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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

April 2005

Friday, 29 April 2005

I burned a DVD and two CDs last night, installed Ubuntu 5.04 on my mom's computer, started work on a user manual, and created some post cards with my beef stroganoff recipe on them.

I stopped by a local cabinet shop and verified that they could make cabinets for my teardrop trailer. I will be taking it over to them next week.

I also received half of my Surplus Computers shipment. They think I have it all, but they shipped one wrong item out of two. I ordered a Dell computer and an FTA satellite receiver and dish. I got the computer, but they sent me a DVD player instead of the satellite stuff. I will be talking to them about that today.

I'm looking forward to the Dutch Oven Cookout tomorrow.


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Thursday, 28 April 2005

I have finished the first cut of my bash Quick Reference. I now need to incorporate information from version 3.00 into the reference. Right now it is 28 pages, which is 7 sheets of paper in brochure format. I hope to keep it under 40 pages. That will make a manageable saddle-stapled booklet.


I'm looking forward to the Inland Empire Dutch Oven Society's Dutch Oven Cookout on Saturday in Rathdrum City Park. I will be there, cooking my infamous beef stroganoff. The cookout runs from sometime after 9am until dinner, which starts at 3pm. There will be demos and dutch oven cooking instruction. I will give out my stroganoff recipe on post cards.

I hope to see people I know, so plan to attend.


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Wednesday, 27 April 2005

I have a dental appointment this morn

ing, so I won't have time to hash up the news. Sorry, clean teeth are more important than Jim Alchin's big lies.


I should be finished with the first cut at a bash Quick Reference on Friday. I will then have to go through it using 3.00 documentation and make corrections and additions. The original text is based on version 2.6.


I am still trying to find a cabinet shop that can do some cabinets for my teardrop trailer. I will look again tonight at a place in Hayden called SSS Cabinets. I won't have the cabinets for the Dutch Oven Cookout on Saturday, but I still want them for my further adventures this summer.

Tuesday, 26 April 2005

I have replaced the old Cooking section on this web site with a new section call Recipes Archive. The new section is database-oriented, so it is easier to maintain.

The new Recipes Archive also allows you to submit recipes for inclusion in the archive. So where are those Dutch Oven treats? I'm looking for all kinds of recipes, so get them out and submit them. See the Recipes Archive page for access to the submission form.


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Monday, 25 April 2005

I have finished backing up all my VHS tapes to DVD. The last one I did was an unfunny Laurel and Hardy flick called Utopia, which they did at the very end of their career. Sad to see such genius way over the hill.

Next is for me to look at my Beta tapes and see if I can rescue any of them onto DVD. I have more of them than I do VHS tapes.


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Friday, 22 April 2005

Well, I was unable to back up Buck Rogers to DVD. When I ran the tape, there was a noise bar right through the middle of the picture that I was unable to get rid of. So I went on to Adventures of Captain Marvel.

I am impressed with the quality of the special effects in a Saturday-morning cliffhanger serial filmed in 1941. The Captain flies and even fights with his feet, and it all looks pretty realistic.

Next up for back up is Flash Gordon, starring Buster Crabbe.


Some people think I hate Microsoft. I think they are foul, despicible, rapacious and mis-guided cretins, but I don't really hate them. If they would quit and go to work for a more ethical concern, I would applaud them.

No, what I really hate is their mediocre me-too software. The only two original ideas Microsoft ever had were Bob and Clippy. And look where those went. I think that Microsoft should stop stealing others ideas and find some employees with real, earth-shaking ideas. Please - no more eye-candy, Microsoft.

I am eternally grateful for Linux as a Windows alternative, and am happy that I am using Windows 2000 at work instead of Windows eXtremely Pathetic. Although I would be much happier with a SuSE or Mepis workstation.


Is this the coolest thing you've seen, or what? This Sunbeam 20-in-1 panel for a standard PC drive bay has "a Multi-Card Reader/Writer, an I/O panel, and a fan controller" with an LCD temperature monitor, along with "USB2.0, IEEE 1394 Firewire, Audio, Video, and even SATA" outputs. The Sunbeam 20-in-1 Superior Panel comes from Xoxide.
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Thursday, 21 April 2005

I have been evaluating books for Linux beginners, with the eventual intent of writing one myself. I have come to the conclusion that the subject is adequately covered, so I will not be doing that book.

On the other hand, I still have the writing itch. So I have started a quick guide to the bash shell. I will be publishing it in booklet form, so you can create a 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 booklet from the text. Handy for keeping next to the computer.

I am writing the book in OpenOffice.org. No more text editors for me, thank you.


I finished backing up The Green Hornet to DVD last night, while I was working on the bash reference. I will be starting Buck Rogers tonight. That one should take two nights, as it is 4 hours long.


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Wednesday, 20 April 2005

I printed and bound a book last night. The book is a free Internet book called Linux from Scratch. It shows you how to build your own Linux distribution. It should be an interesting read.


I am still working on recording The Green Hornet. I have the first seven episodes on DVD, and have recorded the next two from the first VHS tape. I will record the last four episodes tonight and back them up onto a second DVD. Then, it's on to Buck Rogers.


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Tuesday, 19 April 2005

This is a PG-13 web site (see the RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC section below).


Well, Rocky Jones was not backed up. The second tape of the two has a real nice noise bar through the middle of the picture.

So I started on The Green Hornet. It is 13 20-minute episodes, but instead of being split into 7 episodes on one tape and 6 on another, it's split 9 and 4. Thanks a bunch, guys. Now I have to edit the 9 into 7 and 2, put the 7 on a DVD, record the other 4 and combine them with the leftover two. What a PITA.


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Monday, 18 April 2005

I am now backing up my serial tapes (2 VHS tapes) to DVD. These are tapes of some of the cliffhangers that were shown at the movie theaters on Saturday afternoon.

The one I just finished is "Radar Men From The Moon". The hero is a guy named Commando Cody, who flies around with a rocket pack on his back. What fun....

I will be doing "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger" tonite. After that, there are 5 more to do and I will have recorded all my VHS tapes onto DVD.


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Friday, 15 April 2005

Tax day for all you slackers. Get with it!


I installed Knoppix on my mom's old refurbed HP last night. There is a lot of stuff on that single disk, but a lot that I like is also missing. So I just may go back to SuSE on that machine.

That would also be a lot easier on my mom, as she is used to SuSE.

I need to think about what to do for my dad's computers. I replaced the power supply on his HP last Christmas, but he is still having problems with that machine. And he has always had problems with the other machine, which is an older thing that I built for him.

Maybe a couple of motherboards, memory and a couple new cases? This requires some thought.


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Thursday, 14 April 2005

I downloaded and burned a copy of the latest Knoppix distro, 3.8.1. It is beautiful! It is easier to use and now contains Kernel 2.6.11, Scribus, write support for all virtual directories, KDE 3.3.2, Gimp 2.2.4, OpenOffice 1.1.4 and lots of other new stuff. It also supports permanent home directory and system configuration on a hard disk, even on an NTFS partition. It just keeps getting better and better.

I think I will install it on my mom's computer, so I can give it a better workout.


I backed 'Dark Star' up onto DVD last night. I forgot how much fun that movie was. Directed by John Carpenter and written by Dan O'Bannon and John Carpenter, it's a spoof of space flicks. In its 68 minutes, it features really bad dialogue, an alien made from a beachball and talking nuclear bombs. Let There Be Light!


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Wednesday, 13 April 2005

I got two books from Bookpool.com on Monday. I ordered "Linux Desktop Hacks" and "Point and Click Linux". I have been reading the former and it has some impressive hacks in it. I am going to fine tune my main computer with some of them. It would be cool to have windows with shadows and transparent backgrounds.

I haven't had a chance to look at "Point and Click Linux", but it comes with a DVD, which I played. The DVD has some pointers for people who have just started using Linux. Very entertaining.


I updated the database for the PHP app I am writing. Good documentation habits strike again.


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Tuesday, 12 April 2005

I worked on the database specification for the PHP program I will be writing. It's always good to have detailed specs when starting a program, as it helps to eliminate mistakes.

In the case of this database, I found that I had defined several fields to be NOT NULL, when they should not have been. The NOT NULL indicator says that when you create a record in the table, that field MUST have a value. The fields I tagged as NOT NULL were optional value fields, so I will end up removing the NOT NULL from the field definition.


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Monday, 11 April 2005

I had a busy weekend. I attended the North Idaho User Group meeting and had a great time. We more had new people attending. We are going to have to get better organized if we want to keep some of these folks as members.

I also cleaned out part of the garage, took the plow off my truck, put summer tires on my Honda, and washed the Stealth and my teardrop trailer. I also backed more VHS tapes onto DVD. I am now doing the EP tapes, so the quality leaves something to be desired.


I printed out a book over the weekend. Knowing Knoppix is a great book for first time Linux users. It is only 128 pages long, so it skimps in some areas, but on the whole it does a credible job. I bound the copy I printed, and it looks pretty good.

I am getting some of these beginner books because I have an idea for a book and I don't want to duplicate effort. I am expecting "Linx Desktop Hacks" and "Point and Click!" in the mail any day now.


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Friday, 8 April 2005

I was going to say something nasty about Der Fuerher, but he is doing a fine job of making a fool of himself by nominating people like the one for U.N. representative, who wants to get rid of the U.N. (closet John Bircher, I guess).

Besides, I vented some spleen below.


Also, Mr. President - read my lips: We want energy independence by using alternative energy sources. When gas reaches 2.50 a gallon and people start calling for your impeachment, you'll be sorry you didn't do anything.

Oh, wait. You used to be the CEO of an oil company. Forget I said anything. We'll go ahead and impeach you for stupidity and gross incompetence.


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Thursday, 7 April 2005

In business, when you steal money from your employer, it's called theft and you go to jail. With Social Security for the Federal Government, it's called a loan that they never have to pay back. Social Security trust fund is empty. More people believe in UFOs than in the future of social security.


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Wednesday, 6 April 2005

I am really enjoying the C programming I am doing at work. It's great to be able to produce something entirely new, instead of fixing someone else's mistakes in questionable interpreted code.

The only problem is, when I get home, I don't feel like working on any of my programming projects there.


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Tuesday, 5 April 2005

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Monday, 4 April 2005

The latest version of Tellico seems to have fixed the major crash problem. I used it again over the weekend to add more movies, and I never had any problems at all. I now have 326 movies entered in my movie collection database. I still have more to go, though. And that's not counting the Betamax movies I want to save.


The new food services at work seem to have taken the 'eye candy' route. Nice looking, high-carb, high-sugar food for breakfast. Oh, well - I can always make my own breakfast.

We have yet to see what cotton-candy they are offering for lunch.


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Friday, 1 April 2005

Happy April the onest...


This is the first day for the new food services company at my workplace. So far, they have not failed to disappoint; presenting a plethora of high carb/high sugar 'breakfast items' and no items that be consumed by someone on a low-carb diet. This is gonna be real bad.


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