MOTD::Archive::Summer 2002 (30 August 2002)

Spring 2002 MOTD

Week Ending 23 August 2002

A New Semester Begins
Fall 2002 sees me entering into my sixth year of being an Instructor at Scottsdale Community College. I am a lucky man to be at SCC. It is always fun to encounter a new stream of students. My project -- CSZero::Learning About Computing -- needs a few good technologists. Curious? If yes, then read about CSZero.

In Computing -- Size Matters
I believe that in computing -- size matters. The following was copied from an EDUCause posting.

"The Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft this week launched the Microsoft Canada Academic Innovation Alliance to support technology research at Canadian universities. Its first grant, however, has some students and faculty upset about apparent influence from Microsoft. The $2.3 million grant went to the University of Waterloo, which agreed to institute a new class on Microsoft's C# programming language and make the course a requirement for entering students in the electrical and computer engineering departments." TechNews asks the question... Microsoft's grant has strings attached?

ThurmUnit Has Morphed Into GDT and AzFoo
ThurmUnit::Computing Programming Resources has become GDT::Computer Programming Resources and CSZero::Learning About Computing. Non-computing stuff like pictures, food, foos and holidays have moved to AzFoo::Learning About Foo.

[23 August 2002 (first update for Fall 2002 semester; 90° at 9:47am) top]

Week Ending 16 August 2002

Digital Software Security Act
During this summer, the Phoenix Linux User Group forced the IT Department of Maricopa County to hold a forum to discuss the legality of it using Microsoft product. [The use of the term force is used in a positive way.] Sadly, the best technologies do not always win, but I'd rather win because of good product rather than having lawyers paving the way. Open Source's New Weapon: The Law?

YACGD -- Yet Another Computing Guru Dies
Kristen Nygaard died on Saturday, 10 August 2002. Nygaard was a co-creator of the Simula programming language for which he won the 2001 A.M. Turing Award. Here is an article from Nygaard's website titled How Object-Oriented Programming Got Started.

Insiders Buying Technology Stocks
It may not be popular opinion, but the state of the computing industry is closely tied to the condition of the stock market. There are some investors who base their investment desisions solely on the activity of insiders (employees, board directors, large investors, etc.). The following WiredNews article indicates that there has been some insider buying lately and I found Bill Joy's $4 million investment in Sun Microsystem's interesting.

[16 August 2002 (just returned from 533 mile road trip; 106° at 4:25pm) top]

Week Ending 09 August 2002

John Cocke and Edsger W. Dijkstra Are Dead
John Cocke died on 16 July 2002. Cocke is considered the father of the Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC). He was an IBM Fellow (IBM's highest techical honor), he won a National Medal of Technology, he won an A.M. Turing Award and he was awarded the National Medal of Science. [ More about Cocke from IBM Research.]

Edsger Wybe Dijkstra died on Tuesday, 06 August 2002. Dijkstra was the inventor of the concept of semaphore. He was also one of the main contributors to the language ALGOL. Among his contributions to computer science are the shortest-path algorithm also known as Dijkstra's algorithm. In 1972, he received the A.M. Turing Award. [ More about Dijkstra from the CS Department at the University of Texas.]

Cocke and Dijkstra have become members of the GDTDeadTeam.

Tomcat, JBoss, STRUTS, XML, J2EE, ...
What is all this stuff? An upcoming CSZero::Learning About Computing seminar has been planned where we will get a nice introduction to all of this stuff. Originally the seminar was scheduled for later this (August) month, but now I think a September seminar will work best. From comes The New Standard for Web Development: Free Software.

Miscellaneous Computing Stuff
[stuff] America Online (AOL) has reported that making its popular Instant Messaging (IM) application compatible with rivals' products is too expensive. The company will instead focus on establishing contracts with other vendors allowing AOL to operate Instant Messaging systems for them.

[stuff] A Windows computer becomes completely un-responsive; even CTRL-ALT-DELETE doesn't help. The RESET button is pressed and the following message is seen upon reboot. To avoid seeing this message again, always shut down your computer by selecting Shut Down from the Start menu.

[stuff] The following message was seen while installing OpenBSD. The default custom value is reasonably sane.

[09 August 2002 (where's the monsoon?; hot and dry; 100° at 10:05am) top]

Week Ending 02 August 2002

PHP Seminar at SCC
On Saturday, 10 August 2002, at 2:00pm, RobH will be giving an introductory PHP Seminar at SCC.

IT Full of Dopers
ThurmThanks to KevinM for passing along a hyperlink to an article that claims a recent survey showed that one in three marijuana users is employed in the high-tech sector. Survey respondents were ages 18-to-35-year olds based in the UK. Is your IT department full of dope smokers? [from]

Downtown Phoenix and Ed The Hotdogger
On a recent trip to downtown Phoenix [pictures] I encountered Ed The Hotdogger.

[02 August 2002 (clouds forming; 100° at 3:47pm) top]

Week Ending 26 July 2002

ACM: Ubiquity - Are You Tough Enough? has posted a document to their website the discusses the personality traits of successful IT professionals. [How you define successful and professional is left to the reader.] I think all students wishing to enter the IT field should be required to read these 20 Action Points.

The IT Business Expo
I spent six hours at day one of the two day IT Business Expo being held at the Phoenix Civic Center. Lots of booths, but minimal foot traffic. Hopefully, day two traffic will be higher. The attendance for day one was yet another indicator that the computer industry in the Valley of the Sun is not in the best of shape. I hope all of the companies having booths at the Expo the best of luck with respect to staying in business. I had interesting conversations with the following.

My Road Trip Pictures Have Moved
I have moved my road trip pictures off of and onto They are now located at

[26 July 2002 (scattered clouds; 106° at 3:10pm) top]

Week Ending 19 July 2002

spam, spam, spam...
My email processing was down from a Sunday AM to a Saturday AM (six days) and in that time I received 308 email messages. [Note: I have recently started to setup filtering rules that automatically delete spam upon receipt; therefore, the 308 count does not include the auto-deleted email messages.] The 308 spam email messages are currently consuming almost three megabytes of disk space.

I am considering automatically deleting all spam email messages upon receipt, but this requires numerous changes to the filtering rules currently defined (almost 100). If restricted to using my email processing program (i.e. pine) to change these rules, then I would have a time consuming task ahead of me. Luckily, my email program stores data in a POT (plain-old-text) format and that means I can use Unix commands to perform this task without having to use the pine email program. [ ThurmResource::Unix::Editing .pinerc Using sed]

City of Tempe -- Say No to Barry Bonds Avenue
ASU wants to re-name part of the Rio Salado Parkway to honor baseball super star Barry Bonds. My question is this: Why? Barry Bonds attended ASU for two years and did not graduate. I ask again: Why? I guess the city of Tempe has to okay this action and I am hoping that my home town has the ability to say NO to ASU and to Barry Bonds Avenue.

My String of Friday Postings Has Been Broken
I don't know the exact count, but Friday, 19 July 2002, is the first time that I did not update the MOTD sometime on a Friday. I don't know why I didn't set up an auto-posting.

My Portland-based road trip was great and a write-up will be started soon. Portland, Mount St. Helens, the Oregon coast, northern California redwoods, Hwy-96, Crater Lake, McKenzie Pass and university campuses: 1515 miles of extreme fun with Mother Nature.

Directory listing of pictures.

[21 July 2002 (Sunday morning coming down; 85° at 7:22am) top]

Week Ending 12 July 2002

I Want To Go After These Guys (but how?)
Here is the beginning of a spam email message that did not get caught by my filters.

   Dear Member,

   When you signed up for with, 
   one of our partners, you agreed to receive third party 
   promotions from our affiliates. 

These fooholes are wrong on two counts -- first, I'm not a Dear to them; and, second, I never signed up for This is blatant spam and should be a felony. How can we go after these criminals?

The Current State of Computing
As I await the start of YART (Yet-Another-Road-Trip), I am at a loss as to why so many good people need to work at finding work. If I was a company (or had lots of money), then there are a bunch of good people who I would be happy to have on my payroll. If our great country ever remembers that this is the 21st Century, then good times will return.

Mount St. Helens, Oregon Coast, N. California, Crater Lake
I have never been to the Pacific northwest except for a quickie business trip to Seattle, Washington. TylerT and I are not going that far north, but we will venture into Washington, drive the coast south through Oregon, visit the big trees of northern California, and see Crater Lake. I am a lucky man to be able to do the things I do. Mother Nature is the mother of all mothers. Here is my summer 2002 road trip plan.

[12 July 2002 (monsoon has arrived; 1st dust storm; a warm 110° at 3:00pm) top]

Week Ending 05 July 2002

For Those Times When Your Brain Shutdowns
Mouse Chaser | How-To on Driving | Perpetual Bubble Wrap | Etch-a-Sketch FAQ

YAMPOC: Yet Another Microsoft Piece Of Crap (Palladium)
I, Cringely | The Pulpit [ June 2002]
Palladium is a new technology that Microsoft is promoting to help secure Window systems. It is a combination of software and hardware. Microsoft claims that Palladium will ensure "trustworthy computing." Here are a couple of quotes from the Cringely article.

"The point of all this is simple. It may actually make the Internet somewhat safer. But the real purpose of this stuff, I fear, is to take technology owned by nobody (TCP/IP) and replace it with technology owned by Redmond. That's taking the Internet and turning it into MSN. Oh, and we'll all have to buy new computers."
"Under Palladium as I understand it, the Internet goes from being ours to being theirs. The very data on your hard drive ceases to be yours because it could self-destruct at any time. We'll end up paying rent to use our own data!"

Summer Road Trip Approaching
A week from this Sunday, TylerT and I are flying to Portland, Oregon to visit various and sundry places (e.g. Mount St. Helens, Oregon Coast, northern California redwoods, Crater Lake). Here is a preliminary Portland road trip plan.

[05 July 2002 (sunny, hot and dry; 103° at 3:33pm) top]

AzFoo::Holiday:: Independence Day

Week Ending 28 June 2002

Students as Computing Employees
I have felt for a long time that it makes sense for students to be part of the IT staff here at SCC and district-wide (MCCCD). SCC has all kinds of computing work to be done, but SCC must operate at a level where it can feed itself and it is difficult for it to hire full-time employees to help with their computing tasks.

Instructors should lead projects that result in tools that benefit SCC (and longer term the MCCCD). These tools need to be maintained and is some cases they will have to be re-done. [Re-done not because they are bad, but because of changes in technology.] In other words, SCC needs to be assured that they will always be supplied with a collection of useful and usable tools.

Students who work on projects can claim those projects as work experience. I un-conditionally dismiss anybody who says otherwise.

WiredNews::School's Tech Support: Students

Come On Suns...
The Phoenix Suns recruited a 19 year-young kid straight out of high-school to play basketball. This 19 year-young kid is 6 foot 10 inches and weighs 250 pounds. This 19 year-young kid has the the potential to be a great basketball player. This 19 year-young kid is going to help the Phoenix Suns be winners. Now this 19 year-young kid is going to get lots of money simply because he can play basketball. Now this 19 year-young kid is going to get lots of money because he was lucky enough to grow to almost seven feet in height. Now this 19 year-young kid is going to represent our Valley of the Sun. Which is worse? Enron, Arthur Anderson, IMClone and Martha Stewart, Worldcom or 19 year-young kids getting millions of dollars because they are tall and can play basketball. Thanks for nothing Phoenix Suns.

[28 June 2002 (Arizona still burning; another hot day coming up; 80° at 7:00am) top]

Week Ending 21 June 2002

Microsoft Does Java
To avoid potential legal wrestling, Microsoft announced that the XP operating system will contain a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). In April of 2001, Microsoft decided not to ship a JVM, but they have now changed their mind. Naturally, it is not a version of the JVM that Sun Microsystems wants to see implemented, but it is probably better than the download-on-demand JVM plug-in that Microsoft was to provide users.

Microsoft Throws Java out of Windows XP [ 18 July 2001]
Microsoft Backs Off JVM Stance [ 18 June 2002]

Why Software Is So Bad
Technology Review has posted an article that discusses the current state-of-software. The discussion starts with the following joke.

"If the automobile industry had developed like the software industry, the computer professional proclaims, we would all be driving $25 cars that get 1,000 miles to the gallon." To which an automobile executive retorts, "Yeah, and if cars were like software, they would crash twice a day for no reason, and when you called for service, they'd tell you to reinstall the engine."

The article offers a good technical presentation, but experience has taught me the following: It is easy to write bad code. [And my use of bad is defined in old-fart terms (i.e. bad is not good).] [ article]

Yucca Mountain Stays in the News
According the Yucca Mountain project website, they give public tours of Yucca Mountain. I want to go. Here are this week's Yucca Mountain monitorings.

Here is an image from that I have called the Yucca Mountain Choo Choo.

[21 June 2002 (Arizona is on Fire (literally); sunny and hot; 99° at 10:55am) top]

AzFoo::Holiday:: Father's Day

Week Ending 14 June 2002

The Forum That Won't Die
During the Fall 2000 semester I created a Forum (eboard) that allows students to communicate one-to-many, one-to-one, many-to-one. These tools can be good resources for students to obtain help. The first Forum posting was made 29 August 2000 by MitzC. The class (Introductory C) rarely used the Forum and at the end of year 2000 it should have been deleted, but it wasn't. Since then, every now and then, somebody will post a message to the Forum. With the exception of me (and I don't give any help) nobody is reading these postings. I feel bad leaving this board accessible because many of the postings deserve answers. [ The Forum That Won't Die]

Move Mountain View High School to Peoria School District
The administrators of the Peoria School District. are a collective bunch of wimps. High school student Janie gets an 'F' that prevents her from graduating. This is not Janie's fault, however, it is the teacher's fault. Janie's parents finds themselves a jerk lawyer and they threaten the teacher with legal action if Janie is not given another chance. The teacher gets zero support from her employer and Janie ends up graduating. For some reason, Janie's real name is not made public. Now I'm thinking that maybe Mountain View High School [where football rules -- they recruited nationally for a new football coach] should be relocated to the Peoria school district in an effort to centralize dysfunctionality. [ Benson's View]

Yucca Mountain Content to Pass Through Phoenix
The state of Nevada is not happy that radio-active waste material is going to be dumped in their beautiful locale, but Nevada only has a few members of Congress so they are going to get it regardless of their desires. But... there is a chance that nuclear waste may be transported through the Valley of the Sun (think I-10) to Yucca Mountain. [ Nuclear Waste Route Atlas]

[14 June 2002 (predicted high 110°; currently sunny and 81° at 7:55am) top]

AzFoo::Holiday:: Flag Day

Week Ending 07 June 2002

RFC 1925::The Twelve Networking Truths
RFC 1925 was published over six years ago on 01 April 1996. I would say these twelve truths are still true today. I go even further and say you can replace most occurrences of networking with computing. [Remember the old Sun saying... the network is the computer.] The Twelve Networking Truths

Computing::Yesterday and Tomorrow
Oral History Database from Charles Babbage Institute (CBI)
Here is a copy of CBI's mission.

"The Charles Babbage Institute is an historical archives and research center of the University of Minnesota. CBI is dedicated to promoting study of the history of information technology and information processing and their impact on society."

Charles Babbage: Born 26 December 1791 in Teignmouth, Devonshire UK, Died 1871, London; Known to some as the Father of Computing for his contributions to the basic design of the computer through his Analytical machine. His previous Difference Engine was a special purpose device intended for the production of tables. [source: CS Department at Virginia Tech]

Eight Technologies That Will Change the World from Business 2.0.
Many of these technologies are bio related (e.g. Biointeractive Materials, Bionics, Biomanufacturing). Steroid use by athletes is in the news today, but tomorrow we may be reading about athletes replacing their arms and legs and playing until they are 100. [Bionics are artificial systems to replace lost or disabled body parts.] With Quantum Nucleonics (portable, safe, nonpolluting source of nuclear power) there would be no need to sacrifice Yucca Mountain. Combinatorial Science -- managing huge amounts of data -- data is information and information is content and content is knowledge.

YART::Yet Another Road Trip
I left town yesterday (Thursday, 06 June 2002). I flew to San Diego, spent a couple of hours, and then drove to LA to spend a couple of nights at MitchG's new apartment. On the drive home, we are planning on taking the Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, Rice, Joshua Shoe Tree, Parker route.

[07 June 2002 (auto-posted on Friday at 1:11am; I'm in LA) top]

AzFoo::Holiday:: Memorial Day

Week Ending 24 May 2002

About IT (Information Technology)
[Item] Over the past two years, companies have spent $130 billion on unneeded software primarily because they select the wrong technology for their computing needs. [ article]

[Item] is a MIT creation and they produce good stuff. Here is an article about the State of IT.

Mr. Potato In the News
Last semester we said Happy 50th Birthday to Mr. Potato Head. ThurmThanks to DebraK for this news flash.

   My relatives back East are all talking about this article. 
   Since Mr. Potato Head was included in this semester's MOTD, 
   I thought you would find this interesting.

   Mr. Potato Head may go on R.I. license plates.
   Associated Press, May 10, 2002 08:00:00

   PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A famous spud may soon be on 
                      Rhode Island license plates.

   The state Senate has unanimously passed a bill to issue 
   Mister Potato Head license plates.  The plates would honor 
   the state spud's 50th birthday.  Mister Potato Head was created 
   by Rhode Island toymaker Hasbro in 1952.  Half of the $40 special 
   plates fee would go to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
Last semester we learned that Mr. Potato has visited Arizona.

Artichokes Galore
I am lucky and proud to be a SCC Artichoke. Here is a write-up of my road trip to this year's Artichoke Festival. Upon my return to campus I encountered these two homegrown artichokes: picture #1 | picture #2

[24 May 2002 ( Yucca Mountain on Tuesday; 86° @ 11:13am) top]

Week Ending 17 May 2002

Microsoft Has Lots of Cash
At the end of last year, according to the company's most recent filings, its cash (and short-term investments that can be converted to cash in less than a year) totaled a whopping $38.2 billion. The Microsoft juggernaut continues to generate another $1 billion a month, putting the total cash today well above $40 billion. [ More... from]

Mountain View High School Needs New Administration
Mountain View High School got rid of their Woody Hayes wanna-be football coach. Mountain View High School needs a new football coach. Mountain View High School announces they are initiating a nation-wide search for a football coach. Say what? I say Foo to Mountain View High School.

YAMOTDRo -- Yet Another MOTD Rollover
The Spring 2002 MOTD has been archived and this Summer 2002 MOTD has been started. It appears we have a full summer ahead of us (lot of computing and lots of road tripping). Summer projects are documented at, but first I am leaving to visit this year's Artichoke Festival in Castroville, California. [Sing it Willie... On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again.]

[17 May 2002 (sun rising; road trip time; 70° @ 5:27am) top]

Author: G.D.Thurman []
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:17:45 MST

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