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Most Recent (Last update: 2230 01/13/02)

Heh. Today should be fun: last week I picked up a case of eight ounce styrofoam cups rather than the six ouncers I usually keep in stock. It's going to be fun watching all the jittery people shaking around the office with a third more caffeine in their system than they're used to. Actually, it might be worse than that if they load up with an extra cup or two on Mondays like they usually do...

More Antec's... Okay, a bad pun; but I've been reaching lately. Ahem... Last week I mentioned one of Antec's probucts, a frame that allows you to place a 3.5 inch gizmo in a 5.25 drive slot and add a pair of front mounted USB connectors in the bargain. Well, here's an example of that in action:

Antec's DataChute mounted in an EasyUSB

The outer frame is an EasyUSB with the two USB ports on the right side. The goodie to the left in the 3.5 inch slot is their DataChute PCMCIA reader/writer. The top slot on this one is holding a wireless NIC; the bottom slot is generally home to a 128mb flash card that will soon be traveling from work to home in lieu of my vernerable ZIP disks. Kinda' sweet not having another reader falling off of wherever I plopped it. ...and it reportedly works under Linux. I'll let you know about that after the next session on the test bed...

Have a fun week!


Two for one sale: Last night I managed to take things that one step too far and munge both the Red Hat and Win2k installs on Wolf(enstein)...

I'm actually taking that as a Good Thing: I was getting a little too attached to this configuration despite the quirkiness inherent in a testbed where things are installed and uninstalled without proper regard to procedures (kinda' like poor Tux, -eh?)... Procedures? We don't need no stinking procedures! Fr'nstance, Sunday, when I stuck that DataChute in, the cable headers on its PCI card hit the edge of the sound card in the next slot. So I just swapped them (and took the Jaz drive off the SCSI string while I was in there). Now, stop that; I can see that <shudder> from here... It's a test bed! I don't much care if I hose something: I get to see how the machine and the OS interact. Ummm... Actually they did rather well: two requests for driver disks (sound card and PCMCIA) and much trundling (and four reboots!) and all was well.

Short version: as long as I didn't lose anything on the second HDD, life is okay; that's the one where the machine-specific drivers are stored. ...and even that wouldn't be a major problem: all of those are mirrored from the file server.

...and how did I manage that one? I'm not quite sure; it was something to do with a new Red Hat install. I think I mis-applied a check box trying to get the ZIP drive up as hdc and ending up with Lilo writing to the boot sector instead of the floppy. ...and then the install fell over while it was testing the resolution. I haven't seen that on any installs on this machine; that ATI Rage card has worked real well on all the Linux installs.

...and yeah, I know it's all recoverable; but I need to do a full install of Win2k anyway since this one was an overlay on NT4. ...and a VMware install with Win2k or Win98 under that. ...and it appears I need to find that blasted partridge again: I haven't quite figured how his cage door is linked to that machine; but he's fluttering around, dive-bombing the cats.

That's why I like test bed machines. ...and need one around!

Remembering 09/11/01


Heh. I can't even goof up correctly this week: the test bed is kinda' sorta working. So far... Well, I thought I'd hosed things on that Red Hat install; so I put in a full version CD of Win2k and let it trundle away. All was well until the format routine on the main HDD's Windows partitions ended and it started to reboot. ...and came back up in Linux at the command line. Oh, bother and piffle! MBR stuff I did not want to play with, so I called things off for the moment.

Tonight, I thought, "Well, who cares; maybe I can get XFree86 configured. After all, I've done it once <g>..." Not to be. ...not without some mucking around I don't have the time for at the moment. ...and I'm really not all that CLI savvy at this point; I need my MTV. Then I got to thinking about VMware... Maybe I could burn 3.0 to a CD and install that... Hmmm... Then again, another RedHat install wouldn't even kill time as I'd be working on Tux while that was happening. ...or maybe I could? Nah; best to get on with it. Until I noticed the wireless NIC in the DataChute was blinking like it does when it's trying to find a friend. Whoohoo. Now there's a good sign! Let's see... What happens during the boot and shutdown cycles? Okay, it's not starting eth1 right after eth0; that falls over. But lookee: once the PCMCIA drivers kick in, all is blinky-blinky. K'. ...and the shutdown shows it's unloading the wavlan driver set. Cool.

Okay, one more thing to do before I start over: I'll see what happens at the LILO menu under the "DOS" option. Ummm... My Win2k installation continues. Oh great, just what I need: something working like it should... Sheesh.

...and so I spent the night configuring that from scratch!


Man, only one more night of homework this week... I think we're all ready for that. ...and I'm hoping there's nothing that needs a lot of work over the weekend since this is the one time of the year when I actually want to turn the TV on.

...oh, yeah; I need to hope for rain also. It's been so bright and sunny lately (yesterday was an exception) that I'll likely find myself out in the back yard separating the agapanthus and weeding. ...and it's only January. Heck, I don't think we've even had enough low temperature days to allow the fruit and nut trees in this area to set properly this year.

Last night went later than it should have playing on the testbed box; but I hadn't done a bare metal install of Win2k and I want to run through several iterations before I start on the new box for the office. Speaking of which, the last component (I hope) showed up today. Cool. Maybe while one of the games is on...

...and it's almost Friday on this part of the planet.


Well, I'm set to start throwing software back on the testbed: Wolf(enstein) is booting into RedHat 7.2 or Win2K once again. This round is for bare metal software testing on the Win2k side; since the previous installation was an overlay, there were bits and pieces of older stuff hanging around that may have affected performance. ...and I need to figure out which bit of bytes was causing the machine to not shut down correctly; the Knowledge Base had several candidates, none of which were installed...

Oh, I did end up re-installing RedHat; I gave the configuration utility another try and ended up still sitting behind the eight ball, at least that's what I was reminded of what with the black screen and the white lettering... Interesting: the Konqueror version on this box (similar configuration to Tux) rendered one guy's Zope site significantly faster than I was used to seeing. So, I wandered over to a php site and it popped faster also. Hmmm, could be that I was falling asleep, but it bears another look this evening.

I do have to get used to the newer KDE GUI; making this transition could leave me staring much like I do when I move to my work machine after I spend the weekend in Linux: "Yeah, I highlighted it; why doesn't it copy?" <g>. I do have to admit my workspace time at home is easily in the eighty percent range Linux to twenty percent Windows. Kmail is certainly "Good Enough"; gFTP and Bluefish handle the web chores well enough; Konqueror rocks; and if I knew The Gimp well enough, I suspect my Adobe Elements program wouldn't have as much up time...

...and that and the fact that some non-standards-compliant sites demand IE will keep me with at least one dual boot box for a time. So... It looks like it could be a geeky weekend...

Unless football gets in the way...


Oh, yeah, Saturday... Yes, I had one. No, I didn't do a lot. ...and no, I don't much care <g>. Since I stayed up for my own Friday Night at the Movies, I slept in until nearly 1000. ...so I guess that omelet was brunch <g>.

Bradley and I did some yard work while Shelley and Daniel went of in search of the correct set of pants for Daniel to wear this spring. ...and I am soooo out of it in the fashion arena: the current trend is a set of nylon pants that allows you to unzip the leg portion below the knees for PE class and such. The mind boggles...

Later, there were some football events (I hesitate to call them 'games') during which Brad and I fended for ourselves while the properly-attired one and his mother headed off to a party, the aftermath of which is detailed here <g>.

...and I took my stab at downloading Ximian Evolution last night (75meg on a dialup); that went okay enough (one restart and one recovery); but the install went awry. It seems there's a dependency issue </shock> that may actually require uninstalling Nautilus before adding the Ximian desktop. I checked in with Brian, and I may have tried to do too much: all I want is Evolution, so I don't really need Ximian! Hmmm... That may just be the ticket. But that ticket may not be punched for another day or two as I have plans to continue relaxing this weekend!

I'll let you know how it goes...


Oh my, I am sooo glad I didn't make any significant plans for today; they'd have come to naught. As it was, I was able to watch the game I wanted to watch and keep plans limited to household chores. "Why", you might ask? Well, Saturday evening's little foray by Shelley and the young gentlemen turned out to the start rather than the end of the events...

As the evening progressed, the girls went raiding (with their mother along for transportation), while Daniel and his friend stayed in constant contact on the phone. ...letting each other know when any car that even remotely registered on their radar as similar to 'the suspect vehicle' came down either street. ...and then Dan's house was hit! While he was watching out the window! Daniel was in conspiracy heaven. (I was working on the now thoroughly locked up testbed and getting a play by play report while Shelley and Bradley slept the sleep of the ignorant.) At one point, there was serious thought of a black helicopter overhead with eleven year old girls rappelling into our yard.

Then Dan's older brothers managed to convince his mom that it would be cool to counter attack while the girls were circling another block. Daniel wanted in on that action, so I found myself walking him over to Dan's house at 2330 in 42F weather to join the attack team (which boasted a local sheriff's deputy as the security force).

He came home a little while later with great tales of daring do, hiding in bushes, and escaping into the mom's van as the girls came back home. ...and just as excited as heck that they'd soon hit our place in revenge.

...does anyone want to imagine what it's like trying to get a ten year old to bed at that point? I see several experienced parents out there just slowly shaking their heads... Yeah, it was a long night. When Daniel got up at 0630, Shelley promptly sent him back to bed. I made it up in time for the San Francisco/Green Bay game; Daniel joined me nearly an hour later...

We never did get hit (yet! <g>), but we found out today that was because they could see Daniel in the window every time they went by... We've also been informed we are scheduled first up on the list for the next sleepover at the young lady's house. ...but I'm not warning Daniel (another sleepless night? I think not). I just hope they hit us on a Friday so Shelley (Remember? The instigator of the entire episode? The one who slept through the night?) can take the boys out Saturday evening...

I do think I still need some sleep...

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