Saturday, August 21, 2004

Yesterday afternoon, my wife messaged me. She suggested that I go out that evening and do some wardriving or hang out at a coffee shop. She has a funny way of knowing when something is wrong with me. I really didn't want to go out. I just wanted to drink beers and watch TV with her. But I understood why she wanted to get me out of the house. She said I needed to get out and have fun.

I have been pretty depressed lately. I sometimes wonder if I am a textbook manic depressive. All the signs have always been there. I plant myself firmly into projects that I can never realistically finish, and then eventually I get a feeling that I am overwhelmed and exhausted. Working in the IT industry only feeds this bizarre battle in my mind. Maybe I am just overthinking things.

Studying for all of these exams is making me crazy. Every exam I sit down to, I think I am going to fail. It never goes away. No matter how prepared I am, the anxiety is always just as bad. It's so miserable that I dread every exam I take. Even after I walk out having passed, it will be an hour or so before I can "come down" from the nervous fit. That alone is maddening. Reading books and test questions 8 hours a day is maddening in it's own way. The lack of human interaction is just slowly eating away at me, pushing me further into withdrawal.

In the beginning, the studying didn't bother me so much. I believe there are two reasons for this. First, I felt I might be rewarded in the form of a raise. That money would help pay my mortgage and possibly leave something left at the end of the month. I don't ask for much. I just want to pay all my bills, and feel like I can answer my phone again without getting an angry bill collector. And part of me daydreams that I might someday be able to buy a nice new Apple notebook. Isn't that sad? Obtaining an MCSE and an MCT certification to fund the purchase of an Apple notebook.

Secondly, I was interested in the status I would obtain by taking the exams. Perhaps my peers would take me more seriously. I would love to be a fly on the wall and hear what the consultants say behind my back. They all hate me. I am a thorn in their side. I am in a constant state of questioning what they do, and what they have done with their train wreck of a network. They sure as hell don't want help from me, and my suggestions go un-noticed. Sometimes as I'm walking away from a conversation I can 'feel' them rolling their eyes at me. And for what? I had a conversation with two consultants a few days ago about their 'firewall'. I wanted them to open up a port so that I could connect outbound using Secure Shell. They didn't want to do it, because then they would have to open the 'inbound' port as well. I tried to explain how the whole "masquerading" feature of a firewall works, and that they didn't need to open inbound ports, but they honestly did not understand the concept. After they fiddled around with their "Microsoft ISA" server for 15 minutes or so, I just told them to forget about it. It's not worth fighting about. Why should I explain something so elementary in networking to two guys that probably make 20k a year more than me?

I can't wait until I have "achieved my certifications" and I can work on projects with these guys.

All right, so now you know what's been up my ass. It took my wife to tell me that I was unhappy, so that I could pour that out. And I do feel better, thank you. :-) My afternoon improved greatly Friday afternoon. We have this interesting product called "Sharepoint". It's a network based Microsoft product that allows an office full of people to share things. Share discussions, share documents, share pictures, whatever. In my idle time I had set up my own little personal site. In it, I had documented my thoughts on offering some Apple based services to the public. I linked my personal site to the Education site. Nobody really uses this product, but what the hell. I have tried a few weeks to get anyone interested.

Friday afternoon, I see that Gretchen, our Organizational Growth manager was trying to get into my personal site to leave some comments. It turns out that I spiked her interest and she wanted to help! Gretchen said "I'm not much help on the technical side, but I can help you put together a business case". That is just what I needed to give me a good weekend. Someone knows I am not crazy. She wants to partner with me on this project! I was excited. I ran over to her and let her know that I am collecting data, but I will plan a meeting with her as soon as I have something to put on paper.

I made a few decisions on Friday. First, I would stop studying so much at home. It's killing me. Sucking the life out. Depressing me. Not to mention making my family hate me. And for what? I can study at work. They can pay me for it. Secondly, I decided to move forward on a project that I actually wanted to be part of. My dream is to run a wing of consulting that offers help to Mac users. In the meantime I still need to finish my MCSE. But as soon as it's done, I want to start studying something that I care about. It's not that I hate Microsoft products, but I don't like them. The way they do business is getting more insane by the decade.

Steve Jobs had a passion for computers. He still does. But I think at this point he is a broken man, still fighting a cause that he began in the seventies. Computers should be fun. He really believes that using a computer should feel spiritual. His products are a careful balance of design and engineering. Easy to use, good to look at, and they do what you need them to.

I went into MicroCenter the other day (local computer shop) and I was ill walking around looking at parts. I really hate gamers. If you are a gamer, you should stop reading at this point. However, if you continue to read, I will expect some hate comments from you.

I firmly believe that gamers have fed the decline of IT. I look at where we have come in all these years of progress (?) since the information age began. What do we have to show for the past 30 years? I look around this computer store and see aisles of shitty 3D shoot-em-ups. The parts sections look like Mickey Mouse ate neon colored Crayons and puked everywhere. Why the hell does a motherboard need neon colored pieces? Oh, so that the neon lights in your PC will light them up and make them nifty looking. How will I see inside your PC? Because you have an acryllic wall that lets me look at your parts inside. While looking into your PC I can comment on all the overpriced parts that you blew a small fortune on.

An overclocked processor is a given for a gamer. And hell, you will need a watercooled system to keep it from burning up. My car isn't even liquid cooled. You don't want a liquid cooled processor? Then you will have to chose from one in a hundred fans that all look like they were stripped of military equipment. Those fans are going to be loud, so you had better buy that $250 sound system. Did I mention that you should get an "overclockers kit"? They really make these kits, and they cost about $150 to $200.

Even PC cases have gotten rediculous. They all look like MTV took them to a chop shop and destroyed them. Thanks MTV, you done' pimped my PC! The few cases that looked somewhat respectable were blatant Apple rip-offs. If you are building a PC, you better have saved a few hundred bucks to drop on your video card. You will need to see those enemies coming from a mile away. The gaming industry is quick to remind you that you will need the latest card, to play the latest games. A nice way to keep the eternal money machine moving. If you are still reading this, and you are a gamer, you should be getting a lump in your throat about now.

Gamers have enslaved the IT industry, and big business just goes along for the ride. Work gave me this Dell laptop, and I can barely use it. It weighs even more than my ten year old iBook. The keys have worn down. Seriously, half the lettering is gone after a year of use. The sucker has a 2Ghz processor in it. I always know when I am pushing the processor, because my lap about catches fire from the heat, and the turbine fans kick on in the back. It has built in wireless in the form of a mini-PCI card in the bottom. But it's internal wiring sucks, and I can't get far from the access point before it drops connections on me. Dude, I got a Dell. And it's a piece of shit. But if I want to play games, I got it made. Because it's fast, and it's got the bestest' Nvidia card ever. Thanks to you gamers out there, Dell has produced you the perfect laptop. But ... they sold it to me, and all I want to do is read my email and listen to music.

Hope Lies In The Corner
In the rear of this "super center" of shit, is a part of the store dedicated to Apple stuff. Apple notebooks, PC's, software, etc. Of course this part of the store is only staffed with one employee, who to my delight was running around the whole half hour I was there taking care of customers. The customers however, were mostly older people. The clerk was obviously a nerd, but from my generation. I see a lot of people from my generation wearing their elmo glasses, and hugging a Mac. I wonder if we are the new generation of hippies? In the past few years, Mac's have been seen as a yuppie toy. And that bothers me.

Perhaps this is partly due to the way that Apple marketed their new computers. The message was simple. Don't force yourself to understand the PC. Expect the PC to understand you. Unfortunately the technically literate translate this to "if you are too damned stupid to run a PC, get a Mac and be a Mac-tard". I am always explaining to people why Mac's are more of a real computer, than their retarded PC but I don't think they are hearing me. I am not so much of an Apple whore that I go around "switching people". But 'their stuff is better'. People see me with the Mac and ask really dumb questions like, "what can you do on it?". Obviously, all the same stuff a PC can do. Duh. Unless you want to play games. Mac's don't really do games. I would consider that a strength.

All right, how did this one blog entry turn into a book? Let me conclude. I have something to enjoy at work now. I have something to work toward. I might just earn the respect of my peers and employer. I might get a raise. I might enjoy my job. This Wednesday I am going to the Apple store in my area for their "business discussion". It sounds lame, but I might just get to drag a lot of information out of a business professional who can feed my plan.

Now, stop reading all this bullshit and get back to your game of Counterstrike. And remember, it was your purchase of all that retarded overspriced shit that convinced the hardware manufacturers that they are doing the right thing. YOU MURDERED I.T. ;-)

Current Mood: Spiffy
Musical Inspiration: Death Cab for Cutie (thanks Rob!)

Historic Comments
I didn't pay for shit
Benzoate | 08.21.04 - 10:43 pm | #

I do both. I'm a hardcore gamer, AND I'm majoring in information technology. The way I like to look at it, is that each faction of technology (gamers, office nerds, programmers, e-mail, internet, etc..) each help the computer industry as a whole. Because of gamers, there's even a more demand for processor power and increases in hard drive space and RAM. The programming people help to drive new and innovative products that help utilize and drive the technology that's being made. And the IT people are solving problems and creating networks. Without one of these factions (yes, gaming included), the computer industry as a whole would be 5 years behind.

And no one is forcing you to play video games.
Cody aka CypherXero | Homepage | 08.22.04 - 10:29 am | #

hear hear Ray!

In my experience, actually meeting with and trying to talk to gamers about computers is next to impossible. They don't know as much about computers as they think they do. To me, they're right there along with the "end user".
cerealkiller76 | Homepage | 08.22.04 - 4:01 pm | #

Gaming is a waste of time and money. People with no friends game for hours instead of Code for hours...
huh | 08.22.04 - 6:21 pm | #

It's so easy and so simple I don't see why more people don't run Linux.

I'm Steve and a Super Villain. pid=54
oc12 | 08.22.04 - 7:35 pm | #

If you ask me, the computer industry IS five years behind. Maybe more.

It depresses me that things haven't changed much since IBM introduced the PC in 81.

The technology continues to build upon itself slowly. Why not start over. Reinvent the wheel? First there was DOS, and then 95 and then 98. Why didnt they just trash it all and make something new? NT gave birth to 2000 which gave birth to XP. I see small gradual improvements, but nothing to write home about.

I don't think this industry is leaping and bounding the way it did thirty years ago.

At this rate, I will not own a flying car in my lifetime, and that pisses me off.

Ray | 08.23.04 - 10:04 pm | #

I totally agree with you Ray, take it easy with the tests man, I know they can become overbearing
magikgrl | Homepage | 08.24.04 - 11:17 am | #

No comments:

Post a Comment