Monthly Archives: June 2008

Back on the Wall

I finally got back to climbing today after a 6-week hiatus. I went and signed up for a membership at a local climbing gym and bought all of the necessary equipment. I climbed for about an hour, and actually it didn’t go too badly. One neat thing about the place is that they have auto-belay devices, eliminating the need for a climbing partner to belay you. There aren’t many, and it’s not as good as having an actual belayer, but it’s good enough for doing drills and in a pinch.

Now I just need to find a regular climbing partner.

Another company I won’t continue doing business with

Slashdot | GoDaddy VP Caught Bidding Against Customers

A GoDaddy Vice President has been caught bidding against customers in their own domain name auctions.

I had been pretty happy with GoDaddy, despite their annoyingly busy web site, as my domain name registrar. I’ve even recommended them to other people. Now they go on the list of companies I refuse to do business with, including but not limited to Citgo, AT&T, and Wal-Mart. I’d like to refuse to do business with Comcast, but they have me over a barrel in terms of alternative choices, natural monopoly and all that.

This sort of personal boycott follows from my realization that money has supplanted voting in our capitalist society (and I have no quarrel with capitalism), and that both with politicians and with corporations, it’s important to vote with your dollars. In the case of Citgo, the two are combined.

Career Day

Career Day

Originally uploaded by brocktice

I discovered that my scanner will automatically crop out separate photos from the scan bed and load them all into iPhoto. I’ve been scanning all of my old photos so that they can’t be taken away from me by another natural disaster.

I won’t be posting them all to Flickr, and I won’t be highlighting them all on my blog, but this one deserves attention. I’ll paste my photo caption from Flickr:

In this eerily accurate photo, my sister and I pose before going off to career day. My sister dressed as a business woman (and ended up going to business school). I dressed up as a scientist, absent-minded and with a hand full of calculus. If I’d known how dangerous the stuff on that piece of paper was, I would have dropped it. Here I stand, a scientist all these years later.

ADDENDUM: Please don’t ask me to do triple integrals.

Cisco VPN Client Error 51 After Leopard 10.5.3 Upgrade

JHU uses Cisco VPN for outside connections to the university network. Unfortunately, this requires using Cisco’s VPN client, which is not really available for free download on the internet at large. Normally when I have a problem, I just re-install it, but the current version provided by Hopkins refuses to install on 10.5.3, citing a wrong O.S. version number. “Must be 10.4 or greater.” So 10.5 !>= 10.4? Anyway, what’s the problem I was trying to fix?

After upgrading my workstation from 10.5.2 to 10.5.3, the VPN client refused to load with a message about “Client error 51”, saying it couldn’t find the VPN service. This may be related to my use of an external USB wifi adapter, but it was never a problem in 10.5.2. Regardless, I found that restarting the VPN service fixed the problem. As an administrative user, I had to run this:

sudo /System/Library/StartupItems/CiscoVPN/CiscoVPN restart

Now everything works fine.