Saturday, May 25, 2013
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Recently my family and I went on a trip to Auckland . We did many interesting things but by far the funnest was on the first day when we went to the sky tower. It was dizzying to look up at let alone look down from epecially for mum who was very tentative...
Friday, November 09, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
After reading the outcome of the election in Venezuela, I am again struck by the comparison of democracy for that much vilified country/leader and our own in the United States.
Hugo Chavez won reelection with an 80% voter turnout, amidst an absence of reported fraud or any other measures of disenfranchisement. The election was held on a Sunday, and alcohol sales were banned on the day, a measure which seems to promote the sober consideration and conduct of one's civic duty.
Meanwhile the U.S. mainstream press was enjoying the possibility of a Chavez upset, and it was widely reported that Henrique Capriles was a strong contender with a chance of winning. The most common explanation offered by the legion of Chavez detractors is that Chavez buys off his citizens with the country's oil wealth, and he uses this money and media time to his own advantage during the election.
I don't know how true or untrue this is in the case of Venezuela. Chavez has certainly poured oil money into programs for the poor, and not just at election time. Really, is the United States able point the finger at anyone else regarding the influence of money in elections?
Allow me to point out an unpleasant fact about elections in the city where I used to live: Houston, TX. The mayor of Houston is often elected with voting totals below 10% of the voting population. Let me repeat that, or let me be specific, in the most recent election in which Anise Parker won reelection, Parker won the election with between 5 and 10 percent of the vote - but closer to 5!
Now it will be reported that she received 50%, or just over. But that is a percentage of the people who voted. And this is nothing new. In her first election she won with 81,743 votes in a city of 4 million people and some 1.3 million eligible voters.
I am not picking on Anise Parker. Houston has a long history of electing its mayors with less than 10% of the eligible vote. Look back to the 1990's and the days of Bob Lanier up through Bill White in the 2000's. Bill White won in 2007 with 20,000 more votes than Parker, but one shouldn't be elected Mayor of a city of 4 million people with only 100,000 votes!
Now you can blame this on voter turnout - it's the peoples' own fault. But I put forth that you could start by not holding the election on a weekday, where people have to sandwich a vote into their before-work-rush, or maybe their lunch hour? What is the practical reality of someone who commutes for an hour to the office, making it back to their home polling station to vote at lunch, or after work before the polling stations close? Hmmm.... maybe if the election were held on a non-workday... and I can bet you this: if no alcohol sales were allowed on the day - you'd get a higher turnout of citizens eager to vote about something!
One last comment while we're discussing voting. Prior to the Houston mayoral election the 11 News/KUHF poll was reporting that Peter Brown was ahead of Parker by a commanding 8% (margin of error + - 4%) . Yet Brown finished a distant third. So polling is not always what it seems, nor is an election win, and nor is the much vaunted term democracy.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
It's been a while and I guess it's time for a geeky post, so ya'll will just have to bear with me. Want to get some notes out there for those in need--
The problem of the day was how to clone Server 2008 R2 at minimal cost. This is a dev workstation and the unfortunate part of using the server OS is that everyone's imaging tools wind up costing an arm and a leg. Take Acronis for example. True Image is maybe $50 for Windows 7, but for 2008 you get to use the server product for $859. We find that a little steep to clone a workstation.
I also have a copy of EZ-GIG which I have used to great effect to clone laptop drives with Win XP thru Win 7 but they too take a pass on 2008.
Well as I repeatedly struck out, I did actually give it a go with DriveImage XML to be sure that it didn't "just work" w Server 2008, and guess what? It didn't go well. What to do... what to do... and I realized I had a couple of 500 GB drives sitting around, and several available SATA connectors inside the trusty Dell T3400. And this is what worked:
1. Put in a spare drive
2. Fire up Windows Server Backup and make a one-time, custom backup. WSB offers a System State option, and a Bare metal recovery option. I chose Bare metal, which as you see in the pic includes System state and the entire C: drive. You could back up and include additional drives at this step, or not, as you wish. This backup operation took about 20 min, for those who are worried about efficiency, but I'm sure time will vary greatly depending on how big your C: drive is, hardware, and the other usual variables.