All posts by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

I’ve added a story that

I’ve added a story that I wrote a while ago,
entitled "Devolution". I know that fiction hasn’t appeared here before,
and I run the risk of entering Tool territory by adding it. Oh, well.


The Virginia National Bank page is a bit weird, I’ll admit.
I do all of my business and personal banking at VNB, and I’ve often been frustrated
by their lack of a website. I can never find out their hours, ATM locations,
phone numbers, or whatever, when I need to find ’em out. At first, I put this page
up for myself, but I figured other locals might find it useful, FWIW.

Decided that you want to

Decided that you want to get on the whole Linux
IPO bandwagon? Missed the RedHat and
VA Linux IPOs, but considering investing
in The Next Big Linux Thing? Well, that might not be a bad idea, but don’t be
fooled by LinuxOne.


This company, with no income, no unique product, and no history, has just
filed
for an IPO
. LinuxWorld has done an
extensive
story
one LinuxOne, and The Register has
one of their own, too.
Neither of them are sparing in their descriptions of the company. LinuxOne has essentially
taken RedHat’s distribution and put their name on it and called it a new distribution.
But the product isn’t really relevant — it’s just an excuse to have an IPO.


What they’re doing, of course, is taking advantage of the
open source model for their
own profit, without
giving anything back
to the open-source community.


Bruce Perens says that we should
run them out of town on
a rail
. I’m all for it. You, in the meantime, should stay away from LinuxOne
and advise others to do the same.

So I get this letter.

So I get this letter. It’s addressed to me at my office. I open it and find this nice-looking vellum invitation.

“John T. Casteen III, President, University of Virginia, invites you to e-summit@virginia. Power, Safety, and Happiness in the Virtual World. An exploration of the role of the Internet in a Jeffersonian democracy. November 11-13, 1999. On the Grounds of the University of Virginia. Cocktail Buffet, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, November 11, Carr’s Hill. R.S.V.P. card enclosed. Please call (800) 264-01XX for more information.”

I’d heard of the e-summit. Speakers will include Allisan Abraham from iVillage, Mark Templeton from Citrix, Halsey Minor from CNet, Jeffery Walker from Chase Manhattan, and Tim Koogle from Yahoo!. Damn.

So what could I do? I called. I had two questions: Would it cost me? and Why was I invited? I was told that not only was it free, but the invitations were sent out as a result of a fair amount of research done to determine who should be invited to this shindig. So what am I doing with an invitation?, I asked. I was told, simply, that it was determined that I would be a suitable guest. They’ve got some sort of a file on me.

This thing is open to the public, but there’s a cocktail buffet the night before everything starts, and that’s the invitation-only part. I’m not sure of what will happen there, or how many people will be there, or what the heck I’ll have to add to the mix. Three dozen millionare CEOs and Waldo. UVa didn’t even accept me, for chrissake.

Anyhow, I’m not quite sure of what to make of all this, but I thought I’d share. Weird, huh?

So there’s this organization that

So there’s this organization that I’ve been part of starting, called FeO2. It’s sort of a hacker collective, in the spirit (and footsteps) of notwork, of NYC, and The L0pht, of Boston. I’ll get into more detail about this later, probably through the form of putting up the website. The point of this is that The Daily Progress, Charlottesville’s daily paper, has a story on us today. Now, since the Progress, for no readily apparent reason, doesn’t archive the stories on their site, just check out this archived version. But don’t bookmark it—I’ll move it over to the FeO2 site as soon as it’s up.

The Angle.

The Angle, a University of Virginia (which is here in C’ville, for those who don’t know) on-line publication, apparently ran a story on local music that quoted me. It was in there nearly a year ago — and I just got my very first hit on Waldo.Net as a result. Popular piece. Anyhow, check out the article. (I’m the one referred to as “Waldo Jacobs.” I also like the reference to the Hogwiler Ramblers.) The site that the author refers to in his article is cvillemusic.com which still — yes, still — is not up. But not for lack of working hard on it.

Wow, what a cool trip.

Wow, what a cool trip. Because I used a film-based camera, I have to wait
to get the film developed. Also, I didn’t carry a laptop this time, so I have
to type this stuff in. It’s so much easier to just carry a computer. Anyhow,
for the impatient, I didn’t get all the way to the CT border, for logistics reasons.
But I got within spittin’ distance. Kinda. :)


Also, on a random note, I just received an order that I placed from
Bluefly. In case you haven’t heard of ’em,
they’re pretty much your average on-line shopping place. But they have a good
variety of stuff, more than more places. Also, their site is clean and functional,
which is more than I can say for most commerce sites. Anyhow, I though I’d
place a test order to see if they’re any good. They’re not.


It was an easy order: two pairs of boxer briefs (Calvin Klein, button fly, black, if you
must know) and a pillow. I had to get a Ralph Lauren one, because they didn’t carry
anything not fancy-schmancy brand name. I was going to get a pair or two of
jeans, but they only had one size of every type of jeans, and it was always something
like 24/45, or something equally useless.


So, I get a confirmation of my order saying that they’ll be shipped. And, "as
you know," they’re in the process of moving, so my order was to be delayed.
As I know? I had no idea. So the order didn’t come for 12 days. And when it came?
No pillow. The enclosed invoice made no mention of the pillow, nor what they’d be
charging my credit card. So I double-checked my e-mail. No note saying that the
pillow wouldn’t be coming.


So I call them — 877-BLUEFLY. "Sorry, the mailbox that you’ve called is
full. Please call back later, or dial ‘0’ for help." I hung up and called
back, just in case. Same message. So I hit ‘0’. An operator directed me to a
customer service rep. He informed me that they must have been out of pillows.
So why, I asked, didn’t they tell me? He said that they don’t do that. Such a
useful answer. So would I be getting the pillow? Nope, not unless I ordered
again. But how would I know if I’d get it that time? I wouldn’t. See, there’s
really no relationship between something being in stock and appearing on the
website. But I could e-mail them with the exact specifications of the pillow
that I’m looking for, and they’d special-order it. I said that I wanted
something to put my head on, and that perhaps this wasn’t the place to get such
a thing. He offered me 15% off, but I pointed out that would require me placing
another order from them, which wouldn’t be happening.


Moral: Skip Bluefly.

Well, I’ve switched this site

Well, I’ve switched this site over to the new server. It was over at
Community Computing, on an NT box. Although
the hosting situation was great, I certainly don’t feel at home on Windows. So I switched
over to my Linux box here at WAM!,
which seems to be going well. http://waldo.net still goes to CC’s NT
box, but that ought to propagate shortly and fix itself. Now I get to start upgrading everything
to run on PHP and mySQL. Yay!