• What has Mark been up to?

    I've completed a long process of upgrading my development platform and network. I bought my new hardware from www.ncix.com which is the place I have gone to for over 6 years. Great prices and excellent service. What did I learn this upgrade (I ususally update my system every 5 years)?

    – Don't rely on built in testing in the BIOS (like memtest86). I had bad RAM (OCZ RAM) and had to RMA to get a good set. It was found via the freeware program prime95 using the torture test.

    – WATCH OUT if you think you can easily update your KVM switch (keyboard mouse video switch for multiple computers). I updated my keyboard and mouse which now days seems like they only sell USB. This forced me to buy a new KVM switch because NO kvm switch seems to work with USB keyboards. YEs with a USB mouse… no with a USB keyboard. I got an IOGEAR GCS632U KVM and had problems initially because my new motherboard (from DFI) didn't provide enough voltage for stable operation. The only way to solve that was to purchase a PCI USB card and use a USB port from the card with the KVM. I tried a setting on the motherboard to up the voltage but had no change at all, thus I had to either ditcvh the motherboard or get the USB card.

    – Experienced lots of DNS errors using the built in network connectors in the dfi motherboard and ultimately found out the retailer had installed ipv6 on the NIC's. Removing IPv6 solved that issue.

    Ok now the REAL cheesy part. I moved my AOpen 56-SM software modem into the new system and suddenly callerid doesn't work. WHAT!!! I'm the author of a caller id application and now I can't even use my own app???? Well looks like the drivers from AOpen are so cheesy that there is no solution yet to the problem. CallerID info get to the modem but the driver flakes out and doesn't pass it through to windows. My windows modem log looks like:

    01-16-2006 10:01:05.812 – Interpreted response: Ring
    01-16-2006 10:01:05.828 – TSP(0000): LINEEVENT: LINE_NEWCALL
    01-16-2006 10:01:05.828 – TSP(0000): LINEEVENT: LINECALLSTATE_OFFERING
    01-16-2006 10:01:05.828 – TSP(0000): LINEEVENT: LINEDEVSTATE_RINGING(0x1)
    01-16-2006 10:01:05.906 – TSP(0000): Enable Digit Monitoring
    01-16-2006 10:01:07.125 – Recv:
    01-16-2006 10:01:07.125 – Unknown Response
    01-16-2006 10:01:07.125 – Recv: DATE = 0116TIME = 1000NMBR = 2507639079NAME = TOTL CARE SFTWR
    01-16-2006 10:01:07.125 – Unknown Response
    01-16-2006 10:01:11.625 – Recv: RING
    01-16-2006 10:01:11.625 – Interpreted response: Ring

    Notice the Unknown response from the modem driver!!!

    NOW THATS CHEESY!!! Somehow the old driver worked FINE in win2k but that old driver DOES NOT INSTALL for XP. Until AOpen gets their act together (I posted in their support forums) I've added support for Soft-has CallerID to detect this scenario and snag the callerid info right out of the logfile… any it works.

    THAT MY FRIENDS IS CHEESY!!! I feel disgusting having to write code to do such a thing, but hey… it works. So next release of CallerID will support bad TAPI drivers 🙂

    And last but not least… In Canada we are one week away from a new government to be elected. I thought I'd let everyone know who I voted for. I voted many years ago… and it was my last vote… ever! I had placed my X on the name: Jesus Christ.

    1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

    Heb 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

    1Jo 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
    1Jo 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
    2Jo 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

    Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

    Thats all for now.

  • Every Tree is known by his own fruit

    These words spoken by Jesus:

    Luke 6:44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

    Have been sinking deeply into my heart. I spend a lot of time observing life around me as I work. One can see many types of fruit, some profitable, some selfish, some harmful and yet all of these reveal the tree from which they have their origin. Recently I shared on a sunday afternoon a message regarding the standard of Christianity. Today admitedly many hate the Christian faith because many associate to it the hurt, killing and sin of those who call themselves Christians yet produce fruits of another kind. The forerunner of Jesus Christ was John the baptist who said:

    Matthew 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

    The problem with non-christians is they don't properly attribute that the same people who display hypocrasy and fruits other than that of Christ are not Christs. Every tree is known by his fruit. The problem with Christians is they do not evaluate their own personal fruit to see whether it is the fruit of Christ or if they are even a Christian at all!

    2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

    Now this comes to the point, if Jesus Christ is in you, you cannot help but live a life producing the fruits of Christ himself.

    Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ

  • Q2 2006 update

    Here it is… already half way through another year! What have I learned over the past 6 months?

    1. Spiritual related:
    – It takes time to progress in your faith
    – It takes time to understand others and their views
    – Love is a fore-most proof of Holiness
    – If you're not progressing (which takes time) your regressing.
    – Prayer is the key to having changes take place in this world.
    – Prayer is ineffective without obedience.
    – Obedience begins with a choice yes or no, then progresses from there.
    – Most people are not overly interested in your faith, they are more interested in their own things.
    – Time is precious, everyone wants your time. Give Him your time.

    2. Technology related:
    – Plugin architectures are great, flexible and save uncounted heartache for years to come when properly applied.
    – Genericly designed systems and code reap uncounted benefits for years to come and help you to be "agile"
    – Test driven development and related tools like FIT and Unit Testing are essential for the current world atmosphere, they allow change in any project within a very short time frame.
    – Time is precious, everyone wants your time. Use it wisely.

  • What Really Matters…

    Time keeps passing by. This world is a constant distraction. Cars race by to get to work, go to lunch and then make it home before… before what?

    People in the store see that you only have two items and say would you like to go ahead of me? I admit that is a polite gesture, but the 5 minutes saved… for what?

    We sacrifice to go to church on Sunday, but closely watch the clock to ensure the sharing isn’t too long so we can goto…. where?

    We sacrifice to make it to the prayer meeting (now this one seems heroic just to get there) but hurry through the requests and prayer (God forbid we make a late night of it) so we return home and… do what sleep, work, play … PEOPLE WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT?

    What really matters? Why do we save all those minutes? For ourselves! Self, me, I.

    Now The Lord Jesus already knows what we need to pray about, He doesn’t need us to tell Him what is going on and what is needed to be done. Yet he searches through the whole world to find people who give Him the time every day to breath back into His ears the things He already has on His heart that He already wants done.

    Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? (why did He say that, and what was His heart?)

    The Lord does nothing without revealing to His servants the prophets. (Why?)

    The Lord decided to include us in His plans. He loves us. Prayer is God working His Will through our lips, showing us thereafter through answered prayer that those things which would not have happened, the un-natural, now have occurred. The normal/natural path of events was disrupted through prayers power to bring about the super-natural/un-natural.

    Do we need the super-natural/un-natural in our current world and life today? That is something you must ask yourself.

    What really matters?

  • When Urban meets Rural

    All my life I have lived in a city. All my wife’s life was likewise the same.

    In recent years we finally moved out from Urban into a Rural country setting to change our lifestyle.

    Now let it be known that funny things happen during this “buffer” period. What things you ask? To explain them all would be impossible, but to explain a few might give some insight.

    In my situation I am a remote Software Engineer (as in I work from home). Now each day we have a “standup meeting” (part of our newly adopted Agile Development process) where we each communicate what our concept of what is going on in our project is and where we each stand at the moment. During these stand-ups we often share things that happened over the weekend etc.. to make it more interesting. I began to realise as I shared life events in the country that Urban and Rural are very different (much more than I thought). As I would share Rural experiences the team would break out in unanimous laughter. Not just once or twice. I agree that from an Urban point of view they were actually rediculous. Some examples are needded at this point:

    – We have laying chickens (chicken that lay eggs). Over the period of a few weeks we noticed we were getting less and less production, while the family Dog was getting a very healthy and shining black coat. We became suspicious and called an inquiry. Finally the dog was caught black-handed and rehabilitaed with education / chastisement / physical barriers. It worked well, or so we thought. One day the lunch table, just before our meal one of the children walked into the kitchen with an egg in hand. Where did it come from? A chicken was in colusion with the dog, laying in the very dog house! Now how do you stop that kind of problem? Its like having the beef cow show up at your house and present itself on the diner table in gravy roast-atire.

    – Another child was reading about how one person would “grade” the eggs to get more money for them.. you know Grade A, etc.. What our child do? Pulled out the cheese grader and asked mom if he could grade this raw (still in the shell) egg to get more money for it.

    – At one the daily standups they wanted to know what I did yesterday? After being on vacation for a while… yesterday meant a lot of things. I answered that we butchered 13 chickens yesterday and wow are they tasty! Again the roaring, of which I think it has become an expectation. What will he do next! Well between cutting down trees (some very interesting experiences there… like the barber chair, etc..) and all the other things that happen, its becoming less funny to me and more normal. I wonder when I’ll start laughing about XBox, Nintendo, The Malls, etc.. when I hear stories regarding gaming, shopping, restaurants and other Urban highlights?