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User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask (a subset of) Slashdot: Blu-Ray media streaming 4

I have the following:
1 Windows Vista x64 Machine, in my basement, equipped with a Blu-Ray drive and player software by Cyberlink that in theory works with Windows Media Center.

1 medium-strength (Athlon 2600, 2GB RAM, Radeon X800XTX) former gaming machine, with a license for Windows XP and a current Ubuntu 8.10 install.

I want: to pop a Blu-Ray disc in my Vista machine, stream over gigabit to the lesser machine, for output onto a standard-definition 37" TV.

Any suggestions? Windows Media Center refuses to acknowledge Blu-Ray playback software exists, VLC can't handle it, and I don't have the drive space to store multiple Blu-Ray movies at full resolution. While I'm in principle unopposed to downconverting the Blu-Ray discs to standard definition, that doesn't support the kind of instant experience I'd like.


The Matrix

Journal Journal: Political Musing 9

It seems to me that the more I get involved in political discussions, both real-world and online, the more I notice that the only thing most people hate more than the "other side" is the extremists in their own party.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Long time passing... 6

Wow, it's been almost a year since I've put any thoughts down in this journal. And, as usual, I'm never quite sure what to write.

I got a new job. Christmas was wonderful, with no familial drama whatsoever for a change. New years was at my place, and the party lasted three days, with a consensus that it was the best new years party many of them had ever attended. Of course, as host, I got new years kisses from every single lady there, much to the amusement of my wife, who collected most of them.

Another year, many changes but it's all the same in the end.

Star Wars Prequels

Journal Journal: I never write here anymroe 2

And that's a shame.

Christmas was surprisingly relaxing at the Zer household. MrsZer and I joined my parents on Christmas Eve for church (neither of us is Catholic, but it's surprisingly relaxing and candle-filled). Christmas day lunch with them, too. Opened presents, then the relatives came since my dad's idea of Christmas Day Lunch is grilling as much steak as is necessary. Mrs Zer made the baked potatoes, I cleaned up the living room from the gift carnage, and all was well.

Then in the car for an hour to spend the afternoon with her grandparents. Turns out we'd just missed her parents and siblings there, since her dad had got spooked by the potential oncoming rain that never materialized and left very early. So we spent some time with Nana and Pap, opened a few more presents all around, and then called her parents (who, fortunately, live less than 15min from us).

Another hour in the car, then we dropped by my in-laws for round three. MIL always showers us with stuff, which I'd feel more guilty about if FIL didn't make more than three times what I do (he's a full professor at my alma mater). Spent some good times with her parents and younger sibs (both still in high school, and both very good kids and a lot of fun to hang out with) and then to home.

I won't bore you with loot tales, since most of it was the typical "adult christmas" stuff--books, shirts, socks, etc., except for two. First of all, my lovely wife and MIL went in together on a very very comfortable zafu and zabuton (Zen meditation cushions). They're a joy to just sit on in general, let alone meditate on. And then there's my parents. Who got me the best geek present yet.

User Journal

Journal Journal: How about the power to kill SuperMicro Server Corporation...


That's telekinesis, guys.


I might rant more about this later in my life, but right now I'm too infuriated to articulate it.
In brief.

WHY, in 2006, are you selling a SATA chipset (the ServerWorks HT1000/HT2000, for those playing at home) that doesn't support LBA48 addressing? I should not have to jump through retarded hoops or put a smaller boot drive in the system to use a 320GB drive on my ultramodern dual Opteron server.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Job Opening 7

Attention jobseekers in the Central Pennsylvania area! If you need a junior sysadmin position, I might well be able to hire you in the next two weeks.

Linux knowledge strongly required.
Windows desktop administration required.
Hardware assembly and testing skills are a bonus.
No experience required if you have a related degree and can show me you know what you're doing.

Downside? I think we'll probably only be offering 30k/yr to start. And you get a pager. But for the Bellefonte area, that gets you a comfortable 950 sq ft apartment for your wife and two cats, at least if you're me three years ago.

The short version is that I'm interim manager and likely to become full-time manager.

Send your resume and anything else relevant to sholes@athertonia.org, or comment here if you have any questions.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Yet another MMORPG post

If you play EVE Online, look me up. My character name is Meholick, and a few friends and I have just started a corp whose mission is to smack around the idiots who cruise 0.4-0.1 space killing new players for kicks.

If you don't, and you think you'd like a MMO game similar to X or Privateer or Elite, with RTS-style ship controls, I urge you to do a google search for EVE Free Trial and get your free client download and free 14-day trial.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why my wife (may not) love me, part N 2

This is an actual fragment of an AIM conversation.

Her: "My true love hath my heart, and I have his."
Me: And together we form Devastator, most powerful of the Decepticons."

I got to see the Dalai Lama speak yesterday. I'm not sure there are good words for describing how supremely cool it was.

User Journal

Journal Journal: brain...kspltzy.... 3

If I don't seem myself over the period of time between -5 days from now and 5 days from now, it's because I'm elbow-deep in database replication software for our primary website.

"But Zer," you say, "you're a unix admin, not a DBA."

And, like a Zen master, you cut to the heart of the problem with a simple observation.

Seriously. Stupid, stupid, stupid company decided that a DBA was unnecessary when our last one quit. Now we need replication yesterday. POSTGRES replication. POSTGRES with CUSTOM CONTRIBS replication.

At least Slony seems to be up to the task.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask a subset of slashdot: Celiac-safe cakes? 9

MrsZer's mother's birthday is coming up.
She hasn't had a real birthday cake in years, because she has very severe celiac disease.

I am an excellent baker. I want to make her a cake anyway.

Does such a thing as a good celiac-safe cake recipe exist?

I figure some of you have firsthand experience with this kind of thing, so I'm asking here for recipes you've tried, before I go randomly hunting on google.

User Journal

Journal Journal: my cat almost got to be a hero last night 3

So cats can give blood transfusions, did you know that?

It's true! Apparently, cat blood types either can't be tested or don't matter, as the procedure is for a donor cat to give blood directly to the recipient (no such thing as a feline blood bank).

There are fairly stringent criteria for donors--the donor has to be older than two and younger than seven, and in the top half of their healthy weight range, and above 10lbs in general.

So it turns out that of the cats that fit that description in a 10mile radius of the vet hospital MrsZer works at, the only one who's consistently available is my younger cat, Nikolas. Sixteen pounds of pure docile stupidity^W love, he is. http://athertonia.org/czarnikolas.jpg

So he almost gave a transfusion to a kitty dying of lymphoma last night. Alas, the sick kitty was fading too fast, and euthanasia ended up being its fate.

Still, it's weird to think that my cat's now on a list of blood donors. And cool at the same time.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Life goes by. 6

This workaday living is getting me down.

Well, down isn't the right word. I've been down, and it's worse than this. Discontent, perhaps.

Job hunt is going slowly and not very well--the last two places I applied to didn't even bother telling me they'd filled the position and didn't wish to interview me, which I'd thought was pretty much a common courtesy.

With the current job, and MrsZer going to college part-time, the state of the bank account is at a low not seen since *I* was at college part-time and working at a sub shop (Penn State Sub Shop on Beaver Ave., Abm0raz.) for my daily bread (usually with a cheesesteak on it, at least you got free food on your shift).

This makes everything tense. MrsZer's big joy in life is traveling, something we can't afford. Her second big joys in life are movies and new music, and right now it's either movies or health insurance.

Her job is making her crazy too. Her boss is the kind of sublte sexist that drives her up the wall, and having met him, he needs to have his stupid grin kicked repeatedly off his face. Imagine a sordid cross between Adam Sandler and Bill Lundbergh. ("HEY, GIRLS! I'M GONNA NEED ONE OF YOU TO STAY TWO HOURS PAST THE END OF YOUR SHIFT TONIGHT, M'KAY? GREAT!")

So basically, the highlight of my month thus far has been successfully getting a set of Ogygos' Bracelets in Final Fantasy XI (yeah, semi-frivolous expense, but both the wife and I play and so do many of our friends, so we agreed it's the best use of $25ish per month of our meager entertainment budget) the other day.

(for the gamer geeks: getting the bracelets requires you to get to a specific elite monster, who spawns in a set place once every 2-4 hours. Only one person can fight it at once, and it's a race to be the person who claims it. Once you kill the monster, it has a 1 in 16 chance of dropping the bracelets. I got 'em, go me.)

Meh, this is just kinda random. Anyone need a sysadmin in the central PA area? (we're tied here until MrsZer finishes school)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask (a subset of) Slashdot: Fantasy Football help! 3

Okay, here's the deal.

My dad and my little brother are running a fantasy football league. They talked me into signing up.

This could be a lot of fun. But I have no idea who any of the players are. Seriously, I watch football for the games, but I don't pay any attention to the stars or the stats.

So here's the question--who in the heck should I be drafting tonight?

User Journal

Journal Journal: In the Spirit of StB... 3

Anyone have a sysadmin job they know about?

This is only about 10% serious at the present time, since the wife has to finish college (part-time classes, part-time job)

HOWEVER, the wife also wants to attend grad school in Cincinnatti in a few years.

How kickass would THAT be?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask (a subset of) Slashdot: Flight Simulators. 3

This falls under the "somewhat esoteric" category.

I have a $90 flight-sim quality 8-axis 24-button joystick+throttle.

I haven't used it to fly anything other than Battlefield 1942 stuff in over two years. (since I retired my last Win98 computer and, with it, my ability to play Jane's Fighters Anthology.)

I require a good flight sim. Any suggestions?

1. Must have a realistic, rather than arcade-style, flight and combat model.
2. A decent story-oriented campaign is preferred, as is a random mission generator or some form of extended replayability.

Bonus points if it's not a straight dogfighting sim, and I can play bomber pilot.

Suggestions for sci-fi sims will also be entertained, with criteria 1 obviously not applying.

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