October 19th, 2011

children of dune - leto 1

wednesdays are lazy days

In a weird and honestly uncomfortably miraculous turn of events, the next build isn't scheduled to deploy until December. That's an entire two months away, and testing so far has been--dear God knock on wood--going well.

(I say this knowing that the next huge build will doubtless be assigned to us at the beginning of November, but--still. Since last year, it's been so ridiculously frantic a pace that this seems downright lazy.)

On the downside, we have auditors in the office. I am not clear on their function other than to watch us work--fun--and check our testing results. They are also on the other side of my cubicle wall which means I have been told, in small words (my God my coworkers know me) to keep my voice down at all times in hopes they won't hear my less than cheerful comments on the intelligence, ambitions, hopes and dreams, and probable non-human origins of the developers, the project managers, the vendors, and the entirety of the agency hierarchy. I'm actually more likely to cut the developers slack; they're programmers who have never worked directly with clients or in a capacity to understand what caseworkers do. But theoretically, the agencies high-ups have been caseworkers or at least seen one in the wild, so really, no.

I'm also having a bout of job satisfaction, which yes, it's weird, but there you go. Learning the program area I'm testing helped, but that most of that was due to the de facto head of that part of testing who a.) knows pretty much everything about it and b.) has an interesting habit not caring how many times she has to explain something, which makes her the only human being in history who doesn't mind doing that, and most of that, I think, is her understanding of the difference between being explained how something works and actually having to do it. Ie, explanations are good, but seeing is understanding.

Having skipped work (for legit reasons!) am currently loafing and resentfully noting it's still a month until my Kindle Fire gets here. Dammit.

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children of dune - leto 1

virtualbox and you - you had no idea you ever wanted to do this

I keep meaning to write up the glory of VirtualBox. Because it is glory and reading the reviews and comments and all the thousands upon thousands of pages of technical advice and commentary and praise, it's also goddamn terrifying. Which is why it took me two years to approach it warily, install it in a fit of fear...and then it was working and I realized really, should have just bit the bullet earlier there.

VirtualBox is--in essence--a way to install a second OS on your computer without mess, fuss, or having to do much more than point and click. It requires nothing but a.) two downloads and b.) a huge, happy smile of accomplishment. It's that simple. Now you, too, can now try any operating system in the universe without the horror of making Windows play nice with you. You do not have to do complicated partitions, reinstall Windows and the other OS, or stare at your computer wondering how it all went wrong. In other words, without so much as touching Windows, you can install Ubuntu, iOS, or any operating system (I can think of) to play with, learn about, or just prove you can. And even better, it doesn't interfere with Windows at all. You do not even need to log out of Windows to use it.

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You now can explore any operating system you want in here. You can make many machines. You can erase machines.

And here are some enhancements for you to try when you see your new operating system in that Window all ready to go. But maybe you don't like to do this from a program in Windows. You can also create, modify, and run a virtual OS from a web browser. You can give it it's own internet access. You can give it USB access. You can give it local file access, so you can play your movies, edit your fic, or listen to your music in the new OS itself. Basically, you can make it act just like it's an actual computer on it's own, not one living within Windows.

And if you have a bluray player that can see a local network (most of them these days) and a working router, you can organize and share your media with your TV without having to hook it up directly. All you need is two ethernet cables and Mediatomb.

If anyone has corrections, suggestions, or questions or anything, drop a comment. And seriously, Ubuntu has a thing that maps stars and--okay, when you try it, you'll see.

Good luck!

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