November 10, 2005

Today is the big Microsoft launch event out in Buffalo. I am so glad that I signed up early for it. The show sold out some time ago and a lot of people that I know didn’t manage to get in. These shows are a major piece of being IT professionals. They provide a lot of training, new product information, access to important resources and free software and prizes. Most IT professionals get all of their t-shirts from going to these shows.

Some very important news. Sony is now actively hacking (cracking to be correct) people’s computers. At least the computers of their customers. They are doing nothing against pirates or people who are getting copies of their CDs, only aganist people who actually buy their products. Sony is root-kitting computers which means they are seizing total administrative control. This is the deepest form of hacking. Far worse than what has landed many people in long term holding cells and lifetime bans from even using telephones. Not only is Sony doing this for their own purposes but by stripping users of their control over their own machines they have also created an undetectable system for viruses writers to exploit. So Sony is now actively and secretively distributing hacking tookkits. It you want to hack someone’s machine – just get one of Sony’s new CDs and pop it in a friend’s computer and there you go. It takes more than that to make it useful to you but if you want to hurt people it sure doesn’t take too much knowledge. Sony has lowered the bar for entering the computer vandalism practice. There is, of course, a number of class action lawsuits begun since the hacking was first detected on October 31. Now there is a Sony Boycott. This includes BMG which is a Sony subsidiary. I will happily boycott Sony and will be cancelling all of my BMG memberships which I have had for sixteen years! It will be the end of an era for me. But I won’t really miss it.

For anyone who didn’t check it out on RocketBoom for the last two days, here is the link to the blue ball factory. You will be addicted. I can tell.

I had to be up very early this morning. Or at least very early for me. I was up at 6:15 and out of the door by 7:00 with Oreo taking him over to dad’s for the day. Dominica is working her second day at her new job today and will be gone for far too long for Oreo to be left home alone. The show was in Buffalo today which is a huge pain because they do it on the northwest side of Buffalo so there is a lot more driving for everyone and tons of rush hour traffic to be dealt with.

Normally I am pretty happy with the Microsoft shows but today’s was a lot more boring that usual. I think that they dumb down the topics for these sold out launch events because they start getting just everybody showing up to them and not just the regular highly technical people. The regular stuff that they cover would be way too difficult for the people who only come out to get the free software.

The morning session was decent. Normally I like the afternoon ones better. There was no space at all and I had to sit on the floor for a bit of the time. Andy showed up for the second show and by this time I had figured out that we had to get seats early so I got a halfway decent one and saved one for him. Our seats were way too close to the front and it made us stare straight up at the projection screen with the lights on right above us glaring straight into our eyes. That made it really tough to keep our eyes open.

The conference wrapped up at 5:00 and we headed out into Buffalo’s rush hour traffic in one of the craziest parts of the city. It took us a while to escape with all of that traffic. We decided to get dinner in Batavia so that we could get out of Buffalo as quickly as possible.

We got dinner at the Applebee’s in Batavia on 63 across from the Walmart. From dinner we went over to Martin’s Grocery across the street to see what British ethnic foods they had. I found some interesting stuff but not the stuff that I was really looking for. I will have to keep searching for clotted cream of Devonshire cream. I got gas while I was there at only $2.43. That is the cheapest that I can remember in a year! What a relief to see gas prices coming back down to something reasonable.

I drove over to dad’s and picked up Oreo. He was very glad to see me. Oreo that is. He misses me when I am away.

I only got home a little bit before Dominica. She got home and was very happy about how her second day went. Things are moving along very quickly at work and she should be taking calls all by herself maybe as early as Saturday. That is exciting but also pretty scary.

To relax we watched the last episode of As Time Goes By in season eight and watched the first episode of Season Nine which is the only season in HDTV. Although they don’t appear to have really put much effort into the recording equipment because it just looks like a wide screen version of what they had always done. I am sad and excited to be going through the final season. Only one and a half hours left plus the one hour final “season ten” looking back special.

I had to get to bed by midnight because I am working in Ithaca all day tomorrow and need some sleep. I was tired all day today and I have to be out of bed at 6:00 am to be able to make it to Ithaca. So that isn’t all that much sleep. I am going to be at Lifestyle Properties most of the day tomorrow if anyone needs me. I am taking Oreo with me so that no one has to watch him. He loves travelling with me and I expect that he will have a good time. Jeremy is coming over tomorrow and spending the night so there is a little chance that there might end up being a Friday Night Game. We will have to see. It would be nice if we can pull it off.

I am very busy in Ithaca tomorrow and have to get back to Geneseo as quickly as possible to pick up Jeremy so I won’t be hanging out with anyone down there. I know that everyone reads this and looks for me when I come down but I am afraid that, once again, there is no spare time on this trip.

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