November 2007 Archives

I spent well over an hour last night trying to get source control bindings working between VS.NET 2003 and Perforce. (Yes, I'm still on 2003, I actually prefer it over 2005--long story). I had no problem binding the sln, vcproj and a couple of files to Perforce, but the majority of the files in the project would lose their source control status a few seconds after the project loads. I tried recreating the bindings, recreating the project, "opening project from source control" and a number of other things a dozen times and VS just wouldn't recognize these files as being part of source control.

Finally when I went to add a new file to source control I discovered that the difference between the files that worked and the files that didn't was their location. Files in the same directory (or underneath the same directory) as the vcproj were recognized; files outside weren't. When I attempted to add a file outside the directory I actually got a meaningful error: "Some of the files you are adding to your project are located outside of the project's binding root. These files cannot be source controlled unless they are moved."

Aha.. I opened up the vcproj in notepad and whaddyaknow, there's an entry called "SccLocalPath". I changed that from "." to ".." and it all magically started working. It would have been nice to have gotten that error when I bound the project originally. Go Visual Studio... :-/
The Government Accountability Office recently released a report confirming what many of us already know: airport security -- specifically the practices put into place by the TSA -- are totally worthless when it comes to stopping real terror threats.

The GAO managed to sneak bomb making materials into 19 airports totally undetected, even when the TSA apparently notified itself that the government agency was going to be conducting these tests: "Release of the GAO report follows a hearing Wednesday in which Hawley vehemently denied that screeners had been tipped off about covert security tests, even as lawmakers brandished an e-mail from TSA headquarters that not only warned employees of testing, but described the methods and appearance of those conducting the probes."

Begin brain dump...

For several years I've been carrying a small knife on my key chain. Many times when I travel I forget that I have it on me and it ends up in my backpack with the rest of my keys and electronics when I go through the scanning process. Not once have I ever been questioned about it. The state of knives on planes is a little vague: According to the TSA's website, knives are still banned, however a sign at SFO I saw last week said that knives were permitted as long as the blade was under 4". Either way: the fact that I can bring a knife onto a plane time after time (legitimately or accidentally) just makes the whole system seem like a joke. You can't bring a box cutter onto a plane, but you can bring a knife on board no problem?

The current airport security process is a waste of time, energy and money. It's costing the economy billions, $94B by some estimates. Not to mention we're only protecting planes, not the airport terminals themselves. Every time I fly I think of a dozen ways someone could terrorize the airport without even having to go through the security.

My current favorite terrorist plot involves the security screening itself. Everyone has to take their shoes off, (which in itself startles me that people don't find this disgusting--I personally don't, but in this germaphobe society you would think more people would refuse), so why not attack there? There are lots of chemical and/or biological agents you could quietly release at that time.. ringworm, e-coli, ticks, parasitic fungi (athlete's foot), etc. Could you imagine if someone broke open a canister of African ticks in the security line? Oh, the (project) mayhem.

I don't claim to be smart enough to know what the solution is to the airport security problem, but I know that the way the TSA is going about it is definitely not the answer. More security is not the answer either. I think it boils down to fear mediation: The TSA needs to find a new way to calm the publics fears of terrorism without actually inconveniencing anyone. They could hang posters with statistics of air travel safety: "Relax! Your odds of being involved in a terrorist plot today are 1 in 5,351,000,000 -- You have better odds of dying due to motion sickness." (And you could have dimenhydrinate manufacturers pay for the posters!)
What's shocking about this news story to me is that it's not shocking at all. These are the times we live in.

Man angry with son-in-law fingers him as terrorist to FBI

"...father-in-law wrote an email to the FBI saying the son-in-law had links to al-Qaeda in Sweden and that he was travelling to the US to meet his contacts. The son-in-law was arrested upon landing in Florida. He was placed in handcuffs, interrogated and placed in a cell for 11 hours before being put on a flight back to Europe..."

You can sue your local police department for wrongful arrest. Can you sue the US Government? Can you sue the US Government as a foreign citizen?
Whenever I connect my WD1600XMS (a 160gb 2.5" USB-powered external drive) to my Mac, it now takes 10+ minutes for it to mount, and even then it only mounts after some prodding. I initially formatted the drive using my Mac (FAT32), but have since used it many times back-and-forth between my Mac and PC. After only a week of owning the thing the drive has become unusable from my Mac, but is fine on my PC.

Immediately after connecting the drive I see the following error on the console:

Nov 4 14:43:47 WeeMonkie diskarbitrationd[40]: unable to mount /dev/disk1s1 (status code 0x00000047).

The drive light then flashes for about 5 minutes, and then the drive's status information appears in Apple System Profiler:

USB High-Speed Bus:

Host Controller Location: Built In USB
Host Controller Driver: AppleUSBEHCI
PCI Device ID: 0x00e0
PCI Revision ID: 0x0004
PCI Vendor ID: 0x1033
Bus Number: 0x5b

External HDD:

Removable Media: No
Detachable Drive: Yes
BSD Name: disk1
Version: 1.04
Bus Power (mA): 500
Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec
Manufacturer: Western Digital
OS9 Drivers: No
Product ID: 0x0702
Serial Number: xxx
Vendor ID: 0x1058

If I then refresh Apple System Profiler, the drive lights flash for another 5 minutes and then the drive finally appears on the desktop.

There's only about 20gb of data on the drive, but there are a ton of files... Does MacOS suck at handling FAT32? Is it trying to cache the entire file table before it mounts the disc?

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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