Jason's Blog

Archive for September, 2006

Signs your office is too cold

by on Sep.28, 2006, under General, Humor

Ok, due to the increasingly cold temperatures in my office, decided I wanted to create one of those "lists" of signs it's too cold in your office smile

Signs that it is too cold in your office 

  • You bring in more blankets for your office than you keep in your house
  • You use the office fridge to keep things warm
  • Your breath fogs in the air
  • The power drain at work doubles due to the number of office heaters in use
  • Under four layers of clothes, you still can't get warm.
  • You have a water freezer instead of a water cooler to gossip over
  • The idea of an exploding laptop doesn't concern you as much as a frozen laptop
  • People start burning pencils for heat
  • You smell burnt plastic from people attempting to burn pens

Ok, so many of the above aren't all that funny, but hey, it's a start smile  Add some of your own ideas down below – maybe we can get a "good" list going!

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The upcoming Nintendo Wii

by on Sep.27, 2006, under General, Humor

Ok, I was reading some more articles on the upcoming nintendo Wii that's supposed to be out around November.  Off hand, this looks like one of the first, truly innovative ideas for a game console that I've seen in years.  Yes, the Xbox 360 adds graphics, and does a LOT for online connectivity, but as a gaming system, there hasn't been too many significant advances since the Nintendo 64.  Each game console since has really just increased the graphics power of the unit.  The nintendo Wii is the first I'm seeing that does something new – it's got a motion sensitive controller that lets you immerse yourself into the games.  You swing the controller to swing a tenis rack, wield it like a samurai sword, cast a fishing line with a swing of your hand, etc.  This will be an amazing thing, I think, in the world of gaming – I know on many such games I get into the game so heavily I'm moving around already.  Now, it'll be part of the game itself.

Sadly though, nintendo chose the name "Wii" for the console.  A bigger idiot of a name would be hard to find.  The game console may rock, and may have an amazing control system, but come on – Wii?  like wee wee I gotta take a leak?  Worse still, every time I hear the name "Wii" I think of this entertaining flash carton .  *sigh* I'll NEVER be able to think of the "Wii" without thinking of that cartoon – which may ruin the whole experience for me.  How much fun will it be to constantly chuckle every time you turn on your game console?  wink  BTW guys, that cartoon is probably not work safe.  I mean, it's not bad, but it's called "Gonads and Strife" – the title there should give you a clue.  But, watch it when you get a chance – you'll get a laugh and understand why the name of the new nintendo console makes me laugh.

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A beautiful woman

by on Sep.18, 2006, under General, Personal

StephanieI figured it was probably time to post this on my blog, although many of you (if not all) probably are aware that I have met a very beautiful and amazing woman smile  Stephanie came into my life about two months ago, and it's been an amazing experience for me.  SO, I figured it was more than time enough to let everyone else know about this amazing woman.

Steph and I started dating July 26th (so, not quite two months – oh well).  We'd talked quite a bit before hand, and had many conversations before actually going on a "date".  Since then though, it's been a roller-coaster of events. In the past few months, we've traveled to St. Louis to visit the science center, taken trips around town, had MANY conversations, cooked dinner together, and we've planned (and even gone on some) adventures.  We work well together, feeling comfortable around each other.  It's truly been an amazing experience, and I look forward to the upcoming months (years?  Who knows?).  

Here are some brief details about Steph, why we fit, and more information smile  First, Steph is VERY much a traditional country girl.  Her family are farmers, and she grew up with her dad working in the fields, her mom taking care of the house, and she agrees with me on the view that a parent should stay home if possible.  Of course, we're both traditional in the aspect that she's definitely interested in doing the housework, while I worked outside of the house wink

Now, not only do we share the traditional household views, but we also share many other interests, such as playing pool, bowling, hiking, being outdoors, and even here lately, a very common interest in World of Warcraft (my current big addiction, other than Steph).  We've spent a lot of time together, and here soon, plan on spending even more time together as she changes jobs.  Every day I talk to her, I find more things that amaze me about her.  

Well, that's a brief list of a very long bit of information, but I hope that whets the appetites of everyone wink  Or at least, I hope this lets people know I've not been a TOTAL bum lately (as well as explaining why I may not have kept up with people as much recently) wink  

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Due consideration of alternate browsers

by on Sep.18, 2006, under General

I'd seen a link to a news article here recently, and then found an advertisement for a car company.  Just out of curiosity, I hopped on over (mostly due to someday wanting to get a truck that can fit more than 2 people).  Anyways, while I was looking at this dealer's website, I went over to their search page.  Now, Mike Kehoe, which advertises all over the place, well, you'd expect a company to be intelligent when it comes to internet advertising.  Let's just say browsing their site with firefox, left most of their drop downs disabled.  This is an INSTANT annoyed response from me.  There is NO excuse for any business to exclude users based upon browser choice.  Any such action earns an automatic "I'm not going to do business with your company" response from myself. Even worse, when I used their published email to drop them a line about this issue, I got an email back saying that email address didn't exist.  There goes any inkling of any interest to do business with that company. 

Related to this, there was another site recently that I tried looking at, yet received a similar resopnse – century 21's local office wouldn't allow me to filter house query results.  Honestly people, when your livelihood depends on selling me a product, but you don't make it so I can access the information on that product easily, I'm going to find that product through another representative, and encourage anyone I know to avoid that company in the future.  Things like vehicles and housing, those are easy enough for me to find alternate vendors.

Just for reference, the websites I'm talking about are http://www.mikekehoe.com/ and http://c21thewayhome.com/ – go ahead, try and filter the results in some way using Firefox.  I'd also suggest dropping these guys an email critiquing their web system, but don't expect a response – I still haven't received any kind of response.

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Testing a WYSIWYG editor

by on Sep.06, 2006, under General

BSOD TimeThis is a test of a new WYSIWYG editor for Expression Engine smile  Thus far, seems like it's doing the job. 

BTW, for a quick image (well, it's for me to test, you guys to look at)

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Oracle Virtual Private Databases, how I’ve implemented them, and a bug I hit

by on Sep.05, 2006, under Technical

Ok, just to note – this post probably won’t mean a whole lot for most people, as it will be pretty technical in nature.  SO, for those who are not interested in “tech” details, feel free to read something else.  I’d suggest Slashdot but that can be as “geeky” at times too.  Continue to read at your own peril wink

First, for those not aware, I do a LOT of development in Oracle databases.  I’ve been using Oracle on Linux servers since RedHat 6, and Oracle 8 was out.  I’ve hit all kinds of bugs, oddities, etc. in that time.  Every so often I find a behavior that drives me nuts, or that I have to ask “WHY did you guys do something like this???” Today is another one of those days where the Oracle developers have me “fuming.”

Before I get into the bug I hit, let me explain what’s going on and what I’ve been working on most of the past year.  I’ve been working on upgrading an application for the University of Missouri.  I’m moving an application from 4 distinct databases and schemas, to one centralized database, as well as doing a complete rewrite of the database structure, and the code which accesses that data.  The application I’m working on tracks project information for each of the University of Missouri System campuses.  The application, called “Projex”, tracks every bit of a project from start to complete, including funding, cost analysis, payments, warranties, clients & managers, agreement details, contract details, cost breakdowns, and everything else under the sun.  Each University of Missouri campus, currently, has their own database separate from any other campus’s.  The reasons for this are varied, but the biggest reason was the application was not originally written to handle multiple separate entities sharing a set of data, yet having distinct parts.  Thus, the major rewrite of the application to merge these databases, add some extra functionality and security for separating out data, as well as move to a web platform for ease of access.  Needless to say – I’ve been BUSY.  However, the changes should add a lot of functionality, and prevent some of the duplication issues I’ve seen with the separate databases. 

Having all of our data in a centralized database is a wonderful thing for reports, maintenance, and other tasks, but it also presents a security concern – how do we prevent Rolla users from seeing Columbia users data.  How do we allow System users access to everything.  Well, the way I’ve implemented this security is by implementing a feature in Oracle called VPD – Virtual Private Databases. Virtual Private Databasing is one of those technologies that is amazing, does it’s job well, and in the right place is a wonderful feature.  It’s what is allowing us to use a centralized database yet still make sure “Bob in Rolla” or “John Doe” in Columbia can only see the things they’re supposed to see.  The trick, which leads to the bug I’ve been working on, is that Virtual Private Databases are complex to implement effectively.  Here’s how I’ve “implemented” my solution for VPD’s and the one “bug” I’ve hit:

(continue reading…)

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New blog and site are up

by on Sep.01, 2006, under General, Site Updates

Welcome one and all to the new home of Jason McIntosh’s blog smile I’m still unpacking my bags and moving all of my old stuff over here, so some things may not work quite right.  PLEASE – if you do find something, leave a comment (or, if comments aren’t working, email me!).  Also, feel free to let me know what ya’ll think of the colors and everything else smile

I’m starting off with just the one theme for right now – updated for the fall.  I’ll probably create some other “themes” for other times of the year, but hopefully this gets things going.  Sorry for the delay on this too – been slammed with work and spending time with girlfriend wink Doesn’t leave much time for myself wink

Last, for any new folk, welcome!  Take a look around, ask questions, leave comments (or cash – I love cash), and enjoy the site! 

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