Choice/Life

Speaking of Vacations, during my 400-mile drive I noticed several semis/trailer-trucks with this bumper sticker:

It’s not a Choice.
It’s a Child.

I wondered why I’ve never seen anything like the opposite sticker, which of course would be

It’s not a Child.
It’s a Choice.

Then I realized, that’s the basic difference: Pro-Choice folks prefer to avoid addressing the larger issue of What it is (a life).  The two sides aren’t having the same conversation. 

I’ve heard it said that we have the right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”, in that order.  This means my right to Pursue Happiness stops at the point when it would interfere with someone else’s right to Liberty, which in turn stops at the point when it would interfere with someone’s right to continue Living.

So it’s an easy call to me: prove it’s absolutely not a human life, and Sure, do what you want.  But if there’s even a slight chance that it is a human life (and Biology 101 makes me think so) …do I want to risk taking it?

Hm, maybe there’s a bumper sticker idea:

Take a Chance.
Take a Life.

SBS 2003 CAL suckiness

I have a new client who recently guessed their way through a SBS 2003 setup.  THEN they called us to fix it.  This has been quite the cleanup.  I gotta get me a Haz-mat suit.  Imagine and enjoy at my expense, some highlights:

  • Exchange mailboxes not configured for the POP3 Connector (so email was removed from the ISP’s mailbox, and dropped into Oblivion).
  • No backups, no (or patchy) virus/spyware protection (and plenty of spyware).
  • Moving from a XP Pro “server”, which fell apart when we tried to join it to the domain (due to loads of spyware).
  • XP Home machines trying to use the new server.
  • No extra CALs for the 12 user accounts.  Yes, that’s 12 users competing for the 5 licenses that come with SBS.  “Denied!”

And now (drumroll please)…

  • Amid extensive VPN, OWA, and OMA use, a vendor who supplied us with Device CALs instead of User CALs (and didn’t mention it until we’d already activated them!)
  • Crap.

    Crybabies?

    So I just saw this on Ajaxian Blog: “Ajax is rocket science”. “Ajax isn’t simple”. Enough already!

    It makes good points, but what puzzles me is: who is saying this?  I never found Ajax difficult (even when I first discovered it 5 years ago). 
    Are the complainers just web designers, who just build pretty-but-static HTML pages and don’t know coding (-vs- web developers, who build web apps)? 

    Well, as Scott would say:
    And then I got back to work.

    Aladdin NetHASP and SP1 for SBS 2003

    I ran into the following the hard way recently.  Since I don’t trust anybody’s tech support to actually test new service packs or publish known issues, I figured I’d mention it here: SP1 for SBS 2003 breaks Aladdin NetHASP, and programs which use it.

    NetHASP is 3rd-party software which programs use to tie software licenses to a physical dongle (known as a “hasp” or “sim”).  In my case, our client was using SigmaTek’s SigmaNest and Develop programs (line-of-business stuff), we had the Network sim plugged into the SBS box and the NetHASP License Manager program running on it.  After the upgrade to SP1, SigmaNest on all workstations could no longer find the Network Sim, and would not run.

    Anyway, judging by known issues I’d read about, I pursued a firewall angle.  I found out what port the NetHASP connection uses (475), and made sure workstations could see that on the server (they could).  I reinstalled the NetHASP License Manager.  I reinstalled SigmaNest.  Nothing worked. 

    Finally, dreading a bad support like I’ve had all too often, I caved and called SigmaTek support.  After an hour on the phone with a well-intentioned, but lower-level support employee, he finally contacted Aladdin support (at my suggestion).  Eventually he got hold of them and the three of us worked together on it for a good while.  Eventually we tried a new (command-line) version of the NetHASP License Manager driver, and voila! it worked again.

    For the record, we had purposely waited a month after SP1’s release to let any kinks get worked out (or at least known).  I’d also immediately mentioned the SP1 install to both SigmaTek and Aladdin’s support reps, since it was a likely culprit.  Seemingly neither had run into the issue. 

    Now, I’m not sure, but this suggests to me that neither company is proactively testing new Windows patches and service packs.  If true, this is a very bad thing (if not, I’d love hear otherwise!).  It’s also possible that they did know, but simply hadn’t communicated that info with their support reps (and certainly had not via their support websites).

    I asked them to document what we’d found, but I don’t have high hopes.  So… hopefully this anecdote will help out some other poor NetHASP clod like me: get the new/other NetHASP driver, and push the vendors to publish the problem and solution.