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It feels like it's been years

It feels like it's been years since I blogged though I am pretty certain its only been about a month.. or two... or three...
It has been really hard finding a job that suits me well in the IT industry in Trinidad. I always hate it when the good guys lose and the bad guys win - especially when I'm the good guy.
I also had an interview today and it really had me a bit down... I really like to excel in anything that I do and knowing that it didn't go well just doesn't rest easy with me.
Life has been tough particularly due to my view on myself and my achievements. Now that much of my savings has depleted, I really need to get back out there in the workplace but it seems really difficult to even get short listed for an interview.
I spent a lot of time serving God but I'm still waiting for that extra help from Him... a bit worried because I'm getting close to desperation and if you don't know how that feels, it really isn't a good feeling. Anyways - this is my life... I am still thankful for it, just not as thankful as I can be if I can get something better. Not sure if you guys know what I mean. I know some of my rivals will be so happy to read this but the truth is the truth so every dog has his day... I haven't had one of those in quite a while... maybe in the days to come this dog will get back into something.

I now know why I wrote on my blog

It's been about 10 year later, I'm now 32, I feel so much older, slower, failed and even lonely (but not lonely the way most folks know it).
Using my spare time wisely, mostly always analyzing, I now realize why I used to write on my blog. As you can see, I barely do it lately. I stopped when the people I cared for the most asked me why I would share how I feel with people who would just use it to hurt me. I suppose, it's called love and now I know that if there was someone like me who posted on their blog and I loved them, I would probably give them the same advice - never let people know how you really feel - they will most likely not understand.

I've lost a lot of friends just like Mark Zuckerburg... but Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook was lucky - he became rich, popular and perhaps vindicated. The total opposite I think of what happened to me. Again as I said, I lost a lot of friends, mostly because I was understood, mostly because I was honest and had my heart on my sleeve and mostly because of my blog and other creations. I was actually fine with that until recently. Sure, I might have been insensitive sometimes but who hasn't... cast the first stone.

In any event, coming back to the topic, I now know why I wrote on my blog. I never wrote for people who knew... and that's ironic now coming to think about it since I mostly told people I knew that I had a blog. My blog branched off from TNTSMS.COM at some point and so the blog was intended for those who used the website... many of which I didn't know.

Truth be told, I think I'm better judged by those that I don't know that those that I knew or those who knew me. The blog was really for those who would judge me easier. Maybe for those who could keep a connection purely based on just my heart and mind - not my actions, not my looks (or lack thereof). This is what I've always been fascinated by and has a link to IRC - where I first developed this really bad habit to put it lightly.

In any event, I hope to have more days where I can begin blogging again. If you're out there and you don't know me, I'd love to hear from you - you can always email me at risharde@gmail.com

It would be nice to make new friends...

Windows 10 SSD vs Normal Hard Disk Boot Times

After finally getting my first SSD hard disk drive, its time to help someone out there on the internet or so I hope.
For those of you who don't know the difference between a normal hard disk drive and an SSD drive, I'll try to explain it as simple as I can. Basically a normal hard disk drive has a moving magnetic disk called the platter that spins typically at 5400 revs per minute (RPM) or 7600 revs per minute (RPM). These drives have moving parts which means that if you throw down a laptop while the hard disk is running, you can damage the hard disk drive.
An SSD drive is a hard disk as well except that instead of having moving parts, the drive uses chips which store the data. This is a really basic description... it's more complicated than that.

Anyways, lets get to the main point of this blog, so essentially, the SSD drives, because they use the storage chips tend to be much faster at reading data and also writing data. This means that the computer is able to read data faster from these drives. How fast you might be wondering? Some SSD drive manufacturers claim that their drives are between 10 to 100 times faster than normal hard disk drives. When you put that into perspective, if your Windows machine took 30 seconds to boot on a normal hard disk drive, you might be able to get it to boot in 3 seconds using an SSD. Realistically speaking from my experience, Ive been able to get my Windows based PC to boot in approximately 8 seconds, which I have to tell you has been really amazing compared with a previous boot time of 28 seconds.

With that being said, there's one thing I have to warn you guys about - SSD drives tend to fail faster and do seem to have a shorter life span. You have been warned. I hope this will help someone out on the internet.

Bad Human Resource Practices

HI everyone, its been quite a while since I've blogged and I thought I'd get back up to speed with blogging. Please remember that the views expressed on this blog is mostly related to my personal views. I don't force these views unto you but simply present them to the public. If you get angry with my view, please don't. It's only a way of expressing my experience.

I've been thinking lately about something that is disturbing me greatly. I've spoken before about bad H.R practices in the past and I've seen consistently where Human Resource personnel fail to make good decisions. Particularly, I'm speaking from some level of experience especially since from time to time, I send resumes out to companies in Trinidad and Tobago. Of course, this blog topic doesn't apply only to Trinidad and Tobago but I am basing my writings as of current on Trinidad and Tobago.

Out of approximately 20 resumes sent out, I tend to get responses from only 1 or 2. I've always asked myself why this happens. I've gone through extensive alterations / version controls just like when I am programming to see whether its based on format, content, more credentials, less credentials, more qualifications, less qualifications... etc...

Favoritism
I think this needs to be at the top of the list because I am aware that this happens often. Companies and organizations that already have an 'in-house candidate' that they already like still follow the process of advertising for the position. The problem that arises is that the personnel on the panel have already made up their minds to the point that it is nearly impossible to convince them to choose you (the person being interviewed). What results is a time wasting procedure particularly for the person being interviewed. Can you imagine how much of wasted time is produced if a company interviews the top 10 list and finds no suitable candidates. Time is money. I am nearly certain that many Human Resource personnel would not like their time to be wasted but then again, I've come across many ill-tempered human resource workers in my years of work.

Hear say
I've heard Human Resource managers and human resource workers say that they talk to other people and based on what those people say, they either decide to short list the candidate or reject the candidate. While is possible sense to this, in many situations, this is a very dangerous, inaccurate way of determining a suitable candidate. Particularly because I hardly hear people talk good about people who are leaving an organization. Even from my own personal experience, I believe that I've been hurt and damaged by this process. Most people leave an organization when they are seeking something better or unhappy with the current organization. The organization on the other hand is interested in saving face. If you can see this angle, you'll realize that most workers work (with the minor exceptions) and most organizations try to be something they aren't but are seeking to get better. In the process, you hardly find an organization apologizing. So really, I actually question which one is the dangerous one... the people who want better wages or working conditions or the organization and the h.r practices which seem to be like shopping on amazon or ebay for the cheapest deal. It's downright disturbing.

Decisions based on qualifications alone
It is a dangerous thing to base your entire decision of short listing on qualifications only. Especially when it comes to computer science and IT. Particularly because the majority of people I come across in IT can't build a simple program. I ask, how is this possible? How do they get the jobs and I can't land one. Simply put, I believe Human Resources have not been up to speed with talent. I've questioned people with phDs in their fields and many have had to admit that they didn't know something. This is simply because a qualification isn't the deciding factor for getting something done. Practicality and option to prove someone can do it should matter but it doesn't seem to be that way with many H.R.

No proper testing or evaluation
Winning interviews is simple. You tell them what you want them to hear. But really, is that really what makes an organization better? Not to me. I could butter up the interviewers in an interview and that might land me the job. So what happens when you're in the job and realize you're head over heels. You see many interviewers on the panel are setting people up for failure. They think they are doing something good by giving someone a job but really, I don't think many see the real responsibility given to them. Sure, there are times when you are aware that the person doesn't have enough experience but your systems have to be in place for them to learn and get better. If you don't have that, why on earth would you hire someone to insult them, to make them feel like less of a human being when they fail to meet what you want.

These are just some of the things I've seen job hunting in Trinidad and Tobago. I'm sure there's more and I'm sure someone will post a really nasty comment about me. Of that I am certain.

Rocket Batteries

Has your car battery just stopped working right after the warranty period? Well I've had that experience happened to me twice using TRACK batteries. I wasn't going to let it happen the third time. From my experience the maintenance free Rocket batteries work really good. I've been running mine for about 2 and half years now without any problem. This is not a paid ad and I don't have any affiliations with Rocket. I'm just helping someone out there in Trinidad and Tobago that's willing to listen.

Windows 8 apps - how to build

After doing some research, it seems that in order to build Windows 8 applications, you must have Windows 8 installed and Microsoft Visual Studio 2012. This is a bit of a blow for developers like me that still run Windows 7.

Wordpress vs Drupal

Many users on the internet take sides. The epic battle between Wordpress and Drupal is far from over. I will stand back in order to see this clearer and try to answer the question "Which is really better?". That answer however is extremely simple: None. This will have many internet users upset but in order to understand my position, one must view it in my eyes.

So really the question you should be asking is: "What does Risharde see". Let me bring this epic battle into context. Do you run Windows or Linux? Do you run Windows or MacOS? Is it becoming clearer yet? If it isn't, then for the most part, I will clarify by saying that these choices are your own personal choices. I should not and cannot decide from you. I can however tell you what I believe are the disadvantages and advantages as I see them.

Drupal and Wordpress

Common ground:
Both are open source

Drupal Advantages
- Content types are simple to create
- CCK is now built into the core of Drupal
- Views display CCK.
- Extremely modular
- Not just for blogging. Use it to do surveys, create a help desk or create a store... possibilities are endless.
- Large user community constantly working on the next version of Drupal
- Extremely organized contributed modules system.

Drupal Disadvantages
- Auto updates still not extremely simple
- Cannot update core automatically
- Learning curve at first is high and can leave you frustrated and unsatisfied.
- Slower than wordpress if used without caching.
- More load on your server
- Theming is a bit more complex than Wordpress

Wordpress Advantages
- Large support on the internet if you need help
- Simple to use and extremely easy for blogging purposes
- Faster especially with caching enabled.
- Less load on your server if proper coding is done
- Very easy theming with built in editor within the control panel.
- Choosing a different theme per page is extremely easy.
- Installing and updating plugins are a breeze

Wordpress Disadvantages
- More code required to do page tweaking
- Majority of really good plugins to do forms and display output of database data ARE NOT FREE!

Some potentially interesting firewalls

I just came across 2 interesting software based firewalls that I'd like to test in the future so I'm just making a note of them

Vyatta and Untangle

So far, I've looked at a demo of Untangle and I think this is really good. I didn't see any Active Directory integration but other than that, the firewall's interface seems really easy to operate and configure.

I'll keep you guys posted

Juniper vs Checkpoint Vs Fortigate

For the techies at heart, found a nice comparison table which seems to be recently added (2013) of some popular hardware firewalls

http://www.ebrahma.com/2013/03/comparison-juniper-srx1400-vs-checkpoint-...

It seems the fortigate is in a different league altogether so aside from that device, I'm wondering which one really is better between the Juniper and the Checkpoint. In terms of ease of set up, I'd assume is the Juniper because it has a built in GUI to manage it but as you can see, it can handle only about half the amount of sessions as a checkpoint. I don't want to talk at the top of my head but I think for me, I'd make an intelligent guess that the checkpoint would be more valuable in the long run against concurrent attacks if it can handle twice the amount of sessions than the Juniper. On the downside, it doesn't come with a built in GUI so it means you'll have to use an external app. In any event, this can also be seen as an upside since it might be less likely to be attacked via the GUI and/or be less vulnerable to 0-day exploits.

Upgraded to CENTOS 6 - 64bit

Finally made the switch to CENTOS 6 - 64 BIT
Many of you might be wondering what's the difference between 32-bit an 64-bit operating systems. It all boils down to how values are stored in 32-bit versus 64-bit. For example, on a 32-bit machine, the number 1 might be represented as 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000001. I put spaces in between so its easier to read but in total: 32 numbers (which must be either 1 or 0 since its in bit format). So a 64-bit representation might then be 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000001 (64-bit format). Now this also corresponds to memory addressing and this is why 64-bit machines have a much higher memory addressing limit compared to 32-bit machines. As far as I can tell, a 32-bit OS can use up to 4GB of RAM properly while a 64-bit can use alot more than 4 GB (even more than 8GB). This also means that files for databases can be much larger than 2GB in size if you're on a 64-bit machine and thus is the major reason why companies and IT have been moving over to 64-bit architecture.

Foods that cause heartburn at night

If you suffer from heart burn at night, you should avoid the following foods in particular in the evening time

- Milk
- Spicy food and/or pepper
- Acidic foods such as dhal coupled with pepper
- Too much water (not from experience but what I've heard from others)
- Juice

Home remedies (everyone is different but its worth a try)
- Commercial over the counter Antacids (such as local Dica seems to be more effective than tums)
- Probiotics
- Yogurt

I was fined by the Trinidad and Tobago / Mon Repos Police for coming out of a food related business driveway

THE REGULATION IN QUESTION IS "DRIVING VEHICLE ON FOOTPATH OR PAVEMENT" - MOTOR VEHICLES AND ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATIONS CH 48.50 REGULATION 57 (1000 dollars and 30 point penalty):

"57. No person shall wilfully drive, ride, draw or propel a vehicle
or ride an animal upon any footpath or pavement by the side of any
road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of pedestrians."

THE INCIDENT:
Only in Trinidad and Tobago I think this happens. My fiance and I went out tonight to buy some bar-b-que. We arrived at the barbque food place after 8 pm (more around 8:25 pm). As the food place was situated on the right hand side and I was driving on the left hand side of the road, I proceeded to turn right in order to enter the driveway of the said food place where 2 cars were already parked. As I entered the entrance, a pedestrian warned me that the police were charging people for parking on the pavement and since I saw that I might end up partially on the pavement I proceeded to return unto the road to find another area to park or go elsewhere to find food. Upon waiting to get back unto the road in which the direct lane was full of incoming cars, I indicated and waited for a few seconds before a car would allow me to exit to get back unto the left lane - during which a police officer instructed me to park on the left hand side of the road. I complied and waited for a male officer who approached my car in which I began to explain in a respectful manner the above by addressing him as "Sir". The police officer did not allow me to continue and cut me off while trying to explain the situation by responding "You know what you did! You know what you did!" in a tone that I can only recall my father would probably speak to me in my childish / adolescent years. I responded to him by asking him why he was speaking to me this way when I was trying to explain to him about the above and my intention. I also asked him why I would lie to him in front of what he would have "hopefully" seen. He said "I don't want to hear nothing!" and asked me for my license and registration in which I complied. He went over to the other police workers and I waited for what seemed to be about 10 minutes before a female police officer handed me a ticket at which point I tried to explain again what happened. She responded saying that the male police officer never gives anyone a chance to explain (which I would think is highly unfair to me as law abiding citizen but it seems even law enforcement in Trinidad and Tobago isn't fair). She said that I should not pay the fine and explain my case to the court/magistrate.

MY BELIEF:
I am good citizen in that I follow the law whenever and wherever I go. I try to do the right things and many of you see this by the comments I write on facebook about doing the right thing. This police officer charged me for "driving on the footpath". The question I must ask is, how would I have taken out my vehicle without having to "drive on the footpath"? Driving always as defensively and safe as possible, I did not reverse the car into incoming traffic but proceeded to position my vehicle while moving forward to proceed unto the road by indicating such. In the long run, by being a "good driver", I was fined. How fair really is this land that I live in? After all, people say life isn't fair but then didn't someone think up the idea of law enforcement to try to reduce the odds of life being fair by providing proper rules and regulations. Furthermore, if driving over what he claims to be the footpath to enter or exit from a driveway, then I don't know anyone other than perhaps Houdini who would be able to do this. Additionally, if I were to enter my own driveway or exit it in such a way, would police be able to fine me for exiting my driveway? This is none sense... either the policeman was mentally challenged or the law and its intent is not clear - because everyone comes out or enters into a driveway by going over the so called "footpath". In any event, I was not parked and in good intent, attempted to solve and comply with the law by getting back on the road and finding a proper park nearby or finding a next place to eat.

JUSTICE:
So what if I am cleared of this fine by the magistrate, how does the police learn that they should not abuse the law... Will I get any compensation for my wasted day in court because a policeman was wrong for charging me? Of course not and that is why the system will not change in this country. Take 1000 dollars out of his pocket and I bet you he will make sure and get glasses to make sure he sees properly the next time.

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