Self Portrait


(& Stuff)

Initial Post

Last Week

Next Week


The Better Half



Copy this link to your newsreader's subscription page


The Time Sink

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Most Recent (Last update: 2255 02/23/03)

I'm off today, but I may be going it anyway. least for a few. We're in the midst of a project and I may need to get a thing or two rolling today. That's if the suppliers are open... For now, I settled for logging into my office machine last night over LapLink and setting two delayed faxes to fire off after I logged out. That's a lot to ask from the technology; but hey, it's worked before. ...and if it saves me a trip in, it was worth dragging Athena out and firing her back up again.

On the homework and special projects front, we're proceeding apace; with any luck we'll make the cutoff dates. ...but I'm beginning to believe that "they" schedule these projects when there's a three day weekend! At least we're able to split the homework time up so the boys are able to play some.

Have a pleasant Monday...


Wooooo. Let me off this roller coaster! ...and let the painters in. ...and get the kids back to school. ...and me back to work (at least for a few hours <g>).

Daniel's room is now empty and ready for paint and carpet; there was a little more work than I remembered, mostly un-kidifying the room from the 'baby days'. ...but it's ready to go. 'Course the flip side of that is that they're both back in the same room until the end of the month; but last night went well enough, so there's some hope!

...and the homework and special projects are dragging right along. Shelley's appealing a ruling from the field (Daniel and me) regarding the flavor of one portion of the "Creature Feature" assignment, but the rest is muddling along. Well, all except for the voice module Shelley mentioned; someone in the design department needs a refresher course: the button for <Record> was mounted on a pigtail while the playback button was mounted on the pc board. I ended up rewiring things to extend the playback button and speaker to give us some flexiblity in mounting them.

...and the office gig from Sunday night? Things worked out well; the follow-up yesterday went well enough and I should have product on our dock sometime today. So, yeah; let's hear it for connectivity...

...and an easy day at work?


So I came home from a hard day at the salt mines (hey, that weekend project thing worked out just fine; I had product on the dock by 1100) to find Mainspring, the Win2k box, wound just a bit too tight: "System process" was taking 99% of the CPU time and just wouldn't back off. So I shut down all the browser windows I left open the night before (waiting to be bookmarked or stuck up on Whitenoise) and all the other stuff I leave open to have available to work with (EditPlus, PhotoShop Elements, Amphetadesk) and things still didn't quiet down. Ah, heck, I'll just restart the poor thing; I mean, it's been almost two weeks and it is a Windows box... Ummm... A crashed Windows box...

Yeah, this is a bad thing... So I went blading, which was plan A anyway. ...and thought about the various bailouts I have and didn't have. ...and came back and confirmed: "no boot for you!" Hmmm... Motherboard? Power supply? I get to the Compaq logo and that is it! Well, the FDD light is on, but the HDDs spin down. ...and I don't have any good way to deal with this just now since there are Homework Projects that have Priority. Sheesh.

So, let's see... How is this going to work? Well, the quick and dirty would be the Linux testbed. ...but that was linked to the net through the wireless link on Mainspring. ...and it's just a testbed to try to figure out if the components are a stable match. ...and Red Hat has been crashing on it. Constantly...

So... What to do... Step one, grab a length of Cat5 and start crimping! Plug and play (my version) and I have net access. Cool. I guess I'll see what all this talk about Evolution is... Hmmn... It's okay... Although, I really, really wish I had cleared the servers before I did that linkup. Oh, my. Too much mail!

...and what about the basic necessities? Well, gFTP is there; but no Bluefish. Deedeedoo... Hey, Bluefish is up to .9, with a gtk2 port to an RPM. ...and let me tell you, I'm Aunt Minnie right then. Download, install, ready to rock. Cool.

So, now I'm on this side of the street for a day or two. ...or three. ...but not for all that long, 'cause that length of Cat5 from the kitchen to the garage just isn't going to cut it <g>! ...and I need an outlet for the photos! Although... I just hooked the Lexar SmartMedia reader into the hub. ...and when I put a card in it, it did all the blinkly light handshake stuff; so maybe I'd better go see where that mount point is.

...but that's tomorrow.


So far... It's not the power supply. It's not the memory. I don't think it's either HDD. Zeroing the CMOS didn't help (well, it changed the screen from a pretty logo to a nothing logo).


So it looks like this evening will involve a motherboard swap. That certainly wasn't on this week's agenda! ...but I need that box back up. I didn't take ol' Tux down until I had a solid Win2k installation to work from, and right now the most bothersome thing about TuX (reborn) is that I can lock it up solid by using the Workspace Switcher! Granted, all the new geegaws are just dandy. ...and that's okay for a testbed, but I don't want to put too many eggs in this basket until I know what is going on here. So the photos are staying in the camera and some other things aren't happening just now...

...and I'm running KMail again due to the strange way Evolution handles the timestamps (likely something I did in setup). ...and Galeon is cool (as is Konqueror and Mozilla). ...and I really can't wait until they have the full .9 port of Bluefish, 'cause it's sweet! ...and I do want to play here, but something just isn't right

...and I need a least one box up!


It's going to be smoke signals tomorrow... I went to log in and perhaps post from the Linux box before working on the Win2k motherboard changeout only to find things even more hosed over there/here: I couldn't get to either KDE or Gnome. Failsafe more or less worked, at least enough to let me know I could connect to the net and get my nightly fix before bedtime, but that was about it...

...and then I remembered I'd installed Windowmaker. Yeah, flashbacks to black boxes and the Next big thing. Great. Just call me MacDaddy. ...but hey, it worked. So, I took care of my weekly Thursday business on the blog, and then tried to handle this side of the street. Uh-uh: hosed. ...but this time with a clue: everything that was locked up needed net access. Well, more or less: Bluefish got lost in the shuffle also. K', I can handle that. least if I can get one more boot out of things. ...but man, I have some serious work to get life back to normal. Well, normal as defined by me <g>! ...and I think I'll swap out the NIC in this box at some point and see if that helps. Oh, and try "Top" to see if this thing is spawning processes; that's another maybe.

...but definitely, give me the weekend!


Okay, so this is how it's going to be: the bad news is that the motherboard won't fit in the case. That I can live with; I need an ATX case for Brad's new machine anyway. ...but I didn't have a case in the budget. Heck, I didn't have a mobo in the budget. ...but the good news: I'll probably be ready to put Brad's machine together as soon as I get done with Mainspring...

Yeah, a quick check of the parts inventory computer between my ears says I'll probably only need a hard drive to have everything I need to put a box together for Brad. So, that's only a payday or two out. Cool. Hey, speaking of spending money: if you're still using SDRAM. Office Depot is clearing out some PNY and Kingston stock as they make the move to DDR. One example that I passed on to a friend last night: 512mb of PC133 for $64. ...and that comes with a $20 rebate if you get it by today. The SKU on that, if you want to call around, is 247-808. There's other-sized stuff available, but things will really vary by region and by store.

So, the agenda for today now includes a trip to Cases r Us and then a time of reflection and observance of the Proper Protocols for putting a Win2k box in order. ...which is way past due 'cause I want this Linux box up and running properly. ...and right now, it's pretty much a hit and miss deal. Still, any day you can post <g>...

Catch you later!


Late night after a longish day. ...actually a pair of days. I started working on the rebuild of Mainspring yesterday morning as soon as I got home from the case place and ended up with quite a melange of parts installed by the time I was done. two boxes.

I was trying to keep as much of the old stuff intact as I could so I wouldn't have to reload all the software, but I also wanted to be able to use the old case for Brad's new machine, so I ended up essentially building two machines at the same time. ...and I found another one of my 'bargain' clearance HDDs in the attic and that pretty much forced my hand into putting that spindle in the new box and leaving the old one in Brad's box. So... Mainspring is back up in true Dr. Fronkensteen fashion and what will become Gearbox is more or less put together. ...but that's on hold for a day or two since I've pushed patience levels with the kitchen table long enough.

...that, and the Cat5 snaked through the laundry room <g>!

The Conjuror
Click image for larger version

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future"

Subscribe the Timesink in Amphetadesk!  Automatically subscribe to this domain in Radio UserLand.  Thanks for visiting!  Certain works on this site are covered by a Creative Commons License
All content Copyright 1999->2003 Daniel C. Bowman. All rights reserved.