Graduation Season

Know thy audience. Any good speaker will follow this fundamental rule of speech presentation. When the rule is broken, members of the audience may become disengaged or even disgruntled. On Friday, one attended the graduation ceremony for Chaska High School’s class of 2008–the little brother graduated. The second student speaker broke this fundamental rule. This student claimed a fellow graduating student made electronic devices which no one in the audience could figure out.

“I beg to differ,” slipped from my lips. Not in cockiness, but in confidence that I could reverse engineer any of the student’s gadgets within a few hours. With over 600 students graduating, there is a good chance I was not the only one capable of this ‘impossible’ feat. Turns out, according to a graduate, the gadgets were not so amazing.

Funny enough, other speakers reminisced on the football victory over a local rival in the fall of 2005. This happened to be when they were all sophomores, and few—if any—were actually on the team that played. The team comprised mostly of seniors, class of 2006, and juniors, class of 2007. Ever since that win, Chaska has yet to come close to beating that rival. One would guess they are too busy living in the past. No worries though, starting in the fall of 2009, Chaska can share its bottom position in the conference with Chanhassen which is getting its own high school for the sole purpose of sports (one voted against it, as any responsible person would).

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

It’s June Already

In one week, one full year will have passed since I graduated from Chaska. One year ago today (well the first Friday after Memorial Day), I competed in the final track and field meet of my High School career. Due to the events that took place during the last day of school last year, this next week at Chaska High School they are taking ‘extra’ precautions.

These include Monday being the last full day of school with two half days remaining. Since there is no lunch for the last two days, no recreations of the ‘infamous’ end of the year food fight from last year can occur. Read this as the administration neither trusts its student body, nor respects them. Adding to the unusualness of the week, during the last two half days no students are allowed to posses backpacks in the school. This obviously is aimed at reducing the senior pranks, such as last year’s releasing of pidgins in the main corridor. Other pranks involving marbles which ‘forced’ the lock down and subsequent early dismissal of students on the last day of school last year. I am glad that I graduated last year as I do not have to put up with what the current students do.

In other news I just upgraded my Pentium 4 2.0Ghz to a 3.0Ghz with Hyper Threading and 800Mhz FSB. That needs to do a burn in so that the Artic Silver 5 transfers the optimal thermal transfer. The added 1 Ghz does allot for Gentoo, even though things were fine before, emerging software is much faster now, and I also guess I compiled my kernel with smp support at it recognizes two logical processors.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Back In Action

Been out of town for the last six days, and now I’m trying to catch back up with every day things. Two weeks ago I received a postcard from the U explaining that they still hadn’t received my final High School transcript. Since I was out of town, I had to have someone call the school on my behalf to find out why the U hadn’t received my transcript yet. As of last Monday, Chaska High School was just beginning to send out final transcripts. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

Up at the camp that I was at, I had to wear a name tag since I am now a troop leader. Somehow the person making the tags misspelled my last name, replacing the ‘v’ with a ‘u’. Making appropriate changes to the tag, my new name read ‘Ale K. Haulik’. Upon returning home and inspecting my diploma, which arrived in the mail, I noticed that they misspelled my last name; they reversed the ‘l’ and ‘v’. I’ll have to call up the district to get that fixed.

Hopefully in the next two weeks I can make some real headway in getting the new Weblogs.us website implemented in the new online test bed. This comes as the second most important thing to get done other than the endless pile of thank you cards that I have to finish.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Overreaction

As with school tradition, today being the last day of school, many seniors partook in multiple ‘pranks’ on the school and other students. Driving into the parking lot seemed as if one were driving into a prison, police all over the place and ‘hall monitors’ everywhere. Holding a pair of binoculars was the parking lot attendant as if she was expecting someone to commit a deviant act. School proceeded as usual. Between first and second block someone, once again, thought that stink bombs in school are a great prank.

During first block I learned that one of the plots a friend of mine had concocted was foiled by his own stupidity. The original plan involved 1,500 marbles; he put them in a shoe box and expected to be able to just walk right into school. This may have worked any other day, but not today. The hall monitor at the entrance demanded to know what the box contained. Being a little slow on his feet, he claimed they were cupcakes. Long story short, they confiscated his marbles.

Rumors of a ‘planned’ food fight during first lunch spread like wildfire through the hallways. The fight took place, and word has it that the entire cafeteria was arranged with the teachers in the middle, a non-typical arrangement of monitoring. Supposedly, an alt school kid started it by throwing food at a teacher. Aftermath of the fight was the entire inside cafeteria area was closed for the other lunch periods, and our lunch period was shortened by ten minutes. Eating lunch outside seemed as if we were in a prison with at least twenty personal constantly monitoring us.

For AP Physics, during fourth block, we went outside to perform the Mentos and Diet Coke experiment. Several other fun flying objects that related to what we studied last week were brought along. At approximately 2:45pm several students exited the building, visible to us in the nearby lacrosse field. Apparently the administration decided to shutdown the main hallway due to a suspicion of a prank involving marbles being dropped off of the second story on to the first floor. It was interesting getting back into the school to get our backpacks.

To top this all off, there were at least three pigeons released inside the school today.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Utter Waste

You’d think that 1,048,576 unique IP addresses would be good for a school district that has less than 50,000 students. What am I talking about? A certain IT staff at a particular school district decided that the entire district would run under a Class A IP addressing scheme. 16,777,215 is the number of IP addresses that are able to be on a Class A network. A Class B addressing scheme would better suit the school’s network as on a single IP network in this scheme can support 65,534 hosts, and using routers to route between multiple networks up to 1,048,576 IP addresses are available. Network security comes to mind, along with overkill as one looks at the addressing scheme this particular district uses. Security threats come from the shear number of IP addresses that aren’t used and could be assigned, inadvertently to a network intruder.

So what does this tell about this school district’s IT staff? Shouting,”We are unqualified!” doesn’t quite satisfy the blatant acts of stupidity that they commit. They place Websense in a transparent proxy setup to hamper most attempts around it and then step up the number of categories that Websense blocks. They install bloat ware, real-time virus scanners (they are justifiable since we are talking about computer access for idiots that click on everything they see.), and monitoring software so that they can spy and mess around with our sessions as they wish. I’m ecstatic that only three days remain in which I will have to use their pitiful network.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]