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Journal Journal: Kapla: Spirals

Just building stuff, sometimes continuing the following week: Week 1 Week 2

The booklet had a spiral which took some time to figure out. Basically, 2 pieces in the middle, and 1 on each side of it, which makes it look really cool, and more importantly, supports the turned pieces. They do a slow turn though.

After figuring it out, we went for a 3, that is, 3 in the middle, 2 on each side, and 1 on each side of that. With 1000 pieces, that allows 111 levels of 9 pieces each, which is what a friend built in the picture. The last piece might be lost, but there are 3 warped pieces in there. Got to watch out where to put them!

Kapla is expensive, but with a small table, the enjoyment never ends. In only takes a few minutes for even the ardent to give in and start building!

User Journal

Journal Journal: An Lá 2

BÃ go maith, a mhuirnÃn.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Link o' the day:Raw cookie dough vs health & value judgments

Why public health worries don't have to ruin your cookie dough This and its ilk have been going around for a little while. I especially liked the part mentioning value judgements:

But the key word of the previous sentence is "unnecessarily." Whether something is necessary or not is not a scientific judgment. It is a value judgment. An FDA official may personally believe that eating raw cookie dough isn't important and choose to never eat it. That is their choice. At the same time, I can believe that eating cookie dough (made from flour known to be not part of the recall and pasteurized eggs) is something that I enjoy enough that I'm willing to put myself and my children at (a very small) risk to do.

Someone ought to tell him that in US English, periods go outside the quotation mark.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Coming Home Again? 11

I've been hopping Linux distros since I decided (for reasons of my own) against intentionally using systemd-based distros. I'm not interested in systemd flame wars, so don't bother here.

At any rate, I've come across SalixOS, and so far I think I like it. It's a direct Slackware derivative, which I find quite interesting because Slackware is the first distro I ever used.

Waaaaay back in the early-to-mid 1990s, my dad sent me a box of 3.5" floppies. On these floppies was Slackware Linux. I don't remember the version, but I think I have most of them kicking around still, so if I felt the need, I might dig them up and see if I can install enough to get a version number from it. What I do remember is that it had kernel version 0.99pl10 on it.

Since my introduction to Linux on Slackware, I've used Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS (professionally and personally), Debian/Devuan, Arch, and Aurora (a Red Hat derivative for use on the Sun SPARC platform), in no particular order.

It's interesting, having to find all the dependencies again and having to re-compile kernels to get something newer than what comes in the box.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ryan Ryttie / kesuki - Rest in peace 2

As most activity has gone away here, I often don't remember what real username maps to what person. It's fine, that is how this social media thing evolved.

What I do know, is that I knew Ryan Ryttie, from slashdot. Today, I saw a post from his sister that he passed away (Link to Facebook is public). No, I do not know the circumstances.

I know he stopped using his original username here. Ryan was a friend, sure he had is daemons. but he was a friendly and authentic person.

I post this in a journal, for others that may still wander here and may have known him.

May Ryan rest in peace.

[Edit: Ryan was known as kesuki on slashdot]

User Journal

Journal Journal: [geek] Dual-Boot 2-in-1 Tablet

I recently acquired a 10.1" tablet with a break-away keyboard so this little beast can be either a very small laptop or a full-sized tablet. The keyboard is nice and it is very solid, so this is a great solution for my needs. I have wanted one of these for a long, long time, and now I have one.

Where it gets interesting, though, is that it can dual-boot into either Android or Windows. My first thought was that, since I have an Android tablet already, this might be a good candidate for running the last few Windows applications I rely on, which would allow me to convert my Windows system into another Linux workstation, probably for development. I like my laptop, and it works well enough with Windows 10 on it but I am no fan of Windows 10. So, I booted the tablet up in Windows and looked around.

With the release of Windows 8, I wanted a Windows tablet. It seemed like a good system that would work well for me. I had a touch-screen laptop that came with Windows 8 preinstalled (but has since been migrated to CentOS 7) and it was not as bad as I expected - the interface actually made some sense to me and I did not mind it at all, though I definitely preferred the older Windows 7-style desktop. I had a Windows 8 phone at the time which I bought on a whim and it was the easiest phone to use I had ever owned. So, the Metro desktop on a tablet seemed like a good way to work.

Windows 10, not so much.

As a desktop OS, Windows 10 is not totally unreasonable though it is not my first choice by any means. It's not the best version of Windows, and even though I am primarily a Red Hat kind of guy I definitely prefer Ubuntu's interface to Windows 10. But, on the desktop Windows 10 is workable. On a tablet, though, Windows 10 is a big goose egg. It's clunky, it is harder to use and it takes up too much in terms of resources. So, this dual-boot tablet will be in Android the large majority of the time.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [work] karma

My last job sucked. No way to sugar coat it. My manager absolutely refused to say anything positive to me about the work I was doing and actively went out of his way to find people that were unhappy with my performance (meaning, he looked for people that thought I should work 70+ hours/week with unpaid OT for them exclusively) and my final review there for the worst I had ever seen. I missed family events, funerals, trips and more, just to try to keep afloat. Such a prick this fellow was that he took the day off on my last day, requiring someone else to accompany me to HR for my exit processing.

The fellow who was my mentor and who was all that stood between me and that manager was a bright fellow who did work 70+ hours every week and was considered hot property among management. He was the manager's right hand and he did not think I was treated fairly but there was little he could do for me.

That fellow is leaving now, having had enough of the BS himself and leaving the manager in a lurch. No one else in the group held the same respect with that manager and even those in other groups who did not like him respected him (if only privately). Three of the heavy hitters have either left or are about to leave, and the manager will have a shell of a group and no one to keep him above water.

I am smiling a lot today. Sometimes, bad things do happen to bad people.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A simple reason... 9

I'm writing this here, largely because I don't trust Facebook to not remove the post when someone gets all butt-hurt about the subject matter.

If you're going to read this, I encourage you to read through the whole thing before you decide to trigger off of one or two phrases I choose to use.

That said...

I have one simple reason why people (in the US) should vote for Donald Trump: he's a white man.

I don't mean that in the raaaacist sense. Consider this:
  • The President of the United States can be impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors". The details are pretty-much up to the House of Representatives to decide what constitutes "misdemeanor". This could be evidenced as recently as December 19, 1998, when Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives.
  • If Hillary were elected, nobody in Washington would even dream of attempting to impeach her. Who wants to go on record as being the one to initiate impeachment proceedings against the first woman president? Seriously, that's the same mindset that has protected Obama-- There have been lots of people trying to get the House to consider impeachment proceedings against him for any of several dozen actions he's responsible for, but nobody wants to have that hanging over their head in an election year, especially if the impeachment failed to pass. A win for Hillary would give her permission to do whatever the heck she pleased, with absolutely no concern for repercussions. It has worked for Obama, it will work for her.
  • If Trump were president, there is not a soul in Washington that would not hesitate to attempt to impeach him if he messed-up. People in Washington hate him so much, I'd be surprised if he finished his first term (remember that first point?). Even if he did finish it, the likelihood of him performing well enough to justify a second term is pretty slim at this stage of the game.

In short: Nobody wants to take the blame for attempting to impeach the first $CHARACTERISTIC president. Trump has no characteristic that would possibly protect him if he screwed things up: he cannot play a race card or a sexism card. He's got nothin'.

He's got everything to lose by getting impeached and everything to gain by doing the Right Things.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chronicle/Link o' the day: Keyboard, pi, and more 3

I made a stupid mistake with a keyboard. I didn't realize it until after i bought a raspberry pi 3 to replace it. With a total cost of $65.26 (pi, pi plug, dvi->hdmi cable, sd card) i'm glad i have it.

FWIW, the breakdown in price:
$35.00 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
$8.99 Raspberry Pi Power Supply
$7.99 Shipping
$3.79 DVI->HDMA cable (free shipping)
$9.49 Kingston 32GB Micro SD card ($8.95 + tax, free shipping)

I despise the UN, even referring to them as the UNAI. And now UNESCO (after the earlier brouhaha on the same issue) has decided that the Temple Mount and Western Wall are not Jewish sites.

Ever heard of the NSF funded "Shrimp on a treadmill" study? Here's a video of the shrimp on the treadmill: They ought to turn that into a motivational video. Perhaps the small amount of views over the past decade has to do with an aversion to exercise.

Boaty McBoatface win the recommendation.

I just found out that "scot-free" is ~500 years old and has to do with taxes.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Two things... 6

First thing: I see that articles and Journals on /. now have icons to facilitate sharing said articles on other sites. How would one request adding others, like Voat?

Second thing: I got myself a new computer, an Alienware Alpha. The system I have has the i7 processor. It's been in my possession a couple days and I have to say that so far, I am quite happy with it. It's not a top-of-the-line system, but for the price point (less than $700, and I had a discount on top of that), it appears to be worth every penny. The only thing I'm not thrilled about is that it came with Win10, but there's not much one can do about that these days.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: Our library in the digital age

Library? What's a library? Oh, books. What's a book?

Well, a library is a place where they have an Internet connection, and people tend to be on the quieter side. A book is where outdated information and stories without update or comment are posted. An anachronistic nostalgia wasting (y)our city's tax revenue. Not to mention our library's the ugly web page, not to be mixed up with a decent page from a library with a deceptively similar name.

I have a friend who works at the library. He works there part time, and has done so for many years. So when i do have an issue, i give him a call and (believe it or not) he is more than happy to help. And every time i do call and ask, i find out more about our library. Cool stuff too. The only prerequisite is a library card (number).

One item of interest is Zinio. IIUC, there's actually two Zinios. One for libraries, the other for personal use. Our library pays for Zinio, so as long as you have a library card you can login. I found the setup process to be terribly annoying, mostly due to error and a stupid process that keeps asking and re-asking. Whatever. Once it is setup, however, it works beautifully. Basically, Zinio has a bunch of digital magazine subscriptions such as Reader's Digest, National Geographic, fashion, hobby, and kids publications. I assume it depends on what the library pays for. You subscribe to it, and as long as there a "copy" available, you can read it. You release it when your done, and it can alert you where there are more. And, because there is an app too, you can read it just about anywhere. Cool stuff.

A second item is only interesting if you like ebooks. OverDrive has ebooks based on your library's subscription, and again, you use your card to login. It too has an app. It's like Zinio, but for books. (Should that be the other way around? :) I find this less helpful because i'm not big on ebooks, and i have a Kindle for that anyway. Nonetheless, between the webpage and app, it's a pretty cool option to have.

A third item, i found about only because my mother thought OverDrive would have it. It doesn't, but it's there, right on top, listed as "Catalog". Certainly you know what that is. Right? It allows you to reserve books and extend reservations (which is what my mother wanted), see what is past due, what you may owe, and so on. It also has a link to MelCat which they alert you not to use unless the other avenues have been exhausted. It's silly to order a book that already exists locally. Anyway, a website checkout for books. What will they think of next?

(When i went to "Catalog" on my mother's computer (via TeamViewer) it was pretty unusable in FireFox. So, i downloaded Chrome and set it to continue the last session on startup. Basically, where she usually uses FF, Chrome can be dedicated to the library. It's easy and simple, assuming it works out in the long run.)

The suggestion box is an email address. I want to tell them how ugly and unintuitive the website is and that the available options are very nice, nonetheless. But send a direct email?! Surely, you must be kidding.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [geek] Windows 7 Again 4

My son has a laptop that finally got bogged down with crapware and other nasties under the hood and he asked me to reload it for him. He is usually careful online but he apparently found some aggressive adware buried in something else he wanted. He had updated it to Windows 10 from 7 which at the time had seemed like a good idea.

I spent two days reloading this system, using the 4 recovery DVDs that I made from the system (shoulda used CloneZilla and imaged the booger). After that, I made a terrible mistake and tried the WIndows 10 thing since I thought that was what he wanted. Box would not boot so I got to start all over again.

I am going through the process of dowloading all of the WIndows 7 updates right now. I had forgotten what a slow and painful process this is.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chronicle: Got my Raspberry Pi 3

So, i got a Raspberry Pi 3, and it arrive the day after Pi Day. But, as i purchased it from the UK, and they don't have a Pi Day, it's somewhat understandable. My Ukranian coworker asked me about P-day, and in the ensuing discussion she explained that in Russian it is pronounced pea.

And now, the pictures. I got the cord, because it was cheap enough and easy enough to just order it. The next order of business is to load up Linux. Ultimately, i got it to (play with and) give away to someone who needs something better for browsing. I wonder if i can throw LibreOffice on it.

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