Dear Valued Customer, You Are a Loser

The full title is, Dear Valued Customer, You Are a Loser: And Over 100 Other Embarrassing and Funny Stories of Technology Gone Mad. This book, by Rick Broadhead, has a somewhat deceptive title. It’s not simply about bad customer service horror stories. It’s about business horror stories, created or compounded by technology.

Many of these horror stories involve what happens when poor judgement is crossed with the virulent nature of e-mail. A few involve technology being employed by the little guy. A few involve technology being employed by a scammer. Most of these stories have at their center the mis-application of technology.

There are lessons in the humor here. You can (hopefully) laugh that these stories happened to someone else, but in the end, they are also a warning to be vigilant of the power of the ever-changing landscape of technology. The stories in this book involve customer service personnel, brokers, programmers (indirectly), and even CEOs.

Idiots at Work

This book is a collection of:
– Infamous true stories–IBM and the world market for “five computers”, Iacocca’s “how much clean air” quote.
– Anonymous blunders – the “Gregg Typting Award” resume note.
– Anonymous stupidity.
– Corporate stupidity.

The anonymous stuff you’ve probably heard before, but there are a lot of gems in this book that you may not have heard before. The book is a series of shorts, from one-liners to single pagers.

Running netscape 4.8 on Kubuntu Linux.

Install netscape (download link here)
The error message that you will get: is not found
sudo apt-cache search libstdc++
You’ll see a package libstdc++{version number here}-glibc2.2
sudo apt-get install libstdc++{version number here}-glibc2.2

Create a symlink to the so netscape is looking for:
sudo ln -s

My Kubuntu workstation

  1. Start with Kubuntu (Breezy) full installation (not the reduced server option).
  2. Install synaptic
  3. Add universe and restricted repositories.
  4. Install firefox
  5. kwin_baghira window decorations and button styles.
  6. Install kxdocker
  7. Enable dapper repositories.
    • Perform an apt-get dist-upgrade
  8. Install gvim.
  9. Allow incoming connections (remove -nolisten tcp)
    • For kubuntu, this is on the ServerArgsLocal line in /etc/kde3/kdm/kdmrc
  10. Install mypasswordsafe
  11. Set up to mount my two ntfs usb drives
    • /dev/sda1 /media/usb0 ntfs ro,user,auto,umask=002,uid=thomas 0 0
    • /dev/sdb1 /media/usb1 ntfs ro,user,auto,umask=002,uid=thomas 0 0
  12. Install forecast fox

Ubuntu Linux faq.
Particularly relevant for newer systems:

nVidia and ATI graphics cards

For the latest on these popular cards click here for nVidia or here for ATI.

How come I can’t use more than 900 MB of RAM?

I have more than 900 megabytes of RAM, but the system only sees the first 900. Why is that?

The default generic i386 kernel only has support for 900 megabytes of RAM. After installation, you can select a different kernel as appropriate for your hardware. If you are running on a P4, for example, you might type:

sudo apt-get install linux-686

Otherwise, if you are on a dual-processor workstation, you might type:

sudo apt-get install linux-686-smp

Choose from the list of linux packages the one that best suits your hardware.