Category: Life

Using Your Real Name Online

Posted by – November 20, 2008

I’ve been using handles for years, the most prominent being DarkkInferno, which as morphed to “Darkk Inferno” to just plain “Inferno” as of late.  I decided upon this username for many reasons, shortly after I took my first year or so on the Internet.  Up till then I used many other handles while I freqented the ANSI BBS community around at the time.

How one could imagine me...

How one could imagine me... although I'd advise against it.

Handles were sort of an old school thing, everyone had one.  It was to ensure privacy and security (through obscurity mind you) of your online activities.  However today, handles are seen as a bit strange, and perhaps childish or at worst only used by cyber criminals and online child predators.  It’s a sad state of affairs, especially when harvesting people’s information and stealing their identities is such an epidemic right now.

However, over the years I have carried on an argument with myself on whether I’d prefer using my realname online, or stay with a handle.   I have tried it both ways, but inevitable waivered back to using a handle.  I think this is mostly because I’m still young and my opinions seem to change quite frequently, and unfortunately some opinions of mine (especially my open atheism) seems to cause some knee-jerk reactions.  The things I may say on this blog, or in forum communities, may translate into a company choosing not to hire me as the interviewer who Googled me decided that I’m a heretic, or not a good person because of my lack of faith.  So for the last few years I’ve been happy with the fact of using a username, and keeping my name relatively free from the Internet.

Things have changed as of a few months ago though, as it turns out I have some relative who has the same name as I do, the only difference (as far as I can tell, is our middle name).  This is most unfortunate because it’s a rather uncommon name, which is why when I EgoSurf, it comes up with his results.  It’s not too bad, but he seems to be running a personal servant business, where he takes out people’s trash and cleans dishes or something.  Not exactly something I’d want to show up on a google search for myself.  So I’ve been tempted to rebrand all my sites, domains etc to using my full real name to prevent such problems, and infact make my results much more relavant.

I’ve even tried emailing my name twin about this problem, or even if he minds the fact that I do rebrand and storm Google (perhaps we could have agreed on both using aliases or different spellings of the name online) however I have received no replies to any correspondence, and I’m not even sure what branch of the family he hails from in order to track him down this way (my Dad’s family is socially distant to say the least).

It’s an interetsing problem I’ve been thinking over, I’m not sure of the right course.  Although I’m thinking I’d rather not get a job because of my belief and openness than I would be to not get the job because of someone else using my name.  Besides it may be a good thing, as the company that would choose not to hire me because of my openmindedness and ability to use science and reason to make an educated decision, wouldn’t be a company I’d probably want to stay at very long anyway.

File Storage Issues

Posted by – August 10, 2008

Drive Partitioning at it's finest.

Drive Partitioning at it's finest.

For quite awhile I’ve had many work-arounds in order to give myself enough file storage to hold my files. Having grown up with an assortment of computers which VERY limited file space, I have always been the type to make-do with very little.

As of late however, I’ve been running into issues being able to not only handle the clutter as I’ve become a disorganized digital packrat of sorts, but actually finding room to put all the files physically.  I’ve tried many different organizational techniques from alphabetical ordering of folders with ‘reference’ and ‘documents’ being the main categorical root directories to using searchlight alternatives for PC and *nix.  Still no luck.

Another option however was getting some NAS (Network-Attached Storage) and working out a rigid storage system policy and sticking to it.  If nothing else, this would solve the problem about running out of physical room for my data.  The main problem being that it costs a few hundred dollars to implement correctly and nicely.  Since I’m the type that can’t really buy anything for myself without feeling guilty, it’s held me back and made me look for less-efficient alternatives instead.

Take for instance my fileserver.  It’s a Pentium II 350mhz with 256mb of ram with only two small hard drives (1x20GB and 1 x 6GB).  I was using this for the longest time to stream my audio and video to my other PCs as well as my Xbox 360.  As of a few months ago I had purchased a new workstation which came with a 180GB Hard Drive, needless to say I was in Heaven.  At least for awhile.

Now that everything is disorganized I wanted a solution.  I want an archive of my files kept separately from the computer, preferably a small case/box that in an emergency (or LAN parties) I can unplug and whisk away and save everything I need.  I’m now willing to solve this problem once and for all.

Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200)

Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200)

After browsing the web and looking for some quality equipment for the price I stumbled upon the Linksys Network Storage System (NAS200).  It’s a great brand, decent price and with two HDD spots and an additional 2 USB expansion slots for either thumbdrives or USB Hard Drives it would have all the power and ability I’ll need for my private network.  Another big component is that it should use a lot less power than a full tower, but I’ll be testing this as soon as I get it.

Another option I was contemplating as building my own Mini-ATX fileserver (well, more like another FreeBSD Box with Samba installed).  It’d give me the storage I need and also give it extra extendability as I could script my own cronjobs to tarball and transfer files around.  Best part was I was going to probably build the case out of Lego.  It’d be much smaller and cheaper than that case however.

I eventually decided aginst building my own Mini-ATX server because it’d easily be more costly than just buying the Linksys NAS.  So I’m going to be ordering it along with One or Two Decently-sized hard drives to finally get some breathing room for all my data.

I can’t wait.

Projects Wanted

Posted by – August 7, 2008

It’s not like I don’t already have enough projects, in fact I have too many.  However since I have my own webserver, and spare time (or at least a very flexible timetable) I’d like to make use of both and do something interesting.  THe problem lies in the fact that I have no ideas that don’t involve years of commitment and work, and the ones I do are uninteresting and/or personal (such as copying out the dictionary).

This is just a shout out to anyone who has any ideas, or has projects of their own I may be interested in.  Or, if you need resources such as webhosting, I can probably help out.  It’ll give me something to do at least.

Maybe I should just blog more…

Update: Bible Study

Posted by – August 5, 2008

Sorry for the lack of updates and posts, been busy.  Should hopefully be on track from here on out.  Not that anyone reads this crap anyway.

The bible study has sort of fallen off the wagon the last few weeks, which has probably lapsed into months.  The original fellow who I’ve been studying with (Ashton) had said he was moving to Swift Current, SK to help out a Great Hall (their name for churches) out there.  It at first seemed fabricated as it seemed odd, and the previous week I had argued with someone he brought with him (an older guy named Al) about evolution, which I won’t get into right now.  However I don’t totally feel that this was the reason, so will take his word for it, as I have no real reason to doubt him (although I feel trust must be earned, you don’t start at zero).

So, instead of Ashton I’m going to be studying with a guy named John who is probably in his late 30’s and was a Roman Catholic for X amount of years before converting (who can blame him, the Catholic Church is horrid).  However, for the first few weeks of this transition, John simply didn’t show up.  I had thought maybe I scared them away, and this was their way of shying away politely.  This was not the case however as John finally showed up last week.

At the time however we were in the process of having our windows replaced.  This turned out horribly I might add, with severe damage to my desk, but that story and images will appear later.  I had given John my number and he called me the following week to see if I was free, we were again still in the process of getting everything cleaned up, and this past Monday he would have came, but there was a holiday.  I’m hoping he’ll call and come over this following Monday to continue our lesson.

Many people think it’s severely strange for me to want to take this free home bible study, and I don’t blame them.  However, the bible and religiosity is a very interesting subject for me.  It encompasses our fears and hopes and what we want from life and society, smashes it together into a very inconsistent blob of thoughts and ideas, that everyone acts and truly believes is cohesive and good.  It’s a phenomenon that has touched everyone, whether directly or indirectly and will probably continue for generations to come.

The bible study with others is a lot easier to cope with than alone, mostly because I interpret things VERY different than believers.  For Example:

(Isaiah 45:7, KJV) – “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”

I’ll read this passage, and to me it speaks volumes about there being no Satan, Devil,Evil Spirit, whatever you’d like to call it as God creates all things, Good and Evil.  Which reflects back to the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  God created the serpent, and with his infinite wisdom knew what the serpent would do.  God is directly responsible for all the horrors on Earth.

However, when I state this, apparently I have it all wrong.  They will then state that in many other verses it states that “God is love” 1 John 4:8, KJV) and that God is “not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness” (Psalm 5:4, KJV) among many others.  What irks me about this however, is that the verse that states he creates evil is supposedly from God Himself, while the others are people talking about God.

So this is the reason I prefer the bible study, it’s simply because I can’t get this whole doublethink thing, and I really want to be able to understand what they understand, to develop better reasoning (if even possible) for why they do and say the things they do.  Just trying not to lose faith in humanity.

On a semi-related note, I may start reading the bible cover to cover and blog about it in another ‘segment’ of this blog.  Properly tagged so people (or more importantly I) can filter them in or out as they please.

Loud Neighbors And A Free TV

Posted by – May 28, 2008

Most of Monday went by with not much excitement. I haven’t been feeling well so spent the day working on the relaunch of Freedom-Uplink and it’s services. Little did I know that when we would try to fall asleep Monday night, we would be lead on an adventure to get a free TV.

It was around midnight when Sara and I decided it was about time to go to bed, right after we finished a long set on Rock Band’s Band World Tour. We did our routine and laid down, seconds later our upstairs neighbor turned on some dance/rave music; BOOM BOOM BOOM. This had happened before and it became a farce having to get the landlord to pretty much break the door down (he has keys but the chain-lock prevents entry without destroying the doorframe).

I reluctantly get up, as does Sara as she’s sort of cranky (as am I) and wants to get this resolved ASAP. Upon arriving upstairs you can easily hear the pounding of the music in the hall, the reason it doesn’t disturb others is the walls are concrete and extremely soundproofed, but the floor isn’t and they’re on the top. Only us sixth floor folk to be annoyed.

Sara proceeds tro ring the door bell, we receive no answer, no stirring, nothing. She rings again, nothing. SHe then gets frustrated and rings the doorbell repeatedly ding-dong-ding-dong-ding-dong, still nothing. She then goes insane on the doorbell for a good thirty seconds and finally, nothing. This is exactly what happened prior when the landlord had to practically break the door down, and no the resident isn’t disabled or passed out or sleeping.

At this point I’m quite fed up with all this crap and even wonder if I should just not bother the landlord and call the cops as we have bylaws that prevent loud or disturbing sounds after 11PM within city limits. This way there are more repercussions for not opening the door, and they’d pay for the damages out-of-pocket. While I ponder this I decide to bang on the door with my closed fist, and I do it hard. Hard enough that the peep-hole rattles (which is not only weird but shows the caliber of the place we live in), still nothing. I decide to go get the landlord yet again, and head for the elevator with Sara.

As the elevator doors open and Sara steps inside, I hear the music stop and the chain-lock coming undone. I wait, and the door opens and a man and a woman walk out, the man clearly upset. He begins ranting about why I was kicking his door, we explained we didn’t kick it, and that his music is waaaay too loud for 12:30 at night. He then goes on to say that he’s only home a few days ever couple of months and that he likes his music loud. I explain that I’m sorry he’s away so much but he does share an apartment with other human beings that need to work in the morning. He then states that he does not care and likes his bass “pounding”. I then state that he may not care but we do, and he’s breaking a city bylaw and thus the police WOULD care as well. He then invites me to step outside and settle this, and the girl tells him not to. The guy starts approaching me, talking about how he likes his music. I stand my ground.

The guy is definitely bigger than I am, but I wasn’t worried at all. Sara was safely using me as a meat shield, and he approached and stopped about two or three feet away. He then began to apologize profusely. I was rather confused, but he continued about how he’s sorry and that he’s never home, and that his sister is over and they got carried away. This went on for a good 10-15 minutes of him apologizing, and it defussed the situation. We were ready to be on our way, mission accomplished. Or so we thought.

After receiving way too many apologizes from both him and his sister, we were invited in to see why his stereo appeared so loud downstairs, we reluctantly followed and remained cautious. Inside we first noticed that everything was spotless, clean as a whistle, and obviously not lived-in. Large flat screen TV, Hundreds and hundreds of DVDs and Video Games, no garbage, no real sign that anyone was living there.

We discussed his apartment for awhile and were eventually ushered to sit down, which we did eventually after stating we should probably be going.  The guy (who we found out was named Vince and his sister Nikki) poured me a drink and we discussed the apartment and how it sucks to live here but it’s cheap.  He seems to have as many troubles with the owners as we do but he’s taken them to court several times.  He also explains that he works in the oil fields in Alberta and recently his company has opted to fly him home once every ten days, so we may see him more often.  He said that he’ll try to be a bit more considerate and that if we ever hear the music we’re welcome to come up and party, drinks are on him.  We shook hands, and eventually departed.

We arrived back to our place, got ready for bed again, when there was a knock at the door.  VInce wnated to know if we wanted a free TV.  This sounded strange, so after a bit of clarification he stated that he had bought a new TV and was meaning to offload this “old one”.  I went up to take a look, passing a fairly new microwave in the west stairwell he said he was waiting for someone to take, and we could if we wanted.  I saw the TV, it’s in very good condition and stated that if he was just throwing it out or something anyway that we’d take it and use it or find it a good home.  He helped me grab it and I took it back to our place and set it in the corner.  That’s where it has stayed since.

The whole experience came off being really creepy and odd, and I think I’ve kept the TV in the corner in case he changes his mind and wants it back, but it seems like he doesn’t plan on wanting it back.  I now know my neighbor and he seemed genuine when it came to wanting to hang out on occasion, so I guess it ended well.  In what started as a cranky angry tirade to get some sleep ended with a free TV.

Maybe I should get angry more often.

Atheist Group

Posted by – May 15, 2008

I’m a bit troubled with the lack of an atheist or freethinkers group in Regina, Saskatchewan. If there is one, I certainly cannot find any mention or advertisement for one online or through the local papers. Although we don’t really ahve a huge bible thumping community here either, it’d be nice to find like-minded individuals to discuss various topics with. So anyone who is interested in starting one, feel free to get in touch with me in the comments or email me.

Also, I’ve always thought that Freedom-Uplink was always somewhat of a freethinkers group, I think I’d like to play that up a lot more. THis is something I’ll probably ponder over the next few days. I think the major problem is the members are so fleeting when anything resembling work arises, which leads to a lot of inactivity.

The reason I bring this up however, is due to the brochure I was given today by the Jehovah’s Witness’ I’ve been doing the bible study with. It’s about creationism. That may be enough for the majority of you to know what I’m getting at. For the rest of you, my main problem with this writing I was given, is that it’s an insult to my intelligence (well, if it wasn’t given to me under such good intentions). The lack of science, the flawed arguments, the blatant lies and above all the lack of real research.

I might ask to see if I can copy and share the brochure so I can show you guys just how crazy it is.

That’s all I have for now.

Bible Study

Posted by – April 24, 2008

Yes, it’s no typo or lapse of insanity (I’ve always been insane) I’ve started taking a very awkward kind of bible study with some Jehovah’s witness missionaries.  They arrived at my door a few weeks ago and I invited them in, discussing a litle about “God’s Plan” for the world once the evil people are gone, and they asked if they would be able to come back, and of course I obliged them with several visits.  However I think these meetings will be coming to an end shortly.

The best way to describe myself is an Agnostic Atheist Theravadin Buddhist which to some may seem contradictory but I assure you it is not.  I don’t have any issues about learning about the bible in a literary sense, and I actually quite enjoy listening to peoples interpretations and in some cases spin on the dogma.  I am getting quite tired of not having my questions answered however, and this is why I may end communication all together.

I’ve learned exactly (according to JW’s interpretation) how God is going to take back the Earth, why He would allow such pain and suffering to go on under His watchful eye and even how one could be saved from his wrath.  I’ve learned that the bible does not advocate voting, I’ve been informed by references of scripture that to celebrate Christmas is blasphemous (Which I knew before, but didn’t think it was so prevalent, how else can most Christians miss it?).  The problem is that with each topic that is uncovered I have about 2-3 questions that anyone who shows up cannot answer, and I’m not looking to argue or even asking the pesky questions even apologists have issues defending.  I’m asking honest well-natured questions like “Why would God create a tree of knowledge that nobody can eat from?” or “Why would God create Satan if he knew he would deceive him?  In fact wouldn’t that mean God created Satan for the purpose of going against His will?”

I understand these questions are not simple (I picked some of the hardest of the bunch to post here about), but they said that they’ll have to look into them and then get back to me, and then we’d begin reading again
.  So I feel I’m being lied to when the answers never come.  I assume this means the answers are not in the bible, but I’m surprised I don’t get a cop-out answer such as ‘God works in mysterious ways’ which I’m not sure whether I should be grateful for or not.

It makes me wonder how anyone could fall for believing in such a fairytale if such obvious questions jump out even in such a rigorous stream-lined way of studying.  I too though, feel a strange pull towards believing.  Much the same way as it is to procrastinate and not doing a research paper that is due a few weeks from now.  Taking the easy way out, the simple answer; “God did it.”.  It would be extremely easy and even comforting to believe in the story, and the way it’s been backed up with the Christian communities it’s one heck of a story, with a very happy ending.  And the best part?  You don’t really have to do anything, just believe.

I think in a strange sort of way this is what I was looking for, the answer on how one can fall for such a thing as Christianity.  I now see how easy of a trap it would be for those in a tough situation, whether it be a loss of a loved one, a horrible addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling) where they lose it all.  The pull would be great enough to suck you in, and the way it’s structured it’s near-impossible to get out and see reason, logic and truth.

I have a lot more to say on the topic, but it’s 11:15 and I need to get up in the morning.  I have not proof-read this post so it may be riddled with errors as well, but seeing as how I don’t ever post (as everything is awaiting editing) I may just start posting everything raw, and touching it up when and if I get time.  Expect updates, and a detailed breakdown of one of if not the biggest flaws  see with Christianity, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees it, but I’ve NEVER heard it discussed before.

Thoughts on Freedom-Uplink

Posted by – March 30, 2008

Freedom-Uplink has been around off and on, for quite a number of years, each time sucking up resources and some of my money until I deem it not worthy of my time or effort and discarding it, only to change my mind and bring it back. Despite this, we tend to always have quite a following of users when we come back up. What is it that Freedom-Uplink provides, if anything, and what should I do to prevent a loss of interest on my part?

We’ve had the UplinKIRC Network up again for quite sometime and have a number of users utilizing the network for both Uplink related channels as well as PhoneLosers.Org taking up a home in #Phonelosers. This is promising as it shows that there is some interest in keeping the network alive. It shows that users like some of the public services to allow communication for their own entertainment. No content is generated through such a service however.

I have also put the old Freedom-Uplink Website up again, using the old template (fixed up) as well as the Uplink Forums hopefully to win over some souls to bring in new talent as Uplink tends to lack it. Which highlights one of the biggest problems with the whole idea of the network.

Freedom-Uplink has many users, some very dedicate, but the majority of users tend to have no useful skills or simply no motivation to give back to any community. There are a number of great friends I have that hang out, who have skills but are unable to help due to school or other commitments, and these are not the people I’m referring to. The ones who contribute little to discussions, can’t code, can’t think of ideas, can’t really do anything but take up bandwidth are really like filler, of which we have too much.

I don’t really have a solution as of yet. We’ve already tried having a closed community where you need to be approved for membership, which still sounds like a good idea. It would also allow us to look into other options such as a printed newsletter among other projects that are possible.  The downside is that the group becomes very small.  Perhaps a closed structure of members but still allow some guest users to take advantage of some of the services.  It’s possibly a good topic for the meeting today.

I really enjoy the company of most of the users as they are entertaining, and perhaps that’s enough. But if nothing ever happens, it makes it somewhat boring, and I’ve always been very conscious of what may be wasting my time that could be spent on other endeavors.

Any suggestions are more than welcome and appreciated. I just wanted to get this out there.

Xbox 360: The Unproductivity Magnet

Posted by – November 24, 2007

Well, Sara and I finally decided to take the plunge and buy a Microsoft Xbox 360. I only have a few games right now (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Oblivion: Game of The Year Edition, and a few others) to play. Despite the lack of variety I think that for the next week or two I’m going to be completely tied up, accomplishing little to nothing. After that, maybe something will get done…hopefully.

So just letting you know why there probably won’t be much progress on the site. And by all means, get on Xbox Live and give me a shout, my current gamer tag is xDarkkInfernox (as my gamertag I had on original Xbox was canceled long ago and I haven’t recovered it yet).

Also, if you can reccomend any great titles that I need to own, let me know.  There are some great titles out there and even more on the way due to the Christmas season.

Hello World!

Posted by – November 22, 2007

First Post

Yet another useless blog by yours truly! Most people would have given up by now, but I’m far too stubborn and still feel that a blog will be a creative outlet to help me accomplish some goals I have. If not, at least you’ll have something to gawk at when your social news sites are tanked full of mac ads or Ron Paul campaigns and your in (desperate) need of somewhat-interesting content.

More to come, as I piece it all together…