Can Anyone Spare Some Vacuum Tubes?

I whipped out my calculator recently for something or other, and it only just hit me how old this thing is. I bought it for use in Grade 10 math class, and even then it was at the lower end of the HP line, with the fancy-shmancy calculators with *two* lines of text just coming out. And it would be another few years before graphing calculators would become all the rage among university students.

I’ve only ever had to replace the batteries in it once, too. I wish more things lasted that long…

RAID, Kills Drives Dead

I’m now sitting here waiting on a horrendously slow rebuild of a replacement disk in the RAID array of my test system. And this is after a RAID failure on our secondary DNS server two days ago. And a RAID failure on our primary domain controller last week. And a total disk loss due to two RAID failures on our software library server last month.

I keep meaning to set up a RAID array at home, but with my luck so far it’ll just make the drives blow up faster… :-P

Mid-Life Crisis Pre-Alpha Release 0.01

Well I’m bored and want to inject a bit more meaning into my life. So, what shall I do, start a family? Renovate a house? Plant a garden? Volunteer for charity? Buy a motorcycle and travel cross-country fighting crime with a tough, yet sexy sidekick?

Hell no, I’m too lazy for all that crap.

Instead I think I’m going to try to learn how to draw. I’ve long enjoyed seeing art by others, but only as a fan and not as a creator. Art has always seemed like one of those things you just either had a natural talent for or you didn’t, and I definitely didn’t. :-)

However, there are some schools of thought that claim that anyone can be taught how to draw if they just have the right frame of mind and put enough effort into it, so what the hell, it’s worth a shot. I don’t think Picasso has anything to worry about, though.

Copy This

I picked up Radiohead’s “Hail To The Thief” on Friday, and when I first flipped it over and looked at the case, I got a bit concerned. Plastered in the upper-left corner is a warning label about it being “copy controlled” and a hardware compatibility chart and probably subliminal messages about how if you pirate it rabid weasels will eat your eyes out or something. Well nuts, I didn’t want to buy an album I couldn’t rip, since I just toss the CDs into a big box in the closet now.

This was the first time I’d encountered a ‘copy protected’ CD though, so I was curious and took it home anyway. A half-hour later I had 14 error-free MP3s on my drive. However, other people who bought it legitimately haven’t had as much luck even with regular CD players.

What was the point of all this again?

Homeless on the Net

The URL to this place is kind of hard to remember and impermanent and I don’t have a proper domain yet, so for now you can bookmark and it’ll redirect you to wherever this place is at the time.

Whether this place actually becomes permanent or not remains to be seen. It started out just as a bit of experimenting with Apache and scripts and such, but who knows…

gcc -c red_pill.c

I don’t do any 3D work or gaming under Linux so I’d never bothered to install the full OpenGL drivers for my Radeon card (the default XFree86 drivers only do 2D), but I stayed up late last night finally getting them working *just* so I could run the GLMatrix module of xscreensaver.

I am beyond help. :-)

So, who haven’t we beat up yet?

Okay, I admit it. I am an EverQuest player. Have been for over four years now, in fact, since shortly after the game was released. I hadn’t even heard about it at the time; I was just bored and looking for something new to play, picked up the box while browsing at Future Shop, and thought “Huh, might be worth a try…”

Now, four years layer, I have a highest-level character, a guild full of long-time (gamewise) friends, decent gear, and an obscenely large amount of total time spent in-game. And yet I haven’t been in EQ for more than an hour in the last three weeks.

What the hell happened?
Continue reading “So, who haven’t we beat up yet?”

Sunk While Docking

The desktop/window manager war is driving me nuts sometimes. Being a crotchety old geek I can live with most of it, but I can just imagine the following conversation taking place…

“Hey, I just started this program and I’ve got this extra icon floating around here. What’s with this?”
“Oh that’s the dock icon. It just displays a convenient status summary in the window manager’s dock.”
“Um, shouldn’t it actually be *in* the dock then?”
“Well, normally yes. That’s a Qt program, not GTK, and you’re running GNOME aren’t you?”
“Yes I am, but it says it’s GNOME-compatible.”
“Which version are you using?”
“The latest 2.x, of course.”
“Oh, well, they changed the window manager in that version. It doesn’t have that dock anymore.”
“What do I do then?”
“Maybe there’s a preference or command-line option or something somewhere that can turn it off or something…”
“But, when I start some other programs they display their own icon in the upper-right menubar corner. Isn’t that the dock?”
“Well, yes, but it’s a different *kind* of dock…”