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Well, the rains started in just after I came back from blading yesterday. They started off light enough, but by mid-evening were coming down steadily. ...and the forecasts are for as much as an inch today!

...and the rains are welcome; the mountains are starved for snow (and the water table next Summer would reflect that). ...and as much as I like being outside, I'm thinking the rains will be good for keeping me inside the house and working on projects as the week progresses.

Maybe I'd better get working on a list!


I know it's hard to believe, but I'm actually taking a few days off to just spend time with Shelley and the kids and ... well ... me! In years past the holiday season has been a time filled with a little too much 'busy ' time and not enough family time. ...and frankly, I think I will feel better going into the New Year after having spent some time showing Shelley how to use some of her Christmas gifts, building up a new box for Daniel to game on, and going over the operation of my Casio camera with Brad (yep, he's inheriting the one I've been using on the photoblog).

...and of course there is quite a list of projects I want to get to, including adding some hardware into the Win2k box and maybe even taking down the second Linux box and moving it to firewall duty. ...but all that will have to wait a day or two; the family has the priority before things get lost in the shuffle of school again.

I'm sure there will be a story or two <g>!


Singing, "Back in the Saddle Again"... Yep a day off and a day pretty much of geeking out working up a new box for Daniel to play his new game on. ...and one of the sweeter installs of Win2k, but then the typical problem with a new game on a DVD and the copy protection not allowing the game to run. Oh, bother <g>!

Yeah, today will be Day Two of that project...


Well, I'm a little fried at the method used to copy protect Daniel's new game. As far as I can determine, the 3.2gig of code loads on the HDD just fine, but when the launcher checks the DVD/CD for the security file, the process errors out and just drops you back to the desktop...

...and we're talking a pristine install of Win2k on a new box too. Well, at least the second install was clean; I didn't allow any of the extra frip-frap that came on the driver CDs to load. Oh, and three different DVD players (one a burner) and two video cards. Nope, the problem almost has to be with the box, but I'm scratching my head as to the why of it all...

Another day of trial and error is in order...


...and the rains continue. We don't have it as bad as SoCal and some, but we have 'urban advisories' in effect and that's a little special. So far our area is holding up, but the winds have uprooted a few trees in the neighborhood. The forecast is steady through the weekend...

...but there are still pictures to take <g>. ...and there are many "inside" things to do. Somehow I never got on track yesterday (probably due to a poor night's sleep), but I have hopes for today!

Let's see what happens...


Whoa! Did yesterday's plans get thrown out the window! I was setting things up to build up my new work machine while Shelley was starting to pull information from the net (and an old file) for Brad's latest book report. All was well until she asked me it the computer rebooting was a bad thing. Umm... Yeah, especially if the error message during the reboot says "master hard disk failure". Oh, boy..."

...but some serendipity had occurred just before Christmas when a floor dude at my favorite toy store, Office Depot, mentioned he had hung a spectacularly low clearance ticket on a display eMachine he'd just marked down the week before. Now, I don't have all that much faith in eMachines, but I took a look anyway. ...and I ended up researching and reviewing the machine and returning later in the day to pick it up. I mean, how could I not? Lessee'... A 2.66 gig Celeron D on an Intel 845 board with integrated everything, half a gig of RAM, 80 gig HDD (oh yeah, we'll be backing up), a full card reader suite, DVD reader, CD-RW? ...and a full bore restore DVD with a separate and complete copy of XP-Home? Yeah, for the parts alone...

...but this project was sitting on the farthest back burner waiting for some other things to be handled. Yeah, no longer. I managed to get her old machine up and running and then got to thinking... Hmmm... I have the spare monitor in the garage, there's a spare router there too, maybe I'll just pull her off the net and see about linking up the two machines and see what I could salvage (I just couldn't see playing Laplink/KVM games).

So I tossed Zone Alarm on the XP box and yanked the copies of the Firefox, Thunderbird, and AVG ant-virus installers I'd sandbagged on her old machine before I pulled it from the net. Those all installed fine, so I yanked her HDD contents across (pretty much completely). I connected that mini-network to the net and read up on migrating Thunderbird's contacts and email files from machine to machine and OS to OS; reality didn't reflect the official procedure, but coloring outside the lines brought her new install up with all of her folders intact. ...and her bookmarks in Firefox went well enough too.

...and a bonus: her WordPerfect 9 files that her book report templates are in came up fine in the pre-installed copy of Works that came with the machine. Coolness. A little cleanup (the new machine, router, monitor and sundries were all set up on the bed <g>), and all was right with the world.

Yeah, I'm a happy geek...


Another 'unplanned day' yesterday... The weather broke Friday night, and Saturday started out cloudy but with no rain. Around eleven or so it looked as though the streets might be dry enough to blade and I took off to give it at try.

The temps were still in the fifties when I got back (with only one problem: an extended stretch of water on the sidewalk down in the hollow), and sun seemed to be staying out so I decided to take down the outside lights and decorations instead of holding off until next week...

I co-opted the boys to help with the intent of just getting the decorations and maybe the house lights down. ...but things went quickly enough that we even pulled the lights from the redwoods. The only glitch came when Brad and I went by storage to get the boxes for all the stuff spread out over the garage floor: they were closed. -doh, it was a holiday!

Plan B was to box up what we could and carefully stack the rest on top of anything relatively flat so Shelley's van could fit into the garage when she got home... 'Course that also led to two small spiral trees lit up on the top of the freezer! It's kind of festive out there right now <g>!

Happy Sunday!

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

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