Wednesday, July 23, 2003

More technology. Oh, and a birthday.

Let's see... what are my tech thoughts today? I've been fixing a hosed Windows NT 4 server the last couple days, using SSIDhack and Knoppix -- both of which consist of, yes, bootable Linux instances. Since I've traditionally just replaced Windows with Linux, it's interesting to see that I can also use Linux to get into and fix a Windows system that can't be gotten into or fixed from within Windows. Go figure!

The iBook came back. Its problem (video cable) was either fixed by being shaken around during shipping, or simply refused to display itself for the AppleCare folks. It hasn't acted up since they sent it back... there, I've jinxed myself. It's good to have it back. I installed 
FileMaker Developer 6 and VirtualPC 6 with Windows XP Pro on it last night. Today, I installed Windows XP Pro again, since last night's install had decided overnight not to work anymore. Mmhmm, now I know how all you Windows users feel. ;) Ordered (from B&H) a Canon EOS Elan 7 35mm SLR and an acceptable starter lens (EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II). The G5 is supposed to ship "on or before" September 29. Clearly I am supposed to learn patience this summer.

I also bought another 6-outlet power strip, so maybe I'll be able to plug in everything on my desk at once! (Laptop, external drive, printer, speakers, two camera battery chargers, cell phone charger... why does it seem like there's something else?) Oh, and Monday was my birthday.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Life's just a blur of technology

A week or so back, my iBook's display started freaking out. I phoned it in to AppleCare, then bought a Mitsubishi DiamondPoint NXM56LCD 15" 1024x768 LCD monitor at OfficeMax so I could see what I was doing. Nice unit, wall-mountable (maybe I'll wire it up as a TV someday?) and reasonably priced (sub-$400). The local store only gets a pair of them at a time, so every other one they sell is a "floor model" at a discount. Interesting practice.

My EZQuest Cobra+ 120GB external FireWire drive came back from getting repaired (new innards). It works better now - which is to say, it works at all. Jim Gray has some very good ideas about the future of disk storage, and... well, I'm starting to think like him about this drive. It's like a box I can dump huge amounts of stuff into - but it's not high-reliability in and of itself, so it'll be a box I dump stuff into that I've already burnt to CD-R, no doubt.

A couple days ago, the shipping materials from AppleCare showed up via 

Yesterday, I shipped the iBook out to AppleCare via Airborne, and moved a Linux laptop over to my desk from the network-services pile. It didn't have X on it, so I grabbed 
NAIM, which is very handy.

Today, I finally got X installed again, with the help of 
apt-get, despite its insistence on removing Exim and installing Sendmail every time I wanted to do anything. I wound up doing a non-RPM installation of Exim, to keep apt-get from noticing it. The laptop's "U" key decided that "Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam", but I've got an Apple external USB keyboard plugged into it anyway, so who cares?

Then this afternoon, the Airborne guy was back again with a box containing Connectix Virtual PC 6 and FileMaker Developer 6, both of which I'd ordered from the friendly 
raccoons for a project...

Hopefully he'll be back again next week with the iBook, and then in a little bit it'll be time to see about ordering that 
PowerMac G5 with the dual 2GHz CPU's. Once it shows up in the August-to-early-September timeframe, I can move all kinds of stuff onto it from the Linux machines.

Since I'm ranting about technology, somewhere in there I do have to get around to taking apart my beleagured Canon 
PowerShot A50 and seeing whether the parts that aren't physically busted can be restored to a happy place. Oh, and I should get the local bike shop to give the Cannondale a once-over. And I still have to get around to getting a Canon EOS Elan 7 or something like that.

"My toys! My toys! I can't do this job without my toys!"

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