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Temple of Heaven

February 16th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Temple of Heaven by Deane Ogden
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Talking with an Ivy Leaguer on Wall Street

February 15th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
Another memoirs of sorts, this time reflecting the Ivy League alumni I've been meeting in NYC, both in the startup community and on Wall Street.  I've been spending more time in NYC instead of SF for a change of location (and people), but ironically, I'm running into sort of the opposite situation to that I had in my short story, Talking with an Engineer in Silicon Valley.  Whereas many I met in Silicon Valley lacked empathy, considerateness, and other traits but at least wanted them (even if superficially), the circles I'm getting into in NYC seem to simply accept that these traits don't genuinely exist and are always superficial.  Maybe it's just my luck that I'm just somehow always meeting the most 1-dimensional people, but the frustrating part is they always start off seeming normal in the beginning.  As with my other short story, the conversations below are nearly cut-paste from my personal experience, besides obvious name changes and other details to keep individuals anonymous and the story somewhat coherent.  For those easily offended, this obviously doesn't reflect every person from Ivy League or in Wall Street and is just a likely biased, limited subset of the real world from my own experiences.

======================

Sam: Hi, I'm Sam.  Nice to meet you.
Ivy Leaguer:...[More]
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Firebird

February 14th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Firebird by Deane Ogden
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City Guides

January 24th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Random Stuff | #
Just my thoughts and notes on where to go in each city, what's worth seeing and doing, what I enjoy in each city anyway.  Not so much a guide as much as a set of bookmarks for myself.  For a more anecdotal sense of what the three major coastal US cities are like, check out NYC vs SF vs LA.

United States

Chicago
- Best Area...[More]
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The Picture of Dorian Gray

January 19th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Recently Read | #
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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Massive Projector Screen and Adjustable Stands

January 18th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Having some fun creating a new room setup with a massive projector screen (aka the entire long wall of the room) and going a bit crazy with the amount of adjustable stands/standing desks all around.  The screen is so massive (20ft wide) and so close (less than 10 ft away).  The tables/trays literally rotate and unfold in front of you, are adjustable to any position, and disappear when you're done using them.  Makes the whole room feel like a starship of sorts.  Tongue

The projector is the Optoma GT1080 and the stands don't even have a name, some obscure Asian item sold on Amazon here.






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What Would God Do

January 14th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Why would you not aspire to be God? Isn't he supposed to be the best? Why wouldn't he be your role model instead of the guy beneath him?
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Toki ni wa Mukashi no Hanashi wo

January 11th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
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Journey's End

November 26th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Journey's End by Kaz Okamoto
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Terrorists Among Syrian Refugees

November 15th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Looks like the ISIS Trojan Horse scenario I mentioned in September is playing out with the mass migration of refugees to Europe.  Terrible news this past Friday, but can't say it was unexpected.  It was also literally spelled out by ISIS as what they intended to do (flood Europe with migrants and hide among them).

The news here at least acknowledges that rather than treat it as a completely unpredictable event like they often do: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11...

Just hope the Western world takes the vulnerability of opening up to mass immigration a little more seriously now, but it seems like politicians these days have worked themselves into a corner where they must always do the most short-term, emotionally righteous decision rather than think things through on a longer term, more rational perspective.  The problem is they're always reacting to events instead of thinking one step ahead.  It's almost as if they'd rather endure crisis after crisis together rather than make the tough call against the herd to prevent one.  No matter what they do now with the immigration issue (close, tighten, whatever), whoever wanted to sneak in is already in, and they need to start looking past that.
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Buried Memories

November 9th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another dream I had that played out like a movie.  Seems to be how all my ideas to come to me now.
================================
I am living off in the country side for some time.  There, I have a small isolated plot of land that I planted a farm on and regularly tend to for fun, but the house near it is pretty high tech and is where I do a bunch of more serious work for coding and other hobbies.  One day, some guy shows up while I'm out on my farm and tries to tell me I ought to work for his company and get a real job or something.  He starts telling me how it will be good experience to build resume and get real software skills, etc so I don't have to live on a farm anymore.  I ask if he knows what I actually do, and he says he can't tell, which just annoys the heck out of me that he'd dare even tell me what I should do with my life.  I show him that my farm is actually also a grave for past lives I've had and previous bodies I've...[More]
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Helping vs Changing Goals

October 26th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
You don't help someone by telling them to change their goal.  If you're going to help them, help them achieve it.
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Windows 10 Updates

October 17th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Windows 10 hides the Windows Update settings.  This is how you can disable or make it notify you before downloading/installing.
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/make-windows-10-notify-you-before-downloading-or-installing-windows-updates
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Auto Login and Lock

October 17th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
This is a method for turning your Windows home computer into sort of a server by automatically booting and loading the desktop without requiring your manual login.  It then locks and requires password to use the computer, but the stuff you want up and running (especially programs in the startup folder) will already be up.
http://lifehacker.com/5645098/make-windows-load-your-desktop-before-you-log-in

For Windows server, make sure to also disable Ctrl+Alt+Delete on login as described here:
https://serverfault.com/a/911298

A program to do it with UI is also available here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/da-dk/sysinternals/downloads/autologon

If you want your computer to automatically come on even with a power outtage, see:
http://www.technewsworld.com/story/78930.html
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Send Mail As From Gmail SMTP

October 15th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
These are directions on how to set up your own domain's email addresses to work from Gmail in case I forget.  In other words, sending from your own user@domain.com address but having it sent from Gmail's servers so you can use gmail as your client, authentication, etc.

1. Login to gmail.com.
2. Go to settings.
3. Go to accounts and import.
4. Under send...[More]
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Remote Desktop Setup

October 15th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Good articles on securing the Remote Desktop function of Windows, so that it uses encryption, etc.

Basic things all RDP should have:
http://www.howtogeek.com/175087/how-to-enable-and-secure-remote-desktop-on-windows/

In addition,...[More]
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Imposing on Others

October 11th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Having a person complain while he imposes his will on others is like watching a dog cry while it devours a child.
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Performance Issues in SQL Server 2014

October 10th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
I just spent the last week trying to figure out why some of my SQL queries were suddenly taking hours to run on a large dataset when they used to take seconds on an older machine.  The queries I have use a lot of subqueries and left-joins across several tables with hundreds of GB of data each.  At first I thought it might be because my dataset has grown to the point my queries were no longer efficient.  Perhaps I had too many joins or subqueries that were not using the indexes on the table.  I actually tried removing every case of "OR" condition in my queries, which seemed to help a little but nowhere near bringing down the hour or so it still took to run.  After messing with indexes and re-arranging queries non-stop, it turns out it's because of an update to cardinality estimation on the back-end in Microsoft SQL Server 2014.

Luckily, you can disable the cardinality estimation update on a query-by-query basis by doing:
Quote
*your query*   OPTION ( QUERYTRACEON 9481 )

After appending "  OPTION ( QUERYTRACEON 9481 )" at the end of my queries, I'm back to seeing them execute within seconds.  Whatever update Microsoft did to its cardinality estimation clearly missed a few edge cases (perhaps they don't expect large queries and datasets?).  If anyone else is running into this issue, I hope this saves them some time.  Bigger worry is if Microsoft thinks their update is so great that they end up removing the ability to backtrack down the road.
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Wasting Through Time

October 3rd, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
This was another story idea I got as a dream.  I suppose it reflects my mood lately with everyone seeming to get older around me, not just physically but mentally as well.

=========================

Two friends have known each other all their lives.  They are able to time travel but only by skipping forward in time.  They've been doing that for a while and have experienced centuries of history past by, but one day, one of the friends loses this ability.  The other is torn between staying with the friend or leaving the friend behind to continue skipping forward.  There was a sense before that both of them were destined to see all the Earth's history to the very end until the world goes dark, but now that seems less certain.  They end up splitting ways, with one living through the years instead of skipping forward while the other continues to jump forward every few years.  Each time they catch up, one friend gets much older while the other remains...[More]
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Breaking People to Their Core - Complete

September 18th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
This is an older piece I started writing a while ago and finally completed:
https://www.pftq.com/blabberbox/?page=Breaking_People_to_Their_Core

It sheds a bit of light into my thought process for understanding people and what drives them.
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