Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin (Book 2006)

So I normally don't start reading a book from the middle of a series, but I figured that I'm already watching the TV show so what the hay. This book starts off from where the show left off last season so that's where I started reading from.

It's actually quite odd to begin reading about characters that you've already grown to know on screen. Book characters are totally different from their TV show counterparts. I guess that goes to show how "acting" in indeed an art form.

The main thing I noticed about GRRM's writing is that he puts in little comments in italics to show what the characters are thinking in their head but never say out loud. I've never seen this done before and it makes for pretty humorous reading. It does show the real, raw intentions of the speakers and that greatly adds to the character development.

The man writes a TON though...I don't know how many pages this book had but it took many a nights to clear this. The adventures of some of the more uninteresting characters were hella boring, but maybe that's because they are just more animated on screen.

I liked the book but is's just so different from the TV show. I have to say that in many instances, the actors really do the book justice such that the book's characters seem dry and less developed vs the TV ones. Usually it's the opposite with TV/movies vs books.
Rating - High

Friday, October 24, 2014

Target's Item Stock Checker

Since the holiday's are right around the corner, here's an FYI to anyone wondering how accurate Target's in-store stock checker is. We were on the hunt for a gold iPhone 6 Plus and boy was it out of stock everywhere. I signed up through one of those notification websites and a few days later, I got an email around 7AM stating that the local Target got one. I kept on checking throughout the day to see if anyone had already ganked it, but it still showed up as In Stock, so after work I wandered down and it was actually still there. The lady said that she had only gotten 1 in that AM. I kept on checking 5-10 min after the purchase was made, but it still said In-Stock. After I drove home it had changed to Out of Stock, so ballpark timeframe for Target's system to update their inventory is 10-30min.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How to Delete a File Created by a Mac and Stored on a Windows File Server

So Macs suck for many-a-reasons, but the main one is that they have never seemed to play too well in a normal, corporate Windows-dominated environment. On the file system level Macs are allowed to put in illegal characters and spaces in places where Windows File Servers can't read correctly. If you need to delete, restore, backup, or edit said files and folders, problems arise.

The usual tricks that work are:

1. Mount the drive via a Mac and try to rename the file or folder manually by removing the trailing space, the period at the end of the filename, or removing the offending character.

2. Finding out the 8.3 name of the file via the DOS command:

dir /x

Then either axing it using the 8.3 name with the ~ in the name.

4. Or if it's a folder with a bunch of data in it, try to use Robocopy to rename the folder first.

Robocopy /MOVE /E /COPYALL BadFolderNameWithTilde NewFolderName

5. What also sometimes works is this command which kills the directory and everything under it recursively via Windows:

rd/s FolderName

6. Or killing it recursively through a mount via Linux or a Mac:

rm -rf FolderName

But in one situation none of my regular tricks worked until I found this site.

In a nutshell, nothing worked because the data used to reside on a 2008 R2 File Server where the 8.3 names did exist. All this data was migrated over to a 2012 R2 File Server, where the 8.3 names were stripped out and fsutil will show that 8.3 is not used at all to reduce overhead by default on the drive level. So without the 8.3 name, the folder was hosed. Solution is this command:

del "\\?\C:\Folder\Subfolder\FolderWithTrailingSpace "
or
del "\\?\C:\Folder\Subfolder\FolderWithTrailingPeriod."

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Lines of Departure (Frontlines Book 2) by Marko Kloos (Book 2014)

Another excellent book from Marko Kloos. This one continued on from the ending of the first, as the character continued the fight against the invading aliens as well as the opposing human faction.

Very well written and engaging. Characters were, for the most part, the same while the environment changed around a bit. This world, that the author created, is a very solid one as it has a great baseline where many other books could easily be spawned off of. The third book in the series has not yet been released so here starts the wait.
Rating - High