Monthly Archives: October 2010

Kick in the Pants

I’ve been reading and re-reading this rant from Seth Godin about people being uninformed. It brought to my attention how much I haven’t been learning when it comes to the industry I’m working in.

Now, it’s easy to do self-criticism, but it’s hard to do constructive self-criticism. It’s easy to say, “I suck because I’m not learning enough,” and leave it at that. I think a good idea is to add “and I can fix that” at the end of such self-criticisms. (Note to self: Solution-oriented mindset.)

So what can I do to fix that? I think it’d be a good idea to find 3 blogs on the storage industry that I can read daily. Next step: Re-do my blog bookmarks with different categories for storage, programming, design, personal, and news.

UPDATE: Found this link to a top 10 list. It’s really old, but it’s a start.

I bookmarked these three blogs: Hu’s Blog (HDS), Dave’s Blog (NetApp), and Drunken Data. I don’t know if they’ll be great or not, but I’ll start reading them and see what happens from there.

Now to play around with Delicious so I can read these regularly.

UPDATE (10/25/2010) – These blogs are fucking boring.


So, I wanted to change it so that ctrl-alt-shift exited control from the VM, and not ctrl-alt. DOS games often have you jumping with ctrl and shooting with alt (or vice versa), so I didn’t want to lose control after a jump and shoot.

After digging, I found that you have to add the following text to preferences.ini, not the vmx file:

pref.hotkey.shift = “true”
pref.hotkey.control = “true”
pref.hotkey.alt = “true”

Add it to the bottom. In XP you can find this somewhereabouts under Documents and Settings\you\Application Data\VMWare. In Windows 7, it’s under Users\You\AppData\VMWare\Roaming.

After this, VMWare Player automatically updates the text to say you have to press Ctrl-Alt-Shift instead of Ctrl-Alt.

FreeDOS on VMWare Player

DOSBox is a great DOS emulator, but I wanted to be able to save my high scores in my games, so I decided to set up a DOS VM. I installed VMWare Player to set up VMs. It’s a good free option, but you have to fill out a ridiculous sign-up form to get to the downloads. I put up with it anyway.

Step 1) Download FreeDOS iso. I went with the base cd.

Step 2) Create a new virtual machine using that iso. For some reason, Player recommends a ridiculous amount of hard drive space. I put it down to .5 gigs. I left everything else using the defaults.

Step 3) Don’t use XFDisk. This thread helped me out.

Select this option: “Run FreeDOS from CD-ROM (return to command prompt)”

You’ll get a prompt that looks like you’re running from the X drive: “X:\>”

Step 4) Run fdisk. Select the defaults, say yes to everything. Reboot.

Step 5) You’ll probably get an error when it reboots. It’ll say Invalid operating system or something. This error happens because it’s trying to boot from the hard drive and you haven’t finished the install! You need to boot it from CD. So, get your fast fingers ready.

Send ctrl-alt-del to reboot the system. Quickly click the screen to get into the VM. Then, hit ESC to get to the boot menu. Select the cd-rom.

Step 6) Continue through the FreeDOS install, selecting defaults.

Tomorrow: BONUS STEP!


I hate the Niners QB so much. Ugh.

In other news, though, I won in both of my fantasy leagues, avoiding a 1-4 start. (Last time I started 1-4, I ended up becoming champion.)

A 2-3 record with good players means I’m primed for a run.

Facebook Groups

I actually kind of like what facebook is trying to do for once (not that my approval counts for anything). They’ve redone their groups, which had become useless after the introduction of pages. Now, you can share things with a select group of people. Cool. It’s a step away from the broadcast model, and I think it’ll be better for communication.


Today, I created a MS-DOS (Okay, FreeDOS) VM on my work laptop, and I created an Ubuntu Linux VM on my home laptop. Fun. I’ll probably install both OSes on both laptops. DOS is for games and Linux will probably be used for rails development.

Important Things

Some people advocate extreme focus. Eliminate everything except the most important priorities. I’m not sure I accept this philosophy.

Compare it to the people I know. Not everyone is a close friend. It wouldn’t be right to eliminate everyone from my life who isn’t a close friend. I like having acquaintances and non-close friends. It makes my life much richer. Having varying degrees of friendship is a good thing because I like the variety. Not only that, but my weak ties are better if I’m looking for a job. I can have friends I wouldn’t confide in, but I’d love to invite to a party. My parties would be very small if I didn’t nourish friendships that weren’t super important. It would be a sad life indeed if I only focused on the most important people.

So, I think it’s a good thing to have varied interests and varying degrees of interest. I enjoy football, but I don’t want to declare it important. I also don’t need to eliminate it from my life so I could focus purely on programming, or whatever else. Having varied interests makes my life richer and it also makes me harder to categorize. Furthermore, I never know what can inspire new thoughts. Inspiration for comics can come from anywhere. Dabbling in poker can help me meditate on the difference between process and results. This doesn’t mean I should declare poker one of my five most important things and commit all-in to it.


(9:18:21 PM) Shawn R. McDonald: I was actually at a concert last weekend. Arcade Fire.
(9:19:15 PM) NicholasChidiac: I heard about them when I went on a bing reading Questionable Content
(9:19:19 PM) NicholasChidiac: *binge
(9:19:28 PM) Shawn R. McDonald: good comic
(9:19:30 PM) NicholasChidiac: I wanted the context for that comic you posted
(9:19:43 PM) NicholasChidiac: a hundred or so in, I realized it was #1706
(9:19:50 PM) NicholasChidiac: I still cranked through several hundred
(9:20:00 PM) Shawn R. McDonald: wow


There was one year I played fantasy football and every quarterback I picked up got injured at some point. Had someone traded Tom Brady to me, I’m sure he would’ve got hurt that year instead of the beginning of the following year.

This year, I traded away Ryan Mathews and he got hurt the next week. I also traded away Johnny Knox and Jeremy Maclin in a package deal for Mendenhall. Both Cutler and Vick (their respective QBs) got hurt.

I’ve traded away Brandon Jackson too, so watch out Green Bay fans!


I doubt this will make any sense 5 years down the road, and I doubt anyone will care about this right now, but I want to keep track of my fantasy football trades.

After Week 1: Ryan Mathews (RB – SD) for Calvin Johnson (WR – DET)
After Week 3: Brandon Jackson (RB – GB) for Hines Ward (WR – PIT)
After Week 3: Jeremy Maclin (WR – PHI) and Johnny Knox (WR – CHI) for Rashard Mendenhall (RB -PIT)

Note: I picked up Brandon Jackson and Johnny Knox off the waivers.