Category Archive 'Technical Difficulties'

16 Jan 2014

When Geeks Are Entrusted With Power

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29 Oct 2013

Technology Obama-Style

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[T]he age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. —- Edmund Burke

Dan Greenfield observes that no one should be very surprised that the Obamacare web-site failed to work. In this case, it was simply a matter of the Nomenklatura’s characteristic magical thinking attempting to take the place of software engineering in very much the same way the idea of Obamacare itself tries to replace the market with a theoretical determination of what is best by similar great minds.

Our technocracy is detached from competence. It’s not the technocracy of engineers, but of “thinkers” who read Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman and watch TED talks and savor the flavor of competence, without ever imbibing its substance.

These are the people who love Freakonomics, who enjoy all sorts of mental puzzles, who like to see an idea turned on its head, but who couldn’t fix a toaster.

The ObamaCare website is the natural spawn of that technocracy who love the idea of using modernity to make things faster and easier, but have no idea what anything costs or how it works.

It’s hard to have a functioning technocracy without engineers. A technocracy made in Silicon Valley with its complete disregard for anything outside its own ego zone would be bad enough. But this is a Bloombergian technocracy of billionaires and activists, of people who think that “progress” makes things work, rather than things working leading to progress.

Healthcare.gov showed us that behind all the smoother and shinier designs was the same old clunky government where everything gets done because the right companies hire the right lobbyists and everything costs ten times what it should.

If the government can’t build a health care website, how is it going to actually run health care for an entire country is the obvious question that so many are asking. And the obvious answer is that it will run it the way it ran the website. It will throw wads of money and people at the problem and then look for programs it doesn’t like to squeeze for extra cash.

Read the whole thing.

28 Oct 2013

The Company That Built the Obamacare Web-site Built Canada’s Gun Registry

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Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI Federal, left, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday. CGI will earn at least $290 million from its Obamacare contract to design the site.

Mark Steyn identifies the Canadian Company which got the no-bid contract to build the botched Obamacare web-site. Who knew? They were already famous for their achievements on behalf of the Canadian Government.

CGI is… a Canadian corporate behemoth. Indeed, CGI is so Canadian their name is French: Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique. Their most famous government project was for the Canadian Firearms Registry. The registry was estimated to cost in total $119 million, which would be offset by $117 million in fees. That’s a net cost of $2 million. Instead, by 2004 the CBC (Canada’s PBS) was reporting costs of some $2 billion — or a thousand times more expensive.

Yeah, yeah, I know, we’ve all had bathroom remodelers like that. But in this case the database had to register some 7 million long guns belonging to some two-and-a-half to three million Canadians. That works out to almost $300 per gun — or somewhat higher than the original estimate for processing a firearm registration of $4.60. Of those $300 gun registrations, Canada’s auditor general reported to parliament that much of the information was either duplicated or wrong in respect to basic information such as names and addresses.

Sound familiar?

Read the whole thing.

08 Aug 2011

Server Down Today

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Apologies to regular readers. Somewhere off in some other state where the server that hosts NYM’s domain operates, there was some problem or maintenance issue, and we were down from mid-morning through the afternoon (EDT). Regular blogging will resume shortly.

02 Aug 2010

PC Problem Fixed

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Happily, my self-inflicted partition disaster proved easy to get fixed.

I concluded that fixing the problem required using the kind of utility programs only PC repair shops have on hand to get in and eliminate that GRUB Linux boot-loader, so I hauled it down to Dok Klaus in Warrenton.

Klaus had it fixed the same day and only charged me for one hour of service.

As PC problems go, it was ultimately minor. Now I have my entire hard drive to play with.

31 Jul 2010

How Dumb Am I?

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NYM readers may at least be amused.

It’s like this. I bought a Sony Vaio laptop a good while back. It was a bargain, but it came with Vista installed.

At that particular moment in history, I was feeling experimental. I felt like playing with Linux, and I had a hankering to see if I could possibly adapt to the MAC OS environment, one button mouse, all that. So I got a free copy of Ubuntu and bought a copy of Leopard on Ebay. I had been reading that it was possible to install Leopard on a Vaio with some fiddling.

None of this worked out for me.

Leopard could not relate to the notebook’s videocard, and I simply gave up and installed XP on the second hard drive partition. I wasted hours trying to use Linux, but it was just too much trouble to overcome the absence of a readily available driver for the wireless modem. Linux worked fine. It just could not contact the Internet.

So there I was with 80 gb of my hard drive devoted to a Linux installation I was not actually using. But, hey, I still had about 60 gb with Win XP on it, which was working fine.

But, over time, that 60 gb was beginning to fill up. I trashed the games I wasn’t actively playing and purged several large programs. Then, I started moving all the image files off the PC onto various backup drives. But, finally, I had just installed Lightroom and Visio, and C: was getting close to full again. There were getting to be fewer movable items. I got to thinking last night that I ought to do something about all this.

So I Googled on the phrase “eliminate partition” and, lo and behold, there was a link to a discussion explaining that you could do that by hitting START>Control Panel>Administration Tools>Computer Management>Storage>Disk Management, then all you had to do was right click on the offending 80 gb Linux Partition, and select Delete.

What could possibly go wrong? I thought to myself. Ubuntu goes bye bye. The 80 gb Linux Partition returns to being part of the ordinary C: drive. I have lots of disk, and everyone is happy. So I hit “delete.”

Then I looked at the properties of the C: drive, so I could admire all the great new space I had created.

Hmmm. No change. The only difference was that second partition was now unlabeled.

I guess I need to reboot before the change goes into effect, I concluded. This would be the moment of truth. If I had screwed the pooch, I would soon find out. But, how likely was that?

My keen mind, doubtless impacted by age and senility, had overlooked the obvious consideration that I had installed Ubuntu first, and Ubuntu had put itself in charge of the boot-up process.

So the PC turns off, starts to come up, and GRUB (Ubuntu’s Grand Unified Boot-Loader) starts looking for that now-unlabeled Linux Partition, can’t find it, and sits there… permanently, announcing Error 17.

Error 17 means that GRUB can’t find the partition it’s looking for. It then freezes and sulks.

So, this is how to disable your PC and create a fine opportunity to research sub-operating system levels of PC operation in both Windows and Linux lands.

Blogging will be less frequent for a few days. I’m using an older, slower machine.

15 Jan 2009

Diem Horribilis

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Lots of problems today.

1) My email account was hijacked by a spammer who mysteriously somehow acquired my password, so the hosting service closed it down. It’s back up and back under my control (with a new password), but if you received an email recently from me asking you to invest my $30 million dollars of ill-gotten Nigerian diamonds, I recommend passing up the deal.

2) NYM’s host server went down in a major way with every file corrupted (fortunately, backups did exist). Possibly a cyber attack from disgruntled overseas readers. There has not yet been time to identify the cause.

3) Xena, baddest of the Maine coon cats, who knows no fear, was found this morning perched in one of the 10′ ( 3m.) high little windows just below the gambrel ceiling of my third floor office. Her route included the top of some four drawer filing cabinets and the frame of my wife’s late mother’s oil portrait hanging high on the wall. She also knocked out the wireless modem on her way up. Take my advice: avoid owning coon cats!

A life of crime tires one out

20 Nov 2008

Sabotage

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Ever been wondering why that network printer doesn’t work?

1:03 video

Hat tip to Karen Myers and Anthony H. Mirra.

29 Aug 2008

System Repair as D&D

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Stingray puts a dramatic spin on the everyday adventure of using a PC.

Ok, who brought the cheetos?”
“Yo.”
“Sweet, we’re all set. Everybody got their characters rolled?”
“Yeah, what’s this run again? Will there be decent gold? I need more gold.”
“Shaddup. You know you’ll find out when you’re in there. All right. It’s morning and your party is preparing to adventure.”
“My sysadmin orders a barrel of coffee.”
“My programmer lights a cigarette.”
“The first challenge approaches. A digital anachrotroll draws near, brandishing the smoking ruins of the laptop you prepared for last week’s adventure.” …

“The laptop remains broken.”
“All right. My sysadmin casts information request.”
“Rolling… you receive gibberish.”
“Damnit. My sysadmin arranges a pickup on the machine.”
“The troll misses the pickup and grows irritated.”
“Screw it. Your turn.”
“My programmer arranges a pickup.”
“The troll arrives with the laptop and deposits the smoking yet still slimy remains on your best pack.”
“Delightful. Will you have your damn sysadmin fix this thing already and get rid of the troll?”
“Yeah yeah. I’m rolling. Crap, the dice are not friendly today. At least it’s fixable, technically. Ok, my sysadmin returns the laptop in working order.”

Read the whole thing.

29 Aug 2008

Technical Difficulties

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Today is one of those days. I’d love to comment on the democrat party’s lemming-like drive toward electoral disaster. Those unable to learn from History, being obliged to repeat it, and repeat it, and… But, Hughesnet is having a problem with its satellite, and my Internet connectivity is only fleeting. Maybe later today.

02 Aug 2008

IE Problems Connected to Sitemeter

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Never Yet Melted was not opening in MS Internet Explorer last night and this morning.

It turns out the problem is associated with Sitemeter, a popular traffic measuring utility used by many blogs including this one. Sitemeter is apparently migrating servers (which we’re about to do, too), and that maintenance project probably has something to do with IE problem.


Glenn Reynolds
, Little Green Footballs, Ed Morrissey, and Michelle Malkin were also affected.

We’ve all had to take Sitemeter down temporarily.


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