Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Microsoft Hell

About a week ago the company I'm working for this summer purchased a brand new Dell PowerEdge 2950. It's the biggest, baddest computer that I've gotten to work with to date and boy was I eager to configure it!

But now I'm as jaded as a used piece of toilet paper. There wasn't anything particularly special or exotic about how we wanted to configure it but Microsoft sure made it a bitch for us.

The plan was to use this server to host SharePoint Services 3.0 and Exchange 2007 for a few small businesses. The Small Business version of Windows Server 2003 runs SharePoint Services and Exchange (just not in a shared environment) along with various other server rolls so I didn't think setting this up would be that difficult. I was wrong. Even though I was only installing Microsoft products, they somehow found a way to make it a nightmare.

I believe that SharePoint is the root of all evil. The documentation for it consists of thousands of blog posts scattered throughout the net describing problems and providing solutions that may or may not actually work. All users of a SharePoint site must be domain users which I believe is because they Microsoft want's to charge you for more CALs. It is possible to install a third party "solution" to use a custom authentication source. Installing this "solution" was as easy as manually editing web.config files, running a few command line scripts, and working around the occasional mysterious error message.

Finally after countless reinstalls it's all working in harmony. Honestly a lot of this could have been avoided if I wasn't learning everything as I went, but seriously Microsoft, linux is much more intuitive than this crap. At least with linux you know everything that's going on, none of this "oh yeah, im uninstalled... except for all my configuration files, the database I created, and my IIS configuration site, good luck finding out how to completely remove me!"

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Nancy Drew - Fun For All!

An old fashioned girl in a big city struggles to fit in, cope with her mother's passing, and solve the mystery of some old actress lady. Nancy Drew is the perfect summer movie for everyone of all ages, especially if you're a middle school aged girl.

Emma Roberts plays the prudish Nancy Drew who's addiction to solving crimes and sleuthing can be paralleled to America's addiction to foreign oil. Having never read the books I cannot say if she, or the film as a whole, accurately portrays the Nancy Drew of written literature, but I can say that she is one hell of a detective, and knows a whole hell of a lot about random stuff. I mean, who knew that you can save someone who is choking by giving them CPR instead of that tricky and difficult to remember Heimlich Maneuver? I certainly didn't!

Max Thieriot and Emma's on screen chemistry was only surpassed by the, younger, uglier, but oh so adorable Josh Flitter. What he lacks in size he makes up for in Danny DeVito inspired personality.

I had my hopes up that the Hardly Boys would make a cameo and off up one of their famous raging clues but that never materialized.

I give it a 4 out of 5 bunnies. (That's right I rate things using a bunny system now). I suggest that if you aren't a 14 year old girl (or a boy being dragged to it by a girl) that you wait until it comes out on DVD and netflix it cause it's kind of embarrassing buying a ticket for it... At least it isn't as embarassing as buying a Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ticket...

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Movies You Should Own

I was looking at the DVD's I have and thinkin about which ones I'm really glad to own. Ones that I've watched multiple times and still would watch again. In no particular order...

  • Match Point
  • Eternal Sunshine
  • Donnie Darko
  • The Royal Tenenbaums
  • Little Miss Sunshine
That is all for now.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007


The much anticipated Ourbunny website is closer to being publicly released than ever before! Right now I have a live version of it that allows users to browse a, very small, library of music and add and remove tags from songs. I have also set up the internet radio station part of the site that allows users to vote for tags to influence what songs to play next. I'm working with very limited bandwidth and only about 10 creative commons licensed songs in the "library" so it's nothing more than a proof of concept right now.

Currently I'm designing a new database scheme for the site and working on writing some nice object oriented PHP code. Here are some things I've learned so far...
  • PHP 5 has great object oriented support but the hardest part is conceptualizing a web application in terms of objects. It is hard to make the jump from server side scripting to a full blown web server application. I bet someone could make a lot of money writing a book about this subject.
  • The Creative Commons is pretty awesome. Patents, copyrights, intellectual property is a really interesting topic. I'm taking a class on this next semester.
  • The RIAA is even more evil than I originally thought.
  • Folksonomy tagging is an interesting technical problem. Storing tag information in a database is much more difficult than I originally thought.
  • Say you have a bunch of songs, each with a bunch of tags, and a bunch of votes for tags. Using that information pick the song that will satisfy the most number of voters. It didn't seem like such a hard problem until I had to actually design a way to do it.
So there you go. That's what I've been up to recently. Oh, and coming up with a bevy of short film ideas with Mat and Justin. Filming should being pretty soon!

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Friday, June 8, 2007

Wonderboy Video

This is the glorious Wonderboy music video that some of my pledge brothers and I had to make as part of our pledging process. Pretty entertaining if I do say so myself. Raindom Rights will attack again later this summer.

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