Thursday, April 17, 2008

Checking for life...... Not found.

Since the last update to BE, RIT has been bending me over the desk as is its custom. I have a small amount of time free at the moment and I feel I need to keep a modicum of momentum in my quest to have a regularly updated web log. Since I have nothing major to report I will just summarize.

RIT Student Government Elections are this week, I have already voted. My initial thoughts on the election can be found at the RIT Sentinel:

As a note, apparently SG will actually count votes for the cockboat this year.

Unfortunately, due to academic concerns, I was not able to make it to the RIT Parking Advisory Group meeting this month. Which is actually quite a pity considering I finally don't have class or work during the hour of the meeting and would've have been able to go if my System Administration lab hadn't taken 6 hours to do. It's hard to find the time to be politically active.

Google Sync:
I have made a pretty decent amount of progress on the Exchange -> Google implementation, however there are still some problems translating Microsoft to Standards. This makes for some annoyances when applying recurring appointments. I was hoping to avoid having to parse and then reassemble the RRULE myself, but this appears to be the only way to get Google to play ball. The UNTIL clause of some RRULEs uses a date/time format which looks like "20080512T010000" or yearmonthdayThourminutesecond. According to Austin from Google's API team I should be saying "20080512T010000Z", I don't get why something that is likely just looking at the day/month/year stuff cares about what timezone the stamp is in (Z refers to Zulu time which was an older name for what became UTC)

Recently a co-worker upgraded all the Vista computers in the office where I work to SP1 of Vista, which generally went unnoticed until he went to update our department's intranet site (called DSWeb). DSWeb has been a bit of a pet project for a while for me, working on my sysadmin skills in a practical application environment. The new update to Vista breaks the way it talks to standard Samba servers. Windows based shares (Win 2k3, XP) are likely not affected but the open source implementation Samba, which emulates bits of Windows networking in Linux to allow Linux to do things like Windows File Sharing or join Active Directory managed domains, cannot speak the new dialect that Vista is using. Something about SP1 causes Samba to fail decrypting the challenge when a Vista machine is trying to authenticate. After much misadventure I found that Samba released a bugfix version, 3.0.28a, to address the issue. This is generally marked as unstable or testing by most distributions and must be explicitly installed at this time. However, I have seen no major issues with it and it did fix the Vista issue without even having to modify the configuration file.

Steak & Whiskey Night:
Back in the fall my apartment began a celebration/tradition called Steak & Whiskey Night. It can be celebrated at any time, as often as we want to. This became quite popular, even in the short span of time it existed before Rochester weather became too cold to enjoy the outdoors.
This May, Steak & Whiskey Night returns! It is currently planned for Friday, May 2nd. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own cuts of meat or custom steak rubs. It promises to be delicious.

Is approaching, that is all. With any luck if I can hack around some requirements and get another co-op soon, I will likely be RIT Alumni come next Winter. This concept is bizarre, and frankly a little frightening. I have paid over $32,000 a year for 4 years of my life for this education, and everything I consider at this point to be a marketable skill I have no learned from RIT. I have taught myself, or learned on the job. When my knowledge and RIT's curriculum overlapped, I was told I was out of luck and had to sit through their version. My self-motivation and ability to learn very technical skills on my own was NOT rewarded like I always thought it would be in college, it was effectively punished. So...if they're not going to teach me anything...and I'm not learning anything...Why am I paying this much again? And why does this degree matter? ...Do these skills even matter?

It's probably just Realworld-phobia. I hope.