The Electoral College

The electoral college is a joke, and if the demopublican megamajority gave a
shit about this country instead of beating up on their (barely) opposite number,
they would have gotten together and fixed it after the Debacle of 2000.

Look, I know my American history, I know why the electoral college exists. It’s
a state’s rights issue, checks and balances, little states versus big states.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not a joke. Look at it this way. Us having the
electoral college is like me having a database rule which is preventing my boss
from getting an important metric that he needs to run the company. Yeah, I’ve
got a laundry list of valid reasons and a windbag full of argumentative bullshit
as to why I need that rule. But it’s still a fucked rule.

The Republicrats love to tell you how much they love the children. How about
this one then – what does a six year old hear when she learns about America?
Democracy. Democracy, democracy, democracy. And what is this Democracy, she
asks? Why, it’s a system where everyone gets to vote, and we count all the
votes, and whoever gets the most votes is one we follow. Ok. Now try explaining
2000 to that six year old. You can’t. And that poor six year old, she looks at
what happened, and she says Daddy, why is the man who got the most votes not the
president? And Daddy says, well, honey, there’s this thing called the
Electoral College, you see, and it’s… and all she hears is Bullshit Bullshit
Bullshit. See also : exactly what my boss hears when I’m explaining my
oh-so-important database rule.

Web Mail

Got Microsofted yesterday afternoon – that magic instance when one of their
Licensing Limitations, the artificial roadblocks that they throw into software
to multilayered pricing schemes – courtesy of the 16GB limit on Exchange
stores in the Standard edition. The bitch is, I only have 12GB in the store, and
the online defragger runs nightly without a peep or error in the application
log. So for almost two hours yesterday I had to have my primary private store
offline while performing an offline defrag so that the store was small enough to
mount. Then I found this article about temporarily increasing the max store size

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;813051

– which is a much better answer than the first one that that I found on MSDN
– ie : to, solve this problem, please upgrade to the Enterprise Edition.

After I got that store defragged, my next move was to move my own inbox over
to my second exchange server, a less beefy box that acts as my bridgehead to the
Net. This freed up a gig to allow my some time to think, but also opened up a
new problem – nobody could email me. I could email them from Gateway to Beefy,
but all email from Beefy to Gateway was returned with a

A configuration error in the e-mail system caused the message to bounce
between two servers or to be forwarded between two recipients. Contact your
administrator.

message. The event log listed a 3017 error, which in most of the
answer-docs I was able to Google to was an error specific to an SBS problem. I
knew I had a loop somewhere though, and so I set about crash-coursing all I
could on SMTP Virtual Servers. Man-hours later, and while I had completely
redone the Server and Connector properties on Beefy, I still couldn’t receive
email from anyone whose inbox was on Beefy. Finally, on a hunch and after
peeping through a usenet article on a similar situation, I hit upon my own
idiocy – I had an mx record in DNS that was forwarding anything sent in-house
to Gateway, back to Beefy. Why? I have no idea. But removing that DNS record
caused things to work, and me to erupt with a cry in joyous frustration.

Flickr

Flickr is the inspiration for my latest intranet creation, a stream page for every one of our clients with information pulled from my contact manager (Goldmine), messaging database (Exchange), our document management system (Pagis), and my proprietary business management database (build with MySQL). Features include links to external web apps (Google, Mapquest for addresses), an RSS Feed for client notes, and font size metaphorical representation of client production amongst our various channels.

WebDAV

Today’s C# Adventure – I’ve used CDO before to access Exchange messages,
but this time I wanted to do the extensibly-correct-thing (XCT) by using WebDAV
to grab emails from a Parserbox, slam their to+subject+body+attatchmentname up
against a MySQL table containing all of the names and email addies from my
contact manager (Goldmine) using MySQL’s naitve Match function, assign each
email to a contact based on the result of the match, grab the attatchments of
the email message and store them in the File Links section of Goldmine. All in
one afternoon.

Every time I used MSDN I feel like either it or I get a little better –
things microsofty just make sense these days, whereas I used to get a feeling of
either being splatter brained by their oversimplification department or being
buried in super-Advanced minutia. And so I was able to take their WebDAV search
sample –

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/e2k3/e2k3/_exch2k_searching_folders_http.asp

and get my email traverser working, after some modification of that
WebTransfer object and a quick MDAC upgrade on my dev box. And in fact
everything worked splendidly until I realized that I needed to use X-MS-ENUMATTS
to enumerate the attatchments (since my app needs to be able to deal with
multiple attatchments per email) and – Meep! – Google has only one page of
‘enumatts’ results, mostly fumbling questions from idiots like me who can’t
figure out how to make it work.

Luckily one of those articles was an MSDN paper –

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/e2k3/e2k3/_webdav_x-ms-enumatts.asp

Which describes in simple terms how to use the handy little X-MS-ENUMATTS
service. Happy Geek!

Flickr

I’m officially a Flickr-whore – I love it love it love – it’s not one feature
but all the features, everything is being done right and it just keeps getting
righter as they add new features and it’s open so I can easily grab the RSS feed
from my Flickr stream and
plug it into my own photostream on my
site
… Flickr my darling, you are the new love of my life.

Web Mail

Running a Win2k network at my shop, I’m somewhat pleasantly tied to the beast that is Exchange. So today, after rebooting my production SMTP
Exchange server (I use two Exchange boxen, a RAID 5, 1 Gig heavy grade Store
system and a lighter SMTP transport system, enabling me to keep the net-facing
server Windoze Updated during the day, since I can reboot it without kicking
anyone out of Outlook), I needed to make sure that outbound email was working
before I went to lunch. So I send emails to my gmail, yahoo, and hotmail
accounts, then sit back and wait for them to arrive. A minute later, nothing.
Two minutes later, nothing. Now it’s five minutes later. Now I’m starting to worry,
starting to poke at my outbound queues. Now it’s ten minutes later, and still
Nothing – the three emails seem to have left my transport successfully, but
where they ended up, nobody knows.

Finally, 11 minutes after I sent it, the first email hits my yahoo account. A
minute later, hotmail has my message. It takes Gmail almost 20 minutes to deliver my test email.

 Granted, these are all web-based packages slammed by the masses. But
there was a time, not so long ago, when Hotmail was under 30 seconds and Yahoo
was instantaneous. Are we stepping backwards? And if so, what’s to blame?
Spam? Too many users? Slow anti-viral / anti-spam packages? I don’t really
care what’s to blame, the bottom line is that 10+ minutes to get an email
sucks, it’s un-American, and it’s certainly un-new millennial.

Story Ideas

a guy who can’t stop blurting out his password, like he has passwordTourrettes.