Nano Nanu

Mar. 22nd, 2009 12:26 am
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (daicon-girl)
I bought Starr an iPod nano for Christmas 2007, in the hopes that she could use it to listen to her music library and crochet podcasts on her work commute (nearly as long as mine). As well, she received a device that played her iPod through her car stereo. This caused a problem: the device plugged into her cigarette lighter, which hadn't worked in years.

Today, I finally found the round tuit for correcting that problem. After some Googling, and removing her car's engine air filter, I found the likely electrical fuse, and learned it was indeed blown. Starr admitted to spilling some liquid in the lighter socket once upon a time, and I had hopes for an easy repair. One trip to Auto Zone later, and the little iPod broadcaster works great.

This just makes me terribly happy. I finally got around to fixing the issue I'd promised to, and fixed it properly with a little skull sweat and some digging under her PT Cruiser's hood. Getting something done is such a good thing.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)
I'm really losing patience with Facebook apps that lie to me in order to get themselves installed in my profile. I may never install another unless a user I know messages me directly to tell me how awesome an app is.

I'm refurbishing an iMac 400 DV to give to Jesse Braxton. It's just gathering dust, and is only worth about $100 now; all she wants is an e-mail, web browsing, and music playing machine, so this ought to fit the bill nicely. The good news is that it will happily run OS X 10.4 Tiger; the bad news is that I cannibalized the memory and HD some time ago for other work, and Best Buy doesn't seem to sell the necessary bits for nine-year-old Macs. The smallest Ultra ATA drive available at Best Buy is 160 gigabytes, which is large enough to throw the poor iMac disk controller into fits. I've secured a gig of memory, but I'll need to dig a bit for an HD smaller than 128 GB.

Despite my hopes, yesterday was a big chore day, and today is looking similar. I really want to make time to sit down at that sewing machine, though; this is potentially an extremely useful skill that I've been putting off for decades. Assuming I have the chops to do it, I wish to wait no longer.

Cleaned out my wallet last night, adding business card contact info to my computer and phone, throwing away receipts, ditching a gas card I'd used up, etc. Somehow, I have four filled-out Hot Topic frequent buyer cards in my wallet. How a 40-year-old guy ended up with those, I don't know, but it looks like I'll have to head there sometime in the next weeks and find a t-shirt or something to use them on!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (menace)
EDIT: Short version of the rant that was in this spot:

Many commenters on Slashdot are fools.

Now I will go and try to write something else that's actually interesting.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
Due to the red tape of services transfer, I will not have Internet at the house tonight or tomorrow. Not the end of the world, but nevertheless an annoyance.

Also in the FAIL department: instead of the nap I'd intended, I spent 30 minutes finding the old TeeFive character sheet, another 60 locating and installing the legacy software on an emulated OS 9 machine to open said sheet, and then another 30 looking for and failing to find the ACTUAL document, which I'm beginning to fear I no longer have.

mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
The other day, I found the serial port dongle for the Newton, which I figured I'd keep around just in case one of the special keyboards popped up cheap on eBay. Then today, while unpacking... I discovered that I already HAD one of those keyboards, and somehow never even knew it.

[ profile] trenn and I used to joke that the federal government had hidden the Ark of the Covenant in a cardboard box in his living room, it being less likely to be found there than in Warehouse 23. But now I'm actually finding undiscovered technology in my stuff. Any chance that there's a brand-new desktop Mac stashed anywhere in there?

(Oh, and of course after I discovered the keyboard, it took me another 45 minutes to re-find the serial port dongle. Working great, though!)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (daicon-girl)
Sunday, I locked the door to the Portsmouth apartment for the last time, and turned the keys in to the main office. It's weird, looking at the place all empty and echoey. That apartment was home for 18 months; having spent most of the first 30 years of my life in one dwelling, I always find it strange to leave.

We're having folks over on Saturday night, so the new place has to be presentable. That's an interesting task, as our five rooms of this 'n' that have to be shuffled into a house which still has plenty of Starr's parents' stuff in it. Of course, since some of that stuff includes objects such as big flat-panel TVs, I can accept the challenge, but it's still a lot like trying to work the new expansion cards into your favorite CCG deck without going over the card count.

In other words, I'm still exhausted. There's a bright side when I pass my old exit every day and remember that I don't have to stop at the apartment for anything, but with the work we still have before us, I predict that Sunday will be chock full of slacking.

Anyway, let me tell you about the awesome computer I set up in the study this week. 8 MHz processor - 4 megs of RAM - 20 meg hard drive! The 9" screen will display images in a palette of two colors (black or white), and the entire operating system fits neatly on an 800K floppy.

I love that old Macintosh SE; it was a much-appreciated gift from [ profile] rattrap back in (I think) 1991 or so, and I got a lot of Starfleet paperwork, creative writing, and Hypercard gaming done on it. Eventually, my dad bought me a Mac LC III which introduced me to the amazing world of color graphics; the LC III is long gone, but the SE booted up happily on my shelf and is right now running MacWrite II, A Mess O' Trouble, and the Dark Side of the Mac screensaver. Very decorative and retro. (The clock battery inside is long dead, and I'm not sure it's worth cracking the case just so I don't have to fix the time on every reboot. Otherwise, it's humming along nicely.)

And may I also wish a Happy Birthday to [ profile] shrewlet, who may well have found the Answer to the Ultimate Question...
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rogue)
I can think of several things for which I'm thankful today:

Everything is out of the apartment now except for some random cleaning supplies, and a couple of lamps and a vacuum cleaner that wouldn't fit in the car last night. This will be taken care of this weekend when I drop off the keys. For this I am very thankful to Starr and, well, me. We've both put no small effort into all these boxes.

I am thankful to Starr for many things, in fact; but they're all mushy and I'll save that for some other time.

I am thankful to Starr's parents for allowing us to use their house for the next year or two. We'll be very comfortable here, and we'll be able to save up some money which we'll need to get our own place. (Midori is thankful to them for the gas fireplace, which is one of the best things the furless monkeys have invented since domesticated catnip and the chewy kitty treat.)

I'm thankful to NASA for giving me the opportunity to show me what I could do for them, and to [ profile] rattrap for encouraging my developing Macintosh skills in the first place. I'm also thankful to the designers of the Apple Newton, whose long-cancelled product inadvertently provided me with some "hardcore Mac expert" cred in the most recent planning meeting.

I am thankful to the grocery store owners and workers who allowed their stores to be open this morning, so I could acquire the remaining bits of a quiet Thanksgiving surprise dinner to serve Starr, who once again works a holiday.

I'm thankful to the creators and operators of LiveJournal, without whom I'd never be able to keep track of what's going on with all my friends. My peeps are a complicated, intelligent, opinionated, goofy bunch - which is exactly how I like it, and my life would be horribly diminished without them.

I'm thankful to all the people that I like and love that my emo side is awfully disappointed this holiday. I'm supposed to be, and fully expected to be, horribly dissatisfied with my life at this age. Problem with that is, there's so much good in my life right now... how can I let the few speed bumps slow me down?
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rogue)
While installing OS X Leopard on a customer's computer, we chatted about fine-scale modeling, digital video production, and modern professional typesetting. Suddenly, it struck me: I'm not making this stuff up, I actually can speak with some authority on these topics, cause I've done them, and made plenty of mistakes while I was at it!

Some facets of my life might have been easier had I been able to take a more direct path to where I am now. Thinking about that can sometimes disgruntle me a bit. It's cheering to be reminded of how much I've managed to learn, and how much fun I've had on the way. When I look back to consider what I've actually done with my life, the answer turns out to be more than I thought at first glance; and that somehow makes me look forward to the future even more.

Nice when a bit of unexpected perspective is not bitter, but a treat!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (speed+time)
Someday I will learn to keep a stash of ibuprofen at my desk.

Saturday I wanted to do anything but sit on the couch and stare at the DVR. Handily, there was plenty going on in the area, and we ended up catching a free blues festival at the 17th Street oceanfront. Less handily, we ended up parking at the 23rd Street oceanfront and I got my exercise for the weekend in 95-degree weather. I can't believe I'm not sunburned. But, the music was excellent.

Add in that walking to yesterday's five-hour cleaning spree in the apartment (2.5 rooms done, yay!) and I am an achy Borg today. Still, I'm pleased with the reasons I got that way, so I'm calling it a win.

Saturday night we ended up as guests of Starr's parents at a mildly pricey Italian restaurant. The kitchen messed up my order once, and delayed the second attempt; the manager finally comped me the dinner and I think overdid my dessert as apology. With two large cannoli on a plate before me that evening, I'm pretty thankful for all the unplanned exercise.

Today is my mom's birthday, At first, I was fretting over whether she'd even want to talk to me, but that's not the right attitude. I want to talk to her, and I'm still commmitted to getting this whole situation worked out in a way that gets her as much of what she wants as is sane.

Good news for today? I just found a bottle of ibuprofen in my glove compartment; and these 90-minute OS X Leopard installs give me lots of time to tap away at the Newton.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)
Most weeks I wait impatiently for my Kingdom of Loathing turns to build up to a useful level. This week, I've been sitting at the max of 200 turns for days, but I don't have time to mess with it. I guess it's a sign I'm using my time well... KoL isn't exactly productive... but on the other hand, you can't be productive all the time. Makes Jack a dull boy, you know.

On that note, I am going to watch a movie this weekend. Either in the theater, or from my list of DVDs to watch or re-watch. I don't remember sitting through an entire movie since we watched "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" together.

Large Hadron Collider webcam.

One of the two 400MHz CRT iMacs that have been sitting in my office gathering dust since I left Decipher has found a good home - it's in the possession of Starr's youngest sister. She'll probably want to give it an external FireWire HD and/or a memory upgrade before long, it's only got a 10GB drive and 256MB of memory. But it'll do Word and Photoshop and play DVDs, and she seems thrilled with it, so happiness all around. I need to find some old games to pass along that don't involve serious mayhem.

Speaking of productivity, I am attempting to do something personally productive at least once a day. Either spend at least an hour on a personal project, or sit and write something with some thought in it (thus the recent outbreak of philosophising every week or so in my LJ). It doesn't come easy: I am a slacker and procrastinator. But time moves with or without me, and I'm not going to be left behind.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
Cell phone is absolutely D-E-D. Dammit.

I need to either go to the Sprint store tomorrow and get a new Motorola RAZR, or succumb to technolust, and go to the AT&T store and get an iPhone. Which would cost more. But I do want one.

Arrgh, the eternal balance of thrift and desire.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (simpson)
The cat wishes everyone to know that he was highly paid for this television appearance. The hamster... would like some more carrot bits please.

Game blogger Tobold suggests that WoW players would reach endgame with far better raiding skills if there were quests where you had to practice raiding with sets of NPCs. Aside from the time pressures, one reason I don't do instances is that I'm not very good at them, and I think this is a fine idea. When I do have to hit an instance dungeon for a quest, I usually end up in the company of several far-higher-levelled guild mates, and my presence becomes a bit unnecessary. This idea would mitigate the problem a bit.

[ profile] rhaps and [ profile] shrewlet are coming down this weekend, which is a good thing because my Technicon experience was extremely rushed. I envy Rhaps' new iMac, which is the same model as my Mom's. But I'll have my Mac Pro soon enough.

Paying bills, finishing paperwork, getting all sorts of ducks in a row this week. (They were sitting out front again this morning, enjoying the humid weather.) It all feels good. Also: new blender yay :)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
I have driven to Orlando. I have driven to upstate New York. In neither of those cases was I responsible for the steering wheel the whole time, if at all; so, yes, a five-hour drive can absolutely wear me out!

Since NASA Langley is practically sitting on I-64, I packed the car on Wednesday night and headed right to Blacksburg from work Thursday. 64 and I-81 aren't too unpleasant on a Thursday evening; my CD player may be broken, but the iPod plays through it nicely except for the pauses when it tries to eject nonexistent CDs.

Unfortunately, my transmission started throwing fits around Afton Mountain (who could blame it?) slipping and locking into third gear three times on the trip down. Pulling over for 10 minutes each time seemed to reset things, but that's no way to run a railroad.

I made it safely to the Microtel, where I was informed that the wireless access was a bit spotty on my floor :( Nevertheless, in an effort to adjust my sleep rhythms for the weekend, I stayed up for a couple hours unsuccessfully farming Primals in Zangarmarsh, only getting kicked off the server three times.

Friday I headed down to see my Mom (one of the main reasons for my Thursday travel), which was lovely. We traded Xmas presents and had good conversation over a mildly disappointing lunch. Interestingly, I'm still on a hot-rodded Mac G4 tower, and she's got the latest and greatest iMac Intel Core 2 Duo, which she took great glee in showing me.

Went to the lube place, got the transmission flushed, and had them look at my rear tires, which were making unhappy growly noises. Yep, they needed replacing. Technicon was getting expensive already...
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
  • 09:17 Memo to me... you will need clean laundry for MarsCon, including any costumes you plan to wear. #
  • 10:03 No "Star Trek Online" MMORPG from Perpetual Entertainment. I wish I could say I was surprised. #
  • 11:47 Half the office here eagerly awaits the Stevenote and the list of Apple toys we'll be drooling over in 2008. #
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rogue)
This morning, I stared into the shaving mirror while performing my daily skin irritation ritual, and remembered someone at Technicon referring to me as one of the con's "elder statesmen". I enjoyed the compliment... but it's still a little weird trying to think of myself that way.

Didn't get to stay in bed any later than 9:30 or so this weekend - too much to do! Happy weekend, though. We were celebrating Starr's graduation from nursing school at the top of her class! I think that excellent things are ahead for her.

My Dad drove up to see me yesterday, and I'm planning to go see my Mom and my sister before long this summer. There's been a bit of distance, because of how wrapped-up I've been in myself lately, and I'm really looking forward to re-connecting with them all this year.

The living-room TV's flipped its power supply, and we're down to watching Good Eats on a 12" portable we had in the bedroom. I was looking at getting an AppleTV in a few weeks, but I suspect I'll be putting that off a bit. One of the reasons I'm so far behind on my TV watching is that a lot of it's on the computer, and I just don't think of my desktop Mac as a media center - more of a creativity, communications, and gaming support device. TV programs are for relaxing in the living room - so, really, that makes me a perfect AppleTV customer. (Another reason I'm behind is that I usually have much better things to do than television. Even really good television. I'm almost to the point of cutting things I like from the DVR schedule that I know I just won't get around to watching. People keep saying things like "you should start watching Heroes!" and I look at my backlog and think "yeah... next year maybe!")

Dave S. will be running his Marvel Super Heroes game tonight. I haven't been able to attend since March, and I can't wait to catch up with everyone. For the last sessions, I'd had to finish at work and fly right over to arrive fashionably late; with my new schedule I can take it a little easier.

My outlook's not too bad for a Monday morning.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Today, as I drove to work, I plugged the iPod into the car stereo and listened to an episode of Astronomy Cast. (iTunes link)

Astronomy Cast bills itself as "your facts-based journey through the cosmos". There are few surprises in the podcast for a hard-core space geek, but the presentation is good and the content accessible to almost anyone listening. The science expert for the show, Dr. Pamela Gay, becomes excited and passionate when talking about her fields of expertise, but seems ever so slightly impatient any other time. Overall, it's entertaining and informative, and it's usually one of my first listening picks.

Today I heard pretty useful advice about purchasing binoculars and telescopes for casual amateur astronomy - useful because I think there's a telescope in my near future. (Suffolk is a short drive away and has nicely dark skies.) The previous episode, however, made *me* impatient; 30 minutes pointing out that higher dimensions, alternate universes, black holes, and FTL travel really do none of the fun things that science-fiction writers come up with. Hey, kids, human exploration will be over as soon as we land on the remaining solar planets - after that, it's all data analysis! Check out this set of spectra!

I admit, based on what we know right now, all that's probably true. But scientists have thought before that little remained to know, then been forced to change their minds when something new poked though the statistics. I'll acknowledge the validity of thier statements for now, but I'm not yet ready to give up the dream of yearly trips to Alpha Centauri! In the meantime, the "serious scientists" need to stop being such bummers. Carl knew better.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (mecha)
Many moons ago, the noble [ profile] rattrap gave me a gift of an upgraded Macintosh SE. 20MB hard drive. 1.44 MB floppy drive. 9" black & white monitor. New, the thing sold for $3500 or so. I got some good creativity going on that puppy, and I've never forgotten Jerry's generosity.

Soon, the SE was replaced, as all computers are fated to be. The LC III, then the Performa 6214, then the G4 "Sawtooth" (with later processor and video upgrades). But I never got rid of the SE - I hate to throw away functioning (if obsolete) hardware. It seems wasteful. So, the SE sat quietly on a shelf, not even plugged in once for almost 10 years.

For no particularly good reason, I plugged it in tonight. It booted up just fine, and loaded A Mess o' Trouble. (Great game. Worth installing a System 6 emulator to play, if you're inclined.) The monitor's starting to flicker badly while the hard drive's running, but other than that, it's not doing poorly at all for a piece of hardware released 17 years ago.

I guess a sane person would give it away or just discard it. OTOH, I've rarely laid claim to any sanity.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (space_tech)
Around 2 weeks ago, something bad happened to the password storage on my 667 MHz PowerBook, and I couldn't even log into my own account. I tried various Mac/Unix fixes for this that I found Googling, but it was a wash. (One of them claimed that a second admin account would have made it easy. [ profile] raininva made sure to tease me about that, since her account is a simple user.)

Luckily, any FireWire-equipped Mac can be made to pretend it's nothing more than an expensive external drive, and all files were easily backed up to the desktop Mac. Last week, I found time to wipe and re-install, and this morning I got around to running Software update for all the OS patches. (Busy much? You don't know the half of it.) Hopefully, I'll find the time soon to copy all my documents back over and re-install any vital apps. (Nice thing about a wipe - you get rid of a lot of apps you weren't really using.)

Interestingly enough, and saving me a lot of download time to boot, the wired Ethernet port on the machine has suddenly started working again. I had suspected software issues, not hardware ones, when it failed a few months ago.

The house is freezing. We switched to electric space heaters from the hot water radiators, since the oil costs for the latter were killing our bank account. Electric heat is much cheaper, but very very localized - especially when it hit 31 Farenheit outdoors the night before.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
I really don't want to sound like an Apple fanatic, but frankly the iPhone is exactly what I've been waiting to hang on my belt.

Putting aside the widescreen iPod thing for a moment (I have a nice video iPod, thanks), what I've been looking for is a handheld cell network / Internet terminal, and this thing appears to have the goods. Voice calls, voice mail, text messaging, POP3, IMAP, and HTML. I further suspect that, depending on the sophistication of the web browser in the thing, there's a lot of potential for useful or fun Flash and JavaScript applications. Imagine being able to access the office suite Google's supposed to be working on - from your cell phone.

Two issues for me; Cingular (I have good reasons to stick with Sprint for the moment) and $499 for the base model. Not to mention that it's a v1.0, and we all know the fun that can happen there.

Still, this is the device that might finally get my Newton fully retired.


mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)

May 2009

34 567 8 9


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags