October 27th, 2010


Cheaters Never Prosper, But That Doesn't Stop Them From Trying

I have been waiting  patiently for Linux-based tablet computers.  The Dell Streak is just a disappointment.  And while the iPad looks great (FOSS supporter or no, I admit it is an impressive bit of kit and it would be interesting to have one), it is just too expensive and sizable for my present needs.  I'm basically looking for a glorified ebook reader.

I was waiting for competition to set in, but lots of plans to build Android based netbooks and tablets have been scuttled.  And the ones making it to the market are either close but not quite there (Dell Streak) or just flat out ripoffs (Augen GenTouch76).

Well, competition is coming, it's just slow.  The proof came with a report from yesterday.  M$ is going to charge Asus and Acer a royalty of $10-15 for every netbook and tablet they make running Android or Google's new Chrome OS.  They say it's for patents.  Both these companies are out of Taiwan, where law enforcement is SO important.  The only company there that has an actual license deal is HTC, which makes Android phones (which is why they are suing Motorola instead of HTC).

M$ and Intel already ganged up on Asus and killed the Snapdragon project.  Sounds like they can't kill these and are figuring, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  Still, once again, if you need proof that software patents have nothing to do with innovation and are all about anti-competitive weapons, here ya go.
Rat Celebrates

Via Corenis Anundis

Oh, goddamn, a hoagie has NEVER tasted so good!

The two basic truisms that guide my life are:

1)  Angels watch over me.  I've had too many close calls and have seen how things could be much worse for me.

2)  When I got fired from a job I held for five years, it was because of stubbornness.  I knew they were out to get me.  All the signs were there.  But I disregarded them, figuring that, if I just did my job and kept my nose clean, I'd be fine.  I wasn't, and I got canned.  That day, I made a promise to myself -- I swore that I would never be left holding the bag again.

The last time those two intersected was my last warehouse job.  Everyone knew the place would be folding up because a new facility about two hours away was set up to do the exact same thing we did.  Only they didn't have clueless managers running illegal operations out of the offices and a lapdog union.  I took a week off of work to look for a new job.  I had one by Friday.  Sure enough, everyone that could be fired was and the place closed up six months later.

My current job, I started in the warehouse and eventually got an office job.  I was pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.  I was handling one of the biggest accounts.  The people who repped the company loved me and stood up for me when the individual orderers got out of line.  My bosses loved me and stood up for me when things got difficult.

That changed a little over a year ago.

My super transferred out for a promotion.  He gave his position to a friend of his in the department.  She couldn't handle it.  In fact, she spends most of her time on Facebook instead of doing her job.

This boss thinks I'm weird.  Big shock, right?  The problem is, because her friends in the department are normal, she empathizes with them.  I wound up doing the work of three people.  Then, because she hopelessly fucked things up, a manager was put over her.  She initially liked the job I did, then eventually came around to my super's point of view.  Did I mention they are longtime friends?  Not only was I doing three people's jobs, not only without overtime because they worried I was milking the clock, but I was forbidden to draw at my desk on break because SOMEONE said I was doing that instead of working.  Meanwhile, everyone in the supe's office is playing solitaire on their computers, talking, and passing phone calls down to me.

Lately, things have stepped up.  They have someone new who they like and feel could do my job better than me.  I have been written up more times in the past year than in my entire life.  And no one is giving me the tools I need to succeed.  I decided truism #2 kicked in -- they clearly want me gone, and I have too many years wrapped up here to have it end in firing.  Unfortunately, not only would I be starting over, but places just don't want me.

Today, truism #1 kicked in.  The superintendent came up to me and said he has an opening in another department.  They need someone as soon as possible who is reliable, good with numbers and computers, and dedicated.  I didn't say yes right away, I had the think it over.  But the fact is, the current position has become toxic to me.  There are days when the fatalism became so strong, suicide would beckon (I wouldn't really do it, but the fact that it was occurring to me disturbed me deeply).  Some days, the stress would give me chest pains.  I was looking at dying from a stupid office job.  That's bullshit.

I told him I'll take it.  I move to the new department after next week.  I'll be working with two supervisors, one who I worked with and got along great with when I started, and the other started at the same time I did and worked his way up to supervisor and is a work buddy of mine.

My nightmare is finally over.  And the best part?  My "replacement" isn't fast.  He's very casual.  Just one day trying to do everything I did and his brain is going to burst like an egg in a microwave.  They kept saying anyone can do my job and do it better.  There's an old Polish proverb that says, "Be careful what you wish for -- you may get it."  Especially with three 3-day workweeks, two of them in a row.

I went out tonight for a self-congratulatory hoagie.  It tasted good.....