I Still Love This Version

Hier in Halloween

Kommt mit uns, wir laden euch ein
Kinder hören wir unheimlich gern schrei’n
Hier bei uns wird nur geschrien
Fliehen wir nach Halloween

Hier in Halloween
Hier in Halloween
Kürbis kreischt um die Mitternacht

Hier in Halloween
spielen jedem, ders verdient Schabernack
Und dann fallen sie tot um vor Schreck

Halloween! Hier wird nur geschrien
jeder hier liebt Halloween

Ich bin das Monster unter deinem Bett
Augen rot, die Zähne gefletscht

Unter der Treppe da mach ich mich rar
Finger wie Schlangen und Spinnen in den Haaren

Hier in Halloween
Hier in Halloween
Halloween, Halloween
Halloween, Halloween

Jetzt geht’s rund, wie man sieht
Jedermann singt unser Kürbislied

Jetzt geht’s rund! Heut’ ist Halloween
Jedermann erwartet neuen Schabernack

Um die Ecke, da steckt einer im Mülleimer
Jemand lauert, und er stürzt sich gleich auf…dich!
Wie schön Halloween
Rot und schwarz, schleimig grün!
Hast du Angst?
Au, das ist fein!

Sag’ es laut, sag’s noch mal
Roll die Würfel, triff die Wahl
Reizet den Mond um die Mitternacht

Hier wird nur geschrien
Hier wird nur geschrien
Nur bei uns in Halloween

Ich bin der Clown mit dem Abreiß-Gesicht
Schwupps ist es da, und auf einmal nicht

Ich bin der Wer, wenn du rufst “Wer da?”
Ich bin der Wind, weh durch dein Haar

Ich bin der Schatten, der den Mond bedeckt
Schlafe nicht ein, sonst wirst du erschreckt

Hier in Halloween
Hier in Halloween
Halloween, Halloween
Halloween, Halloween
Halloween, Halloween

Leichen pflastern unsern Weg
Schrecken ist hier Privileg

Ob in Wien oder in Berlin
Nichts ist schöner als Halloween

Jetzt geht’s rund! Heut’ ist Halloween
Jedermann erwartet neuen Schabernack

Skellington Jack, der König
bringt dich um vor Schreck!
Springt dir ins Genick
und dann hörst du ihn schrei’n

Hier in Halloween, hier wird nur geschrien
bitte macht jetzt Platz für ein wirklich feinen Kerl
Unser Jack ist König der Kürbisse
Jedermann grüßt unsern Kürbiskönig

Hier in Halloween
Hier in Halloween
Halloween, Halloween
Halloween, Halloween

Jetzt geht’s rund, wie man sieht
Jedermann singt unser Kürbislied!

One More Reason…

…why you never find me on Facebook again.

From ARS Technica:

“Facebook is considering collecting yet more data from users in the form of tracked mouse movements, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. Your scrolls, your hovers, your highlights, your right clicks: Facebook wants them all.

It’s not uncommon for websites to minutely track the items that users click on to see how they interact with different pages. A heat map of a page can show where most people end up clicking, giving sites an idea of how users’ eyes travel and parse the information there.

But Facebook’s tracking would be another level of tracking entirely. According to the WSJ, Facebook will be paying attention to the areas a cursor lingers over, even without a click or other interaction. This seems like a bit of a strange motion to track, as if users are out there lovingly tracing the facial profiles of their family members or ex-crushes like they might do on a photograph. But if there’s meaning to be had, Facebook will have it.

In addition to tracking mouse movements, Facebook will also be gathering mobile data. It can’t track finger-lingers over a touchscreen, thankfully, but the company will be noting when, for instance, ‘a user’s newsfeed is visible at a given moment on the screen of his or her mobile phone.'”

What’s next? A little blue FacebookKnowsAll© camera in every room in your home?

Speaking of Getting Paid…

I haz a jobz!

Obviously I’m not going to divulge too many details, but let me just say it feels damn good to know I’m going to be seeing a paycheck again!

I got a call last week from a recruiter I’d worked with about six months ago. At the time I’d interviewed with a company in the Tech Center that would’ve been a good fit for my skills, but the environment was basically the same as I currently found myself in and I wanted to get away from that. Instead of being the sole non-managerial tech guy at the facility, I’d be one of two. No thanks. I wanted to get back in with a bigger team. I turned them down.

Anyhow, the job that was pitched to me last week sounded great. It was with a large, well-known company (approximately the same size as the last one I worked for in Phoenix), and the number of support staff was actually a little bit higher than what I’d been a part of in Phoenix. I wouldn’t be the only guy there. The commute was reasonable (even on snow days), and the pay was pretty close to what I’d been making at my last job.

Excellent!

It’s just a contract to help roll out and/or upgrade about 1500 workstations by the end of the year, but that’s okay. My last job in Phoenix  started out the very same way: a 3 month contract rolling out workstations that kept getting extended and extended, finally getting hired on after a year and staying for the next seven.

The only thing that literally had me shaking when I heard it was when the recruiter told me that there would be a technical test administered by the client. He said the hiring manager at the company knew from my experience that I’d be able to handle the job, but needed to cover all her bases, so that’s why I had to take it. Despite all my technical experience I bomb those tests with amazing regularity and lately I was starting to believe that because of this I was basically unemployable unless I happened to stumble upon a situation where a test wasn’t required. (As has been fortunately the case in all my previous endeavors.) While I obviously know my stuff (I wouldn’t have been able to stay in this field as long as I have if I didn’t), pulling answers out of my head to questions without having a PC in front of me to physically manipulate has always been my downfall. Always.

Anyhow, I met with the hiring manager yesterday, and praise be to the baby Jeebus—or through sheer dumb luck—the test wasn’t your typical tech test. There were no “What does DHCP stand for and how does it work?” or “Please describe the function of Port 300,” questions. They were along the lines of “A user comes back from vacation and their laptop cannot connect to the network. What steps would you stake to troubleshoot the problem?”

I was able to answer all the questions, and for the first time felt reasonably confident at my responses. The manager came back in, looked it over, and said she was impressed. I’d even provided a line of troubleshooting for one of the questions that she hadn’t thought of! We chatted a bit more, describing the project, her department, her management style (hands-off), and it sounded very much like what I had in Phoenix—something I have sorely missed these past two years. While I work best independently with a minimum of supervision, I also crave the camaraderie that being a part of a large group provides. I told her my team in Phoenix had become like a second family to me, and she said that’s the way she viewed hers. “I look forward to working with you,” she said, and shook my hand.

w00t!

Before Ben left for work he told me I’d wow them so much they’d hire me on the spot. I thought he was crazy.

I start Monday, and I’m really looking forward to beginning this new chapter in my life.

A Short Review of OS X Mavericks

Because I know those of you who care about this shit have already read dozens of other reviews from people who actually get paid for posting their opinions online.

First off, it works. In my opinion, that’s the best compliment any new OS can receive. In my week-long experience with it so far, nothing’s broken. Unlike Windows, which pretty much requires any OS upgrade to be a “clean” install if you don’t want issues, Mavericks just laid over Mountain Lion and came right back up. Which is exactly what I have come to expect from the folks in Cupertino.

There are hundreds of changes, but on the surface it looks pretty much the same as Mountain Lion. There are few subtle visual and functional tweaks here and there, but if you weren’t looking for specific things and just sat down in front of two machines running the different OSes side by side, they’d look almost identical.

I find one of the big advertised features—Tabs in Finder—helpful, because the Finder was one of the things I hated most after switching over from Windows four years ago. Copying and moving files is so much easier now, but still not as easy under Windows. (Did I just say that?) Why there still isn’t an option to simply display a tree structure at the left of the Finder window still amazes me. (If you absolutely must have a Windows Explorer-like file manager, check out MacIntosh Explorer. The program is a little long in the tooth, isn’t optimized for retina displays, and occasionally has issues (it’s no longer in active development), but if you want immediate access to all those files and folders that Apple thinks you don’t need to see without having to go to the Terminal to manually un-hide things, it might be what you’re looking for). I use it only rarely, but when I need to, it does the job with a minimum of fuss.

I haven’t used dual monitors in nearly a year, so I haven’t had a chance to check that bullet feature out.

Likewise, I use 1Password as my password keeper, so iCloud keychain is superfluous to me.

I’m happy to see the faux leather and stitching finally gone from Calendar and Contacts. Also gone is the yellow ruled paper from the Notes program and the gray linen background from the log-in screen.

Having Apple Maps in iOS is pretty much irrelevant to me, although I do keep the icon on my dock in case I just need to look up a quick address. As for the 3D flyovers and the satellite imagery, the visuals aren’t any better than they are on iOS. “Only as good as the data” is still true here. Since they now have Maps on the desktop and Find my i-Whatever available through iCloud, I’m hoping that at some point they integrate Find My Friends into OS X as well, although at this point I’d be just as happy if they simply ditched the stitched leather interface of the program in iOS and brought it in line with the rest of Apple’s iOS apps.

I don’t use iBooks, so that was removed from the dock within seconds of the post-upgrade reboot.

The only things that don’t work for any more are two third-party screensavers (Fliqlo and Colour Clock) I had installed, and that’s because they relied on Flash in order to run. And if I don’t absolutely need to have that resource hog installed, I won’t install it. Not a huge loss; I’ve found suitable replacements.

I also received the iWork and iLife updates. Unlike a lot of the fanboys, I’m not grousing about the changes they made to the iWork apps—probably because even after four years I have yet to fully embrace them as my main productivity tools. Believe me, I’ve tried on more than one occasion to do it, but with twenty years experience under my belt, whenever I need to sit down and do real work, I fire up Word and Excel. As much as I have come to despise all things Microsoft, sometimes it’s easier to just go with what you know.

So that’s my two cents. As I said, I’m sure there are hundreds of improvements behind the scenes, but nothing that has really leapt out at me or intruded upon my consciousness. I guess that’s a good thing, no?

 

Photo

It wasn’t that Jack disapproved of Jack Jr.’s lifestyle and his wife’s and mother-in-law’s wholehearted encouragement in helping him find himself. It was the fact that they insisted on buying his clothes at the ritziest department store on Main Street that got his goat.

Free? Are They Insane?

It’s funny…Ben and I were discussing this a few weeks ago, wondering out loud if Apple would sell OS X Mavericks at the same—or even a lower—price than they did with OS X Mountain Lion. We even joked that they’d give it away for free.

Even with my severely constrained cash flow at the moment, I had mentally set aside $20 (the price of Mountain Lion) to get the upgrade because, well…priorities!

Imagine my “surprise and delight” this morning then—while watching Apple’s Keynote—when they announced the OS upgrade would be absolutely free.

Are they insane? Or have they just caused a few more worry lines to appear on the faces of Microsoft executives?

I can already hear the headlines. “APPLE IS DOOMED! THEY KNOW NO ONE WOULD BUY THE UPGRADE SO THEY’RE GIVING IT AWAY FOR FREE!”

Uh. Yeah. About that…

I’d write more, but the download is almost finished.

“Gee, Bud…


…that’s a swell idea, but I’ve already got a fisting party with Fred, Arthur, Bill and Joe booked that night.”

Yes, I am going to hell.