Friday, December 30, 2011

Bus dodging

I don't for one minute believe the spin that this N-controller company is putting out.  The whole debacle stinks of a publicity stunt.  I implore my gaming brethren to take this all the way.   Our fury shouldn't be personal.  Paul Christoforo deserves scorn, but he's human; he deserves to learn from this and move on (at least to his next lesson, he doesn't seem to learn very fast.) However the company that paid him isn't a person; it deserves our untempered wrath.  Don't accept the premise that this is about Moisès Chiullan throwing Paul under a bus. I care about that less than I care about the details of there shipping problems.
This is us throwing them under the bus.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Root of all evil

I've gotten some very nice presents for my birthday so far, and it's not even quite here yet (December 14, 1979 - Wednesday).

Thanks Dad and Chris for the Settlers of Cattan book, and the Chukar Cherries.  We're already half way through the Cherries and I hope to start the book tonight.  My Mom actually came out to visit and she took Gretchen and I out to a very fancy Italian resturant.

These gifts have gotten me thinking about money and I just spent about an hour reading about the national debt.  I finished reading even more confused than when I started.

I'm very concerned that all of the information out there has been tainted one way or another by political motivations; for example:  When Scott Walker was elected in Wisconsin, he met with his allies and asked them to get him as much financial leverage as they could.  He, and his allies, then used that leverage to great effect to push through legislation that was related to finances, but motivated by his, and his supporters ideology.  Threating the finances of a state to promote an ideology is treasonous.  -  Proving his motivations to get him sent to jail would be, probably impossible; and probably not deserved - I'm sure he felt he was doing the right thing; I just don't like the way he did it.  Means don't justify the ends and all that.

The national debt is certainly a serious problem, but with so many political and wealthy people recklessly crusading, and using unbridled demagoguery, figuring out what information I can trust is quite difficult.

I think I need a stronger historical knowledge of countries, and their debts to properly frame this issue.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hard Drive Shortage

I just read three "news" stories saying that if your in the market for a new hard drive it might be better to buy one sooner rather than later as hard drive prices are likely going to go up in the next few months.


If the "journalists" responsible for these pieces of copycat poop reporting knew anything they would know that some hard drive prices have nearly tripled! A Hard drive I particularly like The Samsung HD204UI Went from about $90 to $160 - yesterday. Today that same drive is $210.

Luckily I have eight of them sitting on my desk; unfortunately I really wanted to buy four more. So now the big question, what lies ahead: Do I buy four more now, or do I wait as long as I can?

I remember when I was younger a memory factory burned down (way back when when Pentium was a new word). It took, what seemed like, years for memory prices to come back down. But of course by the time prices started coming down, everyone was using DIMMs and SIMMs were worthless (Or some other such technological improvement - I don't remember precisely).

With SSDs increasingly becoming popular; I think it will mean many more people trying SSDs. Once you've tried an SSD it's very hard to go back; hard drives just feel so incredibly slow afterward. So that's my prediction; buy just as few hard drive as you can, cause the world will, to one degree or another, switch to SSD storage. By the time hard drives feel cheap again, you won't want them; you'll have your SSDs.

PS: It snowed on my house today, first time this year. I hope the new tires for my snow-blower arrive soon.

PPS: Please be real E-cat.

PPPS: Graph of the increasing price of my favourite hard drive.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Ever read a science fiction book that goes on and on about a space ship, or a society, that uses tremendous amounts of power; while the source of that power is summed up with only two words: cold fusion.


Life on this planet is just starting to get interesting.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tour De Coups

Yesterday Gretchen and I went on the Tour De Coups! Some of the chicken coups were very impressive; even more impressive was some of the things people were growing in their back yards. One couple had a veritable forest of produce! It gave Gretchen some good ideas for the garden, and helped renew my chicken coup building inspiration.

Also a bit of old news; I got a RAID card a week or two ago:

My array is up and running, and I've already expanded it twice! I hope to migrate it to RAID 6 and add a hot-spare before July 8th; but we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gentoo maintiance

After running Gentoo for years, if not always on my primary computer, I'd like to think that I've learned a thing or two about how to keep my system up to date. So here is a list of the commands/utilities that I use to keep my system running smoothly

emerge --update --deep --newuse world

(Repeat the last two commands until they both finish with nothing to do.)
lafilefixer --justfixit

(if obsolete packages are found remove or, more likely,
upgrade them and run revdep-rebuild and dispatch-conf again)
emerge -av --depclean (*** be careful with this one ***
It's suggestions on what to remove are sometimes dumb.)
eclean distfiles
emaint --check world
emaint --fix world

Many people have told me that doing an emerge --depclean can bork one's computer. But I've never had any trouble with it, until today. I wasn't paying enough attention, and it removed Python. A whole bunch of stuff is dependent on python, including emerge itself. So I had to unpack, configure and make python manually:

cd /tmp/
tar xjf /usr/portage/distfiles/Python-2.6.6.tar.bz2
cd Python-2.6.6/
./configure --with-fpectl --infodir=/usr/share/info --mandir=/usr/share/man
make install prefix=/usr

(You might have to fix the python symlinks in /usr/bin/; especially
if you are not installing the same version that was removed)
emerge python
rm -rf /tmp/Python-2.6.6
eselect python list
eselect python set 2

(On my system Python2.6.6 was first, and python 2.7.1 was second.)
rm /usr/bin/python2.6
rm /usr/bin/pydoc2.6
rm /usr/bin/2to3-2.6
rm -rf /usr/include/python2.6
rm /usr/lib/libpython2.6.a
rm -rf /usr/lib/python2.6
emerge --oneshot =dev-lang/python-2.6.6-r2

(Just to make sure I deleted all of the manually installed python.
If I missed anything it would result in a file collision)

Then I started my regular maintenance cycle above over again. The old Python 2.6.6 was removed, and everything continued to work because python-updater had switched all the python dependent programs over to Python 2.7.1

After going through all of this I realized that the problem was caused by upgrading from python version 2.6.6 to 2.7.1 - and not running python-updater afterward. All the programs that use python were still set to use version 2.6.6; while emerge --depclean saw that there was a new version and got rid of the old one. If I had realized, and run python-updater immediately after noticing the problem I might have been able to avoid all this. All though it was a fun adventure.

See how easy that was! Gentoo GNU/Linux is the best.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


iSlavery - If my boss ever asks me to sign a no suicide pledge I will know, absolutely and completely, that I've become a slave; and I will react accordingly.

Six twelve hour shifts, living in a facility that makes our prison system seem positively roomy!

Shame on you for buying an iPad or iPho... oh shoot. I'm typing this on an Asus EEE pc; I wonder who makes these, and what the conditions are like for their workers. Man; I wanted to buy a faster one too... Now I feel too guilty.

I'm gonna go assemble an Arduino, maybe in a hundred years, I'll have made my own netbook.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Snow Crash!

(Sorry for being 4 years old, in term of my sentence structure. Just another thing to save up for; unlike computer stuff this one probably won't loose it's value immediately.)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Delicate Arch

Gretchen and I went on a last minute camping trip to arches national park this weekend. Here is a picture of me at Delicate Arch taken on Friday.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Yum delicisous asbestos!

I'm employed again. Unfortunately upon returning to the same work site that I left, I find that they have begun asbestos abatement in the ceilings that I just spent a few weeks crawling in. Woo Hoo! Mesothelioma here I come! You know when the janitors vacuum the hallways in this school, you can literally see the haze of minute dust particles kicked up by their vacuums as they fail to collect anything but the largest particles of debris. Thank you Utah for spending so little on education; although I'm not sure lung cancer is going to have quite the disciplinary effect on your children that you seem to hope for.

I went and bought my self a P100 respirator, picked up a few books from the library on asbestos; and ordered a few asbestos testing kits. I'm not sure what I should do going forward. But I'm emotionally conflicted; my employer cares about me, and my coworkers. But sometimes makes really strange decisions:

On a previous job we were told some concealed areas had asbestos in them, and we were told to stay out of those areas. Also among the job site prints, plans, and spec sheets was a three ring binder full of information on the asbestos found in the building. I was reading it and came across a section saying that any maintenance worker employed to work on the building had to go through a asbestos training program. I asked one of the company owners about this, and he said that he would look in to it. The next day I found the binder gone, and I never got a response from my boss concerning the training.

Another example (I blogged about this before...) I was working on a job running electrical conduit from 10 and 12 foot ladders. I was approached by the general contractor who told me I needed to be wearing a harness. He and I called over one of the owners of the electrical company I work for. I was told to wear a harness and use a lanyard to tie off to a structural girder. I explained that I wouldn't mind doing that except that none of the fall protection gear that we had would stop a fall from such a small height. The strap around the girder would add a foot or two, the lanyard is six feet long, and stretches to twelve, and attaches to the harness at the top of my back. I'd have to fall from a height where my feet were about 15 to 20 feet off the ground for this setup to catch me. I asked my boss to buy a yo-yo (a piece of safety equipment). He and the general contractor told me to continue installing conduit without the safety equipment; they refused to deal with an employee who actually wanted safety equipment that would function.

This time no one even told us that there was asbestos in the ceilings. I still don't know what's up there or weather it friable. Naturally I'm scared for my health; maybe if I know more about it I wouldn't be. Hopefully I can find out some stuff soon.

Swashbuckling Censors!

Old Man Murray an influential (during the 90's) gaming and r3view website has had it's Wikipedia entry deleted! (You can still view the deleted article on the internet wayback machine.)

If you don't know why you should be upset will educate you.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Inside joke

Frabjous is now 0.9875 standard Bovia.
*This is not a comprehensive number, it is merely a superficial measurement.*
It has been years since Frabjous has had an opportunity to be greater than one standard Bovia. He could potentially reach 1.0625 Bovia within a few weeks!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Time for everything.

Ask and you shall receive right? - I've been wanting some time to finish various house projects, and to really start turning this house into a home. Well guess what I've been laid off.

My employer has some work on the horizon; but right now - zilch. So most everyone got laid off for a month or two. Getting laid off isn't something I wanted, but I'm going to make the best of it.

So I get to update the ol' brag sheet, and look around a bit. Ideally I'd like to find some temporary electrician work. In addition to looking for work though, I'm going to spend some time painting, welding, cleaning, etc... and it will be wonderful.

Monday, January 24, 2011


So i finished installing WOW on Ubuntu. And it plays just fine; but with the new Cataclysm update, wow can now use some of the more advanced features of my video card. Unfortunately either OpenGl or the gnu/linux version of the video card drivers aren't up to the task yet.

So I'm installing winBLOWS again.

Maybe I should do a small Gentoo installation and virtualize my computer so I could run, Gentoo, Ubuntu, and 'the operating system that is only useful for games' all at the same time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bleeding Edge

So some time ago when, what I consider to be, the second generation of SSD drives first hit the market. I went and bought one. It's a Gskill Falcon 128GB (230 MB/sec read 190 MB/sec write). It was bleeding edge at the time, and is still quite a fast boot drive.
Unfortunately like most bleeding edge hardware, the software support is usually quite primitive, as in just barely usable. Well time has passed and several new firmware revisions for this drive have been released, including a trim program. I've been reluctant to update the firmware because the drive manufacturers in there wisdom made it so that a firmware update destroys all data on the drive.


But the SSD delays have gotten a bit too long for me to ignore, it needed trimming. So after three hours of burning boot disks, rebooting, changing things in the bios, swapping around SATA plugs, and general hair pulling I'm happy to announce my success! Firmware version 2030 is now installed, and I'm off and running reinstalling my operating systems.

For good measure I updated my motherboard BIOS, and increased the overclock on the processor as well. Fun times!

Monday, January 10, 2011


In the past few days I've been thinking about getting an e-reader. I've been trying to read in bed, and I was thinking that an e-reader might be much easier to hold. With a paperback, I spend a bit of effort holding the spine open and twisting back and forth to comfortably see the page. Then again; maybe I've just gotten soft. I remember a time when I used to hold a book over my head for what seemed like hours every night before falling asleep.

Then again I also really like the idea of carrying around thousands of books in a tiny little gadget. We'll see.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Household projects update

The bedrooms that I've been working on are coming along just fine. Unfortunately there have been other setbacks...

The cat situation exploded! A cat we had been caring for started fighting in earnest with our cats; and one of them started peeing! A cat that pees once is forever a pisser. It had to go; but the reason it was in my house was that it had no where else to go! So I'm building a cat house for the garage. It's heated, and should be quite comfy; especially when the thermostat I ordered from Amazon arrives.

Another set back lies in our new furniture. We bought a new bed and nightstands from IKEA. My visiting father and his sig-o slept on them fine, and on new years Gretchen and I crashed on it; no problems. Later that afternoon I leaned on the bed and, the frame broke; the box-spring and mattress went crashing to the floor in one corner. So now I have another opportunity to use my new welder. I'll have to go buy some steel and weld up a bed frame; or at least a structure to reinforce the new broken one.