Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Something I learned today

Posted 03 Apr 2012 — by chad
Category Programming, Technology

For my tech geek friends, I learned a new feature of robocopy today.  (Source)

I had to recreate the directory structure of one server on another server, including permissions.  At first I copied the files over with xcopy and then started comparing permissions.  After three folders (out of hundreds), I got bored and figured there had to be a better way.

There was.

Robocopy was something I played around with back in my DOS 6.22 days.  And it’s still around (which is pretty cool).

So for the curious, if you ever need to replicate a directory structure from one machine to another (or even on the same machine) and include file permissions, the below is what will do it for you:

robocopy "source" "destination" /e /z /SEC /xf *

source – your source directory.
destination – your destination directory
/e – include empty subdirectories (use /s if don’t want empty subdirectories)
/z – copy in recoverable mode (in case of error)
/SEC – copy permissions
/xf * – exclude files matching * (everything)

Thus ends today’s geek lesson.

Where is my Tricorder?

Posted 05 Jul 2011 — by chad
Category DCT, Futurewatch, Technology

For the past month I have been floored with a sinus infection /cold / allergies / Heaven only knows what is going on.  I’ve had lots of time to think, ponder, and squirrel away packets of food in case I get hungry while hacking up my lungs (maybe it’s the  squirrel flu??).

This….plague…involved two trips to the doctor, several trips to the pharmacy, and many hours of sleepless nights.  All this had me thinking the obvious….where is my tricorder?

Many who know me (and now, those of you who don’t), know that I have successfully walked the fine line between loving Star Wars and loving Star Trek.  To me it’s never been a problem – one is about a whiny farm boy who goes out and saves the universe, the other has light sabers.  One fights an evil Empire, and the other battles his father.  They are very obviously two different stories told using outer space as the background.

One thing that Star Trek featured that Star Wars simply included in the background is the medical scanning device (nicknamed, obviously, the tricorder from it’s ability to um….triangulate recordings).  One quick scan with this magical device and doctors, nurses, random Vulcans, or medical droids were able to ascertain what was wrong, and which dial to twirl on the hypo-spray to make you better.

Wrr, wrr, wrr — Hm, it says here you’ve got a minor infection of the upper cardio cephalogram.


Whatever, take this.  Pfft.

Wow, I feel better.  What was that?

Hypospray setting #2.  The Tricorder said to give you that one.


Alas, instead I must fight through the visits with the doctor, the guessing, the hoping, the needless pills and days of feeling icky.

Unfortunately, this thought process got me thinking of other things that television and movies have been promising me forever that still aren’t here.  I figured after they got the personal communicator working (cell phone), it would certainly be simple enough to give me the other things I’ve been promised.

I imagine a world in which I can talk to my wife using the video phone, wave good bye to my Rosie robot maid, take a jet pack to the parking garage and use my flying car to get to work.  Lunch is easy at work now that they can make all meals in drink form. After work, I can come home to my kids playing on their hoverboards, and the door opens as I approach.  I turn on the news to see that there is an air shortage on Mars and it is resulting in more Martians being born with…um…extra…tracts of land.  Needing to zip over to my dad’s place across the country, I hop on my transporter after replicating him a delicious dinner.  Before I go, the news reports trouble with the Klingons and the Gungans in some far away galaxy.  Unfortunately, with the invention of Warp Drive that far away galaxy is only 12 parsecs away.  Not to worry, we’ve convinced the Rosies robot maids of the world to form up and instead of attacking humans, take on the Klingons and Gungans. Dinner for the kids  is a snap with my PB&J gun and I tuck the kids in bed telling them stories of how we used to have to get movies from a store to watch them.  I relax by remote controlling my Avatar in a real world version of dungeons and dragons.

I realize I have a grand vision of how I expect the future to look, but really it’s the fault of TV when you think about it.  Without all these awesome inventions, promises, and just plain spectacular cool-ness that is dangled in front of us year after year, how could anyone not expect the future to be full of jump suits and spandex leotards?

This article originally appeared in Dave’s Computer Tips on June 26, 2011.


High Maintenance

Posted 01 Jun 2010 — by chad
Category Automotive, DCT, Technology

Every 3000 miles, my truck needs an oil change. I’ve accepted this. In fact, I make reminders to myself to get the truck into the shop so that the oil is changed on a regular schedule. Tune ups, tire inflation, oil changes, this is all part of owning the vehicle.

So why is it when it comes to computers I grunt and groan and belly ache whenever the computer needs maintenance. I expect it to turn on and just work without any performance care on my part. And why not? Computers are smarter than cars. I have to tell the car where to go, the computer should know exactly what I want it to do. The car has moving parts that I can look at, the computer is a box under my desk (or in my lap) that makes some noise but doesn’t have anything moving that I can see. Read More

Digital Identity Crisis

Posted 23 Mar 2010 — by chad
Category Personal, Social Media, Technology

Since my introduction to the Internet (Geocities anyone?), I’ve kept a healthy respect for the necessity of a hard line between real life and digital.  Frankly, in a world of Google, Facebook, and Twitter it’s probably fair to say that most people don’t have much privacy left.  Knowing that everything that goes onto the Internet will eventually leak out to the World Wide Web helps keep a sobering perspective on what exactly is posted.  Read More

Fun with FiOS

Posted 16 Mar 2010 — by chad
Category FiOS, Technology, Verizon

I wanted to post about my FiOS experience while it was still fresh. You guys will get a kick out of this (Verizon provides DSL and Fiber and is our local telco where I live).  Names would have been changed but I just don’t care.

In September, 2009 I moved around the corner from where I live. The landlord where I was living sold the house and didn’t renew my lease so it was time to go. I called Verizon and told them I was moving and I needed to transfer my service. Told them I’m moving 9/26/09 and would love to have the service overlap by a couple days, but they were unable to do that. OK….can you do the transfer on the 26th? No problem I’m told.

That call was on 9/9/09 or so. The next day, our Internet and TV service are shut off. Read More