MOTD::Archive::Fall 2002 (30 December 2002)

Summer 2002 MOTD

Week Ending 27 December 2002

About CSC Spring 2003 Enrollments
The CSC Spring 2003 enrollments at SCC continue to be low. We are hoping that offering new classes will help give enrollments a boost. To date, the three new classes have a total of 30 students, but that is well below what SCC would like to see (think half).

   Gerald Thurman [CSC/CIS Instructor at SCC]
      Introductory Unix..... 17
      The Three-Pees........  8 [new course]
      Intermediate Unix.....  7 [new course]
      CSC200................  3 [transfers to ASU]

   Bill Meacham [CSC/CIS Instructor at SCC]
      CSC110/CIS163......... 22 13 [new course]
      CSC185/CIS133......... 11 and 10 [two sections]

   Karl Krummel [Math/CSC Adjunct at SCC]
      CSC210................  9 [transfers to ASU]

About Sky Harbor Airport
On my October 2002 trip to Boston, I got to Sky Harbor Airport early and spent time checking the airport out. I was taken with how nice it is and felt it is an asset to the city of Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun. I tried to contact Sky Harbor management about doing a small support website for them, but it was not an easy task and nothing happened.

On Thursday, 26 December 2002, the Arizona Republic had an article about Sky Harbor Airport being voted the world's 4th-best airport. [ Release]

Last MOTD Posting for Fall 2002
This is the last MOTD posting for Fall 2002. In a couple of days, the Fall 2002 MOTD will become the 16th archived MOTD. [From Neil Young: It's all one long song...] To date, the MOTD archive transaction has not been automated. There are no plans to make any changes to the Spring 2003 MOTD. The MOTD is currently 2.5 MB in size.

[27 December 2002 (sunny with lots of blue sky; 62° at 12:20pm) top]

Week Ending 20 December 2002

Year 2002 Nears an End...
One of my favorite Neil Young songs is A Man Needs a Maid. These days I like to say (I'd sing it, but I can't sing) A Man Needs a Secretary.

Tomorrow (Saturday, 21 December 2002), my son Tyler and I are off to Marfa, Texas. We fly to El Paso and drive to Marfa. The trip includes visits to two National Parks, two Texas Historic Sites, a ghost town, sandhills, oil country and lots of open road and Mother Nature.

Sing it Willie... "On the road again... just can't wait to get on the road again -- going places I've never been..." GDT::Fun::RoadTrip::Southwest Texas

Talking To Yourself Becomes Accepted Behavior
I've spent many hours walking and speaking out loud to myself. These days -- because of cell phones -- lots of people are walking around talking to themselves (or at least it appears). I feel as though the cell phone has provided me an additional freedom -- the freedom to walk around talking to myself without feeling "self-concious."

These days, if I hear somebody talking, then I assume they are not talking to me. If somebody says hello when you walk by, then how do you decide if the hello was intended for you?

Sabbatical Update
My Sabbatical proposal was ranked 25 out of 30. 21 sabbaticals were awarded. This was probably an excellent year to have submitted a sabbatical request. I think my Timeline was a problem area along with too much technical language. For some reason, I tend to write in Code.

I updated the sabbatical to scream it was rejected (red is used). I also added a Tim O'Reilly quote that reflects my thoughts.

[20 December 2002 (sunny and clear, but very cool; 55° at 1:17pm) top]

Week Ending 13 December 2002

GDT::DreamTeam::New Member::Tim O'Reilly
This is long overdue... Tim O'Reilly is the Fall 2002 addition to the GDT::DreamTeam. Who is Tim O'Reilly?

CSZero::Learning About Computing
CSZero is a computing system under development at SCC that is devoted to Learning About Computing. Emphasis is the use of Free and Open Source computing tools. The Fall 2002 semester started with about 25 CSZero members and the semester ends with the same count (i.e. no new students joined CSZero this semester).

Learning About Computing is a never ending process and it continues through the Winter and Summer Breaks.

CSZero will need to grow even though I will not be on sabbatical.

The MOTD is Six Years Young
I don't recall the exact date the MOTD was started, but the first MOTD was archived six years ago today on 13 December 1997. The Fall 2002 MOTD will be archived after the 27 December 2002 posting and a Spring 2003 MOTD will be instantiated. [ MOTD::Archive::Fall::1997]

I accidently clobbered my homepage and decided to give it a new Yahoo!-type of look.

New GDT Homepage  |  Old GDT Homepage

YAFT13th: Yet-Another-Friday The 13th The 13th

[13 December 2002 (sunny, but cool; 60° at 1:30pm) top]

Week Ending 06 December 2002

World Sousveillance Day (24 December 2002)
Mark your calenders... Tuesday, 24 December 2002, at high-noon, is World Sousveillance Day. On this day, which is one of this country's busiest shopping days, citizens are to head out, in disguise, to their favorite malls and public spaces, and photograph all the security cameras they find. [More...]

More... Tuesday, 24 December 2002, is also BNS (Buy No Software) Day. BNS Day was organized to help alert computer users about proprietary computing systems. [More...]

TGen is Looking for Computer People
Three big TGen advertisements in the Help Wanted section of Sunday's (01 December 2002) newspaper.

	Senior Network Engineer
	Senior Network Security Engineer
	Technical Support Engineer (TSE)
The TSE job requires "expert understanding of MacOS 9 and MacOS X, MS Windows 2000 and XP, and Redhat Linux operating systems. MCSE or equivalent certification is plus. Knowledge of TCP/IP and Internet protocols, such as DNS, HTTP, SMTP and SSL is preferred."

What is TGen?

TGen is... " an independent research institute, established as a not-for-profit 501(c X3) organization, with the mission of helping 'translate scientific discoveries into diagnostics, treatments and cures'."

The Division Chair at SCC wants to find out what I know about Bio-Informatics. That meeting won't take long.

YAB -- Yet Another Blogger
Shortly after 911, I started the GDT::Computing::Bits blogger. The resource was relatively idle, but this semester (Fall 2002) there have been eight postings to Learning About Computing a Bit at a Time.

[06 December 2002 (another sunny day awaits us; 60° at 9:22am) top]

Week Ending 29 November 2002

Certain Websites Should Never Go Away
Interview with Brewster Kahle [ posting]

Happy Thanksgiving!

On The Road Again
This is a road trip to San Diego, California. I like southern California in general and San Diego is nice. I've spent many relaxing days in San Diego. I'm am thankful that Arizona is adjacent to California. California is huge and it has lots of good Mother Nature. Here is the San Diego road trip plan.

[29 November 2002 (auto-posting at 4:20am) top]

Week Ending 22 November 2002

Women In Computing
I've encountered numerous how-to documents, but How to Encourage Women in Linux should be required reading for anybody who is going into computing.

It is the 21st Century
Many low-priced high-tech stocks are priced 2-3 times above their 52-week lows. The gains can evaporate and turn into losses amazingly quick. Stocks can and do go down to $0. The stock market is volatile and it is not for those who cannot assume risk. I think the stock market would crash hard if another major terrorist attack occurs. Many small companies will go belly-up. It is sad to see Syntellect being bought out at seventy two cents a share ($0.72). I bought Syntellect realizing it was in a tough spot, but I didn't think it would become a penny stock. Go Opsware (Loudcloud), Yahoo, Red Hat, Marimba, Transmeta, Entrust, Applied Digital, Amazon, VA Software, Silicon Graphics, Lucent Technologies, Wireless Facilities, Sun Microsystems, Sonic Blue, Hanger Orthopedic, Stewart Enterprises and America West Airlines.

About My Name
Last jeek's Internet Observer posting observed that a Google search for the string thurman resulted in GDT showing up number six in the search results. Karen Thurman, a Floriduh politician, was number one followed by hyperlinks to Uma Thurman resources. I noticed that the preceding hyperlinks all had the string thurman in them. The GDT website did not have a directory named thurman, but it does now. The webpage located at contains information about my name. [Thurman's in the URL twice.]

[22 November 2002 (sunny and warm at the hotest time of day; 84° at 3:15pm) top]

Week Ending 15 November 2002

Let Me grep For That
I have added grep to my GDTTerms (i.e. everyday vocabulary). Grep is a program that is used to search files for patterns. Grepping is the act of searching for something. A grepper is one who greps. [goto GDTTerms]

Yet Another Visit to the Tamarisk Shoe Tree
I've been to the Tamarisk Shoe Tree four times over the span of the last six months. I like the southwest deserts of California and I'm planning a return visit during the 2002/2003 Winter Break. [ 11 November 2002 trip report]

The Arizona College Scene
UofA Football Players Can't Take Verbal Abuse Members of the University of Arizona football team have been verbally abused by their coach and they went to the school's President to complain. So far their actions have forced the coach to issue a public apology, but some of the players want him out of town.

ASU Uses Women to Escort Star Athletes The Arizona Republic ran a story about how ASU sports uses women to escort star athletes around when they come to campus. This story was published in the ASU State Press. I liked this story ending quote by the ASU State Press Editor and Chief: "There's room for a lot of different opinions on the editorial pages."

MCCCD Looks at Campus Safety The community colleges are looking closely at how to protect their campuses from idiots. Debate is occurring about what the gun policy should be. Issues... issues... issues. Nothing's easy.

College is Getting More Expensive Tuition rates are going to continue to go up and up and up. I hope we do not make education at SCC too expensive for those who are passionate about having it. I can see huge changes on the dot-edu horizon.

BioTech Potential Boost for High-Tech A successful bio-industry in the Valley of the Sun could significantly boost the entire high-tech industry in Arizona. Becoming a high-tech center can come with many unexpected costs. A nice side-effect would be a stronger state-wide school system.

[15 November 2002 (excellent weather these days; 77° at 2:25pm) top]

AzFoo::Holiday:: Veterans Day

Week Ending 08 November 2002

The Evolution of a Command
I wrote a short command in response to a PLUG posting and the command evolved in to a reusable computing tool. This is something that seems to happen again and again and again; therefore, I wrote this computing bit about the evolution of a command.

PVCC to Host a Careers In Computing Event
Paradise Valley Community College is hosting free Careers in Computing presentations for students on Monday, November 18 2002, 7:00-8:30pm at Paradise Valley Community College in room B208. The event will provide students with an opportunity to meet experts in the following fields.

   + Computer Network Administration
   + Programming
   + Web Publishing
   + Hardware Maintenance
   + Project Management
   + Internet Operations
   * Software Development
   * Systems Development

Fun, Fun and More Fun
[Fun] Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are a true rock'n roll band. This year's tour was accomplished without corporate sponsorship. I suspect this helped keep the ticket prices well below the rates typically charged these days. [It was also nice to see that Jackson Browne was not "running on empty."]

   There goes the last DJ,
   who plays what he wants to play,
   and says what he wants to say, hey hey hey.
   And there goes your freedom of choice,
   there goes the last human voice.
   There goes the last DJ.

Here is a list of concerts I've attended.

[Fun] From software to softball -- I guess I'm into soft. In a couple of hours (Friday, 08 November 2002) the SCC Administration/Faculty/Staff will be taking on the students of SCC in a fierce game of softball.

   SCC Administration/Faculty/Staff   14
   SCC Students                        5

[Fun] On Tuesday, 12 November 2002, Neil Young will turn 58 years young. Neil is an honorary member of the GDT::Dream Team.

[08 November 2002 (overcast -- looks like rain, but...; 65° at 9:45am) top]

Week Ending 01 November 2002

My Spring 2003 Schedule
Here is my Spring 2003 schedule.

	MW:  Intermediate Unix    5:45pm to 7:00pm [new course]
	M :  PERL, PHP, Python    7:10pm to 9:40pm [new course]
	TR:  CSC200 [Java]        1:30pm to 3:10pm
	TR:  Introductory Unix    5:45pm to 7:00pm
I don't see any reason why Spring enrollments will be any better than they have been the last few semesters; therefore, I suspect this schedule will be modified between now the start of the semester.

High-Tech Stocks in The News
Today, Friday, 01 November 2002, is the start of a new month; therefore, I wrote a short update on some stocks.

Arizona Republic Articles on Political Signs and Litter
I have learned that getting your name and picture in the local newspaper is not fun. The primary story about litter ended up getting published in the Tempe community section of the paper, whereas the political sign story made the Local section of the Sunday paper (just the opposite of what I wanted). Once again the old saying "Live and learn." proves itself true.

[01 November 2002 (Tom Petty and Jackson Browne tomorrow night; 75° at 2:05pm) top]

Week Ending 25 October 2002

About VA Software
As a VA Software shareholder, I don't consider this good news, but at least Chris DiBona leaves VA on good terms. [DiBona quote from a WiredNews article: quote:"I love VA. It's kind of like the mafia. You can't ever leave."] VA Software operates a collection of popular websites that include,, and the OSDN (Open Source Developers Network). VA Software, which at one time was called VA Linux Systems, had the most successful IPO (Initial Public Offering) in history. On 09 December 1999 the stock hit $320 per share, but as of the market's close on Friday, 25 October 2002, its per share price was at $0.85 (i.e. eighty-five cents).

Colleges Help Microsoft Stay a Monster
This posting, just like Microsoft, kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger; therefore, I made in into this stand-alone GDT::Computing::Bit titled Microsoft News For October, 2002.

[Humor] Fry's Electronics Likes To Make You Wait
I've never been a fan of Fry's Electronics, but I must admit to shopping there from time-to-time. I think this hyperlink was posted to the Phoenix Linux Users Group (PLUG) a few months ago: Fry's Electronics Employment Application.

[25 October 2002 (bright sunny day; 83° at 3:40pm) top]

Week Ending 18 October 2002

GDTEdu::Biology + Technology = Bio-Tech
The city of the Phoenix and the state of Arizona are excited about Phoenix becoming the physical headquarters for the International Genomics Consortium. The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is also excited because they see this as an opportunity to prepare students to become workers in the rapidly growing bio-tech industry. On Friday, 11 October 2002, I attended a MCCCD sponsered Bio-Industry Workforce Summit and I recorded these notes.

GDT::DreamTeam and GDT::DeadTeam Stuff has posted interviews with GDT::DreamTeam members Vinton Cerf (father of TCP/IP and co-creator of the Internet) and Larry Wall (father of PERL and language guru). [GDT::DreamTeam]

[More...] Keith Uncapher died on Thursday, 10 October 2002. Uncapher founded the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) at USC's school of engineering in 1972. Under his tenure as executive director, ISI researchers worked on the development of the Internet's system of domain names that includes dot-com, dot-net and dot-org. Before forming ISI, Uncapher worked for RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. He was director of RAND's computer science division, where he led a project on packet switching technology. [GDT::DeadTeam]

GDTBit::The Press, Simson, Neumann, CPSR, Litter
On Thursday, 17 October 2002, I wrote a GDT::Bit that connects computing with litter.

[18 October 2002 (cool, sunny, blue sky morning; 65° at 8:25am) top]

Week Ending 11 October 2002

An Article on SEVIS Makes the Arizona Republic
The front section of the Thursday, 10 October 2002, Arizona Republic had a short article about SEVIS [Student and Exchange Visitor Information System]. SEVIS is an Internet-based database that will be used to track foreign students. As noted in the last MOTD SEVIS related posting, they are already thinking of extending the system usage to track part-time students. According to the article SEVIS will collect personal information, track when students enter/leave the country, and record when they change classes. SEVIS will be paid for by a $95 fee some of which (if not all) will probably come out of student wallets.

The short SEVIS article was part of a longer article on being a foreign student in the United States of America. [No hyperlink provided because of the Arizona Republic's archive policy. Archived articles result in linkrot. I do, however, want to Thank the Arizona Republic for running these type of stories.]

Previous SEVIS postings: 27 Sep 2002 (MOTD), 30 Aug 2002 (Security Watchdog).

The Horror on Wall Street
The shares of high-tech companies continue to go down and down and down. Many investors are asking the question when will we hit bottom? Many believe this question cannot be answered, but there is an answer -- we hit bottom when we hit zero. A strong computer industry needs a strong stock market. GDTStocks::Wall Street Horrors Continue.

About My Trip To The Northeast
The Harvard hosted 2002 CPSR Conference was an excellent event and a write-up on the conference is a current work-in-progress. I used my trip to Boston to visit the Free Software Foundation, hike the Freedom Trail, visit the MIT campus, visit the Harvard campus, drive through rural Vermont to see Mother Nature in action coloring leaves, and visit an old school buddy named John Trono. [Trono is Chair of the CS Department at Saint Michael's College.] Sky Habor/Boston/FSF/MIT/CPSR/Harvard/Vermont/Trono.

[11 October 2002 (bright, sunny morning; 73° at 8:31am) top]

Week Ending 04 October 2002

A.W.A.D. Gives Me Programming Ideas
A recent posting from A.W.A.D. (A-Word-A-Day) was the word pangram. This word has me thinking about potential programming assignments.

In an attempt to do a better job checking my spelling, I implemented this Crude Spell Checker. [Thanks to CaitlinG for tightening up the reqular expression used in the perl-based CGI program.]

About SCC's Mascot... Arti the Artichoke
Arti the Artichoke is the mascot for Scottsdale Community College. SCC has been a great employer and I will always be grateful for the way they have treated me. Arti is fun mascot and he helps us stay forever young. Thank You Arti the Artichoke.

Thurman Goes To Harvard (and MIT and Trono's)
I am off to Boston for the 2002 CPSR Conference. This will be my third CPSR Conference and my fourth CPSR event. This year's conference is titled Shrinking World, Expanding Net. I will write a report about the conference upon my return.

This week's MOTD was automatically posted using the Unix cron program. It is Friday, 04 October 2002, and I am somewhere in Boston .

[04 October 2002 (auto-posting at 4:20am) top]

Week Ending 27 September 2002

The Word Spy
Words are important. Words can be fun. ThurmUnit/GDT has hyperlinked to A.W.A.D. (A-Word-A-Day) for a long time and I want to Thank them for providing an excellent resource.

This AM I learned about The Word Spy from U.C.L.A. Professor Phil Agre's Red Rock Eater News mailing-list. The Word Spy tracks "recently coined words, existing words that have enjoyed a recent renaissance, and older words that are being used in new ways." Today's word is regift (give away a gift that was a gift). []

SEVIS Won't Make Deadline
SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. SEVIS is going to be a tool used by the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) to track foreign students. It is a tool that relies on computer systems. It is a tool that must be designed and developed under schedules and time constraints. Computer systems created under these conditions typically are not secure (i.e. they cannot be trusted). The role of the human-being in designing and developing these tools is too intrusive for the systems to work 100%.

I am not speaking for the CPSR, but I will use a CPSR motto: Question Technology. I've added SEVIS to my local dictionary used by ispell (my spell checker tool).

Washington Times, 19 September 2002

AzFoo::Food::Learning About Food
Recipe number 29 -- Four Soup Casserole -- was posted to Learning About Food on Sunday, 22 September 2002. And... pictures were added to the Double Banana Bread recipe.

[27 September 2002 (Happy 4th Birtday to Google; 98° at 3:50pm) top]

Week Ending 20 September 2002

Survey Says... College Students Like the Internet
A survey indicates students still like having a classroom to go to from time-to-time, but that doesn't mean they ignore the power of the Internet. A good student (regardless of their path of study) should be Internet-literate. If you are going to be a computer professional, then you need to learn everything you can about the Internet. I created a webpage that contains a hyperlink to the survey. I could have provided the survey hyperlink here, but my webpage also contains stuff about Usenet and a Ditherati.

Stallman Defends Free Software
I like Stallman. I may not agree with his political positions or his social beliefs or how he has fun or how he lives his life, but when it comes to computing, then I want RMS on my side. Sadly, politics and law have amazing power to make bad stuff happen for those of us who need computing to be free.

"I do not advocate open source, but I wrote a free software license, the GNU General Public License, that is described by some as 'open source.' I also launched, in 1984, the development of a free software operating system that is 'Linux' by some. I hope this makes my response worth reading."

The following hyperlink was obtained from U.C.L.A. Professor Phil Agre and his Red Rock Eater News Service.

Richard Stallman on the difference between free software and open source.

[RMS Extra] Oscar-winning "patriot act" starring Dubya.

Google/ and Teddy Roosevelt/North Dakota
I received an email message from somebody in Ohio asking where I got my litter picker. I was curious as to how they found me so I did a Google Search for litter picker. came up number four on the first webpage of search results. [ search Google for litter picker]

It seems I spend a lot of time looking at the map of western North Dakota. I want to go to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, but a visit will require lots of time because of the abundance of Mother Nature. Amazingly, according to this 15 September 2002 USA Today article, North Dakota's air is too dirty.

[20 September 2002 (sunny blue skies; 94° at 12:50pm) top]

Week Ending 13 September 2002

YAFT13th -- Yet Another Friday The 13th
Today, Friday, 13 September 2002, is the first of two Friday the 13ths this year. The next Friday the 13th occurs in December of 2002. Every year has at least one Friday the 13th and no year ever has more than three. Here are some Friday the 13th exercises from the University of Georgia.

[More...] I cannot vouch for its correctness, but offers a webpage that discusses the origins of Friday the 13th .

Quotes, Quotes and More Quotes
September is only two weeks old, yet three quotes have been added to the GDT::Quotes collection.

   Education is the ability to listen to almost anything 
   without losing your temper.  [Robert Frost]

   Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... 
   It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage to move in 
   the opposite direction.  [Albert Einstein]

   The creative person, by definition, stands outside the
   walls of acceptability. To fulfill dreams, explorers
   must walk away from people.  [Peter de Jager]

The Maricopa Career Network
The MCCCD (Maricopa County Community College District) has setup a web-based bulletin board that allows businesses to post jobs and students to post resumes. The bulletin board will also be used to post career services information. Although I am an employee of the MCCCD, I learned about this website from the Friday, 13 September 2002, Business Section of the Arizona Republic. MCN: Maricopa Career Network

[Extra] According the the U.S. Department of Labor, the future of computing looks good (out to year 2010). The top seven fastest growing job markets are computer related (#1 is application software engineers). America's Career InfoNet: Fastest Growing Occupations

[13 September 2002 (office hour time; sunny outside; 86° at 9:49am) top]

Week Ending 06 September 2002

Remembering 911
On Wednesday, 11 September 2002, America post-911 will be 1 year old. [It also happens to be my sister's birthday -- Happy Birthday Janice.] The power of the Internet allows events to be documented using words, images and sound. I want to extend a Thank You to those responsible for the 911 Digital Archive: Saving the Histories of September 11, 2001 .

Freedom Quote Giver
After 911, I realized that I didn't understand what it meant to be free; therefore, I started a website about Learning About Freedom. I learned a lot about freedom while working on that website and one outcome of my efforts was the Freedom Quote Giver .

Speaking of Quotes...
Here are some of my favorite freedom quotes given by the Freedom Quote Giver.

   Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.
   Freedom is a lot like air. 
   When it is around, you hardly notice it.  
   Once taken from you, you notice it instantly. 
   Not long afterwards you choke and later you die.

   Find the cost of Freedom buried in the ground.

   Cause I'm as Free as a bird now.

   Free as in Freedom

   Freedom is not Free.

The last quote is mine. The other quotes from other human-beings and I thank them.

[06 September 2002 (my physical location in Tempe is getting rain; 92° at 3:00pm) top]

AzFoo::Holiday:: Labor Day

Week Ending 30 August 2002

Computer Industry Experiencing Tough Times posted an article that discusses the current state of the IT (Information Technology) industry. The author ends the article by issuing the following advice.

	If you still want a programming career, here's the best 
	advice I have:  Expect to work harder for less.
The IT Rust Belt

Open Source Software Versus The Other Side
The following was copied from the website.

"To ensure innovation and improvements in software development, we encourage governments to consider four neutral principles supported by CompTIA and other members of the Initiative for Software Choice.

N-Geners: The Net Generation
The ACM is the Association for Computing Machinery and it is an organization that all computer professionals should support.

On 27 August 2002 posted a paper that discusses the characteristics of N-Geners -- the Net Generation. Here are some quotes from the paper.

Children of the Information Age from

YAMOTDRO -- Yet Another MOTD Roll-Over
This week's MOTD posting is the first for the Fall 2002 Semester. This is MOTD #16. The Summer 2002 MOTD has been moved to the MOTD Archive.

[30 August 2002 (another sunny day in the Valley of the Sun; 97° at 10:25am) top]

Author: G.D.Thurman []
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:17:46 MST

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