June 22nd, 2005


Meaningless pieces of paper

I don't go in for certifications that are obtained for the purpose of getting the piece of paper. If someone thinks I'm an unsuitable employee for them because I don't have a college degree, then they're probably so tied up in other petty administrative male bovine exhaust that I'm not going to be happy working for them anyway.

The same goes for other certifications. In general, all they show is that the person with the paper has put up with a structured course of learning that may or may not have any relevance whatsoever to the real world of whatever the subject matter of the course is. I've gotten a few professional certifications, but they've been only useful to cover cracks in the walls. The MCSE certificate is a notorious example of this: to pass the test, you need to learn stuff that's not useful in actually doing the work that MCSEs are supposed to be good at.

Even so, there's sometimes a need to get the paper. The current flap over the Texas VHF-FM Society is a case in point. The Gang of Three has posted an update to their site calling my parliamentary expertise (among lots of other things) into question. Since my National Association of Parliamentarians membership - for which one must pass a test showing one knows Robert's Rules of Order fairly well - isn't enough for them, I just spent $100 at the NAP store on study materials for the Registered Parliamentarian test. Whee. Once that gets here, I'll get to spend another $100 on the exam fee for the test itself. They cite a 40-day lead time for the test; that means I'll have to hustle to get it in before I go to Austin for the next meeting.
  • Current Music
    Kansas - Point of No Return

DSL speed issues

The new DSL went in last Wednesday. Ever since, we've had, at best, 210 KBPS upload speed instead of the 512K we need and are paying for. I put in a service call Thursday evening, and was told "we're still working on the install ticket. If it's still slow tomorrow, call us back." We were gone all weekend. I reran the speed test when we got power back Monday evening after the outage, and it was still slow. Same results this morning.

I put in another call, and opened a repair ticket. The repairman just called. I told him what speed we were getting, and what we expected.
"You can't get that unless you've got a BDSL modem, and the installer told me he tried and couldn't get that to work."
"He brought a SpeedStream 5930, put it in, and it worked with no trouble."
"Oh, you've got a 5930 already?"
Argh. He's going to check the settings at the central office and call back.

Someone on a big site in the Netherlands posted a message with one of KT's pictures in it. I had to move it out of the way; the constant hits were eating all my limited uplink bandwidth. If you're looking for the Pokermon picture, you'll just have to wait a while. Is there a module for Apache 2 that will disallow referrers from one particular site?
  • Current Music
    ZZ Top - Viva Las Vegas