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User Journal

Journal Journal: The Economic Downturn means Jack to Open Source 2

We've achieved critical mass. Linux is not going away. Neither is Open Office. Or Apache. Or PHP. Or a host of interesting, innovative, and inspiring Open Source titles. EVERYTHING slows down in a [Re|De]pression. You can kill a major company when the guy at the top screws up (We know you did nothing wrong, Mr. Fuld. Did you do anything *right*?) If you kill Linus Torvalds, does Linux fall down?

I doubt it. We now open the floor to hearsay and innuendo...

User Journal

Journal Journal: U3 2

I recently brought a new SanDisk Cruzer 4G USB thumb drive, partly because of the price ( $10/G) and partly because of this thing called U3. Take your applications with you! Oh, yeah, Firefox, cygwin, and winamp would disappear from my drive in a heartbeat.

I have learned that the reality is somewhat less than the dream. Plus, on further investigation, there are many out there in IT land who hate this little guy. Anyone else have any experience with this beast?

I bring U3 into the Arena! We who are about to die salute you!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Building a PC from Scratch, Finale

OR: How to screw up a perfectly running PC. Just add your brother (sorry, Rich).

The PC I've been writing about in the last few articles has been in operation for about a month and a half now. After the mystery of the power supply was solved the rest of the machine went to gether pretty easily.

The hard drives were a bit of a pain. Remember, kids. You have to make sure the cabeling is right in addition to the HD jumpers. At least that was less of a mystery than the power supply.

So we had this at the end: A brand friggin' new 2GHz ASUS MB with 1/2 G of memory, two 40G hard drives, a video capture card, and a DVD burner. I turned this over to my brother Rich to use as a "media" PC, since he's the one with the video camera.

Well, I made the camera dual boot: Windows 98 and Fedora Core 2. Everyting worked. I just gave him the caveat that if he was going to do anything with a network, to use Fedora.

Well, my brother has been screwing around with PC's as long as I have, and he tried to make 98 talk to his printer. Oops. Say goodbye to WinBlows 98.

I love my brother, but sometimes I just want to kill him.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Building a PC from scratch, part Two

My first mistake was the motherboard: an ASUS A7N8X-VM/400. Turns out that this little baby is extremely fussy about the memory it uses. Fortunately for me, I bought premium memory for it, and have not had any trouble with it (so far).

Actually, I've been pretty happy with ASUS as a company, although I've been seeing a lot of bad press on USENET lately. Time will tell.

The one thing you must realize about buidling anything from scratch is that the second you go beyond the case the manufacturers expect you to Know What You Are Doing. Things are not really all that bad though: most cables are "idiot proof" (especially the power), hard disk jumper instructions are printed on the case, etc.

  I've noticed little metal gromets in the holes in the motherboard where you secure it to the case. I assume that this is to defeat the people who like to tighten the screws to the point where they hear the motherboard crack.

The place where you run into trouble is the "newer" cabling, like the cabling that goes beteween the front of your PC to the mother board. Specifically: the power supply switch. Boy, you just have to get that sucker off by one pin and NOTHING works. Lost about 1/2 day on that one. Ripped the damn thing apart and put it back together twice before I realized that there was one pin unused between the connector for the reset switch and the connector for the power supply switch.

Give me the old fashined rocker switch on the power supply any day. (*sigh*).

Well, after that, it was an adventure to get the disk drives running. We'll talk about that in the next installment.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Building a PC from scratch, part One, or

In for a for a Pound.

Let me tell you how I tried to "frankenstein" parts of a dead PC into a working one, and spent a shitpot of money in the process.

I like having two dual boot PC's. One is my "work" machine, and the other is my "Ooh, let's see how *this* works" machine. The experimental machine fried out one dark and stormy night (a result of not having a surge suppresor between it and the power plug. A story for another time). The very next day, I endevored to fix it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, what a long, strange trip it's been.

more in the next installment.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Pre Cambrian Explosion

Is this evidence that we have been visited by a Von Neuman Probe?

Think about it. Up until then, Life is just plodding along. Then, all of a sudden, "poof". Even using The Razor (thanks, Occam), which is less believable: that there was a sudden burst of diversity (that, to my knowledge, has never been seen again), or that Earth was seeded by a VN probe. Damn thing is probably still hanging around, waking up every 165 million years or so. Wait, isn't that the pattern of mass extentions for the last billion years or so?!?

Just a thought...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Did Sid Meier Endorse the War in Iraq

Sorry to drag you into this, Mr. Meier. Consider yourself another casualty of war...

I've always wondered how applicable strategy games like "Civ N" (where 1 = N = 3 ;)--and even the Master of Orion series--were to the "real world".

The lesson is that only aggressive, expanding civilizations survive.

Does this mean that we did the "right thing" in Iraq, regardless of wether there were WMD's there? Or am I just reading to much into a G.D. game?

User Journal

Journal Journal: First Post

Hey, I know this is pretty lame, but this is the only way I'm ever going to get "first post" anywhere on slashdot

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