Thursday, March 23, 2006

Random Musings

Tired. Must get thoughts down before passing out.

Mookie put on a helluva fun tourney tonight. Somehow, I made the final table. I busted out in 9th, but hell, I'll take it.

Finally got around to updating the blogroll. Had several bloggers that I've been reading or been meaning to read, and finally got around to adding to the list. These include Mookie, Dugglebogey, Garthmeister, Hoyazo, Big Slick Nuts and Nick Christy. Great blogs, with lots of great stories, lessons, comics, and other random (hmmm, where have I come across that before) information, both poker-related and not.

Duggles in particular is making his own waves across the bloggerdome, by doing banners for everybody who wants one. I knew I wanted one, and I finally figured out what I wanted. The irony is that I went to his site to ask him to hook a brother up, and he'd already done one! The man has talent. Of course, Blogger's word verification kept locking up on me, never giving me a new word, so I couldn't post there. So Duggles, I've got my banner idea. Something like A,Q,J,T of spades on the felt, with the text, "Got Outs?". Well, whaddaya think? Let me know, and thanks for already doing one. You certainly nailed the "random" part of it!

Big Slick Nuts had a post on Monday that got me thinking. Has anybody ever tried to run a poker room off of a USB flash drive? Most of you regular readers know that my job makes it extremely difficult to get home in time for many of the tournaments that the bloggers play in. In most cases, I can get home within 10 minutes or so of the start time, but traffic and distance just tend to work against me. I'd preregister from work and just sit out until I made it home, but our IT department would shit giant octogonal bricks if I dared install PokerStars or Full Tilt on my computer. They've even got it set up that every log-off syncs my hard drive to the network server, so even my "My Documents" directory is saved on our network. In a worst case scenario, I'd get a laptop and find a wifi spot on the way home to register and/or play, but I don't really need a laptop. If a client can be made to run off of a flash drive, that might give me the flexibility I need. Any thoughts out there? I'm probably going to try it, but if anybody knows for certain one way or the other, let me know.

All right. I'm done. It's 1 a.m. here, despite what the time stamp says, and I'm beat. See ya on the felt.


mookie99 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
iamhoff said...

Does somebody not like me? Probably, but why would somebody remove a comment? Anyway, an update to the BSN flash drive question. I decided this morning WTF. I had a 128 MB drive handy, so I got into work and downloaded the PokerStars client to the flash drive. Total folder size after installation, 15.7 MB. Plenty of room for work crap and such. And it works! The only problem I had was remembering my password. Like most of you, it comes up automatically. Now I have to reset it at home, but it worked fine otherwise. Cool. Now I can make more of the blogger events. I may take my seat late, but I'll be there!

C.L. Russo said...

I'm not very computer savy, but isn't there a risk of you're employer still seeing that you're going to a poker site? Fr'instance, every website I type in the address bar is saved and I can't delete it!

Also, I would think it wouldn't be hard keep a record of where you're going online while at work.

Sorry if I'm sounding like a wet-blanket, just don't want to see you get in trouble!

iamhoff said...

I'm sure there's a decent likelihood that they'd notice where I was going. For me, tho, that's not the point. So long as I can access my account to register for tourneys and such at the end of the work day, that's all I need. I'm not looking to play at work, so I don't think there'd be a problem. I think if the site was installed on their system, that would cause them to go ape-shit more than anything. I've played enough webgames thru Yahoo and such at lunch, and nobody's said anything, so I think I'll be ok. I did log on to test it and see what tourneys are running tonight, so we'll see if the internet nazis show up at my office and drag me off to jail or something. If they do, I'll live-blog it!

There's a couple of things you can do to get rid of what's in your URL bar. First, shut down Iexplorer. Then right click on the IE desktop icon, and select "Properties". From there, the middle of the dialog box should be "Temporary Internet Files". Click "delete cookies", click "delete files" (do both on- and off-line), and click "clear history". Then click "ok". Now, right click in the middle of the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, and select "properties". I'm not sure which version of Windows you've got, but in XP, click on the "Start Menu" tab, and click the "customize" button. From there, click the "clear" buttom, which clears records of recently accessed docs, programs, and websites. Then click "ok" until the dialog box is gone. That ought to do it.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

You know, Hoff, for some (not all, but some) of the blogger tourneys, you could just log in before you leave for work on the morning of the tournament (or the night before even, for that matter) and register. That way, whenever you get home you can just log in, take your seat and start playing.

iamhoff said...

Hammer, you make a good point. Part of the problem there is that I rarely am thinking that clearly in the morning. Most of the time that I realize there's a tourney, it's because I read a reminder on somebody's blog. Are there tournaments that you can register that early for? Except for the 180s, every time I've tried to register early for something it's never been open except for 1 or 2 hours before the start. Just because of the time constraint, I don't play many MTTs, so it might be just the ones that I've played (usually the rebuy/guarantees) that have a limited registration period. Either way, I'll start checking earlier, and with my flash drive I can hook up for some of the last minute ones. Looking forward to it!

Roscoe said...

Hmmmm... Easy to get rid of your internet history? That is what I like our users to think as well... bwahahahah

Hey Brad, 'tis Ross. I just got sick of not being able to get into the conversations so I decided to sign up. Not too sure about having enough material for a blog though.... I guess we will see how motivated I get.

As you probably notice, I am fully embracing my role at my company. Just laid down the law on email box sizes. I am everyone's favorite today!

aka I.T. Nazi

iamhoff said...

Well, Mr. IT Nazi, how should we enjoy our inter-webby-thingie at work and avoid getting in trouble? I've stopped looking at squirrel farting porn (thanx, Lady F), and I don't bet on the dog races (the rat race is another story). Seriously, I know that any URL or IP address that's accessed is most likely logged somewhere. For the level of poker usage I might do, I seriously doubt anyone will do anything. I'm not playing or anything, so there's probably not a problem there. I guess we'll wait and see.

Sorry I had to force you to sign up. I started getting some anonymous spam posters (a true sign of success), so I added the user restriction and the word verification. Now I just need to learn HTML so that I can tweak the layout. Sounds like a birthday present. I'll have to let people know...

C.L. Russo said...

"I think if the site was installed on their system, that would cause them to go ape-shit more than anything."

True dat.

I like the idea of putting poker site software on a flash drive. I might do that anyway, just so I have more room on my computer for more squirrel farting porn.

Ohhhh....squirrel farting porn.

Roscoe said...

Sadly, there is not really any way to completely hide your tracks, as you are most likely (hopefully) going through a firewall that will log all your internet access. You can use an anonymous proxy service if you are overly concerned about it, but it sounds like it is not that big of a deal with your IT group. Besides, if discovered, the use of a proxy would probably raise more suspicion than just accessing an occasional questionable website. I would think that you are OK, as long as you keep it reasonable and I.T. Nazis don't get too bored. Then again, I don't know what your policies are.

There is actually a hidden folder where all your internet browsing history is kept, that is only accessible through the Dos prompt and if you know where it is. It won't show up in any directory listings. Thank you Microsoft. The good news (possibly) is that it just holds yout internet browsing history (IE only), not the client/server communication that your poker program probably uses. This is part of the reason why I use firefox rather than IE.

Anyway, enough of that. It sounds like you are getting really into the poker thing. How is the gf dealing with your new hobby? I guess I need to go check my work for poker clients :)

iamhoff said...

And are we going to get the hint as to where the mystery folder is, or not. I would think you're right, that it tracks websites, not client/server comms. How about with internet access thru a server? I would presume that similar info is stored on the server, as opposed to on my individual desktop.

The gf is handling the poker thing fairly well. I make every attempt to not be playing when she gets home from work. As long as I'm available (and when I play a tournament, I'm not) when she's around and would normally be the center of my attention. Other than issues like that, she makes jokes about how much I play, how much I blog, and how into it all I've become. Oh well. What can you do?

Roscoe said...

With client/server communication, it really depends on the application. Many log some stuff on the local machine, others don't in the interest of performance or secrecy. I would be surprised if the poker client kept much in the way of logs, as there are probably many like you who would like to be discreet about the use of it. However, all traffic through your firewall is logged, including ports and destinations, both in and out. If they started looking toomuch at those logs, they would be able to tell which servers you were communicating with. Paired with a packet analyzer, they would be able to see the information that was going back and forth betweeh you and that server. As I said before, there is a way around this, by using a secure proxy that encrypts all your communications, but if I saw that kind of traffic, it would be much more of a red flag and would give me a reason to dig into it.

The hidden directory only keeps yout IE history, not firefox, email or anything else. As far as the location goes, I will have to look it up again, as I haven't had to use it in a while.

I actually have a solution that you haven't even thought about. Configure a method of getting into your home PC from work. That way, you can visit your computer and get to whatever you need to. Brilliant! Here is a link that describes how to do it.

iamhoff said...

Cool. I'll have to check that out. In the meanwhile, the flash drive thing seems to work fine. I figured that since I did the download at work, even though the program didn't actually reside on the computer, it would work because any odd temp files needed to run the client would be present. The test would be to try it on another computer, one that had no poker stuff on it at all. The gf's laptop! Plug the drive in, and log in for a quick hand of Omaha to try it out. Perfect! There you have it. Anybody wanting to try having a poker client installed on a flash drive, PokerStars works perfectly. I presume that Tilt and others would also work fine. Enjoy!