MOTD::Archive::Spring 2000 (15 May 2000)

Fall 1999 MOTD

Week Ending 12 May 2000

Spring => Summer
The Spring 2000 semester has come to an end and I have submitted the final grades. Flop, flop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is. We have moved directly into LACSY2KPs (Learning About Computing Summer Year 2000 Projects). Here is note about our "hello, world" meeting.

A Brand Called Stanford
Stanford University has launched its first for-profit venture, an Internet medical company called e-Skolar. Interestingly, I've been working on a ThurmSpeaks about how we should be modeling the CSC program at SCC after the CS program at Stanford. It would be cool to start doing things like this. [ More... from TheStandard]

Yet Another Silicon Valley Sucks
Janitors of Silicon Valley are considering a strike against high-tech companies for the low wages they receive for cleaning up after sloppy programmers and the like. Read about the Justice for Janitors campaign from WiredNews::Culture.

[15 May 2000 (Scattered clouds... 77°... @ 8:08 AM), top]

Summer 2000 Projects

There will be a Learning About Computing Summer 2000 Projects (LACS2KPs) Thursday 11 May 2000 at 7:30 PM in room PS-169S at SCC. This an informational meeting where we share with you potential summer projects. My summer objectives are well defined: make some money, help the CSC program, learn a lot, and give others the chance to learn.

[08 May 2000 (Some clouds... 94°... @ 4:25 PM), top]

Week Ending 05 May 2000

Changes to My Schedule
Next week is "Final Exam Week" and my schedule has been adjusted as follows:

CSC Newsletter for May 2000
CSC Newsletter for May 2000 has been completed. I'm giving away a free book to anyone who supplies a winning name for the CSC Outstanding Student Award.

Another Example Why Silicon Valley Sucks
For the last couple of months we have been harping how we shouldn't be all hot-to-trot to have the Valley of the Sun become another Silicon Valley. On 04 May 2000 an AZIPA posting contained a hyperlink to an article titled SFBG News::Silicon Hell.

Last year (i.e. 1999) I attended the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) annual meeting. I wrote some notes about the meeting and one of those notes was about a talk given by Dr. Gray Brechin.

[05 May 2000 (Clear... 91°... @ 12:38 PM), top]

Week Ending 28 April 2000

Upcoming Techie Tuesday
There will be a Techie Tuesday in Downtown Tempe at 6 pm, Tuesday, 09 May 2000 at The Owl's Nest Saloon at 501 S. Mill Avenue, Ste. 301
The University of Georgia is having the same problem as the MCCCD with respect to finding and keeping technologist to program their computer systems. One of the ideas being pondered by the Georgia system is the following:
"The committee has also suggested paying bonuses to employees who work on special projects, creating cooperative-education programs in which a student enrolled in an IT degree program could attend a university tuition-free in exchange for agreeing to accept an internship at the university following graduation."
Please note that the University of Georgia is not contemplating following MCCCD's strategy of using custodians and grounds keepers to program their computers.

I like this idea because I think CS programs need to model themselves after Stanford University. We have all the tools and resources to generate interesting high-tech opportunities. I am thinking about writing a ThurmSpeaks::About

CPSR Motto::Question Technology
The following quote comes from Steve Talbott:
"Technology tells us how to get there fast but doesn't tell us where 'there' is."
Technology is great, but it is a tool that is created by humans; therefore, it should always be used with caution. Discouraging Words That Should Be Heard from PC Week.

Silicon Valley Really Sucks
A couple of weeks ago we posted a Silicon Valley Sucks blurb to the MOTD. On Easter Sunday the St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church is closing its doors after 31 years of operation in the Haight district of S.F. [Monthly rent is jumping from $1300 to $2500.] Here is a related article from the 20 April 2000 issue of USA Today::Life.

[28 Apr 2000 (Clear... 72°... [heading for 100°] @ 6:30 AM), top]

Week Ending 21 April 2000

Item... Here is a seminar announcement that was posted to the AZIPA. The content of the seminar is similar to our CSC185/CSC285 course sequence.
"The Do A Project Network will be sponsoring a seminar entitled, "An Introduction to HTML" on Saturday, May 13. These classes are open to the public and will take place at LightPoint Learning Solutions in Tempe. The cost is $35 per class, and reservations are required by April 21. To make reservations, please contact Karrie Langmeier at 623.879.8994 or email"
Reading this announcement prompted me to write ThurmSpeaks::About a HTML Seminar.
Item... End-of-March implies end-of-quarter financial reporting. Middle-of-April implies end-of-March results made public. Although the stock market took a major high-tech hit prior the end-of-quarter postings, the quarter just ended was good -- especially for the big companies. There is power in size. IBM had revenues of $19.53 billion ($19,530,000,000) in the three months ended 31 March 2000 (1st-quarter year 2000 profits: $1.52 billion). Intel had 1st-quarter year 2000 profits of $2.73 billion and is happy about the rest of this year. Microsoft reported end-of-quarter profits of $2.39 billion. AOL, the number one Internet service, had 3rd-quarter profits of $271 million.
Item... I got this Chili Dog Casserole recipe from the LA Daily News. I made it, I liked it, I didn't die from it, so I posted it to ThurmFood.

[21 Apr 2000 (Overcast and mild... 70°... @ 6:12 AM), top]

Week Ending 14 April 2000

More about computer jobs... [AZIPA posting]
HTML Writers Guild offers the following jobs-related resource: HWG-Jobs.

"HWG-JOBS is a mailing list used by HTML Writers Guild members to receive postings of help-wanted (permanent, temporary, contract, full-time, and part-time) notices."
Speaking of jobs... here is an article from San Jose Mercury News titled High-Tech Jobs Head for Midwest.

Girls and high-tech don't compute...
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Remember POT -- Plain-Old-Text...
WiredNews::Culture introduces us to the following pot related eCommerce venture.

Got the munchies???
A few weeks ago I made BBQ meatballs using a recipe provided by SteveA of the csc285 class. The meatballs came out great so I posted the recipe to ThurmFood.

[14 Apr 2000 (Sunny 75° -- excellent... @ 9:06 AM), top]

Week Ending 07 April 2000

Google, Netscape Form Search Directory
Google has been my favorite search engine since it was a project at Stanford University. Open Directory Project has been my favorite subject guide since it was called GNUhoo. [GNUhoo switched its name to NewHoo which was then bought by Netscape who switched the name to Open Directory Project.] Try the Google Web Directory.

RFC #1 is 31 Years Young
RFC -- Request For Comments are documents that document the Internet. The first RFC was authored by Steve Crocker at UCLA on 07 April 1969. { #1: Host Software} is a hot Domain Name appears to be worth lots of money. The owner of claims he has received an offer of $38 million for it. [$38 million equals $38,000,000]. For more details read the following ZDNet article. [By the way I checked and found that domain names and are taken, but is available.]

New Way to Break Into the Computing Profession
The Scottsdale Progress Tribune had an article titled Maricopa College District Scrambles to Fill Tech Jobs. The article, which contains quotes from the vice-chancellor of IT and the president of the Maricopa governing board, starts with the following paragraph:

Maricopa County Community College District officials are turning over every rock and stone and finding groundskeepers, secretaries and even custodians to program their computer systems.
My mom once told me that if "You can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all." Therefore, my response to this article is what a bunch of ~*!#.

Techie Tuesday on 11 April 2000
The next Techie Tuesday will start at 6:00 PM, Tuesday 11 April 2000 at Mill Avenue Beer Company, 605 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe. Attending events like Techie Tuesday gives you an opportunity to practice your "human" networking skills. Don't ask me how to develop these skills because I suck at them.

Krispy Kreme (yum) Goes Public
On 05 April 2000 - 63 years since its establishment - Krispy Kreme Doughnut went public. The IPO price was $21 and it closed at $36 for a sweet gain of 72%. Symbol: KREM KKD

[update::2011.05.13] This posting was updated to eliminate three instances of linkrot.

[07 Apr 2000 (Sunny and a warm 85° @ 12:40 PM), top]

Happy April Fool's Day

Some cute April Fool's Day ecards can be located at

[01 Apr 2000 (Scattered clouds...crisp... 63° @ 11:50 AM), top]

Week Ending 31 March 2000

Silicon Valley Sucks... Most people can't afford to live there, most companies cannot afford to rent billboard space due to Internet advertising, everybody thinks everyone is becoming a billionaire over night with little or no effort, and everybody is becoming a dot-com. Yuck! What's even worse, there are many people in our own Valley of the Sun that want us to become just like Silicon Valley. Why?

According to WiredNews::Business many people in S.F. are saying enough is enough. Could this be the Tip of the Dot-Com Backlash?

[Here are some example dot-com names.]

Resumes are Important... More and more companies are requiring resumes be submitted over the Internet either via email, or the web. With summer break approaching, we may want to find a job to help us continue our never ending task of learning about computing. A good cover letter and resume are critical in implementing a successful job search and finding that ideal position.

MSN::CareerBuilder provides this handy "How To Guide" for creating effective resumes. [Hyperlink by Kathleen.]

Machines Rule Us Humans?... According to a paper authored by Bill Joy, 21st-century technologies like robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech, are threatening to make humans an endangered species. Here is Joy's interesting - albeit scary - article from Wired Magazine titled Why the Future Doesn't Need Us.

Bill Joy is cofounder and Chief Scientist at Sun Microsystems. He is responsible for software innovations such as BSD Unix and the vi text editor. [Hyperlink by JohnQ.]

Some Final Tidbits...
  • The CSC Newsletter for April 2000 has been completed. It contains information about the Fall 2000 schedule.
  • The Maricopa Community College District governing board voted 3-2 to raise tuition by $1 per credit hour. This increase (if approved) will increase fees to $41 per credit hour. The tuition increase is the third straight and the eight since 1990, when it was $24 per credit hour.
  • Lucent's Bell Labs has managed to push 3.28 terabits per second of data over a long stretch of fiber-optic cable. A terabit -- thats a trillion bits -- is roughly equal to all of the daily traffic on the Internet for the entire world. [ Goto Bell Labs Press Release]
  • AT&T registered with the SEC to sell $13.248 billion of AT&T Wireless Group tracking stock. This will be the largest IPO in history. The Company will retain 80% plus economic interest in its Wireless Group. [ Goto AT&T Press Release]

[31 Mar 2000 (Cool and crisp...maybe rain... 54° @ 6:40 AM), top]

Week Ending 24 March 2000

[24 Mar 2000 (Here comes the sun... 52° @ 6:53 AM), top]

Week Ending 17 March 2000 [Spring Break]


Ring, Ring, Ring, ...
On 13 March 2000 around 4:45 PM, we found the Mojave Desert Phone Booth. We stayed for over an hour and the phone rang all the time. Here is a trip report with pictures.


Dark Star Orchestra...
A few weeks ago I went and saw Dark Star Orchestra at Alice Cooper's Town. This band re-creates Grateful Dead shows. The musicians are great and the concert was one of the best I've seen. You can listen to some of DSO's music on their website at


Ay caramba!...
The Simpsons are celebrating their 10th anniversy this month. From MSN Entertainment Channel comes this informative interview with Bart Simpson.


Happy St. Patrick's Day

[17 Mar 2000 (Sunny, clear, cool, 63° @ 8:35 AM), top]

Mojave Desert Phone Booth FOUND

We have returned from visiting the Mojave Desert Phone Booth. Naturally, a write-up has become yet another work-in-progress. I want to go back! Here is a picture.

[15 Mar 2000 (Sunny, clear, warm, 80° @ 1:08 PM), top]

Week Ending 10 March 2000

What is UCITA?...
UCITA is the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act. When organizations such as the ACM, CPSR, IEEE, oppose stuff that usually implies the stuff is not good for the computing community. Here are links to additional information provided by CSC285 students.
ThurmBit::UCITA by Marie Terek
ThurmBit::UCITA by Sean Johns
2001 is the New Millennium...
The next cool date: 01/01/01 -- it is nothing but binary digits -- 2001 really is the new millennium.

I display dates using the DD Month YYYY format. Examples:

   01 Jan 2001      28 May 1957      
          18 Jan 2038
Elements of Style says... "DD Month YYYY is an excellent way to write a date; the figures are separated by a word and, for that reason, are quickly grasped."
Spring Break 2000...
I will be making my second attempt at locating the Mojave Desert Phone Booth. My son and I tried last semester, but I got us lost. I'm optimistic of finding it this time. Here is the Fall 1999 trip announcement and the Fall 1999 trip results and some pictures.
Me and My Eye Glasses...
I've been wearing eye glasses since the 5th grade [I had a lazy eye]. During the summer of 1999 I purchased a new pair of eye glasses. My shopping experience was influenced by computers; therefore, I had to provide documentation. ThurmSpeaks::About Glasses

[10 Mar 2000 (Sunny, clear, cool, 50° @ 7:19 AM), top]

Week Ending 03 March 2000

More on Plain Old Text [POT]... Death to Proprietary Word Formats
This is an article about why somebody "got tired of using Word, and why they love HTML." Hyperlink provided by SCC student Forest D. Weller.

Another newsletter published... CSC Newsletter, March 2000
This month's newsletter contains status report on the state of the CSC program, the transcript of an email communication about computer security with a Unix SysAdmin, an announcement of Sean's interview with CIS Instructor Jim Elam, a listing of the 10 Commandments of Computer Ethics, and a hyperlink to a Spring Break related website.

Computer Security Item... Computers at James Madison University Compromised
"During the week of February 13, unusual network events led to the discovery of approximately sixteen computers sending out large numbers of UDP packets to random ports. All sixteen computers were running Microsoft Windows. At least five of those were running Windows 98. Further investigation revealed that all the computers were compromised with the Back Orifice remote control trojan."

This sounds good... Profits for Professors
"Nobody ever went into academia to make a fast buck. Professors, especially those in medical- and technology- related fields, typically earn a fraction of what their colleagues in industry do. But suddenly, big money is starting to flow into the ivory tower, as university administrators wake up to the commercial potential of academic research. And the institutions are wrestling with a whole new set of issues."

[03 Mar 2000 (Sunny, clear, cool, 59° @ 9:03 AM), top]

Week Ending 25 Feb 2000

Plain Old Text

The Pragmatic Programmer and I preach that we should keep knowledge in plain text. From an Economics Professor at Wake Forest University comes this article about Word Processors: Stupid and Inefficient.

About My Office Hours

I am going to start hanging around on campus from 2:30 to 5:45 on MW afternoons. I'll pop into the lab more frequently and will be in and out of my office. If you want me to be at my office at times other than my scheduled office hours, then please email me for an appointment. Given my extended on campus presence, I've switched my Thursday office start time to 6:45. [I've always been a believer and user of "comp" time.]

A Thought

I'm thinking of adding a new feature to ThurmUnit where I review what each of my classes are doing. For example, CSC185 is going to start XHTML, the CSC200 class is starting to study some complicated Java code, the CSC285 class has started looking at JavaScript, and the Unix class is about to learn about I/O re-direction which will then lead us into pipes [wow]. Sadly, the CSC298 lacks leadership. [I'm trying to figure out what to do with this talented bunch. Navigating something like this is too much like the real world. I'm an EDU -- not a DOTCOM.]

CNSY Still Rocking

The Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young concert exceeded my expectations. Now I'm ready to see Neil Young with Crazy Horse. Here is a review of the CSNY concert from AZ Central. [Speaking of beer... on 04 Mar 2000 there is going to be the Ballyard Beer Festival at the Banc One Ballpark.]

[25 Feb 2000 (Sunny, clear, cool, 57° @ 11:22 AM), top]

ThurmHoliday::President's Day

[21 Feb 2000 (Overcast, looks like rain, 64° @ 10:00 AM), top]

Week Ending 18 Feb 2000

[18 Feb 2000 (Cloudy, cool, 67° @ 4:00 PM), top]

ThurmHoliday::Valentine's Day

[14 Feb 2000 (Dark, & 52° @ 5:25 AM), top]

Week Ending 11 Feb 2000

I thought it was time to dig this URL out of the archives. I sure wish I had written this... The Importance of Being Wrong by David Weinberger.

If you are a programmer into acquiring material possessions, then now may be the time to just do it.

The Internet is enabling many people to switch their career paths. Landing a Job At an Internet Start-Up confirms for us that "engineers aren't the only ones in demand." [Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing this URL with us.]

Computer warfare is not going to be fun. I will not go into battle; it is too exhausting. A good defender will earn lots and lots of money, but they will pay the price in time and energy. Please read the The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics by the Computer Ethics Institute.

WiredNews::Technology reports that a couple of studies (one from ASU) indicate hostile individuals risk their health by having a cynical and cranky attitude [is this surprising?]. For details see the article Calm Down or Fall Down.

[11 Feb 2000 (Sunny, blue sky, beautiful outside, & 70° @ 3:02 PM), top]

Week Ending 04 Feb 2000

[blue ball] SCC student Sean Johns interviewed SCC CIS Instructor Jim Elam during the Fall semester of 1999. Find out what Mr. Elam had to say.

[blue ball] Here is a ThurmFoo about a dysfunctional organization. See if you can guess the correct answer.

[blue ball] From WiredNews::Technology comes Open Season on Open Source. It appears as though some advocates of Open Source software think conventional software companies suck.

[blue ball] Steve A., CSC285 student, authored a recipe book called The Lost Recipes. Proceeds from his book benefited the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children [1.800.THE LOST]. A couple recipes from the book have been posted to ThurmFood.

[blue ball]

I will not have an office hour on Tuesday, 08 Feb 2000. Instead, I'll be at Tempe's 3rd Techie Tuesday. It starts at 6:00 PM and is held at the Mill Avenue Beer Company, 605 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe. I will be on time for my 7:15PM CSC285 class [I think].

[04 Feb 2000 (Sunny, blue sky, whispy clouds, & 74° @ 3:12 PM), top]

Week Ending 28 Jan 2000

Great Article! The Longing -- The Web and the Return of Voice
from the Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization -- JOHO.
[I particularly like David Weinberger's essay on 60s Recidivism.]

Switching careers to computing? The article Switching to an IT Career: Some Friendly Advice from provides some good suggestions for us to ponder.

Ergonomics is important. Erognomics is the use of research in designing systems, programs, or devices that are easy to use for their intended purposes and contexts. Cornell University Ergonomics Web provides us with 10 tips for a good ergonomic workstation arrangement.

Oh no... WiredNews::Business has posted an article titled Cold Head, Weak Heart. In a nutshell: A recent study indicates that balding men have a higher risk of heart disease.

[28 Jan 2000 (Clear, dusk, cool, & 59° @ 6:28 PM), top]

Week Ending 21 Jan 2000

Item... I have registered the domain name. The domain name currently doesn't have a home, but we are working on that. Initially, will redirect to csZerO.

Item... On 07 Jan 1999, President Clinton proposed a national plan to protect America's computer systems from crackers and viruses, including subsidizing college costs for computer students who agree to work for the government. He said he was proposing a new program that will offer college scholarships to students in the field of computer security in exchange for their public service afterward. [ Article from PC Week]

Item... From (provider of Internet Legal Information) comes the following:

Now the phenomenon of Open Source comes to the practice of law. The "Open Law" project, at adopts the open source model in drafting legal documents. The open law forum is a project conducted by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, a cyberspace research program at Harvard Law School.

Item... A Horoscope hyperlink as been added to the top of the MOTD. Please let me know if you know of a better website for obtaining this information.

[21 Jan 2000 (Scattered clouds, nice, & 72° @ 4:32 PM), top]

Turn on the Pink Floyd

Tonight is a total eclispe of the Moon.
Get a play-list from the Lunar Eclipse Computer at the U.S. Naval Observatory.

[20 Jan 2000 (Scattered clouds, 54° @ 9:25 AM), top]

Happy Year 2000

[18 Jan 2000 (Sunny with clouds, 75° @ 1:57 PM), top]

Week Ending 14 Jan 2000

Tuesday/Thursday classes begin on 18 Jan 2000. Monday/Wednesday and Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes begin 19 Jan 2000. [Jan 17 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day -- it is nice starting work with a good holiday].

[orange diamond] The CPSR (Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility) has a newsletter discussing Gender in the Internet Age.
[orange diamond] From Salon Magazine: #2 reason why Bill Gates stepped down? He needed more time to learn Linux.
[orange diamond] A submit option has been added to ThurmFood. Submission forms were created by students from the Fall 1999 CSC285 class.
[orange diamond] I'm going to contact the SCC English Department to see if they will offer ENG111 -- Technical Writing during the Fall 2000 semester. I am also looking at offering a "database surveys" type of class -- history, overview, theory; using both a commercial product and Open Source products.
[orange diamond] Here is a money saving offer from
   From now through January 31, 2000, we're offering 
   you 2,000 cents off every order of $50 or more. 
   That's $20 off any order totaling at least $50!

   To get your discount, simply enter "SAVE2000" in 
   the discount code field when placing your order. 
   This field is located directly below the e-mail 
   address and password fields on the order form.
[orange diamond] ThurmSpeaks::Hello, World has been converted into ThurmBit::Hello, World.

[14 Jan 2000 (Sunny, Mild & 60° @ 10:37 AM), top]

Any CSC200 Students Out There?

If you are taking CSC200 this Spring, then please consider taking CSC294 also. This is an introductory Unix class. You need to become Unix-literate. Do it now if you can.

[12 Jan 2000 (Sun is rising, & 45° @ 7:47 AM), top]

The second Techie Tuesday will be held in Downtown Tempe, Tuesday 11 Jan 2000, 6:00 p.m. at Mill Avenue Beer Company, 605 S. Mill Ave.

Week Ending 07 Jan 2000

The rollover into Year 2000 has gone exceptionally smooth. The computing profession should give itself a collective pat on the back for a job well done! There are people speculating if the money spent repairing the Y2K computer problem was worth it -- it was. Things would have been terrible if our computer systems were not fixed to handle this important event. I consider the following Reuters news items crazy:

A senior official responsible for dealing with the millennium transition in Slovenia has resigned following media charges that he exaggerated the risks of the Y2K computer bug. [Report]

Here are some non-Y2K items for you to ponder...

[07 Jan 2000 (Sunny, Clear & 65° @ 3:42 PM), top]

Begin the Spring 2000 MOTD

The Fall 1999 MOTD has been archived.
A new year implies the beginning of a new MOTD.
Thanks for reading along.

[01 Jan 2000 (Sun rising, Clear & 48° @ 8:20 AM), top]

Happy New Year! Happy Y2K!

The Unix date command says it is:
Sat Jan 1 01:56:48 MST 2000
We have moved into the Year 2000 -- wow.
It's back to work on Monday.

[01 Jan 2000 (Dark, Clear & 44° @ 1:56 AM), top]