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The Time Sink

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Most Recent (Last update: 2359 09/23/00)

Man, I hope this week gathers some quick momentum. There's lots to do and plenty of time to do it in. ...if I can get out of the blocks quickly. But I'm already a little behind as the van needs a few days in the shop for a leaking head gasket. ...and that means a ride to work from a friend. Sheesh. I guess Shelley's going to have to put that new carpet off for a little while longer...

Just to add to the on-going discussion over home to home networking that's happening over on Bob Thompson's site, here's a tidbit from Wired News about where wireless networking may be going. Dunno, I'm still working with the old technology; I'll let you know where that leads this fall as I have more time to play.

Speaking of play, they must have had a good time in class Saturday while I was off; two of my students attend the same church as I do and both mentioned what a fun time they had (with lots of breaks) when I saw them on Sunday. Hmmm... Perhaps I'd better attempt to regain control this Saturday; it sounds like a job for The Taskmaster!

From the feedback line: Right after JHR posted his find of Computer Surplus Outlet, I placed a test order with them for a keyboard. The picture showed a PC style, 104 key model in black with the Sega logo. For $8US plus the cheapest shipping I could get, I figured it was worth a shot. No problems: easy ordering and it came in after a few days and turned out to be a full-sized keyboard with some real decent action. I didn't get a free Nerf ball like you get from other places, but they're now on my "So far; so good" list. Coupled with JHR's experience, they seem to sell what they show on the site.

I hope your week starts off well...


I see from the other Daynotes sites that way too many people are working with concrete. People who are no longer in their twenties...

I also see that the weather is changing here and there. It's better there than here. Shelley even called for a bailout from soccer duty yesterday afternoon (her MS does not do well in heat). NP; have a technical manual or two I can read<g>. Uh, then again... It was 99.9F when I got home. ...with air quality that sucked dead bunnies through soda straws (that one has to be one of my favorites from Jerry). Okay, so I wasn't going to blade anyway. I did end up on a long distance cell phone call for over an hour. That'll be one heck of a bill. ...and worth every minute of it.

I hope the collect call on of the staff accepted yesterday was worth it. The one from Sri Lanka... No; it wasn't Sir Arthur. ...and it was legitimate. ...more or less. Still; I'm not sure how it's going to be explained to the person who reviews the bills. Hey, sometimes that's me! Well, now...

Svenson had a comment about Shelley and the Olympics. Something about a Netwidows Olympic widower... But man, these games and their presentation are made to order for Shelley. Drama, pathos, expectations, tension, humor, impossible logistical issues... And the games themselves after those commercials are over...

Seriously, she winces with every fall; cries with each national anthem; worries about the mothers left home while their children compete; and wants to adopt them all. She literally falls asleep each night to the competition. ...and when she does, I start the VCR to record the balance of the night for her. Daniel seems to be caught up in things also; Brad could care less...

...and I think I have soccer duty again tonight (101F).


Well, the air cleared enough by evening to where things were bearable at soccer practice. It was touch and go for a time during the day though; whenever I walked outside I'd end up with a tight chest and a cough. ...a bad sign. Studio City, San Pablo and Sunnyvale all show things breaking tomorrow, but Fresno/Clovis is going to stay hot until Friday.

Speaking of Brian's comment on security, here's another useful site for one and all. Rather non-denominational and they have some interesting takes on things.

...and since it's "hump day", I'll just hump along to work and attempt to unravel why we were double invoiced on an entire series of equipment yesterday. ...and find out where the rest of the med order is. ...and order the right HDDs for the new server (hey, I just order what is spec'd!). ...and find out when the GPS stuff is due in. ...and--oh, heck; you get the idea.

My mother didn't like this joke. ...neither did anyone else.


Well, there's now no doubt Dave is back and in full swing:

The G4 remains an excellent example of marketing. IBM could invent sushi, but they'd market it as raw, dead fish (which is why they've become a non-contender in the PC arena that they created, with the possible exception of the ThinkPad line) while Apple continues to sell sand in the desert. Remarkable.

Poor guy, stuck with all those strange translucent colors all around him as he works...

...and for those of us straddling the fence twixt Linux and the bug-ridden bloat-ware from Redmond, we have Office 2000 SP2. Now, who will be the first of us to apply that gem to a functioning machine? Maybe when it's a cold day in Saskatoon...

Meantime, I've been playing in a new sandbox. Uh, before you go, remember this place is called The Time Sink for a reason...<G>

With that thought in mind: So of course Brian links to the revitalized Kuro5hin and I drop by for a look see... To find a fascinating thread on an "oops" on their part in their security... Which led me on to this humorous gem which proceeded to lighten up the end of a rather long day. ...and don't forget to play the MP3.

I know of a few people who could use a "boot to the head"...

Later+/-Brian also mentioned power management on laptops. Before the Great Lockout the other evening (and "No, I haven't even had time to get to that yet..."), I tested the Sager Laptop under Linux. As a baseline, Win95 would start the low battery notification with mere minutes of pulling the shore line on a charged battery; NT4sp5 would give me about an hour of intermittent use (moving programs across the network and installing them; medium HDD use). Mandrake 7.1 put APM into service with the "kitchen sink" install; I did one round of updates last week with steady modem activity (surfing, posting, IRC) and was easily over the 75 minute mark before the beeps started. ...and that with a battery that the system reported fired up at 93%. Yeah, I'd even booted it from ground zero.

Now if I can just get that screen going...


Well, the promised weather change started to hit yesterday... It cooled down enough that Shelley could handle soccer practice; and that freed me up to go blading for a while. I hadn't been out for a week, so it was time to take it a little easy. ...until I reached the slight hill that I usually avoid. ...and there was no traffic! Yepper, that rang the high-alarm on my pulse monitor. ...and I had to take it easy on the way back so I didn't over extend any muscle groups<g>.

I've always thought a major portion of the exercise experience was form and style. That's why I like yoga and blading. Now I find out that is a good thing. Hmmm. Maybe I've been on to something...

Speaking of which, if you zipped by it on Jerry's site, go back and read Ed Hume's letter from Tuesday (search for "On Civil Discourse"). He makes an excellent point on how to conduct ourselves on the web and cites the story link Jerry posted (and I re-posted) a few weeks back.

Just a little "principle for life" thing...


Man, two states and three seasons in the matter of a few hours. No wonder I feel tired <g>. Ah, well; today is another day. Sheesh. Is that profound enough?

Yesterday was an unintentional BOFH day for one of the IT minions... You know those little jack thingies on those hub thingamabobs? Especially the one on the end? The one that's all by itself? With maybe a little teeny tiny switch somewhere nearby? Well, that's the one you DON'T plug a computer into just because it's handy and you don't want to stretch the wire the other six inches. Not without at least checking with someone first...

...and of course the switch was set for uplink.

To it's knees folks; to it's knees. Everything bogged down. ...and "no", the IT chief didn't know about it; when I went in to check with him about the apparent internal DoS attack we were having, he was as lost as I was. ...and he didn't know the machine was being deployed. But his routine procedures saved him: first reboot the NT server; and, in the hour or so that seems to take, go wander around and see if anyone has done anything interesting to any of the hubs. He got about ten feet, saw the new box, knew he hadn't assigned a port on the hub located three feet from the box and knew he was done for.

...from me? Nah, been there. ...when he was taking over from me. That's how he knew about it. But he's learned since then: he hadn't notified anyone he was rebooting the server. A true BOFH!

I'm so proud...

...and we're off to see the wizard... No, wait; I've used that before??? Nope, not that exact quote... Soooooo, we're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of the Central Nervous System (and the peripheral, but what the heck). I call today's lecture Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll; although, if you're of an age, you know why part of that is redundant...

Lee reported the class went well last week. ...and the reports from the field said it went very well. So today we're back to lecture mode. ...and after next week they'll get cut loose on their observation time with the local EMS agencies. I have two weeks of class prep done in hopes I can get things turned over early in the week. I want some time for something else.

I have a laptop that may need a lobotomy...


Good morning! It's that day off for many of us. ...and a barbecue day for some of us<g>. I'd forgotten that I wanted to cook... But Shelley sure didn't. So we're hoping the boy's godmother can make it over this evening for whatever comes off the grill. Whatever? Well, since I'd forgotten about cooking, I didn't pick up anything on the way home from the teaching gig. I guess I'd better plan on a store run right after church...

I was up late again last night. What? You're surprised? Nah, it was more or less legit: I want to get all the class prep work for next week finished by this evening. Lee has the show again; actually, he and the tech support chief from work have a quite extensive "show and tell" of fire apparatus and EMS equipment. The students love it. ...and if they're real good, they can even hit the switch for the sirens<g>.

The reason I want all of the work out of the way is simply that I'd like to be free to help the boys with their homework next week. Yeah, I know: what a Dad...</blush> But really, I do enjoy sitting at the kitchen table and just being there to help them.

Yep, that kitchen table with the phone jack and power outlet close by...

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