Is there anything more terrifying?

13 03 2012

Cancer.

Just the very word evokes strong reactions of gut wrenching contortions in almost everyone who hears the word…

Cancer..

When the years start stacking up and you notice those little nags, bumps and lumps that weren’t there before it’s where your mind turns…

Cancer…

It’s the word your mind jumps to when the doctor calls and says that he needs you to schedule another visit after your test results come back…

Cancer…

It’s the word they use to describe that unwanted, treacherous, plotting and deadly individual on your team or in your company…

Cancer…

It’s one of the greatest equalizers in the world…it can strike or bring down the riches of Steve Jobs, the voice of a vocalist, or the warmth of your grandmother…

Cancer…

Our own tissues and living cells…destroying us from the inside out… I, like many others have some strong feelings about cancer. It’s touched my family and those that I’ve loved. I worry about it in my own life and in my immediate family’s lives. Even though all of that is true…the absolute worst cancer of them all has to be childhood cancer. The arcane and painful treatment regimens, the incessant visits of doctors and specialists, the way that life suddenly becomes serious and no fun, the loss of youthful vigor and energy, the innocence snuffed out before its time…by far…childhood cancer is the most insidious form of that dreadful disease. My company, NetApp, supports a great many charitable endeavors, but to me…the fight against childhood cancer is one of the ones I care most about. Although I have been blessed that none of my children have been touched by cancer, as a parent I still dread even the thought. It is for this reason that I support St. Baldrick’s. St. Baldrick’s is a foundation that raises money for the fight against childhood cancer. They do so by enlisting the help of volunteers who offer to be shaved for donations. The group brings fun, a purpose, and a symbolic brotherhood to the effort of raising money for fighting childhood cancer. This year, one of my team members has volunteered to be shaved at a St. Baldrick’s event and I’ve made a donation in his name to the cause. Will you join me and the many others in the fight to help end childhood cancer? If you can do so, please donate through this donation link.





The road to Boot Camp Hell! :-)

6 03 2012

WARNING!!!

LONG Rant/Novel/Epic ahead!!!

Let me share my recent hellish engaging experience in getting Boot Camp going on my late 2011 15″ MacBook Pro with you…

I recently took the plunge and purchased one of the new Intel 520 SSDs for use in my MacBook. In doing so, I decided that I too wanted to move to the dual drive setup like many others have discussed on this DL. I however, being ever the contrarian, decided to forgo the IMHO over-priced OWC or MCE superdrive caddies and I went instead with a caddy from a seller on Amazon for around a whopping $18.50 (hey…freed up some money for my  over priced SSD :D). This turned out to be a great move as the caddy was absolutely perfect and worked like a champ for taking my already upgraded 500GB Momentus XT. Installed a fresh copy of Lion onto the new SSD and did some symbolic linkage kung fu and I was humming along perfectly soon enough.

Then I decided that in addition to running my many VMs through Fusion, that because I have so many demanding games business applications, I would like to have a Boot Camp install for those times that I just wanted a clean and fast Windows experience. This turned out to be quite a challenge much to my surprise. To begin with…I thought, “hey, I can just install Windows from a USB stick!” Well, not so fast there sonny boy! Boot Camp unfortunately will not allow you to create a USB stick unless you match one of their “chosen” machines. Well! I got just the trick for that! With a little bit of sudo and a little bit of vi, I had a the plist item inside of the Boot Camp package molded to fit my boot ROM version and my machine model in no time. Whammo! I now could create the USB stick and run Boot Camp to my heart’s content. Err…well…uh…no. Not so much. Upon the reboot after running the Boot Camp wizard, the machine attempted to boot from the USB stick and proceeded to promptly present me with the “No boot device available” mumbo jumbo. “Crappage!”, I thought. Then I thought to myself, I should just go get a USB CD ROM and be done with it. Surely that would get it done. I started thinking about all of the ways to get my now removed superdrive working as a USB device, such as the one the cheapo plasticky drive enclosures that you can get on Ebay and from places like MCE, but being the superficial Mac user that I am, I thought, “Heck no. I want something that looks like it belongs with my MacBook Pro.” Of course…that led me to thinking about the MacBook Air Superdrive…

Now the MacBook Air superdrive, unlike the other trash enclosures you can get, is made of the same real aluminum that is featured on the Mac laptops. The cable is a bit short, but hey…this a Cupertino product here…looks are what matters! In any case, you’ll read all over the place that the darn thing just won’t work on anything but a MacBook Air. Well, that’s just not true. With a little magic kernel flag (mbasd=1) inserted into the /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist file…your just a reboot away from having some external superdrive fun on your MacBook Pro too. WooHoo! Now I can finally get Boot Camping away on my dual drive MacBook Pro! Ahem…grunt…sniff…ahhhhh…no. Not a chance. Upon rebooting with the superdrive attached and filled with my Windows 7 Ultimate bounty…the macbook presented me with the infinitely blinking cursor of torture. Damnage!!! Argh!!! There has to be a way to get this done!!!!

Me being the smart-aleck intelligent VMware person that I am thought, “I’ll show this stupid ‘puter who’s boss! I’ll just use a raw disk map to the now created Boot Camp partition and install through Fusion!!!” So, I proceeded to do just that. I got Winderz installed perfectly and everything was awesome (in Fusion), so I thought, “Schweet! Time to reboot to my Boot Camp paradise!” So I reboot, select the Windoze partition at startup and… Sigh…face palm…follicle pull… The dang thing won’t boot and complains about a corrupted install that only a reinstall or boot disk will fix. RARRRR!!!!

I finally put the thing away for a bit and go get a stiff drink sleep on it for a night. The next afternoon, I start scouring the net for any sign of intelligent life that has faced this issue too. Luckily I stumbled upon this one blog post that looked too French very promising. Long story short…the process actually flipping worked. It took WAY too long, and was WAY too complicated, and required me jumping through so many hoops that I can’t see straight anymore, but in the end it worked. I now have a functioning Boot Camp installation on my no-built-in-superdrive MacBook Pro. So…if you travel down this road, hopefully some of this story haunts provides you with a bit of direction.





Mistakes Happen… Be a Man and Admit When You Make One!

28 02 2010

WARNING – serously long rant follows…you’ve been warned…

You know… I really do appreciate and fully understand the hard work and stressful conditions that go along with being a peace officer or a federal agent, but even these folks are human and they do make mistakes. Why is it so damn hard for them to admit it? I’ve hardly ever seen a case where an officer made a judgement call, that in hindsight he/she knew was wrong, come out and say afterward that he/she is sorry or admit culpability in any way. Is it the oversized ego-syndrome that goes with the job? Is it the fact that they would have to then admit that they are not the “god” of good that they thought they were? I’m just curious…because it just seems like just once…I’d like to see an officer/agent come out and say, “I screwed up and I want to help set things right” instead of covering their arses along with all of their buddies.

My Sister-in-law is sitting in a ICE detention center in Raymondville hundreds of miles away from her home because of a situation just like this. Granted, thanks to our illustrious and extremely wise Patriot Act…the US Border Patrol has pretty much unlimited police powers in the arena of travel and immigration documentation…but sometimes just because you “can” doesn’t mean you “should”…

My sister-in-law originally travelled here from Colombia on a tourist visa to visit my wife and our family in Texas. While visiting we talked and she decided that she would like to stay and attend school here in Texas, so my wife and I helped her get a Student Visa so that she could attend one of the local colleges where we lived while she stayed with us. During the time she was attending school…she met a man who she fell in love with and they decided to marry. Of course, after marriage they began the process of getting her status changed due to her marriage to a US citizen. She was and is still attending school during this time mind you… Unfortunately, and if you’ve ever tried to go through this process…you know how onerous it can be, they failed to include some key information in the application so it was denied. Well…they immediately hired an immigration attorney to help them get it back on track. And it has been in process since then.

Well…my family and I have recently moved to the Dallas area so my sister-in-law decided to fly up here and help us celebrate my son’s 6th birthday. She was supposed to arrive here in Dallas on Thursday evening, but something terrible happened. The gate that she was departing from had two flights leaving out of it. My sister in law, not paying close attention, saw many people lining up to board and assumed that it was her plane that was departing, so she got in line to board as well. Well…the flight attendants scanned her tickets and allowed her to board…A PLANE TO CORPUS CHRISTI! Well…needless to say, when she arrived after what felt curiously like an extra long flight to Dallas, my sister-in-law attempted to find her bag. Of course the baggage attended stated, “Miss, I’m sure your bag is in Dallas where you ticket shows your arrival, but we’re in Corpus Christi.” Of course my young sister-in-law is distraught and scared. Of course SWA realizes that the mistake was theirs and puts her up in a hotel room for the night and promises to put her on the first flight to Dallas in the morning. Well…my sister-in-law’s cell phone died during this overnight stay and she didn’t have her charger that was in her checked in luggage in Dallas, so she couldn’t even call anyone.

The next morning she get’s picked up by the taxi contracted by SWA and taken to the airport. Well…for some reason…even though it is a domestic flight…US Border Patrol has extra scrutiny in Corpus Christi for anyone that reports that they are non-citizens….which of course includes my sister-in-law. Long story short…they detain her. I could go into long detail about why they said they detained her and yada yada yada, but the fact is that they screwed up and she actually had all of the paperwork on her that proved that she was here legally…they just didn’t care. Our system is not setup to help people…only to screw them and get as many out of the country as possible. So after a full 24-36 hours of playing kidnapper moving my sister-in-law from safe house to safe house (we don’t really know all of the places they took here…only that they moved her 5 times during this period)…we finally learn that she has been transferred to ICE custody and is in a transfer facility in Harlingen. Of course by this time my wife, my family and I have driven all the way down to South Texas to help as much as we can…but since it’s a weekend..even though they know she’s legal…she has to remain detained until a US Magistrate can review her case….or at least that’s the drivel they’re shoving us now. Who knows if they are telling the truth or not…it’s not like they haven’t lied to us on multiple occasions already anyway…

So long story short…my sister in law has been without sleep (no bed or bedding) for over 48 hours now. She’s being treated like common criminal scum (which is what they treat all of the undocumented like by the way), she’s a basket-case, her husband is going insane and my blood boils a little more each passing second. All because one US Border Patrol agent and his ego wouldn’t let a mistake get corrected quickly. Thanks a lot officer and agents. Real fine job there. (Oh…am I generalizing? You say all officers/agents aren’t this way? Hmmm…maybe all of your detainees and suspects aren’t always crooks and criminal either… Generalization suxxors huh?)

Hope your life for you and your loved is doing better than mine right now. May god bless us all…





Day Two…Put a fork in it!

3 09 2009

Well…Day two was very good at VMworld 2009 in San Francisco. I’ve got a few quick hit type thoughts thus far…

The Good:

  • Informative and Valuable Sessions, Breakouts, and Labs
  • Great interaction with Vendors, Peers, and Customers
  • Awesome Information on:
    • Long Distance vMotion
    • vCloud Express (Won’t help my company anytime soon that I can see…but I can feel the potential)
    • Totally Awesome All-In-One Intel Blade System!
    • Really cool technologies demo’d for security, backups, networking, and much more…
  • Great appreciation gatherings
  • VMware Workstation 7 (Awesome! …will elaborate more later)

The BAD:

  • Absolutely HORRENDOUS wireless access…just about everywhere…
  • Really bland, boring, and not very good food
  • Too much emphasis on parts of virtualization that may or may not impact that majority of corporate America in any reasonable timeframe
  • If I hear “cloud” one more time…I’ll puke.
  • Nerds really don’t shower or bathe often enough…I’ll just leave it at that.

But overall a good day. I’ve got some new vids up over on the VMworld 2009 page and I’ll be uploading more great pics and vids later…