Tim Oppenheim
Standard Geek

Sea Monkeys

This is a test of my new Kodak Zi8 HD camera that I got for my birthday. I am hoping to do more with video in the years to come. I think that we are visual learners and video is very doable on the web.

This was done in the kitchen, I spent no time on it and uploaded to YouTube with no issues and YouTube provides the embedding. We will see how it goes.


We don’t think about what we publish on the web being out to get us, but some recent changes by Facebook have a lot of caveats with them.

We all use Google and we know that they collect a lot of data about us. But my sense is that they stick to what that have stated and are not evil with the data. Additionally they are working hard to make your data portable and transparent. I don’t get that sense at all from Facebook. It seems that each update reduces the privacy that was there before the update, and then making lower privacy settings the default. They do play lip service to privacy by having links to privacy pages, but the actual settings are opaque and not intuitive or easy to use.

The question is why? Pure greed. I think Google was very deliberate in monetizing their service and chose the method that most fell in line with their viewpoint. Again, I don’t get that sense about Facebook. I think that Facebook would readily sell just about every scrap of data on you to the highest bidder. I am sure that there is a skunkwork project that is finding intuitive data about you, just like Google has build intuitive data about the web.


The need for geeks

I am a tech enthusiast and I enjoy playing with systems, building servers, figuring out problems, and getting things done. Many times I am just all in my stuff and many time I get lost. I have to back track and used my experience and knowledge to get things going, and even in this day and age some things are not simple.

So knowing what I do, I am constantly surprised by the folks and institutions that don’t have a handy tech guy. Granted there is someone in your business or family that is handy, but I think you are really limiting yourself and your organization by not taking full advantage of whats available. I constantly hear ” I didn’t know that would do that ” and without someone deeply knowledgeable about your setup and goals I don’t see how you would.

My advice ( YIKES ! ) spend a couple of bucks with a real IT guy or gal ( probably not at Best Buy, no offense ) and see if you can get some things rolling with real problem solving.

Asterisk again and again

Well, I made the hopeful comment that I had completed my Asterisk box and it was working extremely well. Well, the IT gods would not let that stand.

It all started calmly. The recording I had made were in my voice and not very good. Lets just say my usual timbre is not conducive to 16 bit mono. So I cranked up speech on my Mac and using Alex, slightly compressed I made the main recording for the IVR. All is well and good, I uploaded and tried it. It failed every time after 20 seconds. So I had to redo everything to trace the fault. After a solid hour I determined it was my SipGate trunk. It was working great last week, now it’s failing after 20 seconds. No big deal I have a back up through Vitality.

Then the VOIP phone that I have connected at the house decided it didn’t want to work. I have spent about 6 hours diagnosing this issue and have finally called in help. I believe I have narrowed to sip_nat.conf but again it was working last week and I have made no changes.

The phone works great from our local network, it’s the greater Internet that’s broken.

Updates soon


With only my (half) wits to guide me I boldly make the following predications for 2010:

  • 3G coverage will come to Jonesboro. This is a good market for cell phones and to have a college here, it just seems unseemly not to have decent coverage.
  • NEA Baptist will not make any progress in building a new hospital here.
  • Olive Garden will have lines around it from the time it opens until mid-June. Anybody that goes the first month will be sadly disappointed. Lazzari will have to up their game considerably. Red Lobster will announce opening a store here.
  • Apple will build a tablet, I will want one. I will end up getting something bigger than an iPhone, but smaller than a notebook, that I hope runs OS X.
  • Dell will finally realize that it’s so much cheaper to build the quality in then to fix it on the tail. I also predict that will have at least 5 more issues that require Dell Technical Support this year.
  • Leo Laporte is the model for a very successful media company. I predict that someone in NEA will figure this out and launch a mini-empire. Much to the chagrin of Kait8 and Jonesboro Sun.
  • BarCamp Jonesboro will be a huge success and Steven Trotter will be tapped by the Libertarian Party for his ambitious organizing skills.
  • That Jonesboro CoWorking has a tremendous year, with at least one member moving out because of the growth of their business.
  • That gas prices will rise dramatically again, but that the battery that electric cars need to be viable will finally become marketable. The Chevy Volt will be a huge success, that GM will ultimately screw up.
  • That the series end to LOST will be awesome.
  • Michael will be present in the delivery room at the birth of Jim and Pam’s baby.

That seems good enough to start. I will say that my overall 20 year prediction record hovers around 70%. But since I usual score things in my favor, that may not be too impressive


JoBoCoWo Phone System

I went up this weekend and rebuild the Jonesboro CoWorking phones system, some recent moves and a router failure caused it to quit working. You can call 870.275.4658 and that should get you in. Read More...

Regular Updates- Malware

OMG!!! I just got the worst malware computer I have seen. Here is what it does:

  • Disables Task Manager
  • Deletes MalwareBytes executable
  • Disables Anti-virus
  • Pop Up AntiVirus 2009 and there is no way to stop it.
  • Disables Explorer