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September 2004

Thursday, 30 September, 2004

I was going to talk about the so-called presidential 'debate', but Connie Rice says it all so much better than I could.


I have reached a milestone. I have backed 100 VHS tapes onto DVD. I still seem to have a never-ending supply of VHS tapes, though. Not to mention all the Beta tapes I have.


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Wednesday, 29 September, 2004

How are these two events different from one another?

Walmart builds a store in your town. During its operation with its low, low prices, it drives other business owners out of business. When Walmart corporate decides that store revenue has fallen too much, it closes the store and moves on to some other unlucky town. The residents of your town have no place to shop, and cannot afford to travel long distances for their staples. The town goes into debt because everyone is leaving.

Baseball decides that the revenue for one of their teams has fallen below their expectations, so they decide to move the team. A city offers to build a 440 million dollar ballpark for the team, using public (taxpayer) funds. The league accepts. When revenues fall below expectations, the league moves the team again, leaving the city with the bill for the ballpark.


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Tuesday, 28 September, 2004

I've been very busy this morning and haven't got the time to update the web page.

Monday, 27 September, 2004

I did quite a bit of work on my other web site over the weekend. Like this site, it will be based on the e107 Content Management System. I have finished the Downloads section and am working on individual description pages for various programs and files. You can see a preview here.


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Monday, 27 September, 2004

I did quite a bit of work on my other web site over the weekend. Like this site, it will be based on the e107 Content Management System. I have finished the Downloads section and am working on individual description pages for various programs and files. You can see a preview here.


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Here is a new word for you, coined by Robert Bruce Thompson:

Sunday, 26 September, 2004

The latin word fenestra is defined as the act of throwing someone or something out of a window.

I am all for inventing new words, if they succinctly and accurately describe something.


I had a good time at the Rathdrum Dutch Oven Cookoff and Bluegrass Festival. I may end up joining the Spokane Dutch Oven Society. They need a web page, though. Nowadays, it's hard to find out about anything unless it's on the Internet.


From the "never do this" dept. You can run your SanDisk Cruzer Mini 256mb pen drive through your clothes washer without harm (warm wash, cold rinse). I do not recommend doing it, though, and take no responsibility if you do it. Just goes to show you should check all your pockets before washing your clothes.

Friday, 24 September, 2004

I am slowly getting my Rimrock Software web site into shape. I hope to have it online soon. It will feature free software and graphics for both Windows and Linux systems. The web site hasn't been updated in three years, so it's about time.


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I have a doctor's appointment this morning. I will have more to say later.

Thursday, 23 September, 2004


Rathdrum will be hosting a Dutch Oven Cookoff and bluegrass festival on Saturday. I will be going over there after I get my car serviced. I would like to join the local dutch oven society, so maybe I can sign up there.

It'll be interesting to see what kinds of things other people cook in dutch ovens.


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Wednesday, 22 September, 2004

I've been listening to an old radio show called "The Blue Beetle". Corny, but lots of fun. The Radiolovers web site has many of these gems.


I got a preview of what I will be working on in the future. The outlook is completely depressing. More of the same old non-OOP code, no more Perl programming, more C programming and more configuration problems. No thoughts of moving to Java or even to C#. Where'd I put that resumé?


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Tuesday, 21 September, 2004

If you are like me, and you love old radio shows, there is a great web site for you. The Radiolovers site has many of the old shows, recorded as MP3s. I will be finished listening to Gunsmoke today. Great entertainment at a great price (free!).

I think I will listen to Journey to the Center of the Earth next.


I will start studying for an LPI certification exam starting today. The first exam is the entry-level System Administrator exam.

I am using the LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell book to study for this exam. I know quite a bit of the subject already, but it always pays to know more. A lot of it is command line stuff I haven't used. Most of them are easy to pick up, though.


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Monday, 20 September, 2004

Here's a good one for you. Go to http://www.google.com, type in 'miserable failure' and click on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.


Normal weekend. I got more VHS tapes backed up to DVD. The total is 82.

I also did some work on some real old PCs. Three out of four of them are working, and the hard disks from the fourth one were incoporated into one of the other working machines. The only thing I couldn't get working was a machine I put a new modem into. I really wouldn't want to do this work for a living.


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Friday, 17 September, 2004

NEW ITEM

If Windows causes problems like this, what will happen when the british do Windows for Warships?


I spent about 5 hours last night recording an hour and 50 minute movie. First try, I got to within 10 minutes of the end when it started losing sync. I fast forwarded the movie to the end of the tape, rewound it and went again. Second time I got through it without those sync losses. Then I spent more time recording it on DVD.

That winding trick only works on some tapes. Others will no longer work, no matter what you do to them.


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Thursday, 16 September, 2004

I now have new lenses for my glasses, so I can see again. It will be nice to work on a computer and not have to take my glasses off and scrunch up close to the screen.


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Wednesday, 15 September, 2004

Programming Thought of the Day:

Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum.
(


Well, I can't figure it out. I plugged my USB DVD drive into the system I was attempting to upgrade. I booted from it into the SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional installation, and I ended up with the same exact problem I had with the other drive - no available packages. I tried the other DVD and got the same thing. So my problem is not the DVD drive, it's something more fundamental.

I installed SuSE Linux 9.1 Personal instead. It comes on a CD, which I had no trouble installing. I ended up with something that looks indentical to the Professional, except it has less support programs. So if I want to add Development support and any local servers, I will have to get them from the Professional DVD.

After I installed the new OS, I still had no support for the TV tuner card. I guess I will have to install it in a (ugh) Windows machine. I have a little 500 mHz candidate for that.


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Tuesday, 14 September, 2004

I attempted to upgrade one of my computers yesterday. I wanted to add a TV tuner card, a modem and a DVD drive. I also wanted to upgrade the OS from SuSE Linux 9.0 Professional to 9.1 Professional. I was only partly successful.

The modem works and the DVD drive kind of works. The TV card and the upgrade were a bust.

The OS upgrade went ok until I got to the place where it asks what packages to install. There were no packages listed, because it couldn't read the list off the DVD. I tried two different DVDs, and they both acted this way. I suspect the DVD drive, as it is the first one I ever bought and it's really old. I will have to buy another one.

I will retry the TV card as soon as I upgrade the OS, but I had no luck with a Hauppauge card on this computer, and I suspect I will have no luck with this AITech card.


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The NILUG meeting was very good. Most of the dozen people there brought computers. Mostly notebooks, but there was one desktop computer there, too. We had a good time, and a lot of knowledge was passed around. Thanks to Frank Ten Thy for the meeting space.

Monday, 13 September, 2004


I made a couple more MP3 disks. I've done 10 of them, and I am down to the middle B's in my collection. Long, long way to go.


I need to build a Linux test bed computer. I want to look at new distros as they come out. I am going to start looking for parts for this. Got to wait a couple of weeks before ordering.


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Friday, 10 September, 2004

I decided to re-install SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional on my notebook computer. After a couple of false starts (one misconfiguration and one bad DVD), I have Linux installed. I am now tweaking the install and reinstalling stuff that was not on the SuSE distro (like Lame and FontForge). All without losing any data or personal files I had on the machine.


The North Idaho Linux Users Group meets tomorrow at noon, and I am ready to face the inquisitive hordes. I will have the following Linux distros available for copying:

All I have to do is remember to bring enough blank CD-Rs.


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Thursday, 9 September, 2004

It was nice to have a day off. I got my eyes examined and did some work around the house. Very restful when the day off is not a weekend day.

It turns out my eyes are getting better, i. e., my current glasses prescription is now way too strong. I will be getting a physical to figure why that has happened.


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Wednesday, 8 September, 2004

I went to the North Idaho Computer User Group meeting last night. It was interesting, but not really my cup of tea.

The people were very nice and entirely focused on Microsoft software. They talked about service packs, viruses, reinstalls, reboots - everything I am not interested in. Other than that, it was really just a social gathering. I will probably give this meeting a pass the next time it comes around.


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Tuesday, 7 September, 2004

I got quite a lot done on the long weekend. I replaced the broken valve in my water system, and I now have full water pressure. I backed up about 8 more VHS tapes onto DVD. And I whacked a bunch of weeds. More stuff to do, however.


I am going to the North Idaho Computer User Group meeting tonight. It's held the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 3 Star Computer. It will be interesting to see what the Microsoft-centric crowd is up to.


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Friday, 3 September, 2004

H & H finished work on my water line yesterday. The water leak problem is definitely solved. There was a split end cap down by the well. When it first split, there was nowhere for the water to go with all the clay around the cap. As time went on, the clay got damp and porous and the water found a place to go - right back into my well.

H & H replaced the split end cap and I had full water pressure again. Only one problem; a valve at the house, which had been slowly leaking for some time now faced full water pressure, and the leak was now unacceptably large. I had to shut down the water.

I will remove the valve tonight and replace it with regular pipe, as the valve is not really needed.


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Thursday, 2 September, 2004

The Libertarian and Democratic Conventions were used to establish a platform and pick a candidate. The Republican Convention is being used to make inflamatory and untrue statements about their opponents; how unpatriotic, cowardly and wishy-washy they are. Nary a word about what Bush has been and (not) done or what he plans to do. Talk about the difference been dignity and brutishness. I guess the Republicans think there is no such thing as yellow journalism anymore.

Why did they hold a convention, if all they will do is use it like the Romans used the Coliseum?


Thanks to some comments by Betty, I found out about a PC user group operating in our area. It's called the North Idaho Computer Users Group, and it meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 3 Star Computers on 4th street in Coeur d'Alene. Meetings start at 7 p.m., but they start gathering at 6 p.m. for gossip. After the first couple of meetings, you have to join the group and pay dues. We'll see if it's worth it.

It's nice to have a real PC user group back in the area. As far as I know, there have been none in Coeur d'Alene or Spokane for years.


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Wednesday, 1 September, 2004

'Fair' and 'Balanced' reporting? This guy ought to work for Fox News.

Daniel Lyons, one of the big three Microsoft shills (along with Laura DiDio and Rob Enderle), has just published an inflammatory article about my favorite operating system, intitled "Thanks, Linux". Here are some quotes from the article.

...the Brits originally planned to dump Microsoft's Windows and switch to open-source programs, including Linux. But when they commissioned a study to evaluate costs, they found it would be cheaper to stick with Windows. So they signed on for a 10-year deal.

He says 'they' commissioned the study. Not true. Microsoft commissioned the study, so it is no surprise what the results were.

Here are some more quotes. You can certainly tell who pays him:

Torvalds' Linux kernel (the core of the operating system) is 13 years old. Other parts of the operating system are even older. Even if Linux does catch up, will it matter? If the Linux camp simply manages to create an operating system that does roughly what Windows does for roughly the same price, what will be the point?

What the hell is he talking about? Windows is much more than 13 years old, so I guess that means you really shouldn't be using it. As for price, you can get Linux for free. Can you say that about Windows?

Microsofties say they were more worried about Linux a few years ago, when it was a truly free program, spreading on its own, from user to user, like a virus.

His brain must be hosting a virus. This is typical FUD, equating a rival O/S with a virus. If you want to talk viruses, how about buying an operating system, then having to pay for every upgrade, and pay for every application, and being forced to upgrade (pay and pay and pay).

But Microsoft likes fighting. "Microsoft does not move well unless there is a competitor to focus on," says Robert Enderle, president of the Enderle Group, a market research firm. "Linux is making Microsoft vastly more capable."

A shill quoting another shill. They do it all the time. Lyons quotes Enderle, who quotes DiDio. What a happy little fraternity.

And what a fool.


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