Archive for the ‘ personal-news ’ Category


As I keep telling myself “change is good!” as well as enjoy keeping myself away from being too comfortable; leaving is often hard as you feel like you gave up on something you’ve but a huge effort into.

People leave for various reasons, often due to work/life imbalance, too much stress, or sick of being woke up every night. I don’t feel none of those really apply this time. Sure things are stressful as a team of 12 dwindles to a team of 4 but at the end of the day there is only so much work that can be done. Management has to accept that or change.

I can’t quite put my finger on the exact cause this time but it seems once you lose your “core brain trust” portion of the team there really isn’t anyone left to bounce ideas off of. This is by no means a fault to the team that is left as it’s just a wide gap of experience between the top and the next rung down.

I feel another significant reason may be towards the lack of approval for investing time into processes that help improve the quality and timely delivery with building infrastructure so that standards are being followed and adhered to. Yes it costs money but at least the team has a chance to survive as key members leave. However for those that join can also leverage any process that has been automated and deliver the quality work our team has been known for.

In conclusion I agree that a business needs to make a profit.. though pushing the most loyal to the point they don’t care is not the approach to take for continued success.

On to the next challenge!

Hmm, I did something to prove nothing? :)

Actually a fairly challenging exam in my opinion, it was fun too.


On to the System Engineer one? We’ll see…


While I would love to go on a rant about Ticketbots I’ve held off after a few days to let things settle and have came to the conclusion that no price above face value of the ticket is worth paying to see.

Perhaps if no one interacts with the third party that sucked up all the tickets seats will go unfilled and give said band something to complain about like they once did about Napster.

So Stub Hub and the rest of you can suck it – ’nuff said.

Did I mention…

that I left Oracle a year ago? If not my bad. I’m gone and that is all.


Whew, another major election done. Mostly good, some bad (or discouraging). Overall I’m pleased and was happy to see that MN had about a 75% turnout. I still wonder about the 25% that didn’t bother, I’d expect at least a 90% turnout in my mind since there is always a 10% population that are slackers/underachievers.

Ok, enough politics. On with the tech projects. ūüôā Thanks for playing.


1390226400 – sometime it can’t come soon enough.

Days like today and most of last week.


So… Finally got around to trying out Plex Media Server. First impressions, it’s pretty cool and probably the most complete media server I’ve experimented with so far. I had been using a simple DLNA server (minidlna) on Linux to make files available to devices on the home network but after a recent upgrade on the tablet I noticed that AllShare no longer could play files due to a generic error “Unsupported file format” the app returned. I know previously AllShare worked but on the ICS build it would report the file format of */* and no file size. The AllShare app on my phone worked for the most part (it’s also a bit buggy but at least works after a couple of tries). Regardless I have always thought I needed to find an alternative to AllShare since I don’t like to depend upon manufacture specific apps on mobile devices.

So while looking for alternatives I recall seeing something about Plex Media Server being available for Linux (more specifically Ubuntu) and starting looking for a possible version that would work on Debian. I found at¬†¬†and was able to get¬†¬†installed and running. Surprisingly adding my media locations to the web based console was easy and it’s pretty cool how it pulls all the meta data in from the internet. I’d say nearly 90% of the files were¬†identified¬†correctly. A few I just need to rename in a specific way to help the scanner and finally a few I just used the web UI and selected the correct information.

One huge advantage of using Plex is that we can stream media to the iPad regardless of the source file format since¬†transcoding¬†automagically¬†takes place. The price of the app is surely worth the $5 as it looks wonderful and is by far the best media app I’ve seen as far as¬†usability¬†and ¬†experience.

The only negative I see at the time is dealing with the Plex Media Server files on the Linux side due to many paths / files having spaces within the name. Not really a big deal since I hope not to spend much time on the backend other than the occasional apt-get update. In hind-sight it probably would have been better to throw this on a VM rather than the bare metal hardware but we’ll take care of that after Wheezy is released and I rebuild things in a more streamline fashion. Corrected (2012-08-25). Plex is now running in a standalone DomU. For anyone interested the migration was as easy as copying the contents of /var/lib/plexmediaserver to the new server.


R.I.P. Mr. John Bedard


It’s been a sad couple of days realizing one of my ultimate best friends has departed the earth entirely too early.

I worked with John at my first job out of college (mid 1998) for nearly four years. In the time between leaving Montana for Minnesota we have stayed in touch over various forms of social media and exchanged many of messages. John always put a smile on my face when I was feeling down through witty comments / postings. People that know him will agree he is a very unique guy in which frequented in many circles. As our friend Mike posted he was the glue to held all of us together. We’re so fortunate to have time to visit with John and other friends during our trip to Montana last Summer.

John, you will be missed immensely. I take pleasure in knowing you died doing what you enjoyed best rather that sitting in a cubical working for corporate America. Peace be with you until we meet again.

Bedard РFrom Mike Quinn

Family and friends of John. You are in our thoughts.

John’s Facebook page:¬†

A bit more meh these days

April sure has been a different month that is for sure. I’m just past two weeks out from surgery and so far feels slightly better though still quite swollen so less able to fully bend which makes stairs a special thing. On the work front am finally getting caught up on tasks and yet feel there is so much more to do. It’s been over six months now in the transition from dev to dev sys support but yet dev keeps me overloaded making it difficult to focus on sysdba tasks. I’m guessing at some point I’ll have to decide whether or not to call it quits and look for other opportunities internally or *gasp* outside. I know there’s one open position on a performance team which looks interesting but some of the tool requirements I’m lacking in.

Another interesting thing I have observed lately is a rather small disgust with Android updates. I know I voiced this in the past but as I see smaller companies like Acer and Archos releasing 4.0 to there tabs I question Samsung overall plan, do they really expect people to buy the newer tablet which is essentially the same specs (plus sd storage which should have existed in the first place) just to get the ICS update? I think not so it may be time to move on. My other two phone devices are finally to gingerbread and that process was entirely too slow. I never expected the Captivate to get the update since it was released with eclair but the Infuse really should be in line for ICS yet it took until just a week ago to get it to gingerbread. Fortunatly the custom mod community exists and I do see it is possible to run ICS on the Captivate. Plus there seems to be progress recently with some early CM9 Infuse builds, just not something I’ll try since the Infuse is my daily driver.

Have I griped enough? Hardly but in all serious I’m just getting this out off my head rather than posting in other social media locations. It’s not like there are many reading this anyway ūüėČ


Nothing new here. Had knee surgery on Tuesday, still recoverying and approached 2 miles today. Meh, a bit sore. Going to try to work a bit tomorrow so we’ll see how that goes.

My mind is all over the place these days but as I watch Top Gear (UK) I feel as I have flashed back to the 70s. Hmm

See ya next month ;.)