triadruid: Two stick figures from the webcomic XKCD, fighting with swords while they are supposed to be coding (compiling)
...which only exemplifies the problem.

To wit, I used to be one of those people whose First World Problems included "if I could just win the lottery, all of my financial woes would be solved and I could do whatever I wanted". Which, while true, isn't really the 'problem' anymore. Realistically if I could win/make/steal the same amount I take home NOW without having to go to work, I could do pretty much do what I want to do, I'd just have the time to actually do it! That, or somebody invents a 25 30 36-hour day... we'll see which happens first.

I have too many hobbies/tasks. I don't want to give up ANY of them. Hell, I've got ones I want to do I haven't even been able to properly begin (hello archery). I've been going to the gym down the street since cardiac rehab ended, which is AWESOME, but sucks up somewhere between 70 and 130 minutes of the days I manage to go. I've not done any real coding in months, and this week (hopefully) I'll reinstall All The Operating Systems and be ready to play Diablo III in my nonexistent free(r) time. And let's not even talk about costuming...

Anyway, lunchtime's a-wasting. Hope your life is as full and exciting as mine, but perhaps not moreso.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
So my Grand Quest at work to repurpose some donated laptops into free Linux machines has run into a stumbling block. The first two laptops were easy-peasy, but the third (and apparently the fourth, which I haven't seen yet) lack optical drives (Dell 410s, if you're curious). I'd thought I could bootstrap it with a Linux-on-a-stick that [livejournal.com profile] zylch already had and then download the full version of Ubuntu, but either the computer is lying about being able to boot from USB, or the DOD-level security on these is forbidding it at the BIOS level. I'm actually not sure which is more likely at this point, but nothing in the BIOS is set with a security password or other indicators, so I'm going for hardware incompatibility. I'm also unable to wipe the HD (which should have been done by the Army before they donated it), so it's kind of a moot question if it is a security problem. Still, I kinda doubt XP is affecting things at the BIOS level...

So my coworker inquired of the donating agency for the external optical drive they used with the laptop originally, and they sent us a bare drive. I am having a hard time imagining that this is the right drive for the laptop, but maybe it is. The bigger problem is that it came with no cords and I cannot find the right connector cord for love or money. It's not IDE, it's not SATA, PATA, or anything else I recognize.
Pictures of mystery connector behind cut )
Anybody recognize that sucker? It's almost, but not quite, the same style as a regular internal CD/DVD drive connection for a laptop, but twice as big in every dimension. Tom's Hardware, NewEgg, and Google Image Search have failed me (apparently it's illegal under the PATRIOT ACT COPPA Espionage Act of 1917 to post the backside of a CD-ROM drive), so I come with my hat in my hand to the Vast Unpaid Research Department. Help me, VURD, you're my only hope! Apparently solved.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Helzberg Diamonds officially gets the Bad Man Hat for their current "That Guy" ad campaign. If you haven't seen the billboards (I assume they're doing print and television as well, but we can avoid those), it's things like:
  • That Guy enjoys giving his significant other a pedicure. Since you're not that guy, there's Helzberg Diamonds.
  • That Guy makes a quiche for breakfast. Regular guys go to Helzberg Diamonds.
  • That Guy likes painting her toenails....
  • That Guy goes down on both knees...
The last one in particular is confusing, and we spent a good chunk of yesterday's evening commute trying to decipher it. That Guy gives oral sex, and therefore should be mocked? That Guy is a submissive? Eventually we decided it must have something to do with marriage proposals being done on one knee, with both knees indicating subservience to your Woman. Or pants.

I already think the entire diamond industry is a crock so I wasn't going to purchase from them anyway, but this sort of behavior from a local business calls for public mockery. So, mock I do. Mock mock mock.


In other news, my computer has developed revealed a few idiosyncrasies. First one came when [livejournal.com profile] featherynscale could share network folders with me, but not vice versa. Turns out it was just being Really Slow in updating the network tables... but later, after a totally painless update to (K)Ubuntu 8.04, it refused to load PCGen when hers was working fine. After about an hour of cursing, the culprit turned out to be OpenJava, which was pre-existing from when I installed the first time. Her more-recent install had Sun's Java by default, which PCGen requires.

And the point of THAT story is that we're 99.7% ready to send out the character sheets for the Gygaxian Grinder on the 26th (we've scrapped the Friday start, in favor of Saturday morning cartoons and an all-day, single-day affair). As soon as my co-mod signs off on it, those players who will be starting us off should expect an email and another post in this vein.

Which brings me to the fact that Google Sites rocks my socks. That is all.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Slowly but surely, Shit Is Getting Done. A lot of that has to do with finding my motivation again yesterday after a couple of weeks of Bleah, which has allowed some serious whittling of the to-do lists.

On a related note, stoopid penguin tricks inside )
triadruid: A cartoon panel of Felix from the webcomic Queen of Wands, but with blond hair and a confused expression on his face. (david as felix from QOW)
Walked into City Hall and my long-time coworker CS (who runs Ham Radios and used to be our IT guy) walked up to me and, without preamble, asked "Dave, what's the best Linux distribution out there right now?"

So we chatted for a bit on it. He's got a new laptop to play with, and I'm not clear yet on how the newer distros handle the specialized hardware there...

Also, because [livejournal.com profile] featherynscale and I were talking about it this morning: Brisbane academic finds link between new-age spirituality and poor mental health. I suspect she's confused cause and effect here, however.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)

Linux installation went, more or less, better than expected. Already been up and running for almost a full day with Internet, software, and KDE. Tonight I imported all my old email (minus the last three days - if you sent me something important to my RoadRunner account since Thursday, please resend), bookmarks, IM (except ICQ, which doesn't believe I exist, and MSN, which I have no idea what the password is, and it won't tell me without the software), and all the rest of my documents. Most of my music is trapped on the dying hard drive, but that just means I'll have to re-rip some of it.
Bonus: I signed up for last.fm tonight, and Amarok already plays well with it, exporting my listening habits to the world.

I have tomorrow off from work, which'll probably mean wrestling with the printer and network shares. So far the worst thing I've done is periodically steal ALL of the bandwidth in the house (Linux is much less friendly about equitable sharing) and taking the printer offline briefly (which seems to have had the eventual result of letting me print, now).

::edit:: Also, the house phone works again. *cheer?*
triadruid: Roland Deschain from the Dark Tower novel "The Gunslinger", looking at a raven sitting on a skull on the ground. (hope)
Thought about doing the "26 letters for 26 questions" meme going around, but ran into some roadblocks when it started talking about "Favorite ..." - I don't have a lot of favorite things (singular). [livejournal.com profile] featherynscale and I were talking about this the other day, in the context of anomie or an unhealthy inability to distinguish preferences (sometimes masked as "too cool to find anything cool"). I don't think that's what goes on in my head; more like I have a hard time narrowing down to just one preferred choice (this makes going to a restaurant or going shopping with me particularly frustrating, and it has since I was a kid).

So in avoidance of that habit, here's some Things I Love (in the vein of the Pitch's This Week We Love, maybe):
  • The Studio Restaurant; this place has been my saving ^*$%*#& grace in working downtown the last couple of months. Between a shortened lunch hour and the dearth of non-sandwich-shop options within walking distance from City Hall, it's been an actual restaurant that serves pretty good food at very good prices. Mostly, though, they've got the friendliest wait-staff I've ever met. One lady not only remembered that I like wheat bread when I do get sandwiches, but chatted me up about South Beach and has taken to trying it herself for the new year. The other waitress I usually get there regales me with stories of her dead husband who was also a fantasy/sci-fi aficionado, and her most recent D&D games (the way she broke into that conversation was a story in and of itself). They're also the same place that had the "Don't use this stall. Even if you really have to go. We mean it. There's one around the corner. It's locked for a reason. etc..." page-length sign in their men's bathroom a month or so ago, which I unfortunately failed to get a picture of before they fixed it. If downtown wasn't such a bear to get to, I'd suggest it for Supper Club, as it's also locally owned and operated.
  • Imminent new-computer-ness. My D: drive has begun to crop up some weird errors last week (while doing my data backup, naturally), so this is apparently just in the nick of time, and I'm actually excited about being able to play with Linux again. Maybe this weekend?
  • The Amnesia Campaign has continued to be both entertaining and interesting; most recent events include a Gunslinger-style showdown with an entire village of werewolves (highlight was a player declaring "this is like something out of Stephen King) and charging "thorn dogs" - okay, really a Lesser Battlebriar with elven backup (now that we've finally gotten the players out of civilization, combat became a lot more plausible). Next time...well, they'll just have to wait and see, won't they? Muahah. Haha. Ha.
My brain is still wholly full and my schedule nearly so, but it seemed worth noting a few things that were abolutely "right" in the world at the moment, to keep perspective up.

Squee!

Jan. 3rd, 2008 12:02 am
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Computer parts arrived today! *bounce* Won't be able to put it together for a day or two, but everything seems to have arrived safe and sound.

The video card is completely ridiculous-looking (and came in a bigger box than the motherboard), and everything's either silver or copper or both. There will be pictures as we assemble, I'm hoping.

Luckily, all of my mission-critical software either runs in Linux natively or has a substitute that does so, so that transition should be very painless.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Well, the morning's attempt at rescuing the install from my CDs seems to be a bust. So I'll be taking everything apart and putting it back together from scratch. Unfortunately, most of my notes on the reinstall are on the HD, but I know the important bits, and the rest is at my Googletips. They even have an all-Linux section, those clever boys.

My Yahoo!Mail account is best for getting ahold of me, or just here, like I said.

Amusingly, I forgot to mention that the error screen when Mandrake 10.0 goes into a kernel panic is...wait for it:

A Blue Screen of Death!!1!eleven!!

Actually, it's a shell prompt screen, but for some reason they colored the background blue when that happens. :P
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
The bad news is, our house hit a power surge last night and knocked all three computers into a sudden reboot (yeah, we should probably invest in a UPS). Two of them came back up normally; mine went into a kernel panic. Not sure exactly what happened, but the best guess seems to be that the partition table got corrupted (best case), or the data is scrambled (worse case). Sometime this week I'll fix it (probably), but work and other things are still very busy, so I may be a little slow in responding. LJ may be your best bet for finding me.

The good news is, I needed to reinstall anyway. Something went wonky in my upgrade/install this winter, and in order to get Windows and Linux playing nice together on the same computer, I was going to have to start over anyway. Also, I need to replace my video card. I still have my backups from ~4 months ago, and not a WHOLE lot has changed on my HD since then. I will lose a bunch of email, but thankfully the bulk of the Treasurer information wasn't on this computer. Yet another reason to store information online, and in multiple places...

[livejournal.com profile] druidevo, do you still have my mandrake 10.1 CDs?

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