model of computer. 1 is readable by my Linux system but breaks every windows system I try to slave it into, one has a bad Master File Table, and the other is mechanical failure. I’m not sure which is her’s out of the last 2 so I’m trying to do some data recovery work on the first. If that proves fruitless I’m handing her the last one.

She calls us up the next day and claims that her video card and some memory is missing as well. Her computer never had a video card in it unless she added it aftermarket and the memory amount she claimed she had wouldn’t even work in her system. Needless to say her current configuration sans HD is exactly as the manufacturer describes it in it’s stat sheet.

So I wrote a nice apology letter basically telling her take this HD and shove it….nicely of course.
In the meantime I’ve recieved 7 calls from this lady, each time screaming, each time told that if she doesn’t calm down no one is talking to her.

I’m going to call her tomorrow and tell her to come pick up all this, my letter, my research into the matter to include the stat sheet, etc, my full name, owners full name, address phone number where papers can be served and times we are open.

today I also found out who she took her computer too…he was a former technician for this company who was fired for theft, guaranteed first words out of her mouth when she took the computer down there was “[My company] saw my computer before you guys.” and he decided to get some revenge.
I’m not a liar or a thief, I stole bubblegum when I was 8, I think I still might have the red mark from that spanking…

Reasons you are an idiot:

1.) You’re 55 years old and still haven’t learned that people stop listening the moment you start screaming and throwing a tantrum like a small child. You may be wearing diapers but a small child this does not make.
2.) At first I believed you, now I think you are either trying to make a money grab or you are listening to bad advisers. Now I think your lying out your teeth until you prove otherwise.
3.) You will probably be real fucking stupid and press criminal charges making me innocent until proven guilty, good luck proving jack or shit in a court when you have 0 documentation and I have enough technical knowledge to run circles around you, your lawyer(s) and any technician you draw into that courtroom from this city.
4.) You left your computer here more then 30 days, the policy you signed states that your computer is mine to do as I please, even if I did take your Hard drive I was atleast nice enough to let you have the rest of the computer. The fact that I didn’t scrap your computer should show you I’m not being an asshole about it…at first.
5.) You think threats scare me, I’ve been in a germen prison before for beating up an attempted rapist, he couldn’t talk when I was done and the German police didn’t understand English, anyone you send after me will wish they hadn’t gotten out of bed that morning.
6.) You’ve changed your story 4 times in the middle of a single phone call conversation.
7.) You don’t think I’m recording our phone conversations.
8.) I’m sure you have something else that will soon be added to this list really soon.

Fuck you,


December 11th, 2006 by Charles

Previously I’ve been dabbiling through with Kubuntu 6.06 and found that it required a lot of “after market” work to get things the way you want them for basic use which the average user just wouldn’t want to do.

Granted there are things that make these “after market” changes alot more simple such as EasyUbuntu or Automatix but again, this requires some changes the average user (I’m talking windows user) isn’t going to be willing to put up with, that and I really don’t like the way Ubuntu implements root access. People shouldn’t be logging in as root, but if they need to for whatever reason, it’s nice to know that they actually can.

I also recently purchased a $46 850Mhz Dell Optiplex 150 with 256Mb ram, that was refurbished as a toy. I was going to turn it into a web server for an internal shop Wiki and FTP server that would allow us to leave files on this server without having to file share around to different computers and worry about logins.

I put PCLinuxOS on it after someone showed me it and I have to say I’m impressed. Right out of the box it looks like a viable alternative for anyone who is wanting to change from Windows to Linux and not have to worry about digging through a lot of .conf files if they don’t want too. I haven’t tried DVD playback or MP3 so I’m really curious if that is done right out of the box (it looks like DVD playing works out of the box as the necessary packages are pre-installed).

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is evil. Because the DVD format can be considered a method of encrytption for someone to create a free alternative that reads DVD’s they would have to break the encryption to make the software which in America would make them a CRIMINAL. Also to have DVD playback that this person created on your computer would make you a criminal. Though I don’t know of many times it being enforced, this law is stupid, tell your representatives to get rid of it…or in 5 years I’ll run for Senator…AND keep this blog.

So I went ahead and installed it on my main computer and I’m quite impressed. Ran DVD’s flawlessly, was a download and restart away from having the ATI drivers for my video card done up correctly. I put all this on the 3 partitions covering the first 120gigs of space on my 250gig HD. I’m leaving the rest just in the event I decide to go back to duel booting XP or want to try other distro’s for kicks.

In other news I got a kick out of learning how to mount a Apple computers HD for data recovery under Linux. That and I was able to get my hands on an iMac to iOpen the iDamn iThing. I found it to be an iExperience, they use philips head screws for the bottom plate, then switch over to hex screws further in, everything is so tight and close together I can’t believe anyone would want to work on the things but interesting enough once you get the right tools together (I had the hex screw drivers in my trucks toolbox), it wasn’t that difficult.  Not as easy as working on a regular desktop (2 screws and your in, 4 screws and the HD is out) but was extremely easy for a first time job.  I don’t remember the first time I opened up a desktop computer but I don’t remember it being that easy.  Then again I know the parts by sight now.  And that was about the time I formatted 2 floppies that contained a pinball game because I was told you had to format all floppies before use.

Yes at one point I was an idiot too…

If you want to play with Linux and give PCLinuxOS a try: Click Here


Myth Busting: HD Space != Speed*.

December 3rd, 2006 by Charles

Alot of people have this silly notion that if they had more space on their hard drive that it would improve the speed of their computer.

These are usually the same people that at one point or another started considering what was important in the C:\Windows\System32 folder and what they didn’t need anymore, and brought it in the shop dumbfounded with how deleting anything as silly as KERNEL32.DLL could possibly be a bad thing. Because, who needs 32 pieces of popcorn in their system after all?

Look, the only time hard drive space is EVER going to effect your computers speed is when you get down to VERY LITTLE space, like to the point that the Virtual Memory / Swap Memory isn’t able to grab space. You would have to be down to less then a half a Gigabyte of space for this to occur. And if you have THAT small of space, you might as well delete one of those DVD Rips such as Debby Does Dallas 2: AGAIN!!!. I haven’t seen it but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t all that good anyways.

The main portions of your computer that effect your speed you won’t be able to effect. They are your processor (Which you can upgrade TO A CERTAIN POINT), Your System Bus speed, which you cannot change at all, and your amount/speed of RAM you can add too the amount of ram you have, but the speed is determined by your motherboard.

Another option that is sort of rare unless you have a 5+ year old computer is to add in a PCI IDE card, if your computer is running on a slower DMA speed then anything in the last 2 years then you throw in a IDE card you can speed up the pace of your hard drive. Go google it if you think this is your case.

So next time your 3rd cousin removed by marriage shows up at your family reunion and says “DELETE SOME FILES AND DEFRAG FOR SPEED!!!111″ tell them your not first cousins and that should disqualify you from their list of people they are attracted too.


* != is a way of saying “Does not equal”

Happy Birfday to me

December 1st, 2006 by Charles

I’m 25.

That is all.