Hah!

The formerly missing screwdriver.

The formerly missing screwdriver.

Remind me not to attempt brain surgery this week.

I ended up remounting the Windows drive into the chassis, and booting there for the financial management software. Hard mounted to metal, so it’s noisy as hell. But it got the job done, and I was able to boot back into hellboy shortly thereafter.

It was opening the chassis to pop in the drive that revealed the missing screwdriver. Hmmm.

Transitions

Another busy week, another year nearly wound all the way down. Work was assisting in proposal writing, preparing for a big weekend systems test, and ten hours yesterday working remote on said test. In between, a bunch of reading and some coding and conference participation for my Java programming class, a bit of left-over turkey for noshing, and sleep when it was able to fit into the schedule.

Oh, yeah. “Transitions”, eh? So I stripped out all the installed games off of the Windows box, and got that all winnowed down just the small-ish C-drive. Then I pulled the drive out of the system and plopped in spare terabyte drives from here and there, as well as a 500G boot drive. All that was in support of installing the latest version of OpenIndiana – build 151a. OpenIndiana is the illumos-based operating system that is the inheritor of the OpenSolaris code base. So I’ve got a UNIX platform now that I can use for all the stuff I’ve been doing with Ubuntu, only it’s got ZFS, and dtrace, and all sorts of happy stuff to experiment in my copious spare time. I’ve named the box hellboy. Easy to remember, and easier to type than Slartibartfast, the name held by the Ubuntu box.

That install was done before I retired Friday evening. Saturday, during periods where all I was responsible for was keeping an eye on my email box, I got BIND9 (for home DNS services) and Dovecot (for home IMAP services) installed, configured and running properly. I started experimenting with ZFS sharing and ACLs, too. Keeps the mind nimble, change does. I’m going to attempt putting that Windows disk into the external eSATA chassis from Antec, and see if I can boot from it for those occasions when I need Windows. If not, then once the Linux box is done with, I’ll mount the Windows disk in there instead. I need to get a low-end video card for hellboy, too – a top-notch gaming card is too good (and sucks down too much juice) for a UNIX server/utility system. I’d run it headless, or just use the motherboard video, but the latter isn’t recognized by OIb151a drivers.

Today so far: Walking the mutt, shopping, walking the mutt, roasting some Yemeni coffee, and (whoops!) this post. I should have gotten out some things to thaw for cooking, starting shortly. Be right back…

*     *     *

We’re glad to see the last of the troops are headed home from Iraq. It’ll be even nicer to have all of our people home from Afghanistan, sooner than later. I’m sure that the efforts of our men and women in uniform in pursuit of policy will make that happen. Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Cpl. Adam J. Buyes, 21, of Salem, Oregon, died Nov. 26 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. 1st Class Dennis R. Murray, 38, of Red Broiling Springs, Tennessee, died Nov. 21 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Staff Sgt. Vincent J. Bell, 28, of Detroit, Michigan, died Nov. 30 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

 

One Nation Under A Groove

Thanks, Funkadelic, for brightening up my afternoon!

*     *     *

Busy week (huge surprise there, eh?) – four days working at the office, including a day of racking new gear and helping to get the electrics run properly for the new gear. Friday was an appointment in the morning, followed by writing and coding for school. I’d been working on the final paper for the Social Gerontology class for a couple of weeks, and yesterday I finished it and submitted it. In the evening, I worked on the Java project that’s due on Sunday evening (or, confusingly, Monday, but I’ll go with Sunday – that’s safe). I just finished that up, including testing, documentation, etc. So I’m all caught up with the world at this moment. Yay!

Now I need to find a longer (or better shielded) audio jumper cable – the one I’ve got running to the Logitech gear from the windows box picks up noise from the ethernet cables. Shielded is *always* good, but longer would allow a route away from the noisemakers. So I’ll go with either if I have such in my stash.

Other tasks include cleaning out the front flower beds, cleaning up my filing system here in the home office, and cleaning up my woodshop. None of that sounds very exciting right now, so I’ll do something else, instead.

Real Snow (TM)

 

Snow. Sticking. October. Believe it.

Snow. Sticking. October. Believe it.

Had I said I was going to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve by decorating the whole DC Metro area for Christmas, they would have laughed at me.

The snow is still here, hours later, and the temps are dropping through freezing, so it’ll be here for a short while tomorrow, too. Wow, just wow! And our overall precipitation is around an inch and a quarter for the last 18 hours. We’re 3/4 of an inch away from 20 inches of rain in our back yard since Irene made landfall here in late August.

Snow? SRSLY?

 

First snow of Winter 2011-2012

First snow of Winter 2011-2012

First snow of Winter 2011-2012 – it ain’t much, and it ain’t sticking to anything, but I’m still impressed with the can-do attitude expressed by this weather system. We started off with rain in the middle of the night, and were just shy of an inch of rain today when it flipped over to the snow delivery system about an hour ago. Right now the occasional flake is still falling, and it’s hovering around 35-36°F (~1.5°C)…

I guess it’s a good thing I winterized the watering systems yesterday. We might get our first frost tonight, eh?

*     *     *

I made a big dent in the paper that’s due next Sunday – the organization and cited documents are all in place, and I’ve begun on the prose. I also want to get a head start on the Java project that’s due next week, but first it’s time to roast some coffee and bake some cookies! Ciao!

 

 

Healthy Choices

Tim O’Reilly twittled about a talk at a conference, regarding “systemic” change to cities and food choices to enhance health. Really? We can’t afford healthy, long-lived people! What this country needs is sick people, real sick people, people with low cost, short time-to-death diseases and infections. That’ll solve our employment problems and our long-term social welfare funding issues, all in one go. It won’t be as effective as the big rock from the sky with our name on it, but disease has the advantage of not damaging much in the way of physical infrastructure. Fewer people, faster commutes!

*     *     *

After the busy weekend, I had a long day Monday, too: 14 hours at the office. I could take the rest of the pay period off, and still be over on hours. But there’s too much work to do, I’d just fall further behind if I stayed away. The last couple of evenings have been eaten by schoolwork, catching up on 3 days missed due to work, and one new class starting. I’m learning to program in Java! So far, it’s a lot like C, except syntax heavy and slower.

I did validate a regular polygon area calculation algorithm by using an approximation of the unit circle (a 100-side regular polygon, sides of length 0.0314152965 – it matches to three decimal places. A 1000 side polygon matches to 6 decimal places). That’s fun!

Sidewalks, Ringtones, and iOS5

Thoughtful neighbors fill the sidewalk with trashcans

Thoughtful neighbors fill the sidewalk with trashcans

Time for the last walk of the evening for Lexi. Up the street we go … and a couple of nights a week, we actually go up the street, rather than use the sidewalk, because some neighbors can’t help but block the way. I’ve even spoken to them about it, to no avail. Either they can’t remember that I asked, or they’re malevolent. Grrr. I really *want* to tip that stuff all over their lawn in response, but I’m too bloody nice to do that. They do the same thing, only more sprawled out, with bags of lawn clippings. Sigh.

*     *     *

So, iOS5.

After a bit of finagling, I got it installed on my iPhone 4 last week. I’ve been poking and plinking around the interface in my not-so-spare time, and finally discovered that you (and I) can assign ringtones as Alert sounds. Huzzah! It’s more than just the ability to do that, but now I can create custom loops and assign them to SMS alerts … which is good. The default Alert loops suck for waking me up in the middle of the night when I am on call. So now I have an Alert sound courtesy of The Who, and a default ringtone from Van Halen’s Eruption. Empirically, it appears that the loop length cutoff for using a ringtone as an alert is 30 seconds.

 

Day and Duty

The day was successful, in that everything that needed doing got done. Shopping, coffee roasting, further research for school project, school work, lots of dog walking. Additionally, more of Marcia’s wall-mounted shelving started auto-detaching. So I pulled the balance off and patched the holes. I purchased two more 4′ wide x 6′ tall wire rack units (6 shelves each) to put into that space, and assembled them. Marcia’s already started reorganizing all that fabric onto the new storage.

*     *     *

I was looking at the flow chart that SF Signal created for the NPR Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books. It turns out that on the SF side, I only missed the top marks by not reading any of the Star Wars fiction (Really in the Top 100? Really?) and, it appears I’ve missed Connie Willis. So there’s an author to add to my reading list. I’ve read 85% or so of the rest of the books on that chart, too. Of course, I only just recently read the Vorkorsigan Saga, and Bob’s been after me to read those for ages.

*     *     *

The worst of times for sixteen of our friends and family at war. Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. Tyler N. Holtz, 22, of Dana Point, California, died Sept. 24 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire.
  • Spc. Francisco J. Briseno-Alvarez Jr., 27, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, died Sept. 25 in Laghman province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
  • Lance Cpl. Franklin N. Watson, 21, of Vonore, Tennessee, died Sept. 24 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Garrett A. Fant, 21, of American Canyon, California, died Sept. 26 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • 1st Lt. Ryan K. Iannelli, 27, of Clarksboro, New Jersey, died Sept. 28 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Lance Cpl. John R. Wimpey Cagle, 19, of Tucker, Georgia, died Sept. 28 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • 1st. Lt. Andres Zermeno, 26, of San Antonio, Texas, died Sep. 25 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade.
  • 1st Lt. Ivan D. Lechowich, 27, of Valrico, Florida, died Sep 28, in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Steven E. Gutowski, 24, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, died Sep 28, in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  •  Pfc. David A. Drake, 21, of Lumberton, Texas, died Sep 28, in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Staff Sgt. Nicholas A. Sprovtsoff, 28, of Davison, Michigan, died Sept. 28 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Christopher Diaz, 27, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died Sept. 28 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Adrian G. Mills, 23, of Newnan, Georgia, died Sept. 29 in Kirkuk, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by insurgents using indirect fire.
  • Spc. James A. Butz, 21, of Porter, Indiana, died Sept. 28 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
  • Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Caleb A. Nelson, 26, of Omaha, Nebraska,died after his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device while conducting a combat patrol in Zabul province, Afghanistan on Oct.1.
  • First Sgt. Billy J. Siercks, 32, of Velda Village, Missouri, died Sept. 28 in Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds suffered Sept. 27 in Logar, Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit using indirect fire.

School’s started again

Can you tell that I’m back in class. I sure can. Actually, this week and next are likely to be the “worst” in terms of time commitment for a few weeks – I’m trying to get well ahead so that when the next class starts up in a little over five weeks from now, I can cruise through the tail end of this first class.

*     *     *

The most interesting thing I read today was Jerry’s analysis of NASA’s new “old” plan. Sigh.

Weather Plus

The plus part is that the sun came out today. For a while. But there are still clouds. According to the gauge, we’ve had just over 12 inches of rain in our back yard in the last 15 days. Yowza!

*     *     *

Things I think when driving:

  • Did you have trouble coloring between the lines as a child?
  • Is that handicapped sticker for your driving or for your parking?
  • You’re doing 39 miles per hour. On the freeway. With the high beams on. You freaking moron!

Those are the polite things, unlike what I was thinking about the driver of the truck sporting yellow livery on the topic of bobcat rentals … that truck’s driver was a maniac who cut people off, and exited a parking lot by the entrance-only path in order to get ahead of two cars. What a maroon. I’d make a phone call if I could remember the name of the business.

Oh, hey … Lexi wants supper. Ciao!