Marc J. Greenberg

Codemarc's Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2010

Magic not!

So this summer I finally broke down and purchased some new backyard furniture. My wife and I went to the Macy*s Outdoor Furniture shop and bought a very nice, “fairly priced” set. Hayley opened a new account for this purchase that included special financing. Of course Macy*s promised speedy delivery. Of course they failed on that. So to placate us Macy*s offered and then sent a $200 Gift Card as an I’m sorry.

I never shop, even though I work in Manhattan (across from Macy*s). Hayley, my wife insisted that I take the gift card and buy myself some clothes. So, I plopped the card into my wallet and forgot about it till this morning when my she made a little remark on how the bottoms of my pants were ripped.

So today at lunchtime I made my way into Macy*s. I picked out 4 pairs of pants. I tried them all on. I had plans to buy more but it had already been 45 mins and I had enough of the “shopping” experience. I go to a register to check out. And like magic 2 pairs of the pants were on sale, how random, how lucky. I go to pay with the gift card and guess what, the clerk says: Sir, this card has $2.46 cents on on it. After a fair amount of discussion (loud angry discussion), I decide to just pay. The clerk then informs me to get the sale price I must use my Macy*s credit card which I do not have in my pocket. He tries to use the automatic lookup system but it fails. So they call someone and tell me the card is in my wife’s name and I am not authorized. At this point I get angry, I have had enough I am done. But after a small rant I apologize to the clerk and ask for a manager. The clerk politely explains I need customer service to help me straighten this out and I should see the girl upstairs at the desk. I find the girl by the front door and explain it all to her. She tell me I should go up to the 9th Floor executive offices and find someone up there to straighten it out.

I decided that I am too hungry to continue with those retail nonsense. So now Hayley is on the phone with Macy*s credit. I cant wait to see how this turns out. Well see who wears the pants 😉

Turns out the gift card was used before it was sent to us in topanga, California. A place I’ve never been. More fraud, more fun. Still even though they will send me another card, I have no pants. Oh well!

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Keeping Clean, Still Searching…

I am always amazed at how much effort is required to setup and maintain a clean computing environment. I think back on my earliest days of computing on my Kaypro II, with its dual 5 1.4 inch floppy drives and its CP/M operating system. The majority of the Console Command Processor (CCP) was dedicated to managing the disk to maintain a “clean” environment with available space. During those days the ultimate way to create a clean environment was to get a new floppy disk and run the sysgen command to install a clean copy of CP/M on it. Then boot the computer with that disk and viola!

Forward to MS-DOS, where the situation doesn’t really change much except you now have a 10MB hard disk to store all your junk.  Of course sooner or later the drive fails and you lose anything that wasn’t on the floppies in the first place but after the first or second time it happens you get in the habit of backing up your real stuff. And with a new drive comes a new OS and a clean environment.

Then there was NetWare. Finally some real storage to play with. I remember buying a physically massive 1G drive, loading it up with tons of stuff downloaded from Compuserve, Prodigy, PCTOOLS and OS2TOOLS (of course you had to be inside IBM for the last two).  Now, I could install lots of great/marginal/bad software and really screw up my environment. I got into the habit of wiping out my environment, once a year, simply to clean it up.

Enter the Matrix, the Internet and the ability to download as many viruses as you please. Forget about a clean computing environment and worry about how to avoid real theft. Open access points, unsecured networks, unencrypted passwords, etc. Wireless, faceless and costly.

So now its 2010, and my wife just gave me an iPad for my birthday. A new "computer" and another chance to maintain a clean computing environment. I have watched my son and daughter play with their iTouch versions of is device for a while now and I could never really understand why they liked it so much. I simply assumed that it was because they are young / hip and I am a PC (kudos apple marketing).

Well maybe that’s not really so true anymore as I have evo-loved into a daily ubuntu user, fluent in Linux and the way of the web. It turns out that this device is really a debian variant and as my honor student son, enthusiastically tried to explain to me the concept of jail breaking, I finally fell in real like. It’s funny, he thinks of it as free as in beer, and I think of it as free as in liberty.

So now I have a dilemma. Do I hack away like many others and treat this device as another real computer to master and mess up. Get a shell and login as root and go to work. Or do I us this device as a true consumer. A terminal would be real nice. And maybe, just maybe, I could stop lugging around my laptop, maybe.

Another day, Another Doodie

So first things first, I want to really thank everybody for the sincere birthday wishes. Its so nice to see how many people are willing to spend a moment or two to send a happy birthday. I am sad that I am not as consistent as all of you. I sit in front of a computer all day, I have multiple cell phone numbers, office phone doodie
numbers, email accounts and other social contact points and yet I can not keep it together as I drown in my technology (some of which I created myself). Oh well, another year has passed for me and I worry that I am already on the back nine. I am not a particularly spiritual person and someone had once told me that God had promised man 120 years of life (Genesis 6) and even though there are many explanations on how this was about noah and the flood, I am going to take this as a promise to me, personally so maybe I am still a yute. Anyway, thank you one and all and if I missed any of your bd’s, please accept my belated birthday wish to you.Peace and Love To All!

Happy Birthday – little bean

Today, is my daughter Alexa’s birthday. She is Eleven. I remember the first moment I held her in North Shore University Hospital, when the nurse handed her to me wrapped up like a baby weeble .
A few years ago on her 7th birthday I blogged about “My PrettyLittle Girl” who was reading over my shoulder and who chastised me for not writing about her in a while. But why dad, why? It’a all about Alexa. A quick visit to the Alexa web site shows the movers and shakers and of course what’s hot. That year the top hits were paris hilton and sopranos. Today it was Victoria Secret and The Social Network.
So tonight Alexa has a whole bunch of girls over to help her celebrate her birthday. OMG, I had no idea how loud girls could be. They danced around, ate lotsa junk food and watched a fun girly movie (John Tucker Must Die).  It was a fun night for all.

Anyway work today was challenging. At our first daily sprint standup meeting, the “enable” product owner resigned. She said she was leaving to work for a hardware company. Software was just not her thing.  I wonder what this means to the sprint that we just planed . So much for agile. While looking for this answer a stumbled across tumblr. I don’t know what tumblr is but it seems some took my codemarc moniker. Perhaps someday we’ll chat.