Inspirational quotes?

Somebody has put up a bunch of those oh-so-inspirational quotes where business leaders said something really stupid. I’m not sure how these are supposed to inspire us, especially since almost all of them are urban legends. One of them I walk by every day says

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.”

— William Orton, president of Western Union, in 1876

I’m trying to figure out the clip art they used for a banner on the quote, because I really want to replace it with

“These digital cameras are a fad. People will always want the quality that they can only get with film”

— Any Kodak executive from 1975 to about 2005

Time to list my old 1U server

I bought this server several months ago to live on a colo rack. But it was flakey, so I bought another, much more expensive one and brought this one back home to experiment with. And so there it’s sat for months.

The problems I was seeing were drive related, but sometimes it was /dev/hda and sometimes it was /dev/hdb, and I figured that there were only two possibilities – either the IDE controller itself was pooched, or the drive cable was bad. Easy enough to test – I bought a new 80 pin IDE cable. I was going to try to try the Hitachi DFT “Exerciser” to stress the drives with the old cable, and then try again with the new cable to see if I get a different result.

I tried a bunch of different things, but I just couldn’t seem to get it running at all with the old cables. I’m running it down with the new cables and it’s running fine. I set it to run for 3 hours continuously. Once that works, it’s going on eBay, unless somebody reading here wants it.

It’s a VA Linux 1220. 2 1GHz Pentium 3 processors. 2 512Mb PC133 RAM. 2 10/100 Ethernet. Built in IDE and SCSI controllers (I’ve only tried the IDE). PS/2 keyboard port. I tried to boot it with a USB keyboard once, and it didn’t work right.

New news server, woo hoo!

I decided that part of the reason for my home server’s pitiful upload performance is all that bandwidth being consumed by usenet news peers and news readers. Every time I look at “netstat –inet”, there are at least a dozen nntp connections, incoming and outgoing. I decided the simple solution to that would be to move the news server to my colo box – that way the only nntp connections on my poor overworked cable modem would be Vicki and I connecting it out to the colo box, and everybody else would hit my well under-utilized colo bandwidth. As a side effect, with all the bandwidth and disk space available there, I could start taking all the big8 and alt groups that I don’t currently take. Maybe I could even start offering accounts to more people.

Sunday night I installed inn2 on the colo box, and started feeding it from my home and from the National Capital Freenet. After a day, it appeared that that was working perfectly, so I informed my various peers to start feeding directly to the new site ( Some of them have switched over, some haven’t. As a reader, it seems a tiny bit slower than a local connection, but it’s probably way faster for remote readers.

After another day, it’s been working so well that now it’s time to tell the various readers to switch over. Unfortunately I never collected the email addresses of all the readers. In recent years I’ve started suggesting that they subscribe to an internal newsgroup called “compass.announce”, but I’m not sure how many are doing that. I guess I’ll have to give them some time to notice, and then shut off the server on the home box.

So if you’ve got news read/post access on my news server, please switch over to using as your server name. Your userid and password should still work. If your news reader uses .newsrc or something similar, you’re going to have to reset all your article counts because I started numbering at 0 again.