Geek Gather and Dine-RESCHEDULED

Hi All,

I sent an email to most everyone but thought I should post as well. The Geek Gather and Dine has been rescheduled to August 12. Same bat time and same bat channel. Please respond to my email or this post whether you can make it. I would love to see everyone.

Geek Gather and Dine

Hello Geeks. As suggested by the Godfather many months ago:
“Geek Gather and Dine – A geek dinner party to be held in the evening and include refreshments of a more refined nature (see: beer and wine).”

I would like to extend an invitation to all the geeks to the first ever Geek Gather and Dine. Here’s what I am picturing… come to Casa De Scheldberg around 4pm, bring a dish to share (could be meat to share for the grill), fire up the grill and open up the laptops (beer in hand or drink of your choice), hang out on the deck or in the yard and enjoy the evening. Wi-fi will reach on the deck or we can have all the computers inside in a different area. Here’s the information:

* Destination: 1009 Rushmore Drive, Burnsville, MN 55306
* Coordinates: Google Map: 1009 Rushmore Drive
* Date: Saturday, August 5, 2006
* Time: 4pm CST – Whenever, I’ve cleared the evening
* Discussion: Who cares, we’re grillin’ and drinkin’… Ok, I suppose to be in compliance with the rules and regulations of Geek Gather we need to have a topic. How about cyber girls? Hmmm, that’s probably not within the guidelines. How about just an overall follow up about what everyone has been up to and what they’ve been doing with technology since the last time we got together? There, we are now in compliance.
I think it would be wise to reply to this post with whether you can make it or not and what you would like to bring. That way we can make sure we have all the basic summer grilling items covered. It would be great to have everyone there so if this weekend turns out to be a bad one we could also hold it the following weekend or on one of the Sunday’s (6th or 13th).
Here is what I will provide:
* The frickin’ venue… OK seriously… Condiments (catchup, mustard, relish, chopped onions, pickles, etc.), plates, napkins, utensils, buns of all kinds, the frickin’ grill (sorry I’ll stop it), Case of beer to share Mich Golden Light probably.

Man, that’s all I can think of right now. Hope all is well with you and yours.


I have two monitors that are up for grabs.

The first is a Hitachi SuperScan Pro 800 that I got from Patrick a few months back. It’s got a 15-pin VGA connector, the digital on-screen display settings, and it works great. I think I have a 6′ cable for this one, but I’ll have to check.

The second is a 20″ Hitachi monitor of slightly older vintage, model number unknown, but I can find out of you want. I got it in the mid-90’s, but can’t remember exactly what year. The hookups on the back are RGB plus H-sync and V-sync. I have a 6′ video cable for this one that goes to a 15-pin VGA connector on the computer side.

Either one, or both, are free to a good home. Send me mail with any questions or to lay claim to one. I’d even drop them off for you, as long as you’re in the Twin Cities Metro area.

If I don’t get any takers here, they go on FreeCycle next week.

Tech Rating Politicians

Let’s face it, the elected offices in the US government are filled with mostly technologically illiterate people. That means that those who are representing us on important issues like net neutrality, spam laws, video game restrictions, patent laws, and other technical issues are, in many cases, the least qualified people to do so. A couple of recent examples:

Jon Stewart, fast becoming America’s most trusted new source, examines the controversy around video game violence. How is an expert in ‘pong’ qualified to make decisions about games like Worlds of Warcraft or Counter-Strike. It’s like a bicycle repairman from the 1800s commenting on hybrid cars.

Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) finds himself forced to explain the internet. “It’s not a truck. It’s a series of tubes.” Thankfully, we’re all clear on that fact.

And so, seeing that the problem is out of hand, and that the American voter has little or no means to quickly assess a candidates level of technical knowledge, I propose a standardized rating system (clever acronym TBD). If we could pick a standard way of rating someone’s technical capabilities, we would all be able to make more informed choices.

Now, there are several requirements here:

1. It must be a normalized number (1-10 or such).

2. It must be objective.

3. It must be repeatable (i.e. same score, different scorers).

I think we could come up with a simple formula that would do the trick based on time spent computing per 24 hrs, average complexity of tasks undertaken, and perhaps a little weight based on usual operating system.